Date Ariane The Game: One Year Later

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This weekend marks the first anniversary of the release of the Renpy version of Date Ariane: The Game.

Since its release, it has been downloaded 2.7 million times, which is pretty darn good for an independently produced game. There may be some overlap as multiple versions were released, and people were updating, but in the same time frame I have had over 2 million unique visitors to the web site.

Some numbers: 55% were windows downloads, 38% were android downloads, 6% were Apple Mac, and 1% were Linux.

61% of the downloads were in English, 28% were in Portuguese, 8% in German, 3% in French, and 0.6% in Spanish.

Pretty impressive considering the foreign language versions have only been around since late March. The game has gone viral in Brazil, with 750,000 downloads from there in the last 4 months.

Date Ariane has a gaming channel on You Tube with over 100 videos listed. (almost all the most recent are in Portuguese). A general gaming search produces 473 videos currently.

I’m currently in the process of uploading new versions of the games that include over 100 new renders like the one above. Notice how the window reflects the interior now, which happens when it is dark outside. All the new renders are in the living room and the drive-in diner.

English version build 112 has a number of fixes and tweaks to game play covered in detail here.

I can’t change the international versions much without killing the translation mechanism, so the minor tweaks I made to the English version are not in the International versions. However, the improved pictures are there, and also a new TITLE SCREEN! Once released the French, German, and Portuguese versions will no longer say they are in beta.  More build notes and bug fixes here. All versions should be updated by the end of the month.

Something’s In The Air has now passed 500,000 downloads. There seems to be a lot of call for a Portuguese version, but it would need 6 to 10 translators to do it right. I could release a machine translation that I know everyone would hate.

Got some ambitious plans for the future, including a 6 episode season of stories involving Ariane and Rachel where this is the first episode. I’m also thinking about new games involving SITA girls Paula, Wendy, and Janice. (You are probably trying to remember who Janice was, aren’t you?)

I’m also considering an HD versions of Date Ariane and SITA that I could make available for sale on Steam or something, that would be made from high resolution PNG files like this one or this one.

I think I got my work cut out for me.

Rachel and Ariane GO to the Park

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I’ve caught so many Rattata and Zubats in my house, I’m thinking of calling the exterminators.

Pokémon Go

For those that don’t know, Pokémon Go is a phone based game that requires walking around the neighborhood. Landmarks (public works of art or unique signage) are marked as Pokéstops, where you can get free stuff, and also use lures there to attract Pokémon that anyone can catch.

There are also Pokémon Gyms located at major points of interest, churches, and libraries. These are where battles take place, and can be controlled by three teams: Instinct (yellow), Mystic (blue), and Valor (red). If a gym is controlled by a different team, you can attack it and try to take over for your team, if it is already controlled by your team, you can (if it has the space) leave your Pokémon to defend it, and get stuff if it stays defended for 20 hours.

In my mind, Ariane is on Team Valor (the red one), and probably owned the gym before Rachel successfully took it. So that’s the punchline.

General Strategy and what to buy and what not to buy

I have been playing two accounts, one on an iPad, and one on an iPhone. One I have not spent a single penny on, and one I’ve spent about $20 so far. Here are my findings. Note many of the numbers are arbitrary as neither character is very high in level.

Here ultimately is the thing you need to know in this game: There really isn’t an “end game”.  No goal to shoot for except maybe “catching them all”.

Yes, there is a second goal of capturing gyms for the glory of your team, but that is ultimately a Sisyphean task as the gyms are never unbeatable and so the reward for capture is ultimately defeat, requiring a bunch of potions to heal so you can take it back again (as demonstrated in the comic above).

Many commentators suggest that if you are going to spend money in the game, buy lucky eggs which double XP earned. Especially do this early as the biggest rewards are for new Pokémon, and when you are just starting out, they are all new.

While I have purchased Lucky Eggs for this reason, ultimately Lucky Eggs are not worth it. No “end game” means no reason to earn XP fast. Leveling up fast just means you will have fewer Pokémon when you reach level 20, than someone who leveled naturally, and the more Pokémon you get the more resources you have.

Another thing you probably don’t want to invest in is egg incubators. Players talk that hatched eggs result in rarer monsters, but from what I have seen that is not true. Put whatever eggs you get into whatever incubators you get, but don’t put a lot of effort into hatching them.

