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.