XOXO Hunt and The Matter of Script Failure

Hello everyone. ❤

First of all, thank you for participating in XOXO 2016. We hope you had fun with the hunt and discovering new stores. And maybe win a few prizes and taking advantage of the discounts along the way.

As many of you are aware, this round we’ve had continuous script issue.

I deeply apologize for the inconvenience (to customers and creators) and we promise to do much better in the future.

We would also like to take a moment to be slightly sappy (ehem).

We got our heads up about script failures from you, the players.

You know…a lot of you could have sent us angry IMs about how we ruined your Valentine hunt. And if you did, we wouldn’t blame you for it.

BUT, instead of angry IMs, most of you were very nice and understanding. You were also very patient and accommodating while we work to fix the issue throughout the week.

We are so thankful for that and we are even more sorry your Valentine Hunt didn’t go so smoothly. 😦

We owe you an explanation in return for your kindness and understanding.

It’s not you, baby. It’s me.

First thing first: the amount of players for XOXO is significantly higher than Hocus Pocus.

To illustrate, on the FIRST DAY alone (14th Feb), going by the amount of people who grabbed the HUD from the office:

  • Hocus Pocus -67 HUD bought from the office.
  • XOXO Hunt – 285 HUD bought from the office.

Keep in mind that this was only stats from the first day of the hunt.

This number is not including the HUDs sold at the MP.

The HUDs were also copy/trans so players can share it around. It was also distributed to several groups, distributed amongst the creators’ own store group, other people sharing it in their own group…and the fact that you don’t even need the HUD to play it.

During Hocus Pocus, the script was fairly straightforward: say codeword for a chance to win prizes, and one chance per avatar per 24 hours. There were no extra bells and whistles.

However, when a store had to issue product fix, there was no way of knowing who won. To get the update, you have to go through the trouble of getting screenshots to prove that you indeed have the item in your inventory. Then you have to find the creator and send this screenshot. A pain on both customers and creators!

So this round I requested an addition to the script – the ability to email creators the names of winners, to be sent out every 10 winners. Additionally, we needed a way for the script to distinguish co-organizers, the store owner and the store’s staff so that we/the names in this list can bypass the normal probability for testing/troubleshooting purposes.

As usual, our scripter delivered brilliantly and went to lengths to ensure it wasn’t slow or laggy with checking names.

Our own tests concluded that the script went well and the script was issued out. We hammered the script continously for a few days and all was well.

When only tested by a handful of people, the script worked wonderfully.

In practice, however…

At each tries for EACH avatar, the script have to check if

  1. you’re in the whitelist (organizers, store owners, store staff)
  2. you’ve already tried for that day and you should be friendzoned
  3. if the loveletter loves you and you hit the probability jackpot, and if so
  4. if your name should be stored in the baelist as one of the winners.

All this by relying on internal memory alone.

The massive oversight we had was that we didn’t anticipate the jump in players numbers.

Just looking at the awesome prizes this round, we should have known better!

There are significantly more players, and so significantly more tries and more names to remember. Imagine repeating the above cycle continuously, hundreds of times each day. No doubt in more popular stores, hundreds of times each few hours.

In many cases, the script just refused to work overtime and decides to clock out. 😦

I don’t blame it. As much as I love hearing words of endearment, I guess I would be overwhelmed too if hundreds of people professed their love for me every hour every day. On top of that, I have to rely on my memory alone to see if they have kissed me before!

It’s a hard life for a loveletter, to be so loved.

So dear players and creators, I apologize deeply again for the trouble that my added request have caused for this round. No doubt having some script failure dampen everyone’s fun and this was not how we envisioned your fun should be.

I promise to be more conservative with my script request next round (and maybe stop torturing the scripter with fancy schamncy ideas) and I promise to have a better script memory management method in place for the future.

We will up our game!

One of the fix we will try to implement in the future is not relying on a script’s internal memory, but by sending names to offworld database (HTTP). We’re hoping this will at least fix the memory issue but we’ll have to see how much faster this method is with returning result.

For example, I’m sure everyone is used to networked vendors that informs you not to TP out while the product is being delivered. And it takes several seconds before the item is delivered. And taking lesson from this round’s…to see how it will behave if a massive amount of unique avatars try it simultaneously each time.

So between now and the next hunt, we’ll be testing and hoping that this will be the more ideal solution both memory wise and execution-time wise.

Thank you for being awesome!

Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and kind words along the way. We promise to do much and serve you much better in the future. ❤

2 thoughts on “XOXO Hunt and The Matter of Script Failure

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