It seems to me that the best general strategy is just one of collection for the first 15 to 20 levels. For the same price as lucky eggs, you can buy incense to draw more Pokémon to yourself. If you are playing with friends, buy lures and go to a Pokéstop and everyone will be rewarded.

Evolving and “powering up” your Pokémon is a waste of resources before level 20* or so as you will be capturing high CP stuff later and that is what you want to evolve and power up with the same resources. I’m guessing that when you start running out of space for new Pokemon (there’s a cap at 250 which I am not close to hitting) that it is time to start turning in low stuff for candy to upgrade the high stuff.

Avoid gyms before level 20* unless they are friendly and have space to park one of your Pokémon.You get additional rewards if the gym remains in control of your team for 20 hours, but since I started playing I have never seen that happen. When you do get high enough to attack an enemy gym, team with others to assure victory.

My gaming oriented brain says this is the best way to play: capture all the Pokémon you can until level 2o and never power level, save all your resources until you run out of space.

However, like all solo games, there is no “one” way to play, so do what you like.

Odd design flaw in the game

Throwing Pokéballs at monsters is way easier on my 9 inch iPad than on my 4 inch iPhone. What takes often 3 or 4 balls to capture on my phone usually can be done in 1 or 2 on my tablet.  Size matters.

*Level 20 is a bit arbitrary and that figure is probably lower right now (15?) as few people have hit level 20 yet, but as the number of level 20s increases so will that arbitrary level you need to hit for higher content.

tl;dr version:

Don’t worry about XP or your level, or the stats of the Pokémon you capture, just capture as many as you can and enjoy the outdoors and social opportunities the game provides you with.

What ISP “Data Caps” are REALLY all about

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Many major ISP in America seems to be talking about hard data caps. It seems to be a rather odd coincidence (meaning that it isn’t one) that this seems to all be happening in many ISPs all at the same time, like it is some coordinated effort or something.  The reasons are many but here’s the bottom line:

This is all about TV.

TV is dying, its old tech that some are saying will be history by 2030. Traditional Cable TV is the first on the chopping block. Almost every cable company is converting to “all digital” which basically means they will go from traditional cable to IPTV.

Traditional Cable TV feeds all the 500 or so channels through a cable at different frequencies that your tv tuner can pick up and display. On the other hand, IPTV “live streams” all the channels the same way internet “live streams” video, and an IPTV “cable box”is just a dedicated computer that serves the live stream to your TV.  In other words IPTV is just a dedicated function of your internet connection.

The most popular IPTV services in the US are AT&T Uverse, Verizon Fios, and CenturyLink Prism TV. They all use Internet to provide TV.

Now all the major cable companies are dumping their old traditional cable service and converting cable to a pure internet feed as well, thus distributing all the channels through the internet and becoming IPTV themselves.

The upshot is that there will be more dedicated internet bandwidth on cable internet service. The downside is that you will have to “rent” an IPTV “cable box” to watch TV. Hooking a cable directly to your TV will no longer do anything.

Current IPTV services are renting boxes at between $8 to $12 a month for each TV in the house.  My cable company which is just converting to IPTV wants to charge me only $3 per month per TV, which will no doubt be going up in years to come.

The FCC wants to allow customers to use any cable box they want including their own PCs or gaming consoles to do away with the rental fees. IPTV and Cable TV companies are fighting rule changes like this big time, as it means a major loss of revenue.

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I’m glad I cut my cable a long time ago, and I am not alone. But to Cable companies “cord cutting” is an even BIGGER loss of revenue, which IPTV providers are fighting with a new tool:

Data Caps

Almost every ISP in America has data caps*. This has been the case for many years. ISPs generally don’t want to discuss them because it makes customers mad. Data caps on cell networks are a necessary evil because cell service has limited bandwidth and it is expensive. High data users can slow down everyone cellular data service.

Data caps on home wifi make anyone who has paid huge data overage charges upset, so ISPs haven’t been talking about them. The only time they enforce them is when super heavy users download and upload huge amounts of data each month.

But ISPs, especially those that provide TV service (which is practically all of them) are publicizing them more, and keeping track of them. BUT (and here is the big kicker) ONLY on customers that DO NOT ALSO have TV!

When trying to explain their reasons, they will point out that IP based TV uses internet bandwidth and thus TV watchers would hit the data cap on a regular basis.

So really, the data cap is only directed at users of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Live, and HBO Now, etc. which provide alternatives to IPTV at much cheaper prices.  Only cable cutters are affected by data caps.

