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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 10:34:00 PM

Upcoming Downtime - Morning of 6/23 or 6/24
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

Hey guys!

I am going to have to bring the game down for a few hours within the several few days to implement our new back-up MySQL server.  I am planning on Monday, though the "real job" may force me to push it back.  I plan on doing it in the EST AM when traffic is lightest.

This will definitely take at least 2 hours.. maybe as long as 6 (though I really hope not).  I just won't know until I get involved.

Thanks for your patience, and sorry for the inconvenience.

--Mike




Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 12:44:28 PM

Welcome DerbyVille.com Players!
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog


Hello folks!

I wanted to take a few minutes to welcome some fresh faces to the game! Thanks to a joint agreement with the always awesome HorseRacingNation.com, our current races will be open to a brand new set of knowledgeable racing enthusiasts through DerbyVille.com!

New players – feel free to look around and get accustomed to the layout. It can take a day or two to get horses up and running (unless you enter Hot Races, which run rather quickly), but feel free to take this time to join our Chat or our Forum. We have a lot of friendly and experienced trainers already here that are willing to help out!

Current players – I am confident we will see some rapid growth in the near future. If you see a new player, remember how overwhelming the game can seem at first and take some time to help out if you can.

Thanks to everyone that has made this a possibility (especially our current player base). I am excited to see our game grow even larger and better than it currently is!

--Mike
Site Admin for all eHorseracing.com affiliated games (including eHorseracing.com, DerbyFever.com, and DerbyVille.com)


Monday, April 28, 2014 at 4:35:58 PM

Anyone going to the Kentucky Derby?
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

..if so, and you want to meet up with me and hopefully some other simmers, let me know!

Just go to Connect > Contact Admin and let me know your stable name and how many people you are coming with. :)

Thanks!

--Mike


Friday, April 25, 2014 at 11:17:02 AM

Update on what I'm working on
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

Hey guys!

I've been working on fixing the error in the Unity viewer. 

The good news : I know what is causing the error.

The bad news : Because of the code's methodology, I can't repair it immediately.

I'm not overly happy with some of the code I've uncovered.  The reason for occasional discrepancies  in the 3D viewer is caused by a mechanism that doesn't deal well with the linear interpolations I send to it from the game.  Eventually, the compounded small problems cause some horses to run ahead of where they should do to Unity refreshing.   It appears to happen most when a race starts on a turn (odd furlonged races), a closer is hung outside in a larger race, and another horse hugs the rail for most of the trip.

Long and short of it -  Given my budget and my need to understand the code completely, I am not outsourcing this process.  And, although I'm getting better with Unity than I was, it'll take a bit of time. 

So what I'm going to do is stay fresh with the Unity code, but  to start focusing my attention on some other areas for the time being.  I may even release an update, which would include some better camera angles and repair some of the problems (but not all of them).

In other words - I'm hoping the work I put in will show more progress to the end user than the time I've put in recently.

Thanks!

--Mike




Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 10:59:48 PM

Site notes!
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

Yo folks!

Just wanted to give you a heads up on what I’m working on, and an overview of some of the things that have recently been added / modified.

Viewer silks – FINALLY.. they're here! But we're not perfect. ;) The good – the viewer really pops with the customized silks; I gotta admit I was surprised how much this added. The bad – not many folks can personalize them, since there's not a silk generator.    Longterm – I would LOVE to add a silk generator, but it’s way down may list for a few reasons (one being I have no idea how to make one.. yet.. but that will hopefully change.. read on..).

The viewer – I have been digging around the code, and have a much better idea what it doing. For those unaware –although I do the majority of the coding for the site, I did outsource the 3D viewer (you didn’t want to see me draw a 3D horse.. trust me). Anyway, there is a small bug in it that has been rendering incorrect results sporadically.    I have diagnosed the problem, but my attempts to fix it haven’t rendered pretty results. The good news – I am getting my hands dirty with Unity, so not only should the viewer patch include better camera angels, but my time in the code will hopefully (HOPEFULLY..) allow me to code a Jockey Silk generator when I’m done.   If not, I’ll outsource that as well. As Clint Eastwood would say – a man's got to know his limitations. :P

Dosage for horses – Personally, I'm not a huge "dosage" fan. Regardless of my personal opinion on the matter I get why many folks are, and the inclusion of DI and CD will be included in the next website update. The numbers will show up for all horses in Wikipedigree, as well as all [5x] buttons on the game site (including horses bred and hypothetical pedigrees).

