What game is this?

We posted a very difficult question to answer. It taxes the very limits of the human mind. Did you want to know the answer?

Here is the answer:

Letters from the Engine Room





Hey guys, 

As Playfire continues to improve and expand, we wanted to start giving you an impression of where the site is heading. I’ve now been on board the Playfire train for around 3-months, give or take, and with Ben having joined last week – see his nice intro post here if you haven’t seen it already - we thought it was a great opportunity to start giving you more of an insight behind Playfire’s hulking metal doors.
To do this we've enslited Lee, GMG's Co-founder and EVP Engineering at Playfire and GMG. He does the tinkering in the system when we want something added, changed or improved, along with his team of Engineers
So without further ado, we’ll pass you over to Lee.

Hey guys,
I wanted the chance to explain to you all the components that make up Playfire on the backend, and what we are doing to improve and, in most cases, completely get rid of the issues you guys have. This particular post is going to focus on our databases.
Playfire has a lot of data. It’s not on the unimaginable scale of Facebook or Twitter, but there’s a considerable amount of stuff here. It’s all split among a number of databases:

- Achievements are stored using a PostgreSQL 9.1 on a single server containing 229 tables containing around 6 million rows each.
- Gaming logs (the “you played game for X and Y hours” stuff) are spread over 4 servers running PostgreSQL 9.1 each containing approximately the same amount.
The rest is stored on a single MySQL server. All of this stuff includes things like social graph data: who follows who, etc. Basically, ‘everything else.’

Ever since we acquired Playfire we’ve wanted to move it to a similar infrastructure that we used to run GMG. They’re technically on the same front end using Python and Django, after all.
But these databases are insanely huge and cumbersome, to say the least. We enlisted some help from the experts – a company called EnterpriseDB – for them to take a look at Playfire’s databases. They tweaked and played with it quite a bit, but the ultimate conclusion was pretty simple: “you need new servers.”
So, the task of moving things begins.

Let’s start with the Achievements, which are one of two reasons why profiles take so long to load for you guys. We have to be very careful when moving this data. We cannot take Playfire offline for 4-5 hours, and doing that could result in any amount of data corruption. It’s unlikely we could transfer it all without experiencing some issues.
To solve it we have to do the following:

1.     Reconfigure the Postgres server to enable replication
2.     Take a hot copy backup of the server to the new location
3.     Restore hot copy at the new location
4.     Set up replication from original server to new one
5.     Let database bed in for a few days
6.     Flip over to reading the achievements from their new home

As it happens, copying that database isn’t proving too fun. We gave up tar’ing it (aka zipping, for the non-Linux users among you) and trying to transfer it. 
We’ve now opted for uploading it to Amazon S3 and downloading it at the other end. This seems to be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes we get to upload at 10MB/s and at others it slows to a crawl at 600KB/s. Fun times.
Once the transfer is done we’ll be able to enable replication. We get to do this without taking anything offline or disrupting the front of Playfire at all. Testing then becomes important; we don’t want to do anything that will slow things down even further. We’ll most likely kick the tyres on it a bit and ensure it’s going to cope with everything we need it to.
After all that is complete, we’ll then transfer the backend server, which gives Playfire the achievements. At that stage we’ll be able to point the website at it and it’ll be far quicker than it is right now, even though the new location is at a data centre in an entirely different part of the world. 
I hope that gives you an idea of where we’re at right now. We’re constantly working to improve the site as best we can. Things take time, but making Playfire a better place for you guys is a huge priority for us.
Cheers,
Lee
Co-Founder GMG, EVP Engineering Playfire & GMG

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Lee will be doing regular posts like this one, focusing on other bits of the site that he and his team are constantly working on at Playfire HQ.
Most importantly, we want to pull back the curtains so that you see the site development occurring as we work on it, even if the improvements are behind the scenes and not immediately visible as new features. Hopefully this first post gives you an idea of what we’re aiming towards, and how our vision for Playfire is going to continue to grow as we work our way into the future.
As ever, let us know if you have any questions and both Ben or I will get back to you as best we can.

Thanks for reading guys,
J, Ben and Lee.

Are you Keane for a new code?

Looking for the latest and greatest Green voucher? We've got a limited weekend-only* code available from right this second! This code will provide 25% off the games listed below.

GMG25-BAWQB-8UQWG


*This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC July 8th 2013. Note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles or physical versions of games.

GMG introduces UK Trade-in

  This year’s E3 show was proof that you are still hugely passionate about retaining the freedom to trade your games, buy pre-owned and continue to own your games as you always have.

With PS4 and Xbox One literally just around the corner the next generation sprint is ramping up, and Green Man Gaming is now offering you the opportunity to trade in your games for instant GMG Credit. This instant GMG Credit can be used to purchase any game on the site – digital download or physical boxed products – there and then in one transaction.

