World Updates

The First Kaneva Update To Ever Make Me Mad

Posted on February 11, 2009. Filed under: Dealing with problems, Uncategorized, World Updates | Tags: , , , |

angry_baby

In the past I’ve been annoyed by some of the issues that have cropped up with updates, but I was never really angered by it.  In this update they changed something that most users wouldn’t consider too important – your 2D profile page.

I spent several hours creating a complete custom profile page including custom graphics and css, dealing with Kaneva’s back-end systems that make it a pain in the ass to experiment with backgrounds and trying to make everything just the way I would like it.  Now I am left with this complete custom page being pushed to “Page 2” of my 2d profile!  What I’m left with is a landing page that shows  a bunch of useless info that I can’t get rid of like World Fame and Dance Fame… Who gives a shit what my world fame is, that says nothing about me as a person.  My original profile gives people insight into who I really am – not some status bar.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that they improved some things on the 3d side and added in a bunch of new assets – but c’mon….I want the option of what is displayed and how it is displayed on my profile.

I know I’m not the only one who is upset about this – I’ve seen other users complain about this on twitter and I’m sure if I spent a little bit of time on  the forums today I would see many more complaining.

So Kaneva – thumbs up for the improvements, but this is almost over-shadowed by the disregard for the work that some of put into their 2d profile page… I’m not talking about grabbing some blingtard myspace layout and tossing in the code – I spent many hours experimenting, designing, and coding for a one off page.

If you would like to review the notes on the new update check out THIS THREAD on the Kaneva Forums.

Let me know how you feel about the new updates in the comments below.

******UPDATES********

– PLEASE GO HERE AND GIVE THE THUMBS UP TO THIS IDEA TO GET OUR OLD PROFILES BACK

– THANK YOU TO ZANYGAL FOR A FLASH WORKAROUND WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE

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Brain Storms Bring a Chance of Lighting, But Likely Just Wet Ground

Posted on October 20, 2008. Filed under: Suggestions for Improvement, World Updates | Tags: , , , , |

My last post talked a lot about my frustrations with Kaneva publishing new and more, rather than fixing what is there currently. One of my biggest complaints was that there was not only new content, but entirely new games, that are completely contrary to the point of Kaneva itself, which is a chatting, talking, and social networking.

The responses were amazing! I love hearing what you guys think. While technically this is SFN’s blog, he allows me to post my opinions, and the comments are where you guys get to speak your mind. We have the eyes of several people inside Kaneva, so it’s a nice platform to be able to speak about Kaneva, vent a little, and to suggest solutions. Not just bitching, but solutions, right? That’s the rallying cry.

“If you hate it so much, just leave,” missed the point so entirely, it flabbergasts me. I don’t hate it. I love Kaneva. I am frustrated by how close they are to having an amazing social networking world. I just believe they are adding on new rooms to the house before they paint the walls in the existing rooms. Or, more specifically, I think they are adding a horse stable to a house in the city, where the oven doesn’t work, and you have to change channels on the TV with a broomstick. Fix the damn TV, and what do we need with a place to keep horses anyway?

But, complaining never fixes anything. At its best, it only serves to motivate someone else to fix things. At worst, it makes those best capable to fix things resentful and they reject your input, however valuable. There is already a forum for input with Kaneva, the Kaneva… well, uhm.. Forums. But, as we all know they are flooded with posts. I fear that some real valuable input and ideas get lost in the white noise.

So, here are some ideas for games that could be integrated into Kaneva, while allowing and embracing the community, and social togetherness.

The most excited I’ve been to walk around a building in Kaneva in a long time was when the Help Center launched -Grabbing coins? Holy Mario Brothers flashbacks! I LOVE grabbing coins, and the ‘cling’ sound makes me grin like a 7 year old coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. So, obviously that technology exists in the world, right? How about a coin grab game? Set the coins around Kaneva City (the most underused section in the game. Also the most poorly named, but I’ll get into that another time) and have a timed game where you run through the city, find the location of all the coins, in the quickest time possible. Challenge your friends. “I can get them all in 1:32 i bet you cant get under 2 min.” Then, randomize the locations either every time you play, or once a week. You fly through the corridors of the city, your friends harassing you, making fun, then when you get the last one, your score pops up. reset the scores every two hours or something. I think this sounds fun, and I’d play!

The card games have been well documented. Poker, Hold Em, Canasta, even Black Jack. If there is a betting concern, just have a game begin with everyone having 500 “monies” and let them go wild. Cards are a social, talking, playing, fun game that everyone knows. They would allow talking, teasing, getting to know each other.

