10/23/2004 3:28pm

Steve Cook is at it again! Check out the all-new Japan map on the Fracas page. Thanks once more, Steve!

I also wanted to share a funny quote I got from Peter Lynn this week:

Matt McIntyre, on Fracas drinking games...
"You lose a country, take a shot of vodka...
you win a country, you take a shot of vodka."

Thanks for the laugh, Peter!

6/18/2004 4:48pm

Nothing like a year between site updates, eh?

Between buying a new house and starting a new job, my life couldn't really get more cramped. But things are settling down and I'm beginning to think about how to structure a .NET version of Fracas. I do know it will be entirely rewritten from the ground up, and network play will be planned from the start (as opposed to hacking some crap in there at the end like last time...) I have already started building up a library of common stuff for some other projects, like a neat sprite engine, and I intend to keep working on this as I find time.

Thanks to everyone who's sent in a "where the hell did you go?" Email. I appreciate that! And the answer is: to a new house, with a new job, minus one dog...and the list is longer than that.

I'd like to thank General Kruge for sending in a map of the Risk board and another of Middle Earth!

Also a thank you to Rare for submitting a map of the United States.

Go grab these on the Fracas page!

9/07/2003 9:21am

We regret to report the passing of Ozzymandia Von Donut, aka Ozzie, pictured above right. After a long battle with cancer, we finally put the old girl to rest. Thanks to everyone for their support.

7/02/2003 8:19pm

For those of you who are asking, YES, another version of Fracas is planned, but nothing in the near future. I'm working on some other projects at the moment and I'm neck-deep in my day job (which pays real money, so I gotta stock that up!) Thanks for the support you've shown over the last year. I had a spare moment today, so I finally updated the DVD list.

12/04/2002 8:41am

Another interesting map submission by Steve Cook! This one is a bit bizarre...

11/25/2002 2:17pm

Steve Cook submitted some more great maps! Check them out on the Fracas page. Thanks again, Steve!

11/06/2002 7:39pm

Matthew Beaven reports that Fracas 2.0 works under Linux using Wine! Thanks, Matthew!

8/26/2002 8:37pm

Yet another map submission! Check out Europa Universalis by Little French Man. Click here.

8/17/2002 9:28pm

Thanks to Martin Sohlström for submitting his excellent map of Medieval Europe! Check it out on the Fracas page.

4/14/2002 9:15am

More Fracas 2.0 homebrew maps are available! Thanks to Steve Cook and Augustinas Zemaitis for their takes on Europe and the world.

2/26/2002 5:46pm

Thanks to Aaron Stack and Steve Cook for submitting some of their homebrew Fracas maps! Check them out on the Fracas page.

2/21/2002 7:58pm

I had my rear-end handed back to me in round 1 of the Fracas Challenge. Congratulations to Jim Anderson (and Dylan!) who gets to advance -- and also a big thanks for not laughing too hard. Fracas performed reasonably well from cable modem to cable modem, but we did have some disconnects. I'll need to rethink a few things regarding network comms.

2/2/2002 9:45am

There is now a section on the Fracas page with some maps that have been submitted. If you have a Fracas map you'd like to share, send it on in!

1/18/2002 4:30pm

Pete Holiday has offered to host a Fracas tournament early this year!
Check out the Fracas Challenge page for details.

1/12/2002 5:15pm

Pete Holiday's map editor for Fracas is now available for public download!

Genesis allows you to build your own custom maps for use with Fracas 2.0. Head on over to the Fracas page to grab it.

1/1/2002 3:13pm

I hope everyone out there had a great holiday season! Fracas bug reports have been almost nonexistent and the problems reported have been quite small. This makes me very happy!

The new Fracas surprise is about 99% ready to go...so stay tuned this week! Beta testers will get a 'sneak preview' sometime during the next few days.

11/07/2001 7:45pm

You asked for it, and now you've got it! Thanks to Terry Winfrey for his generous assistance with the new Fracas chat! Click here to chat and meet other players!

10/18/2001 5:11pm

Fracas 2.0 is here! Head on over to the Fracas page to download it.

