Board for everybody who is interested in BrainKing itself, its structure, features and future.
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MadMonkey: I don't say it is a final decision, just the most probable one. I guess that nobody expected me to run this site for 50 years just on my own. There are several reasons that led to this announcement and some of them are quite important to me. Life goes on.
ketchuplover: Ha, you have noticed. Actually, I added a special warning to the membership order page a month ago, and the warning shows up above the "Order" button if someone has a lifetime membership in the shopping cart. It clearly states that there is no guarantee that BrainKing will be there forever, so the order is at your own risk and there will be no refunds.
So, I was quite surprised that someone still paid for a black rook and I messaged this person with a question if he really meaned it. I even offered an instant refund, just in case that he didn't understand the warning. Still, he wanted to keep it. Such things happen.
"On the other hand no definition of lifetime and or guarantee of time has ever been given" - of course it has never been given. If I get run down by a bus tomorrow and spend 6 months in a hospital, there would be nobody else to keep an eye on the site. I am not sure if I ever mentioned it but I am the only one who maintains BrainKing since 2008. The other guy (Liquid) had decided to pursue his own projects and does not work with me anymore.
ellieoop: As long as the site is profitable, I will do my best to keep it going, of course. But since the situation can change every year, it would not be fair to claim that BrainKing would be here forever under all circumstances.
Patience. Sometimes, more important things show up and must be addressed with higher priority.
Brian1971: Not a big issue but I just don't understand how is a paid membership related to a "respect" to customers. You know exactly what you pay (or paid) for, it's clearly specified at the respective page. If you don't like it, well, there are many other game sites to choose from.
OK guys, a very short version - I don't intent to develop this site any further, unless the ownership is passed to another person with all rights and responsibilities. If someone is seriously interested in that, I'll be glad to discuss details in private.
Brian1971: If you do not respect your customers they will not respect you with their money and will tell others ... Who says I do not respect customers? I keep the site up and running and everybody gets exactly who pays for. I don't remember that the Paid Membership page would ever contain anything about a guaranteed implementation of all suggestions. If somebody does not feel respected only because his idea of respecting customers is different, well, it's not my fault. Sorry.
perhaps you should sellout or hand the responsibilities over to someone who would enthusiastically make the site all it can be Great idea, I could not agree more. Do you know someone who would take over and meant it seriously this time? It would be quite a change to negotiate with a normal and communicative person who is interested in purchasing the site.
Fencer is just collecting the money taken in and not willing to do what he can to please his customers BrainKing is my site and I do everything related to it. Nobody is obliged to pay for anything. Whatever I collect, it is only my business what I do with that. If it is bad for business, it is only my problem. Period.
he doesn't need my paying membership to be profitable, I will not be renewing my membership Everybody has this right. No hard feelings.
My original intention was to post quite a comprehensive response to most of the questions, which could, hopefully, be helpful to at least some people. However, I didn't feel well during past days, so this is just a short summary:
As it was correctly mentioned there, BrainKing is no longer my top interest. Many things changed in my life since 2002 and I had to adapt to certain aspects that are not directly related to the site but still affect my free time. Furthermore, after 13 years, I am not as enthusiastic about board games as I used to be. But nobody needs to worry about turning off or deleting the site, unless some kind of really bad disaster happens, which is very unlikely in this part of the world. Membership fees are just a small portion of the income that BrainKing generates, so even if those who never stop complaining would finally decide to stop supporting us, the site would still remain profitable.
ketchuplover: How would you measure an hour of access? This is not a real time site, you can open a game, spend 2 hours thinking of the next move, then click Submit and log out. Was it 2 hours of access or just 2 minutes of server time?
Hey guys, I suppose it is solved now, right? Sorry for the delay, I've just returned from holidays. Actually, it's fun to try to restart BrainKing from iPad on a hotel WiFi that goes down every 5 minutes.
Hrqls: Yes, this is what happens when I do it manually in the database. Btw, there was really an issue with cron jobs and they were stuck for 16 hours. Timeouts should be slowly resolved (as I restarted the server several hours ago).
Hrqls: Hey guys, I've never seen anything like this before too, so I have no idea how it could happen. So, to fix it, I must create missing 9 games manually, one by one. I can take some time because all parameters must be correct.
BGBedlam: Well, I didn't plan to create any action at all this year, so this one was started without any preparation or detailed rules. Ergo, I would like to keep it simple. Maybe next time I will define more sophisticated rules, along with an automatic system that would prevent any possible exploits. I guess that some people won't take it as a real membership promotion because of a "what's in it for me?" problem. It's their prerogative, of course. As I say, this is just a simple "let's try it and see where it goes" action, nothing more. For the time being, I would like to keep it as it is.
Aganju: Yes, I know that no matter how good a system is, some people will always try to exploit it. However, until it becomes a large scale problem (and I hope it won't), everything can be solved on an individual basis. But of course, if someone is given a friendly hint "please do not do it" and refuses to cooperate, his vouchers can be cancelled, passed to other people of my choice, etc. But it would be applied only if everything else fails.
speachless: I don't think we have a general problem. Mostly because:
1) Fischer's Clock had been introduced many years ago and nobody ever complained about any suspicious behaviour. Yes, there were some complaints but they had been caused by misunderstanding the concept of this feature.
2) No problem of this kind ever happened to me, not even during the test phase. I am sure that a serious anomaly would have been discovered a long time ago.
3) Although I don't have time for a serious and thorough investigation, I've had a quick look at the source code. Everything seems to be normal and as it should be.
So, my best guess is that aaru was unlucky to find a specific combination of parameters that causes the issue he described. Unfortunatelly I cannot provide more information at this moment.
speachless: Hmm, it's kind of sensitive part of the code and I still didn't have time to make any safe modifications to it. However, I've just removed all tournament signups of the mentioned users (for tournaments that were not started yet). Please let me know if they manage to sign up for more and I'll try to find time for a more effective solution.
Hmmm, it's really sad (but not too surprising) to see that some people will always try to exploit the system. Very well, it can be fixed this way:
1) A user cannot have more than, say, 100 tournaments in the "open" section of the Tournaments page. Do you want to create more? OK but wait until some of your tournaments start.
2) If a user membership expires, tournaments created by them (in the "open" status) will be automatically deleted, except the prize ones with prizes already provided.
3) Regarding the single eliminations tourneys, that might be a bug because pawns should not be allowed to sign up for another tournament if they are already playing (or signed up) another one. But the code is really old (8 years?) so I am not sure about that. I'll look at it.
Anything else? Sorry, I am totally consumed by other projects so I could easily miss other issues mentioned in this conversation.
_Road Runner___: The server log says that 6469 emails were sent in last 2 days. Are you sure that yours are not blocked by an anti spam filter or something? Anyway, BrainKing just sends emails, it cannot guarantee that they are actually delivered.