Improbable Island Message of the Day (MoTD)Sad news
Admin CavemanJoe 2019-07-09 02:02:17
Our longest-serving moderator Count Sessine, AKA Junebug, AKA Sylvia Li, died peacefully in her sleep yesterday morning.
Sylvia came from an IBM "Big Iron" background, and her early experiences of computers involved punch cards. She came to the Island back when we were still in Season One, around ten years ago. Her patience and compassion informed our moderation practices, and she was always very good at seeing the best in people. Back when I was in my twenties and could do this sort of thing, Syl and the other mods and I would often chat until sunrise.
Content moderation, even in a place as nice as the Island, is a much harder job than it looks. The job of a moderator is to see people at their worst - in some ways this can be even harder in a place that's 99.9% wonderful, because people contact you when others are being awful, and so the awful parts are magnified. Syl had the knack of seeing how wonderful the Island is, even when we were dealing with heavy stuff, and helped me see the goodness too. That takes a rare and special sort of person.
Sylvia suffered from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which meant that her lungs died gradually over a years-long timespan. She had plenty of notice that she was going to die, and went about it in the pragmatic and organized way that I'd come to expect from her, tying up all loose ends, ensuring that I made tools for the Island tasks that required raw tinkering in the database like Place ownership transfers and so on. She went into hospice care a few weeks ago, and we've been chatting occasionally with her via her family.
Syl's daughter wrote to me this morning to tell me how much the Island meant to Syl, particularly as her mobility decreased. The Island, Syl's daughter wrote, let Syl engage her imagination, her intelligence and have interesting companionship, all from her computer chair. Sylvia's appreciation of the Island kept me working away at it even through its hardest times.
Syl's Places on the World Map were unlocked when she went into hospice care and will continue to stay open for the forseeable future, including many train stations and welcoming places for rookie characters to get a night's rest. They are:
Singing Sands (24,16)
Come By Chance (24,13)
Pleasantville Station (14,24)
Outside Chance (14,11)
Southbeach Haven (3,4)
The Mint (9,30)
a box canyon (8,29)
The Illustrious Sprawl (12,29)
Nepeta Halt (21,12)
Main Street Station (11,5)
a canvas tent (16,33)
The Terminus (22,38)
Twisted Spoon (13,11)
Abandoned Waystation (21,19)
Grand Concourse East (14,11)
NECROPOLIS STATION (4,15)
West Skronky Siding (8,17)
The Lucky Dip (10,30)
On Friday evening (the 12th) I plan to have a walkabout through Syl's Places, probably around 7pm EDT (which will be 23:00 UTC) and going on into the evening. Anyone who wants to join me and reminisce is welcome.
New July Monthly Memento, new combat update, Patreon
Admin CavemanJoe 2019-07-02 15:24:52
Hey, folks! The Monthly Memento for July is the Personal Fan! Of course it's not just any old fan, but a high-tech wonder connected to the Internet of Shit. This is the most writing I've put into a Monthly Memento for a good long while, and it's also the Monthly Memento that's made me feel the most like a cantankerous old man shouting at clouds. It gives you a 1% global Stamina cost buff and a healthy disdain for our modern connected world.
In a previous MotD I talked about all the recent changes to the combat system, and the new Monster Research Lab in Pleasantville. Since that's a whole new thing but you might not have seen the previous MotD, you can read all about it here, along with some details about how we're taking donations through Patreon as well as PayPal now!
Hurray for Patreon!
Fully synched Sessine 2019-06-25 23:42:32
Friend of absent-minded Monthly Memento collectors everywhere!
Big combat update
Admin CavemanJoe 2019-06-24 21:10:36
Hey, everyone! The first part of the Big Combat Update is now live!
The short version is that you've got to go to the Monster Research Lab in Pleasantville to re-enable the Puzzle Combat mechanic.
The long version is that I've been working on this since November last year! This started off as a simple bugfix and ended up in a massive rewrite of the combat system in general, along with aesthetic changes!
