Improbable Island Message of the Day (MoTD)

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
Chemical Pack update + general mobile improvements
Admin CavemanJoe2022-06-30 20:57:36 [Permalink]
Hey folks, the Chemical Pack implant has had a little aesthetic update - I've added its links to the quicknav blocks on mobile, and its various meters are now shown on your combat card too.

This is all part of Operation Make The Island Less Shit On Mobiles, which is an ongoing process. Expect to see the rest of the Implants and special species-level skills included in quicknavs and combat cards soon. If you've got any suggestions on mobile shittery that especially gets your hackles up, please feel free to Distract me!

Have fun,

~CMJ

Update 2022-06-28: The Skull-Mounted Laser now has quicknav and combat card support too. Also I've rejiggered the quicknav section a bit; it starts at the bottom of the page as before, but now it'll start scrolling and get out of your way if you're trying to get to the regular Actions links.

Update 2022-06-30: On mobile, in places where you can preview text as you enter it, if your mobile keyboard doesn't have the ` key you can type two commas side by side and they'll turn into a ` for colour codes and formatting etc. It'll also jump your cursor to the end of the text box. Not a problem if you're composing a message, but if you're editing something to add a colour, it's a pain in the arse. I fixed this pain in the arse today, so your cursor will no longer jump around while composing a message on mobile using the double-comma trick. I think I'm gonna exclusively use the Island on mobile for a month or so, to teach myself a fucking lesson.

Have fun!

~CMJ
June Monthly Memento
Admin CavemanJoe2022-06-19 13:30:26 [Permalink]
Hey folks, the new Monthly Memento for June (I know, it's the 19th, but it was new at the time) is the appropriately-themed Pride of Lions.

It's Pride Month every month here on Improbable Island, but hell, have a Pride-themed Monthly Memento anyway. This little device summons a whole pride of lions to fight alongside you. Or rather, it would, if it weren't unfortunately voice-activated. Once per day, use this device to summon something that sounds vaguely like "Pride of lions" to distract an enemy in combat.

The Down Below refresh is gonna be up for release later this month - stay tuned and have fun!

~CMJ
New Monthly Memento
Admin CavemanJoe2022-05-09 20:15:48 [Permalink]
Hey folks! Given that it's May, our Monthly Memento is the "Hey Boss" Hammer. Use it once a day to persuade a monster to fight with you rather than against you.

This month I'm gonna do some updates to Down Below; I've made some progress towards making it use the new map system, and I think it's overdue for an aesthetic overhaul too.

Have fun!

~CMJ
Combat interface overhaul continued, bug fixes EDIT: more map graphics
Admin CavemanJoe2022-04-29 03:14:04 [Permalink]
Hey folks! If you go down to the woods I mean jungle today, you'll notice our neat new combat aesthetics. Obviously first you'll notice the little cards for you and each monster; I think these give the game some cool retro ambience, but they're not just for show. They stack vertically on mobile and horizontally on desktop, so if you're playing on a short screen (nearly half of modern laptops have only 768px to play with) then you'll be able to see more of the actual fight without having to scroll - and they now show the effects of buffs on ATK/DEF. I want to start adding more stats to the game fairly soon, but the old interface showed HP/ATK/DEF in a table which just barely fit horizontally on a mobile screen; these new cards can be different sizes if needs be, so we can cram as many stats in as we please.

As well as making the cards, I also fiddled with the textual side of combat. Previously, every combat page would begin with "~~~Fight!~~~" on its own line, and then "Start of round: Your hitpoints: x" and then another line of text for every monster, repeating at the foot of the page. I've done away with all that, so the text output from striking and buffs is immediately displayed right beneath the combatant cards (and Timed Combat meter if you've learned that skill) so the whole round's output should be able to fit on even the squattest monitor.

Furthermore, I got rid of the unintuitive cacophany of colours used in combat text; regular text output is now black, damage done to monsters is now green, and damage done to the player or companions is now red, so you can more easily tell at a quick scan how combat is going.

