Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:47:44

Text Post: To people asking for session admin changes:

I am mildly concerned that some of these requests are an effort to usurp the current admin by getting me to change it! I’m tempted to say that I need approval from other players in the session, but if I’m going to always do this when that’s given…well…

What would people think of a system where the admin can be decided by majority vote? Would that solve these “missing admin problems? Would it be open to abuse?

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:37:32

Text Post: To aTranscription:

What in the hell did you guys do to your server/client chain. Seriously, two of you have the same person as a server and you don’t appear to be ANYone’s server OR  client. Looks like the problem was that by virtue of your server player you kind of tap into a loop of players NOT including you, meaning it ends up going in a circle around that forever. I have added a failsafe that SHOULD stop it from printing as soon as it tries to print the same Land twice, so that should hopefully solve your problem.

Still would like to know what you did with the chain though.

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:30:46

Link: In case anyone somehow managed to miss it elsewhere:


Homestuck has updated. The page has crashed, as one would expect. It is now providing a different error message though, specific to their webhosting rather than the generic Apache 503. Here is a link to a web hosting site’s help materials with the exact shade of the current “Service unavailable”…

Reblogging this with an update: The original update has disappeared from MSPA. Speculation is rampant, but tumblr posts announcing this fact are strangely scarce, so I figured I’d make one.

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:27:58

Ask: It might be good to advise that other anon to store the (salted) hash of the passwords, and to compare the (salted) hash of the submitted password. I mean, I know you do this for overseer, but I think it might be important to tell the other anon that if security is needed, one should use password hashing,? (in case someone gets the user/password data)

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention about the security angle! I knew I was missing something :/. But yeah, PHP has a variety of hash functions where the basic idea is you turn the password string into a horrible mess of garbled nonsense that’s completely illegible, but if you feed the same password into the garbling function you get the same mess which means you can tell if it’s the right password.

(There’s stuff with salts you’ll want to look into, if you search for “PHP password encryption” you should be able to find relevant stuff)

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 23:34:14

Ask: Can you give advice to a rookie programmer? How do I make a login page that verifies the person's identity then takes them to a different part of the site?

I’ll start with a general overview in the hopes that you can look up anything that you don’t understand. If that doesn’t work out, feel free to send in another ask for clarification

So the main thing you’ll need is an HTML form with a username and password field. It’ll need to have an “action” of a PHP page that can do the verification and a “method” of “post”. What that means is that submitting the form will send the user to the PHP verification page with the values in the form’s text fields (username and password in this case) stored in a special PHP array called $_POST. If you’ve named your fields “username” and “password”, then the script your form sends the user to will see those values in variables called $_POST[‘username’] and $_POST[‘password’].

From there they can be checked against records in a database using basic SQL syntax (The relevant PHP is under “mysqli_query” and the relevant SQL you can best get a feel for by messing around with PHPmyadmin, it’ll look something like SELECT * FROM `Users` WHERE `Users`.`username` = $_POST[username], which will grab the user whose username was put into the form). Then you check the password that you found against the one given, if it matches you log them in, if it fails to you don’t. You can use require_once(‘thirdpage.php’) right after the login code and it’ll load thirdpage.php as soon as it’s done logging them in.

I dunno how much that’ll help, but hopefully it tells you SOMEthing at least. If you’ve got a tumblr account I can answer more specific stuff, provide feedback on code, and do various other things through private questions, which would be much more convenient for everyone involved I think!

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:53:37

Ask: aTranscription again from the session Forward Ho, concerning the infinitely looping dungeon selection menu, the entire list of options is looping, not a specific one. All gates and planets are listed.

Alright thanks, will take a look at this as soon as I can. In the meantime, is there anything particularly unusual that you can think of about your session? Were any chains modified by administrators?

See, the way the dungeon code usually works is it keeps pushing forward in the chain until either it reaches you or it fails to find a link. So what’s happening is your entire session is linked up in a circle (fine), but the code is failing to stop when it reaches you again for some reason (not fine!). Exactly how that’s happening depends on exactly how I coded up that restriction (maybe it’s something weird to do with capitalization? It doesn’t seem like it would be…), but with that in mind if you think of anything else relevant don’t hesitate to send it in.

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:56:43

Text Post: In case anyone somehow managed to miss it elsewhere:

Homestuck has updated. The page has crashed, as one would expect. It is now providing a different error message though, specific to their webhosting rather than the generic Apache 503. Here is a link to a web hosting site’s help materials with the exact shade of the current “Service unavailable” message, and here is that host’s load balancing scheme (which is apparently what is failing and producing that error)

So my best guess is Hussie tried to sort out a hosting solution specifically to handle the inevitable traffic spike and instead managed to overload their specialty service. Bravo fandom, bravo.

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:58:04

Ask: Any chance you could make some kind of closed beta for TOP2? The original is kind of dead at the moment, and we could help you with QA testing while you add features

Well first of all the original is still getting like 400 players/day so it’s not quite dead. Secondly, right now we’re still solidly at an alpha point in development. Everything is a confusing terrible mess that we can only navigate because we built it, and we can fix that but should wait until there’s enough content to justify a beta before doing so.

(So in summary there will probably be a closed or open beta, but once the game is far enough along to be actually playable)

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:55:23

Ask: Sorry if this has been asked, but how are people who have excessive grist/boons going to be dealt with when/if the stock exchange reopens? Having studied the exchange profusely, there's no way it can be stable when there are people who have such excessive wealth using it without restriction, but many users who were willing to cheat were made absurdly wealthy, and plenty of other users who didn't want to cheat (including me) were still made absurdly wealthy through their influence on the exchange

We’re going to make it session-specific. There’s simply no other viable solution, and I think that’s actually canonical anyway.

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:37:47

Ask: I havn't been playing since the beginning. I havn't been playing recently. I havn't been thinking too much about overseers. But I want you to know that every time I load up my browser, Overseer project is my home page. As I stare at it seeing the news so active, talking about the v2, my urge to play is growing. I can't wait to see what you guys do, and I'll definitely be there at launch. Keep up the good work guys, I can only hope this message adds to your inspiration.

I’ll be honest, I kept this in “questions to be answered” for a while because I look at that more than I look at the blog’s front page so I’d see this more. Thanks. Seriously.

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