News: Real Life is Rough
Posted by Suzanna Soyinka on May 01 2015 09:04:13
Hey all, just some updates directly from me to the people that care to bother to read them.
Solutions to the meter communication overflow are still in process. We have isolated the final problem to how the hotkeys communicate to the HUD and then the HUD back to the meter, its in the process of a re-write as of this time and I hope to get a test in process as soon as my schedule allows for it.
I have also introduced a couple of new features to the build we are working on, the first is a First Person Melee toggle that allows you to use melee weapons in first person view for better accuracy and performance. This mode allows you to swap back and forth from 1P to 3P view fluidly and still be able to fight without having to constantly toggle it off and on. The 1P view does not work with guns at this time because guns have their own 1P, so gun based fighters would want to toggle 1P melee on when working in close, and toggle it off when using firearms.
The second added feature is group IFF, which basically allows you to not have harmful AOE affects affect people that have the same active Second Life group as you, and also doesn't allow beneficial effects to affect people that are not in the same active Second Life group as you. This is the most efficient method of allowing for more organized group based combat and it will release in the patch update that we push when we sort out the HUD communication problem.
Anyways as you might notice the months are passing by and the direct reason for that is that I literally do not have the ability to do anything but seek other opportunities in real life right now to ensure that I can continue to live indoors and eat once a day. Its no secret that CCS isn't as big as it used to be, some sim owners have moved on out of Second Life entirely, others have discontinued use of CCS out of boredom with game systems or even more obscure reasons that aren't specifically anything to do with CCS itself. And in all fairness, Second Life isn't as big as it used to be either. This has, over time, cost us a lot of our capability to be financially stable while focusing on Second Life as my primary job. And this applies to Melanie as well. We're both adults with adult responsibilities and we have bills to pay, we have to take care of our families and if SL cannot help us achieve that we have to divide our time to situations that allow us to achieve that.
Over the last three years, all the money I have made in Second Life has been more or less used up attempting to ensure we could continue in Second Life while attempting to maintain service at the level everyone has come to expect from CCS over the last eight years. It has slowly, but surely, put me in a position where I have literally no money in my savings account, I barely have any money in my bank at all. And everything I do make in Second Life is untaxed, and of course April has come and gone and I'm trying to juggle extremely limited finances to ensure I can pay those taxes, keep our servers running, pay my own bills and also continue on in Second Life while attempting to evolve the system we've all enjoyed now for almost a decade.
I'm making this public because to be fair, you all deserve to know the status of things. I am fairly sure that almost anyone else in the situation I am in would have shut down and disappeared long before now. But I felt it was my ethical duty to use the small amount of saved money I had to keep this afloat to the very last dollar and I am well beyond that last dollar and am literally taking money out of my own pocket to keep both CoLA and CCS going.
I routinely get messages asking if CCS is dying or if it is going to be abandoned, I can assure you if either was true, it would have already happened.
So what I am asking for is your understanding and perhaps your support to help me get through this rough patch and continue to provide service to SL until SL2 comes....which is what I would really like to achieve.
If you are wondering what you can do to help there are several ways.
1.) Please ensure you aren't attempting to use an 8xp license that is issued to another sim owner on your sim simply because the sim owner is allowing you to do so by pretending they're actually involved with your community. There are some people that have done this in the past. And we've honored these requests but we do know that the people re-registering their licenses are barely ever at the sims the licenses are being utilized at. Late last year a sim owner came clean to me on this issue and in apology, bought their own license...and I have an immense amount of respect for them for doing so. The licensures for 8xp are literally part in parcel of what allows us to actually have safety net money to fall back on when times get tough...so if you are dishonestly utilizing a license you did not actually purchase and the person that is allowing you to use it actually isn't materially involved with your sim or sim community at all, please consider getting your own license to help support CCS.
2.) Double XP - Double XP was always a hot button issue but again, it was a major way to help reward the player community and attract it to your sims, while also helping CCS have the money to stay fiscally healthy and allow it to be the primary focus for both Melanie and me. CCS went from 0.4.8 - 1.0.4 over a period where we had strong financial support and Second Life could be our primary focus the slow down between 1.0.4 and 1.0.5 and the current slow development pace on 1.0.5 and the 3.0 API implementation is directly reflective of our inability to meet our financial responsibilities without having to take other employment opportunities outside of SL entirely. Double XP may be expensive and I realize a lot of people only did it because they could make 3 times what they spent by selling region access to these events, but...all I am asking is that you consider scheduling maybe one event a month for your community, perhaps by asking your community to pitch in for the costs. And that way no one is really overly taxed for the expense of it and everyone benefits from it, the players, the sim community hosting it and of course...CCS itself.
3.) Another way to help directly is to donate for a custom title, or to just donate in general without any requirement for recompense. Custom Titles can be set up by me, and if you contact me to get one I will have it addressed as soon as I can reach a computer where I can access the SSH console for our servers. There is also the tip jar on the bar in The Zodiac Lounge in CoLA which goes directly to me and accepts whatever you want to throw into it that is Linden Dollar shaped. If using L$ is inconvenient for you, you can also donate whatever amount you like by accessing our system payments page here: System Payments Page and choosing the Community Donation Form which donates directly to Paypal in whatever currency you wish to submit.
4.) If you can do none of the above, thats fine as well, but your patience and understanding in this matter would be highly appreciated. If you cannot find it in yourself to understand that I have literally spent every feasible dollar I have to continue doing this because this is what I really want to be doing, and this idea that I vomited out of my head back in 2006 is still important to me, important enough for me to have literally gone nearly bankrupt to keep it going, then I am sorry you cannot understand that and I will respect your decision to do whatever you wish to do.
In the end, I could use your help to achieve the goals we've set out to achieve. I will continue to attempt to achieve them regardless of whether the community chooses to help us or not, all I can say is that the speed of achieving our development goals is going to be heavily affected by how much time Melanie and I are having to devote to other projects simply to keep the lights on over here.
Overall we've had a great eight year run, its had its bumps and bruises along the way, but I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I am literally paying money out of my own pocket now to provide those of you that still enjoy this game and experience, with the ability to continue to play it for free. I don't expect it to rain money because of this post, in fact I don't expect anything, but I am asking for your help.
We all want CCS 1.0.5 to work for large scale combat, we all want the new API and above all, I definitely want to look forward to SL2 and get a good running start at it with CCS2 and one of the greatest role play gaming communities the SL Grid has ever had the honor of hosting. And I will achieve all of that as best I can, its just getting really hard to get that done when I'm having to transition into an 80 hour a week real life job simply to ensure that I can meet the financial demands of those goals.
I've heard it said over the years from various detractors that "Suz only cares about money"...and to be honest, no, I didn't really, because we always had just enough money to keep development moving and to ensure SL was my primary focus and as long as that was the case...I didn't care if we made a lot, or a little, as long as it was enough.
These days, yes, I care about money...but I'm still not selling levels, or XP, or charging people for meters, overpowering and undercutting our third party devs with my own weapon line, or anything else I could potentially exploit to make money. I hope that my ethics count for something with those of you that still enjoy what we do.
Thats my piece, I would prefer that people heard it directly from the horses mouth rather than people wandering around in SL designing their own verisons of what they think is going on. The short version is...we need your help, but if we don't get it, we will do our best to try to meet the goals we have set out....it is just going to be slower, and a lot more stressful.
If you read the entire post, thank you for taking the time. As always, I remain committed to our affiliate sim owners and our player base.