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Spring has Sprung!
Good morning, Alacrites!
I'm going to ignore the literal blizzard outside my window, because the vernal equinox arrived last week and Easter is on the horizon! You asked for this, and we heard you— so in celebration of the new season, we've brought them back:
Easter Custom Auctions!
Click »here« to see all the auction dogs in their kennel
Click »here« to go right to the list of auctions
There are whopping 52 custom dogs up for auction, each one decked out with some delightful Easter items!
A rundown on the details, for the curious:
• There are two males and two females of each breed being auctioned. One of each is being auctioned for bones, and one of each for ala cash. Every single design is unique!
• Each of these pastel beauties would cost 13 bones to create and has 5 secondary markings, along with a white marking.
• Every dog also comes with: 1x Cloud Background, 1x Flowery Meadow, 1x Falling Blue Feathers, 1x Falling Pink Feathers, 1x Falling Yellow Feathers, 1x Easter Bandana, 1x Easter Decoration, 1x Easter Chicks, and 1x Easter Fireflies.
• Bone auctions start at 1 bone, and have a minimum increment of 1 bone.
• Ala cash auctions start at $250, and have a minimum increment of $250. That means you earn enough for one bid every time you retire a dog!
• The auctions will end at roughly 1:30 AM - 1:45 AM, Alacrity time, on Monday, April 2nd, 2018.
For those of you coveting some of those dogs but lacking the bones for them, don't start amputating any limbs just yet! Keep an eye on the bone auctions, and you might just snag some of that sweet, sweet ivory at a discount this week.
Some of you may have already noticed the bone auctions listed below the Easter Customs, but don't just rely on that! Other benefactors (it's Kit, I just mean Kit) will also be fronting some bone auctions, so make sure to check all the bone auctions by going to:
Earthly Goods > Auctions and searching the Bone Auctions at the bottom of the page!
And for anyone more interested in the accessories the Easter Customs are flaunting, you don't have to rely on winning a dog to get your hands on any of it!• Clouds Background can be purchased from The Scenic Route
• Flowery Meadow can be purchased from the Cash Boutique
• Falling Blue Feathers, Falling Pink Feathers, and Falling Yellow Feathers can all be purchased from Decore Galore
• Everyone has a chance to receive the Easter Bandana, Easter Chicks, Easter Decoration, and Easter Fireflies from Random Events which will be running for the next two weeks
...and of course you may be able to snag any of these items from your fellow players through User Shops!
And last, but certainly not least...
Please, I implore you: if you're even half as jazzed for this stuff as I am, go give your appreciation to our wonderful moderator, Bobbie.
Not only did she do 99.9% of the design work on those stunning Easter Customs, but we have her to thank for any of this even getting started.
And, of course, thank you. Things have been pretty quiet around here, and we truly appreciate those of you who have stuck it out for as long as you have.
We hope this brightens your week a little bit as we step into Spring!
Posted by Ehm (#93) on Mar 26, 2018
Well, That Happened.
So, we had a little domain issue there which took our lovely admin, Alan a couple days to resolve.
We are all set and honestly, I'm feeling good about this because, for once, everything worked exactly as it was supposed to - except that weekends exist and Alan doesn't work on them. For the first time in a long time I'm confident in the chain of communication and management of our staff and their ability to be definitive and get things handled quickly, simply and with authority.
The staff definitely deserves a lot of credit for doing exactly what I'd expect them to do in an emergency.
Now, lemme tell you guys what's going on.
First thing's first. Alacrity is NOT shutting down. Not even a little bit, not even kind of. We've gotten confirmation that the site has a future and we're stoked to be a part of it.
That said, it's gonna be an uncomfortable couple months.
I will be devoting about 30 hours a week to getting Ala back on its feet. I'll be doing this free of charge in addition to having 2 actual jobs, so mostly this is gonna hurt me a lot more than it hurts you. This will be a labor of love for this community, born entirely out of a desire to make right the things that have gone wrong for this site through no fault of any of its members.
I'm gonna be honest with you guys - I was never supposed to be the primary coder on this website. I didn't have the skills or the education for it. I was put on staff in 2009 specifically to work on the community side of things. I was a mod who was good at solving problems and I learned enough PHP to solve day-to-day problems you might have. I was only just getting used to riding with training wheels when someone put me on a motorcycle. That said, since it has become apparent that that's going to be my role now, on top of running the site's non-technical aspects, games and staff, I'm stepping it up. I'm getting the knowledge I need to be able to run this game, and Ehm will be my equally skilled, wonderful partner. I'm excited about the stuff Ehm's gonna throw to you guys once we get our feet under us, which I actually feel is finally happening.
