Latest Changes: August 15th

News updates, status reports, and version information from the FC Team

Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby weasel on Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:58 pm

Hoo boy, what a week.

Sorry for the downtime over the last few days. The evil, evil hosting company decided not to answer their phonecalls while the database crashed and burned yesterday, and today it was down for a short while while the RAM was upgraded. So sorry about that. There is a chance that registrations in the last few days did not go through so please don't hesitate to forward your info to sales@fantasticcontraption.com so we can get you squared away. The thread on the server outage is here.

Between all the fires Pacifist has been doing some coding, most of the stuff is back-end and invisible (trust me, in the end it improves gameplay!), but there were a few visible changes:

Features/Changes:
  • Those schooled in the ways of User Interface Optimization will notice we have moved the tutorial. Too many people were missing it so now it's labelled as "Level 0". This opens up an empty-looking-spot on page two, so we've started up a contest to fill the gap. Can you design level 21?
  • The Level Editor now has a distinctive background, and the Test Level's exit button is now distinctive. It's not the absolute best solution, but I'm sure this will cut down on at least half of the "woops, deleted my level" mistakes.

Known Issues:
  • Inconsistent replays do still rarely occur, and are being investigated. Though most are attributed to contraptions being made in previous versions, there have been a few reported incidents of older/more obscure processors making small changes in your levels outcome (original thread for this bug)
  • Contraptions have been hard-capped at around 120 parts, for both level-parts and contraption-parts (combined). There is no error message or visual indication, parts will simply not be placed above this limit. This is a temporary stopgap measure to prevent a database corruption bug with very big designs. This should be resolved shortly.
  • Very rarely there will be a database glitch when processing your paypal transaction. If you have paid for the game and have not received your access within a few minutes, please forward your paypal receipt to sales@fantasticcontraption.com .
  • Physics will sometimes "freak out" and send your contraption into a conniption! This is usually because of a glitch in the physics system, usually when you use excessive numbers of sticks/rods connected to wheels. Try to simplify your designs to prevent this from happening!
  • Rediculous numbers of rods in a level may cause the contraption to just "fall apart," or even worse, go into "black hole mode." These are odd little bugs that will hopefully get fixed soon - again, just simplify to avoid it!

You will have to clear your browser cache to get the updated copy. Visit this thread if you don't know how.

(Link to older August 12th revisions)
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby BabyGui on Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:28 pm

is the 120 cap for the pieces and level combined or each?
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby HexOxide on Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:59 pm

Might I suggest that you add in the tutorial that you can move the red goal objects around? I, and I know I'm not the only one who did this, didn't figure this out until I was halfway through all the levels, and it would have made life much easier in those early days.
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby weasel on Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:18 pm

BabyGui wrote:is the 120 cap for the pieces and level combined or each?


It's combined for both. I'm hoping the fix will be fairly shortly, it would be done by now if it weren't for all the ipecac failures this week... Updated the OP to say (combined) too.

I'll mention to pacifist that the tutorial should mention moving the red item. :)
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard on Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:35 pm

I actually had an interesting time watching my friend (who never plays flash games) try out FC.

She told me that "the guy who created this game was very nice" because the tutorial was so friendly. :P A couple of things I noticed though: She tried to click the start and finish points of the rods instead of dragging, and she had no idea what she was doing (except for following instructions) during the cave escape level. I think that was because in that part of the tutorial, you are modifying a fairly complex contraption. She also didn't understand the difference between water rods and sticks that much. Anyhow, I left her after the first level, and when I came back, she had beaten the first twelve levels by herself, and now describes herself as "hooked." Pretty impressive in my opinion :D

Here are a couple she saved to show me:
http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=445376
http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=458750


not exactly the simplest, but not bad for a non-gamer :)
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby Sgt Superman on Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:52 am

Good looking update. I love how the background in the level editor is different from the testing background.
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby HexOxide on Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:05 am

And yet I still manage to exit the editor without saving.. Seriously, I would love a box that says "Are you sure you want to return to the main menu?"
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby weasel on Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:18 am

HexOxide wrote:And yet I still manage to exit the editor without saving.. Seriously, I would love a box that says "Are you sure you want to return to the main menu?"


Yeah I lost my work again this morning, too. I think the changes to the level editor make for a 50% reduction in miss-clicks, but at least they were easy and quick changes. I also think they'll affect new people more than us folks that have been using the editor all this time.

Again it boils down to "effort required for a solution" versus "amount of users it affects" so we might have to wait a bit for any further solution.

We're trying to avoid a confirmation box, as they are kind of kludgy, but I proposed a "forward" button to go along with the back one. If you mistakenly go back to the main menu, you'll be able to hop forward again to the design you were just working on. All in all I think that is the ultimate solution, but it also requires the most work on Pacifist's end.

If it weren't for server outages and jerk-like hosts Pacifist would have more time on his hands. *shakes fist*
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby NightStryke on Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:37 am

Hoo, effin' A, I'm sorry, but that editor is a horrible shade of yellow. Good thing I don't do much level editing.


EDIT: You know what it is? It's piss-yellow. Ya, now you'll be thinking of that every time you're editing a level. :P
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby NightStryke on Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:41 pm

Hmm, the "My Designs" buttons are rather unresponsive; it's a pain in the ♥♥♥ trying to delete or publish something. Should look into that.

EDIT: And there's something up with the saving. Had a design that got stuck saving, redid it after checking to see if it saved, then went back to "My Designs" to find that it actually did do some kind of delayed save. Looks like it may be happening again right now.
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:39 am

A quick change that I think would be quite helpful is if you had a button next to the url that appears for a saved item which allowed the user to copy the text to their clipboard (instead of right-click -> copy)

The code for the button is quite simple:
Code: Select all
    System.setClipboard(source.text);
(in AS3)
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby NightStryke on Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:06 pm

OfficiallyHaphazard wrote:A quick change that I think would be quite helpful is if you had a button next to the url that appears for a saved item which allowed the user to copy the text to their clipboard (instead of right-click -> copy)

The code for the button is quite simple:
Code: Select all
    System.setClipboard(source.text);
(in AS3)

I always just use Ctrl+C to copy things, and Ctrl+V to paste them - much faster than the right-click method.
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby Twilightzero on Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:33 pm

NightStryke wrote:I always just use Ctrl+C to copy things, and Ctrl+V to paste them - much faster than the right-click method.


For whatever reason that doesn't seem to work from the text in Flash :(
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby NightStryke on Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:52 pm

Twilightzero wrote:
NightStryke wrote:I always just use Ctrl+C to copy things, and Ctrl+V to paste them - much faster than the right-click method.


For whatever reason that doesn't seem to work from the text in Flash :(

Huh, it works for me. Maybe it's your browser.
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby Twilightzero on Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:40 pm

Doesn't work for me in both IE7 and FF 3. Maybe it's just me... :confused:
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard on Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:44 pm

No it is me too.

On my mac at home, cmd-c works though
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby weasel on Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:33 pm

Hm, Ctrl-C works for me on FF3, on WinXP and Vista on 3 different machines. :confused:
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby gushen on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:42 pm

Hey weasel, do you guys have CVS? I'm a programmer. It would be nice to help with something.
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Re: Latest Changes: August 15th

Postby Pickle_64 on Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:28 am

hey, 1st post

i just bought the game because i thought it was great. one of the main things i wanted to do was create a level that you didn't have to complete, but you could just make devices. e.g. i attempted to make a giant ferris wheel. i turned off the high quality graphics but was still a little bummed out when i ran into the piece limit. Is there any way around the limit, or is it neccessary that it isn't exceeded for the time being?
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