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Unmatched Plays

Posted by: crux42 - Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:30 pm
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Unmatched Plays 
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Post Unmatched Plays   Posted on: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:30 pm
Does anyone know what happens when you make predictions for the next day's weather that go unmatched?

I set up nine predictions yesterday morning and only five of them were matched by midnight last night. The unmatched one's still say 'unmatched', even though the day for which they were predicted is today! Will I regain these somehow? Do I automatically win? (yeah right). I emailed spaceshot, but they have not written back...


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:25 am
Don't know what happens in that case, but let us know what happens! Is there not enough people playing or is there a glitch in the matrix? :shock:


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:56 pm
It kicks back in as a 'nevermatched' play that you can reuse, although it takes another day for that to happen.

As for 'are there not enough people playing'...I'm not sure. The site does not offer any stats on players or number of plays in action, all of which I would be interested in seeing. Today I submitted: three level 3 predictions, four level 2 predictions (nevermatched from yesterday's play); and six new level 1 predictions. So far only two of my total 13 active predictions have been matched.

I am quite surprised by this. I would have suspected that there would be more than enough people interested in a $3.50 shot to fly into space to keep this game rolling at high-speed. Perhaps greater media outreach by SpaceShot is needed, as well as more player promotion...


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:21 pm
crux42 wrote:
I would have suspected that there would be more than enough people interested ...
This may be an indication of how little interest the general public really has in space.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:32 pm
I don't think that is it...although no one has yet pointed to any stats for the site, I imagine that there are more than enough people in the US interested in a $3.50 suborbital flight than is necessary to get the ball rolling on the game. Since I posted about an hour ago only one more of my 13 plays have been matched. This would be too low if only the members of the Flat Earth society were allowed to play!

I think the reluctance to play is related to:

insufficient promotion in the general media (not just space enthusiast media)

Wait and See attitude/general skepticism of any site that wants a credit card

The slightly uninviting web design and user interface

I applaud Spaceshot for what they are doing, but these are areas I would work on to improve the number of new players. Especially the later part. I don't need patronizing images of hot-chicks in a space suit to get me to play, I want to see that the site is serious through good design, game statistics, and a solid user-inteface.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:24 pm
I resisted posting "nice spacesuit" several times already. :wink: :wink:
Doh! Now I posted it. :(
Oh well, now that THAT is out of the way...
I haven't played yet myself. I'm not sure why. It is probably a combination of the off-putting web site, aversion to giving out a credit card number online (as if I had never done it before :roll:)(but I still don't like to) and long odds of winning.


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Post Matching rules   Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:41 pm
Plays are matched every ten minutes. If you are still unmatched after ten minutes that means that there was no one queued and no one has played. Plays are matched according to time of play within the same level. Players that play many plays late in the day run the risk of having those plays unmatched. If you are experiencing too many unmatched plays, consider playing at least a portion of your plays earlier in the day.


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Post Unmatched plays   Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:53 pm
When a play goes unmatched, our standard operations are to create a new unused play during our maintenance period that is from midnight to 6:00 am Eastern time. We truncate this maintenance period both directions to 3:30 am Eastern time which is roughly the time that the National Weather Service F-6 for the KNYC station gets posted. Between midnight and 3:30 am, we release the unmatched plays from the day before to become new unused plays that can be used again the very next day. Players can track that their "daughter play" has been successfully credited to their account by 6:00 am Eastern time by looking at the play detail of the parent play that was never matched. A new play with the correct play id should be in your user list. If it is not, fill out a ticket in our help system and we can verify or correct any discrepancy.


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Post Re: Unmatched plays   Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:10 pm
dinkin wrote:
Players can track that their "daughter play" has been successfully credited to their account by 6:00 am Eastern time by looking at the play detail of the parent play that was never matched.

Can you explain the "daughter play" and "parent play" in more detail? And why the terminology?