I'm not buying Ala, yet. I'd love to. I think it's in our future, honestly. It's not the game I want to make, but it has a solid community and I'd like to grow it and keep it going, and I think, when we do get to a place where I'm making my own game, you guys will like to visit it, even if Ala remains your primary home. When I do buy it, I'm going to pay a coder just dripping with qualifications so we never have to deal with having someone like me working on major code. :P
So, what's on the agenda?
First, we need to fix the dog image bug. I'm working with Alan on that. It really is step zero. Bug fixing is going to have to be a priority right now, as uninteresting as it is for us to not get any new features immediately.
After that, I'd like to implement my new trial script and bank interest feature.
The Trial Script Will increase the range of possible outcomes of a trial (both positively and negatively) and make it more dynamic. This script will not be a permanent fixture, as eventually the trial system will have to be entirely rebuilt to make it more fun and accessible, but I think it's a good stopgap measure and will take us to a more enjoyable place.
The bank interest issue has been less ironed out, but, basically, we need something for the multi-millionaires of Ala to do with their money, so that the site continues to be interesting for everyone. What, after all, is the point of striving for progress if the top is meaningless? Right now I'm not sure what form this will take, but it will probably involve a high cap on the amount of interest you can collect weekly, but also give you a feature like a stock market or some sort of dog agility investment system. Again, these are just ideas, but I really want people to not get to a point where they have so much money there's no sport in the game anymore.
How Can We Help?
I want to hear your suggestions - especially about the interest features I just mentioned. I spend a lot of time thinking about the ins and outs of site improvements and carefully weigh their benefits, but I'm only one person with only one brain, so my ideas shouldn't be the only ones we go with. When you submit your suggestions to the forum, I'd like to see you've considered the following:
How will this increase the enjoy-ability of this game?
Will it make the game more interesting? Will it make it harder to the point it's not fun anymore? Will it make it easier to the point it's not fun anymore?
Who would be the most negatively affected by this? Would I be okay with this if it was me?
Will this help Alacrity gain users? Will it make the site more profitable? Does it make the site more profitable at the expense of something else?
I also really need bug reports. I know things are broken, but more eyes are always better. There may be a bug I've forgotten exists and maybe it only affects like, 20 users, so it's not something I hear about. I want to hear about it. I want to make an updated master list of all bugs.
That's pretty much all I have for you right now. I'm trying to make sure we don't put too much on our plates so that things get completely solved before we move to the next thing.
I hope this finds you all well and I'm sorry, again, for the outage.
Thank you for your time and continued support. You guys are awesome.
Posted by Kit (#7244) on Jan 30, 2018
Well. This sucks.
I'm sure many of you are wondering just what in the crap is going on with this website lately.
The staff lost access to the file server some time ago - making us unable to enable new features, but on the plus side we still had access to the database, which allowed us to fix errors, refresh images, return items, etc. So we could maintain the site, but the parent company had stripped us of our ability to improve it. We assumed at that time we would shortly hear from a coder, through whom we would be able to request site work. No such coder surfaced.
At least we still had Database access, right?
So, then we lost database access. Now we can't access most of the site's content - notably, we cannot manually reset dog images, move items, set up halloween or really anything else fun or useful. We can maintain the community and access admin tools that were set up waaaay back in 2009, but they are limited.
For the last few months I've also been unable to access even those because I didn't have access to a computer, and the tools aren't really mobile compatible.
The good news is, I have my computer back now and it's largely functional, plus I'm not going to be traveling quite as much anymore (I have been a little bit homeless since the company I was working for went out of business at the end of last year, sleeping at whichever friend/relative's house had spare room) so I have also not been a reliable admin, and, for that, I do apologize. This site is on my mind constantly, and having my hands tied when it comes to fixing it (or making it better) is extremely frustrating.
I have again made an attempt to contact the parent company so that we may regain use of the tools we need to make the site go, and I hope that will resolve in our being restored full functional access.
In the meantime, our staff team has sadly flagged in size as their ability to assist our users has waned. We are down to a few mods and helpers and 2 admins - myself and Ehm. Ehm is, of course, wonderful and does the very best a person can to keep us going in these irritating circumstances.
I want to thank you guys for sticking with us, and I really, really, REALLY hope to have good news soon. Your continued dedication given our flaming dumpster fire of a situation will not be forgotten when we finally have something to reward it with.
Posted by Kit (#7244) on Nov 08, 2017