Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Change Log: 2.52.1009

Release 2.52.1009 is a break/fix release that does not add any new front-end functionality to the Manager.

Given the amount of back-end upheaval going on lately in the ramp up to the upcoming alpha release of The Watcher, it is not especially surprising (to me) that yesterday's release broke as much stuff as it did.

And while it is somewhat embarrassing to have to do these day-after releases, we're moving really fast now on API development, and, given our extremely limited resources, messy releases and daily break/fix work are both kind of just...the cost of doing business, at this point.

At any rate, thanks to everyone who reported issues in the last 24 hours! You guys are the real unsung heroes of this upcoming alpha release.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Change Log: 2.52.1001

Before I get into release notes, I would like to thank everyone who has subscribed to the Manager so far!

It has been about two weeks since I launched the subscription feature, and more than 30 people have subscribed already! In honor of all the subscribers, release 2.52.1001 adds the webapp's first, proper subscribers-only feature: the Campaign Summary storage view.

(I teased the feature in my last post, if non-subscribers want to take a peek.)

The release also pushes some pretty non-trivial bug and presentation fixes, release 2.52.1001 cleans up settlement storage presentation, adds more detail to storage assets (e.g. keywords, rules, etc.) and implements the rest of the freemium/support-wall features.

There's a bunch of stuff for The Watcher in here as well, since the alpha release of that is right around the corner...

As usual, hit the jump for full release details and thanks for using the Manager!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Feature Demo: Subscribers-only Campaign Summary storage view

Mobile resolution feature demo!
One of the main features that advanced users of the Manager commonly write in and ask me to implement is a way to view settlement storage from the Campaign Summary.

I never implemented the feature because a.) I didn't want to put settlement controls on the Campaign Summary (i.e. because they belong on the Settlement Sheet) and b.) because space is at a premium on the Campaign Summary view.

Once I added the concept of subscribers and subscriber-only features to the webapp, however, a settlement storage view on the Campaign Summary felt more like something that I could/should do, and so I'm going to roll it out in the next release.

(The next release will be out...before this weekend. Probably not tomorrow, but soon.)

If you are a subscriber, you'll  see the new button as soon as the release comes out. If you're not a subscriber, go buy a subscription!

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tablet resolution feature demo!

Change Log: 2.50.972

Release 2.50.972 is a break/fix release that cleans up some of the problems introduced in yesterday's JS overhaul.

It introduces some new functionality as well, in the form of Settlement Storage keyword rollups.

We're gearing up for the alpha release of The Watcher, so expect the next release to be mostly focused on that (and not so much on enhancements to the legacy webapp).

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Change Log: 2.50.961

Release 2.50.961 is focused on improving UI/UX by optimizing Javascript performance.

Prior to this release, most of the AngularJS application (i.e. the part that renders the forms) was built-out at random: I just added functionality/features onto it as I went, and never really stopped to think about how that might be affecting performance.

Turns out it was really messing things up.

With release 2.50.961, I wouldn't say that things are perfect, but they are greatly improved over the last few releases. I haven't had the time/opportunity to officially clock it, but page loads seem to be taking less than half as long as they have been taking.

(The Survivor Sheet is still pretty sluggish, so I'm going to the drawing board on how to make that go faster, but all things considered, loads seem way faster.)

Thanks for using the Manager!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Change Log: 2.50.931

Release 2.50.931 is a tiny break/fix release that deals pretty much exclusively with a major feature bug (hit the jump for complete details).

Beyond addressing that issue, this release also adds a warning to the dashboard for non-subscribers about how their settlements will be automatically removed/purged after six months.

I thought long and hard about this and ultimately ended up putting long-term storage behind the $1 "support wall" because I believe it is fair.

While actual storage cost for old settlements is absolutely trivial (we're talking literal millionths of a dollar per), the effort that goes into keeping older settlements compatible with the Manager, the API and ultimately The Watcher has a non-trivial cost (i.e. that is paid in development and support hours).

As usual, if you have a question/comment, find me on Twitter or use the comments here, etc.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Change Log: 2.49.926

Release 2.49.926 rolls out the first beta/subscriber-only feature: Basic Hunt Event deck simulation.

The basic inspiration for the feature is the inconsistencies in the color of the Basic Hunt Event cards (among the promo, core and expansion cards): since the core card backs are one color, the expansion card backs (i.e. for the Lonely Tree) are another and the promo cards a third, it's impossible to randomly draw a BHE card.

(You know, because you always know which ones are 'Random Event' cards and which ones are the special events.)

The feature, then, simulates the creation of a "deck" including 12 "Random Event" BHE cards and one each of any of the three additional BHE cards and then draw them off one at a time.

(It even rolls the d100 for you...because that took ten seconds to implement and what the hell, you know?)

At any rate, if you're a subscriber and you want to check it out, click the "System" tab and make sure that you've got the "Beta" preference set to "Enabled". From there, click into any of your Settlements/Campaigns, click on the sidenav/burger and click the "β Hunt Phase" button.

And please, if you do end up messing with it, let me know what you think: how could it be better, how would you incorporate it into the existing tools, etc.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Change Log: 2.48.922

I said yesterday that I wasn't going to put a new release of the Manager into production for a while, but I ended up getting some pretty significant bug/error/usability issues from users on /r/KingdomDeath yesterday.

Mostly by accident (since I'm terrible at this and totally scatterbrained about branches) I ended up working those issues on a feature branch that I started a couple of weeks back and, long story short, I've got a release to put into production today.

Release 2.48.922 mostly implements break/fix and performance optimizations for the Dashboard.

The release also implements a new feature I call 'survivor tags', which are basically little informational items that appear beneath a survivor's vital stats on the Campaign Summary view. For now, they only include Fighting Arts, Disorders and A&Is, though I have some vague plans for expanding the feature in the future (once I know more about Advanced KD:M).

Finally, this will be the last release of the Manager for a while (I mean it this time). I'm going to take some time to start working on subscriber-only features and the next major release of the Manager will include the first one of those.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Change Log: 2.48.916

Before I get into the release notes, I would like to thank everyone who has subscribed to the Manager: it has not even been a full 24 hours since the feature went live and...honestly you guys caught me off guard!

When I woke up this morning and checked my inbox, I saw the subscription orders and realized that I'm going to have to step up my plans to implement subscriber-only content.

Therefore, release 2.48.916 delivers a single new feature that paves the way for the introduction of subscriber-only content: API-based preference management on the dashboard.

( terms of features, is honestly not a huge deal, but is still one more element of the legacy webapp to be migrated to the API and thus should improve overall performance of the Manager, etc.)