You even have the ability to place a deposit on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, using the GMG trade-in credit locked in your old games - so ease the strain on that wallet and guarantee yourself a place at the next-gen table. What’s more, when you pre-order the PS4 or Xbox One from GMG you will get a voucher for £20 off a Next Gen game so you will have a great discount to use at launch.


Unlike other services, GMG Trade-in is immediate. You’re able to instantly purchase games with the GMG Credit you have earned trading in your loot. Posting your games to us is even simpler, just ship them off to the provided address – free postage for trade-ins over £15 and use a free Collect+ drop off service if your trade-ins are over £50 - and get straight into playing the latest games while we sort out the rest.

But that’s not all! To celebrate the launch of GMG’s new Trade-in service, we’re giving all customers a bonus £2 credit on each game they trade in, which will be credited to your account once your games have been received. Pretty sweet, huh?!

The GMG Trade-in service is exclusive and only available to the UK to begin with, but other markets will be rolled out and announced in due course. We’re excited to continue bringing you brilliant game services – this means you can buy a great game at a fantastic price, track your gameplay free on Playfire and then trade it in for your next gaming adventure.

Out with the old and in with the new? We think so.

Want an example of how it might work?

E.g. Trade in The Last of Us for £23, get £2 additional GMG Credit. Use this to pre-order a PS4 and get £20 off your first PS4 game


Playfire Vulcan Update 0.0.30.0

Hey guys,

Hope you all had great weekends. We updated Vulcan to version 0.29 late last week, but this caused a small number of people to experience problems on start up. These have now been completely rectified in version 0.30.

Please ensure you update, and if you experienced any of the issues reported last week, please use the steps below to manually update Vulcan to avoid any problems.

Manual Vulcan Update

Thanks for your patience guys!
J

Greenmaningrad: Fifth Manoeuvre

Commander, see the reports of the last manoeuvre here.

--

The order is given, within moments your second squad is lined up, just out of cover with the Panzerschrecks ready. The cacophony of explosions as each unit fires on the lower level of the town hall rings through your ears. The debris settles. Upon closer inspection you rest assured you have dispatched the commanding officers of the stationed enemy forces.

As the platoon celebrates the liberating of Greenmaningrad from the hands of the enemy, a lone soldier scales the side of the town hall. Raising the flag of the Soviet Union proudly atop the town hall, Greenmaningrad is ours once again.

Down to your use of guerilla tactics in urban combat, as well as the support provided with a quick radio call-in, the victory belongs to the Red Army today.

The damage done to the town hall will take it’s toll in the rebuilding efforts. Until such time as we can repair the hall the church will become the base of operations. Convoys are already en route to re-supply neighbouring towns under our control. You will remain stationed here for some days more until Greenmaningrad is reinforced.

--

The fight for Greenmaningrad is over, but the war is only about to start. Green Man Gaming takes you to the Eastern Front with Company of Heroes 2.

Daily Square Enix Deals

On top of our weekend deals that are available right now, we've got a number of daily deals going on Square Enix titles! Below is the full list of all the daily deals!  Please note that vouchers will not work on these daily deals.

Available from Friday 1600 UTC for 24 hours, at 75% off
Available from Saturday 1600 UTC for 24 hours, at 75% off
Available from Sunday 1600 UTC for 24 hours, at 75% off
Available from Monday 1600 UTC for 24 hours, at 75% off
Available from Tuesday 1600 UTC for 24 hours, at 66% off

Weekend Deals Deployed

Many, many games are on offer this weekend at Green Man Gaming. Because there's that many, as well as checking out the list below, you should definitely head to the store and see what else is on sale! These deals all end at 1600 UTC June 24th


We also have a 20% voucher available* on hundreds of PC digital titles:

GMG20-6WUSQ-LBC4U



*This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC June 30th 2013. Note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles or physical versions of games.

Playfire Vulcan Update 0.0.29.0

Hey guys,

Our crack-team of coders have been hard at work and the latest version of Vulcan, 0.0.29.0, is now available. It includes the following changes, which improve the communication between Playfire and the client, as well as small changes to the overall UI experience.

- Vulcan now recognizes inconsistencies with details between Playfire and Vulcan. Can fix automatically for user within the Vulcan client

- 2-step authentication for Xbox Live now supported on Vulcan

- Vulcan no longer requires restart after multiple failed log in attempts

- Vulcan installer has been updated. Extra measures now taken to ensure install is successful.

- Minor UI changes implemented on setup

- Network accounts screen completely redesigned


Thanks to all of you who've been trying out Vulcan and helping us continue to test and improve it. Vulcan has been built for you, so we really value your feedback. If you like it, let us know! If you find any bugs or you've got some cool ideas you could think could work with Vulcan, let us know that stuff as well!