Tag. How simple a game. Your name or tag glows a different color, when you are “it” and you would need to chase down other avatars. Once you were able to touch someone else, they would then be “it.” And of course- no tagbacks for a certain period of time. The most important part of this game would be the ability to play ANYWHERE. Special hangouts could be built to play, or you could get a game going in the plaza or the mall. I have seen people playing their own version on the Kaneva Football Field, for hours. So I know that people would enjoy it.

Also, as stated elsewhere, a random number generator in the chat window could facilitate many other betting or guessing games. Type /number 1-100   and out would spit: 37.  type /number 1-10 and out comes 7. Easy!

Then, there are scheduled-event-type games. Things that would require some GM/Advisor participation, set up, administration. But, nonetheless games that I feel would be of great fun:

Kaneva Klue – Somebody done it. Assemble the “Klues” to find out if it was Gaelin in the Plaza with a 240″ flash screen, or maybe GM_Andre in the mall with an arched window.
Scavenger hunt – Distribute a list through a community, and have players search for the items, which would be like coins, in all public locations. But, maybe not animated and flashing. They could only be picked up by a player once, then they’d regenerate for the next person. They would be added to the player’s inventory, and they could come use them in front of the person leading the game, to show a completed list. This could be done in teams, collaborating to scour all sections of the world, or even solo.
Builder contest – Building the best hangout or home, with a holiday theme is cool, but to the credit rich go the spoils, often times. A more “Creative Builder” contest could be done. Each entrant would be given is list of 7 different items, (the number could change.) Then, they use ONLY those 7 to create something interesting, beautiful, funny, or clever. The most creative use of these items would be given a prize.

These are just some simple ideas that I’ve thought of, or I’ve heard friends come up with. What do you think of these game ideas? Do you think they fit the social network better? Do you have any game ideas of your own?

-Paynomind

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So close, So tantalizingly close.

Posted on October 10, 2008. Filed under: Dealing with problems, World Updates | Tags: , , |

Kaneva is fun. Or, rather, it can be. The drama that circulates within it is annoying and reduces the fun levels more than a clown with his pants off, but the thing that really annoys me about my time in Kaneva is… Kaneva.

If the place royally sucked, like, I dunno, IMVU, or Bud Light Lime, I would be ok with it. It’s the fact that they are so tantalizingly close! Argh! If they would quit the work they have wasted on time-sucks like DanceBoring3D and Kerflop, and actually fix the bugs and improve the usability of many features, this place would be rock and roll awesome.

What’s wrong with those games? You have fun with them? OK, sure, let’s pretend that they are fun and the activities in them weren’t better on Sega Genesis or even a key chain I got in the bottom of my Kellogg’s Smacks. Let’s just pretend, ok. Seriously, I know it’s hard, but follow me here, ok? Alright. So, what is Kaneva? Easy, before you answer, I will for you; it’s a 3D social network. I don’t know what all the marketing campaigns say, or what the board meetings pitch it as. But Kaneva is MySpace where you run around and say hi and meet people or keep up with the friends you have. Kaneva is all about the conversations, the interactions, the building your personalized space and having 100 people come see it, telling stories, learning about people, even in some really odd cases, falling in love.

So, naturally, the big featured game activities embrace that, feature it, improve it, right? Oh, but of course not. When you play the dance game, you have to pay strict attention to the arrows, not your fellow dancers. And you have no idea how well they are doing, or how well they did. You can’t challenge someone, you can’t play jointly, and you can’t talk in more than 6 word blasts between levels. And the shooting game? Yeah, no chatting in there at all. Run around, shoot people. You remember Duke Nukem? Yeah, the cool part of that WAS the gore and blood, so naturally that’s all been taken out. And where do these shooting fests take place? By secret ambush while in a club you built with your friends? In the mall? NO! In a completely separate location, away from everyone and everything.

Both of the featured games completely abandon what Kaneva IS, and just throw a simple game structure at you. Why didn’t anyone think of this? Why hasn’t anyone asked for a social game, like automated trivia, card games, even just a simple random number generator to allow people to make up their own games while in world? Oh, that’s right… people ask for that on a weekly basis on the forums. Huh. Well, I’m sure the next big thing to come out of Kaneva’s game minds will surely be one of those, or maybe something even better, like a memory game where you have to guess items people were wearing, or spell their convoluted 9 number usernames correctly, right? Nope. Its gonna be a driving game. Imagine there will be any chatting while you drive?

