We’re in april now, and I’m sure a lot of people want to know what’s going on…
The general mailshot to former players has been weighing pretty heavily on my mind recently, and the concept of sending emails has become more complicated over the last decade, and avoiding ‘spam’ filters has been pretty high on the list… This is going to be a relatively technical update, so apologies for that (feel free to skip to the end for context)
Firstly, getting an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record was something I did a while ago. From an email perspective, it defines which servers are allowed to send emails on behalf of darkgalaxy.com… Obviously in this case, it’s the server which DG runs on, and that these forums are associated with. It was the first step taken to ensure forum users are able to receive mails without them accidentally being flagged as spam, although that didn’t work in all cases.
The next step is more complicated, it’s called ‘DKIM’, which involves ensuring the mail server, using complex cryptography, signs emails being sent. Your email provider will look up the TXT record for darkgalaxy.com and make sure the public key provided is a good match for the email. This ensures that the receiver can be absolutely sure that not only is the SPF valid, but that the email has been sent by me, the (now) person in control of darkgalaxy.com.
But this doesn’t end here, these days a ‘DMARC’ (Domain Message Authentication Reporting) record is also required, but what’s a DMARC? Well, in layman’s terms it’s a policy to define failure. If the policy defined in the above ‘SPF’ and ‘DKIM’ fail to match, what should be done? In this case, I’m ensuring that any mail coming from darkgalaxy.com which ultimately isn’t originated by myself, turnengine, or the forums is flat out rejected by your mail provider. This allows me to dictate behaviour when spoofing is involved, one way or another… And I’ll receive a daily email notifying me of people who are attempting to be bad.
But why is this important? I hear you ask. The beta for Dark Galaxy will require a valid email address in order to be able to play. All existing accounts will be destroyed and a fresh user setup will be provided. This allows us a ‘clean slate’ as far as players are concerned. There will be options in the player setup to prevent general game emails from being sent to you, as well as unsubscribe buttons if you really don’t want general updates. Ensuring that signup emails are received properly and not spammed is important, and the focus of this work. Inside the next week I’ll be able to send emails to all former players who were present on the DG/TE forums, to invite them back to play, and they should all receive the message.
Hopefully all this will result in a return of players to the beta, so we can roll a solid game.
Until Next Time…