• Dave (unregistered)

    And?

  • Reverend (unregistered)

    They solved the scalability problems by making the system scale down.

    Brillant!

  • Marc (unregistered)

    Why am I reading this again?

  • mtgoplayer (unregistered)

    Anyone that has been involved with Magic Online knows that this is something that could have an article written on it DAILY. This past weekend there were "free" tournaments online, and guess what..... Server crashes with the increased player load (and there are far less total players than the V2 system would buckle under).

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    Virtudyne is finally dead... err I mean... SimDesk. Because we all know that SimDesk is not Virtudyne. No sirree.

    On a semi-related note, expect a slew of WTFs for the new 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons - Wizards has several vaporware software things up to aid the game, most of which will probably be really buggy and only work on Windows (already a fair amount of bitching due to that, and rightly so).

    Wizards of the Coast is terrible when it comes to software.

  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Virtudyne is finally dead... err I mean... SimDesk. Because we all know that SimDesk is not Virtudyne. No sirree.

    On a semi-related note, expect a slew of WTFs for the new 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons - Wizards has several vaporware software things up to aid the game, most of which will probably be really buggy and only work on Windows (already a fair amount of bitching due to that, and rightly so).

    Wizards of the Coast is terrible when it comes to software.

    They seem to be pretty darned good at shucking for investment money, though.

  • taylonr (cs) in reply to Marc

    Because it originally was written in the sidebar. It was deemed good enough to make the jump from the minor leagues (forums) to the majors (front page)

  • jesus (unregistered)

    Damn. IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAND!

  • Eric (unregistered)

    It just goes to show how hard it is to find real magic nowadays.

  • zoomg (unregistered)

    The real WTF is the first sentence of the sidebar post.

  • matt (unregistered)

    "I'd paralyse that."

  • ParkinT (cs)

    It sounds like Leaping Lizard became Limp Lizard.

    I hate when that happens
    "That's what SHE said"
  • keeper (unregistered)

    That's the way I like it... Online

  • I walked the dinosaur (unregistered) in reply to keeper
    keeper:
    That's the way I like it... Online

    That's what she said...

  • wtf (unregistered)

    Where was the WTF? Did I miss it? Microsoft did this same thing with Windows XP & vista (and Windows 98 & ME) but it isn't an article on this site.

  • me (unregistered) in reply to Dave
    And?

    Alex is having one of his days.

  • Andy Goth (cs)

    Given M:TG's audience, it would be sufficient to provide a telnet-style text-only interface plus a companion Web site hosting a card art database. It wouldn't take long for players to create their own GUI frontends, at no cost to WOTC.

  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to wtf
    wtf:
    Where was the WTF? Did I miss it? Microsoft did this same thing with Windows XP & vista (and Windows 98 & ME) but it isn't an article on this site.
    What, you missed all four of those?

    Not a very attentive reader, are you?

  • Flash (cs)
    Simdesk Technologies finally closed it's doors on March 31st, laying off its final fifty five employees.
    Wow. Alex gets it wrong and then right all in one sentence.
  • Aaron (unregistered)

    I've used MTGO v3 during public beta and I never had any problems with it -- it played just like the prior versions, didn't crash / lag on me. The UI was pretty good. The only real complaint I had was that installation was kind of a PITA because of patching and whatnot -- but I chalked that up to the "Well, It's BETA" category.

    The whole "3-d graphics" thing from this writeup, I don't know WTF the author was talking about -- the cards were not rendered as 3-d models (i.e. you can't flip them over real time, or see angles, or lighting, etc.) -- The only 3-d portion may have been the tournament layouts, which were previously Diablo-esque in their appearance. But even during beta I never had to deal with either since I just played casually.

    Anyways -- I think this writeup was a bit disingenuous and inaccurate; Even if WotC has been having problems with MTGO.

  • matt (unregistered) in reply to Andy Goth
    Comment held for moderation.
  • matt (unregistered) in reply to matt
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Typo (unregistered)
    Magic was invented my Richard Garfield

    My, my, my, my Richard, What would your mother say?

