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22Cans Curiosity launches...and promptly breaks down.


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So Peter Molyneux's "tap the big black cube" mobile app "experiment" has launched...and immediately had massive server issues. Turns out it's been a lot more popular than expected:


Credit: CVG


Peter Molyneux has promised that his team is working on live server fixes for the new iOS and Android sensation Curiosity, as the sheer intensity of user activity has caused several bugs in the app.


The free mobile and tablet application, which tasks players with tapping away at a giant block comprised of hundreds of millions of cubes, was played by 160,000 people on its first day.

At the time of going to press, some 98,000,000 blocks have been scratched off the giant structure, with just 2.8 million units left on current layer.


CVG is covering the unravelling of the cube in a Live Blog, which you can read through here.


On Tuesday, players discovered that the second layer of Curiosity portrays a green lava lamp - an image that emerged gradually throughout the day as each tiny pixel was removed.


But high levels of demand from players are causing connection issues. In certain cases, people have complained that their scores have been reset after losing communication with the server.


Molyneux, who resigned from Microsoft this year to establish the new Guildford studio 22 Cans, last night told fans on Twitter that his team was working on the problem.


"I now understand what's going on, basically we and our server are overwhelmed by the number of people trying out the experiment," he said.


"Everyone please remember something as concurrent as this has never been attempted before, and we're just a tiny company.


"What makes this so scary, because we want to keep the cube active we are having to make changes on the server live. Praying to the gods. What we've learned so far is amazing and we'll share all of this but first we must fix the problems. So so so sorry but please be patient."


But fear not, a fix is in the works:


Credit: Eurogamer


22Cans reckons it has found a solution to the Curiosity server woe currently affecting players.


Right now it's nigh on impossible to connect to the cube-tapping game. This, coupled with issues to do with lost coins, has caused some players to cry foul.


“We are learning an incredible amount from our first experiment Curiosity - what's inside the cube; not only in terms of player motivation and behaviour but more importantly the technical side of running something as concurrent as Curiosity,” 22Cans said in a statement sent to Eurogamer.


“Even in the most popular MMO games it is rare for 10,000 people to be playing in the same level at the same time, currently up to a million people are trying to get access to our server. What has blown us away is the number of taps each player wants to do, we estimated it would be hundreds, but it is actually thousands, and in a few cases millions. We simply did not anticipate this level of curiosity.


“We are extremely disappointed with ourselves that we underestimated the popularity of Curiosity. This is manifesting in a subpar experience for the majority of curious people around the world. We can only offer a heartfelt apology at this stage; our programmers have been awake pretty much since Curiosity came out. We implemented what we thought would be a major fix on our live servers on Thursday but that didn't give us or you the results we wanted.


“We believe we now have the solution, and are working as quick as humanly possible to resolve the server connection issues and resulting from that the disappearing coins that so many users have been reporting. We are desperate to get the problems fixed. The programmers are continuing their work throughout the weekend to resolve this. We are not a big company and the amount of people is starting to rack up a massive (for us) server bill. We are doing everything we can with the resources we have.


“We are learning to build experiences that connect millions of people together in real time, this experiment is only the first one of many. In fact, we hope to make a big announcement early next week but our priority right now is Curiosity.”


I've downloaded it but haven't been able to connect properly at all as of yet. What do you reckon? The whole "oh, it's been more popular than we expected" excuse could be viable? That same thing happened with Simpsons Tapped Out, but they fixed that up and got it working. Or has Peter Molyneux's big experiment just gone south? You'd have thought they'd be prepared for big numbers of players considering they've made a fuss about pimping the idea out to the gaming press? I dunno, I'd like it to work just once for me so I can have a look, but I'm not sure what to make of it yet.

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So I've got it working. It literally is chipping away at tiny pixels from a giant cube. There seems to be pictures drifting around on the underlying layers, and it is pretty cathartic to just chip little sections away while waiting for a bus or something.


As stuff starts getting unveiled I'll try and keep track and maybe even post some screenshots or something if it's worth it?

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