The Tragedy has affected me more than I can put into words. She was a driving force in my life and it makes me realize that every day is precious. With all of this said, she came to Secfenia many years ago because of what I started to build. She was my sounding board for so many things.
I also know that she would not want me to give up working on the future of the game just because she was taken away from me. As such, I have spent part of today focusing on some aspects of the backend stuff. Players will start to see new announcements for changes that are going on. Development has been officially continued on 3.1.014 with some code changes being added today. Obviously, there is no current release date for the next version, but this is a step towards that direction.
I want to thank all of the players who reached out in support. I appreciate it greatly. Now, let's start working towards that next release.
Work is still progressing on version 3.1.013. Our goal is to release it in May. This week we have completed the new Wedding Faithful Request system in the Temple. This component will allow temples to charge a fee for religious unions. The union system will also request both parties to agree to the terms. The Faithful request screens are being tweaked as well.
In addition, we will beginning work on the backbone behind what we will call Version 4. This version will update a number of the technologies we have been using to more modern systems. This will be a longer than normal process as a lot of work has to be done on the backend side as well as the front end. However, this process will begin during the month of May.
As the XFL's first game is less than a month away, I am happy to announce the release of Version 1 of the picking site. Are you ready?
Cause... this ... is... XFL... Picks
We are currently working on 3.1.012 for Secfenia. It's an estimated 60% complete with all of the changes we want to see added to it. We have already added the new editor to the away message system for the beta code. We are midway through adding the Pet Reserve Market code which was suggested by our players. I am looking forward to this upcoming release which we hope to have out in January.
During 2020, we will start work towards the following projects:
Sea Travel and Ports
Dye System that will show the color next to the item
Updating the site design for HTML5 and updated versions of code
Survey Center revamping
It should be an awesome year for the game.
Welcome to 2020! We are looking forward to a great year for all of our visitors. Here is an updated Development Plan for the websites under Pandora Project:
I have been working on 3.1.008. This upcoming release will focus on some usability improvements for our players including a new text editor to allow certain styles to be added to text. It will start with the mail system and the player profile. In future versions, we may expand it to other areas of the game depending upon how well it works when it's out in the wild.
In addition, I am working on a larger arc to attempt to streamline the code between the main and mobile into one general codebase that works with a flag that sets whether the person sees the mobile version or the main. This should help make sure that there is more consistency in certain areas that have not had it in the past. This will also result in me reviewing over all of the pages of the code over the next year.
I appreciate all of those who provide suggestions and feedback. They are valuable towards the evolution of the code.
We are working on 3.1.007 and looking forward to it's roll out in the next month or so. We have added in some new features already including the ability to request a tutorial in the tutorial system, a custom sorting option, and working on a new Silver Exchange system for the Caravan. This will help those who make pet food to find markets as well as those who purchase pet foods in finding it if their local market doesn't have it.
After some reflection, I have decided to shelve Colonies officially until further notice. Ever since I lost the code from the server crash, I have found it hard to motivate myself to recode. While some work has been done on the project, I don't think that I will have a viable code base by the self imposed server renewal date. As such, Colonies is shelved and most likely will be cancelled entirely.
We've updated some of the supporting code for the NFL Picks area as we inch closer and closer to the 2019-20 NFL Season. Who is ready for some football?
Working a Decade on The World of Secfenia
In 2009, I had been using the old Secfenia RPG website more as a personal site for my family and other interests. I had successfully ran the former RPG from 1994 to about 2002. Over the time, we had shifted from paper/email to a forum based system. The basic skills for the RPG was simple. Some basic HTML and some writing. It was a passion project that lasted a good bit of time. 7 years later, the domain held some of the HTML pages, but none of the forum. 2009 was a time I was yearning for another game to enjoy and have others enjoy as well. I had so many fond memories of the last time Secfenia existed that I thought maybe doing a new version set in the future of the original one with a dark ages in between would work.
There was a few things that were quite different back then. In 2009, phones were not really thought of as gaming devices. In a matter of fact, your gaming avenues were quite different. Android was new to the world and most had never heard of it. During the planning phase of Secfenia, Android was on it's 3rd major release (version 1.5). The "new" features added to it was things like auto-rotation, animal screen transitions, user pictures shown for favorites in contacts, etc. So, developing a game for a phone or tablet was simply not something that was thought of by most people. What did I want? I wanted a game where people could log in and be served dynamic pages based upon their character, their character's actions, and others. This required a different solution than just the static pages that were part of the mainstream web programming I had done.
That is when I found PHP. There was a lot of interesting possibilities at the time for it. There was a lot of different projects using it as well. There was a community I could reach out to and ask questions. So, The World of Secfenia coding language had been decided. Next, was getting some of the backbone components of it into the system enough to make a game that people could register with. I started with a PHP Bookmarking system to see how it would work. The methods it used for logging in as well as how it stored it in the Database. To say the program was simple is an understatement. It was 3 files. You logged in and you bookmarked things. That's it. No logout button. No removing bookmarks. It was a simple test to get things started.
However, that wouldn't be enough to make a game that would be fun to play. So, to the drawing board over the basic concepts of what I wanted from the game. First, I wanted the classic stats to be there. I wanted there to be levels. I wanted towns that players could live in. I wanted towns to have a higher level of government as well. Slowly, each component came into being. The first alpha versions of Secfenia were all text. There was not a single image. My focus was simple. The code would be what mattered in getting players excited. After all, I had played many games where the coders made games for money only. New feature after new feature would help line their pockets. It was a good model of business for many of them. Secfenia wasn't about that though. My goal was simple. Make a game that works and that people can give feedback to improve.
In June 2009, I installed the first version of the forums. It was the same as what we use today, but a lot has changed since then. It was the same software we used back in the previous incarnation, but a lot of changes had happened since. It took a bit of getting used to and making some adapatations for the new game. In the original version of Secfenia, there was no interaction between the game and the forums. You literally had to sign up for both to play in both.
As August started to near, I started attempting to find out who among some of my friends would be interested in joining. There was no advertising. Everyone in the original days were either friends that I had role-played with in the past or their friends. We opened up with a small group of people who were interested in seeing what the game could be. I was the first mayor and we worked on adding things regularly partly based on feedback directly from the players at the time as well as things that I wanted to see added. I remember one of the first suggestions given to me was to add a "View My Profile" link to the system. The system did not have a lot of images. Those would come over time. The first beta didn't even have a revolt option. That was added in while players were in the game. Over time, a lot of different suggestions from players would be added.
I also realized that this project was going to take a lot of time. While I have always attempted to be visible to players and listen to feedback regarding the code, I also knew that eventually with all that was going on with the forums that I wouldn't be able to do both player management, code management, and also continue to work on the backend side as well. My project was ambitious. I knew that. Was it ever going to make me rich? Doubt it. It was a passion project not a business. If it had been a business, some things would have been different. The first would have been staff. Secfenia has always ran with a small group at the top managing things. Most projects have multiple coders, marketing teams, Database Engineers, Artists (for images), Server Administrators, etc. The only person paid during the entire time of Secfenia was me. I filled most of these roles some better than others. I can't draw to save my life and marketing has never been my specialty. However, that didn't stop me from trying to do both. The early images in the game were... a bit rough by today's standards.
In the early days, my character was a bit more intertwined with the politics and what not partly because I had to be there to develop the systems. As time continued, I retreated away from that and focused more on code aspects and monitoring the suggestion box for new ideas to help compliment the ever swirling ideas in my own head. Looking back, there are systems that I wished had developed many years ago. However, hindsight is often 20/20 on these type of things. I've learned a lot of different lessons over the years working on Secfenia. I took on suggestions to revamp the entire layout two different times by two different people. Their visions helped shape the visual layout that we have now. The challenge developing a game 10 years ago was also a matter of bandwidth. The average connection speed alone has increased by at least a factor of 10 or more. Some of the bandwidth challenges that existed back then are mostly gone minus the mobile market and that is slowly decaying as well. It was always a challenge trying to add images, but not impacting the overall load speeds. But several people along the way helped with that as well as finding new tools for compression. Today, we also use a content delivery network that caches some of the images for our players at locations closer to them reducing the time it takes to load.
