News

Q:How many triangles on a Snooker table ? . .

Saturday 18th February

I've had a tough but very productive week - I know updates have been a bit thin on the ground, but the next one has turned into to biggie . .

There are several big improvements on the way including smoother graphics - Most of today has been spent trying to get the balls truly pixel-perfect (in fact sub-pixel perfect) at all resolutions, here's a screenshot of how the pack is made up from my 4K monitor .


Upwards of 10,000 (click on the image above)


Lots of other good things to come - but this update is not quite there yet ... any day now . . I just thought I'd keep you all posted.

  • Fixed a problem on machines with IE8 where buttons would appear white, with white text
  • Fixed a problem with the compability of the Icon files - which (ludicrously) was stopping the program from launching on some Vista/W7/W8/machines.
  • Found (and fixed) the cause of the recurring 'snooker7.scn' file on the desktop (you can delete it one last time now!) - Thanks Yisc/Dmitry
  • Fixed a bug where the camera wouldn't pan back to the white after a players was put back in - Thanks Dmitry
  • Fixed where come fouls (missing all balls) would call a miss even though Snookers are required - Thanks Dmitry
  • Improved layout switching - camera postion and angle is maintained for seamless switching (even whilst aiming) use keys 1-6 to switch layouts - Thanks to Yisc for help testing.
  • More work on account security
  • Added comparison graphs to the profiles accessed through the Last 100 games
  • Changed recent results to include a unique GameID and timestamp on hovering on the 'Ago' column entry
  • Added player images for all three computer opponents
  • Tidied player profiles - Flags and titles, centered player picture
  • Refreshed all QS8 accounts from their QS7 ones to take account of any recent purchases or password changes
  • Fixed a problem with several accounts that had spaces on the end (or begining) of player names - making them unable to log in to QS8 - Thanks Reg(space)
  • Added code to stop any future sign-ups with leading ot trailing whitespace !
  • Quite a lot of work on 'layout' mode - which now saves camera positions and orientations correctly, and 'locks' the overhead view.
  • Added a 'cue cam/Spin Cam' switch so that 2D layouts with a cueball/chalkspot indicator can be made
  • You can now press any of the camera move keys AWSD Up,Down,Left Right - During the camera sweeps to grab control of the camera
  • Added player flags to the tickertape messages
  • Added code to set player flags to the managment tools (let us know if you'd like a different flag)
  • Fixed a huge bug in rankings - and added them back online
  • Added support for TrueType fonts on the table messages (Now consistent with the HTML fonts)
  • Improved the responsiveness of the mouse on low-end machines - Now very playable on my 14 year old XP 600Hmz 640MB notebook
  • Improved the quality and precision of the ball rendering

Nick
PS:- If you're a registered player - please show your support buy buying the 'Booster pack' in QS8 - and If you're not yet registered, there are a bunch of good things for you to buy - just press the 'upgrade' button in the game.

It's Here !

Wednesday 1st February 2017

QuickSnooker 8 Beta can at last be downloaded from the bottom of this article - but do yourself a favour and at least read the HINTS section below.

There are hundreds of improvements, to almost every aspect of the game.

  • Much 'better' computer opponents - more realistic and strategic play.
  • No need for keys or serial numbers any more, purchase and play painlessly from any PC.
  • Improved mouse and keyboard handling - no more jammed keys, flying you out of the room.
  • Smoother camera movements - including automatically lining you up, on the next ball on.
  • Detailed stats of all games, with graphs of your Elo Score.
  • Major improvements to the physics - and realism modelled on experience on a real table.
  • All new sounds - again recorded 'live'
  • You can now assess a shot before you decide whether to put your opponent back in.
  • Improved profile/account page
  • New (optinla) Booster Pack - Including 20 reds 'Pyramid' Snooker and 21 red 'Mega Snooker'
  • Shot clock , claim foul, pause and resume games - all new features to stop unfair quits and rescue genuine lost connections.
  • Multi-frame matches - Best of 3,5,7,9, 11, 15

OK - so it's not all sweetness and light - there are quite a few rough edges, a few things (like resuming games) are work in progress - but, overall it's reached a stage where it is very playable, especially the computer opponents (on-line play is catching up fast).


