FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

04 December 2014

That One Early Christmas Surprise from Nadeo

Check out the surprise Nadeo sent me today! 

I've had some amazing adventures with Nadeo and Ubisoft through TrackMania and ShootMania, from the GEEX 2010 TrackMania United Forever tournament, to the epic GEEX 2011 TrackMania 2 Canyon tournament just after the game's release, to PAX Prime 2012 where we showed off the ShootMania beta.

You'll remember that when I was at PAX, I got to meet and work with several members of the Nadeo Live and Ubisoft teams.  The Nadeo crew were wearing these really great jerseys that have the ManiaPlanet logo on the front, then the player alias and player number on the back.

I loved those shirts!  And Nadeo was kind enough to make me a jersey and now I feel like an adopted member of the team.  It was a super awesome gift that I'm honored to have.

I wish Nadeo many more years of success with the ManiaPlanet franchise, and hope that we will see many more TrackMania environments for its next decade!

While we're on that subject, I should remind everyone that TrackMania 2 Stadium and ShootMania Storm are free-to-play until April 2015!  Check them out if you haven't already!

Thanks again Nadeo for showing the spirit of giving that makes Christmas so great.  I hope we can all remember to be as giving with our family, friends and neighbors during this Christmas season.

From our team to yours, may you find much joy this month and throughout next year!  Merry Christmas!

07 November 2014

GOG.com - Little Big Adventure Free Today!

Get Little Big Adventure free today on gog.com through their "Vive La France!" promotion!

Little Big Adventure is a qwirky adventure game I very much enjoyed back in the days I was first learning to build and fix computers.  GOG.com is offering it free for 24 hours if you click on the link above, and is offering its sequel at 75% off!

There are a lot of other great games like SyberiaSyberia II and Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood.

Go GOG, or go home.


30 October 2014

FNG Motocross Madness 2 Records Restored

Tonight, while testing Motocross Madness 2 network connectivity in virtual machines (both Windows XP and Vista) across the internet with Thundr, I realized our website has been missing all of the Best Lap scores for probably 5 years or more!  After successfully completing a multiplayer race on Machkeu Basin, we decided to look up the best lap to see how close we fared after many years away from the game.  Seeing they were gone, I panicked and started searching my source code history to find them.  After realizing I'd ported the site to a new repository and hadn't brought the history with it, I wanted to cry.

Thanks to the help of the Internet Archive "Wayback Machine" I was able to restore the missing records to our live site.  This will make the upcoming Turkey Bowl LAN party more enjoyable as we make a long overdue comeback to MCM2!

Go check out what you're up against at our Motocross Madness 2 page.  Some of the scores have VCR files that you can load in the game and watch the replay of the record being set.  I don't know about you, but I'm setting my sights on shattering Dave Holland's records on "Machkeu Basin" and "Snowfields".

I'm really looking forward to some high-flying, spring-loading good times with you all as we bring back this epic classic to Friday Night Gaming!  I can't wait to hit Bear Mountain and Halfgrand Playground for some intense stunt matches, "have a ball" in the smaller arenas playing Stunt Ball Tag, and get "TIMERED!" on the National tracks we love so much.

See you at the races!

23 October 2014

ManiaPlanet servers have been updated to 2014-10-16

I was able to successfully update the ManiaPlanet servers to the 2014-10-16 version.  Hunger Games server should now be up all the time (replacing the Card Melee server for now).

Please let me know if you run into issues on any of them.

24 July 2014

ARK Racing Presents the Cyprus Cup - August 2014

Last November during our TrackMania 10th LANniversary Celebrat10n party, we had an epic online tournament spanning all of the TrackMania environments.  Some of the ARK racing team participated in that tournament.

Now, for nearly the entire month of August, the ARK Racing team proudly presents the Cyprus Cup.  Each weekend in August they will be racing 3 maps in Time Attack mode in the TrackMania 2 Canyon environment.  120,000 planets will be awarded in this competition; the breakdown can be found below.

Full details can be found at the ARK Racing website.

17 July 2014

A Note to Steam ManiaPlanet Players

I'm so glad we have seen a huge influx of player in the world of ManiaPlanet in the last 72 hours, thanks to an incredible Steam sale titled, "From Paris, With Games."

