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Posted by Hammerite 2009-01-15 01:55:41 GMT
Posted by Hammerite 2009-01-16 18:12:12 GMT
You may now choose to have your own tiles and links appear blue (to you only) in every game, instead of being whatever colour you really are.
You can now set a default setting for the following game options: Friendly, Reverse Virtual Connection, No Scotland Canal, and Modified Coal Overbuild Rules, and have that setting automatically applied when you visit the "Create a New Game" page. (You can still override that setting once you are viewing the page, prior to publishing your game.)
To see these options, please visit your User Details page.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-01-19 18:17:49 GMT
It is now possible to choose to have the messages discussion threads displayed in reverse order.
Also, a tickbox has been added to the board page that if ticked, hides all of the discussion thread features. You can choose to have it unticked (the default) or ticked when you first open a page.
To see these options, please visit your User Details page.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-01-21 03:45:49 GMT
In newer games, players' hands will be re-filled immediately after they have finished their turns, instead of at the start of each round.The first game to behave in this way will be game number 243. Games numbered less than 243 will behave in the fashion that all games have up until now, i.e. players' hands will be re-filled at the start of each round.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-01-21 07:47:27 GMT
You can now choose not to see the "Swap Cards" option as part of the move interface. This option can be switched on in your User Details page. If you turn this option on, then you will only see a selection box for a 2nd card if you would be able to spend two cards on an action; you will not see the "Swap Cards" button at all. There will still be a control on the page, further down, allowing you to swap cards (like there is when it isn't your turn).
There is a new button in the move interface that allows you to sort your cards. This button arranges your cards so that location cards are at the top of the list, in alphabetical order, and industry cards are afterwards, in the order Cotton Mill, Coal Mine, Iron Works, Port, Shipyard.
Also, I'm changing the timeout for recruiting games to one week (it was two weeks). Games that haven't started within one week or being published to the list will be cancelled automatically upon the maintenance cycle running.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-02-07 19:37:07 GMT
Game threads will now be automatically closed one week after the game ends, as there is no real moderation of them.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-02-16 20:00:35 GMT
Improved functioning of the emailing system
Previously, if you had selected the option "Email me to let me know when it's my turn" but not the option "Email me again every time it's my turn in a game, even if I haven't logged in since the last email was sent", then the following sequence of events could potentially happen:
1) You receive an email telling you it's your turn in Game A. You go to the site to take your move. When you log in, the system is primed to send another email the next time it's your turn in a game.
2) While you are making your move in Game A, it becomes your turn in Game B and the system sends you an email telling you so. The system is no longer primed to send you an email when it becomes your turn.
3) Having made your move in Game A, you notice that it is your turn in Game B as well, and you go and make your moves in Game B.
4) You leave the site and go have an ice cream or something. Great job! Unfortunately, it then becomes your turn in Game C, but you don't get an email (as you've already been sent one email since the last time you logged in), and you aren't made aware it's your turn.
The logout script (the page you visit by clicking the "Log out" link at the top of the page) has now been improved so that not only does it log you out, it also re-primes the system to send you an email (if you have chosen the email settings detailed above). So in the above scenario, if you logged out using the logout link before going for that ice cream, you will be sent an email after all. (Well, this isn't quite guaranteed. Even supposing that after you made your move in Game B you visited your "Your Games" page and logged out from there, there's still the possibility that it might become your turn in Game C in between your "Your Games" page loading and you clicking the logout link. But that's unlikely.)
This improvement only has any effect when you log out using the log out link. It has no effect if your PHP session times out!
Posted by Hammerite 2009-02-19 23:48:05 GMT
Warning: Personal Notes on games
As a measure to reduce the rate at which the size of the database grows, users' Personal Notes on games that have been finished for more than a week will soon start to be automatically deleted in the maintenance cycle. At present it is possible to continue to read and indeed edit your notes on a game even after it has ended, but I will be modifying the system so that it will no longer be possible to edit notes once the game has finished. If you have any thoughts stored in the Personal Notes of your old games that you don't want to lose, please transfer them now to somewhere more permanent.
