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    Secret Santa 2016

    By Circa,

    Posted Image

    It's that time of year again! The holidays! Every year we try to put on some kind of event related to Christmas, since that's the majority of what people celebrate around here. If you celebrate something else, you can still get into the spirit of giving by participating in this year's holiday event!

    Secret Santa is back!
    We've done a Secret Santa event in the past (maybe a couple times?) and it went well, so we're trying it again this year! If you're unfamiliar with how Secret Santa works, basically you get the name of a person participating and you must create a mod or graphic of some kind for that person. They can choose to provide a list of items they want, and you can choose to make something from that list or not. Some more details below.

    The rules
    • You must be a registered member.
    • You must be able to create a mod in JKA or JK2 of some kind or a graphic (signature, wallpaper, etc), even if it's something really simple.
    • You must sign up, by sending a PM to the Secret Santa account, saying you're participating and/or a list of what you want.
    • You must have the time and motivation to complete your gift on time.
    • You must sign up by December 1st.
    • You will receive a PM from that same account containing the person and their list, on December 2nd.
    • You will have until December 23rd to submit your gifts to the Secret Santa account via PM, once again.
    • You will receive your gift on Christmas Day, December 25th.
    What should you ask for?
    It's better to make a list of simple things that people can make, not things that you've been spamming the requests forum with. If you put "make me JK4" or "i just want rend2" obviously that won't happen. Here are some examples:
    • a forum avatar or signature
    • a mod of Rosh saying everything backwards
    • a JKA-related wallpaper
    • a giant toothbrush saber model
    • a mod that replaces the chat icon with a Christmas wreath
    • a simple code mod
    What should you NOT ask for?
    • JK4 (seriously people...)
    • rend2
    • a new playermodel of some character
    • a huge map (small maps might be okay, depends)
    • some kind of mod that involves heavy coding
    • a mod that makes "Circa" replace every mention of "Rosh"
    Bottom line: don't ask for something that would take months or years to make. If you don't have time to make something elaborate, your secret santa won't either.

    If you fail to make your gift, you force the staff to scrounge up something last-minute, which isn't cool, so please make sure to make something. Also, no physical or monetary gifts or address exchanging for this. Mods and graphics only.

    And again: you can only participate if you can create a gift too. If you can't you will be denied entry into the Santa zone. :P

    That should cover it, so if you're up for it, sign up and get your list in! :santa:

    Click here to view the article

    Faster, more reliable downloads

    By Caelum,

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    Downloads are pretty important.
    At the risk of stating the obvious: downloads are pretty important to JKHub. Every day, over 300 individual people download about 25 GB worth of mods from us. In total, that's between 700 and 800 GB worth of downloads monthly. Many people visit JKHub purely for the file downloads.

    When JKHub was first created, we used Dropbox. Hosting mod downloads on a Dropbox mirror was the sanest and most easily scalable option at the time. Dropbox worked really well, but now, a good 5 years later, there are better options available.

    Introducing the new CDN
    So you know my hosting business I never shut up about, right? One of the things I've started offering is a basic CDN-like service. In short: a service that lets you download files from one server in a distributed network. You download files from a server near your home, instead of a server that could be on another continent.

    Moving JKHub downloads to that infrastructure has been one of my main projects over the past month. A few days ago, I finished it. We're no longer using Dropbox now.

    So how are downloads better now?
    Here are the advantages of the new downloads infrastructure:
    • Faster downloads. This is the most important part: downloads should be a lot faster than they were before.
    • More reliable downloads. You know how Dropbox would occasionally break a file (or worse: all files), and spit out some error instead of serving your download? That's won't happen anymore.
    • Improved insight. Those statistics I mentioned at the top of this post? 300 individual people downloading 25 GB of mods daily? We didn't have any way to know things like that before. Now, we do. Knowing things like that lets us share cool statistics over time, and makes it easier to make educated decisions about JKHub's infrastructure. It also lets us track abuse and stop people trying to artificially inflate their mod's download counts much more effectively.
    Not all downloads are accelerated yet.
    Right now, about 1 in 3 downloads are served by the new infrastructure and fully accelerated. That percentage will increase a lot over time, but it's an automated process that takes a while to happen. By the end of this month, almost every single download should be served by it. Here's a fun graph:
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    Finally, a sneak peek
    So that's been one of the main things I've been working on over the past month. With it out of the way, here are some other things I'm planning to focus my attention to in the coming month or two:
    • Moving JKHub itself to a new web server for faster page loads, improved security, and more. This won't get its own news post, but it's important anyway.
    • Changing the way news articles work, in a bid to have much more JKA and community related news & articles.
    • Website design changes & modernization: taking the first small steps towards next year's JKHub 2.0 project.
    • More.
    For now though: enjoy faster and more reliable downloads. :)

    Click here to view the article

    Happy Halloween!

    By Circa,

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    October 31st marks the holiday called Halloween for many countries around the world. It's a holiday that focuses on spooky and scary things, and that's exactly what people brought with the Halloween mod contest this year. You guys made some great stuff, and it was fun to play around with all of them!

    This contest was definitely something we've never done before, and looking at past Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy mods, there really weren't that many scary mods at all. Especially not much focused on Halloween. Now we have a few that we can add to the collection! Thanks to all those that participated in both creating submissions, and voting.

    I'm glad to announce the winner of the Halloween Mod Contest 2016 is...


    Langerd got a whopping 18 votes on his Zombie stormtrooper, giving him a pretty drastic lead. If you didn't get a chance to check out Langerd's mod, here's a quick GIF of it.

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    In my opinion, the animations made this mod what it is. We rarely see animation mods at all anymore, so not only was it refreshing to see new animations, but it was good to see it work so well. (though the NPC didn't work in MP very well, unfortunately). I would love to see a map use these animations for various zombie skins that come in waves. Perhaps next year. ;)

    Zombie Stormtrooper
    Last Updated Oct 22 2016 08:00 PM

    I know I mentioned that we may or may not have a prize for the winner. We really don't have anything worthwhile to give, but I made a quick little forum signature, that acts as a plaque for your prize. Hopefully it's better than nothing. Our hope is to have a page that lists the contest winners in the future, and we'll be sure to get you on there. Feel free to use this on your profile or signature:

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    The two runner-up entries were Psky0Sith's Jason model and my own map, Last Night. The Jason model was extremely well done, and I'm actually surprised it didn't get more votes. Psky0Sith is an extremely talented modeler and texture artist, and this model was no exception from his previous works. Very nice work.


    And since I was the the third place, I'm going to pretend that I didn't get third and actually talk about the fourth place, Ramikad's Great Pumpkin. I think this was my favorite entry, because it was so unique, scary, and hilarious all at the same time. Great job Ramikad! I wish you'd make and release more stuff than you do. :P


    Again, great job everyone, and we'll be back with another contest here soon, for Christmas!

    Happy Halloween! :pumpkin::ghost:

    Click here to view the article

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