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: http://kdm-manager.com/media/special_showdown.ai 

Download the PNG here: http://kdm-manager.com/media/special_showdown.png

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!

http://kdm-manager.com 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)

http://thewatcher.io 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.