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-   -   An Open Letter to the PBW Community (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=42026)

geoschmo January 20th, 2009 09:45 PM

An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
It is my sad duty to inform you that the Space Empire Play By web site, PBW as it’s known by it’s loyal fans, will not be returning. At least not any time in the foreseeable future, and not ever in it’s current form. The server suffered a hard drive failure and due to poor planning and lack of diligence on my part, the backup plan was not sufficiently robust to recover the lost data.

If there is a bright side to this it is that the number of people seriously affected will be small. While we still have a dedicated core of game owners and players using the site regularly, time has taken it’s toll on our user base. For a site like this to last nearly a decade is extraordinary, but it is true that nothing lasts forever. While I always said I’d keep the site running as long as people wanted it and were using it, perhaps that was never a realistic commitment.

For those of you with active games currently on the site, we would love to be able to assist you in transitioning your games to PBEM or another format. Unfortunately, having lost all the user and game data, we are unable to render any such assistance. You can continue your game via email from your most recent turn if you can make contact with your game owner and the other players. If you are unable to contact your game owner, or if he does not have the game password, unfortunately your game has come to a premature and abrupt end as well.

My heartfelt thanks go out to all the PBW Admins over the years who helped me keep things running a smoothly as they did. You did what you did for the love of the game, asking nothing in return but the opportunity to play, and to be a part of building and maintaining this community.

Thanks to all the loyal game owners and players. Without you, this truly could not have happened. Again, I apologize for how this ended, but hopefully the effort put into providing you with this site for all these years will temper your feelings of disappointment.

Thanks to Malfador Machinations for creating such an addictive game. And thanks to all the folks at Shrapnel Games for supporting the game and the PBW site for all these years, even after your relationship with Malfador came to an end.

And a special thanks to the Admiral for starting this journey all those years ago. Though you haven’t been involved in the site for some time, you’ve always been a part of it. Your help and encouragement were crucial in keeping it going as long as it did, and your guidance has helped me in my career beyond PBW as well.

Sincerely,

Geoschmo

Arkcon January 20th, 2009 10:01 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
On the face of it, this seems like the saddest news yet. But you're right, it is impressive that the site was able to hold up, without even adverts, for so long. Maybe, if SE6 is groundbreaking like SE4, something like PBW will be needed again, and we'll hobble together something we'd all like.

Atrocities January 21st, 2009 01:27 AM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
2008 was a lousy f***ing year all the way around and 2009 isn't off to a grandiose start either with this disappointing news.

All those files, gone. Poof, like they never were. To say that this is a sad day for this community would be a tremendous understatement.

SE V, which should have revived and galvanized the community instead choked it off and brought about its withering death.

Thank you Geo for all the hard work and uber dedication to these games and the PBW site. It was home for many years as games would often last that long. (3 year games were the norm.)

I am so sad to see this happen.

Makinus January 21st, 2009 08:45 AM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
While i participated of very few pbw games (a half a dozen at most) since i prefer more single than multiplayer because of schedule issues i want to give my heartflet thanks for the pbw, it´s rare to see such a professional job done for such a cheap cost for the average player (free!) and for such a long time.

I´m sad, but at the same time pround that SEIV went the same road of the old VGA Planets and Stars!, we can be pround as a community that SEIV can be compared with those classics. I myself will still play SEIV for a long time, as i still play Stars! from time to time.

Xrati January 21st, 2009 12:06 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Thank you Geo and all the people involved with PBW, for all the years of your hard work and effort in keeping a 'place to play' for all of us that used it! :clap:

PsychoTechFreak January 21st, 2009 01:40 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Although I am not one of the core players anymore, thanks to all PBW Admins, thanks to Geoschmo! :up:

Captain Kwok January 21st, 2009 07:03 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
I guess this means we have to finish "PBW2" now. :P

TurinTurambar January 22nd, 2009 10:22 AM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Thanks Geo, for all your hard work over the years. While I only ever played a handful of games there because of the ridiculous lifestyle I live, the ones I did were great fun. Those were great times and I miss them a lot.

Thanks again,
TT

Gandalf Parker January 22nd, 2009 12:15 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
I once offered back at the birth of PBW.
I will gladly host for free an SEIV site. Full web, email, ftp, etc. An admin for the site (someone known here) can have an account. My systems have been available 24/7 for over 5 years now (for as long as Ive had this house, and will remain available for as long as I keep this house). I host online worlds and multiplayer games. A pbem server would be negligible load.
Some "references":
www.Dom3Minions.com
www.ShazzyShard.org
www.SDmud.org

Or it could always be a backup site kept up to date and quickly switched to in case of a problem with the primary site.

Gandalf Parker

mac5732 January 22nd, 2009 10:48 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
I also forward my thanks to Geo for his exceptional time and dedication for PBW and it will be sorely missed. It was one of the things that kept this group together after SEV failed to live up to all the expectations and reduced the members using the forum. I hope everyone will stay or at least ck in here every so often just to say Hey so we know your still out there. Geo stop in at the cantina for a free brewski or two and everyone else to toast PBW's glorious run... (of course the bill will be put on someones tab hehehehehe ) ..... sorry to see pbw go.. it was fun for those who used it and will be sorely missed by everyone..... A

Suicide Junkie January 23rd, 2009 12:48 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
GP:
Are you aware of the scale of the processing work?

