How I experienced the lockout
Before starting with this blog I want to say a huge thank you for all the support and love you're showing to this game, it's really important that I've seen loads and loads of users standing by us even in this ugly situation.
During those troubled days you proved once again how important Charazay is for you and how much you care for it!
It was a Friday night, after a long week and I was out for a drink or two with some very close friends and my brother. The night was a regular one, up to the point that I looked at my phone at around 02:00 and saw that the game was down (again, after a 10day period of previous troubles).
Seeing the error message I immediately understood that something was wrong with the db servers and that it could be more serious than what we experienced in the previous days. It was quite late and I preferred to send an email to the chief technical officer and wait for a response and for the problem to be solved.
At a point around 05:30, seeing no improvement and getting no result, I decided to call lancom's CEO, even if the time was not what one would characterize as proper for a phone call I had to make this call, I had to wake him up.
There we were, I dialed the number and the phone was picked up in a matter of seconds. He didn't seem to be asleep and the sound of the datacenter could be heard in the background... That's when I understood that it was serious and something irregular was going on. He was nervous on the phone but tried to assure me everything was going to be ok as soon as possible; I couldn't do much and just kept waiting till the morning when the second call took place.
A phone-call that made me loose my temper... The first news that we were not going to be online soon had arrived together with potential data corruption (at that point there was no discussion about losses). Hours were passing, I was trying to stay as calm as possible and definitely awake, you (users) were getting angry and nervous (and you were totally justified to do so), I was trying to get as much info as possible from the provider and keep you up to date. News kept getting worse and worse, staying calm was looking like a mission impossible to me at that time, we were facing data losses (even from our backups that are being stored in another storage) and having no access to our setup was not allowing us to neither get a clear picture of the issue, nor change the message on the page, that would keep more users updated. Hours were passing, phone calls with lancom were giving nothing new and we still had no access...
Finally, at some point after more than 48hours we got access to our machines and we started looking for a solution and a possible plan b. By then we had managed to find an older (not too old) version of our database and in a matter of less than 1hour we also managed to recover some of our backups, that were intact. In the meantime, there was a careful coordination of the recovery process in the provider's data center, we had no huge expectations as things might be corrupt, but that was at least something to put some hopes on while working on the plan b.
In the end, after more than 4 "nightmare-ish" days, we were able to have things under control and Charazay was online again bringing a big smile in our faces.
I would like to close this blogpost with a totally different epilogue, saying that I learnt two very important things from this problem. First is related to the game and actually every job or relationship and it goes like that "too much trust (like excessive) and too many expectations (again like excessive) can only lead to troubles". This doesn't mean that trust or expectations should just fly away, but that things have to be "moderated". Second is that no matter how severe a work-related issue seems to be, our (and our beloved ones') health (physical or mental) is way more important and that's the first thing that should be kept in our minds.
Food for thought
I had other things in mind for my next blog (this one) but I've been reading the forums a lot and I've been thinking that it might be time to give it a try and start something new, involving and empowering you, our users.
There are 2 things being discusses lately, 1 is the rookie system and the other is the fan-club.
Let's begin from the rookies part.
It's been one of the most important things in my plans for this game... I have always wanted a really cool and different youth league that would not force to participate but would give you such an option, that means 2 systems and every user being able to choose the one or the other.
We actually at one point discussed a lot within the crew but never went to development and I believe that here we've got a real opportunity that I'll talk about just in a bit.
Second thing is the fan club.
Those who have followed my moves in the game probably know that I have really fought for this script, I believed that it's better (and I still do) than every previous. However I see that many users don't share the same opinion and that the results it gives might be a little too complicated to be understood and should be simplified (for example that in the last weeks promoting teams are already receiving their bonus; users seem to be waiting for an obvious bonus or a higher bonus in the next season (truth is that the bonus continues to be visible in the next season). 1 thing that we have to take into consideration is that this certain part changed quite a few times in the past, creating differences for teams that experienced the one or the other system. To conclude with, I believe that the centre of attention is you, the users, and if you feel improvement is needed we have to offer it to you!