During the first few years of the game, we kept adding new things and I posted a lot of the announcements. We added things like the Games room for our players in the forum as well. I also interacted with a few other game owners that I had met and we shared feedback about running a game as well. Part of it is the challenge of coding what people want, what should be added, as well as managing some of the more social aspect of the game (i.e. forums/taverns). The forums were never quite as much of the headache as the taverns could be. Part of that is the whole instant gratification of the tavern aspect where you just write what's on your mind versus the forum where people tend to review over what they say. A number of the other owners decided to become more strict with their taverns or eliminate it altogether. Eventually, I coded in more things to help with management of this problem area instead of completely closing it permanently. While it meant more moderation reading, it also gave players who didn't abuse it more real time function. The tavern that we use is a project that has since become abandoned. While it was never my intention to end up helping to support another project, I found that over time I would contribute to that project as well as it became abandoned. When things majorly broke with the new release of PHPBB and how it handled variables, there was a number of us who worked on possible solutions to the issue.
The tavern is based on old technology and has served us for 10 years. Part of the system was originally written to use Adobe Flash. Back 10 years ago, Adobe Flash was really huge partly due to the ability to compress things and interact with them. A number of other tavern systems that are active in games are based on Flash. This led to another issue with the tavern. The sound which was handlded by the adobe flash software stopped working for some people on some browsers. We would later come to learn that Chrome was working on trying to eliminate Adobe's use due to the number of insecurities that plagued it and had to be patched. Adobe has since announced that Flash was being retired as well with a data in 2020 as the anticipated time period. With some time and work, a solution was found to convert part of the tavern to use new code introduced with HTML5. The tavern we run today is modified in many ways for our game. It is, however, running on borrowed time. There could come a point where the technology behind it no longer works. I've looked at a few possible solutions to this, but none has been the right one yet. Many years ago, someone offered a tavern system that they wrote to use, but it did not work with our code at all and was partially written in flash as well.
Part of the challenge of running a website is having a good system administrator. When things are running great, no one will notice them. They manage (or assign out) the Mail system administration which makes sure that players can get email reminders/notifications. This was great for a while until one day the hosting provider that I had attempted to introduce new code on the back end. This led to the server getting a memory overflow and corrupting the main drive on it. Many hosting people like myself were now frustrated. The game was crashed. All could have been ended. My week was ruined and I was genuinely worried that I might not be able to recover from this. I took the last backups that I had and started to rebuild it as best as I could while bringing things back. Everything from the old server had corruption points. Images and code was lost. In a matter of fact, the basis for Colonies (another game I had planned) was completely loss eliminating the project from likelihood of being released anytime soon. Since then, we have daily backups onto 3 different hard drives to ensure we lose as little as possible if things go south again.
One of the interesting part is watching how the systems have gotten much more complex over the years. Reset has increased exponentially and other scripts were added to support the system including an hourly and midday reset. Suggestions were only one component of code changes. If you add a lot of stuff from the original code, you are also bound to run into bugs and errors. Originally, I had an in house system that I made for bug reports. While it did perform the job, it lacked certain features that I wanted it to have. Factor in that I didn't want to end up having to take work away from the core of the project to focus on the bug system, I ended up using other software for this. That's also part of the challenge of it. Knowing when to outsource work to another project (like phpbb, Mantis, etc) or doing in house development. Given that the coders on the project is one, it makes even the research of it more time consuming.
One of the things that is also a challenge is finding people willing to help and keep helping. We have seen many people excited to help, but they sizzle out over a short time. I don't blame them for it. It's a free project and we all have lives to live. I know many people who don't even want to help at something they are paid for. It's frustrating at times, but that is part of the live of someone in charge of a project like this.
Then why do I keep doing this? Is it all bad? Absolutely not. I often enjoy the challenge of writing in new items and tweaking things to help our players be happy. I have met some amazing people during this process. I have fostered an environment where others could interact and enjoy the environment as well. We may not have a huge population, but we have had a lot of very loyal players. There are many games who never reach 10 years of being played nor being in existence. I look back at some of the old admins that used to run games and almost all of them have left the gaming management aspect entirely or moved back to projects where they no longer interact at all. The people and the challenges are what has driven me. How long will The World of Secfenia last? No one can really say, but I know that as long as people enjoy the game and that the game covers it's costs, I will continue on this passion project. Thanks to everyone who has made it a great 10 years and hope this has been an insight of what it has been like running the World of Secfenia.
We have delayed the release of 3.1.006 as a last minute couple of bugs need to get fully squashed. We will release it once we believe the main bugs have been squashed. Once that is complete, we will start work on 3.1.007
We are rolling this new version out to the XFL PIcks. We are working on the back end side of things. We've seen the new media plans with the 10 week schedule, playoffs and the championship. Our next version will be 0.1.0 and we will be using the Mantis Bug Tracker for future releases.
Our goal is to release version 7 before the new season begins. If there are any ideas you would like to see in the game, we'd love to hear it.
As the XFL continues to hire their Coaches and team presidents, we are hard at work on the XFL Picks website. Our next version is 0.0.5 as we strive to get to 0.1.0 by the time the XFL starts playing. Some features are on hold until we can see what final choices the XFL makes. With this said, we would love your feedback on things you would like to see.
I am hard at work on version 3.1.006 which has a number of fixes as well as some items that have been suggested. The civil union reject option will be available. I'll also introduce a new feature to use Faith Points to help sway peasants. More details will come forth as we get closer to releasing it.
I have updated the Roadmap with anticipated dates for releases of the next versions of Secfenia out for the rest of the year. As always, this is a tentative release schedule with the possibility of the dates shifting. I'm trying to give a bit of wiggle room to enable us to be able to release early if possible. This should get us to 3.1.010 by the end of the year.
Finally, we have been working on trying to transfer some of the things out of the tutorial system into the wiki to enable players to search much better. If you are interested in helping out, please feel free to contact Amaryllis. We'll get you going to help out.
I am in the middle of coding for the next release of 3.1.004. This release will have the normal round of fixes to the system to improve it. It will also have a couple new features.
The first one which will be announced in the game sometime shortly to better let players know about it is the snow delay feature. In winter, when you have blizzards, the nodes can get so snowed in that it causes a travel delay. This delay can range up to 3 hours. How does this impact people? It means travel will take longer unless something is done to reduce it.
So, how does one reduce travel delay? The solution is by salting the node. This can be done one of two ways:
1) Any player can use salt on the current node they are on for an immediate impact
2) The Viceregal General can pay 20 Freznics (and use 1 salt) to salt a node as of reset.
2019 is fast approaching, but I can't help to feel a bit of excitement for it. 2019 is the official 10th year that Secfenia was in a public beta. I've watched as that project grows. I've also started some work on the other projects as well including hoping to get a couple out of alpha/development towards more open availability. Of course, time will tell what the future will hold.
I recently released a new update to the NFL Picks site. This update fixes a few issues that I found while working on translating some of the code for the XFL Picks site. I've also updated a couple things as well. As always, if you have suggestions or questions, please ask.
After our server crashed a couple years ago, I had to start all over on this project. I made some progress along the way and have a basic system in play. It is not yet ready to be a beta as it's very much an early alpha with a basic reset running. However, I am taking the time to tweak the original idea of what the site would look like to hopefully bring a better project in the end.
I have opened up the first iteration of our XFL Picks website. With the XFL not slated to begin play until 2020, we will still have an opportunity to improve the site and take your feedback on what you want to see. At this time, we have integrated a forum into the login of the XFL Picks site. This way you can also put in discussions and/or give your opinions.
So, please head on over to XFL Picks and register. We can't wait to see what the XFL will bring forward.
6.9.7 will be released tonight for NFL Picks. It will includes numerous fixes. If any member has suggestions they would like to see added to the system, please feel free to let me know. In addition, the weekly leaders should be published to Twitter starting next week.
We have been working on 3.1.003 which will include some fixes to some issues we found with Republic VR's Leader resigning as well as some player suggestions that have been put forward from our suggestion box. This includes:
- Adding Manager button from Me > My Family
- Adding Steward Access to Marriage Box
There are probably a couple things left that will be added before it is released. We are working on this next upcoming release.
We are working hard towards the 3.1.00 Release. I am thinking August for the release date. I have 49 things left to verify and one new addition to add. I am excited to bring this major update to the code to the players.
Love a Gamer is open for people to join!