As of release 2.48.916, Survival +5 subscribers to the Manager will notice a new preference called 'Beta' under the 'System' tab on the Dashboard.

Enabling this preference is basically an opt-in flag that will cause new/experimental features and functionality to be accessible to you when you use the Manager.

A few things about the Beta opt-in preference:

  1. Beta features will always be clearly identified as such in the webapp. For example, if there is a new feature in the side nav called "Hunt Phase" it will say "Hunt Phase (Beta)" or similar.
  2. Beta features are always going have bugs, problems, issues. If you are opting in on the beat stuff, expect it to be a little wonky. 
  3. Many beta features will ultimately become subscriber-only features, but some will (eventually) become regular features of the webapp. 
  4. Ideally, if you're opting in to see beta features, you'll report back (using GitHub or the in-app controls) to me about your experience. 
At any rate, now that all of that new preference management code is in production, I am going to take a little break from daily releases and start working on some of what I've got planned for subscriber-only features!

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Change Log: 2.47.897

Tablet QA by lantern light.
Release 2.47.897 of the Manager fixes a handful of bugs (including a major one that prevented Settlement Sheet milestones from being saved) and introduces the concept of lifelong subscriptions to the Manager.

At present, I have no plans to require users of the Manager to pay to use it. The Manager will remain totally free to use as long as I am maintaining it.

Starting with release 2.47.897, however, users will have the ability to purchase what I am calling a "lifetime subscription" for either $1 or $5 (US) from my Shopify.

The license is good forever and is intended primarily as a way for users to show their support for the Manager: on average, I get one or two emails a month from people who say that they would like to support the project financially, and these "lifetime subscriptions" are mainly for them.

In order to provide some incentive for others, however, I plan to start rolling out some new features that will only be available to those who have purchased the $5 license (the carrot) and restricting certain functionality to those who have purchased the $1 license (the stick).

Feel free to contact me directly on the Manager's Twitter or over at /u/toconnell on Reddit with any questions/comments/concerns.

And thanks for using the Manager!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Change Log: 2.46.888

Release 2.46.888 is a tiny, break/fix release that deprecates some old, vestigial code and wraps up the last couple/few bugs that have been surfaced since Friday.

At this point, I'm working on a few more items in the 1.5 upgrade project that I plan to deliver before I close it out, and then I plan to get back to work on upgrading the API so that it can support the Alpha Release of The Watcher.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Change Log: 2.46.883

Alright, release 2.46.883 is your standard post-release, break/fix release: it doesn't really contain any new features/functionality per se, but it does contain a few quality of life improvements for the legacy webapp.

Notable features of this release:

  • Fixes the numerous, minor problems with the Timeline: it's now 100% 1.5 compatible.
  • The Settlement Event log now will highlight certain (special) settlement events.
  • Departing Survivor management controls now include buttons to +1/-1 survivor Hunt XP
  • Moving survivors to the Departing Survivors group on the Campaign Summary view no longer blocks controls while it refreshes.

As usual, hit the jump for the complete notes and thanks for using the Manager!

And special thanks to everyone who has checked in with an issue in the last 24 hours!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Upgrade complete!

Second major upgrade of the year. Hopefully the last one of its size.
There were about half a dozen users active during the deployment of the 2.46.871 release of the Manager: everyone got kicked out of the app while the deployment took place.

During the first hour after the deployment, a couple of you ran into fatal errors (i.e. tracebacks) due an a couple of out-of-the-gate issues which I tried to patch as soon as I saw them.

(Sorry about that, but...somebody had to be the first guy out of the boat, if you know what I mean.)

At any rate, during the last hour there have been between eight and 12 active users and I haven't seen any errors since my last patch, so I'm about to hang it up for the day and celebrate another action-packed, edge-of-your-seat deployment.

Please continue to report issues here, in the app or on Twitter!

And thanks for using the Manager!

Change Log: 2.46.871 (1.5 Upgrade Release)

1.5 Upgrade Release!
As of release 2.46.871, the Manager now supports Kingdom Death 1.5!

Release 2.46.871 also contains a bunch of feature upgrades and enhancements. This is probably the biggest upgrade of the Manager since the Anniversary Release:
  • Settlement Sheet storage controls have been (massively) upgraded and no longer reload the Settlement Sheet when you update storage!
  • Endeavors are a first-class citizen of the API now (i.e. they're no longer just attributes of Innovations) and the Campaign Summary endeavors UI has been (massively) upgraded, both in terms of functionality and appearance.
  • Campaign Summary controls for managing Departing Survivors have been upgraded so that returning survivors from Special Showdowns is now supported.
  • Numerous back-end enhancements intended to improve overall performance of the Manager.
As far as overall performance goes, anyone who has used the Manager in the last two weeks has probably noticed that general performance has gotten progressively worse over the last few releases.

For release 2.46.871, I identified and solved several problems affecting performance on all views. Things should be noticeably faster/better now, though not perfect. Performance will be an ongoing concern through the next few releases.

(Since the first release of the API, the legacy webapp has been double-dipping on its API calls. This has been a major source of poor performance since the Anniversary Release of the Manager last winter. As of 2.46.871, this is no longer a factor.)

At any rate, this release is a big-ass release (of the kind that I really don't like to do, but keep ending up doing anyway...) and it will certainly have bugs. I expect I'll be doing break/fix releases through the weekend, so please report any issues when you see them!

...and that's about it for now! Happy 1.5 release!

Thanks for using the Manager!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

1.5 Upgrade Tomorrow! New Storage/Endeavors feature demo

OK, so I definitely bit off way more than I could chew and tried to do the 1.5 upgrade at the same time that I tried to finish up a couple of pretty non-trivial feature enhancements. The end result is that I will be a few days late with support for 1.5.

Ultimately, I put myself into a position where I had to either push the 1.5 upgrade without addressing the performance issues that the Manager has been experiencing lately, or to take a little bit longer, address the performance stuff and miss my (self-imposed) deadline for the 1.5 upgrade.

As of right this minute, I've got 95% of the next release of the Manager ready to go and...I gotta say, I feel like I made the right decision: the Manager looks and works really, really well right now.

But don't take my word for it. Check out this tablet resolution feature demo: it teases the new Endeavors and Storage features of the Manager and hopefully gives a sense of how big of an overall upgrade the Manager is going to receive when I roll out my 1.5 support update.

I'll probably roll out the new release tomorrow afternoon: I've got a couple of small items to wrap up and then I'll want to do a little more QA on a couple of things before I push the release.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Special Showdown Vector (.AI file and high-res .PNG export)

As part of the project to upgrade the Manager to 1.5 rules and assets, I ended up having to vector a Special Showdown logo/icon.