Here are a few HINTS gathered from the (bitter) experience of others - I would strongly suggest you read them before downloading:-


  • You may be in for a bit of a wrestling match with Windows and/or your Internet Security software - Windows 10 will Show A 'SmartScreen filter has protected your PC pop-up ' (you will need to press 'more info' and 'run anyway') - other security products may have equally scary messages as the program is unknown to them.
  • Some users on Windows 7 64 bit are unable to launch the installed program - however windows update appears to fix it - We're investigating the root cause, but meanwhile, If you have a 'failure to launch' .. try a quick 'check for (Windows) updates'
  • QS8 installs in parallel with your QS7 - so you won't lose or break anything - You will have two desktop Icons a 'new' and an' old'.
  • You can sign in to your existing QuickSnooker account using your player name and password in the top right of the first (green) screen.
  • If you use the sign-up form (on the left of the first screen), you will be creating a new account - which isn't a problem per se, but it won't have your paid features.
  • Once in the game, The new menus are behind a three bar icon in the top left.
  • The menus are are expandable - Use the [+] buttons to get to many more options ! (such as 15 reds)
  • The on-line waiting room may look a mess - things should not be on top of eachother ! - try zooming in and out with CTRL + and CTRL - it may also be worth pressing CTRL-F5 to refresh any messages you may have missed (and pickup any stylesheet changes)

Can I buy QS8 yet ?

If you have a valid QuickSnooker 7 membership - You get QuickSnooker 8 for free - just install, and log in with your QuickSnooker 7 credentials (if you've forgotten your playername or password there are good tools to recover them at the top right of the sign-up screen)

And, Yes - you can buy it if you like - If you'd like a fresh start, a new profile - or to show your appreciation by making another purchase, there is an 'upgrade' button you can use on your new (or old) account (see 'my account' in the menus).

Booster Pack

If you'd like to make a small contribution - and get something in return I would really appreciate it if you buy the 'Booster Pack' - it's just £5 - and adds two fun new versions of Snooker that can be played on or off-line (it also allows longer matches and will include some other benefits longer term).

Purchase QS8 Booster pack by pressing 'upgrade' on the 'my account' screen



Well, I hope you got all that Here is the download link


Nick

Still hard at it

Friday 30th December 2016

The open beta is drawing near, we've done a signficant amount of internal testing. On-line play is working again - simplified and more stable than ever.

Some of the features we're still testing - include

  • Multi-Frame matches - best of 3,5,7,9 and 15 frames.
  • Leaving and resuming games (including after a connection loss).
  • Simplified sign-up, account managment (no keys or serials required).
  • Still tweaking the much improved AI.
  • Improving camera handling - for less 'mousing' and more natural movements (no more migraine inducing 'zoom' through the middle of the table).

The next release WILL be QuickSnooker 8 - so much has changed, so significantly - I've decided to go with a new major version number and a co-exisitng program and setup package. This means you will be able to install QuickSnooker 8 alongside your existing version 7 and play either. It takes the pressure off a little and allows me to involve more people in testing earlier.


How can YOU help - I hear you ask ?

Monday 14th November 2016

The forthcoming next version is including a lot more, and consequently taking a lot longer than I ever anticipated - after 30 years in software, you'd think I'd have learned.

If you'd really like to help - you can sponsor the development effort by topping up your membership in advance - In the long run, it won't cost you anything.

Sponsors get their name in on our progress/stats page - HERE and will get exclusive access to the 'wishlist' of future developments.

I also a plan a small 'something extra' for them - (If we get a few more enough)

Many thanks to our first few sponsors - with a special mention for long time members Lu & Daggi who have invested in another 5 Years ! of membership.


I've considered 'crowd sourcing' through Kickstarter and the like - but I'm not a fan of their model, where funders seem to get almost nothing it return - and I really don't have the time to set it all up - So I thought I'd 'reach out' to the QS members first, I know a lot of you get a lot of enjoyment from the game.

Here is the revision list of just some of the things already in the next version - If you'd like to see, contribute to, and vote on the longer term wish list - you know what to do. (top up you account to beyond a year).

Hoping for a beta release in the next 7 days - If you're interest in beta testing - please use the contact form.



Downtime and 'compensation'

Saturday 12th November 2016

Apologies for what was around 2 hours on-line play downtime this morning - All 67 accounts that might have been affected have been extended by a full day.

It's embarassing - but not entirely my fault - I was adding compression to the webserver - as recommended by the Google PageSpeed tool - IIS then got it's knickers in a massive twist, about creating some logfile which already existed - The only way to clear that was a reboot - which insisted on a bunch of Windows updates . . which broke SQL server.. which... you probably don't need the gory detail.