We've been hard at work on Version 3.1. We have put the finishing touches on the Pets that have been on the to be implemented list. With this, the Pets code should now be complete. Squirrels and Monkeys will become available. In addition, Peasant towns will end up raising pets as well. A number of changes will be implemented for Pets to make them a bit easier for players and towns. One of the major changes is the hunger system for pets which moves it from a 3 tiered system to a 6 tiered system that lowers slower. We also will start having food We will be updating the Pet Tutorial to cover some of the different changes for pets and to update players with the new changes coming in the new version.
We've also continued with adding in some players suggestions that have been pending implementation. This includes stuff like Token Exchange Rate Adjustment, Mood and HP Indicators to food on the market, and more.
Finally, we are about 90% of the way done with new code being added into the new system. We have a handful of items to check off the list to add/change for Version 3.1 will be released. Furthermore, we are still testing previous code added to try to eliminate potential future bugs. We are shooting for a late July or August release.
We have been working on some improvements we will roll up into the 6.9.6 Update for NFL Picks. One of the improvements is integration of the Weekly Leader going to be posted on Twitter on a weekly basis. We also will now have an admin system to post announcements both locally on the website and sent to Twitter. We've upgrade Font Awesome and will start to incorporate some of the new icons into the system as well. As always we look forward to football season and your suggestions.
Version 6.9.5 has our first major revamp to the NFL Picks site in many, many years. We've updated it to include HTML5 and discontinued some very old code. The facelift should help NFL Picks carry on into the future getting us closer to the goal of a new look and feel for Version 7. Are you ready for some football?
It has been a few weeks since I've given an update on 3.1.00. I am still working on this and having our beta tester checking for bugs as well. We are currently on a wave 12 of updates being checked. There are a little changes which will be released with the new version. Some of them are minor touch ups or fixing of tiny unintended issues. One of the things being added to 3.1.00 is the ability for a number of costs to no longer just the a whole number Freznic value. For example, animals from the Viceroyalty have only been able to be a whole number. With this release, a Viceroyalty could in theory sell their animal for 27.33 if they wanted. This should add a new level of complexity to prices for players. There are a number of these type of limits in the current code that are being changed.
In addition, I am following a couple threads in the suggestion box seeing how they turn out to decide if they need to be incorporated into 3.1.00 or should be in future releases. After 3.1.00 is released, I plan on having the next minor releases to come out more frequently. This will also be because the changes won't be as big as this one.
I'm looking forward to releasing 3.1.00 as there will be a number improvements that should help our players who play on the many different type of devices that are used to play the game. I would estimate that we are about 70% of the way through with the new code for 3.1.00.
After looking over the impact of the changes that were originally slated for the version called 3.0.9, I've decided to make it officially as 3.1.00 instead. The number of changes that are going into this release are quite a bit. I'm touching a lot of different files that have not been touched in a while. With this, I'm trying to also streamline some of the text along the way. For example, there are a number of places where an item would just say "Item Name (Used)" instead of "Item Name (75%)". This is being fixed for 3.1.00.
With the help of our testing team, we have also found some ways to improve the text boxes that are being added. With this, the text fields should cause the numerical portion of mobile devices to pop up. The field is also a HTML5 field type which can handle a minimum and maximum field. This way you can get an error message before submitting. It's one of a number of enhancements that will be part of the new version.
A lot of work has already been done towards the new version, but there is still a lot of work going on as well. We'll be moving the AddThis code from our Content Delivery Network to the main server as well. This should help alleviate part of the problem that our players reported with the forum login. I am not sure when this version will be released at this time, but I will update again as we get closer.
Work has begun on 3.0.9. I'm shifting some of the must haves for this next release based upon some of the feedback that I have received from players recently both in the survey as well as privately. After talking with the administrative team, we agreed to fast track some of the changes that are desired by the players. What does this mean?
First things first, we are going to remove the transfer limits between the army, town, Viceregal, and personal areas. It will be an open text field to transfer as much as one wants. The idea of the limits were to make it slightly more difficult to transfer them and a slight deterrence from taking a large amount. After review, we do not feel that it is necessary code at this time and several of our players have voiced their opinion agreeing with this. As such, 3.0.9 will focus on removing all of them.
Also, we will be removing the 200 f limit an army can pay out in a day as well as the 50 f limit to a person that existed. This should help with army pay making it more streamlined as well. There will also be more than a few occurrences in the code where instead of having two drop downs (one for Freznic and one for partial Freznics (aka Diners)) will be one open text field to enter in fully. In addition, some areas that were just whole numbers will have the ability to give fractional amounts.
One of the other tasks that I am going to assign to 3.0.9 is to add in the Reserve portion of the town market. The current idea is that there will be a reserve button that allows you to select who, what, and price of the transaction. It will sit in a private area for that player to pick up. We will provide additional information as we get closer to the release of 3.0.9
We have been working behind the scenes to update the Pandora Project site to a new style. We think this will help show off some of the sites under the Pandora Project. We welcome feedback on the site as well.
3.0.8 has already updated on the main site and will roll out to the mobile site at reset. This will fix a few Pet Bugs as well as other bugs fixed. We've also added a Pet Counter for deactivated days (a player suggestion) to help players be able to activate them for a little bit. We've also added some other player suggestions including being able to cancel Temple Jobs, Raise Temple Guard wage max to 35 Freznics, and some others.
Starting with 3.0.9, I will be moving more to a release schedule that will probably have less items in each release with an expected time between releases between a month and 4 months depending upon the items to be added and the time available. This should help keep new ideas being added while also trying to add in the items already in the bug tracker.
As some of you are aware, I spoke strongly against the current Net Neutrality Title II rules being removed in the US. However, the FCC has voted 3-2 to repeal them. It is what it is. The current FCC Chairperson disagrees thinking that the government shouldn't regulate the Internet Service Providers (ISP) and punish them for throttling, installing fast lanes, or even blocking sites unless you pay extra for them. It is his belief that the consumers will regulate this. In theory, this would be possible if certain areas like mine lack had any other ISP options. For me, it's one cable provider or Satellite (which isn't an option for developing websites or any of the other things I prefer to do due to bandwidth issues).
With this said, it is my hope that none of the visitors of my sites are affected. Hopefully, the ISP's are more concerned about their customers than profit margins. We don't have much choice but to hope that. Often I've found complaints to my ISP ignored in the past, but maybe... that'll change? Either way, I wanted to mention this in case access gets slowed down or even eliminated in the future.
Finally, if you are in the US and feel that your ISP is mistreating you and you desire to take the FCC Chairperson's advice to be the regulator, you can use the below address to see your options:
If anything does affect ability to code by my ISP, I will attempt to post any updates.
I am working on some things behind the scenes to get this project off the ground. It is going to now be primarily a Forum Board with different sections for both Family Friendly and NSFW areas. I think this will allow those who want to enjoy one section and/or the other to not have to worry about things.
I am looking forward to announcing it's opening, but have to finish a few things like the main page of it. I'll update here once it has been opened.
There are a number of bug fixes and new features that have been coming in on the 6.9.x line. I'm excited to say that notifications for comments on particular weeks is one of the highlights of 6.9.3. I've also fixed some bugs that were found in the system and converted some of the old pages into the new style.
One other thing that I took some time to do was go through the Help area to eliminate and update questions that needed it. It looks like it had been almost a decade since they were last updated. As always, if you have a suggestion, please feel free to let me know. I enjoy coding the NFL Picks area and organizing the competition. The updates have streamlined things so I can go back to enjoying it instead of having to manually enter in a lot.
I've updated the system check winners script to check more often on Sundays so that the winners are updated better.
I have changed up the more ambitious release dates to a hopefully more realistic set for the next few releases. I have been working on the next update (3.0.7) to try to get a number of new features and fixes out to our players. You can always view the progress of any of the releases by going to Mantis and selecting the version number there.
So far, I've put in a few player suggestions regarding Guilds to help improve the Guilds a bit. This includes showing which ones are open and which ones are closed. There are a couple of Guild related ideas that will find their way in 3.0.7 as well. If you have ideas regarding how to expand Guilds further, please feel free to pop some ideas into the Suggestion Box.
One feature that I think players will look forward to in 3.0.7 is the removal of the transfer limits when transferring from their inventory to their storage box. This should help speed up some transfers and since this is obvious stuff that already belongs to you there isn't a huge need for a transfer limit.
Finally, I've also put in a new Temple Buy List into 3.0.7 which will give players a better idea of goods that a Temple may desire to purchase from the town market. This will also be used by peasant towns as well. With peasant towns, it will mean what they will automatically purchase should they need it.