And speaking of companions, I fixed the bug where mercenary healing costs were way too high. Sorry that took so long.

Have fun!

Update 2022-04-28: I've added time/weather-interactive graphics for Swamp and Deep Water map squares! The shallow water ones will take a little longer; we use shallow water terrain to mean rivers or the shallow bits around beaches, and those need different graphics, so I'll have to figure out a way to figure out which graphic to serve, etc. Further update later the same day: I've added the updated River graphics, will specify some squares to be shallowish beachy water at some point soon.

~CMJ
Quicknav for mobile
Admin CavemanJoe2022-04-08 21:38:17 [Permalink]
Hey folks, if you're jungling on a phone you'll probably have noticed by now a new feature, which I'm calling Quicknav! It's a menu system designed especially for mobile, and it's part of the ongoing project "Operation Make Island Less Shit On Phones." It provides a three-by-three grid of quick links that are thumb-friendly and immediately visible on the page without having to scroll down or hit the Actions button. I only started work on this very recently, but I'm so excited about it I wanted to show you what it looks like in this early state.

Because many nav links will have to be altered a bit to fit in the Quicknav system, I'm making the decision to add them manually throughout the game, rather than setting up some kinda automated doohickey to hook into our existing nav system - so not all the navs you'll see on a standard page will be available, at least at first. The object is to get the most commonly-hit links visible without having to scroll, and I find it really makes a difference in combat on phones.

We're still planning on doing a server migration late this month or early next; this'll require an uninterrupted block of a few days' time, which I'm still trying to work into the schedule. I'll keep everyone updated on when that's going to happen as I figure it out. As always, if we're ever down, you can check our Fediverse presence for updates.

Have fun!

~CMJ
New Monthly Memento, outage
Admin CavemanJoe2022-04-04 19:06:21 [Permalink]
Hey folks, the Island went down for quite some time last night because we ran out of disk space. I've been thinking of moving us over to a new server, and now seems like an excellent time to start that process. My apologies for the unscheduled outage.

In happier news, the new Monthly Memento for April is the Jammy Jellyfish! If you know, you know.

I'll have more news for you on a server migration later in the week. Our last server move was in 2017 and back then I paid for a month on the new server so I could test and fix any bugs that arose; this time I plan to do the same, but we've got some technical debt to work off before the Island's ancient codebase will run at all. This is gonna cause a lot of sleepless nights in my near future.

Sometimes Island work results in immediate fancy new shinies which everyone enjoys, and sometimes it's just the dull but necessary technical drudgery of changing thousands of lines of code so that the Island won't fall flat on its arse the next time PHP updates. My spring is going to be full of that, so from the outside it's going to look like nothing's getting done and no new features are being worked on; I appreciate your patience during this time. When we do finally have everything ready to do the server migration we'll be moving from hard drives to SSD's, so the Island should run a LOT faster.

Stay tuned for updates! As a reminder, if the Island is ever completely unreachable, you can always find our Fediverse presence at https://mastodon.social/@improbableisland; bookmark that page or add https://mastodon.social/@improbableisland.rss to your RSS reader and you'll always stay on top of our (thankfully very rare) outages.

Once again, sorry for the inconvenience, and have fun,

~CMJ
New Beach (edit: and mountain!) time/weather skins, daylight savings time
Admin CavemanJoe2022-03-14 01:05:11 [Permalink]
Hey folks! Just a quick one today; I've added time/weather-sensitive background graphics to Beach terrain squares (keep an eye out for more time/weather sensitivity on other squares too).

EDIT 2022-03-14 06:00 UTC: I've gotten new Mountain graphics too. :)

Today is the start of Daylight Savings Time in some parts of the world that contain some of our players, so I wanted to remind y'all that the Improbable Island clock runs on UTC and does not observe DST. Furthermore, countries that observe biannual clockbothering enter and leave DST on different dates, so during the next couple of weeks be extra vigilant about trying to organize on-Island events that happen at particular times of day.

Also, today's a really good day to check the batteries in your remote controls and smoke alarms!

Have fun,

~CMJ
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