Here is a large PNG version of it:

Download the AI file here: 

Download the PNG here:

For bonus points, if you end up using it in one of your own projects, hit me up in the comments!

1.5 Support Coming Monday! will be upgraded to support 1.5 rules and assets tomorrow, Monday, October 23rd.

Given the architecture of both the API and the webapp, there is no way to simultaneously support both releases of the game, so when the next release of the Manager goes out tomorrow afternoon, everything will be upgraded to 1.5.

If you are interested in either following my progress on upgrading the Manager (or in seeing what basically amounts to a 1.5 change log), check out my project board on GitHub.

Otherwise, expect 1.5 support to arrive on Monday.

(And another small release of fixes/enhancements to arrive either Tuesday or Wednesday.)

Thanks for using the Manager!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Change Log: 2.38.785

As the whole world hopefully knows by now, we're getting real close to the Alpha release of The Watcher.

Accordingly, release 2.38.785 is mostly dedicated to tickets related to that: there are no feature/functionality enhancements for the legacy webapp in this one.

Also, if you're interested, we've got a public/world-facing "roadmap" (kanban board) for The Watcher: it's brand new, but as we dig into the Alpha release updates/support, I expect it to improve in quality/clarity.

Finally, I just got my 1.5 box, so I will be upgrading the Manager to support 1.5 rules/assets/etc. starting this weekend!

Thanks for using the Manager!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Change Log: 2.38.777 (API r0.61.581) Alpha release coming soon!
Before I get into the notes for release 2.38.777, since 1.5 shipping is already underway, I should reiterate that I'm probably going to be going back to daily/every-other-day updates very soon: this release will probably be the last "major upgrade" type of release (where I add/enhance multiple features) for a while.

Also, hanks to everyone who responded to The Watcher alpha-release survey when it went out yesterday! We're going through the responses now!

OK, so as far as this release goes, I am happy to announce that release 2.38.777 (finally) pushes the major upgrades to the Campaign Summary view that I have been teasing lately, including:
  • The view pulls all settlement data from the API now: literally nothing comes from the legacy webapp, which should dramatically improve load times.
  • Survivors can be moved into/out of the Departing survivors group without reloading the view (though it does spin the wheel for a second while it refreshes...for now).
  • Individual Survivor's basic stats (Courage, Understanding, etc.) can be updated from the Campaign Summary view, i.e. without having to open their Sheet.
  • The Campaign Summary view checks itself on load and, if you cannot manage any survivors, will reinitialize until you can.
  • Dead survivors get a big, red 'X' over their avatar on the Campaign Summary. Which...just makes me happy, for some reason.
There is also a heaping helping of bug/presentation fixes in this one as well: as usual, thanks to everyone who has checked in with an issue since the last release went out!

And thanks for using the Manager!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Campaign Summary upgrade release tomorrow!

Tablet resolution feature demo of the Campaign
Summary view upgrades, including Survivor 'Quick
Menu' functionality.
The work on the Campaign Summary upgrades that I have been teasing since the last release is almost done!

As of right this minute, I've got a few more tickets to close and then I plan on pushing the new release to production sometime tomorrow (probably early, since that's when we tend to have a low user count).

In the meantime, please enjoy this new, tablet-resolution feature demo of the upgraded Campaign Summary view controls, including Departing Survivors management and a new UI/UX concept I call Survivor "Quick Menus".

(Basically, it's a little modal that pops up BEFORE you load the survivor sheet that lets you do a quick reference/review and, if necessary, rapidly bump some attributes up or down.)

Thanks for using the Manager!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Feature Demo: upgraded Campaign Summary view!

I mentioned (a few times, I think) that the next big feature upgrade for the Manager was going to involve the Campaign Summary view.

At present, the Campaign Summary view takes a long time to load and managing the Departing survivors requites a lot of refreshes and reloads. In the next release of the Manager, all of that is going to change, and the view is going to have much better performance.

Just to give you an idea of how much of an upgrade this is going to be, the feature demo on the right shows a preview/teaser of the new Campaign Summary view controls at mobile resolution: if you've used the Manager at all, it's going to look pretty revolutionary.

Barring anything unforeseen, I think I should have this release ready to go early this coming week, if not sooner.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Change Log: 2.37.747

More work in progress on this guy.
 Release 2.37.747 contains a number of UI/UX improvements, including:
  • Survivor Sheet "Disorders" controls no longer reload the page! 
  • Survivor Sheet "Lineage" controls and presentation have been completely re-done and upgraded to show more/better data, including basic survivor biographies.
  • Changing a Survivor's parents no longer reloads the page.
  • Integration with the Manager's Twitter account.
  • A good-size handful of bug and presentation fixes
Counterweighted Axe detail.
As far as the Twitter thing is concerned, the tl;dr is that rather than doing updates/alerts via the application, which requires pushing code to GitHub, I decided to just outsource transient status updates to Twitter.

The account has been around for a while now, but as of release 2.37.747, I finally got around to integrating it and replacing the old alert mechanism. Effective immediately, the pink "alert" box on the dashboard has been replaced with a blue "!" box.

Another thing to point out about this release is that a lot of what it does is intended to help page load speeds.

For instance, a major part of the lag on rendering the Survivor Sheet in the legacy webapp was the "Lineage" information: gathering that could take in excess of two seconds in some cases, and it slowed down the page load substantially. In release 2.37.747, the API does the lineage stuff asynchronously (i.e. in parallel with the main page load) and the Survivor Sheet should be able to load that much faster.

Another small improvement that some users might notice in this release is that the Survivor Sheet no longer totally refreshes/re-initializes itself when making trivial changes (e.g. adding/removing epithets, changing Survival, toggling "Favorite" status, etc.).

At any rate, work on The Watcher continues in the background, and I expect to have a pretty major announcement about that in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

And thanks for using the Manager!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Survivor Sheet upgrades coming tomorrow!

Survivor Sheet upgrades!
The Survivor Sheet is getting a major upgrade tomorrow and I am currently putting the finishing touches on it, so I figured I'd put out another quick feature demo.

