Improbable Island Message of the Day (MoTD)

November Monthly Memento, mobile improvements, expanding banking services and an open letter to the games industry
Admin CavemanJoe2022-11-21 16:30:11 [Permalink]
Hey all, I never did post an MotD about this month's Monthly Memento, but it's the Public Duty Cost Allowance and it pays you money every day for the hour you spent as the UK's Prime Minister.

The Bank now has some extra options available to make banking faster and easier! For a small one-time cigarette fee you can add the ability to deposit/withdraw-all in one click from the Bank, or even from the Outpost. There's even an option to have a clerk follow you around the Jungle in case you fancy a quick bank in the foliage.

There's been more improvements to the mobile interface! In addition to more quicknav buttons popping up here and there, we now have a QuickStat system that lets us show relevant stats just above the quicknav area whenever they're needed. For example, when you go into a restaurant on mobile, a little pie appears with your hunger bar next to it, and a coin with your req, so you don't have to scroll all the way down the page to see where you're at hunger-and-money-wise. On the Failboat, a pair of glasses appear to show your favour with The Watcher. In the Jungle after a fight, a coin shows your earned Requisition and a potato shows your earned Experience Points, because there's no generally-accepted visual shorthand for XP, a subject of lengthy discussion culminating in an open letter to the games industry at large which I hope you'll share with anyone thinking of making head-up displays using little pictures of the letters "XP" instead of little pictures of potatoes.

Have fun!

~
The Cat is dead; long live the Cat
Admin CavemanJoe2022-11-09 15:03:01 [Permalink]
Improbable Island's official cat Stewart died on Friday evening. We'd been expecting it for a while, because he was born some time in the 90's.



He had maybe 30 seconds of confusion, then I figured what was happening, picked him up and he settled down in my arms and started purring. Took him outside in the unseasonal warm and sat down on a rock with him on my lap and scritched his jaw and ear the way he likes and he just purred into the cup of my hand for a couple minutes, twitched a couple times, and his purr kinda faded out until I could just about feel it on the hand underneath him. It was a couple more minutes until I realised I was feeling my own heartbeat.

It was very gentle; felt like he was falling asleep, except his eyes were open. I took him inside and set him down on the floor and the other three cats gathered around in a wee Cat Wake and looked and sniffed and gave him a goodbye lick. Emily cuddled Nerv while I went out to dig his grave; I buried him next to Leo under the maple tree in a beautiful sunset.

He was an excellent cat and I'm glad I was there to ease him through.

Stewart's successor to the title of Improbable Island Official Cat is Harley, who long-timers may already know from jungle encounters. Harley was born before Improbable Island, and was in our lives before Leo and Stewart were, but there was no Official Cat position until the early 2010's and Harley was passed over for the role because he's a dick political meddling from the administrative side of Improbable Island prevented him from assuming his rightful position, a situation that has now been rectified.

Long may the little bastard His Cattiness reign.

~CMJ
Candy Bombs restocked, food prices halved, restaurant quicknav, life update
Admin CavemanJoe2022-10-27 15:41:31 [Permalink]
Hey folks, it's the fucking 27th of October and I've only just now restocked Gargantuan Candy Bombs in the Hunter's Lodge. This lateness is due to an Unfortunate Series of Events since the last MotD, which I'm tempted to write a Long Post about but it'll get Very Very Very long, so I'll just summarize here:

* Kid gets sick (not covid)
* Wife gets sick (also not covid)
* I get sick (still not covid)
* Catalytic converter got sawed off at 3am one brisk Sunday morning in early October; neighbour happened to be awake but by the time he got outside the thieves were already accelerating away
* Got insurance involved rather than just buying an aftermarket cat and putting it in myself; people who've been in this situation are now nodding sagely and going "Dan you done fucked up" but wait, it gets even dumber
* Order cat shield ($300) to discourage this happening again
* Throw my back out picking up a bookcase
* Insurance mechanic who replaced the cat ($500 excess) tells me it's ready
* Drop off the hire car and get a lift to the mechanic
* Car won't fucking start
* Mechanic shrugs, calls insurance, they arrange a tow of my car back to my house and another courtesy 2 hours on the hire car, well that's nice of them I guess
* It's 3pm Friday and everywhere's gonna be shut over the weekend; tell the hire car people alright just bill me over the weekend while I try and sort this out
* Swapped out ignition switch, starter relay and battery ground braid, car still won't start
* It's the fucking starter motor, get on the phone to the insurance saying hey the starter motor worked when I dropped this car off
* Insurance tells me oh well sucks to be you I guess, good luck proving we burned it out
* Back gets worse and it's getting cold, I'm not gonna swap this starter motor myself, gonna pay a guy to do it in a nice warm workshop with a lift and shit
* Car towed to a better mechanic ($150)
* Kid, wife and self seem to be recovering from The Sick, but my back gets worse; lose two days to immobility
* Mechanic installs new starter motor and I have him put the cat shield on while it's already on the lift ($600)
* Drop off the hire car and pay them for the week I ended up having it ($240)
* Drive car ten miles before Check Engine light comes on
* Scan the codes
* Either the new O2 sensor's a dud or this new cat ain't working right
* We just riveted a steel cage around the cat to make it harder to take it off
* Kid gets sick again lol

So I'm the better part of two grand down on this whole saga so far. If you've been thinking of donating, now would be a grrrrrrreat time to do so.