Cheers,

J

New addition to the Playfire team

Well hi there; I’m the new guy!

My name is Ben and I’m the lucky sod who’s been tasked with overseeing Playfire. What does that mean? A lot of good things really – you guys are a really cool community and the site has some neat features, but there’s so much more good stuff we could give you. My job will be to lead the development of Playfire, both as a service and as a gaming community. But don’t worry; I’m not here to rip features out or to shove new features you don’t want, down your throat - Green Man Gaming would never let it happen.

Nope, in fact GMG have got a number of changes going on behind the scenes, quite a lot of them you’ll have heard about before, and it’ll be my job to oversee those, make sure they fall in line with what you want from Playfire, and make sure we get feedback from you on these ideas. But most importantly my job is to make sure we all have a cool place where we can hang out and talk about games.

Of course this is not something I can do on my own. The talented Joncol - who you already know and who has quite simply been doing a stellar job so far - will be supporting me in this epic quest.

So, you’ll be glad to know I do a fair bit of gaming – it’d be a bit weird if I didn’t – and I’ve been working in the games industry for a few years now. I’ve been posted at a number of outposts, including Sega, Realtime Worlds (I worked on the ill fated All Points Bulletin), Codemasters, and most recently I was the Community Manager at Square Enix. In my spare time I enjoy long walks along the beach where I debate philosophical issues like what would the world look like if we had Half-life 3?

I’ll be popping on the forums a fair bit, but you can nearly always find me chatting nonsense on twitter. You can follow me at @benbateman where I’ll be talking mostly about games, but also a ridiculous amount of tweets about rock climbing – you’ve been warned.

Oh and one last thing, I’m short on Playfire friends so make sure you add me and I'll add you back. https://www.playfire.com/radMonkey

Greenmaningrad: Fourth Manoeuvre

Commander, see the reports of the last manoeuvre here.

--

You radio for air support. Within a matter of minutes a pair of Yak 9T tank-busters strafe the Panzer, destroying the tank in seconds.

Taking advantage of the distraction caused by the crippled Panzer, you are left with two options. The first is to charge towards the town hall in the hope of catching the enemy off-guard. Or, using the crippled Panzer as cover, order the complete destruction of the town hall using the crate of Panzerschrecks located in the church.

--

Storm the town hall: It's time to finish this. 
Destroy the town hall: It's time to finish this. 

Got a need to lead? We take you to the Eastern Front with Company of Heroes 2Order now and get an extra saving!

Win a Laptop with Green Man Gaming!


We're running one of our biggest ever competitions right now - in anticipation of the fast-approaching Company of Heroes 2!

You've got the chance to win a laptop worth up to £800, a Soviet-propaganda-style poster of yourself, and on top of that a digital copy of Company of Heroes 2! On top of that, there will be four runners-up who will each win a digital copy of Company of Heroes 2, plenty of chance to win! To enter, just read up and follow the application here on our Facebook page.

Want the quick'n'dirty version? Take a picture in a strong leader-like pose, submit it before the 24th June, wait for it to get approved and then check back to see if you become a finalist! At the finalist stage, it becomes a public vote for who wins.

Now, Comrade, share glorious picture!

Commenting on the Blog

Hi everyone,

We can now announce that commenting on the GMG & Playfire Community Blog will be done with a Playfire login - this will allow the full extent of commenting on blog posts for Playfire users without the added step of logging into a Gmail/Blogger account (which will no longer be used for commenting), just like in ye olde days, except on a much better blog that lets us easily use pictures and such things!


Nice, right?

Green Man Gaming users will need a Playfire account to comment on the blog over the next few weeks, but don't worry because allowing comments from a GMG login is something we plan to add to this functionality very soon. More on that as it happens! If you absolutely can't wait then you can sign up for Playfire here.

-James, Joncol and the rest of the team

Greenmaningrad: Third Manoeuvre

Commander, see the reports of the last manoeuvre here.

--

Quickly barking out the order, your troops hurry through the open street. The German forces were making their own movements, and your forward units run headlong into an opposing squad. Your squads are quick to react and cut down a number of enemy soldiers, taking only a few casualties. Your remaining platoon members barricade themselves into the Church.

From inside, you hear heavy armour rolling up outside, with frantic shouting of orders. An explosion instantly blows into the street-facing wall.  Before the smoke clears you can attempt one of two rapid tactics, but which?

--

Use Explosives: Throw high explosives out of the hole in the wall.


Radio for Support: Pull back and radio for air support, as the town is a key capture point Command may be able to assist.


Got a need to lead? We take you to the Eastern Front with Company of Heroes 2Order now and get an extra saving!

