Improbable Island Message of the Day (MoTD)

Big update incoming
Admin CavemanJoe2019-03-19 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,

~CMJ

More bugfixes, new Monthly Memento, Jill & The Jokers Part 6
Admin CavemanJoe2019-01-31 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.)

Have fun!

~CMJ

Happy Holidays!
Admin CavemanJoe2018-12-24 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.

Have fun!

~CMJ

Wait, there's SWAG?
Fully synched Sessine2018-12-03 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!

December Monthly Memento, J&J5
Admin CavemanJoe2018-12-02 01:19:12
Hey folks - the Monthly Memento for December is the Solstice Squirrel.

Jill & The Jokers 5 will be up in the next few days.

My root canal, and complications relating to it, is still an ongoing thing and is likely to remain so until at least the middle of the month, so my apologies if work is slow.

Have fun,

~CMJ

More bugfixes, new Monthly Memento, Jill & The Jokers Part 5, hacking attempt, OMG LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY GROSS MOUTH
Admin CavemanJoe2018-11-19 18:25:46
Hey, folks - sorry it's been quiet the past couple of weeks, I've had HORRIBLE GROSS PAINFUL TEETH THINGS THAT I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT IN REDTEXT WHICH YOU CAN AND PROBABLY SHOULD IGNORE.

November's Monthly Memento is the Well-Worn Novel - curl up with it for a warm fuzzy buff.

I finished Jill & The Jokers Part 5 today. I looked at the date of Jill & The Jokers Part 4, and noticed it's been four years. So I'm giving y'all a few days before I upload it, so you can re-read the old story (check your notebook) and remember what the h*ck was even going on.

Jill's original quest has had a couple of bugs fixed (she now heals properly between fights even when you run away from the monster, that kind of thing).

Some boring performance improvements were attempted, rolled back, and attempted again. They're working out pretty well.

Some guy tried to hack us - he gained access to some pages related to the Stamina system backend, but no personal information was compromised. I've since banned the guy and hardened the pages involved.

Alright so tooth stuff, don't even read this, and if you do don't say I didn't warn you.

Edit: Long story short I had a massive infection and have been in pain for three weeks - I've removed the details because some folks ignored the warning and then were upset by them. /Edit

Have fun, and GO FLOSS YOUR FUCKING TEETH,

~CMJ

Skeleton Exhibitionism and more minor improvements
Admin CavemanJoe2018-10-03 21:27:27
Hey, all. The new Monthly Memento is the Bone Corer, which will take out your skeleton and show it to the monster you're fighting, rendering it unable to attack or defend as effectively due to the trauma induced by your godawful skeleton puns.

Have fun!

~CMJ

Update 2018-10-03 21:20 UTC: We continue on with bugfixes and minor improvements. Deleting single Distractions at a time without using the checkboxes works properly now. Google Analytics has been removed from the site, which may speed up page rendering for some users. I'll be doing some cleanup of the templating system for improved performance on FireFox, since I'm becoming increasingly suspicious of Chrome. More basic improvements, minor bugfixes, and boring behind-the-scenes stuff.

Which is hard, 'cause what gets people donating to the site and telling their friends about it is flashy, fancy new features, released every couple of weeks, which are broken as hell upon release and never quite properly fixed. Game development has been going this way for a long time - long enough that taking the time to fix or improve your old shit is, these days, rather unusual.

More boring bugfixes and infrastructure upgrades coming soon! Have fun!

Update 2018-10-03 23:45 UTC: Candy Bombs have been restocked, 'cause 'tis the season.

~CMJ

PayPal woes (edit: resolved)
Admin CavemanJoe2018-09-11 15:29:58
Update 2018-09-11 15:25 UTC: We've now processed all the donations, so y'all should have your points! The donations system is properly working again. Also, since all the donations for the weekend came in all at once, the Kitty Bar is pretty full right now, which grants everyone extra Stamina. Now would be an excellent time to go Jungling or sort out those build jobs you've been putting off. Extra donations right now aren't wasted - they extend the time that the Kitty Bar remains full!

Original MotD follows:

Hey, folks - just a quick update on the donations situation.

On Friday evening I went off to bum around in the middle of nowhere for a couple of days, out of mobile phone coverage, so of COURSE that's when something decided to go screwy in our donations system.

I'm tracking down the problem right now, and hope to have it fixed tomorrow. If you've been affected by the bug - if you've made a donation and not gotten any points - there's no need to take any action right now, I should be able to re-send all the relevant pings and sort you out with points automatically.

Thanks for your patience! And, since I never did the announcement, the new Monthly Memento for September is the Pen, which is by no means mightier than the sword but which can make a very nice sword accessory.

Place owners, please be aware that this month we'll be fixing the "Is character female?" Contrivance so that it returns false for nonbinary characters, as it should (previously it returned true for female and nonbinary characters).

Other bugfixes from last week I didn't think were worth announcing but since I'm doing an MotD right now, here they are:

The & colour code is now handled properly in commentary mouseovers
The % colour code is now handled properly in the Memento Forge
Fixed a bug that could cause a player to have a blank item in their Inventory

Update 2018-09-17, more small fixes:
Fixed a bug allowing emoji in custom weapons/titles
Updated the Key Management page in Places so that it uses the nicer, newer contestant search (like in the Gifting Station)
Raised the character limit on extended bios to 40,000 characters

Have fun!

~CMJ

Glitch in Donations
Fully synched Sessine2018-09-08 17:16:08
Sessine here, relaying a message from CMJ.

There's a glitch right now in the Donations path between PayPal and the Island. Terrible timing -- his mother is visiting, and he's in a (no-doubt beautiful but) remote location, where even phone reception is spotty. So please... hold off on donations until Monday or so when he can get it straightened out.

He'll let you know when it's all clear.

Minor bugfixes and improvements
Admin CavemanJoe2018-08-23 16:34:11
Hey, all. Not very huge updates today - I've started a new schedule at pinballjob that should give me some more time to work on the Island (I'm just gonna work an 11-hour day, take a day off, and then work another 11-hour day, take a day off, on and on forever, the very concept of "weekend" is meaningless to me now) and for the time being I'm just kinda going through the bugs list and fixing a few things here and there. A lot of it is boring behind-the-scenes stuff, but here are some highlights:

-> People often petition to have Places transferred to new characters or deleted, so I've made a new tool for the mods to make that easier, rather than having to pester me to dig around in the database;
-> Midnight should now interact properly with refreshless chat;
-> Cookies and the Notebook should now work properly in terms of giving the items they're supposed to reside in and not leaving Mysterious Blank Items in the Inventory (I'm working here and there on another mod tool to make it easier to deal with petitions regarding players' inventories);
-> Fixed a dozen or so typos scattered everywhere;
-> Caught a couple more places where the new gender-neutral option was having trouble;
-> Probably the most visible change: your Inventory page will now indicate which sort and display mode you have set, and I've added a new option to sort by combined weights.

This is probably gonna be a month of quiet, behind-the-scenes fixes and minor tweaks and improvements to existing systems.

Meanwhile, Place programmers, please check the previous MotD for important information about an upcoming change that could affect your Place.

Have fun!

~CMJ

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