In happier news, I've added Quicknav support to the various Restaurants on the Island, and halved all food costs. As I type this I was about to rejigger the menus to improve the mobile experience a bit, but I had my Covid booster last night and it's starting to kick in

Have fun,

~CMJ
New Monthly Memento, further Quicknav extensions
Admin CavemanJoe2022-10-03 13:39:54 [Permalink]
Hey everyone! October's Monthly Memento is the Hobbady-Lantern, which is what you carve for Hallowe'en if you're growing up in Thatcher's Grim North and you can't get hold of a pumpkin but you do know a bloke who has some livestock-grade turnips. It looks like this and it's a good solid working-class facelantern that knows its roots. Use it to gain Stamina outside of a fight, or frighten a monster during combat.

I've made some more mobile-interface improvements, extending Quicknav to cover our Implants (and adding a wee readout to the player's combat card). Pretty soon it'll be much easier to play Improbable Island on mobile devices, and I'm super excited about it. If you have any pet peeves about mobile, pages you use a lot and wish were better, please do Distract me with your wishlists.

Have fun!

~CMJ
Mobile Quicknav extended
Admin CavemanJoe2022-09-23 17:46:12 [Permalink]
Hey folks, I've been working on the mobile Quicknav system this week, and have made some improvements.

You can now (assuming you're on a phone) tap to hide and show the Quicknav area. I've extended the Quicknav system to Down Below, the Hospital Tent, and the FailBoat, tidied up the styling on non-clickable navs, made expanding-submenu navs more obvious, and written a system to allow exact positioning of navs that makes it easy to, for example, show intuitively-positioned north/south/east/west links in Down Below. I've also made an easy way to stretch a quicknav link horizontally to take up the whole width of the screen, useful in places like the New Day screen where there's only one nav to show.

The feedback you've all given me on the quicknav system is really encouraging, even though until today it was only useful during fights. I'm looking forward to making the mobile Improbable Island experience much better over the coming months!

Have fun,

~CMJ
Down Below refresh is online (EDIT: and we're now serving HTML5! EDIT EDIT: no we're not! EDIT EDIT EDIT: yes we are!)
Admin CavemanJoe2022-09-14 14:20:13 [Permalink]
Hey folks, Down Below has been given a visual/interface overhaul, and is now online. Some highlights:

* Reconfigurable hotkeys
* Click a square to move
* All treasure/items now have inline links
* Better mobile support
* New graphics

If you find bugs, please do use the "Tell us about a problem" link and let me know what's what.

Thanks and have fun!

~CMJ

EDIT 2022-09-13 17:30 UTC: With the Down Below refresh working properly, we're now able to flip the switch from serving our pages as old-fashioned HTML 4 Transitional to the newfangled HTML5. This will likely break some pages. Please let me know via the Problem link if you come across a page that looks all funky, so I can fix it. EDIT 2022-09-13 21:30 UTC: HTML5 update reverted for now, lotsa stuff broke, gonna fix some shit and try again later in the week EDIT 2022-09-14 14:15 UTC: HTML5 reversion reverted, we are now serving HTML5 again and it looks like most stuff works but do let me know if something Does Not.

Thanks and have fun!

~CMJ
September Monthly Memento, Down Below refresh, life update, Current British Affairs
Admin CavemanJoe2022-09-08 14:26:39 [Permalink]
Hey all! Nerv is in school, which means I suddenly have ALL THIS TIME to work on Island stuff, so in the absence of emergencies the Down Below refresh will be released early next week. I wanna do it early in the week so I'll have the advantage of ALL THIS TIME to work on whatever inevitable bugs spring up.

(it would've been this week, but we had yet another plumbing emergency; my pipes have been corroding from the inside and developing pinhole leaks on the regular. I'm firing up the blowtorch two or three times a year. None of my neighbours are having this problem and I'm at the point where I'm researching debunked theories about ground/neutral bonding while considering ripping out the whole lot and repiping with PEX.)

Because Nerv's in school, and the bus drivers are overwhelmed because their employers are total shits, this month's Monthly Memento is the Screwed Driver! Summon a bus any time in combat. The longer it takes the bus to show up, the more of a hurry the driver will be in, and so the harder it'll run over the monster you're fighting.

Have fun!

EDIT 2022-09-08 17:45 UTC: The Queen has died. Please be sensitive about it in chat; even if you don't think it's important, there are tens of millions who do.

~CMJ
August Monthly Memento, communal toolboxes
Admin CavemanJoe2022-08-08 19:47:58 [Permalink]
Hey folks, the Monthly Memento for August is the Insta-Kool 3000! It cools you down and gives you Stamina, and it'd be best mates with Solstice Squirrel if it weren't a robot and thus incapable of understanding or forming friendships.