There are staunch defenders who will tell you, “Oh, the fifty-leven bugs you just mentioned are ok, because it’s Beta.” In all the copy in all the pages in the entire Kaneva website, in exactly zero places does it tell me that the software is beta. Now wait, you are thinking, I know I’ve seen the word beta somewhere. Well, you have, but not only on GMail for 3 years. “Beta” appears just to the right of the logo at the very top right on the 2d pages and launcher. Never anywhere in the actual game. And in text smaller than 8 point font. That really drives home the Beta point, huh? Or, how about the fact that you have to give Kaneva REAL currency, real money, for certain features of the game? That you spend real cash on building supplies, AP passes, costumes, clothing, deeds? Know of anything else in the history of software that took money while in beta? They give Google a hard time for being in beta so long, but at least they have the courtesy of making their stuff free.

This is simply the introduction of a many part series on the “area of opportunity” in the Kaneva software. I’m sure they are aware of most of them. I just think they are of the mindset that people want new and exciting instead of stable and functioning. Or new for the sake of new instead of able to be used easily.

As a usability guy, I believe the complete opposite way, so you can expect more posts on this subject.

Comment for me, and tell me what little annoyances or bugs or usability flaws you see in the same every day. I’d like to eventually have a comprehensive list of not just the flaws, but recommended solutions. I’ll go so far as to make mockups, because when it comes right down to it, I DO care. I DO want Kaneva to be the most awesome online experience ever.

It’s so close right now.

– Paynomind

NOTE: Comments on this post count for the Kanevian Blog Halloween Contest

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So Corelli Has Taken Quite A Beating Over The Past Several Days

Posted on August 31, 2008. Filed under: Controversy, Dealing with problems, World Updates | Tags: , , , |

However, being a professional customer service manager he has managed to brush off the bad and address as many issues as possible.

In my last post I talked about how Paynomind had been banned from the forum and his thread had been removed.  As far as I know, Pay is still banned however the thread has been restored (and locked).  Corelli did address the whole censorship issue in the forums – “Moderate, Don’t Censor”.

Corelli also posted (during a long weekend non-the-less) about updates done this week and planned updates for next week to fix the main issues from Wednesday’s updates.

View the post HERE.

Corelli works hard to not only deal with general complaints about the game, but also has to deal with immature trolls who try to cause problems in the public areas of Kaneva.  Love him or hate him, Corelli has to deal with a lot of shit – almost all of it is out of his control…. I would suggest to each of you, when you see Corelli in world thank him for bringing your concerns to Kaneva development… this way when you do have a complaint, he may be more apt to get it addressed for you in the future.

If you want to learn more about how to complain and get results – check out this article.

For those Kanevians that celebrate it – have a happy labor day!

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A Glimmer of Hope After the New Kaneva Updates

Posted on August 29, 2008. Filed under: Dealing with problems, World Updates | Tags: , , |

I was finally made aware of a recent post from Corelli (Customer Support Manager for Kaneva) that outlined pretty much what I was asking for –

What is Kaneva going to do about the complaints.  As you know, from my article about how to submit a complaint properly – you always want to ask the company what they are going to do and when.

This is currently what is posted on the thread:

In an effort to keep everyone informed and not have to re-post this in numerous threads, here is the latest news:

We have fixed the issue players were having with zoning, having their credits show correctly, seeing homes/hangouts/other players and items in their inventory, also the log in issue with the 2D web. It was all inter-related and we fixed it without bringing the servers down.

Tomorrow morning we will bring the servers down for fixes to the Try it Before you Buy it issue of not being able to try everything, the “naked” bug related to UGC items, some minor issues with the Catalog and your dance fame level not showing up correctly on the 2D side.

We are already working on the lighting issues for zones not where it is too dark, the dropping through the floors and inability to get to the top of homes/hangouts, the skin tone issue. The current plan is to have these in testing by the middle of next week and HOPEFULLY have them all fixed by the end of next week.

One of the male faces is getting tweaked from the feedback we have received. This may or may not be ready by the end of next week.

When I have more information I will update this thread.

Corelli
CS Manager

Friday morning update: these fixes went in this morning on the live servers:

The fixes to the Catalog Try it before you buy it issues
The fix for the UGC related “naked” bug
Rave state error on the Non Youtube videos is fixed
The dance fame levels are again showing correctly on the 2D side

This afternoon we are doing a patch to fix the collision issues concerning falling through floors

Please make sure to check out the forum post for yourself as it will be updated – Click Here

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