The sale found TrackMania 2: Stadium marked down to $2.49 USD.  Within 3 days, our Team FNG servers have seen over 2000 new players, many of which I had the pleasure of meeting and helping them learn about the epic awesome that is TrackMania.  Our ShootMania Royal server also found some new friends as its price dropped to $4.99 USD.

With the excitement building around TrackMania 2 Stadium, new Steam players have also been investigating and adding Canyon and Valley to their collections.  By now many have come to find a slight frustration with the Steam version of ManiaPlanet where they have to dump out to Steam to switch game titles.

Good news!  You can download a standalone ManiaPlanet installer and use your ManiaPlanet account in it to play all titles without leaving the application!  You also get access to the "Universal Demo" which allows you to play any ManiaPlanet game title, whether you own it or not.  If you don't own it, it will be unrestricted for 48 hours, then 1 hour/day (more if less than 100 players are in the title playing.)

I have confirmed with Nadeo that, due to limitations in the Steam version, the Universal Demo is only available in the standalone ManiaPlanet.

Please see the official Friday Night Gamers website for full details on why and how to get the standalone ManiaPlanet installer.

See you at the races!

07 June 2014

FNG TrackMania Servers' Record Keeping is Back!

I'm happy to announce that I finally have the XAseco2 servers back up and running with our Team FNG TrackMania 2 servers.

Sadly, we don't get to take advantage of the new script-based "Time Attack" mode which gives us the cooler in-game scoreboards that are themed per environment, but we'll live for now.

For those that run TrackMania servers that are having a hard time with Records Eyepiece in XAseco2, it is because you need to run your server in the legacy "Time Attack" mode, not script mode with the TimeAttack.Script.Txt ...

It took me a while to figure that out.

I may start investigating to see if XAseco2/Records Eyepiece has plans to support the scripts.  If so we'll stick with them.

If not, I'll investigate newer server controllers that support the new script modes as well as keep records.  If I can find a good one, I might switch over, but XAseco/XAseco2 have done us well for so long, it will be hard to give it up.


26 May 2014

FNG ManiaPlanet / TrackMania / ShootMania Servers Restored

We're happy to announce that we have successfully restored our ManiaPlanet servers; well most of them.
Our TrackMania Canyon, Stadium, Valley and TM2 (all environments) servers are back online (no controllers for records yet though, still working on that.)  Our ShootMania Royal server is back (also with no controller.)  The CardMelee server will be back later after I get a chance to download the new ManiaPlanet 3 compatible version of the Title Pack.

I'll have the records controllers back for our TrackMania servers back as soon as possible; then will work on the controller for Royal... After that I'll tackle CardMelee.

Thanks again for all your support.

19 May 2014

FNG ManiaPlanet / TrackMania / ShootMania Servers Temporarily Down

We apologize, but our servers have been having some unknown issues over the past several days that we haven't been able to work out yet.  I hope to get time this week to get them solved and bring our servers back online.

Thank you to those that frequent our servers, and we're sorry for the inconvenience.  We'll get them back online as soon as we can, and hopefully be playing with you soon.


08 February 2014

That One Collision with a BushMonkey

Watch as That One Guy (yellow) chases down BushMonkey in an epic game of Bumper Tag in the "Kill Death Match" map on ShootMania.  After a couple of bumps, we end up colliding and I send BushMonkey sailing off on a holey crusade.  Having it happen live, but seeing it this way was hilarious.  Enjoy!

Stay tuned!  Rumor has it that Nadeo will be releasing full demos of TrackMania and ShootMania in April, so everyone can try all available modes in limited timed sessions.  That will let Team FNG show others how fun the game is on our servers before they buy.

08 January 2014

Netflix - a new DRM Fail

Check the date of this post.  LOL
I was trying to punch up some "Doctor Who" while I exercise today (08 Jan 2014).

I guess it's no longer alright to have your computer set to the correct date.

DRM sucks. Just sayin'...

EDIT: https://support.netflix.com/en/node/208
The fix... Looks like a Silverlight file called mspr.hds somehow got corrupt.  All I had to do was delete it from:
... and I'm back in business.

(Did I mention DRM sucks?  Necessary evil for streaming content, I know, but still...)