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2010
Sep
04

Flash Bingo Games Updates

Categories: Flash Bingo Games, Site Updates

General game changes:

  • Resuming interrupted games (in all bingo games) has been broken due to the recent changes, this has been fixed now. This probably needs some more thorough testings later.
  • Bonus game points are now given when a player levels up on any game.
  • FAQ pages have been updated to reflect the recent changes.

The spinners in Spin Bingo have been updated so it highlights the numbers that can be dabbed on the cards. While adding this feature, I also encountered a minor bug where a spinner number that’s already unusable does not get blurred properly. This has been fixed now. Additionally, all unusable spinner numbers are now blurred immediately after spinning. All these changes should make it even easier to play the Spin Bingo game, since numbers that can be dabbed have more visual clues now.

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2010
Sep
03

Site Updated

Categories: Site Updates

The site has been updated with ALL the latest web pages and codes. It has been awhile since this has been done, as it’s mostly the blog posts that I have been updating after the initial public availability of the site.

There has been some database issues that took me awhile to fix, but it’s all working now. I might have to add some error-related tools later, so I can be better informed of the details when a similar issue occurs in the future.

The site has been getting some (mostly) Spin Bingo hits now, so I thought it’s best to upload the latest web pages already, as I have added more contents since the last major web update. The Help and Game Rules pages have also been updated to conform with the latest changes I made (like XP and player levels).

I’ve also updated WordPress to the latest version.

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2010
Sep
02

XP and Player Levels

Categories: Bingo Game Server, Flash Bingo Games, Site Updates

There were some major changes in the last few weeks. In a previous post, I have posted about the concept of player levels. Basically, as you gain more XP (Experience Points), your game or player level also increases. I was not supposed to implement this until after the games have been launched, but after some serious thought, I figured it is such a major feature that it better be implemented right from the start.

Since this is a free bingo site, and players are basically just playing for points (or virtual currency), there’s got to be something else worth coming back to for players to continue playing. The player avatars will be there to spend points on, and in terms of skill progression, XP does the job.

I see player levels as easier-to-achieve quick goals. Instead of just amassing countless XP for every game, your player level increases after accumulating a certain amount of XP, which provides short bursts of player satisfaction. Each higher level also requires more XP. I am not very familiar as to how other games are doing it, but I am seeing more games on Facebook now doing this as well, so it must be a good thing.

The difficult part right now is how to present this to the player in an easy-to-understand manner, otherwise it can just complicate things. Currently, a player hasĀ  different XP and levels per bingo game, which I think is the proper thing to do. However, I also needed a site-wide player level, where benefits like number of usable smileys will be based. This is where I am having some difficult considerations right now, as I am avoiding having to present 2 different player levels.

Anyway, the basic code foundations have been wrapped up. All the Flash bingo game layouts have been re-organized to make room for these changes. Some player info (points, name, XP) have been moved from the chat area into the game area. Each bingo game now has a player stats area, consistently placed at the top of each bingo game display. This player stats bar also shows during game intermissions, so the intermission screen has also been reorganized a bit. This stats bar also solves the problem of not being able to see player stats when the player has just signed-up, since the full chat area only becomes visible after registration has been confirmed.

XP accumulation has also been changed. Previously, you only get XP if you win the game or as a bonus for playing consecutive games. Now, even non-winners can gain XP. For Spin-Bingo this is based on player scores. For the other bingo games, it is based on card to-go averages. This still needs some fine-tuning, but the core functions are all working now. The bingo games also display the required number of XP before leveling up. During game intermissions, all the players are now listed since everyone is gaining XP.

There has been a lot of changes in the bingo game servers, as well as the website codes, but I think it’s all worth it. Players don’t like seeing major changes, so it’s better to implement this player level concept now rather now introduce it later.

I could not recall all the other recent changes, but here are the other updates in my notes:

  • Fixed a screen name bug
  • Some java server classes (bingo game winners related) have been removed since the recent changes required a different implementation (which is also now easier to manage)
  • Fixed some XP bugs (when showing Options screen, and upon initial purchase of cards)
  • Privacy settings in the profile (showing of birthday/age) now working properly
  • Game status/age display in the player profile now defaults to Friends-only
  • Jackpot amount in the individual bingo games is now only shown after the player has purchased bingo cards (I am hoping that this will further discourage the so-called jackpot jumpers, or at least make it a bit more difficult for them)
  • Fixed a bug in the scrolling message bar, where some messages will overlap depending on some events (this has been a long-standing issue but it’s only now that I was able to fully replicate the problem and therefore make a suitable solution)
  • Spin Bingo help icons are now better placed, overall the Spin Bingo layout is now better and cleaner
  • Card costs (in the codes) can now vary, so a Spin Bingo game which requires 4 cards only can now cost a bit more
  • Fixed some stats bugs when viewing a player’s profile (e.g. defaults to another game even if another one is selected)
  • XP is now kept track individually on a per-game basis, this also required some table reorganizations in the database (e.g. there are now 2 transaction tables, one for balances and a new one for XP updates)

Overall, I think I have been productive last month. I know it could have been a lot better, but at least there have been significant progress.

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