Finally let me demonstrate my thought.
I'd be really interested in forming a group with experienced and passionate users from all over the world that will happily discuss ideas and finally come to a point that we'll be able to create a plan for both matters that seem to be on the top priorities of our user-base (and this could be a first step).
That's all from my side (for now), I'll be looking forward to reading from you and if there's interest to start forming a group!
P.S. I'm not talking about another contributors project, it might look similar, but it's more like teamwork including everybody who feels that can offer something rather than working individually as a contributor.
Online poker- a good way to generate money
This time, our blog won't be Charazay related, but will cover a very interesting and growing topic, educating you about some basic things regarding online poker!
Introduction about online poker
People make use of online poker sites to play poker and earn money. A record shows more than 8 million Americans enjoy playing poker online. With the increase in the number of poker sites more people are joining the pool of enthusiasts who enjoy the game. It also provides opportunity to play with more seasoned players from all over the world. Lots of sites are available now so it becomes difficult to select the best site to play poker. On the other hand, if you are using a Mac or Linux you should use frequent websites which offer cross operating compatibilities or Java based services. Online poker forums are excellent platform for beginners and experts to meet and figure out the finer points of the game.
One of the biggest concerns while playing online is losing the deposit money by playing with established poker players. These sites are regulated by gaming commission and backed by leading financial companies. Online pokers are now dominating the gaming industry by offering round the clock poker tournaments. If you are going to select an online poker room, it is most important to check the internet connection and another requirement for online poker room is the license from a trusted gaming commission. Next you have to check the features of poker room whether the poker room provides the unique features like personalization feature, multi-table feature, operating system compatibility etc.
Online poker software
Online poker software is basically a set of programs designed by the software experts employed at online poker room. Based on the need and knowledge of the player, different online tools and software are available. For example to determine the strength for Hold’em, Stud, and Lowball one of the excellent tool is the pokenum poker hand analyzer, which has the feature of adding cards to the board. Many sites are now in the market in order to sell online poker software. Another factor that needs to be determined while choosing the online poker software is the playability that means whether the games run smoothly without any interruption. Some top names in online poker software are Dave O’Brien’s, iPoker, Wilson, Frugal Gambler Video poker, IRC poker and many more. The biggest online poker room at the moment is Pokerstars. You can download Pokerstars to your PC by following the link (http://www.pokernews.com/pokerstars/).
In case of an inexperienced player, design is most important in order to analyze and understand the game’s various movements at the playing tables, it is also important to check sound standard and display effects. Likewise poker chart software introduced by Ace Analysis Company provides graphics and analysis, which help you record your performance throughout the poker career.
Online poker rooms
Online poker rooms include poker rooms of large online poker and independent poker room. A poker room belongs to online poker network called “skin”. Top name in poker rooms are Prima poker, iGlobal, Tribeca network etc. Always beware of scams and frauds while entering online poker room or playing, some online poker rooms advertise to offer big bonus, more chances to play it free may be a scam. It is always advisable to play in a genuine or respected poker room offering reasonable bonuses. Financial stability, accessible customer services and eases of competition are some other factors that must be considered before selecting online poker room.
Advantages of playing online poker
Online poker method generates huge revenue by three methods:
1. Rake: Rake is a collected from most real money pots.
2. Multi-table and Impromptu: This method is usually specified in tournaments details like real casino tournaments; online tournaments do not cut dealer trip or other expenses.
3. Online poker sites: Some online poker sites like black jack or side bet provide options for players to play against “the hours” for real money
A year in charge
Dear Users, Friends and Colleagues,
It's been a year since I officially took over Charazay (it's a bit more since the unofficial day) but it feels like yesterday. I still remember the ups and downs during negotiations with Leonardo, the moments that seemed like we weren't going to reach an agreement, all that anxiety of the first days (or maybe weeks), all that enthusiasm surrounding the new step in my life, my career and the new step for the game I have always loved so much as a user.