If you don’t like it, you can sign up for TV, or pay an additional monthly charge (usually around $30 a month) for unlimited home internet data, or upgrade to a “business” level account.

But before you start counting your pennies to get “unlimited” data, figure out how much you actually use.  Oddly ISP’s seem to be stingy with actual usage data, but you know you will get that data if you start to get close to going over.

ISP’s are currently setting these data caps really high by TODAY’S STANDARDS, that is to say that even families with large numbers of internet users in the household are unlikely to hit the data caps that are being currently set (on average 600 gb on 24 mbps broadband).

For now, only the gullible and paranoid will shell out the extra cash for “unlimited”, when less than 0.05% even need it, so that’s free money for the ISPs.

And what about TOMORROWS STANDARDS?

By setting cap limits so generous it is likely not going to generate many complaints to the FCC, and that is exactly the way ISPs want it. FCC complaints mean regulation, which is why filing complaints with the FCC is probably a good idea.

600 GB is a very high cap. It is the equivalent of 300 hours of HD streaming, or 10 hours a day for an entire month.  That is why 99.95% of the public will likely not even come close.

But what happens in the near future with 4K streaming? or 360 degree virtual reality streaming? or ever more complicated MMORPG streaming? or stuff we haven’t even thought about yet but uses a ton of bandwidth?

Data caps could become a serious costly burden on customers in the near future. The internet is our economy, and for many their livelihood depends on it. ISPs should not be allowed to tax economic progress.

*Verizon’s Fios cap is significantly higher than most others, high enough that there is practically no cap, but that hasn’t stopped some Fios customers from getting notices.

How the young Tech Savvy Generation is Changing the World

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I’ve been writing about how Internet has been affecting society for a couple of years now. One angle I have not touched on is that it is affecting younger generations way more than older generations.

Kids raised on the internet are now in their 20’s and early 30’s and their understanding of the world is radically different than generations before.

Social scientists in the US like to artificially divide Americans into “generations”. There are three dominant ones today: The Boomers (those that grew up in the 50’s and 60’s), Generation X (those that grew up in the 70’s and 80’s), and the Millennials (those that grew up in the 90’s and 00’s).  I am part of Generation X, the smallest and least powerful of the three.

All three generations have their technical savvy and non technical members, so what I am about to say is a generalization and not true of everybody:

Boomers are generally conservative and Christian. They love the suburbs, and beer, big houses, and driving trucks or SUVs, and watching cable TV.

The “average” Boomer is online but rarely use the internet. They do email and Facebook and Wikipedia and a few select sites.  It is a small part of their lives, and a lot more of their time is listening to the radio and watching TV, because that is what they have done all their lives.

Millennials are generally liberal and never go to church. They prefer city life, living within walking or biking distance of everything. If they have to drive, its economy cars or hybrids. They drink fancy coffee and box wine, and get all their media via streaming services.

The “average” Millennial is online practically all the time, thanks to smart phones and tablets. They are very internet savvy, and practically live online.  It’s where they work, its where they go to school, it’s where they play, it’s where they meet people. The internet is their world view.

In between is Generation X, the “average” is hard to pin down because it is so widespread.  It is somewhere between.  Gen X grew up before the internet like the Boomers, but has a stronger adoption rate than they do. Most of the big names involved in creating the Internet are Gen X, but this recent video of celebrities that are clueless about the internet contain mostly Gen X celebrities.

Some Gen Xers like myself think and live like Millennials, and some think and live like Boomers, and as a result our generation really has not developed its own identity other than our affection for console gaming.

The internet savvy Millennials are 100% in control of pop culture today, while politics is controlled by the former hippies now ultra conservative Boomer generation.  The fact that the Millennials do not seem to care about race, religion, sexual orientation, and are socially liberal on issues regarding sex, drugs, and punishment is hopeful, but their near universal apathy towards politics is worrisome.

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Shifting Demographics: What Election 2016 is REALLY All About!

As I write this, the status of election 2016 is that Donald Trump is, barring a party coup, going to be the GOP nominee, while Hillary Clinton is probably going to be the Democratic nominee, but Bernie Sanders continues to be a thorn in her side.