I look forward to giving updates in the upcoming week about some of the other features and fixes that will be coming to 3.0.7.
I've taken some time to put up some of the pages that I have found for the History of Projects that I've done. I've updated YWADC as well as added Multiverse Traveler which was a MUD I ran in the past. This leaves only the Viceroy's Original Page to be uploaded. I found some of the graphics and old HTML in a folder this past weekend and will work on recoding it for the site.
The login system is now complete on Colonies. You need an alpha code to be able to join the game which is being given to a select few. The next step in the process is family name and character creation as well as regional names being added into the system. This will be the basis of every interaction between characters and is slated for work during this upcoming week.
We've also put up forums and a wiki to help get the game development going as well. I want to thank those who have volunteered to become an alpha tester. We will contact additional people as we progress forward. We have plans to announce some of the updated releases here. While in alpha we may go through a few different versions and looks until we get a system running.
We appreciate the feedback of our future players as well. There will be a lot of differences between Secfenia and Colonies. Do not expect things to be the same. They are carved from two different molds.
16 Different Issues have been addressed in this latest update. It also includes the automatic system to update the winners at various times during the day. This should help make the system easier to maintain as well as let pickers get updates quicker than before as I no longer have to update them manually. I'm really looking to this football season and defending my crown.
Work is still being done on 3.0.5. We've completed a little over 80% of what we want to get into this version. There is a lot of new battle code being rolled out and I can't wait to have all of it out to the players. There are some major improvements with it and I am working hard to try to get in quite a few player suggestions as well.
With the Summer Event, it is also helping us test the Metal Golems and make the appropriate tweaks as need be. These will be items that players can use in the future in battle to supplement themselves. It is my hope to be able to roll out 3.0.5 by the end of August.
We have been working on 3.0.5 which was originally slated for July. This date will probably end up being pushed back. Why? Because we are prioritizing the new battle system for release. This will end up causing some items in 3.0.6 roadmap to be done earlier. The first stage of the new battle system code was released for NPC's relatively recently. The next phase will be transitioning Player Versus NPC battles. Once that is complete and meets the standard that I am expecting, we will transition the other battle types over. It's my hope to be able to get this whole system mostly rolled out by the release of 3.0.5.
Version 6.9 of NFL Picks has arrived. This version has many improvements including a new system to help manage it better from the administrative site. There will be a few notable differences for those who have picked with us in the past.
First, the deadline for picking has shifted from per week to per game. This should give you a bit more flexibility in putting in your picks. Also, you can pick as few or as many of the games as you want at a time. This should allow for better management for our pickers. Found out Tom Brady injured himself on the drive to the game and can't play? Log in and change that pick anytime before the game starts.
Second, the message system has been updated and fixed several of the bugs that have been in there.
We look forward to seeing everyone pick this year. I'll mail out to the list in a few to update them as well.
I am about 90% complete with Version 3.0.4. I have pushed a few items back to 3.0.5 to attempt to reach my target of getting 3.0.4 out before June. Since my last update, I have coded in the Obtain pets from the Town Zoo, finished the Town Rancher screens, and added in some fixes that I found that needed to be done.
Also, a player suggested we increase the My Notepad screen which is a good place to take notes for you or your character. It is located on the main home screen. It will be increased to fit almost the entire screen and I think this will help make it more enjoyable for use.
One other code entry that will be coming with Version 3.0.4 is that Viceroyalties will be able to send money to Peasant Towns. This will enable them to better care for their towns as well as be able to afford to buy stuff from the Viceroyalty. Amounts over 100f will also have a chance for an increase to the town morale and/or loyalty.
I am looking forward to getting the 40+ changes released and it is my hope to be able to do that within the next week or so.
I've been working hard to get the Pandora Project Website back up to where I want it to be. It's been a long process as I only recently got more free time to really focus on all of the projects. There are still several locations that say more or less we'll be back soon check with the Developer's Journal. However, I'm happy to announce these are now fixed and updated:
1) Secfenia Dark has all stories up that I have a copy of.
2) Viceroy's Humor List is now back up on History tab. It shows an example of the old List as well as basic information
3) Poetry page is back up and running with 84 different poems by 4 different poets.
Hope you enjoy these and I'll update again once I get through the next stage.
I am about 70% complete with the Version 3.0.4 update. There are a number of changes in this update that I think will help players. First off, I have found that the current Quickplay option doesn't update quests active, count towards the daily eating task, and isn't up to date with the new health code. All of these are addressed in Version 3.0.4.
In addition, Peasant mayors will start buying more items from their Buy Lists. Popcorn has been added as something they will buy as they can turn around and use it directly on Clerical Happiness. One popcorn will equal +1% Clerical Happiness. Also, the buy lists are more populated with items like Gold, Stone, and Iron. This is all part of the process to help peasant towns be more active.
I've also put in some changes to the formula for Peasant Population changes. There is an adjustment that will probably occur for a couple months to get peasant town populations a bit lower. Also, seasonal population, capitol, and high Temple begger funds additions to the formula has been added and are live.
A bunch of bugs have been fixed for 3.0.4. You can see the full list of everything that has been done so far (and what's left to go) by going to: http://www.pandoraproject.net/bugs/roadmap_page.php?version_id=7
I am currently planning on releasing 3.0.4 in May. I've also been working hard on getting Secfenia's code up to date for PHP7. There are less than 1000 lines of code that still have to be updated at the time of this writing. My plan is to finish this for 3.0.4.
I've added NFL Picks into the Mantis Tracker so that I can officially start adding to the project again under a unified interact. This will result in the FRAB being removed from the system. I'm getting excited for football season. Work is being done on version 6.9.0 which will include some of the new proposed changed for the system.
The goal will be to have a more open system with an ability to pick as many or as few games as you desire. Obviously more games you pick the better you can win. There will also be "winners" for each week as well once everything is done.
Version 7 will be the final version of the new format. I am hoping that I will have to complete by the start of the season, but if not, we will probably see some updates through the season to help us get closer.
I am happy to say Version 3.0.3 is finally out the door. I've worked really hard on it and there are so many player suggestions that have found it's way inside of it. Keep the good ideas rolling :) If you want to know all the items in Version 3.0.3, please check out the Issue Tracker's Change Log.
In addition, I am working on the long process of converting everything over to what will work with PHP7. I look forward to this part of the deal being over with as it has taken a lot of man hours to do this. It also takes away from me adding stuff as quickly as I want. It's my hope to have this complete by 3.0.5.
Finally, I wanted to talk briefly about the new Firefox/Chrome Messages that have appeared recently. As you all know, our site defaults to standard HTTP instead of secure HTTPS. For many years, there was very little complaint about this, but the major two browser companies are pushing for more websites to switch over the HTTPS. This is something that was already on our agenda, but we have not yet implemented it. If you feel more comfortable about using HTTPS, you can do so on Secfenia. Instead of http://www.secfenia.org, you just type https://www.secfenia.org In theory, you should be able to access everything you have before. I haven't fully tested the tavern on https and that's one of the reasons why I haven't moved over yet. With this said, by the end of the year, we will probably all be on the HTTPS version.
I plan on beginning some of the initial map layout for Colonies starting in May. I have scrapped my original idea of a travel system similar to Secfenia's approach of a 9 direction to more of one where regions border only some regions and it will not include the direction. It's my hope that the map in my head can be translated better. I've downloaded one map making software and will be playing with that. I will update you all when there is more information.
I've been running the Oxwall software for Love a Gamer and found that 97% of the users on that site were just spammers. I hate spammers. I need to retool the site and so I'm going to take it down to a Landing page. Back to the drawing board for it... It is not a priority issue either so it might take some time before it's back up and running.
So, I've decided to change the format of the NFL Picks for next year and keep it going after talking with some of our people.
It has been a bit since I have written here as the winter season always seems to slow me down a little bit. I've been focused on researching everything that I need to get done by the end of the year. The Secfenia core code was written quite a bit of time ago. Some of the code has not been touched in years. With us going to be moving from PHP 5 to 7 and other various upgrades, this means that I am working on silently upgrading components of the code.
It also means that we have begun a process to upgrade some of the software that we use on Secfenia as certain versions will not support PHP7. The first of these migrations was Mantis Bug Tracker. This has been completed and so far has seen no issues.
Our forum software, PHPBB, will also have to be updated from 3.1 (which doesn't support PHP7) to 3.2. This will be on our agenda. It will come with a number of enhancements as well.
