Lost Seas

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8th September, 2013

  • Every week that passes will now record history data, such as doubloons, victories, crew mood etc. This data can then be viewed as graphs under your user and the History button. The point of this is to make it easier to keep track of your gaming. The graph is using Flot Charts for plotting the data. "User" and "Status" has merged in to "Player" to make room.
  • One more step that has led to a better understanding of the game history is the new logging function, with clearer messages and that logs a bit more. Your logs is now categorized by week instead for a better overview. Also you can see what's going on in the game at the start page (privacy settings control whether or not your game playing is displayed here or not).
  • Sound effects are implemented for many things. Adds to the atmosphere of the game. Like coins falling when you make a transaction. This can of course be turned off, in the new Sound Control, that controls both the music and sound effects. Volume control is also implemented, and is remembered from visit to visit. Also a better music player, no more ugly html code, no ugly body tag hack. Four new songs has been added, and two were deleted.
  • Profile pictures are now activated. They are shown in the Players menu and in the chat. The upload is HTML5 + AJAX of course.
  • Avatars for characters is in place! Awesome! Already at the start page you can choose between 80 avatars. This can be changed under Settings whenever you want. The gender of the character is decided when your avatar is chosen. Your avatar is shown under Players, in the Inventory and the log panel at the start page.
  • The shop has changed. Many gamers felt like it was a confusion story making transactions here. Now the sliders are horizontal instead, making them fit on one screen so that you won't have to scroll a lot. Instead of seeing how much money you will have <em>after</em> the transaction, you will see the cost. Hover the products to get more information about what they are and what they are needed for.
  • The buying experience at the tavern has changed. Instead of sliders, you'll only get buttons that increase the crews health and mood. It's the same basics, but with less confusion. Wenches is back! Hurray! They increase some crew health, but mostly mood. :)
  • Galleons are no longer a trading ship but a war ship. The Merchantman has taken it's place instead. The Frigate has taken the Carracks place. To be clear; the brig is unchanged, the Merchantman is for trading / loading boxes, the Galleon is a war ship, and the Frigate is the biggest, most fearsome war ship out there.
  • The game keeps track of the players real activity. If you have this tab open, the game will know about it. Online gamers are displayed in green at Players. The chat now shows these players in a panel, and the chat is much better looking, with profile pictures. Fixed a cache bug in IE10 that made the chat invisible.
  • New messages from other users will appear without page load from now on. In the inventory as usual...
  • Better Godmode (admin "cheat" area). Ability to change newly created objects, live updating the inventory, quick buttons for changing values for all crew members / ships. Ability to change the User table. Ability to change all users settings, not just my own. Before you ask, this is mainly used to try out new features and bug testing. Now I can also fix other players problem if they would occur.
  • At your inventory you can now give your crew members doubloons, which increases their mood.
  • Small things, like anchor links working through AJAX, better logged out messages that won't confusing you into thinking that the game is broken. Fixing some spelling errors, and just trying my best to clearify some things for the players. Probably 40+ bugs were fixed.
  • The JavaScripts had a face lift. I ran it through JSLint and got scared. But the result is much better code, that hopefully works fine in all modern browsers.
  • Upgraded CodeIgniter and jQuery.

4th May, 2013

  • This game now has It's own domain name: lostseas.com! The game is renamed from "Dark Seas!" to "Lost Seas" because of that.
  • You no longer have to register to play this game; Just press "Play!" and you can begin immediately. You still have to register to save your session and to interact with other players.
  • The game now uses HTML5 pushState to change the URL address depending on what you are doing. Now you can use your browsers back and forward buttons to go between the tavern and the docks ;) An even better feature is that Google now can crawl this site.
  • A lot of more AJAX! Forms and many links now returns JSON instead of HTML code. The inventory, and many more fields, can now update only the changed items instead of the whole inventory.
  • A new, brighter and more responsive web design.The position of the inventory and "action panel" has been changed. You will now find the inventory to the left, and it's a lot more beautiful and responsive. It's now possible to play this game on a mobile device - the menus will then collapse into menu buttons instead. Also Google Pagespeed says 93/100 instead of 84/100 :)
  • The nations now has different images to represent the different places, like shop, bank and so on. So it will look different in Panama than in Biloxi for example.
  • Guestbook has been renamed to "Messages". Parley is renamed to Chat.
  • The latest jQuery 2.0 and CodeIgniter. No more support for Internet Explorer 8.
  • Google Analytics will help me to better understand the gamers, how they think, what they do. Anonymously of course.
  • A "God mode" has been created that lets admins change almost everything in the game (cheating!). For now it's for bug testing - in the future it will be for fixing problems for users.
  • A LOT of bug fixes. And probably some new onces. This is a huge update, and actually most of the code is rewritten. Two years since the last update - i know :)