Mid to late game SE4 turns can chew through more than 1000 Mhz-hours of CPU time for processing.
SE5 is generally a heavier load than SE4, due to the vision radii and combat mechanics.

Gandalf Parker January 23rd, 2009 03:02 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Really? I didnt think it would be worse than other games I host with far many more players and larger maps such as Dominions 3. I have 64 copies of it running at the same time. Not to mention online worlds.
Come to think of it I should have asked first if it is willing to run on a linux server.

Captain Kwok January 23rd, 2009 04:05 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
I highly doubt that SE5 will run on a Linux system, even with command prompt turn processing.

Black_Knyght January 23rd, 2009 04:30 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker (Post 668859)
I once offered back at the birth of PBW.
I will gladly host for free an SEIV site. Full web, email, ftp, etc. An admin for the site (someone known here) can have an account. My systems have been available 24/7 for over 5 years now (for as long as Ive had this house, and will remain available for as long as I keep this house). I host online worlds and multiplayer games. A pbem server would be negligible load.
Some "references":
www.Dom3Minions.com
www.ShazzyShard.org
www.SDmud.org

Or it could always be a backup site kept up to date and quickly switched to in case of a problem with the primary site.

Gandalf Parker

That sounds like a DAMN FINE idea.

SE-PBW may be dead, but the sadness of it's loss doesn't have to remain. If we can do this, if we can rebuild a new site, then I say let's do so. there's surely enough interest still.

I'm in, and will do whatever I can to help!

Gandalf Parker January 23rd, 2009 04:41 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Well I suppose the linux could handle the web stuff, and then trasfer the files to my desktop machine for processing, then transfer them back. Not too hairy a notion if I setup samba for shared directories.

Fyron January 24th, 2009 02:16 AM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker (Post 669141)
Really? I didnt think it would be worse than other games I host with far many more players and larger maps such as Dominions 3.

The map of Dominions 3 is much smaller than SE4, in terms of asset tracking. Even its largest maps have what, 60 locations? 100? SE4 has 13x13 locations per system, times up to 255. SEIV stock has about 9 planets per system, compared to 1 per territory in a game like Dominions, leading to many more resource/production objects to track and manage. Granted, its code probably isn't very efficient, but a system-based game is a bit more resource-intensive than a territory-based game.

Gandalf Parker January 24th, 2009 12:08 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Ahh I can see the load in that.

But actually the biggest maps of Dominions 3 (which Im famous for liking) is 1500 provinces. And on each turn-hosting they can all be active even if its still owned by independents unvisited by a player (since even indepts are susceptable to events which cause attacks or changes to their settings). It can support up to 91 players in a game.

The mud I host is 60000 rooms.

And a UO shard is pretty intensive.

But its moot. Unless it runs on linux, at least with a wine command, there would be a massive load running it.

Baron Munchausen January 24th, 2009 02:32 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker (Post 669306)
Ahh I can see the load in that.

But actually the biggest maps of Dominions 3 (which Im famous for liking) is 1500 provinces. And on each turn-hosting they can all be active even if its still owned by independents unvisited by a player (since even indepts are susceptable to events which cause attacks or changes to their settings). It can support up to 91 players in a game.

The mud I host is 60000 rooms.

And a UO shard is pretty intensive.

But its moot. Unless it runs on linux, at least with a wine command, there would be a massive load running it.

How about a virtualized copy of Windows 2000? You can virtualize Windows under Linux now. And Win 2000 is much lighter than XP but still compatible. The visual stuff requiring DirectX is not going to be needed on the turn processing machine, of course. It would be slower than a 'native' install but not by much. And the additional load would disappear when the task completed.

Gandalf Parker January 24th, 2009 02:53 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Slow doesnt tend to matter in games that have a hosting once every 24 hours. I guess it might work depending on the load and how long it took.

Fyron January 25th, 2009 01:38 AM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
You've also got to consider SE5..

Gandalf Parker January 25th, 2009 11:55 AM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
No I dont. :)
But yeah I guess if I offered a home to PBW I would. Isnt it more efficient? What would be the problem with SEV?

Fyron January 25th, 2009 02:03 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
SE5 needs to invoke DirectX (8) to run combats.

Gandalf Parker January 25th, 2009 02:27 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Ahh. Yes that would be back to shipping the games to a windows machine to process since I really REALLY wouldnt want to run a windows server.

DarkAnt January 31st, 2009 07:35 AM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
Hey Geo, thanks for hosting pbw for so long. Almost a decade is a quite long time to be hosting such a demanding site out of charity. I feel very old for being part of an online community for 9 years. I'm 22 now, which means I must have been playing SE4 since I was 14. I'd feel even older if it weren't for mac. Hi mac! *waves*. Thanks to your efforts I've made quite a few long term friendships which have grown past just playing video games. You did more than just host a server.

Take care Geo,
-darkant

Nicholas_Bostaph February 3rd, 2009 03:59 PM

Re: An Open Letter to the PBW Community
 
With Geoschmo's permission and assistance I have developed a replacement for the PBW site. Beta testing went well and I believe it is now ready to open to the public. It can be accessed at http://SEPBW.NightscapeCreations.com. Sorry; can't afford a new domain name...

I will probably not be back to this post; suggestions and comments can be submitted via the form on the new PBW site. Thanks.


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