Places now have the option of renting a communal toolbox called a Port-O-Shed; this eliminates the need for anyone wanting to help with build jobs to trek all the way to Improbable Central and back with their toolboxes. It's 10 cigs for 24 real-world hours of unlimited tooling.

Have fun, and thanks for all the birthday wishes!

~CMJ
40 Bundle, CMJ is older, and how we make enough money to stay online
Admin CavemanJoe2022-07-21 17:01:10 [Permalink]
Hey folks, a long time ago I made a special Hunter's Lodge bundle of all the good stuff at a big discount because I'd turned 30. It was called the 30 Bundle, and its description said "The 30 Bundle is here because CavemanJoe is old now."

hahaha

Wanna guess how long it's been since I did the 30 Bundle?

That's right, it's time for the 40 Bundle! Good god this website is old.

If you're used to game sales on stores like gog, humble bundle, steam, console shops and that kind of thing, you might be alarmed and confused interested to learn that we don't do big bundle deals four times a year, it's more like every three to five years, so they're always limited and special. New players in particular might be existentially uncertain and frankly terrified pleasantly surprised to learn that the entirity of Improbable Island's budget is paid for by voluntary donations; we don't take a single penny in advertising (if you see adverts on the Island, you've got malware), corporate sponsorships (respectable companies won't touch us), selling your data (we don't have it anyway), or doing whatever it is that influencers do to earn money somehow (I don't understand it and don't want to). All that surveillance-capitalism shit is creepy and weird and we don't want any part of it, so the Island stays online purely because I ask politely and you give me a tenner sometimes. If you give us money, we make money; if you don't, we don't, it's that simple.

The 40 Bundle contains over ninety bucks' worth of Hunter's Lodge items, including all the permanent character customization thingies plus hyperteleporters, cookies, Chronospheres, Req and cigs and special comments, all for... wait lemme add this up on my fingers... well, the 30 Bundle was 30 bucks, and this is the 40 Bundle now, and there's more in it than there was in the 30 Bundle, and we've had ten years of inflation, so...

Still thirty bucks, come on. Everything's gotten more expensive lately. There's a war on, global warming is killing crops, and all the give-the-poor-lads-a-minute-to-catch-their-breath time in supply chains had been "optimized" away in the name of profit before millions of workers died of covid and that ship got stuck in the canal. Inflation's gonna get worse, and unless you tell your boss you walk without a big raise, you'll have less money to spend on Improbable Island. So aye, the 40 Bundle is thirty bucks, and the Monthly Mementos are still a tenner, and the permanent customs are still eight bucks just like they were twelve years ago, because you come here for a damn break from it all, don't you? This place is a holiday from the real world, and in the places where it must intersect with the real world in order to raise money to stay online, it can at least be a holiday from inflation. Most of the stuff going up is because the corporations are going "Yeah, sorry everyone, inflation, gotta raise our prices, blame our pet politicians" and posting record profits. We're not a corporation and never will be, fuck all that, it's thirty bucks.

Good god I've gotten WAY more radicalized since the 30 Bundle. So much for getting more conservative as you get older.

Anyway it's on sale now in the Hunter's Lodge (available in any Outpost), and it goes off sale when we've sold a hundred, so act quick if you want one.

Have fun!

~CMJ
New Monthly Memento, bugfixes & improvements, CURRENT EVENTS, awesome bundle deals on itch.io
Admin CavemanJoe2022-07-08 20:30:49 [Permalink]
Hey folks! Because of recent events, the Monthly Memento for July is just a straight-up molotov, not even kidding. Relatedly, if you live in the USA and forward me an email receipt of your donation to your local abortion fund, I'll sort you out with Supporter Points proportional to your donation (please just use the "Forward" button in your email client and send to admin@improbableisland.com, don't go screenshotting or whatever). In other related news, you can get over a thousand indie games for a tenner via itch.io's Indie Bundle for Abortion Funds, and here's another hundred-and-seventy-odd games in the Worthy of Better, Stronger Together bundle for reproductive rights.

I've fixed some bugs and filed off some rough edges today:

Fixed a bug preventing monster descriptions from being shown in the monster diary;
Fixed a bug where sometimes Memento attributes weren't showing up properly in bios (remember you have to show the Memento in your Bio to also show its attribute points (link is in your Inventory));
Fixed a bug where custom weapons might be overwritten when selling in Shelia's Shack;
Removed useless "Use" link on Deluxe Collar;
Fixed a bug where characters with bold or italics formatting in their weapons or armour would be unable to send gifts to single recipients (the page going all italics/bold on the item selection screen is still a bug);
Fixed a bug where Metamiranite said it gave extra Req but didn't; also reordered its message display and fixed the bug where an unnamed Metamiranite gave way (or claimed to anyway) more extra Req than a named one;
Hundred-Point Rally now uses the new letter-number map coordinates and unordered points are listed in order of West-East, also added a readout of the nearest non-sequenced point;
Fixed a bug where Ration Packs and Energy Drinks would display text from the food system (how hungry you still are, whether you've puked etc) before describing eating/drinking the thing.

Have fun!

~CMJ
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