The main things to notice here are:

  • The SotF re-roll toggle has moved
  • The "Insanity" value turns maroon when the survivor is insane.
  • Fighting Arts now "fade" when the survivor's ability to use Fighting Arts is toggled off.
  • Disorders can now be added to the Survivor Sheet without refreshing the page! (They can also be removed, I just forgot to demo that.)
At any rate, as I say, I'm wrapping this one up now and doing my QA process today and I expect to have it out tomorrow/Thursday.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Upgraded "Lineage" controls feature demo

No, it's not part of the game. Yes, it's still
an important feature of the Manager. 
I mentioned on the Manager's Twitter that I might push a new release today or tomorrow, but I'm actually going to hold off on that until maybe Thursday or Friday, because I decided to refactor the Survivor Sheet "Lineage" controls and that's taking a bit longer than I expected.

In the meantime, please enjoy this tablet-resolution feature demo of the new/enhanced "Lineage" stuff.

(It also shows the 'first time sign-in' modal, which will have its presentation fixed/upgraded when the next release finally comes out.)

And thanks for using the Manager!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Change Log: 2.33.712

Dragon People:
work in progress.
Release 2.33.712 is focused mostly on back-end (i.e. API) enhancements and contains no user-facing application improvements.

Rather, the scope of this release is limited to a handful of updates for the API's admin panel, including some new methods for API performance monitoring (with is equally important for both The Watcher and the legacy webapp).

There are also a few legacy webapp bug fixes for yesterday's release, but nothing major.

(At this point, I think I have had some kind of communication with everyone who was affected by yesterday's deployment, but in case I missed anyone, thank you for your patience!)

And thanks for using the Manager!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Change Log: 2.33.709

Rawhide set + Deranged Expression (work in progress).
The dashboard upgrade is finally here!

Release 2.33.709 pushes a major update to the Manager's dashboard that improves page load times* and enhances/expands the information that you see on the dashboard about your settlements. It also adds a first-time user message for new users (i.e. anyone who is not currently involved in any campaigns)!

The next view on the agenda to be upgraded/refactored is the Campaign Summary, which is the heaviest/slowest of the views, since it depends the most on the legacy webapp and leverages the API the least. I'm going to try to get some more work on that done before the end of the month.

I also plan to get some more improvements to the Survivor Sheet rolled out in the next week or two: one of the final controls that needs to be refactored/enhanced is the Disorders controls, and I'm going to knock that out very soon!

In back-end news, work on The Watcher is really ramping up: release 2.33.709 includes many enhancements to game asset definitions and the routes that retrieve those assets that are intended to facilitate the new UI/UX design requirements.

Finally, since it looks like 1.5 is going to ship in the very near future and I've seen the question come up on BGG/Reddit a few times, and I would like to officially reiterate that, once my copy shows up, my plan is to go into lock-down/overtime mode and push updates until I have full 1.5 support in both the app and the API.

* Prior to release 2.33.709, render times for the dashboard have taken, on average, anywhere between a quarter of a second to a half of a second, which is no bueno: if it takes half a second just to create the HTML for the view, there's no way we're getting the page rendered in under a second, even given optimal network conditions, etc.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Change Log: 2.32.691

Slendermania continues! (Work in progress.)
Release 2.32.691focuses on the Manager's second most popular browser, FireFox, and addresses a number of issues affecting performance, presentation, etc. in that browser.

Basically, to get this one done, I worked on a few low-impact items from the backlog, but, instead of debugging/QAing in Chrome, I worked in FireFox and just fixed things as I went.

Beyond the FireFox-based adjustments, this release also chips in a little more work towards resolving the long-standing issue where some non-Chrome browsers fail to load a view based on JS/API failures: a number of order-of-operations, timeout and scope problems that have been associated with  never-ending page loads are addressed/corrected in this release and, in a worst-case scenario where the browsers loses the cookie or the authentication token info, the javascript app will just straight-up kill the legacy webapp session, logging the user out (i.e. so they can start from scratch).

Finally, in terms of big-picture progress, release 2.32.691 also puts in some more groundwork on an entirely API-based dashboard view, which should massively decrease the time it takes to load the dashboard (once its finished: for now, sucky dashboard load times are here to stay...but their days are numbered).

Thanks for using the Manager!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Change Log: 2.30.670

Slenderman work in progress.
Release 2.30.670 is mostly focused on back-end enhancements required for The Watcher, but there are one or two enhancements/upgrades to the legacy webapp in this one that users might notice.

Most noticeably, the mechanism by which individual survivors are "favorited" has been enhanced so that multiple users can mark a survivor as one of their favorites. Since the beginning of the feature, once a survivor was marked as a favorite, every player saw it as a favorite. Now, individual users get a customized display that only shows them their own favorites.

Another thing that some users might notice is that API failures in the legacy webapp (e.g. when you try to save or update something and it fails) now produce a full-screen, modal error that has to be clicked through. These API modal errors contain the API's response as well as some specific information about the route, assets, etc. that were in play when the error occurred.

Hopefully this helps with error-reporting.

Otherwise, there isn't too much for the user experience in 2.30.670. At some point in the next release (or maybe the next one after that), I'm going to re-do the dashboard and finish the Survivor Sheet upgrade, i.e. so that none of the controls on the sheet require a reload/refresh.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Change Log: 2.29.654

Illuminated Lady (work in progress).
Release 2.29.654 is another pretty big one, so be on the lookout for issues.

The release is primarily focused on back-end enhancements, but the one major user-facing aspect of the legacy app that does change in this one is the way the login screen works.

And boy howdy does it change.

As I teased in my last post, the whole sign-in experience, from presentation to the back-end/API stuff, has been totally redone and massively upgraded. The legacy app now authenticates versus the API for everything, including password resets.

In other UI/UX news, release 2.29.654 also address a couple of performance issues that have been escalated recently.

There's a ton of stuff in this release: hit the jump for more details (and another funny work in progress shot on my Illuminated Lady)!

And thanks for using the Manager!

Friday, September 8, 2017

New Sign-in UI Feature Demo

Mobile/phone resolution feature demo!
As of right now, I'm working on polishing up a pretty big release of the manager. If everything goes according to plan tonight and tomorrow morning, it should be deployed early tomorrow.

Among other things, the release implements a brand-new sign-in, user registration and password reset interface.

Since I haven't done one in a while, I decided to create an animated GIF feature demo showing how password resets will work once the release goes out. Enjoy!

And thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Change Log: 2.27.614

Release 2.27.614 adds a "random" option to the top of the Fighting Arts picker and corresponding support in the API.

(The changes in this release should have gone out earlier, but...I'm an idiot.)

Thanks again for using the Manager!

Change Log: 2.26.608

Release 2.26.608 implements API-side controls for managing survivor Fighting Arts! This means that the Survivor Sheet in the webapp will no longer have to reload when fighting arts are added or removed!

