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Messages - Erkka

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General Discussion / Re: Old Versions of Unreal World
« on: January 21, 2021, 08:22:48 PM »
Our no-more-maintained IndieDB page still hosts downloads for versions 3.17 - 3.30 (from years 2013 - 2016)

General Discussion / Re: How often do villages renew their inventory?
« on: January 18, 2021, 10:03:56 PM »
Yes, I didn't ban / delete the user account right away, leaving open the possibility that this indeed is a real person asking a valid question. Although, that doesn't seem very likely to me. In Reddit the OP says: "Well found the answer. From the developer.", and I find it somewhat hard to imagine why the same person would come here 24 days later with a different username to post the exact same question which they said to be already answered by the game developer.

General Discussion / Re: How often do villages renew their inventory?
« on: January 18, 2021, 09:47:20 PM »
Sigh. This one is a direct copypaste from a reddit post. Smells like spam.

Off-topic / Re: Ancient Savo : A new Enormous Elk game in the making
« on: January 18, 2021, 08:05:29 PM »
At Discord on channel "Development" I posted on 7th of January:

5. A lot of stuff (like UI texts, and terrain type information) are stored in XML-formatted text files. Easy to localize. Easy to mod. Although, the early development versions won't support reading data from custom files, so the full modding potential will be unlocked later on.

If possible, I try to put almost everything (tasks, actions, accidents etc) in XML files so that the project could double as an "homesteading-survival-game-engine". But in case some of the modding features seem to slow to implement, that is something I might consider sacrificing for the sake of having the project finished in a reasonable time.

So, if unsure, the safest option is just to calmly follow the development news on Discord, and then make a decision to donate if it really starts to feel like that. Or just wait until the project reaches early-access stage.

Off-topic / Re: Ancient Savo : A new Enormous Elk game in the making
« on: January 18, 2021, 06:11:03 PM »
Joined the discord, but there's no way for me to post anywhere. Is there something I need to do to "become a Follower"?

Joining the Discord is essentially the same as becoming a Follower - ie. you can read the posts to follow the development. To gain write rights one needs to become a Backer. I'm sorry if my explanation has been too vague!

Off-topic / Re: Ancient Savo : A new Enormous Elk game in the making
« on: January 18, 2021, 06:04:09 PM »
Just a mid-campaign visibility boost =)

The campaign start has been fine, and we see steadily growing content at the project Discord channels. There's already a download available for the project backers; at this point it is not so much, but provides an insight for those who wish to witness the development as it happens.

If you are not sure if you wish or can donate to become a backer, it won't hurt to join the Discord server to become a Follower. For Followers can become Backers later on, even after the campaign is over (31st of January).

For more info see the campaign page

General Discussion / Re: A spambot thread
« on: January 18, 2021, 03:49:02 PM »
It seems odd to have a sweat shop for breaking through defenses on a case by case basis 

Yes. I could imagine there being a huge database of text-based captcha questions, and then someone paying other people to answer those questions. For each correct reply could be re-used just than many times.

But passing through complicated image-based captcha? That makes me wonder. Although, brute force could be used to eventually pass any captcha =)

Oh well. But this is all just guesses, trying to figure out the logic how spammers get through the captcha.

General Discussion / Re: A spambot thread
« on: January 13, 2021, 07:06:10 AM »
And there are also legitimate cases of copypasted threads. For example, a person might ask a question on Steam or Reddit, and then decide to register here to ask the same question in the official forums. It might be a complicated task to code an algorithm which could tell apart "a same person re-posting their own text" or "a random user copypasting just some stuff from the internet".

So any such automation couldn't be granted rights to delete posts or user accounts right away. An algorithm could just issue a report for moderators to review. And I think that we all together can already handle that, I don't feel like wasting precious coding time for making (or seeking and installing) such an algorithm.

Theoretically speaking, what could be useful would be an algorithm detecting if a forum user returns to edit their older post to insert suspicious links. But again, for this there are legitimate cases, where person posts something and then later edits their own post to insert a link to savefile, or a link to an external picture hosting site for screencaptures etc. So, again, such an algorithm could only be allowed to issue a report.

So I prefer doing some manual work, instead of having any algorithm detecting false positives and deleting real user accounts because of AI failure.

General Discussion / A spambot thread
« on: January 12, 2021, 09:15:28 PM »
For a while we have had two layers of automated anti-spam measures. The first layer is invisible, tracking site traffic and spotting known bots based on a vast database. And the another layer is visible to the user, often an image captcha which is beyond bots' ability to solve. Also, users with less than 3 posts need to pass the captcha when making a new post - that should stop old undetected spambot accounts if they try to activate.

Yet, we witness new spam posted on the forums every now and then. Many of them with copypasted content from elsewhere.

I'm afraid that we can't make our anti-spam measures significantly tighter. At one point I tried adding a third layer, which instantly resulted in a post at Steam forums, someone saying that the registration at these forums is broken.

