ID:80601
 

Poll: Would you like to see the open-server idea become reality?

Yes, somebody should get it working. 48% (31)
Yes, I would even consider contributing by donating. 12% (8)
Yes, I would even consider taking a share of the responsibility/work. 14% (9)
No, the idea is prone to abuse/fail. 9% (6)
No, BYOND doesn't need something like that. 6% (4)
I don't mind/care. 9% (6)

Login to vote.

Falacy suggested the idea of an open-server.

Now, since I find the idea interesting, I want to gather information on how the community sees the possibilities of such a project.

Basically, the idea is to provide a shared server that can be freely used by certain competent game makers. As most developers on BYOND lack resources (including monetary), there are games that might see more activity (and thus an increased fan-base) if they would be hosted on a more frequent base.
It might be a far fetch, but it could be one additional step to feature original games, instead of spreading the player-base out on various low quality games.

I doubt (and don't think) that BYOND would (should) take the venture, because of the financial risk and the immense workload involved (imagine the spam by 'programmers' wanting to get a free slot), but a private person/group should have less trouble, if the concept is well planned.

My suggestion would be the following:
  • Start out by compiling a list of 'reasonable programmers' that be granted a slot in such an open-server
  • Assemble a team to operate the server (money and access wise)
  • Contact one of the BYOND hosting companies and negotiate on a somewhat decent server
  • Collect donations in advance and come up with a detailed service description (esp. what would be strictly forbidden)
  • Talk to Tom and query if such a service could have a little payback through referrals


Feedback and voting would be most welcome.
Thank you in advance!

P.S.: Please keep things civil.
Aye *Thumbs up*
Interesting idea.
good idea. however there will be a lot of politics involved, i have no doubt. you have to be careful who you piss off when you're accepting/denying applications for a slot.
It could be worth playing around with that idea, yes.
I'm interested. Not sure how I could make use of it myself (yet) but I definitely support the idea of working together to improve the BYOND game space.

ts
This is another one of those ideas that works perfectly, sounds perfect and is otherwise a fantastic idea, in theory.

In practice however, there are ample things that can (and probably will) go wrong with this kind of thing.

For instance, the people making such a list. It's more than possible they'd have a bias against competent programmers working on anime games, as anime is seen as a problem and they'd probably want nothing to do in supporting it.

Then there's the competent programmers that make this said list might have a grudge against for insulting them or something for some reason.

Lack of *nix knowledge on the other side of the scale means one or two people would have to write some kind of front end for the people who don't know anything about SSH (unless the idea is to force them to learn).

Then you have to ask, what criteria states a person is competent at programming? Does simply having a popular game count (you and I both know it doesn't ;)?
I am all for this idea, but what you need to take into consideration is the allocation of server resources.

You're going to need some kind of solution for games that gobble up RAM and CPU like crackers, or you may end up with hostility between individuals who're using the Open-Server.
D4RK3 54B3R wrote:
I am all for this idea, but what you need to take into consideration is the allocation of server resources.

You're going to need some kind of solution for games that gobble up RAM and CPU like crackers, or you may end up with hostility between individuals who're using the Open-Server.


I thought about hosting some games on a server but I would have limited it to low resources games such as board, turn, card, and etc. That may have to be a requirement.
Tiberath wrote:
It's more than possible they'd have a bias against competent programmers working on anime games, as anime is seen as a problem and they'd probably want nothing to do in supporting it.

Since Falacy is working on anim? games himself, I doubt that he'd be biased towards them and I, though I do not play them, do not feel hate.
The problem I see with such games is less in the category, but more in the copyright issues.
I am honestly not sure how law treats the case of hosting copyright fraud material free of charge, or, if a possible law-case would aim at the developer, or the host.
That is the only real problem I have with the topic.


Tiberath wrote:
Then there's the competent programmers that make this said list might have a grudge against for insulting them or something for some reason.

I would even allow you on that list, you lousy little...! *grins and teases*
All joking aside, I do not see this as a serious problem. Everybody can, if treated unfair, start her own 'open-server' project, which would be great ;)
And I think that if Tom would ever support the idea through referrals, he'd certainly have a say in the hosted games/developers list.


Tiberath wrote:
Lack of *nix knowledge on the other side of the scale means one or two people would have to write some kind of front end for the people who don't know anything about SSH (unless the idea is to force them to learn).

Not a problem either.
I would not even consider granting every developer SSH access to the server. Lucky enough, creating a hosting solution with BYOND (startup/shutdown/Export-Reboot/Del/Ping/shell-kill) is as easy as can be.
The use a a BYOND world to spawn of children has many an advantage.
It is simple to use for the developer and grants sort of a control layer for the people in charge of the server.
The only weak point is resource management, which D4RK3 54B3R hinted at.
And that is where pre-selection of reasonable developers has to play it's trump.


Tiberath wrote:
Then you have to ask, what criteria states a person is competent at programming? Does simply having a popular game count (you and I both know it doesn't ;)?

The potential 'ask a programming question-game' aside, I would think that the aim of such a project is more in helping BYOND and as such, indeed, if there is an original game with a large fan-base, why not allow the developer to join under certain terms (e.g., optimizing resource usage and allowing other developers to help).
D4RK3 54B3R wrote:
You're going to need some kind of solution for games that gobble up RAM and CPU like crackers, or you may end up with hostility between individuals who're using the Open-Server.

