Admin Vacations

I know that most users think admins are superheros in disguise, but the truth is that we all need vacations too. And sometimes the admins want to still talk with their friends on the ShoutBox without getting report-banned as if they were a clone. ;-)

This little avatar you see to the left is a new feature for admins. When they take a leave of absence, I assign it to them for protection. Report banning won't work and you all will know that they're just kicking back enjoying the sun, not trying to troll.

So if you see that icon anywhere, just remember that it's still the same admins you know and love. They're just taking a break.

(As usual, intelligent comments can go to jerason@wiicade.com.)

--thewiirocks 09/03/2009

Can't log in?

I have recently started receiving a number of complaints from users who were unable to login to DSiCade. The problem manifests itself as the Google login page refreshing without an error message.

If you see this error, go into your browser's settings and set the time zone one hour ahead of its normal setting. (e.g. If your timezone is -6:00, change it to -5:00.) Also make sure that "Daylight Savings Time" is checked. That should allow you to log in.

I'm not clear on why this is happening, but it may be related to an update on Google's side. I'll continue investigating and update everyone when I know more.

(As usual, I can be emailed at jerason@wiicade.com.)

--thewiirocks 08/31/2009

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Mail Bag

Given how crazy-busy I have been as of late, I haven't been able to keep up with all the email I've received. So I decided to take a moment and answer some of the most common questions. Read on to learn how you can get a FREE boxed game for your DSi!

Can I be an admin?
No

Why can't I use CAPS on ShoutBox?
Using all capital letters in a message is yelling. Generally speaking, it's very poor internet etiquette. Unfortunately, many users were being rude to each other by typing in constant caps. Thus I've disabled that ability. Please be considerate when speaking to others on the internet. All those manners your mother taught you should still apply.

But it's called a SHOUTBox?
The name derives from, "Shout out to all my friends!" type of shouting. Not "YOU JERK!" type of shouting.

I can't log in?
After the change-over to user accounts, there were a few bugs to shake out. Some users had difficulties with the login procedure. The bugs should be fixed now.

How did you get to be an admin?
I wrote the website. ;-)

What about the other admins?
I hand-select admins as needed. Asking to be an admin tends to reduce your chances. I look for attributes like moral character, demonstrated ability to keep your cool in difficult situations, and a strong desire to help out. Though seriously, it's not a great job. You don't want it.

Can I be an admin?
No!

When will there be more avatars?
An interesting question. As you might have noticed, the avatar selection screen now takes several seconds to open. Adding more avatars is only going to make this worse. Thus I need to develop a new selection box that eliminates this issue before I can add more avatars.

I was banned for 24 hours!
If you receive a 24 hour ban, there are two possible causes. The first is that you ignored the automated warnings about no yelling, no swearing, or using inappropriate language. The other possibility is that you caused trouble with your fellow posters and they reported you.

I was banned for no reason!
Longer bans are given by admins. The message you receive when you try to post will tell you who that admin was and why they disabled your posting access. That should tell you everything you need to know. If you still don't understand, email me the EXACT message you receive and I'll try to explain.

Are the games here Flash?
Nope. Flash does not work on the DSi. The games on DSiCade are Javascript-based.

Are the games here Java?
Nope. Java does not work on the DSi. The games on DSiCade are Javascript-based. Please keep in mind that Java and Javascript are not the same language. In fact, they are very, very, very different.

Are the games here Javascript-based?
Yes! Now you've got it! :-)

How do I create a game?
You will need to understand how to do web development. If you're familiar with creating web pages, then you're off to a good start. Use the browser information over on DSiBrew.org to adjust your page to fit the DSi browser. You can add interactivity by using Javascript to change the page elements on demand.

Will DSiCade have more games?
Yes! There are a couple of reasons it has been taking time, though. First is that I have been extraordinarily busy as of late. (Even worse than usual.) I have not been able to give DSiCade the attention I want. I don't see this changing soon.

Second is that submissions have dropped off. I'm expecting two more soon, but they're not yet in my posession. Until I have more games either created by me or submitted by users, I'm afraid I can't add any more.

So get crackin' folks! ;-)

How do I submit my game?
Once you have your code complete, zip up the HTML, Javascript, and image files into a single archive. Then email that archive to jerason@wiicade.com.

What about the FREE DS games?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! So here's the deal. If you submit a game to DSiCade that gets accepted, I'll send you a free DS game of your choice! Of course, there are some caveats...
  1. The game must be original and written by you
  2. Only one game per month, per submitter
  3. It cannot use trademarks or copyrights of someone else. e.g. That Pokemon simulator won't count even if it gets posted. (There are legal reasons for this.)
  4. DSiCade won't pay for international shipping. You have to be in a country where we can order the item for you locally or transfer equivalent funds through Paypal.
  5. The game must be tailored to work correctly on the DSi. Ideally, this means that it fits within the 2 screens with no scrolling or zooming.
I hope that all of you who thought you could swipe something off of javascript.about.com now realize it's going to be a bit harder than that! ;-)

(Besides, I've already received several of those and rejected 100%. They don't work quite right on the DSi or provide a very poor experience. So don't get lazy!)

WAIT! One more question! Can I be an admin?
Someone please shoot me.

In completely unrelated news, I did my first Flip Note animation today. I can't draw, so it's not much to look at. I do hope you all find it amusing, though. Tap the image to start the animation.

Exciting, isn't it? Here's the code in case you're interested in looking it up in Flip Note Studio:

That's all for today. I look forward to seeing some of the game submissions. And remember to always treat others as you want to be treated. Night all!

(As usual, I can be emailed at jerason@wiicade.com.)

--thewiirocks 08/23/2009

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Need an account?

I'm sure that many of you are reading this news post to find out what the scoop is with the ShoutBox changes. In particular, what is this about a "login"?

Welp, you came to the right place. Here's the down-low.

ShoutBox has been an experiment in trustworthiness. When I created it, I created it with the idea that the vast majority of people are good, honest, and decent. That what they really want is to contribute to friendly and open discussions.

Thus the original ShoutBox didn't have any security at all. If you can believe it, there were no admins, no bans, and no anti-cloning measures. In fact, I didn't even have the A you now see in my avatar!

For a while, the idea worked. Save for a few troublemakers, users visited with the best of intentions. Sadly, it was not to last.

There's an old saying: "Idle hands are the devil's tools". And man oh man, did ShoutBox users try to prove this in spades.

Over time, the most common thing said on the ShoutBox is "I'm bored". But rather than find a useful outlet for that boredom (have you tried one of our videogames?) many users started chasing administrator positions. Why? I have no idea. It's really not a fun job. Especially not with these bored users around.

Not to be deterred by a mere rule telling users not to ask about becoming an admin, I have been badgered, spammed, hacked, and even blackmailed (!) in an attempt to get admin rights!

Most of these users have been smacked with a ban for their errant behavior. Yet that doesn't seem to stop anyone. Worse yet, users have become increasingly nasty toward one another. (And then think they should be admins? Say wha?)

So I'm afraid that the experiment is over. Too many users have proven that they will happily donate their idle hands to being the devil's tools.

From now on, you must login through a Google account to access DSiCade's ShoutBox. If you step out of line on the ShoutBox, you will be smacked with a very LONG ban. 30 days is the default number now set in the admin's tools. Perma-bans are now only a tap away.

So think long and hard now before you donate your idle hands for some rowdy work. When one of us becomes unkind to another, we all lose.

(As usual, I can be emailed at jerason@wiicade.com.)

--thewiirocks 08/13/2009

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