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Topics - Erkka

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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!

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

General Discussion / Crowdfunding : your thoughts?
« on: October 29, 2020, 10:05:27 AM »

This is Erkka from the Enormous Elk development team. We are planning an another game as a small side-project. To make this happen we'd like to set up a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo platform. The plan is to use Discord as the main platform during the development phase, so that there would be weekly updates on development progress, and monthly Q&A sessions (hopefully with a video stream). I think the funding phase would run for three weeks, aiming to have the first playable alpha or beta version before the end of this year.

To maintain the suspense, we will announce the project details only a few days before the crowdfunding campaign starts (before mid-November, that is). But what I can say already now is that the game would run on Windows, Linux and Android, also aiming for Mac and iPhone release pretty soon after the non-apple release. And also, in case you wonder - from the development point of view a side-project is beneficial also for the actual UnReal World development; a smaller sibling game would double as an experimental laboratory, where different kinds of algorithms and ideas can be tested.

So, at this point - before I start to set up an IndieGoGo campaign - I'd like to ask for your thoughts, ideas or personal preferences. What kind of perks would you like to see, for what sum of money? If you have ideas, please post replies suggesting things like "can we have a €25 perk for an access to the monthly live video streams?". Also, it would be cool if someone provides their views on perk range, like "Because of these reasons [....] I think that the minimum perk should be X euros for perk Z1, ranging up to Y euros for perk Zn" Or, what kinds of perks would you love? Digital content like music or concept art? A physical item like copies of game graphics design drawings, or a  hand-written thank you card?

Ps. More news in the weekend. I'm planning a blog post about my personal thoughts and the process of preparing for the project. In the blog post there will also be a bit more details about the project plans.

Off-topic / Testing things you can do in UnReal World
« on: November 25, 2018, 06:07:31 PM »
Hello there,

my personal YouTube channel has been mostly for all around tongue-in-cheek silliness. So, just for convenience, I organized UnReal World -related stuff to a playlist.

ps. and let me remind that Sami has an excellent YouTube channel dedicated to traditional arhery.

General Discussion / Forum crash
« on: July 13, 2018, 02:49:59 PM »
Seems like we have had a forum crash. I'm not aware of the reasons behind it, but luckily we are on-line again. I had to manually run some database recovery procedures, and seems like everything is back to normal, only that for most of the boards the "last post" column is empty on the index page. I hope it will get fixed by itself as the discussion resumes and new posts appear.

Off-topic / A new short film by Enormous Elk
« on: January 14, 2018, 04:14:57 PM »
This is not strictly UrW-related, but a stand-alone production by Enormous Elk.

We made a short film called "Shaman Duel". It's a variation of a classic theme in Finnish folklore; two sages meet on a narrow path, they both refuse to give way to the other, so they end up having a magic duel to see who has to step aside.

You can watch it on Vimeo

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