Wing Commander TacOps has received a sharp graphical upgrade! Or rather, I've upgraded my web browser, and the existing art assets all look how they're supposed to now. Avacar has also made great progress on 'phase 5' of the plan to develop an automated version of the game. Recent advancements include significantly enhanced pilot roles. Players can individually authenticate, create unique personas and develop skill stats. Game navigation, display options and reporting functions are also more polished. These improvements can be seen in the game's test environment (here for unregistered players). Last, but not least, the project has a new acronym. WCTOO - short for Wing Commander Tactical Operations Online - has seemed to stick.
I encourage *everyone* who intends to play WCTOO when the Beta comes out to start registering (click "Account") their user accounts now. Even if we migrate servers, I'll take that with us.
Still to do for phase 5:
- Games/Deaths/Kills tracking at the user level (slots are there, just not the code)
- More fixes to indicator stacks?
- Pilot skills firmed up
- Better user controls re: options/changing passwords/etc.
- A drop-down at the top called 'game' (or maybe in the navigation pane?) that will let you see who hasn't issued orders yet.
- Automatic background counter that will refresh the board every X (=30?) seconds in case you don't, so that if you're playing a highly active game, it can be semi-live.
- A 'force check to see if turn is ready yet' button.
- A short email script that will send email notifications on turn completions (subject to user preference?)
Many of the above are actually sort of fluffy and not strictly necessary. Based on popular vote/opinion, I can drop off the more user-friendly ones, and stick to the core game mechanic ones, if, after sufficient testing of what's already there in phase 5, we want to push forward to a beta and start really playing.
Finally: I can't stress enough that this is really meant to be played in Firefox 3.6.10+ for now. Wedge has also been busy this week, so there's no guarantees of anything in Phase 5 being at-all cross-platform safe yet, although I'm trying to be better about it. We will continue to do our best as time moves forward however.