Here are some of the changes:
Hitpoint and timing bars are now displayed textually
Bold overflow on player KO corrected
New players below lv10 on their first DK no longer lose Req/XP on KO in the Jungle
Skin Selection page for mobile viewers appears on first login, asking you how retro you want it
Timed Strikes now works in msec to correct some funky floating-point-related rounding weirdnesses
Running from monsters in the Jungle is always successful if you have 3hp or less
New logic in combat replacing the existing logic that prevented stalemate situations
Puzzle Combat (this is the system that gives the Guarded and Vulnerable body parts etc):
* Complete cosmetic, mechanical and code overhaul
* Textual/HTML guarded/vulnerable/shock status display replaces old images, will not bork on mobile, look weird on different skins, or suffer problems like body part names not fitting in the image
* Fixed the bug where body parts would no longer change state after the creature was stunned once
* Strong Attacks are less frequent now, and there cannot be two Strong Attacks in a row
* Instead of treating every target as Vulnerable during a Strong Attack, the correct Guarded/Vulnerable status is now revealed and evaluated (making it easier to keep track of what's going on, and making Strong Attacks less obnoxious) - also, one Vulnerable body part will become Exposed, where it has a defence value of zero
* Mechanic for hidden body parts previously hid a body part for a round at random - now once a body part is hidden it remains hidden until the player strikes it, but body parts with any shock at all cannot hide
* Continuing a Secret Stun Combo Sequence all the way through will give one extra octuple-power strike at the end
* Puzzle Combat system is now opt-in via the Monster Research Lab in Pleasantville
* Monster Research Lab will buy and sell information about monsters, including:
** A way to see which part of the monster is most likely to do Strong Attacks
** A way to see which part of the monster is most likely to hide
** Information on the Secret Stun Combo Sequence
** An indicator for when you're one hit away from a stun
There's half a year's worth of behind-the-scenes changes too, little bugfixes and annoyance-corrections that you probably won't even notice. Please use the Problem link if you see anything that looks weird.
This is actually the first half of a much larger update, one that'll allow you some control over the game's RNG - but that's a story for another time.
In case you missed the news about our fantastic new text colour tool and Patreon support options, please check the previous MotD!
Happy June! EDIT: Patreon too
Admin CavemanJoe 2019-06-17 04:18:00
EDIT: Since folks have been asking me for it for years, we now have rudimentary Patreon support.
Hey, folks! I'm nearing the end of a RIDONKULOUSLY HUGE update to the combat system, combat aesthetics, and apparently the underlying mathematics on which the game runs. Yup, this straightforward bugfix RAN THE HECK AWAY FROM ME.
In the meantime, it's June, and here is a new tool I made this morning to help make your text Extra Colourful! You can access it at improbableisland.com/tools_autocolour.php and I've put in a thing at the bottom of the page that'll give you a link to share your chosen palette with your friends.
Bear in mind that colours might not look the same on all display themes (dark text doesn't show up on dark backgrounds nor light against light, so on some skins shades of black/white/grey are inverted), but they should all be somewhat readable.
Here are some seasonally-appropriate palette cycles for you to try. Some of them aren't quite spot-on because we don't have the necessary colours (and we're running out of space on the keyboard...) but I hope you like them anyway. Please have fun but don't go completely overboard with them in Banter.
Expect big combat updates very soon!
Happy May Day!
Admin CavemanJoe 2019-05-02 02:28:59
There is SO much potential stuff I could draw on for a May Monthly Memento, given how the first of May is so widely celebrated in the Northern hemisphere. There's enough material for decades of May Monthly Mementos just poking around the British Isles. I'm sure one year we'll be dressing up a pair of Jokers as the 'Obby 'Osses, and putting a suitably sinister spin on the holiday.
This year we're gonna go with the more modern spin, and focus our May Monthly Memento on International Worker's Day. You get a jar of Mayo Or May-O. Each lick could be a nanite-infused wonder food that'll give you the strength of an entire union, or it could be just foul old mayo. It's a Double-Or-Quits for your Stamina - you either double your current amount of Stamina or you lose the lot.
The kind thing to do would be to make it so that once you've doubled your Stamina, you can't use this item again until the following day. Because I'm a bastard, you can use this thing whenever you like.
Big updates to the puzzle combat system, mobile disenfuckulation, RNG tinkering and Pleasantville are coming later this month. Yeah, it's the same project I've been working on, and it's suffered some really awesome feature creep.
Happy May Day, and have fun!
Big update incoming
Admin CavemanJoe 2019-03-19 02:59:08
Hey, all! I just wanted to let you know that a fairly large update will be landing within the next couple of weeks.