  • dwarf74 (unregistered)

    Any electronic release WotC handles will inevitably fail.

    D&D 3rd Edition had eTools. It was a fiasco. No, really - it was intended for simultaneous release, but wasn't available until 2 years after release, significantly pared down and less useful than ever expected.

    Now, with D&D 4th edition, their "DDI" - basically online tools and whatnot - is not ready for launch. I expect most of the much-touted capabilities will turn out to be vaporware. It's a good game from what I can see, but once again - the electronic version isn't working at all.

  • Paul W. Homer (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Erick (cs)

    When I was into Magic, Apprentice and Magic Workstation were the best third-party Magic apps around.

    Cons: Everything was done manually. New cardsets were released in patches and updated by hand. No rules checking was implemented. This meant that card interactions, life counters, creature damage, floating mana and the turn flow were updated by hand.

    Pros: They worked. They were scalable. They were simply built, usable on any computer. Finally, no need to buy cards! Want to make a fantasy deck with hundreds of dollars worth of rares? Have at it!

    I'm guessing that even now the pros still outweigh the cons.

  • Ben (unregistered)

    Wait. So the WTF was..... things went badly? omg i lol'd

  • Charles M (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Tim B (unregistered)

    I've been involved in a few projects that went completely sideways like this, and in each instance there were two known quantities:

    a) compressed, fixed deadlines b) non-negotiable deliverables

    In each case most of the experienced developers saw failure coming a mile away and got out if they could. The fact is there are a lot of bad developers out there, and there are even more bad management teams that treat software development as a factory process.

  • Mizchief (unregistered)

    Um yea, thats called software development that happens all the time.

    The whole idea of playing Majic on a computer seems retarded to me. If your going to be on a computer why not play something like WOW or make the game a real 3-D interactive game.

  • WC (unregistered)

    Find any random game out there that just upgraded to a new version with many changes and you'll find posts like those in the forums from that time. There are idiots that just can't handle change and will write stuff like that. It's not a valid indicator of failure.

  • Spelling Nazi (unregistered)

    ...finally closed it's doors on March 31st

    oops

  • vt_mruhlin (cs)

    I should probably do more research before applying at companies. I remember sending SimDesk my resume back in like... January? I'm glad they never replied.

  • MrEricSir (cs) in reply to jesus

    What? 9000?

  • Quietust (cs) in reply to taylonr
    taylonr:
    Because it originally was written in the sidebar. It was deemed good enough to make the jump from the minor leagues (forums) to the majors (front page)

    ...except it was posted under "Feature Articles", as opposed to "Best of the Sidebar".

  • anon (unregistered)

    First, why wasn't this anonymized? We called out a real product, with real developers and a real company here. Seems tacky at best.

    Second, half of this post was wrong and the other half opinion based. Version 3 isn't any worse than the previous version. It's just different.

  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • danixdefcon5 (cs) in reply to Erick
    Erick:
    When I was into Magic, Apprentice and Magic Workstation were the best third-party Magic apps around.

    Cons: Everything was done manually. New cardsets were released in patches and updated by hand. No rules checking was implemented. This meant that card interactions, life counters, creature damage, floating mana and the turn flow were updated by hand.

    Pros: They worked. They were scalable. They were simply built, usable on any computer. Finally, no need to buy cards! Want to make a fantasy deck with hundreds of dollars worth of rares? Have at it!

    I'm guessing that even now the pros still outweigh the cons.

    Hm... that sounds much like that "Dueling Masters" game or something like that for the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game.

    It was basically like having a table, as everything (life, card decks, effects, EVERYTHING) had to be updated by hand. So I could've gone to my friend's house as well and ditch the "game" itself. Though it was nice to be able to have a deck full of rare cards, though! :)

  • Joseph (cs)

    4 days without a real WTF. Now I know what withdrawal feels like.

  • Fun Game (unregistered)

    I participated in the M:TG Online beta, and everything was "free". (There were "points" instead of dollars, and you were allocated a certain number per day, but it was free to play.)