10/13/2001 1:33pm

The Fracas 2.0 Release Candidate just went out of the pipe! Beta testers will be checking it over for any last-minute changes, and the final version will be available to everyone probably by the middle of next week. I've said this before, but:


to all the beta testers for their valuable time in finding and reporting bugs. Fracas 2.0 is going to be one hell of a good game, and mostly because of you guys. Thanks again!

10/05/2001 4:37pm

Thanks so much to Pete Holiday for generously donating some server space to keep smozzie.com functional during Time Warner's outage. This should only be temporary and hopefully we'll be back home soon. In the meantime, version 2.0 of Fracas is almost complete! I anticipate a release within the month.

09/27/2001 9:47am

Sorry about the problems with www.smozzie.com -- it turns out that Time Warner has blocked all traffic on port 80 to isolate folks who've been hit with Nimda. So in the meantime, we're serving on port 8080. Sorry again for the inconvenience, and we'll be moving back to port 80 once they figure out how to run virus scanning software. Kind of makes me want to shell out the big bucks and move this site to a larger server instead of running it from a cable modem!

09/27/2001 9:47am

Fracas 2.0 update: Now that I'm in between jobs, I'm cleaning things up for the final release of Fracas 2.0. I didn't get a single vote to wait for better AI, so I'm taking what I have for the final version. There are a handful of minor issues to fix (see the Fracas 2.0 BETA page for details) and one more surprise I'm trying to add, and then it will be done! Hopefully you won't have to wait too much longer. Beta testers will have one more release candidate to look at.

09/11/2001 5:45pm

Why is our background black?

Our background is black in condemnation of the incidents in New York that occurred today and incidents that are still occurring there and in the Middle East. Go to your favorite news site to get details.

There just aren't enough adjectives to describe what's happened today, but I will say that I wish all warfare were conducted only inside of computers in simulations. If you have Fracas running right now, please close it. It's a terrible reminder of what's happened and what we have in store for the next few days.

09/06/2001 4:25pm

Yep, it's official! I turned in my 2 weeks notice at my company today and I'll be starting a new job on October 1st. If you've been wondering where the site updates have been lately, well ... that's where. This move has taken a lot of my time and energy and I'm glad that it's over now. So where does this leave the Fracas Beta cycle? That's a good question. I haven't done much on it in the last month. But first of all, let me say that I have no intention of aborting BETA 3 and that I will bring the project to a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion. But depending on what my time looks like in the next few weeks, it may get delayed a bit more. There are two prevailing options here:

1. Keep the current beta testers in limbo until BETA 3 is released.
2. Release Fracas 2.0 BETA 2 (with a few fixes) as Fracas 2.0 and do a total replanning for Fracas 3.0, which would be mostly an AI update.

Why not drop me an Email and let me know what you think? Fracas has been shaped by popular opinion many times in the past, so your feedback may help me decide.

08/10/2001 5:45pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Fracas 2.0 BETA 2 is now available to beta testers! If you're a beta tester, check your Email for instructions. Also, the new message board is available at http://pub89.ezboard.com/bfracas.

07/30/2001 12:20pm

Fracas 2.0 update: IT'S DONE. However, BETA 2 will become available only to beta testers on August 11th. The reason I'm waiting another week and a half is simple: I'll be on vacation next week, and I won't be around in case something calamitous happens with Fracas or the web server it'll be served from. I'd hate to come back to thousands of "Why can't I download it?" E-mails only to find that we had a power outage in the interim. Besides, this gives me a few more days to test, test, test. You want a game that works, right? Thanks for understanding.

07/17/2001 6:45pm

Fracas 2.0 update: I'm headed for a BETA 2 release around the 11th of August, which is a Saturday. That gives me a few more weeks to clean things up. The new Terraform and Options dialogs are in place, and now I'm just testing and tweaking as I go. If luck holds, we'll also have map editing functionality! Stay tuned.

07/13/2001 6:10pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Network play is done! All the planned features are there and they appear to work well....although beta testers may have something to say about that. Seriously, it's better than I thought it would be, and I'm hoping you guys with multiple machines will have a lot of fun with it. In the next two weeks I'll be tightening some other things up and putting all of the map and game options on real dialogs. Time to get rid of all of those menu-checks.