Also, as part of all that, 2.26.608 completely overhauls and upgrades the presentation of the Fighting Arts, so that they look a lot better, overall.

(Also also, I should mention that I finally got around to fixing the alignment of the Survivor Sheet "Survival" number input at all three breakpoints. That's been bugging me for months now, and it feels really good to finally get around to it.)

And speaking of presentation, this issue addresses a handful of issues affecting Firefox. I have been monitoring browser/OS information a little more closely lately, and it looks like more users are coming in with Firefox, so I'm going to start using it more in my QA/pre-release process.

Finally, I should stay that Survivor Sheet Disorders are next on the list of UI/UX elements to improve (i.e. by making it so they don't reload the page), but I've got a handful of javascript revisions/bugs I need to do first, as well as some authentication/user-creation work that I've got to turn in for The Watcher beta, so it'll be a minute before I get around to fixing up the Disorders.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Change Log: 2.25.579

Release 2.25.579 pushes a refactored dashboard "World" panel that automatically refreshes itself.

The code is primarily based on the work I've been pushing this week on the new API Admin Panel, so, in a way, this is the user-facing payoff for the last two production releases. The new "World" panel not only looks better at all three CSS breakpoints, but should help the dashboard load a little more quickly.

(Current average render times on the dashboard are hovering around 0.480874010989 seconds, and I'd like to get them down to less than half of that. Signing into the legacy app now hits the API, which slows it down, so I'm trying to compensate for that.)

At any rate, work on The Watcher will resume with the next release.

Thanks again for using the Manager!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Change Log: 2.24.566

Release 2.24.566 is focused on the new Admin Panel for the API and, like the previous release, does not do much for the legacy webapp, though it lays the ground for the dashboard upgrade that I've been working on for a while.

I figure on maybe one or two more days of work on this Admin Panel, and then I should be able to get back to work on The Watcher and the legacy app improvement/API migration project.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Change Log: 2.24.559

This release implements the first draft of the API's admin panel.

This doesn't really mean anything to you as a user, but the legacy webapp's admin panel is my primary insight into who is doing what with the Manager, and it helps me pick up on unreported bugs, issues, workarounds, etc.

Expect another tiny release in the very near future as I continue to work on getting this new panel cleaned up and workable.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Change Log: 2.24.558

I'm back!

Release 2.24.558 is a tiny break/fix release that addresses a few user-reported bugs and cleans up a couple of annoying UI/UX issues.

Now that I am back from vacation/moving, regular updates and work on The Watcher will resume and the next release will pick up where I left off on optimizing the Survivor Sheet by expanding the API's ability to support survivor management operations.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Out of Office

Starting on Friday, 2017-07-21, I am out office until the end of August.

While I am out, I will not be able to respond to emails/issues/etc. If you find a bug/issue, I encourage you to report it using the controls in the webapp or by opening an issue in GitHub.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Change Log: 2.24.539

Release version 2.24.539 tidies up some minor UI/UX annoyances on the SurvivorSheet. It also ties the javascript downloads to the release version number, so we should have fewer cache-related user issues from now on. 

The release adds no new functionality, but I suppose you could call 2.24.539 a "quality of life" release. 

With any luck, this tiny release will be the last release until the end of August.

Change Log: 2.24.531

Release 2.24.531 is basically a break/fix patch to undo the damage caused in Monday's deployment.

So yeah, uh...sorry about that.

In order to apply this fix, I had to finish up and push out a couple of new API routes and, whenever I do that, there is always risk of unintended consequences, so I'll be keeping an eye on this release and potentially doing another patch tomorrow or this weekend.

Otherwise, assuming that this release looks OK and sits well for the next day or two, I do not plan on doing any additional releases until late August, so this may be the last you hear out of me for a while.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Settlement Sheet monster controls are broken!

I am currently out of office (work travel), but I just got done reading a few write-ins about weird behavior affecting the Settlement Sheet and checking logs and it looks like I made a pretty bad mistake in my haste to get the last release of the manager into production.

Basically, I accidentally pushed out some code that I wasn't done with and, long story short, the Settlement Sheet controls for managing quarry, nemesis and defeated monsters are broken: they're not working at all.

I have opened an issue in Github and will be working on a patch over the next 48 hours: I'll have some updated code in production by Wednesday night (USA Central time).

Change Log: 2.24.521

Release 2.24.513 did not break as many things as I expected it to, so this follow-up release is not very extensive, but should clear up a the major/disruptive issues introduced in the last one.

Specifically, the bugs affecting the automatic application of settlement principle buffs (specifically the "Conviction" principles) and weapon mastery are addressed. Problems with updating survivor sex and retirement status are also addressed.

As of right now, I think I will probably do one more 'stabilizing' release this week as minor issues trickle in (assuming they do trickle in).

After that, there will not be another major release of the Manager until mid-August. Thanks for your patience.

And thanks for using the Manager!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Change Log: 2.24.513

Survivor Sheet upgrade!
The Survivor Sheet Upgrade release, otherwise known as 2.24.513, is finally here!

It is also is probably the biggest release since the Anniversary Release back in January.

As far as features go, this one overhauls most of the controls on the Survivor Sheet:
  • Adding Abilities & Impairments no longer reloads/refreshes the Survivor Sheet
  • Settlement Sheet "flags" (e.g. "Cannot use Fighting Arts") are now automatically set (though you can still toggle them) based on A&Is
  • Survival Actions on the Sheet now also appear/disappear automatically as A&Is add or remove access to different SAs.
  • A number of Survivor Sheet controls have been refactored to no longer require page refresh/reload, including Cursed Item controls and Savior controls, Dragon Traits and "The Constellations", etc.

This one is also a major API milestone: as of 2.24.513, we've got API-side survivor normalization and we're starting to enhance the survivor data model so that it can support all of the UI/UX magic we've got planned for The Watcher.

Speaking of that, this one also pushes a slew of new API routes for working with survivors: there are now 20 documented routes for managing various aspects of the Survivor Sheet via the API.

As of  2.24.513 (API release 0.51.381), I would say that we're about 60% finished with migrating the old survivor update methods from the legacy webapp to the API, which is one of three major prerequisites for the alpha release of the Watcher (the other two being API-based user and settlement management).

Finally, if precedent is any guide, this release, since it is such a major overhaul of the front- and back-end components of the Manager, is almost certainly going to be associated with some usability/presentation issues. Thanks in advance for your patience!

And thanks for using the Manager!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Major Survivor Sheet Upgrade tomorrow!

