The basic stuff is online. I have added statistics for OpenArena and a short overview about Teeworlds, OpenArena and Cube 2: Sauerbraten. For the future i plan to write a page for users and server admins where you can find more information about the installed games and of course i'll contribute my own lessons learned.
A new page with graphs is online displaying the number of OpenArena players on the server.
I had to shut down the OpenArena server for 24h because i discovered a security bug which i reported to the Debian BTS #665656. The bug was fixed by the package maintainer in no time thus the server is up again.
Finally i figured out how to compile and patch qstat. I'm working with the trunk version at the moment which can query Cube2 and Teeworlds servers. I plan to file a wishlist bug to the Debian BTS as soon as my qstat package is in a acceptable state to save the maintainer some time (hopefully).
The good thing is, with qstat 2.12 i can make Munin display new Sauerbraten and Teeworlds graphs, when and how many gamers play on the server. But see for yourself.
Chronicle is a blog compiler and my latest lightweight discovery. It is simple, fast and efficient. Written in Perl Chronicle is capable of creating static html files out of mere text files.
Features are: Tag-based archives, RSS-feeds, themes and an optional comment function.
Needless to say Chronicle is extremely responsive and doesn't drag your whole system down.
For several weeks XPilot NG has been running on the server. There are still a lot of server options to discover and i really need feedback how i can improve the gaming experience. Nevertheless XPilot has been a true classic game for more than 20 years and will not vanish any time soon.
You can install the Debian version by simply typing
aptitude install xpilot-ng
You may already be aware of it, the openarena and teeworlds servers are restarted every morning (CET). This is due to the fact that players can change settings on the server and the restarts reset these changes.
So if you play at these times don't be suprised when the servers are temporarily down.
At the weekend i installed Red Eclipse, which is a total conversion of the Cube Engine 2 thus being very similar in certain aspects to Sauerbraten. Nevertheless the gameplay is different, unlimited ammunition is a remarkable point.
I have named the server "Einherjer Europe Public FFA" like the other fps servers, so you will easily recognize it. You can get a good overview about the current server status at redflare.ofthings.net
Red Eclipse is a total conversion of the good old Cube Engine 2. This made it quite easy to generate the same munin graphs, which i did for OpenArena, Sauerbraten and Teeworlds in the past, for Red Eclipse too. As a result you can track the utilization of the server on this page.
Just for the record: At the moment the OpenArena and Sauerbraten server are frequently used. Teeworlds gets less attention because of the huge choice of different servers. I think, all in all, things are looking good at the moment.
Today i switched to Debian's wheezy package which provides version 0.8.8 of the OpenArena fps game. New models, textures and maps await you! You can take a look at the full announcement and changelog at openarena.ws.
A lot has changed internally with the Debian package which is in a much more polished state now. I have replaced am_galmevish with its successor am_galmevish2 and i am thinking about introducing or replacing some other maps. For now: Enjoy!
Here is the reasoning behind the new mapcycle. It is quite large and contains 25 maps. Some of them are duplicates. The old one wasn't bad, but i figured out it's more entertaining when you join the server and have a good chance to play a favourite map. So what's a popular map? Agressor, oa_dm5 or dm4ish seem to be pretty hip. Mix them with some medium maps like oa_shine or an arena-style map like am_galmevish2 and add once in a while a big or less popular (but still awesome) map like wrackdm17 and you have all your ingredients for a big but varying mapcycle.
I have also added pxlfan and czest1dm. If you would like to see other ones, you can leave a comment or contact me.
How do you know something is wrong with your openarena server? The number of players who have joined the server has obviously declined in the last week. I didn't believe in a coincidence and assumed the latest upgrade to 0.8.8 was the culprit thus a lot of players can't join the (pure) server anymore.
It came as a little surprise that a lot of players still play with 0.8.5 but..on the other side 0.8.8 has been released just three months ago. The best way to counter this problem would be to upgrade the client to 0.8.8 but as hardly anybody will ever read this, i have decided to set up a ftp server which serves the necessary files. Maybe in the future i will use the fast download mechanism to make some custom maps available.
In fact now the download is much faster than the conventional old quake3-style way but if this is still not fast enough, please visit openarena.ws and grab the latest release or use your favourite package manager to download Openarena 0.8.8.
I've discovered a nice tool, vnstat, which keeps track of network traffic volumes. Its other helper program vnstati then is capable of drawing graphs in png format. Both can help you if you want to visualize the server's network traffic. The graphs are generated every midnight (CET) but it will take a few days until vnstat will have collected enough data.
I've played with the server configuration and decided to try out OpenArena's InstaGib and Vampire feature. For the next weeks ahead i will switch to g_instantgib 2 which basically means that only railgun and gauntlet are the allowed weapons. One hit with the railgun will lead to a sudden and gruesome virtual death. Wednesday is InstaGib Day, folks!
Another interesting setup is nicknamed "Ketchup Vampire". It combines the vampire feature, where players gain a little percentage of the inflicted damage to an enemy as health points, with the g_catchup variable. The better a player and the greater the gap between his frag count and his opponent's one, the more difficult it becomes to kill the latter. Combine that with an elimination environment where every player starts with all weapons and where you can't pick up new items and you get "Ketchup Vampire".
You can find the original idea and a good explanation here. Ketchup Vampire will be introduced on next sunday. The mapcycle will also be adjusted to this unusual setup. At the moment i experiment with
I will also raise the fraglimit to 50 frags.
Here are some news what has happened in the past weeks and what will happen in the future.
I've discovered two different bugs, #664637 and #681812, which are related to the OpenArena server in Debian.
Nowadays the first one does only occur very rarely if bots play on the server, the second one is 100% reproducible if you start a callvote from the ingame console. That's the reason why i had to disable this feature. At the moment i'm gathering more information, backtraces from gdb and core files and i will go on to report them to Debian's BTS.
I think InstaGib Day is a success. I like it and it seems some other players enjoy it too. Ketchup Vampire is also fun but maybe it is too special to justify a weekly appearance. For now i've decided that Ketchup Vampire is only playable on the 1.
day Sunday of every month. If you think different, here is your chance to intervene.
To fight against spam i've also decided to disable the comment function of a published weblog article as soon as 30 days have passed. I think that's a reasonable amount of time to comment on a news post and after 30 days you can't call it even news, can you? :) Of course you still can reach me via e-mail. Check out the contact page.
The next step is to write a short summary how you can install and play all the games and to point you to the right ressources. Then i have to improve the page layout and to include more fancy stuff.
Today at 9pm UTC game servers and website will be shut down for approximately 30 minutes while my hoster installs an important upgrade.
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