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Post Site stats, players, outreach   Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:14 pm
Have patience in the gathering of players to play. We have had one MSNBC article on the web, Instapundit and Fark.com tech section. We were also covered by Fox TV in Oklahoma City. We were also extensively covered in the space press, The Space Review, Transterrestrial Musings, Hobby Space, and SpaceToday.net. These generated 5000 visitors on Monday. These generated 500 signups. 500 is sufficient if these people purchase every day to award one seat by the end of the year and another seat by the time Rocketplane finishes test flights.

We need to get the word out further. If you know someone in media, point them to our press page. We will be going to the Space Access conference in two weeks and ISDC the first week of May.

We will be continuing to stress media outreach. We are surprised Space.com has not had anything on us and are also looking for a mention in Space News, and Space Daily. The conflict with the Colorado FAA conference may be why they are slow. Leonard David covered us in November before we had a product, so it is just a matter of time.

The accolades are coming in. We received a congratulatory press release from Rocketplane today. Expect more.

If you can tell your local newspaper why SpaceShot is the key to opening space for everyone, that may be the breakthrough piece that gets us into the national media. There is a full press kit in the press section under our April 3 release.

In addition to working the phones to try to get our story placed in print, blogs and TV, we are trying some innovative approaches. There is a listing on Craig's list for the service. We also posted a wanted ad for astronauts which was taken down. We also have an auction for a level 9 seat on eBay.

You all can help by telling your friends. Only 200 people downloaded our video on Monday so that might be a good thing to link to which we uploaded to CNet, Google and YouTube and can now be found on our home page. You can also help by digging the story about us on digg.com. Telling your friends only speeds the award of flights because each tournament has the exact same number of entries sold.

Hang in there folks. Rome was not built in a day. There are players who are playing. Many who played on Monday did not play on Tuesday, but waited until Wednesday to see how they did with their original predictions for Tuesday. We should see this rhythm even out over time.

Trust that we will "mutate like the flu" and improve the value proposition if we do not get sufficient demand with our current setup.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:27 pm
Ah...didn't mean to sound hyper-critical, especially not in the area of low turnout so far. Although I do think a near-term goal should be revamping the look and UI of the site.

As far as predicting early, I did place my predictions around 11am pacific time, some of which still have not been matched almost five hours later. If it is a que system then this just reflects lack of participation today...

I too was curious as to why space.com had not mentioned anything so far. They're usually all over such stories.

Anyway, keep up the work Spaceshot...and I, for one, will get the word out. Despite these small grumblings, I'm glad someone is doing something to open space tourism to the masses.


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Post UI   Posted on: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:53 pm
Crux: what improvements would you like to see in the UI?


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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:26 am
I too would like to say that I don't mean to be over critical. Don't get me wrong, I think it is awesome to have a chance to go to space for only 3 bucks! I simply had a different idea in my head when I heard "online game". (Guess I play too much playstation!)
We do need to get more people playing though. I doubt that everyone playing is going to buy entries everyday all the time. You could easily spend thousands of dollars a year. I don't think the average person has that kind of money to spend. But once people start actually winning and going to space, the numbers of people playing will "skyrocket!"
The only thing I'd really like to see added to the site is a page everyone can visit to see different stats like, who's playing, who's won or lost, level status, etc.
8)


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Post Parent and Daughter Plays   Posted on: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:32 am
A parent play is a play that generates another play. That can happen by winning, tieing or going never matched. In any of these three cases, a new unused play is created. In the case of winning, the play is at the next higher level (or if you are at level 17, you generate a ticket to space and $100,000 cash). In the case of of identical plays, the new unused plays at the same level are credited to the users accounts immediately. In the case of never matched plays, new unused plays on the same level are credited on the day after the prediction between midnight and 6 AM. If there is a tie because predictions are equidistant from the National Weather Service readings, then that is resolved between roughtly 3:30 am and 6 am two days following the prediction.

We would like to have a tournament bracket feel to the tournament and parent and daughter relationships allow us to track which were the approximately quarter million plays that allowed the winner to get to and win the finals.


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