Greenmaningrad: Second Manoeuvre

Commander, you can see the previous battle report here.

--
You order your men to go east, however your scout has reported that an enemy patrol is moving towards your position just outside the town. Your platoon make quick work of the patrol, however the stray shots have alerted the attention of more stationed soldiers.

Before long gunfire is coming from some windows of the residential buildings, windows smashed out. Both the enemy and your own troops caught out of cover suffer losses. You get your soldiers into the nearest empty buildings for cover.

--

Commander, we need orders!

Hold: Order your men to hunker down inside the bombed-out buildings.


Run the gauntlet: Order your platoon to make a break for the more fortified Church. 

Got a need to lead? We take you to the Eastern Front with Company of Heroes 2Order now and get an extra saving!

Console War: Which Will You Pick?





Hey guys,

So, E3 is done and dusted for another year! Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have each laid their cards on the table. The conferences were flashy, the games were even flashier – the likes of Metal Gear Solid 5, The Witcher 3 and Destiny and look magnificent - and we’ve now got an idea of what gaming will look like when Xbox One and PS4 hit shelves some time later this year.

As a mild celebration, all three next generation console platforms are now live on Playfire. Please start submitting Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U games to our staff and we will begin to fill out the new platforms with all the latest confirmed games. Please note that we will only be accepting games that are confirmed for release on PS4, Xbox One or Wii U. Anything that has not been confirmed will not be accepted on to the site.

And finally. Of course, E3 has also sparked huge debate over the different approaches from both Sony and Microsoft. Which are you interested in? Are you interested in consoles at all? We’ve got a poll going in which you can vote for the next gen console you’re most likely to spend your hard earned money on. Be it PlayStation 4 of Xbox One, we want to hear which one you're interested in.

Vote here!

Thanks guys,
Joncol
        

Greenmaningrad: The First Manoeuvre

Welcome, Commander. We've been expecting you. It's time to get on the move! Your assignment is a critical one and you can't hang around. Here is your brief.

You're handed a map and a single piece of paper. The instructions are clear. You must reclaim the town Greenmaningrad. The location of this town is critical for getting supplies to other nearby Soviet-controlled towns. You move out on the arduous road there, meeting a few clusters of German soldiers on the way. A few days pass...

--

You made it: Greenmaningrad. Your platoon has taken a beating, and you’ve already lost almost a quarter of your men, but you must carry out your mission - reclaim Greenmaningrad from the hands of the fascists - for the glory of the Motherland!

You are faced with two possible options of attack, with a road to the east leading into the town, this might be the most simple route in however you lose the element of surprise. A large barn is situated just to the west of the town and could offer cover, allowing for a surprise attack.

--

Commander, you need to make the call, which way do we go? Call it out!

East: Order your men to move into positions along the banks of the road, while you send a scout ahead to check for any signs of enemy soldiers. 

West: Order your platoon to head to the barn. While you are able to remain undetected, the platoon is somewhat exposed as they are unable to spread out. 

Got a need to lead? We take you to the Eastern Front with Company of Heroes 2Order now and get an extra saving!

Deep Weekend Deals


Some deals available for the weekend folks!  All of the following games are on offer until 1600 UTC June 17th:

And don't forget about our vouchers. Remember you can always see the latest Voucher post by checking this link! We've got a 20% code valid on a ton of PC digital titles as well as a 25% game exclusively available to selected games!

*Regional restrictions apply as usual.

Voucher Refresh

We've hit F5 on our voucher machine and pumped out more codes for you guys to use!

GMG25-2G9OL-15PO7

This code will provide 25% off the following selected titles for a limited time* only:

Is everyone else incredibly hyped for Arkham Origins already? Check out this trailer they showed at E3:

We have a new 20% voucher available:
GMG20-6WUSQ-LBC4U

Available on hundreds of digital PC titles on Green Man Gaming** to provide a 20% discount!


*This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC June 21st 2013. Only available on titles listed above.

**This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC June 30th 2013. Note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles or physical versions of games.

Indie Spotlight Shines On

Another week of daily indie deals to be had, each deal lasts 24 hours and comes with it's own unique banner I made all by myself, completely free, in this blog post!

Age of Fear The Undead King is 75% off for 24 hours from Monday 1500 UTC!

Creavures is 75% off for 24 hours from Tuesday 1500 UTC!


Grimind is 50% off for 24 hours from Wednesday 1500 UTC!

Asguard is 75% off for 24 hours from Thursday 1500 UTC!

Hypersonic 4 is 50% off for 24 hours from Friday 1500 UTC!

GMG Trivia: Al "shot his bolt" today. It sounds rude but apparently it's not. It's an actual phrase. Never heard it before in my life. Still sounds rude though.