I am approxiamately 68% done with Version 3.0.3 which will have a number of improvements to helper newer players (i.e. end the confusion on the two "work" options in the Temple, Warnings about changing of field goes to preparation day).
I am working on what I believe will be the last hotfix needed for V3. This will fix a couple of issues that have arisen.
Once this is completed, I will start work on converting our Mobile Site over to the Version 3 code. Once the initial version is completed, I'll make an announcement so that people can test it out. As always, your feedback will be appreciated on things you'd like to see tweaked in the mobile Version.
V3 is nearly here. Over 150 items have already been added with some more slated. We will be releasing a timetable for certain changes leading up to version 3. I hope you all are as excited as I am.
I am currently working on changes to the travel code. One such change will address some people's confusion while traveling. You will be able to travel more than one node with a single click. It will show you the node in all the directions that are available to travel as well as the nodes from that node that you can travel from omitting, of course, the original node that you are on now.
The other addition will be the sea travel with the different speeds for the different boats. Whether on land or on sea you will be able to view the travel points to get to the node.
There is now under 100 days until the anticipated release date of Version 3. I am about 70% complete with the things I have slated for Version 3.0.0. There are a number of items that will fall outside the initial released due to time constraints. I am excited about a number of the changes. I believe they will be something that all of our players will enjoy.
The current plan right now is to keep the November 17th date. However, it looks like this date may need to be a little fluid depending upon the schedule of my move. I will be moving from one location to another and want to make sure that when I do the change over I am available just in case something happens. If and when the date is changed, it'll be announcing here and in the announcements.
Running the websites has been something that I have enjoyed to do. It is something that takes a bit of my time and I appreciate those volunteers who help me do it. With this in mind, I would also like to post some of what my plans are for the future of certain sites:
1) The World of Secfenia
I am in the middle of a major project known as Version 3. I have not gotten done nearly as many things as I had hoped partly due to work and real life. It's the nature of a single person coding situation. With this said, there are literally hundreds of code changes that will improve the players experience. Even after Version 3 is released, there will be a master list of items that I originally wanted as part of Version 3, but could not get done by the deadline. I will also be changing the numbering scheme from the current version + release (i.e. 2r51) and moving to microversions (3.0.0) like the project originally had. I think this will make certain bug fixes more obvious.
2) NFL Picks
I have been running NFL Picks since 1999. In the 17 years, we peaked at having 35 total pickers. Unfortuantely, we are down to 9. This is the same level that we had bck in 2000 when we were still very young. This site runs a loss every year. It is very hard for me to justify keeping it running for the future. Last year, I sent out a passionate plea to help us revive the project and it did not go well. With this in mind, this will be the last year that I will manage NFL Picks. It has had a very good run and I enjoyed the interaction with my fellow pickers. However, it is time to let it go. As such, there will be no further development on the project unless something major happens.
Development for Colonies has been moved back to Quarter 1 2017. This should help us make sure Version 3 comes out on time and that development begin on this.
4) Trinity War
I love to be ambitious. My goal is to start development for Trinity war by Quarter 2, 2017.
5) Love a Gamer
This site is pretty much ready for consuption at the moment. I just need people to find it and join the community.
As we move towards Version 3, there have been a few projects that I wanted to get done to help streamline and make the experience better for our players. I have added a couple new forum extensions that should make the forum pop a little more. Players will have the availability to collapse/expand forums. This will mean that if there's an area that a player doesn't view often, they can hit the "minimize" button and the category will only show the header instead of all the forums.
We are also working on cleaning out the permissions that have been lingering over the years with different people handling it. This will help have a more streamlined experience.
A lot of backend work is being done as well. We have updated the forum software as well.
Alpha 3 has been officially made ready for our beta testers. Dice Master has been coded and the feedback so far has helped to tweak a few things to make it more enjoyable. I'm pleased at how it's helped make my original idea for it even better. I think all of our players will enjoy being able to play Dice Master against others.
I have been working a lot on the back end stuff for Version 3. Some of these recent updates include getting 13 out of the 16 categories in the VR Prestige system working. In addition, Opulence has 8 out of the 10 categories operating as well.
I've also added in V3 two different Equipment based upon players' feedback that they wanted something Casual to show as well as a Battle Equipment. This should give players a bit more flexibility in what others perceive them wearing at different times. As an added bonus, players will also be able to choose whether to display their Battle, Casual, or both sets of Equipment on their player via the Settings menu.
Alpha 3 is still holding on Dice Master being finished. There have been a number of changes which I've added in the meantime as well.
I am beginning some initial work on a portal that I have wanted to create for a long time. The portal will be a social network for gamers who enjoy playing games on any type of platform. You'll be able to blog about your favorite games, vent about gaming frustration, find RP/Game Partners for various games, as well as look for that special someone.
I'll be providing more information as it progresses further. I hope it will also be a center for all of the people who play the games I have developed/are developing to come together as well.
Traders have some luck in version 2 travelling between open towns. In Version 3, players will be able to take some of that trading aspect even to peasant towns. Peasant towns will purchase items like gold, stone, iron, and wood to be able to upgrade and keep up their towns and Viceroyalties. This is all part of the improvement to the system that I am adding for version 3. Open Viceroyalities can also use trade to their advantage to get rid of excesses to peasant Viceroyalties if they so choose.
One of the additional changes that this means that is currently being phased in is a change to how we figure out how many freznics can be converted from gold. This number has been floating around 2 f recently. Historically speaking, the conversion rate has never really been higher than 2.7 nor lower than 1.75. This value, calculated at reset, will be higher than previous numbers unless of course the amount of gold sky rockets. With this said, I believe this tweaking (with another one to be done as we get closer to V3) will help bring gold conversion ratios closer to being in line with what I want for V3.
I've crossed off a number of to do tasks towards officially calling it Alpha 3. The final task left for me is the Dice Master game. I'm looking forward to completing it and being one step closer to Version 3 moving to it's next milestone.
I'm also working on version 2 release 50 which will help transition our players to the new Level/Way system in Version 3. Amaryllis will be announcing when we get closer for the actual changes. This will involve a lot of manual work to get our current players switched over, but I want to make sure that every player that will be affected is aware of the changes.
As we march towards Version 3, I have introduced some new items. Some of those items are House items which is part of the House arc that will exist in Version 3. Players will be able to buy (and sell) items that can put to use in their House. They will be able to show off their houses. Some have asked if it will be 3D. No, it won't be. We will continue with the 2D system we use for multiple reasons including bandwidth of some of our players.
In addition, I introduced the Galleon which has been something I've wanted to have in Secfenia for a long time. (Although, the original name was Large Boat). Each of these boats will have their own speed which will give more benefits to the different boats. It should also make sea travel more interesting.
There are a lot of different long term plans being added into Version 3. I am excited to see how the players will enjoy all of this.
Finally, we are getting feedback from players about our new Task system for leveling for Version 3. It will put the leveling process closer to players and help introduce players to new activities. I think it will also help new players figure out what they need to do to level.
For those who use our mobile site, you may have noticed we hve rolled out version 2 release 1. There are numerous changes to the system to make it more mobile friendly taking some of th complaints given to create this version. We'll keep working to improve the experience.
First, I want to wish everyone a happy winter holidays.
I'm working towards have time for development. I have several projects I plan on working on in 2016. Let me discuss a few of them.
Secfenia Version 3: This is a work in progress. Rolling out for v2 some things that will be core of v3. The health changes will be a key part of the new battle system. This will also stagger the difficulty level of npcs as well. HP ranges from a low 25 up to several thousand. The ways will migrate to more of the Warrior, Priest, Sorcerer style which I always wanted. I will announce 2 new ways as well. Players will be given option to switch if they choose.
Secfenia Pithos Version 2: The mobile site needs an overhaul. There are many fixes I want to implement for it. I will begin work on this after the new year side by side with version 3 of main site
Pandora Project: I will be implementing the ability to sign in and leave comments on the Dev Journal as well as connect the multiple accounts through the Project.
Colonies: I will begin development again on this game. I've been thinking of some great additions for the game that don't fit Secfenia.
Project Trinity: It is my hope to start Project Trinity late this upcoming year. More details on what this project is will come in 2016.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who enjoy the sites offered here. Your feedback and comments have shaped what we are today and my plans for the future.
We've performed some infrastructure upgrades with Secfenia that are live now. The next set will roll out within 24 hours and should result in no down time.