I remember all the good and the bad things and I've got to admit that there were some moments that made me learn things the hard way... For example the first scheduled update with our previous provider. It was all planned well in advance (maybe a couple of weeks) and as it was taking place during my very first days I wanted everything to go perfectly right! But you know what they say... When something can go wrong it will go wrong. That's a lesson I learnt and from that moment I have tried to be very careful with every single decision I make. Nowadays we find ourselves (Since August) with our new provider, Lancom, I believe that you have all noticed the improvement in our performance and stability and I really hope to keep it up that way.
I remember all the good and the bad things I've read in the forums, at the beginning, whenever I read something negative it felt like hell, there were times people looked so terribly angry at the game and us (the crew members) and that had been really demotivating. As time was passing by, I learnt how to filter things and how to get something positive even from a negative comment. I have always wanted to make users feel valued and I have been constantly trying to make that happen, I know that it’s really hard to please everybody and it’s even harder to keep up with the paces we’d all like to see things coming, but I am doing my best to ensure that all changes /improvements are towards the right way.
I remember all the people I got to know through Charazay, users or crew members and I'd like to make a couple of mentions for a few of the people I really want to thank for making Charazay a better game (and my life easier, or sometimes harder :P ).
Lukas, he's been like a right hand to me, being always there to give me his honest opinion, even if it was against mine, moreover he is like a Charazay encyclopedia, remembering by heart things that anyone else would have to search for. For these and for many more, thank you man, I know that you are a very tough judge and when something gets your approval it has to be right ;)
Allen, I got to know him in person and started working with him through the game and that's one of the most pleasant things that happened (probably a nightmare for him though :P ). He's a great guy, a great developer and he's been doing a lot for Charazay, so everybody who loves this game should thank him.
TheOnly, we worked together for about a year, unfortunately he's not a crew member anymore, but there are things I can't forget and the biggest example is all his effort for such a smooth and pleasant migration to lancom. He probably won't read it, but I'd still want to thank him.
EvilMat, I have to admit that from time to time he was a pain in the ass in the forums, but I always saw the passion he had for the game and that's why I approached him. This passion is (or at least seems to be) still burning and that's something we should all highly appreciate.
Jens, he was one of the guys I firstly met in the crew, one of the members I firstly had looong loooooong chats, discussions about what and how should things be done. It's a long time since he left the crew but his contribution to the game has been enormous throughout the years and we shouldn't forget that.
I'd want to personally thank all the GMs, SGMs and CBMs who are constantly helping me and the game improve, it would had really been impossible without you guys, so keep it up :)
I'd also like to thank all the translators who are doing a very important job and are contributing to the game from a position that most times seems to be undervalued!
Finally I'd like to thank all the users for making Charazay what it is, no matter how hard we work or how many things we improve, the game would have been really nothing without you. I really hope that you enjoy Charazay and I promise to keep working harder and harder to please you and keep this game we all love at the top of the world!
I don’t know if I’m a good or a bad CEO for Charazay, if the game has really improved under my guidance, only time (and you) can tell that, but what I know is that I have been trying hard to make this game what it deserves to be and I that I will keep working hard for it.
Thank you for all the good (and the bad moments) and I’ll be looking forward to reading a line from as many of you as possible.
P.S. There are so many bad and good days that I'd like to share with you, but a blog post can't contain it all ;)
Charazay voted as the best online basketball manag
I'd like to personally thank you for helping CBM make it to the top of the basketball related manager games. Despite the fact that we didn't make it to the top overall, this is still a very noteworthy achievement and it wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't you, our loyal users.
You can read the article here: (http://www.onlinesportmanagers.com/article/110-basketball-game-of-the-year-2012-charazay/)
And you can keep voting for us here: