Everybody likes data, right? Well, here’s a random collection of it from the past day and half of the SpyParty Early-Access Beta Sign Up…
- At 17:05:12 PDT on 2011/5/11, somebody named Steven, whose IP address is from Florida, became the 5,000th person to sign up for SpyParty beta access. Thanks Steven, and everybody else too! Oh, and an important note that people have been asking about: everybody who signs up will get into the beta. I will talk more soon about how it’s going to be structured going forward, and I’ll provide a rough timeline.
- The page went public at 10:30 PDT on 2011/5/10, so that’s 30.5 hours, or about 164 sign ups per hour averaged over the entire time. Here’s a graph of sign ups per quarter-hour:
- The beta announcement got a fair amount of press, which I really appreciate! Here are some links, most with comments:
SpyParty Beta Starting Soon, Here’s How to Sign Up – Stephen Totilo, Kotaku
SpyParty ‘Early-Access Beta’ sign-ups begin, costs $15 when beta opens – Ben Gilbert, Joystiq
Spy Party To Unwrap “Paid Beta” Access – Jim Rossignol, Rock, Paper, Shotgun
SpyParty Goes the Minecraft Route, Launching Paid Beta – Patrick Klepek, GiantBomb
Early-access beta sign-ups open for SpyParty – Jordan Devore, Destructoid
SpyParty early beta sign-ups begin – Steve Watts, Shacknews
I’ve Been Invited to a Party…. A Spy Party – David Liao, 4 Player Podcast
- There were a bunch of threads in various places, here are some major ones:
Spy party beta sign up $15 – Reddit
SpyParty Early-Access Beta Sign-up – NeoGAF
SpyParty – You’ve done it Checker. I want to play this game. – Quarter to Three
Spy Party: Read the Fucking Manual - Something Awful
The SpyParty Facebook Page
- And, of course, Twitter. See that bump right there in the middle of the signups? That’s Markus Persson, a.k.a. Notch, waking up Europe with a very nice tweet to his 174,000 followers. Markus was very helpful answering my questions while I made the decision to do the Early-Access Beta, and the tweet was an extra helpful icing on the cake. So, of course, I asked him to tweet again mentioning @spyparty…
- One of the reasons I structured the Early-Access Beta this way, with the sign up first, was that I couldn’t really predict how many people would be interested, so I didn’t know how to scale the game server for the unknown load, and I figured it’d be easier to scale a simple sign up form than the entire game lobby and backend. I spent a fair amount of time loadtesting and optimizing the webserver, and in the end it purred like a kitten the entire time, barely breaking a sweat. One of the ways I prepared was using Amazon’s CloudFront Content Delivery Network for most of the static assets on www.spyparty.com. Here’s that data…
You can see the US and EU daylight hours pretty clearly here. My total CloudFront cost from the past two days: $6.03
- Once I had the static assets on a CDN, I just had to worry about the dynamic page traffic on my server. I’ll write a more technical breakdown of this on my personal website some time soon, but the loadavg on the server rarely went above 0.2, even when the Reddit article was on the front page of /r/gaming. Here’s the bandwidth, with a 5 minute average (blue is outbound, green is inbound, it’s a log plot):
You can clearly see Notch’s tweet here as well. The big spike off to the right is the last load test I did before launching. It’s interesting to see the quicker falloff of the tweet and EU daylight, compared to the fatter area when all the news sites were posting. The double-hump in the first hit is when the Reddit post made it to the front page of /r/gaming. Reddit drives an insane amount of traffic, even from subreddits, and even from the bottom of the front page of subreddits.
- Here’s a breakdown of the domains of the emails that registered with 10 or more registrations from that domain. gmail.com clearly dominates amongst SpyParty beta testers!
gmail.com 3216 hotmail.com 522 yahoo.com 273 hotmail.co.uk 68 googlemail.com 56 comcast.net 36 aol.com 35 live.com 33 msn.com 30 me.com 24 live.co.uk 14 yahoo.co.uk 13 mac.com 12 web.de 10 others 766
Overall, I’m very happy with how things have gone so far. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect, but the initial 1/2/7 day estimates I made were 2,000/3,000/5,000, and we basically blew through that in a day. I’ll be interested to see how it evolves over time.
Now I need to stop checking my stats, and get to work on making this beta more than just an email sign up!