The Survivor Sheet upgrade release is ready to go, but I want to spend a little time QAing it before I release it, so it's probably not going into production until tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, I made a feature demo GIF showing how the new, improved Survivor Sheet will work for PotStars campaigns, with respect to updating the Dragon Traits/Constellations table without having to reload or refresh.


Controls for Fighting Arts and Disorders still require a reload/refresh of the page.
That will be addressed in the next release of the Manager!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Release postponed! New feature demos

I woke up this morning planning to deploy the new release, and then ran into a number of issues with survivor creation (which is moving from the old webapp to the API) and decided to hang back.

At this point, the plan is to have the new release ready to go before this weekend, e.g. Friday or so, if everything keeps going the way it has been going.

In the meantime, I created some mobile resolution feature demo GIFs that show some of the new functionality that will be included in the next release of the Manager.

The left one shows how settlement event logging will improve and will list all bonuses applied to newborn survivors; the right one shows the new "Seven Swordsmen" survivor creation option and how Cursed Items will work without refreshing the Survivor Sheet:


Monday, July 10, 2017

Survivor Sheet feature demo: new Cursed Item and Savior controls!

Progress on the next release, which will include a major Survivor Sheet upgrade, is going well and I still plan to deploy on Wednesday.

I put the finishing touches on the new Savior management controls and, in order to document a little bit about where I'm at with the whole thing, and made a new feature demo GIF of how the controls look at tablet resolution.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Survivor Sheet feature demo: teaser for the next release!

Contrary to what I said last time, there will not be a new release of the Manager deployed today.

Instead, I've got a short good news/bad news post.

Good News

The good news is that I've been diligently plugging away on the next major release, and I've got some good progress to show for it.

Check out this new feature demo, which shows the refactored, no-page-reload controls for Survivor Sheet Abilities & Impairments, Survival Actions and permanent affinities:

Some things to notice:

  1. Affinity controls no longer need a page reload.
  2. The epithet picker refreshes itself and prevents duplicate epithets
  3. Survival Action tool-/title-tips are now tablet/phone friendly and appear when the element is clicked/tapped
  4. The A&I picker refreshes itself, preventing duplicate picks when duplicate picks are against the rules
  5. A&Is, once applied, can automatically update survivor epithets (among other things...but more on that later).

Bad News

The bad news is that all of the new stuff that will come out in this release is basically requiring me to port like, 80% of the survivor management code from the legacy app to the API, and that is taking up quite a bit of time.

All of which is to say that the next release of the Manager is taking longer to put together than I initially predicted, and I will probably not be able to deploy it until some time later this week. I'm thinking Wednesday, latest.

It will be worth it though: Survivor Sheet automation is about to take a major leap forward.

Thanks again for using the Manager!

Friday, July 7, 2017

New release coming this weekend!

I am currently working on finishing up a new release for this weekend that will upgrade a number of components on the Survivor Sheet. As of right now, I plan on deploying it to production on Sunday morning.

Until then, check out this feature demo for a sneak peak of some of the upcoming enhancements!

(Presentation elements are not final.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Change Log: 2.14.414

Before I get into change details, I want to mention a couple of housekeeping type details:

  1. I just updated the About page on this blog, which acknowledges people who have contributed or continue to contribute to the Manager in some way, shape or form. I don't acknowledge them enough on here, but without the users who write in with feature/enhancement and bug feedback, the Manager would suck way more than it already does!
  2. I also created a Twitter for the Manager yesterday. Ultimately, I plan to integrate it into the dashboard view, e.g. to use it to rapidly post short status updates, etc. for all users to see. For now, it isn't really implemented or used, but feel free to follow it!

Moving on form housekeeping to actual release details, the most important thing about release 2.14.414 is that it makes what I am pretty sure will be the final changes to the way the Manager is installed and deployed.

Today's deploy involved a restart of the World daemon, the API server and the CGI server and was completely issue-free: going forward, the deployments should be non-disruptive and fully automated.

In terms of new features and enhancements, the main thing about release 2.14.411 is that re-implements the Survivor Sheet Controls of Death in AngularJS and adds API methods for same: the Survivor Sheet no longer needs a reload/refresh to set (or unset) survivor death information.

This release also upgrades the Settlement Sheet Survival Limit controls. Adding new innovations can automatically increase the Survival Limit (where appropriate) and there's a new tooltip feature that provides additional detail about how Survival Limit is working in the current settlement.

As far as back-end/API enhancements, the front-end guys working on The Watcher have asked me to focus the API development effort on porting the survivor sheet methods from the legacy webapp to the API, so that is the main focus of this release and will likely continue to be the focus for the next month. It also explains why this release and the one before it have focused more on the Survivor Sheet than the Settlement Sheet.

So for now, the tl;dr is that you can expect another release with more Survivor Sheet enhancements in another couple of days...and then probably another one a couple of days after that and so on for the rest of July.

Thanks for using the Manager!

New release later today!

Happy Independence Day!

I'm celebrating with a big release that starts to address some of the longest-standing UI/UX complaints about the Manager. The new release will be deployed to production later today.

In the meantime, for a sneak preview of how it will improve the Manager, check out this feature demo GIF, which simulates two different users managing a campaign together.

The settlement founder/creator/admin is on the left, and the non-admin user is on the right:

In summary, the demo shows:

  1. Creating a new user
  2. Creating a new settlement with four survivors for the prologue/"First Story"
  3. Giving another user permission to manage a survivor in that settlement
  4. Adding an innovation to the Settlement Sheet without reloading
  5. [NEW] Adding an innovation to the Settlement Sheet that increases the settlement's Survival Limit without reloading the page
  6. [NEW] The Settlement Sheet tooltip for Survival Limit
  7. [NEW] The Survivor Sheet automatically enforcing Survival Limit and alerting the user with a pop-up
  8. [NEW] The Survivor Sheet controls of death working without a page refresh
  9. [NEW] The Settlement Sheet death count and population updating automatically when a location or innovation is added.
  10. [NEW] Tooltips on the Settlement Sheet for population and death count

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Change Log: 2.12.376

Release 2.12.376 is a housekeeping release. It does not add any new features and mostly does break/fix work on the last release.

There is some new development in the form of new API functionality around survivors, Survival and Survival Actions. The front-end team is hard at work on the Survivor Sheet in The Watcher and this release pushes a handful of fixes and enhancements related to that.

And, speaking of that, 2.12.376 also focuses on API documentation, which has sort of...lapsed over the last few releases. As of today all functioning API methods are documented. Additionally, I have revised many of the documents, added usage tips and cleaned up the presentation.