Anyway after 2 hours of 'panic stations' we're back - luckily nobody dies. Oh - and the website is now about 400% faster.



New, Prettier leagues coming soon

Tuesday 8th November 2016

Here's a little preview of the last couple of days effort *everything* takes longer than you think (in software - as in life) . . but now we have graphs . .

All leagues will appear as headings on a single page, these headings can be 'expanded' (with the + button), to reveal all the players in the league, each player summary row can be expanded to reveal their profile and performance graph. You will be able to cick the graph to see the details of every game played.

If you haven't already - Please buy QuickSnooker now, the stats are a member benefit - if you want yours tracked - you need to register. Even if you have no interest in on-line play, the £5 unlock is great value.

I have plans for more stats, such as countries played, total games, embedding the list of all games played, comments/notes on individual games, perhaps even a 'shot of the match' replay.

Things might go quiet on the news front for a while now - I'm 'gong in' on the on-line play stuff - could be a day or two (or three) - Please keep playing and maybe invite a friend along !

Nick



Oh what a beautiful morning

Monday 7th November 2016

It was very cold this morning and for the first time this year I had to light the woodburner - I thought I'd share a few pictures of the QuickSnooker setup.

I'm very lucky to have a garden office, I built it about 12 years ago with what was my life savings from the 'rat race' - It's has seen a lot of use, and I love my daily commute.


International Headquarters

Desk 1
Where the magic happens

Desk 2
Recently installed for multi-player testing

View from window
(although I always have the blind down !)



The sun is shining, the battery is full, the fire is lit - I don't really have any more excuses, I should probably get back to work. . this update isn't going to write itself



Tuesday 4th October 2016

Adventures on a real Snooker table


OK I should have done this years ago - but yesterday, Jake (#1 son) and I hired a real full sized Snooker table.

Many thanks to the Anne And Robert at Childswickham - We had a good session, re-recording all the sounds, and getting a really good feel for a full-sized table.

The next release will incorporate what we learned and definitely changes the feel of the game for the better, The real life balls have less speed and more momentum. The other thing that was very apparent is you cannot cue as far out on a ball as Quick Snooker allows (without a guaranteed miscue).

It's been 10 years since I was last on a full-sized table, and it's just as difficult as I remember it - I'm ashamed to say that my highest break in our hour at the table was 7 !.

The new version is looking and feeling really nice, almost every aspect has had a facelift. You are going to love it - I just wish there were more hours in a day to get it done, but at the same time, it needs to be right.


Saturday 23rd July 2016

Expired memberships and on-line stats.

After a big database clearout last week, it was obvious that more than 95% of our traffic was from non-paid or expired members.
We can't sustain the game as an advert free on-line service on that basis, additionally that level of clutter (with several million unregistered frames recorded) was starting to affect performance for paid up members. As a result, we've stopped recording stats (wins, losses, 50's Centuries and Maximums) for lapsed members.
Old statistics for trialists, who have never bought membership, have been removed.
Generally the reaction has been surprisingly positive, with a healthy number of renewals in the last few days.


If you are a previously registered member, and would like continued stats, rankings, access to on-line play, and technical support you'll need to purchase renewed membership - Please note members who have bought a Pro key, do not need to buy another - the £20, 365 day option is the best value for you.

Of course you can continue to play the game as is, off line - and ignore the rankings message - your wins are not being recorded - but you can still have fun !

Thanks for your understanding


Wednesday 13th July 2016

Blimey - long time no news.

Things have been running smoothly, but this is just a quick note to say sorry that some registration keys got a little delayed today/yesterday. Paypal made some security related changes, and although it went pretty well, it turns out one thing was lightly broken. I think I have it fixed now but will watch the next few keys go out carefully - please drop an email to support@quicksnooker.com if you haven't had your key within 10 minutes of purchase.

A short update for my friends out there on my 'life'- I packed in the 'real' job at channelcentral (in February), and have been working at home, learning some new technologies and developing some ideas and products of my own - I sure as hell can't afford to do it for long - but hopefully one of my mad schemes will bear fruit - otherwise, it will be back to the real world.
More news coming soon . .

>Old news

Is, well - old news. Quick Snooker has been running for over 15 years with in excess of 5 million frames played by more than 50,000 players

We're currently re-developing the website and making some major improvements to the game, So marking up years of old news into HTML5 is not our top priority - sorry. The old news is here if you're desperate :o)