It started with me trying to fix a couple of bugs in the puzzle combat system. It progressed to me swearing a lot at my past self for taking the easy route and producing an untrackable mess of spaghetti logic, so I started to rewrite the whole system. In playtesting it I found I wanted to even out some counterintuitive behaviours and make it a bit more fun to play. I also did a lot of testing on mobile and found the experience enormously suckworthy, so that kinda needed fixing too. While I was in there, the overwhelming craptasticality of the mobile combat experience in general kinda got in the way, and I resolved to improve things in that department. You see how I kinda went down a rabbithole, here.
Anyway, we'll be getting some cosmetic and functional improvements to the combat system and the mobile interface pretty soon - just as soon as I've finished coding up the new Monster Research Lab for Pleasantville, because of course this turned into a major new game feature.
Have fun, and watch this space,
More bugfixes, new Monthly Memento, Jill & The Jokers Part 6
Admin CavemanJoe 2019-01-31 03:26:23
Hey folks! I never did an MotD about January's Monthly Memento and it's the last day, so let's talk about February's instead. February is a double Monthly Memento month, because my root canal is finally over yay good god hooray celebration time. Donating $10 in one go gets you the Sudden Onset of Winter In A Box, and donating $20 in one go gets you the Sudden Onset of Winter In A Box and the Root Canal Fairy Summoning Kit.
The latest episode of Jill & The Jokers is online; to activate it, you need to be:
* Past level fourteen;
* On your second DK or later;
* Up-to-date on the Jill storyline (IE have completed Part 5).
I've fixed some nasty long-standing bugs in the Monster Submission Hut, so expect more monsters to show up pretty soon as we catch up with submissions.
I've started Android development! I'm making an app for Rook Trader as practice for the Improbable Island app, so hopefully the Island's app will be half-decent right out of the gate when I release it later this year.
(yeah, did y'all know I turned Rook Trader into its own little game? It was a fun concept and I wanted to play around with it. You should try it if you haven't already! Unless you're playing on a phone. It's shit on phones. Hence making the app.)
Admin CavemanJoe 2018-12-24 21:38:25
Hey, all. This is maybe the first Christmas that my daughter will remember, so I'm totes excited.
The Monthly Memento for December is a Solstice Squirrel AI-enabled robotic toy with an unfortunate bug that puts her into a murderous rage if she can't find her nuts. There's a hell of a warmup period 'cause she's a very patient squirrel, but the eventual attack is so powerful it'll let Rookies play a part in taking down Titans.
Jill & The Jokers part 5 went up last week; part 6 is already written, but I'm taking a couple of weeks before I post it so higher-level players don't get the weird experience of having part 5 happen and then immediately going to part 6 which is supposed to happen later on in the game.
Meanwhile I'm working a little bit on the puzzle combat system - mostly housekeeping, making the code more ordered so that I can track down and squash one or two annoying bugs that have been hanging around for ages. Winter Of Bugfixes, man.
Thanks for being here with us during the festive season. The Island is a truly special place.
Wait, there's SWAG?
Fully synched Sessine 2018-12-03 03:04:41
Sessine here, with a public service announcement.
I bet a lot of you didn't even know the Island has swag you could buy. Three quirky card decks, in ascending order of weirdness:
- a regular Island-themed 54-card deck, usable for any card game
- smudged cards from the old Trains feature. (Old-timers might be sentimental about this one.)
- a fan-art tribute to the Island, two long years in the making. Even if you don't buy this one -- or if you already have it -- watch the art slideshow anyway because the art is amazing. (The music is my fault.) It's a challenge, too! How many Island features can you identify?
There's also a fancy boxed Collector's Set with all three decks!
I did mean to get this announcement out in time for holiday giving, but, well... Sorry! Better late than never. At least now you know....
OH! And while I have your attention. DID YOU KNOW that the Island has a fan webcomic? It's true! It's NEW DAY (check it out!) has been going since 2014 and is now more than 160 pages long. Follow the newbie Clayton from his stunned arrival in NewHome through to his gradual discovery of what it really means to be a kittymorph!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Game Design and Code: Copyright © 2002-2005, Eric Stevens & JT Traub, © 2006-2007, Dragonprime Development Team, 2008-onwards © Improbable Enterprises