Expect another feature-enhancement release during the long weekend or, worst case scenario, this coming week: I'm working on a few things and I'm excited to get them pushed out to the production webapp!

Thanks for using the Manager!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Change Log: 2.11.359

...and we're back. Deployment of the new release had the Manager down for about 10 minutes, and everything is looking really nice in the aftermath.

In terms of what's in this release, let me just say that 2.11.359 is a big boy: it took me a couple of weeks to put it together and it improves the Manager quite a bit. What follows is a quick breakdown of everything included in this major release.

Installation/deployment. This release fixes the numerous sysadmin-type problems/issues with the last one, which revised the way the manager is deployed (i.e. the way its various services and processes are initialized). Long story short, the last release made a lot of assumptions about the target system that ended up not being true: the installer now displays more flexibility/adaptability in those critical areas.

Settlement Sheet upgrade! Release 2.11.359 one also includes some important usability improvements, the most significant of which is the implementation of an angularjs-based locations picker on the Settlement Sheet, which will finally mean (drum roll, please) that the Settlement Sheet will no longer reload/refresh when locations are added/removed using the Settlement Sheet controls.

Back-end security and performance enhancements. There are some improvements on the back-end as well, including some new code in the legacy webapp and the API that will help transition the old application to the API's security model and allow us to start locking down parts of the API. 2.11.359 also migrates a number of legacy webapp methods/features to the API, which will a.) make them perform more reliably and b.) get us closer to our alpha release of The Watcher.

Fixes and corrections. As far as fixes go, this release also resolves all of the issues that were reported during my two-month hiatus, including several issues with the Location picker, the resurrection bug affecting the Controls of Death and the way that API failures happen.

At this point, the most important short-term goals, in terms of getting the API ready to work with The Watcher and modernizing the legacy webapp are these:
  • refactor all Javascript used by the legacy webapp to no longer use the modifyAsset() function, i.e. the function which makes a call to the legacy app to update a survivor or settlement, and replace all of those methods with API calls.
  • make the "private" API routes, i.e. the ones that manage user-created assets (Survivors and Settlements), require JWT authorization. 
  • deprecate all legacy webapp code that modifies user assets and replace it with an equivalent API method.
Finally, due to some outside complications, I will be taking another break from active development/support of both the Manager and the API from July 17th through August 17th.

Which means that the agenda for the next few weeks of development is to make some of the major enhancements that we need for The Watcher and stabilizing the legacy webapp so that it doesn't need any serious attention while I am out of office.

As usual, hit the jump for the full change log.

Thanks again for using the Manager!

Scheduled downtime starting soon!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am re-installing the Manager today and will require a short downtime to change everything over and deploy the new release.

With any luck, this will be the last time I end up having to do this and we won't have any more downtime deployments going forward.

At any rate, the downtime will start in about an hour.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

New release this week: short downtime and Settlement Sheet enhancement!

A new release of the Manager will be out this week and, like the last one, it will require a short downtime.

With any luck, this will be the last release for a while that requires a downtime. Either way, as usual, I will post a warning here shortly before the production application goes away and I will post a follow up when it comes back.

Also, I am happy to say that the release will also include some new features intended to improve usability and performance by leveraging some of the API development that has been going behind the scenes for The Watcher.

Among other things, the next release of the Manager will (finally) update the Settlement Sheet's location picker so that it no longer refreshes the Sheet when locations are added or removed!

Check out the animated GIF feature demo in this post to see it in action at tablet resolution.

I am presently targeting Tuesday of this week for the release. Watch this space for updates.

And thanks for using the Manager!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Change Log: 2.9.318

...and we're back.

Regular enhancements/support for both the Manager and the KDM API have officially resumed, effective immediately!

As I mentioned earlier, release 2.9.318 required a downtime/outage to deploy because it implements a new, unified process for installing the Manager and the API. The updated file on GitHub describes the new process, which, in addition to being greatly simplified/streamlined, should make both planned system updates and unintentional system restarts go much more smoothly.

Additionally, this release pushes a couple of significant bug fixes for the Settlement Sheet, including one that allowed users to add forbidden innovations to the settlement and another that prevented users from adding the "Pictograph" innovation.

Now that I am back to work on the project, I will take a look at the old, planned milestones and the outstanding, open issues in the project and redesign the development roadmap accordingly, so watch this space for updates on that.

And thanks for using the Manager!

Scheduled downtime/outage imminent!

Release 2.9.318 is ready to ship and, as I mentioned yesterday, it will require a downtime to fully/correctly deploy.

That downtime will take place in about 15 minutes from now. The outage is not expected to take longer than a few minutes (but one never knows with these things).

See you on the other side!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Outage/downtime and new release tomorrow!

I'm back!

After a bit of a hiatus from the project, I am happy to say that I am back and I've got new code to deploy. In fact, I am actually going to re-install the whole application.

I will release full change notes when I push the changes tomorrow, but the next revision of the Manager fundamentally alters the way that it is installed and initialized, in order to deliver a.) easier deployment, b.) better recovery and c.) better resilience overall.

In order to roll those changes out, I basically have to switch over to a new version of the webapp in production, which means that the Manager will go away for a while tomorrow afternoon, probably about half an hour or so.

As usual, I will post a short notice here before the outage and then an "all clear" notice when we are fully cut-over.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Change Log: 2.5.307

Release 2.5.307 is primarily a break/fix release that corrects the numerous issues introduced in Monday's 2.5.293 release.

This release also refactors/redesigns a lot of the back-end code involved in managing user sessions and JWT authorization and enhances the API documentation.

There's not much else to say about 2.5.307, but I will say that we had a conference call this morning about how we want to do the alpha/pre-release stuff for The Watcher, and we've got a go-forward plan on that.

If you are a.) interested in participating in the alpha/pre-release preview and b.) you are a current user of the Manager, make sure you are on our registration list: it won't be long until we start reaching out to you guys to take a look at what we've been working on!

Thanks for using the Manager!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Scheduled Outage!

Deploying the new release (2.5.293) will require an outage: I posted a warning in the Manager earlier today.

The outage has begun. I anticipate that it will not be a lengthy one.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Update: after a spot of trouble with Nginx and refreshing JWT tokens, the outage is over and the deployment is complete.

As usual, the new release introduces a number of issues that I didn't catch during development. I am collecting/tracking the issues here, if you use GitHub and want to check in with a comment/issue.

Thanks again for using the Manager!

Change Log: 2.5.293

2.5.293 is not fooling around.
Release 2.5.293 will be the only major release of the Manager and API this month.

