Thursday, March 6, 2008

More Fan Requests

I love my people, so I do what they ask :)
I have just deployed the following changes which pretty much all come from player requests:

1) Spectator mode is now complete. When you are at the game detail page and you are not playing in that game, there will be a "Watch this game" button. Clicking that will launch the game client in spectator mode. The ship control panel will be gone, but everything else is functional. When spectators join a game, a message will show up in the chat window announcing it. Spectators can chat with the players and vice versa. If I get complaints about spectators griefing players, I will add a feature to mute or kick spectators. But for now I think it is a nice feature to chat with your audience. This works by the way for old games too. If the game is over, you can still watch it and use the VCR buttons to go back to the beginning and watch the battle from the start.

2) When you enter the game client, the chat window will tell you if other players are online. Before, if player A was online and then player B came online, player A would get the message "player B is online". But player B, having come online later would not be told that player A was there. Now when you login, you will see a message telling you who is already online in that game.

3) There is now a "Turn Deadline" feature. When you setup the game, you can choose to have a deadline or not and set it to between 1 hour and 1 week. This is so that if one player goes inactive during a game, the other(s) can keep playing. Obviously, the inactive player is going to lose, but at least it doesn't cause the game to sit there forever waiting for that player to come back. After the deadline passes, any player that logs in to the game client and sets their status to "Ready" will trigger the next turn whether the other players are ready or not.

4) There is now a "Cancel Game" button on the game detail screen. This is visible after you have created a game, but before you have clicked "Start Game". So if you created a game and no one ever joined, you can cancel it. Once it is started though, you can't cancel it.

5) The "Online Now" and "Last Activity" features on the browse player screen are fixed. I still have that time-zone issue that I haven't fixed yet, but at least it accurately shows if someone is online right now or not.

6) There are now Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons in the game client. You can zoom in and out best with the mouse wheel. But if you don't have a mouse wheel, there are now small up/down buttons next to the scan range box that you can use instead of having to type in ranges manually.

Thanks for all the suggestions! Please keep them coming, the more you ask for, the more I will do :)

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