There are some other things I am going to do to reduce the amount of space taken up by the database, which will necessitate some downtime for the site at some point in the next week or so.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-02-22 16:21:29 GMT
The pound sterling symbol ?
If you would like to post the ? symbol in messages, but your keyboard doesn't have that symbol, you can now use the following escape code to obtain it:
That's a "backslash" followed by the word "pound" in lowercase. So for example, to post "I wish I had ?25 to build a Shipyard", you can enter as your message text "I wish I had \pound25 to build a Shipyard".
It is case sensitive - so for example \POUND or \Pound will not work.
You are under no obligation to use this feature - you are free to keep referring to the game's currency however you want, it's just something I've added for those as might want it.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-02-26 19:21:50 GMT
Projected Victory Points
You can now have the system calculate for you how many points a player will earn in the Canal Phase scoring. If this is turned on, then the system will calculate the projected number of points each player will earn in Canal Phase scoring, in the same way as it already does for the Rail Phase. You will see two numbers for each player, one of which assumes that all industries currently on the board will flip, the other of which assumes that none of the as-yet-unflipped industries will flip. Bear in mind that unlike in the Rail Phase, players may build industries towards the end of the Canal Phase that they do not necessarily expect to flip!
You can also now choose whether the projected number of VPs in the Rail Phase includes points due to players' remaining funds. Up until now these points were always included, and there was no choice. This remains as the default setting. You can now turn this off (so that the players' remaining funds are not considered by the system when showing you their projected scores); or alternatively you can set it so that points due to remaining funds are usually not included, but they are included if it's the last round and the player has finished taking his last turn of the game. If you choose this setting then the system will not remind you that that is what it's doing, so make sure you remember that it's applying this slightly less consistent method for calculating projected scores.
To see these options, visit your User Details page via the link at the top of each page.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-03-06 14:07:38 GMT
Votes for aborting and kicking players from games: usability improved
Up until this point, the feature that allows players to vote to have a game aborted or a player kicked has not been used very widely. This is probably mostly because the options for activating them are stuck down at the bottom of the board page amongst a bunch of stuff that people rarely look at, as well as because since no-one ever looks at that stuff they tend not to notice if someone has started a vote.
In order to improve this situation and make the voting feature more usable, I have today made two changes:
1) When a player initiates a vote, the other players will now all be emailed by the system to let them know about it. (Users who have disabled the "email me when it's my turn" feature do not get these emails either.)
2) If a vote is active in a game that you are in, then it will be highlighted not blue, but red in any list of games it appears in.
No change has been made to the board page, however.
Hopefully these improvements will make it easier to get votes through.
The email notification feature has not been tested yet, so there might be things that need to be fixed before it will work. The complete list of things that now (should) trigger emails that did not before are:
Posted by ChemEng 2009-03-08 17:30:03 GMT
Is there anyway that you can include the initial starting hand for each player in each Canal/Rail phase on the game logs after the game is over?
Posted by Hammerite 2009-03-09 18:36:23 GMT
The difficulty with that is that the system doesn't keep any record of what cards a player's hand has in the past contained, other than the plain text account in the log. Similarly there's no alternative way to present or replay the players' past actions; the only information stored about a game, at present, is the log and the current state of the game.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-04-03 18:16:46 GMT
You can now use a view of the Brass game board that looks a lot more like the real-life board. To use this, go into your User Details page and disable the "compact board design" option.
While this new design looks more pleasing, it also takes up considerably more vertical space, so you may find it unsuitable if your screen resolution isn't very high or you like to use non-maximised browser windows.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-05-10 00:23:25 GMT
You can now choose to "watch" games that you are taking a special interest in, but aren't necessarily playing in. A list of the games you are watching will appear on your user details page and your "my games" page. You can even watch games that you're actually playing in if you want (though I'm not sure what the point of that would be). When a game you are watching finishes, you'll be emailed a summary of the final scoring, if you have that preference enabled.