The next President of the United States is going to be a “Boomer”, and it is safe to say they will be the last “Boomer” President (Bill Clinton and George W Bush were both Boomers, too, Barack Obama is Generation X)

Conventional wisdom says that generations are always liberal when they are young, and get more conservative as they age, and that is a true trend in history, but there has never been a generation quite like the Millennials:

 Only 21% of Millennials are married, while 42% of Boomers were married at their age;

Almost 1 in 4 (23% to be exact) have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, making them the most educated generation (more demographic breakdowns of college graduates can be found here);

Millennials are the most ethnically and racially diverse generation, with 19% being Hispanic, 14% African-American and 5% Asian;

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Millennials are the most diverse, highest educated, and least likely to have a traditional family.  The odds are pretty good they are going to be the most socially liberal generation ever.  It also does not help that Boomers are driving Millennials to embrace democratic socialism.

Donald Trump’s main appeal is to those mostly white males who are afraid of systemic change as a result of demographic change.  White Christian males have been the dominant force in America for generations and they are losing ground demographically every year.

Hillary Clinton is an “old school” Democrat, who often leans Conservative (most troubling even Neo-conservative) on many issues.  Her lack of appeal to Millennials could prove her biggest weakness.  Fortunately for her, Millennials don’t vote.

Bernie Sanders is a proven Liberal, who has run his campaign towards appealing to Millennials, and has succeeded. Many of the media wonder why he stays in the race even though his chances of a nomination are quickly approaching 0%.  The answer is he is grabbing the youth and exciting them into politics.  Sanders knows that Millennials are the future of this country, and it is time they take an interest in their own future.

Regardless of the outcome, Sanders’ message is going to win in the long run. Sanders is too old to run again, so this is his one shot. Ideally, some young Sanders supporters will start running for office and start challenging the Boomer status quo.

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The Cyberpunk Age is already upon us

Back in the 80’s before the internet, many of us Gen Xers would read books. One of the big fiction trends was “cyberpunk”, books often set in  dystopian but connected worlds. Neuromancer by William Gibson in 1984 was considered the first.  Later prominent novels were Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

These books took the early networking tech that was already developing at the time and expanded on it, thrilling our imaginations with future worlds we could only dream about.

Today we no longer have to imagine, the “cyberpunk” world has become our reality. These authors got a surprisingly lot of ideas right.  They also got many parts wrong, so reading these books today feels anachronistic.

One thing these books got wrong is that their heroes had unusually good prowess with digital information, and that prowess usually saves the day in the end. Prowess with digital information is proving not to be unusual at all, in the Millennial generation and whatever we are calling the generation after it (why not call it the cyberpunk generation?) prowess with digital information is the norm.

I saw my 2 year old nephew sit at a computer with a mouse and point and click away on a game as easily as a fish takes to swimming.  I didn’t even see my first computer mouse until high school.

Kids today are creating a new digital society and have little interest in preserving traditional ways. This is a world wide and nearly universal trend among the younger generation vs the “cold war” world view of their parents and grandparents.

The “fears” of the older generations are driving politics right now, but personally I’m excited about the changes.

The digital age is not a perfect one, but that’s another story. No age has ever been perfect.

The Next Level in Erotic 3D Dating Sims

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This is the third (or 4th?) look at other games similar to Date Ariane. In fact the creators of all 3 games mentioned Date Ariane as their original inspiration.

Of course once you make one game, you try and make something better than your last. My concept of improving was making better pictures and packaging it as a real downloadable game.

The following three authors are still going with the online model but are taking it to the next level in 3 different ways.

Jennifer

Written by Chaotic
Art by Chaotic
Format HTML using Tlaero’s Adventure Creator
Link to play and download

Chaotic and dsp3000 have been making dating sims like mine for a few years and they can be found at www.vdategames.com. You have to sign up for a membership to get the latest and greatest, but there are plenty of free to play games as well.

Jennifer is the most recent to drop to the free portion of the site, so I tried it out. If you played Date Ariane, you will find Jennifer to be very similar. The same plotless “dating experience” where decisions you make along the way open up different activities.

Here’s the next level: the game is voiced by an actress, and many scenes are animated in video rather than animated gif. A different experience worth checking out. If you need a walkthrough, you will find one here.

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Brad’s Erotic Week

Written by Wolfschadowe
Art by Wolfschadowe
Format HTML using Tlaero’s Adventure Creator with additional programming by kexter
Latest download Project Forum

This was suggested by at least two people in my last list of new games. From what I gather this is an ongoing project with new chapters released every few months. Currently we are up to chapter 5. If all goes according to plan the final version will be done around 2029, so you might just want to play what’s available.

