Alpha Test Game 5

Avacar

Vice Admiral
Hm. Logged in to process through the CP (no shots yet) and noticed that all my units were already done. Does the game automatically check to see if your units have any valid shots and skip them if not?
Yeah, it does that. Though for some reason this turn it's asking me if I want to shoot my own guy...
Just a reminder that the game doesn't understand teams at all, so if one of your ships has a valid shot on another one, you'll be offered the chance to shoot.
For each round, the game does try to predict if there is no need to offer you a command for next round; if you ever feel this is done wrong, then bring it up here so we can evaluate if it is a bug!

When I select a weapon, however, the board automatically jumps back up to the upper left-hand corner and I have to scroll back over to where my fighters are.
That sounds...annoying. Well, this is why we test new things, like big maps. I'll see what I can do about it, but it might need to wait for a reworking of the overlay system.
 

QuailPilot

Spaceman
Just as a suggestion: do you think a click and drag the map around system could be implemented sometime in the future? (Not right now, but sometime.)
 

Avacar

Vice Admiral
Just as a suggestion: do you think a click and drag the map around system could be implemented sometime in the future? (Not right now, but sometime.)
I honestly don't know. When I first built this, I hadn't thought that far ahead. That said, the library I use for much of the positioning information is getting an upgrade soonish, and maybe it'll have something useful in it.

What are you looking for, with click-and-drag? click the background of the map and drag it to scroll around? I had been thinking of some sort of mini-map that you could move around upon, but I havent found a plugin out on the net to handle that, and I'm not sure I want to tackle it myself. (You guys are free to search the 'net and find one and suggest it to me, although at that point, open a new thread. It would have to be based on jquery/javascript, and/or php).

IFF code will be getting a workout...
I can't stress/remind you guys enough that, until you're damaged, the IFF's will be confed/kilrathi based, irrespective of your ship 'teams'. Once your hull is damaged, it really goes to hell...
 

Skanks

Rear Admiral
I can't stress/remind you guys enough that, until you're damaged, the IFF's will be confed/kilrathi based, irrespective of your ship 'teams'. Once your hull is damaged, it really goes to hell...
This is why I went all Confed for my ships ;)
 

Avacar

Vice Admiral
Just as a suggestion: do you think a click and drag the map around system could be implemented sometime in the future? (Not right now, but sometime.)
Well I wasted time tonight and tried to get something like this working. I managed to get a few of them to operate 'correctly', with the best behaviour coming out of a plugin called 'scrollview'. That said, I don't know how many of you like to mouse over the ships and then drag those info windows around (I do it all the time, but maybe you guys don't) but the interaction between trying to drag the map around and trying to drag the windows around seems to create a fair bit of chaos.

Another one scrolled better, complete with a deceleration so you could give it a bit of a toss and it would slide along (like a google map) but it refused to let you move around the ship windows at all. It was called 'overscroll'. I can keep trying, though, and see what else I can find.

Another problem with this is that it involves forcefully limiting the visible area, instead of letting it fill the screen. In the long run, I may want to do this anyway, and have ship controls appear to the left or right of the board, but for now this just looks ugly and produces a lot of empty background space.

That aside, I've created a duplicate interface for the game using what I messed with tonight so that you can see it or mess around with it. Note that while the interface is duplicated, the game and game data is not; this means if you want, you can just as easily play using the duplicate interface as the main one. You can find the original interface at this location, while the duplicate one is nearby. In general, is this kind of what you'd want? What do the others think?
Personally I like this idea, but it looks like it is going to fight tooth and nail with everything else I've built, so it may just not work. I'm still looking for an existing mini-map type plugin, but no luck on that either.

edit: as a side note, apparently Internet Explorer hates large maps. I almost never use it, but I was curious to see how the scroll scripts would work for other browsers.... man... giant red bars? Worth looking at just for a laugh, but clearly a deeper issue! (consequently, the bars apparently have nothing to do with the scrolling, but are problematic for IE in general)
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I agree that the hard-coded limited visibility is a bad thing, but I understand it's only a prototype.

I don't see anything unusual like red bars in IE, but then, I'm stuck on 8 and not 9 which requires at least Vista.

I'm yet to look into the click/scroll-to-top-left issue. Am I right in reading that folks have reported it in both Firefox and Chrome?
 

Avacar

Vice Admiral
After sleeping on it, I forked it again, and after putting in way too many hours, I've successfully produced a simple minimap! Sadly, at the moment it won't actively scroll while you drag; I can actually turn that on, but then it starts jumping all over and acting wild and I can't figure out why or how to stop it yet. For now, you can click on it, you can drag and drop it, and it will move itself if you scroll in a traditional manner.

Unlike the scrollview/overscroll scripts above, this so far doesn't interfere with game operations at all. If you guys like it, I'll fold it back in with the main phase5 line. At that time, I'll also look into making it collapsible, much like the top bar.

Thoughts?
 

Avacar

Vice Admiral
Thought about it more over lunch; added mini-fied icons for all the ships and other objects to the minimap. Originally I had them scale perfectly, but they were basically single-pixel dots (a true depiction of the vastness of space!). I've implemented an artificial scaling that they will hit a minimum size of 10 pixels. Technically this means that larger things like asteroids and starbases will appear equal in size on the minimap to fighters... but who cares? It is so small anyway, it won't matter.