07/08/2001 1:35pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Things are going well for a beta release in August! Network play is almost completely implemented and I'm just tightening things up as I test it.

I've also discovered that coolboard.com, the host of the Fracas message board, has been discontinued. Apparently anything posted to the message board in the past has been lost. Wonderful. I guess that's one of the risks you take when you use a free service like that. I'll be looking into an alternate board service so we can keep those discussions going. Sorry for the inconvenience.

07/04/2001 10:15am

Happy 4th of July! I've had quite a productive holiday. Message queueing is finally working, and man does it work well. Fracas is now playable over a LAN! Granted, there are still quite a few missing features, like resigning and renaming countries, but the messaging system is stable. I anticipate BETA 2 to be released sometime in August. Stay tuned!

06/27/2001 6:20pm

Added the new and improved DVD page so I can keep track of who's borrowing our DVDs. Also did some other minor website tweaks.

06/26/2001 6:15pm

Network play is progressing well! You can host a game, up to 5 people can join it, and you can now see the map on all six machines! There's still some tweaking to do, but things are coming along nicely. Soon I'll be working on player movements over the LAN.

We've been invaded by the mother-in-law's dogs this month. Check out the Animals page for details.

06/16/2001 8:15am

Fracas 2.0 update: Nailed that nasty bug in BETA 1.5 where a country would revert to the unoccupied color, yet still be 'owned' by someone. Thanks to Chris Gallagher for the saved game that led me to it! Ganah also reported how to reproduce this problem on the Fracas Message Board. To reproduce, just open up the graphics options dialog. Only the country with ID 1 will be affected though, so you won't see it happen until that country is occupied.

06/08/2001 6:20pm

Fracas 2.0 update: I'm getting lots of repeat reports from beta testers. This is a good thing because we're narrowing down things that need to be looked at. By far the most serious issues are performance problems under Win2000 and the occasional crash during computer turns. I need to contact Microsoft support for the performance problems, and I'm deferring all AI crashes until beta 3, when we have better AI. That should allow me to concentrate on network stuff for the time being. But I'd still like to hear about any and all problems that you encounter. Thanks again beta testers! All of you are awesome.

As for network play, I have things working and almost to the point where clients can join a game that the server has started. There's a bit more handshaking to do, and I want clients to be able to specify their own game name, but things are coming along slowly and smoothly. No bumps yet -- the Winsock 5.0 ActiveX control is pretty easy to use.

05/30/2001 7:15pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Two big pieces of news today!

First: Fracas 2.0 BETA 1.5 is out the door! Beta testers should be getting an Email soon.

Second: Stop by the Fracas discussion board and meet fellow Fracas junkies!

05/23/2001 7:10pm

Fracas 2.0 update: I've been knocking out bugs that have been reported for the first beta and making good progress. Thanks again to everyone for their valuable input!

I think once I resolve most of the performance issues, there will be a new beta to download. The reasons are simple: I'd like to get as much test time on these fixes as possible, and I want people to actually *want* to play the beta without it being too frustrating. So Fracas 2.0 BETA 1.5 will be coming soon, say within a week. Beta testers stay tuned!

05/21/2001 4:53pm

I've gotten some great feedback on the first Fracas beta! I want to thank everyone who's contributed. There is a new table up on the Fracas 2.0 BETA page which I'll use to summarize the new incidents as they come in. I'll try to knock some of these out before I get too deep into the networking goodies.

And unfortunately, I did get some crash reports -- back to the drawing board, I guess.

05/19/2001 4:40pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Beta 1 is released! If you're a beta tester, check your Email for instructions on how to get the beta. Now on to network play...

05/12/2001 11:30pm

Fracas 2.0 update: I'm planning to release BETA 1 on Saturday, May 19th. If you're a beta tester, you'll get an Email then with instructions for downloading the beta.

05/07/2001 8:05pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Statistics are in place and I'm putting the final touches on the scoring system. For details, you can go to the Fracas 2.0 BETA development log.