I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere out there is a sweatshop where poor people get paid paltry money for passing captcha to post spam content everywhere in the internet. I mean, that is a more plausible explanation, instead of there being a spambot AI which can solve those captchas far better than the state-of-the-art big company AI systems do. And if we have real people posting spam, then there is not going to be a captcha to stop them.

For a long time things were fine with custom security questions which were easy for anyone familiar with the game, but made no sense for a random visitor. Eventually, all of those questions became useless (maybe the spam networks keep on building their own database of 'known captcha questions and their correct answers'. Already at that point I suspected that they are paying people to answer those questions and storing answers for bot use. But I really don't know how sophisticated or how ugly the hidden machinery of spam networks are. Just guessing.

All in all, I felt like posting these general thoughts here, for we are all affected by the situation. We have four people in the moderation team, that allows us to manually weed out spam posts and accounts on a daily basis, and I think that is the last line of defense we anyway need to have.

So, everyone:

1. if you suspect spam, but are not sure, one good way is to do a google search with post content. If it turns out that the post is copypaste from old post from some other corner of the internet, please use "report to moderator" button

2. if you suspect spam for any other reason - the obvious ones being malicious links embedded in text - hit the "report to moderator" button

3. Thank you for your co-operation, and we apologize for all the inconvenience!

Gameplay questions / Re: Are Map tiles eventually cleared?
« on: January 12, 2021, 08:51:30 PM »
I wonder if that 'clearing zoom files'-trick could be used to flush out modded, outdated flora?

I have no answer to this, for I'm not familiar with the related section of code. Sami only knows. He might answer one day when he has time, or then this is left for modders to find out by experimenting  :)

Gameplay questions / Re: how do i hang a bear skull up?
« on: January 12, 2021, 08:44:32 PM »
Welcome, Varmin! And I hope you got that bear skull up to the tree.

Quote from: Buoidda
Anyone to have posted just once and 0 likes is very likely a spam-bot.

Everyone needs to make their first post at some point, so I think we can't treat all the newcomers as likely bots. A more reliable, but a bit more laborous method is to feed parts of a suspicious message to a google search. If it appears that the text is copypasted from and old post someplace else, that is a 95% warning sign.

Off-topic / Re: Ancient Savo : A new Enormous Elk game in the making
« on: January 10, 2021, 03:59:52 PM »
Sounds like fun! Isn't the Kaumo in UrW based on Savo?

I think Kaumo is more like Kainuu. But you are close - Kiesse is inspired by real world Savo.

For a long time I was unsure if I'd like to set this new game in the world of UnReal World. In which case the title might have been "Kiesse pioneers" or something.
But at some point I decided to use the real world name Savo, maybe making the game easier to approach for those who haven't been playing lot of UrW. And also to allow a bit more freedom in another way - yes, I'm somewhat restricted with the historical facts, but then also if there will be a need to do something differently than in UrW world, I can do that.

Anyway, the differences won't be that great. It is around 1200 CE pagan Finland.

Ps. And since we are here, let me mention that the very first early development test version is already available for the project backers. No, it isn't anything like a game yet. But I thought it would be nice to let the backers have a taste of the bare minimum, and then see how the development goes from that zero level, week by week.

Suggestions / Re: Village services
« on: January 07, 2021, 09:14:53 AM »
I think all of this is already listed in the official development goals, where it says:

Ability to ask a craftsman to make you a certain item; to be paid and obtained after it's ready

Off-topic / Ancient Savo : A new Enormous Elk game in the making
« on: January 06, 2021, 04:35:25 PM »
Would you like to participate in the making of a new game by Enormous Elk?

The game is called Ancient Savo, and it is a peaceful simulation of a 1200 CE Finnish family who moves to live alone in the woods. Do slash and burn agriculture to grow crops. Hunt and fish. Try to survive hunger, cold, accidents and the scarcity or resources. And in case you accumulate some extra, go visit the annual market to barter for more and better tools. The timescale of the gameplay is weeks - you can see years rolling by, your children growing up, and forest re-taking abandoned fields. Instead of controlling a character you hover on a more abstract 'designer level', a bit like the old SimCity.

Estimated release: Autumn 2021, for PC, Mac and mobile devices

We run a small home-made crowdfunding campaign for January. Become a follower for free - join project Discord channel to read frequent development news. Or donate any sum to become a backer. Backers can participate in the discussion, and have an access to the early development-phase releases. The first development release is scheduled already for this January. (If or when you donate, remember to send Erkka a message at Discord, so that we can connect a donation with your Discord user account!)

During the development phase we will have quick and simple graphics, but graphics and UI will be improved once the simulation and game mechanics are up and running.

For more info see the campaign page

Oddly enough, for me the download link in wiki still didn't work, and the edit history didn't show any recent updates to the page. So I edited it myself, making the link more simple, pointing to the beginning of this thread.

Also, in general, things are easier from now on. We gave guests a permission to see signatures and attachments, so no more need to register merely to download mods.

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