Other stuff – I have a laundry list over here, but I’m working through it… really! The items include –

. Better Instructions – a lot of players have contributed.. thanks! Once posted, I will reward them for their efforts. I will also fill in some gaps myself, as well as reach out for more as necessary

. Trainer Stats

. Claim / Auction finder

. Mobile compliant chat (I have a lot of research to do hear; likely a third party app)

. [edited] Potential additional training options (originally labeled barrier trials / advanced training options) : a whole lot to think about here – I don’t want to over complicate things, but having a few additional features may be nice without getting cumbersome. Things like jockey feedback, the ability to geld poorly running male horses, etc. But I'm not looking to add multiple combinations to "unlock" horse potential with a crazy number of permutations to consider. Other things like workouts or barrier trials to allow for players to get an idea about their horse before racing it will be considered as well. Nothing here is set in stone!

So that's it for the moment. I know I work slow sometimes, and I do apologize for that. Again, for the newer folks – I get a lot of great help around the game (squirrel.. sledge4.. kingab..), but I do the majority of coding myself. Mix that with work and family and it can get ugly (or at least slow..). But I really am trying over here. :)

Thanks again!

--Mike




Friday, April 11, 2014 at 5:56:35 PM

Jockey silks hopefully coming early next week!
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

Hey guys!

I have tested the jockey silks, and they seem to be working properly.  I am waiting until after the big races this weekend, however, just in case we run into any issues (we could live with missing the 3d viewer on early week races and hot races, but I'd hat to miss a big one).

Starting early next week, you should start seeing your silks if you have a set uploaded.  You can go to Account and click Viewer Silks to get a generic base to start with.    It's a bit different than the old layout, but it should be pretty easy to figure out.  Maybe we can get an online silk creator one day. :)  There are some handy photoshoppers in the game.  I won't name names, in case they want to stay anonymous, but I bet you can find them lurking if you look hard enough. ;)

There is still a glitch in the viewer results that rears its head sporadically.. not a lot.. but enough to be problematic.  I know the "logical" reason for the problem, but getting to look "right" has been a problem.  I have a few other high priority things as well, but fixing the viewer glitch is #1 (I will be working on some of the other things as I get frustrated with the viewer fix, but they are definitely B listers at the moment).

Thanks guys!

--Mike








Friday, March 28, 2014 at 11:11:28 AM

Big upload coming very soon.. heads up!
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

Hey guys!

I have been working on the site from my end quite a bit lately and, unless something goes amiss, will be uploading it within the next few days.   You'll know it when you see it (although it won't be a crazy change to your experience).

* If you see anything that has changed on the front end that looks completely whacked out, let me know. I have been going through and fixing a lot of the old HTML tags and replacing them with CSS code. I know this seems like a "big yawn" from the front end, but it's important for a big future update I have planned for the next few weeks. Trust me : I'd have much rather been adding some new things than cleaning up old code, I just didn't have a choice at this time.

* If your Facebook login breaks (and I expect this to happen to at least a few folks), your browser is likely holding onto the old javascript. Try the following :

. Go to a different website, and make sure none of your tabs is at our site
. empty your page history
. close your brower
. reopen your browser
. try to log in again :)

Other possible solutions -

. Go to an alternate URL of ours (miawallace.com/horseracing, smartacre.com/horseracing, remotepanel.com/horseracing)
. Try a different browser - if that works, then your browser still isn't playing nice

If this upload works and some other things continue to fall in place as they have, I will hopefully have an exciting announcement to make in the next few weeks. And once that occurs, I can get back to adding / fixing some other things (adding more instructions, fixing the viewer bug and camera angles, viewer silks, hypomating DI / CD, claim / auction finder, and trainer stats are next up on my agenda in no particular order :)

Thanks guys!

--Mike







Friday, March 21, 2014 at 10:08:45 AM

Eclipse formula updated :)
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog


Hey Guys!

Starting with the 2014 Eclipse Awards, we will be using the previously mentioned "automated scoring methodology" (which has been updated a bit today – you will notice Equinics winners getting more respect in the new ratings).   This allows our end-of-year awards to have a precise definition – one that, in hindsight, would have awarded every horse recognized as a 2013 Eclipse Award winner (along with several additional horses due to the addition of several new divisions).    It tends to award larger purse scores, as well as awards points for performing well at the most respected distances and surfaces.    You can see the defined formula from the Rankings > EOY Award Points link.  It’s ugly to look at, but it kind of has to be to award points accordingly.   No method for awarding the Eclipse is perfect (voting, point system, blended), but at least this way the award is attainable through a defined methodology.