What do these upgrades mean? The server should run quickly and provide our players with the service in a quicker fashion. In addition, some of our images will be loaded from regions closer to our players which should also help reduce latency.
One of the new features that is part of the V3 core code is closer integration for our announcement system to our players. In the past, a member of our administrative team would have to log into the IG interface, Twitter, and Facebook to post updates. Now, this has been consolidated into one simple interface. This should allow our players to follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts to get up to date information.
After fighting a cold the past week, I'm excited about getting back to work on Version 3. I hope that all of our players had a great Thanksgiving and it was a pleasant surprise to receive thanks from several of our players this week. This type of thing is what helps drive me towards making the game better for all of our players.
We have arrived at Alpha 2 for Version 3. The new profile page has been put in and my next list of add on's are ready to be coded in. The main focus will be the "My Property" menu as well as some player suggestions that have come up along the way.
One of them will be the addition of Keywords for the Tutorials so that players can search for them and have better access to the information within them. One of the great ideas our players have put forth.
On a side note, tomorrow the Spooktacular event will begin it's Final Showdown. I am excited to see which side will win the towns. *evil laugh* It's mostly up to the players to decide this. Perhaps some towns will crave braaaaains. Happy Halloween to those who observe it!
Work is being made on 6.3.5 which will include a rewriting of the bug system as well as numerous fixes and touch ups on the Picking Booth and it's pages.
I am now working on the final piece going into Alpha 2. We've put in a number of enhancements into the code base for version 3. Some of them will be minor, but other should really improve the game for our players.
The new inventory, my equipment, and my equipped items screens are pretty much done at this point. The beta testers found a few bugs which have been squashed.
The final piece for what will be called Alpha 2 will be the new profile page. I'm looking forward to completing this and getting the beta testers feedback on it. I think it will serve as a better Profile page for all of our players.
It is good to be working with a team of beta testers. They have found a few bugs that I missed while doing my original coding/testing process. They have been doing a good job of giving feedback that will make Version 3 a much more polished product than what I could have done by myself.
Some of the changes coming forth in Version 3 that have been added includes these:
- 21 Game will cost either 7 Silver if you don't want to see the score added up for you or 8 Silver if you would like the assistance instead of the current 10 Silver. This will drive up profits from the game (Current average is about 1.1 Silver per game played)
- Repair Equipment Directly from Inventory. This is a player suggestion that has been on the table off and on for a while. It will see it's debut with Version 3.
I have 6 items left before Alpha 2 can be declared. The progress on this has been slightly pushed back due to the Spooktacular event which I decided to do at the last minute after hearing player feedback that they would love a Halloween inspired event. The feedback I've gotten on the event has been mostly positive and it's likely that I'll do another next year.
I have put the final touches on r47. There will be a lot of fixes in this version from the bug reports and some of the work done on Version 3 that needed to be fixed in the Version 2 code. That is one of the benefits of doing this slower method of updating the code.
One additional thing r47 will bring is this year's Spooktacular event. It is a trial event for a mini-event that will last through October/November. If it does well, we shall do it again next year. The prize for it this year will be a black orb as a number of players desired to have a second chance at gaining this. If we do this in the future, we will change up the prizes given probably every year. One player suggestion that I saw was a special pumpkin mask or something of that nature. I loved that and it would probably be next year's prize.
This new version has fixes for the mail system as well as the overhauling of the mail system. It should function much better and allow quicker access to different screen.
In addition, we have fixed a few bugs presented to us. Are you ready for football? We are. (Go Dolphins!)
Been focusing mostly on the Inventory screen today in the Version 3 process. New buttons look very nice on the screen and fixed some grammatical errors that have existed in the transfer/donate screens. In addition, found some inconsistencies on the transfer decimal portions that will now be brought into a consistent state. Thinking back, some of this code has not changed since it was introduced in either Version 1 or 2. It's good to go through so thoroughly even if it means the project takes a lot longer.
I still have 8 more things on my to do list until I update Version 3 as Alpha 2. I'm excited by this. Some of those things are:
- Creating a new "announcement" system for Version 3 that will integrate with Twitter. This should help keep our followers better up to date with announcements we have.
- Adding a "Repair" button to the Inventory screen (a player suggestion) to help players keep up their items even when they aren't wearing them
- Multiple take off of Equipment instead of having to take them off one at a time.
I will update again probably when Alpha 2 is officially green lit.
I have finished the update to the Mobile site for Secfenia. This will incorporate the changes from 2r44 to 2r46. Glad to have it updated and that way the mobile site will be back in sync with the main site.
Version 6.3.3 will be released at midnight. This release fixes a number of bugs found in the system including mailbox, picker details, and some spelling issues. I'm really looking forward to this football season and think it'll be a great picking year.
I've been working on Version 3 over the past week. Looking over some of the code, I realized that there were a few things that were missing that really I wanted to be a part of the code. One of those things is the "My Friends" area. With version 3, players will be able to add a friend directly into the group of their choice. In addition, players will be able to remove a group as well. I'm not sure why this wasn't a part of Version 2 in the past, but this will be corrected.
I am also adding a system to be able to edit the Helpful Hints directly from the interface which will give the ability for our Administrative team members to edit this without having to give it to me to take care of it on the back end. A win win.
One other change that slid into Alpha 2 is that Sent Messages Status is now viewable directly from the Sent Mail Box. This means you don't have to open the message to know if it has been read. This works similar to how the Inbox works.
Finally, I am working on the Profile system as well. Players will be able to add a Home Forum Thread link to their profile to help others just in the RP's. This is optional and at the discretion of the players to enter. I'm hoping this will also help newer players interact with existing players.
I will try to give another update within the next 7 days.
We have added a new icon across the Pandora Project to indicate when the Developer's Journal has been updated.
I have added Pagination to the Developer's Journal to help people be able to view the entries better. Hope you all enjoy!
A new release has been done that reenables polls as well as adds images to the Picking System. I'm ready for that football season.
I am continuing work on Alpha 2 of Version 3 for Secfenia. I've reworked the code for the 21 game in the Caravan that should make it easier for players to understand where they stand and what possible prize they could win at that stage. Still a lot to do for Alpha 2 though.
Secfenia Dark pages have been reuploaded to the server. All stories by Bobby Russ are fully functioning at this time. There are still some things to finish before it's 100%, but progress is slowly being made there.
Because I want to get all of the original past content that was housed at secfenia.org a new home, I've created several new links on the menu bar. They are a work in progress and will be done over the next several months. Some pages are partially available to view now with errors in coding, some good to go, and others not viewable. A project I've been saying I was going to do is being worked on ;)
Alpha 1 of Version 3 is almost ready. This is the first of a few alphas needed for Version 3. I'm excited as the first alpha always takes the longest and the rest of them go a lot quicker. The main changes right now are the base look of the site as well as the menu system. This also includes an all new notification system.
R44 is nearing the final phases of development. With Version 3 in the wings, only minor changes, tweaks to existing projects, and bug fixes will be in the releases. This round will have a bug fix, player suggestion, and a tweak. The tweak will be the requirement of having mugs for the tavern to sell drinks. This is something that should encourage Masons to produce sets of mugs bringing them money.
We are starting to wrap up the stats on the 2014. The Spreadsheet is now available to download and view all the picks of the 2014 season. It was a good season and we hit a number of internal records.
With Version 6.3, the login has changed to be your email address. There are a number of small tweaks in the version that should unbreak some of the broken pages that exist in the system. During the offseason, we will continue to work on 6.3 with a number of small rollouts.
Work has started on r43. There will be some minor spelling and grammar fixes in it as well as some player suggestions that have been on my to do list. Part of that are two new potions that will help players adjust their alignment quicker than the standard methods in the temple, graveyward, and battles.
The final touches have been added to r42. It will be release at the next reset. It is a very large update with a ton of fixes, new additions, and changes. A lot of these were suggested by players. It is one of the joys of being a developer for a project like Secfenia being able to hear great ideas from those who play and putting them in.
Thank you to all of those who put forth suggestions whether they are added to the game, feed into new ideas, or even not implemented.
A bunch of bug fixes are being rolled up into r42 as well as some rewrites of code. The hunting NPC is being rewritten for simplification and ease of use for our players.
In addition, I've gone through the suggestion box. A number of player suggestions (like having sacrifice show on the audit) will appear in r42. This update will be a bit larger than some covering a number of different areas. The progress is going good on it and I'm expecting to release it within the next couple weeks.