The game is a little on the hard side in the first play through. My first play resulted in getting rejected by two women just when I thought I was getting somewhere. And that is even following a walkthrough. Of course the whole point of these games is to play them over and over until you get it right.

The next level is the ambitiousness of the project: a multi episode dating sim with new episodes released every so often is going to be fun to follow.

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Redemption for Jessika

Written by Tlaero
Art by Mortze
Format HTML using Tlaero’s Adventure Creator
Latest download Online Play 1 Online Play 2

This is the latest from Tlaero and Mortze after their successful first collaboration of Dreaming With Elsa.

While Brad may be having a good week above, Jessika’s week has not gone so good: a break up, a riot at a concert, and a bench warrant in front of a judge. You play the court reporter at the hearing, and find yourself involved in Jessika’s recovery from rock bottom.

The next level here is the story. This may be one of the most complex stories ever found in one of these games. The story itself is pretty linear with very few branches. Still if you want a walkthrough, there is one here.

But, it doesn’t stop there. There is a larger plot at work starting with Dreaming With Elsa and continuing with the next title Finding Miranda.  Elsa and Miranda make cameos in RfJ and a strange woman meets with Jessika in an epilogue hinting at how the stories tie together.

I’m definitely interested to see where this one goes.

This is my LAST Second Life Post

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Linden Lab has done a lot of dumb things over the years, but their latest move is quite possibly the dumbest!  So dumb in fact, that I am basically calling it quits on Second Life.

Over the last few months, the “Terms Of Service Gestapo” has been banning a lot of long time players, with no explanation, the only reasons they give for the bans is to quote the TOS terms they apparently violated, with no evidence or incident examples for players to defend themselves.

For the average “freemium” player, a ban is nothing, just roll a new alt, but when it is a prominent business person who makes their living in Second Life merchandise, it becomes an attack on their livelihoods. That’s what happened to LisaWarmAnimations, a merchant that sells toys and animations in Second Life, as the person behind the business depends on the income to house and feed a family.

Some detective work on players part seems to indicate that she was swept up in a ban raid relating to “bestiality play”, where players have pretend sex with pretend animals. Apparently this is frowned upon in certain countries where Linden Lab wants to do business, so a bunch of merchants that sell that kind of stuff got the ban hammer with no warning or explanation.  LisaWarmAnimations was innocent in this sweep as she only rents to a vendor of this material, and has since been able to get her account and store back.

Personally, I have a problem with the whole thing. I have zero interest in virtual kink, but as long as it is kept in “Adult” regions, I don’t have a problem with it. People like to live out their fantasies virtually that they would never do for real. That is the whole point of “video games” in general: do stuff you would never do in real life. Better to do it virtually in a safe environment, than for real. And it does make a real difference.

So the whole idea of banning for this stuff screams “censorship”, so I am already hot over what seem to be random bannings over random crap people find offensive.

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Skills Hak and INSILICO

But, here is the incident that has me boiling over with hatred.  Another prominent Second Lifer Skills Hak got banned. The thing is, this SLer is the owner and creator of the best sim in Second Life: INSILICO, a dark cyberpunk urban world that is a sight to behold.

Or at least it was. It is now closed, possibly for good. Skills Hak got her ban overturned for a few days then reinstated apparently permanently, and no one can figure out why, including Skills herself.

Here is the official statement:

It has come to our attention that you have engaged in activities in violation of the Linden Lab Terms of Service (the “Terms”) and Second Life Community Standards, including but not limited to:

· Section 6.1 of the Terms, which states that “[y]ou will not post or transmit prohibited Content, including any Content that is illegal, harassing or violates any person’s rights”;

· Section 6.1(iv) of the Terms, which states that you agree you will not “[p]ost, display, or transmit Content (including any communication(s) with employees of Linden Lab) that is harmful, threatening or harassing, defamatory, libelous, false, inaccurate, misleading, or invades another person’s privacy”; and

· Section 4 (Disclosure) of the Community Standards, which states that “[r]esidents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Life experience. Sharing personal information about your fellow Residents without their consent — including gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual preference, alternate account names, and real-world location beyond what is provided by them in their Resident profile — is not allowed. Remotely monitoring conversations in Second Life, posting conversation logs, or sharing conversation logs without the participants’ consent are all prohibited.”