Posted by Kenneth Li 2009-05-15 21:07:43 GMT
You have mentioned this in the very first post:
"A "preview move" button that can optionally be chosen instead of "Submit Move". This will show the user the state of the game immediately after making the indicated move, assuming it is a legal move. Obvious exceptions: he cannot see the cards he will have next round, and he cannot use the feature to see what distant market tile he will draw. (A week or two)"
Is it still going to be done? Or it is not going to happen?
I know that you have mentioned that the basic architecture of the system currently prevent you from making a "undo" button. But, I have this idea of a limited "undo" which is similar to your "preview move" button above, that after you summit your first move, the user can make a "undo" on that first move, and after the second move, the user has to press a "submit final" button to make the whole submit go finally through the system. That will limit the recalculation and provide a somewhat "undo" feature for us that are error prone.
Don't know if my suggestion feasible or not.
--- Ken ---
Posted by Hammerite 2009-05-16 14:12:35 GMT
It is going to be done, but I don't have an estimate of when at the moment. Basically there's a pile of improvements I would like to make to the site, and I'm not really sure in what order I'm going to tackle them. Complicating the matter is the fact that some of those improvements would make others easier to implement, so it makes more sense to do some things before others even though they wouldn't otherwise be as highly prioritised.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-05-21 13:57:10 GMT
The Instructions tool
It seems pretty clear that no-one uses the Instructions tool, and it seems clear also what the reasons for this are: it's not useful enough, it's not flexible enough, and it's extremely difficult to use. Bearing this in mind, there are two ways forward for this tool: 1) Improve it to make it easier to use and more flexible; 2) Remove it. I have decided to remove it. With this being the case, be aware that the Instructions tool is going to be removed from the site some time in the next few days, when I can get around to it. (This may involve closing the site briefly.)
Posted by Hammerite 2009-05-22 00:10:31 GMT
The move interface will now warn you (next to the selection list where you choose which link you want to build) when you are running low on link markers. It starts doing this when you have fewer than half of your link markers left (i.e. when you have 6 or fewer left).
Posted by greg909 2009-06-30 19:52:39 GMT
Are you planning to improve the game log entry system by highlighting the cards used by players with bold characters? This would be handy to quickly spot what have been played.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-06-30 21:01:02 GMT
That's a neat idea. I will do that.
Posted by greg909 2009-07-02 00:28:23 GMT
The new game log is a pleasure to use, very clear and well structured.
I noticed a small bug in game #3409 (Second Contact): red player's name doesn't appear.
Nothing terrible, just to let you know.
Thanks for the improvment.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-07-02 00:33:39 GMT
Posted by Hammerite 2009-07-29 19:53:07 GMT
New improvements relating to games that time out.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-07-29 19:54:33 GMT
Posted by Hammerite 2009-07-29 22:06:02 GMT
You may also now set a default value for "Behaviour at Time Limit B" for games you start.
Posted by randomuser 2009-09-03 20:25:33 GMT
I have a suggestion which shouldn't be too hard, and hopefully will be useful:
Under the "Games this user is currently playing in that are in progress:" table, I think it would be useful if the table background color for each of the cells in "Next To Move" were the same color as the color of that person.
The reason I feel this is the case is because of the transient nature of games, I often forgot which player is which color or the specific time of the last move, but I can usually at a glance know the color of the person who I was waiting to move and know immediately if that has changed.
Posted by Hammerite 2009-09-03 23:04:11 GMT
That is a sensible idea and I will aim to implement it at some point. But I have a huge list of changes and improvements to make, and a day job, so it may be a while. :)
Posted by Hammerite 2009-09-05 23:56:47 GMT
You can now type \franc in order to get the Franc symbol ₣ in your posts.
Posted by Andrew Swan 2009-09-11 03:03:52 GMT
The game page currently has a status box for each player, showing their name, remaining tiles, projected score. etc.
How about appending the player's rating after their name, so instead of showing this:
Game status details for Red (Hammerite):
.... show this:
Game status details for Red (Hammerite, 5636):
I'm not fussed about the precise formatting, I'd just like to be able to see each of my opponents' ratings from within the game (saves me having to click to their details page). It's a Sun Tzu kind of thing; know your enemy and all that.
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