As mentioned above, we will be expanding several categories to recognize a handful of additional, well deserved, champions.   The new Eclipse Awards will recognize up to 21 Horses, with the divisional awards defined below :

2 Year Old (Male / Female and Turf / Dirt) = 4 Awards

3 Year Old (Male / Female  - Dirt) = 2 Awards

3 Year Old (Male / Female  ,  Turf, Route  / Long) = 4 Awards

Older Horses (Male / Female, Turf / Dirt, Route / Long) = 8 Awards

All Ages / Sexes : Dirt Sprinter

All Ages / Sexes : Turf Sprinter

Horse of the Year

So that’s it for now.

Thanks for your patience on this!  I’ve been busy with some behind the scenes things that I hope to finish up soon.

--Mike

 




Friday, March 07, 2014 at 11:01:39 AM

Since it's been a few weeks - Just and update.. :)
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

Hey folks!

I hadn’t posted an update in a week or two, so I though I should let you guys know what I’m up to!

3D Viewer  Info -

I have been digging through the Unity viewer code and have found the problem with the viewer.  Unfortunately, the fix isn’t an easy one it appears.  It has to do with Unity updating times and the logic the viewer uses to move the horses.   I have been trying some different updating methods (FixedUpdate versus Update) to correct the issue, but it also requires changing around the placement methodology of the horses.  I just haven’t been able to nail this one down perfectly yet (one fix corrected the viewer, but caused a lot of horses running through one another and “correcting” their paths - it wasn’t the prettiest thing).  I am going to keep banding away at it.

The good news at least : I believe I will be able to easily employ the more traditional camera angles.  I am also confident that I can mute the “Dogs of War” music the viewer starts with.  So when we get a viewer update (hopefully soon), it should be a good one.

Eclipse Awards -

I will likely be releasing something within the next week or so in regard to this.  I am leaning heavily towards making more divisional titles similar to the way the races are broken up when choosing stakes entries for older horses.  2 and 3 year olds won’t have as many splits.   All in all, I am looking at 20 awards + the HOY (so 21, really..).   It’s not a massive  increase, but will go a long way in keeping the cross-distance rating debates from occurring.    The "sponsored/restricted grade" races (which are currently only Equinics races, but need to be accounted for in the even that regional bred grade races are introduced) will also be recast a bit upon completion.

Instructions -

Thanks to sledge4 and volunteers for helping with this project.  It really is important for us to have better documentation to help retain new players.   I will vet some of them soon and hopefully get them posted before the end of the month.   I’ll have to take some time to fill in the holes, which I don’t mind doing except that a ) my instructional writing style is about as interesting to read as a set of vacuum cleaner instructions and b ) it will take time away from other upgrades.  That’s why I’m encouraging our seasoned players to give it a crack.

Other Stuff -

I have some other things I plan on adding soon as well.  For starters, my next site update will include some links from horses / races to the BTB articles related to them - that’s always fun. ;)  Secondly, sponsored grad races will be flagged in PPs.    I also plan on adding some sortable lists for player records, etc.  I will be allowing players to toggle between results in hot races / non-hot races / all races.  I have received several concerns that hot racing “skews player success rates.”  With the addition of the filter, that will only be true if you focus only on aggregate racing; using the filter will allow you to remove ignore those results if you prefer.

Finally - a big thanks!

I have mentioned this privately to several players recently, and I firmly believe it - I know that the memories are fond, but I would argue that we are in a golden age for our humble game.   The game interface and backend is easier to navigate than ever… we have more players, horses, and races than ever… almost all players are really respectful and understanding of each other's opinions and differences… I couldn't personally be much happier with it.  I realize I can only take a small bit of the credit for this - our game couldn’t exist without the support  and attitude of our community and, similarly, our community wouldn’t exist without it’s great player base.  Thank you again for making this game a pleasure to maintain and operate!

--Mike




Sunday, February 09, 2014 at 10:17:08 AM

Mobile viewer patched + Equinics thanks + Exclipse
Posted by administrator under eHorseracing Blog

Whew!  Busy weekend in the game!

For starters, the Equinics was awesome as always!  Thanks to everyone that made it a reality, with a little extra love thrown the way of mano, ldyssecret, and the BTB staff and writers.

The mobile viewer picked a bad to flare up - it had to do with query length.  I think it's fixed now.  Sorry for the oops. :/


Also - a note on the Eclipse voting : Everyone did a great job with the voting - no obvious scamming and, if there was, it was overridden by the real voting.  I may be tweaking the formula slightly in the next couple of weeks - nothing major, but in a perfect world my formula this year would match the voting results this year.  It did in most instances, so I may mess with it slightly (nothing major).  Just keep running in the best races guys... you can't go wrong racking up big G1 wins. :)

Finally, don't forget the Eclipse Show, hosted by our friendly neighborhood rodent, on Monday Night February 10th at 8:30.  The chat room has a 50 person limit, and we've hit it a few times - get there early!

Thanks guys!

--Mike






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