Improbable Island Message of the Day (MoTD)

Rainbow Torch, upcoming display improvements, skin retirement
Staff2021-03-06 01:42:05 [Permalink]
EDIT 2021-03-05: The new Keyring item is now being rolled out, and you might already have one in your Inventory. Keyrings are given out when someone gives you a key, when you put in a new land claim stake, or when you do something in a Place that involves checking whether you have a given key. If you don't have a Keyring and you want one, try going to a Place that you know has some locked doors somewhere. Enjoy! Original MotD follows.

Hey folks, I've made a new Monthly Memento and it is the Rainbow Torch. Right now it does a small distraction to the monster that lasts until the end of the fight, but there'll be another feature once I'm done coding it up.

I'm in the process of making a new feature that'll show you where all your Places and Keys are, and as part of that I wanted to make a little minimap with a blinky red dot that'll highlight a thing on the map (which, once I looked at it, started looking more and more like a Titan Radar or Enhanced Crate Locator, because every idea for the Island creates at minimum two more ideas, which is why my list will never be empty). Making the dot blink (it does have to blink really, the map colours are so varied that just making it one solid colour didn't stand out enough to be immediately apparent no matter what colour I chose) required a little bit of extra CSS. So I did my traditional roughly biannual ritual of looking at the display skins and going "For fuck's sake," really not wanting to update the CSS half a dozen times in half a dozen slightly different ways.

So, I had a little furtle around in the database and figured out whether anybody was even using the other skins, and to cut a long story short, no. In the last three months, 42 people have used Vertical, 10 people have used Console, 3 people have used Classic, 3 people have used Accessible, and nobody, nobody at all, has used Console Midnight. So we're gonna lose those other skins, which will mean all I have to worry about is mobile and desktop.

According to the visually-impaired players I talked to in banter, modern screen readers handle the default skin just fine save for mouseover descriptions, so instead of maintaining a separate skin that's explicitly screen reader friendly, I'm gonna make the default skin more accessible. I've been wanting to add some more Javascripty flexibility options for margins and typeface, like with the colour scheme and text size buttons - if I'm just focusing on mobile and desktop, rather than half a dozen different versions of desktop and two different versions of mobile, that opens things up to pretty the joint up a bit without worrying how the prettiness will end up looking like ass on the other skins. It also frees time to work on the Sisyphean job of making mobile suck less.

(I'm reminded of the days when we had like eight different options for how chat would be displayed. Rather than making something that looked good, we made a complete mess and gave players options for how they wanted the mess to look.)

Stay tuned for more updates and have fun,

~CMJ
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