Pursuant to Section 5.2 of the Terms, “Linden Lab may suspend or terminate your Account if you violate this Agreement, along with any or all other Accounts held by you or otherwise related to you. . . . Upon termination of your Accounts, this Agreement between us will be automatically terminated and you may not re-subscribe or return to the Service through other or future Accounts you or others may set up.”

Due to your severe and repeated violations of the Terms and Community Standards, Linden Lab has terminated your access to the Second Life virtual world. This termination applies to all Second Life accounts associated with you, including your primary, alternate, and household accounts. To reiterate, you may not return to Second Life on any account, new or existing.

Sincerely,
Linden Lab
source

No actual incidents were named, no due process is possible. All we have is a vague letter to parse that basically tells us nothing.

In Skills words:

So basically LL seized my accounts, several of which are premium members that had inventory worth thousands of USD, the money in my account, my creations and my regions i paid 200k USD for in tier over the years. I tried to appeal the ban once but only got the usual “Thanks for your feedback. You’re still banned, asshole.” response. The whole appeal thing is a joke anyways, how am i supposed to appeal if i don’t even know the reason for my ban, they are not interested in my side of the story that could potentially clear up the situation.

I’ve always tried to make SL better for the people, be it through making the software better or by designing experiences the way SL should look and feel like, even on my alts i somehow always ended up being a sim owner, providing themed space to people and building communities.
source

She has more to say in this Tumblr post: http://skills.tumblr.com/post/141699124267/byeeee

Now it should be noted that Skills has not been an angel during her 8 year tenure in SL, There are some ugly moments in SL past in which she was an accomplice, and Skills has been banned before because of them.

That’s all ancient history though. Is Linden Lab petty enough to ban someone for events that happened years ago?  Considering the other people who also got recently banned, they might be.

Unlike the bans mentioned above, this has nothing to do with virtual sex or censorship, nor does it have anything to do with unpaid bills.  The mystery mixed with the prominence of this ban has a lot of players worried.

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INSILICO was a work of art, a showplace for Second Life that even appeared on the back of business cards of Linden Lab employees. It inspired the creation of large online communities and groups with thousands of members, and rent paying virtual apartment dwellers and shop keepers, now who have no place to call home.

My take on all this

This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I have ever heard LL do in my 13 years of following the Second Life community. It simply does not make sense on any level.

Why would any business ban one of its biggest customers with no explanation? Why would you shut down one of the most popular and prominent regions in the community, one that even has its own sub communities?

No business in their right mind would ban a customer who has made them hundreds of thousands of dollars and tons of free promotion without a very good reason and without explanation.

To treat someone as prominent as Skills like dog shit is the kind of incident that should be damning of the entire company.

And why this sudden interest in banning players? Are they trying to appease some big pocket VC who wants them to “clean up” Second Life before they invest more money? Are they being blocked from doing business in some countries (maybe China?) because of their reputation that they are trying to clean up?

The explanation for LL’s lack of candor is obvious: They don’t want a multi million dollar class action lawsuit.

But such draconian actions by LL NEED to have consequences. I want this to serve as an object lesson to ANYONE who is considering investing in Project Sansar or Second Life that Linden Lab cannot be trusted to play fair.

I really don’t give a damn if I only know one side of the story. I would love to hear the other side, the Linden Lab side. It is either a very good explanation that deserves to be heard, or it is a story of complete incompetence on their part that deserves to be heard even more.

Screw it, I’m done!

As an early premium adapter, I make enough L-bucks that I can have my tiny 512m land for free until Second Life finally closes its doors, so I won’t be giving that up, but I won’t be investing in it or blogging about it anymore. I’m removing the link from my home page.

The truth is I haven’t done much there since 2011 anyways, and recently got rid of most of my Second Life travelogues from this blog. One of them featured INSILICO, but like most of my favorite places, it’s gone now.

Date Ariane in 4 Other Languages

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One of my projects for the year was to arrange translations of Date Ariane in at least 4 other languages: French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and I am happy to say all 4 should be available by the end of the month.

Date Ariane Español

Spanish is widely spoken throughout the America’s and I kind of sort of speak it. Once upon a time I was actually fluent.  The problem was that there really hasn’t been a demand for a Spanish translation, so not a lot of volunteers to help translate it. But I needed to do one translation to figure out what I was doing, so I basically “Machine” translated the game with Google Translate.