There are several reasons for that:

  1. This release is 'yuge: not only did it take more than two weeks to put together, but it modifies almost 2000 lines of code. And while lines modified is no measure of quality/content, it's a definite measure of effort and a lot of effort went into release 2.5.293.
  2. This release includes major API enhancements: among other things, it is the first time a private (i.e. auth-required) route has been added that processes JWT authorization info and uses it to create a user asset. This is a big deal for us, in terms of Milestones for The Watcher, since it is the first release that supports external asset creation via a protected route. Woohoo!
  3. Release 2.5.293 also includes major API refactoring, including a non-trivial revision of the way that the internal request object is updated/managed and how logging works.
  4. I'm at like, hour 116 of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and I have to beat it before I can move on and get back to my life.
At any rate and as usual, release 2.5.293 applies a couple/few usability and bug fixes for the legacy app (including some clean-up/reconciliation of the PotStars default timeline: hit the jump for full details on that).

Most of what this release does will not be noticeable in the legacy app, however. As the above suggests, this one is a major back-up update/overhaul/enhancement and most of the action is behind the scenes.

That said, these kinds of releases tend to break things in new and interesting (haha) ways, so even though this is the only major release I'm doing in March, there might be some tag-along break/fix stuff over the next week or two.

Thanks again for using the Manager!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Change Log: 2.4.268

This release addresses a couple of  long-standing back-end (i.e. invisible to users) issues re: new settlement creation and adds a couple of new features to the API (as well as a general update to API documentation).

In terms of general agenda for the near-term, the focus is on two things: getting the API to the point where it can create new settlements without the help of the legacy web app and adding the ability to update survivors.

Once that happens, we'll have a general overhaul of those aspects of the legacy app. The main impact of updating survivors via the API will be that I will have the ability to cut the number of page refreshes required on the Survivor Sheet (which is a major annoyance for a lot of users).

tl;dr This release doesn't really do anything major for the legacy webapp, but it's groundwork for some major enhancements and big progress on The Watcher.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Change Log: 2.4.259

Other than a couple of bug fixes based on errors that showed up in the logs from last week, this tiny release contains all API enhancements related to the first/alpha features of The Watcher.

Just a heads up, while break/fix and bug support will not slow down at all in the near term, feature work (including refactoring and redesign) for the legacy app is going to slow down quite a bit over the next few months: between work on the The Watcher and the fact that I'm moving this spring/summer, I don't feel like I will have the free time to keep up with the kind of insane release schedule that I kept up during November/December/January 2016.

That said, we're still full steam ahead on The Watcher and should have some real news on that very soon!

Thanks again for using the Manager!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Change Log: 2.4.254

Release 2.4.254 is primarily focused on API enhancements required by The Watcher and laying some groundwork for some future enhancements/optimizations to the Manager.

(Speaking of The Watcher, if you're not doing it already, follow The Watcher on Twitter: once user-facing stuff starts to become available, that will be the major channel for updates/statuses, etc.)

2.4.254 also contains a few bug fixes, and most of them either came directly from users or were the indirect result of other user feedback. Thanks to everyone who has written in over the last week!

And thanks again for using the Manager!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Change Log: 2.4.245

Normally, I depend on users to report issues with the Manager.

I will definitely concede that it's not a great system, but I'm a one-man-show here, after all, and it's a system that works well enough.

Except when it doesn't. 

Release 2.4.245 very specifically targets a bug introduced in release 2.4.243 that affected weapon mastery innovations. No one reported the issue, though a number of users would have been disrupted by it, and I was working on some new feature development when I just randomly noticed it happening 20 or 30 some odd times during the last week.

At any rate, release 2.4.245 should a.) fix all settlements broken by the bug and b.) prevent the bug from affecting future settlements. And, in the meantime, I'll be working on a better schedule for reviewing the logs and errors, etc. to hopefully catch some of these things sooner.

Thanks for using the Manager!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Change Log: 2.4.243

Stepping up the Manager's cross-browser support.
As promised in my previous post, release 2.4.243 specifically addresses usability and presentation issues affecting Safari (mobile and desktop).

(An aside: the Manager is not recommended for use with Safari (mobile or desktop), but I try to support it anyway. I do this on behalf of the handful of helpful/dedicated users who have been the de facto QA team for the Manager on Safari over the last few months. If you use the Manager in Safari and you're not one of the guys who writes in regularly with issues, you owe those guys a debt of gratitude, because they're really driving this thing.)

Beyond correcting a long list of Safari issues, 2.4.243 also completely refactors the Settlement Sheet controls for adding innovations. In a nutshell, the controls (including the part where your Innovation Deck is displayed) are now totally real-time and dynamic and no longer require page refreshes.

Additionally, and somewhat controversially, the drop-down/select list that shows options for adding innovations now shows all available options.

I have been going back and forth on the best way to do this since the earliest releases of the Manager, and I am aware that there are strong user opinions on either side. For a long time, there was a user preference that users could use to either get a full or partial list of Innovation options, and I had been maintaining back- and front-end code for both options.

At this point, however, I have come to be of the opinion that the best solution for everyone is to remove the preference, commit to a single user experience, and cut the baby in half, so to speak: the Innovation Deck box on the Settlement Sheet will follow game rules for building an Innovation Deck and the drop-down will include all available options, based on expansion content, campaign, etc.

With any luck, this "best of both worlds" approach should satisfy both sides of the argument.

As usual, hit the jump for the complete release notes. And thanks again for using the Manager!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Safari patches and no-refresh Innovation controls coming tomorrow!

Tablet resolution animated GIF feature demo!
On Thursday, I started working on the recently introduced usability and presentation issues affecting Safari users and realized that, rather than simply patching or working around the issues affecting the Settlement Sheet, it made more sense to just go ahead and totally overhaul the Innovations controls.

This afternoon (i.e. Saturday), I finally finished up the new Innovation controls and now the plan is to do a release of the Manager tomorrow morning that will include all of the Safari-specific presentation fixes that I failed to release last Tuesday as well as totally redesigned Innovation controls on the Settlement Sheet.

Check out the animated GIF demo at the right to get a sense of how it will work, but the big ideas behind the redesign are these:

  1. Adding or removing innovations updates the Innovation Deck without refreshing the page.
  2. Clicking/tapping the Innovation Deck refreshes it without refreshing.
The basic idea is that working with Settlement Sheet innovation controls no longer reloads/refreshes the page, no matter what you're trying to do.

And, like I said above, I will definitely release that feature tomorrow (i.e. Sunday) morning and, with any luck, that plus the Safari fixes will solve a lot of issues for a lot of people.

Thanks for using the Manager!