Sunday, September 9, 2007

Half a year later...

At the point of writing, Rankk's membership just hit 700! When this blog was created, I remember we had about 40 challenges. That number has nearly trebled to 118, with two challenges created by our members, valsa and quangntenemy.

During the last six months, several transitional changes were made. At first, you were able to progress one challenge at a time in a strictly linear fashion i.e. challenge 1 to challenge 2, challenge 3 to challenge 4. That was reformed to make it into a hybrid of linear and scatter structure so you could attempt any challenge on the same level. So if you were on Level 4, you could solve any one of the six available challenges in any order. That was less restrictive than the strictly linear structure but it still had problems.

Around that time, we were appproaching the maximum of 45 challenges. A member, i_need_help, started a thread to enquire about what happens after that. He suggested a second face of the Pyramid. That got us thinking about what to do after we completed all the 45 challenges. But that was all - we didn't have a solution.

And then we hit 45 challenges - a dead end.

So we brainstormed for solutions and came up with a points system. Essentially, we needed to move away from linking the number of challenges to the shape of the Pyramid.

So we overhauled the challenge rendering engine which took us about a week or two. At the end of it, a points system was introduced and the new ranking formula uses points rather than the number of challenges solved.

For sure, we didn't come up with all the ideas for the changes. A good number of members provided very useful feedback and we acted on it. Their suggestions and helpful advice can be read on Rankk's forum.

One of the nicest additions must have been the Private Message. There were a number of requests for it on the forum and we eventually got one out. Hopefully it will encourage greater interaction amongst the members, and not be abused for "trading hints" ;)

We see about 2-3 new players per day now which is quite encouraging. A few of our members have also blogged about Rankk: Everlasting Wanderer, No sleep for you and Delphi Area.

Oh, the "hardest" challenge (9/1) was first solved by valsa on 2007-08-22 22:04:35.

That's all for this update. Hope the next one won't be six months later!