05/02/2001 9:05pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Beta testers rejoice! We're definitely on the way to a mid-May release of Fracas 2.0 BETA 1. Saved games appear to be working (!) and the multiple map resolutions are in place. I'll be tweaking the statistics and scoring systems until then, and cleaning up a few other things as well. Then you folks will actually have something to do! At any rate, the Fracas 2.0 BETA page is starting to look much greener.

Thanks again for all of the (very) kind feedback you've been sending. I thought I'd share a comment from Adam Vollmer that made me laugh out loud:

To: Jason Merlo
From: Adam Vollmer
Subject: Fracas

It makes me its bitch.

Yes, you heard me.

That is all.

04/24/2001 6:00pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Things are going well! I think I'll get multiple map resolutions working, save map and save game options, scoring at endgame, and high score lists done before I put out the first beta. That's probably about 2-3 more weeks of work and should put BETA 1 out around mid-May. Thanks again for all of your support!

04/13/2001 5:30pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Sent out the first beta tester Email. If you're a beta tester, be looking for it soon. At this time I think I'm done signing people up -- but if you really, really want to be on the beta list, Email me and we'll talk.

04/10/2001 7:35pm

Added some hilarious pics to the Animals page. Mac is possessed by a demon today.

04/06/2001 5:25pm

Fracas 2.0 update: I'm shooting to have the introductory beta tester Email out on Friday, April 13th. This Email will detail how I plan to hold betas, and things I'd like the testers to look for. It will also be a hi-how-have-you-been for some people who haven't visited recently, and give them a chance to get out while they still can...

Some people have asked when the first beta will be released. The simple answer is I don't know yet. I plan on knocking out most of the bugs that won't require heavy thought very quickly, and adding some of the simpler graphic features first. Once I have that down, I'll be digging into the complicated stuff like AI. Just guessing, I'd project the first beta release in a month or less. It's possible I'll have a bugfix release sooner than that, but it all depends on what I find wrong and the time available. I'm posting this here so that prospective beta testers will know that the development cycle could be lengthy. However, I'm going to try to keep it under six months total. Our new goal: Fracas 2.0 by Christmas!

Also, more suggestions for the new version have been trickling in over the last week, and have been added to the Fracas 2.0 BETA page. Thanks for the feedback!

04/02/2001 6:48pm

Fracas 2.0 update: Thanks to all of you for the great beta tester response over the last week! I've got almost 100 people signed up, which is probably plenty. I'll accept requests (applications?) for another week and then fire out the initial Email.

In the meantime, I've compiled the list of features to add and bugs to remove on the Fracas 2.0 BETA page. Head on over there if you'd like to see what's in store!

03/27/2001 9:15pm

Fracas 2.0 update: I'm compiling a list of features I want to add and things to be fixed. I should have it complete soon, and I plan to post progress updates here.

Also, I'll be looking for beta testers in the near future. If you've already sent me an Email for whatever reason, you'll be added to the list of prospective beta testers. If you'd like to be a beta tester, please fire out an Email to the address below and let me know! I can't promise money or fame, but I can promise a mention in the Fracas 2.0 credits. I'll fire out an Email with details soon, and I'll post a heads-up right here before I do.

03/03/2001 6:35pm

Welcome to the new and improved Smozzie.com! We've moved to a dedicated server and redesigned our site. With the success of Fracas 1.1, Smozzie has become a much more popular place and we needed a more professional look.

The emphasis of the new Smozzie.com will be on our games. We believe in one fundamental principle:

If you haven't downloaded Fracas 1.1 yet, please visit the links on the left. You'll be glad you did. And for those of you who are already Fracas junkies, stay tuned this year for version 2.0 -- network play over LAN and improved computer AI are on the way. To tide you over, you might also be interested in Boing, the new strategy game from Smozzie.

So thanks for coming! Stay tuned to this page for weekly progress updates on Fracas 2.0 development. And as always, feel free to offer your comments, suggestions, and criticisms to Jason at the contact address below.

Please address all Emails to Jason at jmerlo@austin.rr.com.