We are working on the next release (r42). This one will be special to me and for those who don't know the answer to the trivia component. 42 is the answer to the meaning of Life (according to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've already incorporated a bug fix into the next version as well as fixing what Stewards can buy.
Google translate will also be leaving the building. It was a feature that we added a bit ago to help those who played in areas where different languages was used. However, we received feedback from our players that pretty much no one was using it. So, we'll remove it and the setting for whether it be on or off. This will reduce load time for players and clean up the ugliness of the option.
Finally, Phoenix Pets are at the core of this next update. Players who won a Phoenix Pet will be able to use them with r42. I'll give more updates as time goes on.
One of the tools available to players of Secfenia is Quick Play. This allows players to quickly eat without having to go through their inventory and then logout. It takes just a quick second allowing you to hit it and go. The current version of Quick play will either feed you bread or corn depending upon what you have.
In Version 3, Quick play has been modified to allow players to select from a drop down menu to eat from 4 possible options. The new options will include 3 items for each option that the system will try to eat for you. It includes stat foods now allowing those who are on the go and want to quickly eat an option to build stats.
In addition, a new feature of quick play will allow players to choose to work in the mines or do not work. The current version only has the later option. This should allow players to earn a little extra money and help the Viceroyalties as well. Keep an eye on this journal for additional changes coming for Version 3.
Also, don't forget that we are using the Suggestion Box as an area to get opinions regarding other Version 3 concepts like the University. Our player's feedback and opinions help drive the future.
We are working on some new tweaks to the Pandora Project Website that will hopefully allow you to get the information you want faster. For example, the current version numbers are now on the header. A new dropdown menu system replaces the old side bar giving you a view of the 7 most recent Developer's Journal entries as well as quick links to the various Topics, social media, history, and About pages.
Version 2r41 is ready to go and the final touches are being put on the Mobile Release update as well. This should go live tomorrow at the same time. This will address a number of bugs that have been squashed as well as offer a few new features as well.
I'm excited about this release and have been reviewing over some of the ideas for r42. r42 will be a "special" release for me because of the significance of 42. +2 Trivia Point for anyone who knows why ;)
The main page for Version 3 has been finished. Often in my experience, this is the most challenging as it trickles down into all the other pages by design. With this complete, it's time to tackle some of the other aspects of Version 3 including revamping the register page with suggestions we've received from both current and former players.
My goal is to start updating this at least once every two weeks to give you all a better picture of the developmental process across the sites. I also noticed the Secfenia and NFL Picks links are not yet directing here like they should. This will be fixed in the next releases for both systems.
The delay will be until Quarter 4 of 2015.
We've updated the Forums from the PHPBB 3.0.x line to 3.1.x line. This brings a whole slew of changes and it should run faster for our players.
Doing some tweaks to the layout with the assistance of a graphic artist. I am looking forward to the final outcome as well as the upcoming code changes that are going into it. I'll be able to finally do some of the changes that have been on my to do list, but were not "priority" to do.
One of these changes is a change to our battle system. It will be more balanced for battles that are not 1 to 1.
Colonies has been officially delayed for development until Q2 2015. This will enable better focus on version 3 development for Secfenia as well as taking care of some personal projects that need to be finished first.
We have successfully migrated the Developer's Journal to it's new home at the Pandora Project website. With this migration, we anticipate updating information a bit more often. Thank you for your patience during this transition.
A new event is scheduled to be released with the next version of the game. I am looking forward to this and how people enjoy it. It's something that will hopefully be very memorial and allow our players to get unique items.
Work on r36 has been progressing. As always, I wish faster than it does, but it's coming together. This event has taken up a good bit of time, but the reward should be good as well.
Mobile Release 8 brings the code base back up to par with the main one. Missing images should be 99% gone. I'll still be checking for any missing ones that pop up.
Now, it's time to strategize for r36. There are already some must have's on there, but it is also my goal to get it out much quicker than the last release.
I have begun work on the NFL Picks site. The new version will be based partly on the old 4.1 code with updates that are merged from the Secfenia Code. Of course, the irony is that Secfenia code came from the NFL Picks code. It's about time it gave back to it's older sibling ;)
I have completed another round of code additions and little tweaks. I'm happy to say that I have only one more item on my to do list. This final item is the ability to erect a statue for both town and Viceregal levels. This will also include a section to be able to view it as well. I'm excited by this as it will be one of the new methods to honor players. Of course, if the statues aren't kept up, there will be ways for others in the town to see them fall to disrepair.
I've been quietly adding in code to the r35 code base checking off my list of things to add. It has been a frustrating bit since the server crash erased all of the previous progress. However, this also means that we will have a few player suggestions that were not on the previous to do list that will sneak their way into r35.
An example of this is Mine Minister event sorting as well as an NPC Merchant. I will have our community manager spill some of the beans on the name of this new NPC Merchant and the first phase of it that will be in r35. Keep an eye on that Announcement section ;)
We are nearly done with the Server Rebuild. The only major task left is upgrading the tavern. All other systems appear to be back to 100%. Any issues be it with images, something not working, etc should be added to our bug reporting tool.
The development on r35 has been restarted. The first of which was the addition of the wash ashore for those who have their boat break whether part of a group or not. This will not change what occurs if the boat breaks during fishing. However, it will give players lost at sea without a boat a way to wash ashore.
All of the major issues seem to be wrapped up. We'll keep an eye out for any that pop up. In addition, we are now rolling out the new images that have been donated as well as working on fixing broken images. It's my hope to have this and the new tavern code up within the week.
We lost all of the pages for Colonies, but did not lose the database. This will set the project back quite a bit. However, I am determined to get the project back on it's feet.
We have lost version 6 of the NFL Picks area. I will begin building a new version off of an old version. This will unfortunately take a bit of time and is a lower priority than getting Secfenia back up.
The travel system is being worked on now. In Secfenia, there was more of a daily movement system which could take you either 1, 2 or 3 nodes depending upon your status. However, with colonies, you will have an hours pool. You'll also be able to travel in any of the 8 directions. In the early stages, it will take 6 hours to go in the 4 main cardinal directions and 9 hours to go in the 4 other.
Sea travel will not be available to start. The last part that I have to finish is for travel to actually occur at the resets.
With the new release I am working on, Duels will have a new option to select whether you want it to be a stats or luck based duel. This option is a player suggestion that is being added to give a bit more RP opportunities.
I'll try to update again soon with some of the other changes coming up in r35.
I've made some tweaks on the message system as well as on the map area. It's still not up to where I want it, but development is being done on it.
Something is coming... something that might just change the way you look at certain things. The peasant sense the stillness in the air.
I am in the middle of the official Bounty Hunter code being added into the code base. It will be a part of r34 and can be issued for any warrants that are out by the original Viceroyalty who does the case. Armies will then be able to pick up the Bounty and collect on it by finding the individual. It is separate from the Attack List and will not result in death unless execution is requested.
Once r34 goes live, this new bit of code will remove the temporary measure in place in "force" verdicts by request of a Judge as stated in the announcement area. I'm looking forward to this release.
With it will come two quests: 1) Have a Bounty on You, and 2) Collect a Bounty. This will give both sides of the coin a quest to complete.
I have started work on r34. Two major areas being reworked is the Job Screen and Winterfest based upon the suggestions from players.
The new job screen will be a merger of the In Town and Out of Town Job screens. This was an awesome suggestion from one of our new players. I am left going why didn't I do it that way the first time ;) Anyway, it'll make finding mine jobs a lot easier.
Winterfest will now track hits, grazes, and dodges. This will mean more categories to lead in as well ;) In addition, players will have a chance to randomly catch snowballs. They can decide to whom they wish to throw these snowballs. Finally, players will be able to throw more than one snow ball at a time towards an individual. This will mean your browser's refresh button might not see as much use ;)
All of the changes discussed here came from the suggestions put forth in the Suggestion Box. We appreciate all suggestions even ones that we may not use with this project. Thank you for reading this excerpt and I hope to have more updates on r34 within the next week.
Today has been a good day for coding. I've completed the last piece of the puzzle for r33. It will be released tomorrow.
I'm working on the code for upgrading individual Guild Houses a bit today. This will add new jobs for Masons, Carpenters, and Blacksmiths with more of an emphasis on Masons. This is part of the r33 update that is just waiting for the Guild code to be completed to my satisfaction before being released. This means that it won't be released today, but I'm expecting at most another week unless something in the code doesn't quite meet my expectations.