17th July, 2011

  • The event system has been rewritten. You can now click around in the game without loosing data/events. If, for example, some sailors offers to join you, they will still join you if you visit the shop first. This also solved some bugs and make new features possible.
  • When you win a battle at sea, you can choose how much you want to loot. Sometimes you cannot handle more crew members, or you'll be angry that you couldn't prioritize water instead of porcelain. Now that problem is solved! This is one step forward towards a more interactive game.
  • You can now trade with your allies at sea. You will trade away barter goods for useful goods (food and water). Which means you can stay longer at the sea. You choose how much you want with sliders, and you will only pay as much as you need with your barter goods. It will trade away useless things first, and later medicine, tobacco and rum. Unfortunately the code doesn't know how much barter goods that will be needed for the transaction so it won't be subtracted from the total load, which means that you cannot load your ship too 100 % with this.
  • You can now see much more about the other players. It uses the same function that you use for your own inventory. This made it possible to merge players.php with inventory.php. Less code, more features.
  • Design changes! A nice new top menu, the background is replaced and fixed some minor stuff. When the game is loading, it will say so very noticably. Some SEO fixes.
  • A new Guide that will help players along in the game. It's also for show off for visitors who's not registered yet. Why would anyone register who don't know what's inside the game?
  • The places menu at the right does not update with AJAX anymore which make much fewer HTTP requests. Which means faster game experience and no bugs. Sometimes the places menu were wrong before...
  • It's now easier to find new ships, and it's easier to win the battles. The ship you meet will be created after how many useful cannons you have instead of how many crew members you've got. Often you have more crew members than useful cannons.
  • You will now see different flags on the ships you meet so that you can easily know what you are up against without having to read the description.
  • A copyright section of the page that you can access by clicking the footer. It felt like a link but wasn't. Now it is...
  • Solved a lot of small bugs. Also fixed the dumb bug regarding the City Halls governor that got an error if your level was 0, which it is when you start out.

26th May, 2011

  • I redefined the levels and titles in the game, and documented it at About > FAQ. Now you can see what you can become for the first time. The rewards for getting a new title has been increased radically. Fixed a bug that made it possible to be "promoted" when you fight your own nations ships and decreased in rank. You still won't be demoted when you do so though.
  • I thought I had a limit of maximum 10 ships in this game, but apperently I did not :) My friend who played this game for a while had 99 ships after a while, 4500 crew members and over a million doubloons. With no ship limit there is no crew member limit, and there by no limitations at all. Now the maximum number of ships is regulated by your rank. As a pirate (as you start of) you can only own 3 ships. The total maximum is 15 ships as a duke, and there by 1500 crew members. Which is A LOT.
  • The character will now age as you play. 1 years older if you play for 52 game weeks.

24th May, 2011

  • The shopping experience has been greatly improved! The design is nicer, but mostly the usability is much much better. Instead of seeing how much you buy when you drag the sliders, you will see how much you will end up having if the trade is accepted. You will always see how many doubloons you have left, so that you don't have to scroll to the bottom of the page all the time to find out if you can afford it or not. The validation code is better, and the need for JavaScript validation was gone. At the shop you will find new buttons that let you sell all barter goods at once, and buy all you need for traveling for 5 more weeks. Wow, I wonder how I survived without it!
  • I have rewritten the attack script that you are using at sea. For the first time, I'm no longer scared of going in to that code :D It was a mess, and now It's nice! The code is also smaller, more efficient and fixed a couple of long lasting bugs. Like when you tried to flee from a ship and failed, you would only see the result of the fight, leaving you wondering what the fuck happened.
  • After a sea fight you will see a nicer looking list of good and bad things that happened through the fight. Like things you looted, if a ship broke due to ship damaged, if someone in your crew died, if they took anything from you, and such.
  • Ship damages is implemented! You ships will be damaged in battle, and more so if your lose the battle. You can repair your ships at the shipyard. It their health is less than 1 % it will break. Just as your crew member will die under 1 %. You can always see your ships health in the inventory.
  • The crew member list at the inventory has been improved. You can sort the list by clicking on the table topics, both asc and desc. The little action menus will be shown both at the top and bottom if the number of crew member is over 25 (so you don't have to scroll that much). You can also select crew members by clicking anywhere on the row, not just the little checkbox. Selected members is highlighted. This is great! This means that you could sort them by health and discard the members that is bringing the total health down. Or sort them after mood and give rum the ones that need it the most.
  • Music for everyone! This game now supports both OGG and AAC, which means that the music now works in Internet Explorer 9 and Safari. The scripts has been improved quite a lot. You will now find the music controls at the top menu instead of under the Inventory (not a very logical place). And you will see a button that skips the current song and plays a new, random, piraty song. 10 more tracks has been added!
  • The docks will now show more things that you should do before you leave the town again. Like visit the governor if he would like to speak to you. I don't know about you, but I often forgot to check for new titles at the City Hall. The todo list has also been redesigned, with images! Oh so pretty <3
  • You can no longer loot more goods than the ship can carry. It was a bit easier before, when you just could loot 1000 barrels of rum and sell it for a small fortune.
  • I have added a random character generator at the registration and character settings. It fetches a random name from a list of a thousand names through AJAX, and sometimes combines them. It also selects a random age and gender. Visitors really hate doing more work than they have to :P
  • You will get to the action menus directly when you visit a towns different places. For example you can buy cannons without clicking on Fixings at the shipyard. And you can buy your crew some rum directly when you click on the tavern. I tried to see what people mostly wanted to do when they visited to avoid unnecessary clicking / waiting.
  • Dark Seas now has a RSS feed for it's news page. So if anyone would like to know when something in the game is changed, please subscribe. This is nice because I won't have to promote the site when It changes. Those who cares will know...
  • Tweaked the design a little. The buttons are more beautiful, and the images has a nice, round border. A lot of smaller fixes here and there.
  • Upgraded to the latest version of jQuery and jQuery UI. Removed parts of UI that wasn't used. 34 kb saved!
  • You will now be logged in for twelve hours instead of one if you don't log out. The main reason for this was solving an issue in Explorer and Safari which logged them out after a couple of seconds. The server is two hour behind so the browser thought the time had passed.