I agree completely.
This is where the server environment would have to be considered. If possible, the best solution would be restrictions.
If that is not possible, the hand-picked selection of developers
needs to suite as means to fight abuse.
Schnitzelnagler wrote:
Since Falacy is working on anim? games himself, I doubt that he'd be biased towards them and I, though I do not play them, do not feel hate.

That might be true, but I don't think Falacy is a competent programmer. =)

Not a problem either.
I would not even consider granting every developer SSH access to the server. Lucky enough, creating a hosting solution with BYOND (startup/shutdown/Export-Reboot/Del/Ping/shell-kill) is as easy as can be.
The use a a BYOND world to spawn of children has many an advantage.
It is simple to use for the developer and grants sort of a control layer for the people in charge of the server.
The only weak point is resource management, which D4RK3 54B3R hinted at.
And that is where pre-selection of reasonable developers has to play it's trump.

You'd want a web interface as a server could crash unexpectedly and the game creator might be on a PC that doesn't have/allow BYOND access (such as a school or work environment). Though you could probably do this very easily if you can get DMCGI to work (it's being very uncooperative lately, for me at least).
Tiberath wrote:
You'd want a web interface as a server could crash unexpectedly and the game creator might be on a PC that doesn't have/allow BYOND access(...).

For the case of a crash, you'd always have a watchdog running.
Though, I agree that a web-interface comes with several benefits, I'd see it as low in the priority list.
Get the beast running, then enhance and optimize. As as with developing a game ;)

Getting a reasonable person with a PayPal account to hold donations (I will never obtain such a thing myself), collecting donations to start off and spawning some rule-set seem to be the main problems keeping this idea from taking off. At least for me.

If you went with Slicehost, they don't take paypal. So you'd want a reasonable person with paypal and a credit/visa debit card.
On the crash issue why not set up a player based voting system?
If a server crashes, and people join it, see it's crashed, they join another game and say said game is crashed, upon doing so those people will check the game, because obviously they want the game THERE on to be less laggy and working better, they will vote.
Abuse is possible of this system I agree, but if you work out a suitable anti idiot filter, Then it could work.

Keeping on the same topic, what if there are games with such things as map loaders and ect, these games will (sometimes frequently) have short periods of intense resource hogging. How would you go about those games?
I know of two games which are still in development which both use this, and both games are good with competent (Well, most of the time ;O) programmers.

Rushnut wrote:
On the crash issue why not set up a player based voting system?

That should be really up to the developer, not the server administration.
Keeping the restraints as little as possible would likely help more than offering a bloated environment.


Rushnut wrote:
short periods of intense resource hogging. How would you go about those games?

Like I said. Resource handling and sharing is a main issue, but could only be addressed once the initial server restrictions are known(set).
Monetary issues will likely dominate the choice of server (since I have doubt on the charity around BYOND ;)).
Will there be a kind of lobby, where the hosted games are listed?
Will there be options to lock certain games? At an administrators whim?
Who will be the Administrators?
Rushnut wrote:
Will there be a kind of lobby, where the hosted games are listed?

A bored PHP programmer could do this in a matter of minutes (including join links).

Will there be options to lock certain games? At an administrators whim?

Probably possible in a *nix system. But I'm curious what the point to this would be?

Who will be the Administrators?

Short of a couple of volunteer *nix operators who can do all the setting up and maintaining, I wonder what the purpose of administrators would be?
Tiberath wrote:
Rushnut wrote:
Will there be a kind of lobby, where the hosted games are listed?

A bored PHP programmer could do this in a matter of minutes (including join links).

Will there be options to lock certain games? At an administrators whim?

Probably possible in a *nix system. But I'm curious what the point to this would be?

Who will be the Administrators?

Short of a couple of volunteer *nix operators who can do all the setting up and maintaining, I wonder what the purpose of administrators would be?


My lobby question was more of a question of concept than question of possibility.

Even with your anti idiot filter in place, surely you would still need players? And if we rule out ALL idiots, well then that's me aswell as about 90% of BYOND gone, so I feel the need to ask, who will play these games? Will there only be the restriction for game developers or players too?


Certain games might not abide by the rules, I.E
A game gets in fine.
Game updates, suddenly breaking rules, doesn't tell anyone about it.
Game needs "Administrating".


Administrators purposes would be to simply enforce any rules you may put up, I thought this was already planned anyway?
Rushnut wrote:
My lobby question was more of a question of concept than question of possibility.

And if Schnitzelnagler wanted it, I'd probably be the first person he came to on the subject. ;)

Even with your anti idiot filter in place, surely you would still need players? And if we rule out ALL idiots, well then that's me aswell as about 90% of BYOND gone, so I feel the need to ask, who will play these games? Will there only be the restriction for game developers or players too?

As with all games, I imagine that the developer is the one who decides who can or cannot play their games.

Short of a few cases where a user might feel it funny to cause havoc on a server-wide basis, than your *nix volunteers will be the ones to deal with them.

Certain games might not abide by the rules, I.E
A game gets in fine.
Game updates, suddenly breaking rules, doesn't tell anyone about it.
Game needs "Administrating".

That again is probably the *nix volunteer area. Depending on Schnitzelnagler depends to do it. So theory says, your administrators are your *nix volunteers. As such, it's up to them to shutdown unruly games and ban users who are effecting things on a server-wise basis.

Administrators purposes would be to simply enforce any rules you may put up, I thought this was already planned anyway?

I wouldn't know if it was planned at all. I figure this post is just a discussion on whether or not it's worth while to go and start planning it. If it is, then that info will be made public at a later date.
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