It's been a rough month for me. Between having 5 stitches in my hand and some other delays I wasn't expecting, I'm behind in all of the things I wanted to do for the month. However, March will hopefully come with a renewed hope that I can accomplish more than I want to ;)
I'm getting to the final two things on my list of stuff to add to r33. One of them is Guilds. I've begun work on this code and it is slowly coming together. Guilds will require the construction of Guild Houses which will provide additional jobs for Masons, Carpenters, and Blacksmiths to do. These guild houses are made in one town. So, certain guilds may have to expand to other towns by building more guild houses.
In addition, we received a number of new icons for items from one of our graphic volunteers. Thank you and I hope you all appreciate them!
It's my goal to have r33 released before the end of the month. A few personal issues (including a work accident) has slowed things down.
I've gone through and fixed in the beta side some broken images that came to my attention. This weekend I'll be off, but I have been working on some minor fixes as well into the new release. I've got one more "major" thing that needs to be added plus a legendary skill.
I've completed the code for the new Family screen. I'll reveal that one of the new features coming for Families are the ability to have a family crest. If you already have a family, now's a great time to start planning it.
Another portion of the code that has been completed for families is connected to the Monarchy style of government. Monarchs will be able to grant a family the status of Noble, Stately, or Royal House.
I'll be taking a break in coding for a good bit of time just in enjoy one of my few days off from work.
I am wrapping up the final touches on r32. It includes numerous bug fixes as well as some new additions. After r32 goes live, I will start on the next mobile update to incorporate some of those changes from r31 and r32 that have not yet been added to the mobile site.
There have been some great ideas on my desk that I look forward to getting into the r33 code since they didn't quite make the cut for ready status in r33. I will be working on some improvements for the Family area that were suggested to me. I believe they will help families showcase themselves a bit more.
This week's project is the Message System for Colonies. There are several different types of message that can be seen (OOC, Events, Reports, Letters, Orders). The message system for Colonies will be a journal style instead of the mailbox style found in Secfenia. Messages will be automatically opened and considered read upon first glance at the Messages tab. You can then decide to change up your option on future visits to look at old messages. Messages will be able to be viewed back by the character for up to 30 days.
On January 17, 2014 between 1:00am and 4:00am EST, network maintenance will occur. We do not expect any downtime during this maintenance, however a brief period of packet loss and/or increased latency may be observed.
I've been working on the next release (r32). One of the components of the next release will be the addition of the Legendary Skill called "Hunting". This skill will allow those who mastered it to have an option to "hunt" while traveling. The player will be able to click on it and then at the next reset see what they hunted. There may be times where they get nothing, but there are times where their hunt will be successful. It will be a good way to get food and some other items while on the road.
r30 will go live ahead of schedule without all of the Legendary knowledges added to prevent delay. We'll keep adding them in over the course of the next few releases.
R30 is proceeding a bit more slowly than what I anticipated. There's a lot of things that are finding it's way on my personal to do list plus work and cold. Bah... No worries though. It won't stop me from releasing it when it's ready.
Today, I put in a few odds and ends. The biggest one of note is the Quest Leaderboard. This will show the Top 5 Players who completed quests as well as silver from Quests. This list will update at reset with the new ranks. You'll also be able to see your personal rank.
The create a character option has been added to the system and I am working on the Character Dashboard which will be the stepping stone for playing one's character. A lot of options still need to be added, but things are slowly coming together.
Today, I have coded in the Legendary Skill "Skilled" into the code for r30. This will reduce the time that every item would have taken to be made if you have it mastered. This week has been a very busy one between code, work, and personal.
There will also be a change in r30 where Legendary Skills will have their own page under the Support menu. This should help players be able to better understand what the Legendary Knowledges are.
Finally, I've done some tweaking on the Tutorial for the Basics of Level 4 to help bring it up with the current code. Once the code is in for the Guilds, I will update it for that.
Legendary Skill Expert has been added to the live code for players to start getting the benefits of it. However, it will not be shown in the training screen or My Stats until r30.
Legendary skills have been on my mind a lot recently. A number of them are not fully coded into the game at this time. However, with r30, my goal is to have all of the Legendary Skills coded into the game. This will take a bit of time to get coded and will result in the release of r30 being dependent upon these things.
I have all the Regions, Districts, and Realms in for the start up. This will lead to the final step of Character creation and lay the ground work for putting in the backbone of the system for players.
I've finished up my research portion of the names for the project. I've put together the initial setup for all the regions, states, and Realms. This is an integral part of the development process for Colonies. Over the next week, I hope to be able to get all of the regions in so that character creation can be completed.
Often as I work on code for Secfenia, I find more and more things I want to add. I could probably work on the code forever at the rate things are going. So many ideas to put in and simply not enough time to put them all in. That is what makes a developer happy.
Flea Markets are almost complete now. I just need to finish up the actual processing scripts and a few loose ends with it. Unfortunately, it has taken longer than I anticipated which has been what has pushed back r29 from my original date that I wanted to put it out.
With this said, a few new suggestions make it way into r29. Players will be able to save sent mail messages and be able to view what the sent mail was a reply to. Great suggestions from our players via our Suggestion box.
Armies flags starting in r29 will be based upon the Viceroyalty's flag instead of just a generic flag that represents the Viceroyalty. Armies will also be able to fly any of the 11 Viceroyalties that exist. This is partially in part to upcoming code with Peasant Militia. There will be some fun quests coming in future releases, but I'll only hint at them for now.
I did some tweaks to the NFL Picks area adding in some suggested changes as well as having the percentage for your current week being under your record on the Picking Booth. Another new change was the addition of the team record (and percentage) next to yours so that people can tell how they are faring against the team.
After a long week, I'm looking forward to having Sunday off to just sit back and code most of the day/night. My plan is to try to finish up r29 as best as possible. This includes adding in the first component of the Love and Hate code for the Peasant Towns.
I'm really looking forward to getting this whole set of code in as it will make the "closed" towns a lot more dynamic. You'll see towns switch loyalties if they aren't treated right or at least controlled. The first stage is showing the Love/Hate dynamics to the VR Leader. This will lead to the whole payment of tributes and the ability for armies to try and sway towns as well. Ah, such fun...
Our Forums have been updated to the newest version of the PHPBB software. This fixes some bugs. We also cleaned up the database and removed some of the old archived questions as they were from 2011 and prior. Some of the answers to these questions may have changed. We are working on cleaning up some of the OOC areas of the forum to reduce space and clutter. Lore is also the focus of this month with a mail being sent to all of our players.
A few players who logged into secfenia.org noticed that when they would hit the View IG Profile they would have to log back in. This was due to the fact that the link went to www.secfenia.org. A change was done today that now redirects all pages to www.secfenia.org to prevent this sort of issue.
There were a few restarts on the server during this time, but in the overall picture, we had little down time. I did have a little fun with getting the forum back up after forgetting the cache permissions needed to be changed. But that was minor.
These new changes will make daily backups a reality. This has been a work in progress over time and with the long list of things on my to do list... I'm glad this one is being done. This should make a better experience for all of our players.
There will be some minor server updates done on Monday September 23rd. This will mean that the server will probably be restarted at least once around the noon hour (EST)
Our mobile version receives updates on a schedule of about one to every 2 main version releases. This varies based upon what's coming out in the main version. The mobile version will continue to get some of the updates from the main with the additional suggestions for the mobile version.
Bugs generally are patched in the mobile version at the same time as the main version. If there are bugs in the mobile version, they still need to me mailed to me as the mobile fork is slightly different than the main code. From time to time, I'll examine the two code bases to see what may need to be brought back in sync as well.
Reading over the suggestion box and some of my own ideas, I am preparing the list of items for the planning phase of r29. After each release is done, I tend to reread over ideas in the suggestion box and come up with a list of about 7 or so things to add. As I go through the different days of coding, things may change on what goes into this release. Some projects get pushed back based upon whether it fits in yet or not. Others are started often in the background.
My main focus on r29 is to work on the flea markets. Flea markets will be ran by the town as a "Used" item market. They can bring in money for the town and for some of it's players. Of course, flea markets are always buyers beware. Used items fall apart faster than something new.
The Developer's Journal was created to help players/users of our various projects to get a view of what's coming and what's on the mind of our Developer. Please stay tuned for updates!