If you ever tried to translate anything in Google Translate, you know how inaccurate it is. I used my limited Spanish skills to fix as much as possible, but still the results are according to one native Spanish speaker who tried it, “A little creepy”.

I’m hoping soon that the game will go viral in a native Spanish country, so I can get some volunteers to correct the translation, until then, you’re stuck with “a little creepy”.

If anyone wants to take a stab at fixing the translation you can go here.

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Seduire Ariane Français

Date Ariane has caught on in both France and Quebec so much so that there are guides written in french for “Seduire Ariane”, which I know literally means seduce Ariane, but I’ll roll with the common translation.  Part of the popularity is due to http://sharks-lagoon.fr/ an French/English website dedicated to games like mine.  I posted a notice for translation help and got quite a few volunteers.

The French version is 100% human translated, and even I a non-french speaker can tell the difference.  The funny thing is that just a week before the French version was ready for a beta release, the game went viral in France thanks to a popular vlogger name Squeezie who posted a video on March 7th that got over a million views:

The result was that my site crashed, first time that happened since I removed the online version.  Anyways, I have been posting links to the french beta around french websites that link to my english game.

I’d like to thank Mathieu Martineau, who got the ball rolling, Pseudo555 (one of the guys from Shark’s Lagoon) who did the bulk of the translation work, and OL, who came in near the end and did a ton of grammar and spelling corrections, including the download page. Other helpers: Dipsode, maniusz, Ramses212, Thedevilsadvocate, and Ticamus.

The Spanish version has gotten around 1,000 downloads in the month it has been available, the French version has gotten 6,000 downloads in the week it has been available.

Odd version trivia: Only version with a translated title.

dagerman

Date Ariane Deutsch

Just released.  Since the beginning of 2016, Germany is the #1 source of visitors to ArianeB.com, and I have reason to believe it may be due to another vlogger name Pandorya, who posted a series of “Let’s Play” videos in German. This was the first of what looks to be 9 videos:

Anyways the German line translation was 97% complete when I realized I need to do the scripting and testing ASAP.  I’m getting it down to a science and I finished it over the weekend, just as the final items in the German translation were being done.

Thanks to Thomas Kiehl who has done 70% of the work, Bardo did another big chunk, and Daff, Airjoe, ebenezum, Nico, Kurai, Terrorbait, Crowd, and crayon all pitched in.

I should warn you that Thomas has a wicked sense of humor:
german

Kind of wish I knew German, who knows how many odd jokes are in his German translation.

Odd version trivia: The board game Pachisi has been renamed “Mensch ärgere dich nicht” or “Dude, don’t get angry”, which is a version of pachisi popular in Germany going back to World War 1.

daportuguese

Date Ariane Português

This is now released. Unfortunately, it is only 93% human translated for now. There is one page left on the Portuguese translation page that was machine translated and needs to be corrected. There will be updates once it is done.

Update 3/25: The now 100% human translated Portuguese version is now available to download!

brazil1Date Ariane has a huge fan base in Brazil. Two years ago while I was making the graphic updated version, a link to my page on a Brazilian based “hot links” tracker spent most of the year in the top 40.  Also my Facebook page has so many Brazilian visitors, that Facebook apparently thinks I’m based in Brazil.

So yes, I wanted a version of the game that Brazilians can enjoy. My two primary translators are Henrique Riffel who speaks Portugal Portuguese did most of the pre-dinner and dinner texts, while Danilo Bini who speaks Brazilian Portuguese did most of the post dinner scenes. Hopefully the sudden change in accent isn’t too jarring to native speakers.

Odd version trivia: This version substitutes “Country” music with “Samba”. There is such a thing as country music in Brazil called Sertanejo, but it is slow melodic music that is difficult to “fast dance” to.

Update 5/12: Date Ariane has gone viral again in Brazil thanks to yet another popular video blogger. I find it charming that there are crazy video bloggers in every country and language.

Other languages?

I have had inquiries about the possibility of other languages. The lesson I learned from the Spanish version is that there needs to be a decent amount of interest in a language to make it worth while, so if you can organize a group of translators and I can see interest via web traffic, I may entertain other languages in the future.

As for “Something’s In The Air”, its popularity is significantly lower than Date Ariane and it has nearly 4 times as much dialogue, so for both of those reasons it will remain English only.

Date Ariane English

Since its release in July of last year, the renpy version of Date Ariane has been downloaded over 1 million times! That’s a huge milestone for an independent game!