Update to Sign-In Issues

February 23rd, 2007: Filed under  by Alexander Catapang @ 7:52 pm

The sign-in issues detailed in the previous post have been fixed… I hope. While the functionality remains the same and there is really no visible changes client side, the sign-in process has been completely revamped. Since players run different Flash versions on different OS varieties, sometimes certain incompatibilities arise which may be very hard to track. The new approach should eliminate such issues.

This actually required major code changes server-side, as the core design has to be changed. I’ve been planning these changes for quite awhile now, but I have been hesitant because it might introduce a lot of new issues. The modified game servers have been running for more than 24 hours now though, and so far, there doesn’t appear to be any problem. I only spotted one new minor potential issue, but it has been corrected already. So far, so good.

The new design actually has a few more significant benefits. I expect things to be a lot less resource intensive (basically, this can allow me to run more game servers per computer), and inter-server communication is now possible (previously, this has to be done partly client side which is prone to traffic delay and is not really very effective either). This also makes it easier to support some other planned new games. All the changes have been worthwhile I think.

Some other minor game updates also made it to yesterday’s changes:
– winners are now announced in the Spin-A-Bingo chat as well
– more compact announcement of winners in the bingo games
– place an icon beside the player names of the last game’s winner(s)
– minor client bug fixes (certain situations only e.g. with new sign-ups, not even sure if these are really existing problems, or just a result of the recent changes)

Issues

February 9th, 2007: Filed under  by Alexander Catapang @ 4:11 pm

There appears to be an increasing number of players who are recently having intermittent issues signing in to the games. They can log-in to the chat area, but the game area will just stay in the welcome screen. So far, the only thing in common among those who reported this problem is that they are using IE 6.x browser and Flash player 8.x or higher, however not everyone with the same configuration actually experience this problem. I’m guessing that there may have been new Windows updates lately that could be affecting certain system configurations.

In the meantime, I suggest to everyone experiencing this problem to try to refresh the game window (pressing F5 should work in most browsers). Hopefully, this will allow you to sign-in properly if the first attempt fails. This is just a temporary potential solution until I figure out the real cause of this problem. I have been seeing similar reports on a technical list lately, so this could really be an IE/Flash version configuration conflict that just recently appeared.

The other, and probably more long-term, solution is to change the current sign-in process of the games. I have actually been considering this for quite awhile now, as I think it is really needed in order to more efficiently support some new turn-based games that I am planning. This requires major game server changes though and may introduce potential new issues as well, so I am still considering my options (as there are a few possible coding approaches to this) before I do the actual changes.