2nd May, 2011

  • Upgraded to the latest version of CodeIgniter and jQuery. The first one took some time because some of the code structure was remade. The application directory is not inside system anymore, which is good when It comes to upgrading in the future. But it took me some time to get the code right.
  • All models (database communication functions) are remade and separated from one class to one per database. Some code from Controllers were moved to the Models instead. Instead of using a lot of cryptic method names, they are now standardized. Like $this->User->get() or $this->Ship->erase(). All models have get(), update(), create() and erase()... that’s it!
  • Turned on output compression, which I hope will speed up loading time for visitors. This created some problem, like not being able to echo things directly, so everything now goes through a View like it always should be in a MVC application.
  • Combined some javascript and stylesheet files, and minified some of them, which also will make things a bit faster. I won’t minify code that needs to be maintained, It would be a mess. But things like the stylesheet for jQuery UI is awesome to minify and combine with my own custom.css.
  • Played around a bit with AJAX and JSON and implemented a better POST function for About > News. I will develop this a bit more and replace more and more with JSON functions in the future to speed it up even more!
  • Removed the need for index.php in the URLs. Nicer looking!
  • Made some HTTP headers that make browsers happy. Mostly about cache. Images, Javascript and Stylesheets is now cached for a month by default. This, and many more fixes took Dark Seas from 79 points to 94 points at Googles Page Speed Test.
  • Dark Seas is now verified in Internet Explorer 9, and it is now officially supported. The front page will only warn if you are using IE8 or below. It will still warn about Safaris audio support, but not for Chrome anymore.
  • Solved the bug that just returned blank pages when you were logged out. Now you will be redirected to the start page.
  • The Chat is renamed to Parley, mostly for technical reasons.
  • Fixed a bug that made it possible to travel from town to town and not waste food or water. About > Tech was created. I wanted to show people what technologies are behind Dark Seas, what they mean, and inform them about why old browsers won’t work. Rewritten the way we change town in the game, less and better code.
  • A little piraty favicon was added.
  • A lot of other stuff has happened. Not much game features though...

11th January, 2011

  • The game has reached public beta stage!! :D
  • Made some changes regarding win/lose ratio in sea battles. It's a bit easier now...
  • Created a test version of this game, for future code changes. I would like this game to be stable enough now to let people try it out. :)
  • It was possible to have an endless amount of crew members and still go to harbor before; fixed!

10th January, 2011

  • If you loose in battle you will still loose all your money, but you will only loose parts of your goods. If you have three ships, you will loose a third of your food, water, porcelain, spices, silk, medicine, tobacco and rum.
  • You will find less barter goods to loot in sea battle than before. Sometimes you would get ridiculous amounts of rum for example that made you kind of rich easily.
  • The crew now needs just half the food and water per week. It was annoying to buy 200 barrels of water every time you visited a new town.

9th January, 2011

  • When you arrive at the docks from the harbor, you will now see a list of things you should to before you take off again. It estimates that you want to travel for 5 more weeks the next time, and tell you what you need to buy, sell, and fix.
  • The shop will now also tell you how much more food and water you need for 5 more weeks at sea.

8th January, 2011

  • You can now capture prisoners from enemy ships and pirate ships. You can hand them over at the City Hall for a ransom. Now you can only hand them in at your home nation, and the ransom is 300-1000 dbl (lowered a bit).
  • The buttons to attack, ignore and flee ships are now changed a bit. The recommended one is yellow, the other one is white. I found myself clicking attack when I wanted to ignore, and I died a couple of times because of this :P