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29th December 2001
Welcome back - we hope you've all had a nice Christmas, and we hope you got all the presents you asked for ;) We've been away for a week, but hopefully things should be back to normal by now.
Here's something you can do to directly help our company - go to this link:
At that site - Gaming Excellence - you will find that Uplink has been nominated for three awards - "Strategy game of the year", "Best presentation of the year" and "Game of the year". Note the word "Nominated" - we need you to pay a visit to that site and vote for us. Polls apparently close "Early January". Who knows...we might win something.
Gaming Excellence reviewed Uplink a few weeks back and gave us 80% - click here to read the full review.
22nd December 2001
There is a new interview with us guys, posted up on bluemonday.cc. Click here to read it. A full review is promised soon. This interview has also been linked on bluesnews, which is excellent as it means the big sites are finally taking notice of us.
20th December 2001
It's been a hectic few days. You're probably aware that we went down again - this time for quite a bit longer. This wasn't actually due to the slashdot hit of a few days ago. We decided to make the move to our new server, but thanks to a couple of DNS problems we ended up shutting down the old site before the new one was up. Sorry about that.
So, fingers crossed, everything should be back to normal now. Our emails are now working (sorry to all those people who found emails to us were bouncing back). I've fixed the patch download links. The forums are working. Welcome back!
I've finally been able to pull the webstats out of our old site, and they make for pretty interesting reading around the time of the slashdot effect. Take a look at this picture from our webstats:
This is take from Saturday, 15th December. You can see our normal saturday hit rates last until 5pm - roughly 200 uniques an hour. We're pretty happy with that. Then the slashdot article goes up, and our hit rate soars to 2400 unique visitors in one hour - more than one new person every two seconds. About one hour after that, (around 8:30pm) the site goes down completely. We didn't notice for a while, since the entire Introversion Software team was sat in a bar outside London, getting increasingly drunk. Ah well.
It's amusing to note that we are still three times over our normal hit rate after this, even though our site server is down. This is caused by people accessing the site through cached web pages - either on their own computer or on their ISP webcache systems. Amazing.
Well, this is why we wanted to move to a new server, and we've done that now. We're pretty confident we will do a little better this time. In hindsight we should have moved earlier - we knew we had a high chance of appearing on slashdot, because we were on newsforge and linux.com the day before.
17th December 2001
All change at the Introversion Software tower - we have moved web servers. We are now running on a dedicated web server, rather than sharing with other companies. We've actually been planning this for a while, but never quite managed to get it sorted. The recent slashdot incident just made us hurry up. If you are reading this then you are looking at the new server.
As a side effect of this, things might be a little odd for a day or so while the Internet updates. You might see our old site pop up - or the old forum. We might lose a couple of emails as well. Sorry about that.
16th December 2001
I now understand what people mean when they say "the slashdot effect".
As you might be aware, Uplink has been doing the rounds at a couple of big sites including slashdot. Unfortunately our web server just collapsed under the weight, for several hours. We were getting twenty times our normal visitor count from the slashdot link alone.
So if you've come back after seeing our highly amusing "permission denied" sign then welcome - we're glad you stuck with us. Try out the demo, have fun, tell us what you think, tell all your friends what you think, and hopefully buy the game ;)
Here are the new articles from the past couple of days:
13th December 2001
7th December 2001
Uplink at Evil3d (8:21pm GMT)
We've been honoured by the Underdogs "Hall of Belated Fame". Click here to have a look at their site. The Underdogs is a fantastic site with tons of classic games that you have probably never heard of. I would certainly recommend "A mind forever voyaging" - an incredibly imaginative game in which you play a human being who is informed at the very start that he is actually a machine AI. Great stuff.
The Underdogs also has The Scratchware Manifesto - a deeply critical observation of the modern games industry, and a statement of intent to do something about it. This is required reading for anyone thinking about making games. Here is a quote:
We will work in the white-hot ferment of our own imaginations, striving to produce games of enduring merit, games so fine that generations to come will point to them and say, this, this was important in the creation of the great artistic form we know as games.
We will create, through sheer force of will, an independent games revolution, an audience and market and body of work that will ultimately redound to the benefit of the whole field, providing a venue for creative work, as independent cinema does for film, as independent labels do for music.
We reject the machine. We reject the retail channel. We reject big budgets and big teams. We reject $50 boxes of air. We reject end-caps and payments for shelf-space. We reject executives and producers who don't understand what they sell. We reject timidity. We reject the notion that "we know what works," and commit ourselves to finding NEW things that work.
5th December 2001
Couple of items (12:21am GMT)
We will be moving to a new web server any day now - if the forums/site go down for a few hours, don't worry about it.
2nd December 2001
Uplink at pcgcentral.com (12:42pm GMT)
BloodKnight's review has finally gone up on pcgcentral.com. Click here to read it. We've been waiting for this one for what seems like weeks. The review is pretty critical of the graphics and sound but we get an excellent score overall. That's another one for the list.
Uplink desktop theme (12:44pm GMT)
Just noticed that a Windows desktop theme has been created (saw the post on Downlink). You can see a screenshot here, and if you want to use it you'll need to download desktopX and the theme. I particularly like the way the "accelerate time" buttons have been changed to music controls.
The last of the bedroom programmers (12:56pm GMT)
So, month two is out of the way and we are still running. Frankly it still amazes me. I think it's a testament to Mark and Tom (who handle all the biz stuff) that we are still going strong, despite the abundance of swearing matches and abusive phone calls that we enjoy making to each other so much. It's all part of the fun.
Right now we are pushing hard to get the bonus disk finished in time for Christmas - it would make a lovely little present after all. I know lots of people are waiting for bug fixes - they will be coming soon as well, but right now we've promised the bonus disk to a lot of people and we want to get that out of the way.
Once again i'd like to restate our request that you help us out by spreading the word about Uplink to the major gaming websites. Make a list of the top 5 gaming sites and write to each one of them in the most glowing terms you can manage. If you don't know what the major gaming websites are, then may I suggest you visit www.yahoo.com and click on the "Games" button. We've already had one confirmed hit with this method from gamespot.com, who wrote a review of us which was linked on bluesnews. The guys at the office (my day job) finally rumbled me after that link, since my name was posted on bluesnews for all to see. I was kind of enjoying the anonymity until then.
Anyway, if these sites get enough excited emails from people telling them about this new game called Uplink then they will eventually have a look themselves, at which point they will decide they hate the damn game ("its graphics suck!") and will promptly rip us to pieces in a scathing review which will be posted all around the world for everyone to see. All publicity is good publicity ;)
Uplink is a trademark of Introversion Software