April Fools: Explanations and Clarifications

April Fools: Explanations and Clarifications

Fifthly, a quick gloat period. j00 know that B + DRED rawk j00r house! We’ve had fun looking at other Sonic sites to see how they ‘celebrated’ April Fools day at their places; many very imaginitive, others simply “expired domain/server” messages, and then of course you have Sonic HQ who do the predictable skin change. 😛 SOL comes close to our PWNAGE though, simply for starting an SSMB-style “revolution” from their prank, lol. XD

Sixthly, you better watch out. Not just because Beadle’s About, but because we’ll get you next year and all. I’ve saved all your IM convo’s, quotes (there were so many quotes from Vile, Phr0zen and others they just can’t be unmentioned) and the IRC chatroom logs for the ‘trophy room’. This prank’s definitely being recorded somewhere ;D Most of you were impressed or un-mad, which is great. What’s the point in being mad? Some of you were mad. In which case, get a life.

One or two of you decided to gloat saying you’d never have been pulled in by such a prank – yeah, you say that NOW the prank is over. Don’t worry, that convo will be detailed too. Let’s face it, if I could nobble PHR0ZEN of all people, about 99% of you would have definitely gone down.

Anyway, what a day. Hope this post explains a lot about reasonings, the truth and other such things. And hope you had fun, at the end of it all. Because it was, after all, a bit of fun. 🙂 Have a sense of humour? You loved today then.

Here’s some more details from B’man:

That said, I suppose if you weren’t here at the time, and you’ve only seen the “April Fool” error message, then yes it is obvious. However, that message was only shown when we revealed the April Fool.

I might as well explain how we did this. >_>

The joke was handled by a script which was set up to show different error messages. 
Dread announced the SSC around 4:15pm. The message at that time was:
Warning: mysql_connect(): Access denied for user: ‘dread@localhost’ (Using password: YES)

At 5pm I appeared to notice that something was wrong and started to “fix” it. In reality, the script was set up to show different error messages at 20-minute intervals:

  • 5:00 – Warning: mysql_select_db(): Unknown database ‘tss_grandslam’
  • 5:20 – Fatal error: Unknown function: parse_cards() in /home/stadium/public_html/ssc/index.php on line 420
  • 5:40 – Warning: mysql_query(): Duplicate entry ‘enter random number here‘ for key id in /home/stadium/public_html/ssc/newgame.php on line 159
  • 6:00 – Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/stadium/public_html/ssc/newgame.php on line 168
  • 6:20 – Warning: mysql_query(): Unknown table ‘ipb_messages’ in tss_forum in /home/stadium/public_html/ssc/message_function.php on line 89
  • 6:40 – Warning: mysql_connect(): Host ‘67.18.76.114’ is blocked because of many connection errors. Unblock with ‘mysqladmin flush-hosts’ in/home/stadium/public_html/ssc/index.php on line 57
  • 7:00 – Warning: mysql_query(): Column: ‘cards’ in member_data is ambiguous. in /home/stadium/public_html/ssc/newgame.php on line 351

Also during this time, the script would occassionally throw up a randomly generated parse error, a little extra I added to try and make it look like I really was working on it.

During this time, I made a couple of posts explaining what I was apparently up to. Dread was in the IRC chatroom helping to make the people there believe SSC was the real deal. We decided to play it safe and take a couple of error messages out while creating some downtime under the pretense of fixing the script up and adding the shop.
From 7:15 to 8, the page showed the message “Taken offline for work – come back at 8pm!”.

We’d planned to reveal the joke at 8pm, so at that time Dread announced that we were back in business, only for you guys to find the message currently displayed.

So, if you’re wondering how we did it, or if you missed the action, there you go. For your enjoyment (;p) the script will actually reset itself at midday GMT and do the whole thing again every day…

Anyway, I’m both proud of, and amazed by, the fact that this actually worked. I honestly thought you guys would see through it in 15 minutes or so. I do think we got pretty lucky though, especially that Phr0zen didn’t keep at it thinking it was a joke.

And, for your information, the only people that knew about it before the end were myself, Dread and Roareye. Everyone else (including the rest of the staff ;p) were kept in the dark.

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Dreadknux

Sexy founder of The Sonic Stadium, and creator and co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic fan convention. By day, I'm a super-fantastic games journalist, el professionale. By night, I'm the mother-loving Sonical Batman. I keep the site ticking, look after the TSS Network, and get all excited about Sonic games so that you can too. May contain nuts.