Once I announced that I was done with the graphic update on Date Ariane, the traffic on the website shot up as expected, resulting in many 503 and 404 errors. I know from experience that the best way to alleviate the traffic is to release a downloadable version, but the state of the game was not good enough to do so immediately.
In the past two weeks, I managed to debug enough issues in the code to call it “good enough”, and just released a beta download of Date Ariane, which will hopefully drop the site traffic enough to reduce the 503 errors.
The download link is available at the usual place: http://arianeb.com/dategame.htm and click to download the 10th Anniversary edition.
One big change made is how “maps” work (where you decide which room to go to). The original game was an overhead view of the house which is impractical with the new model, and not really needed now that links are obvious and not hidden. Until now they were replaced by a wide shot of Ariane and her house from the living room looking toward the dining room. There are now 3 new angles: “kitchen” view is seen when you and Ariane were in the kitchen, or outside previously, “Entry way” shown above is if you came from a drive or a trip to the park, and “dining view” is if you came from dinner, dancing, bath, or bedroom. If you come from the living room, you will still see the living room view. This adds some variety as these views are at angles rarely seen. Some one off maps have their own angles as well.
Social Media Update
I have had a rather disorganized social media presence as of late, and I am trying to organize it better. This wordpress blog will continue to feature approximately monthly posts about whatever I want to blog about. My Tumblr blog I have designated a “developers” blog, to talk about stuff I am working on or stuff directly related to my web site. My Facebook page is mostly for promotion purposes primarily directed at players of my games. I now have a twitter feed @ArianeBdotcom which will aggregate all 3 sources, you can follow it if you want all the latest updates. The hashtag #DateAriane will be the official hashtag to post to.
A Social Media Feature
With that in mind, there is now a social media feature in the game available in both the download and online versions. Basically, I am repurposing the rarely used Something’s In The Air date experience code, giving players a way to share their Date Ariane experiences.
At the end of the date you will see on the bottom right a “date experience” followed by a 1 to 9 digit hex number that is also a link. Click on the link and you will get: 1. a link to see a summary of the date you just had, 2. a text in red you can copy and paste to tweet or post to your favorite social media so others can see what you did on the date, 3. instructions to add the date to Something’s In the Air, which practically no one does, but still a feature I’ll keep around. The text looks like this:
I went on a date with Ariane and here is what happened. http://arianeb.com/d.htm?1 #DateAriane
Clicking on the link will show what happened on your date, as well as an invitation for whoever clicks to go on their own date. The date summary will not show everything that happened just the broad highlights, it may not be in chronological order, and it will probably not display the exact same images you saw on your date, most commonly Ariane will be dressed differently in the summary in some scenes.
Its my attempt at viral marketing the game, so share your favorite dates.
Report Bugs In The Comments Here
The download is still a “beta”. If you find bugs, missing pictures, spelling or grammar errors, text that does not look right, or links that are too hard to see with their background, the comments section of this blog or the Tumblr blog are the best places to post for me to see them.
I’ll keep everyone informed when a significant upgrade is available.