I may consider kicking up the minimum if you guys find it is too hard to read.

Check out the minimap interface now.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Firefox 3.6.18, minimap interface. Something's off; all the ship icons for the main map are jumbled all together in the corner and I'm seeing no icons on the minimap. May just be the super-old browser; will let you know if the same thing's happening when I can get to something more recent.
 

Ironduke

Spaceman
Definitely works with Chrome 14. As far as keeping track of ship positions goes, I think it really helps! And once a proper IFF system is coded in, we could go back to the old red/green dot radar stuff. :)
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Working okay in Firefox 7. Got the same thing as before in Chrome 14, but it went away when I logged in . I couldn't use the minimap to scroll the map in Chrome. IE9 is buggy; when I logged in, everything jumbled all together. There also appear to be some nasty looking red boxes in a ton of hexes. Scrolling function of the minimap appears to be good in IE. In Safari 5.1, minimap scrolling did not work and everything jumbled together once I logged in.
 

Avacar

Vice Admiral
Firefox 3.6.18, minimap interface. Something's off; all the ship icons for the main map are jumbled all together in the corner and I'm seeing no icons on the minimap. May just be the super-old browser; will let you know if the same thing's happening when I can get to something more recent.
Well I always code for the newest version of firefox under the assumption that since this is a game, I can reasonably expect you guys to take simple 'setup' steps like downloading designated browsers..... that said, I haven't declared that you must use firefox yet, but know that I'm on Firefox 8.x, so stick with the bleeding edge to see what I see. (Generally speaking, since i've started this project, Chrome has surpassed firefox for compliance and javascript, so generally I get the impression that if it works for firefox, it probably works for chrome.

Working okay in Firefox 7. Got the same thing as before in Chrome 14, but it went away when I logged in . I couldn't use the minimap to scroll the map in Chrome. IE9 is buggy; when I logged in, everything jumbled all together. There also appear to be some nasty looking red boxes in a ton of hexes. Scrolling function of the minimap appears to be good in IE. In Safari 5.1, minimap scrolling did not work and everything jumbled together once I logged in.
Yeah... IE9 is not supported, although Wedge does a pretty good job of trying to keep it working. Those red bars are new, and show up even in the non-minimap version. They only seem to affect the large map though, not the small one.

Definitely works with Chrome 14. As far as keeping track of ship positions goes, I think it really helps! And once a proper IFF system is coded in, we could go back to the old red/green dot radar stuff. :)
Well, right now I'm actually dropping the icons again. I could easily drop symbols instead, and colour code them (once teams exist), but I don't think it would be easy to colour code the icons themselves...

--------------

So I'm hearing generally positive feedback. I don't know if/when I'll have time, but this does sound like it is worth porting and making a permanent feature, even without the 'live scroll' feature working. That said, there are a few steps needed to do that; first, I notice it is acting funny for Game 4, so clearly some "we don't need this" checks need to be in place to just get rid of it when the game is smaller than the window. Secondly, I'll want to give it a collapsible feature, so you can hide it away when not needed (should be easy). Third, at the moment, it self-contains 100% of its own css. Much of the general formatting should get moved back out to the actual css files, although some of the positioning and scaling information will be stuck inside the javascript(jquery) portions.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Generally speaking, since i've started this project, Chrome has surpassed firefox for compliance and javascript, so generally I get the impression that if it works for firefox, it probably works for chrome.
That is generally the case and probably a fair assumption to make, but the Mozilla folks aren't slacking in this department and my impression is that the difference between the two browsers isn't significant enough to warrant choosing one over the other for scripting compliance alone. (So I'm agreeing with your statement, but just adding my remarks too.)

Yeah... IE9 is not supported, although Wedge does a pretty good job of trying to keep it working. Those red bars are new, and show up even in the non-minimap version. They only seem to affect the large map though, not the small one.
Alas, I'll have to leave IE9 testing to the rest of you - I don't plan on moving to Win7 just yet and it wouldn't be a good idea for me to play around with this on my work computer (even in my own time via remote access).
 

Humungus

Spaceman
Wow, so much new things in one day.
My opinions: Definitely keep the minimap. Saves me a lot of work finding others and I can't find any noticeable bugs with it (except that when someone would be in the lower right corner, you can't select him. But add an option to hide the minimap and it's solved)

As for the drag-and-scroll feature, it would be nice to have too, however, the demo you showed was lacking a bit in the visual department... once, the restricted view, two, I missed the background fixed on the grid so it would move with it. ^^;;

And by some wierd way (trying out the minimap demo and changing game phases), I got into a mashup version with both features. Sadly, the minimap doesn't have any effect there.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Yeah, when I say "everything is bunched up", what I mean is that I'm seeing the same thing that's in Chernikov's post.
 

Avacar

Vice Admiral
Re: Chernikov and Capi,

I see this too sometimes; try reloading, it may fix itself. I don't know what causes it yet, but on Firefox 8 a reload always fixes it. It seems to be taking the positioning data from the minimap but applying it on the real map, NOT scaling the ships down, NOT displaying the other set of ships. Next time this happens, I'll have to determine if it is actually using the 'real' ships or the minimap ones. This should be easy to determine, since each set is supposed to have a unique id. If I have duplicated id's, that could very easily lead to this bug, and we're just getting lucky each time that the browsers are smart enough to figure it out.
 
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