    It was a hell of a lot of fun. It was easy to find opponents, and the deck-building tools were just awesome.

    Of course, when it went live and I found out the digital cards cost as much as real ones, I never played again.

    I will fondly remember M:TG Online.

  • johnus (cs)

    Interesting. I took a year of game development class at the University of Washington, and one of the teachers in the later classes, and one of the students that was in the whole series worked for WotC. i wonder if they still work there... :) time to go check linkedin!

  • A Gould (unregistered) in reply to dwarf74
    dwarf74:
    D&D 3rd Edition had eTools. It was a fiasco. No, really - it was intended for simultaneous release, but wasn't available until 2 years after release, significantly pared down and less useful than ever expected.

    And worse, HeroForge did everything eTools did, but better.

    When your insider-info project gets trumped by an oversized Excel spreadsheet, you know you're in trouble.

  • Wouter (unregistered)

    Haha, the WTF today is that the Exchange killer company is now using a Microsoft Live email address for their communication.

  • dwarf74 (unregistered) in reply to A Gould

    Gould: Absolutely. HeroForge is all but essential for 3.5, once you get a few supplements. And really, so much better than any fancy GUI-based application.

    Really, they should just persuade the HeroForge guys to put something together for 4e, then maybe have their in-house staff pretty it up a bit.

  • lolwtf (cs)

    Solution to scalability problems? Drive away your users so they don't overload the server!

  • Potential Employee (unregistered)

    I've been a contract programmer in the Puget Sound area for 10+ years. I've worked at MS several times and many other places. I have no problem getting jobs and getting good recommendations from past jobs I've completed.

    This is a disturbing story to hear about a potential employer. I've interviewed with Wizards a few of times over the years and never quite made the cut, so I always wondered what kind of programming geniuses WERE they hiring if I wasn't good enough. Especially since I have occasionally had to correct or instruct my interviewer.

    On the other hand, from my experience playing the real-world card game, it could be that Magic Online is just a very difficult game to implement and adding more cards and more interactions would have bogged down the original system just as much.

    As far as the manual version, I think that better suits the spirit of the game since that's what you do when you play it in the real world. You make a move and declare that you have X effect. Then your opponent agrees or disagrees and negotiation ensues. Also you don't have to worry about unexpected and novel card interactions not being accounted for during game play.

  • Worf (unregistered)

    I remember beta testing the original Magic online - it was an open beta, and everything was free... but they limited the number of boosters you could buy and stuff like that.

    Seemed kinda hokey to me - you'd send in cards if you didn't want to buy boosters online, and you could trade cards between online and physical forms (not sure if this made it in, but it was rumored).

    Most days, since I didn't play much Magic, was just logging on (always a trial - it was quite busy), buying the maximum booster allocation that day (10 ish), then opening the packs (always fun). They made it like the real thing - you get these shiny packs, then click "open" to open them and they'd magically go into your binder for you to look at them.

  • NoYa (unregistered)

    I had sold all my cards some years before I played the original beta, and thought it was a lot of fun. When it went live, I didn't exactly feel like I had the funds to really compete online, and it was more of a friends experience anyway.

    It's really sad to see that Magic online hasn't fared better over the years. Now I actually have the funds to maybe take it up again - and incidentally earning them building online systems somewhat related to what Magic online is (or should) be running. Amazing with some of the figures; that they can't even maintain more than 6k players online at one time. Sure, the rules in Magic will probably take some server time, but if anything that game is extremely easy to spread out over multiple servers. The DB probably not so easy, but the game servers ... it really ought to be nothing more than throwing more servers at it. Pretty awful, I would have loved to get to architect the system for something like Magic online.

  • Dudley H. (unregistered) in reply to Potential Employee
    Potential Employee:
    ...I've interviewed with Wizards a few of times over the years and never quite made the cut... I have occasionally had to correct or instruct my interviewer.

    Correcting the person interviewing you? Hey, I think I might know the reason the interviewer "lost" your application.

  • Brian (unregistered)

    I like how simdesk.com says you can get in touch with the "Office Killer" using their Live account.

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