Latest Game Revision: July 24th 2008

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

Latest Game Revision: July 24th 2008

Postby weasel on Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:08 pm

Greetings,

Pacifist has been hard at work keeping the server alive (during the course of this project he has switched hosts a few times and done hardware upgrades on the latest DB server), and in the odd scraps of spare time he has he is managing to deal with paypal issues and keeping users registered.

It is a fine miracle he has released an update today! Here's a quick rundown of the major features:

  • The full soundtrack has been restored! Registered users will now hear the full-length 5-minute soundtrack. It'll be much less annoying, I swear. I have it running on repeat while I work. It's really toe-tapping when it gets into it!
  • Gameplay Change: You can no longer attach a single stick to two points on the same wheel. This is the cause of many of the wacky-physics bugs that occur and also was fairly useless as the sticks didn't interact with the terrain anyway. All previous designs you may have with this kind of setup will break (one end of the rod will fall off when you hit Go).
  • Gameplay Change: You can no longer build a stick on top of another stick (going from the same joint to the same joint). This caused some confusion as it made some water-sticks look like wood-sticks (and can also cause physics glitches).
  • The music on/off preference is now stored in a cookie
  • Fixed a bug in the level editor where you couldn't delete goal blocks or circles (the pink ones) when you are editing a saved level
  • Fixed another exploit where you could build items outside of the blue build-it box
  • Fixed a bug where the "de-animate blue sticks"-button was not showing the correct state
  • Fixed an oversight where people could delete other people's saved levels
  • Some random small code changes and security upgrades to the server
Edit: There was a brief bug where sticks were being deleted from contraptions. If your copy seems to be doing this it was fixed within about 10 minutes; please refresh your cache (See below)
Edit2: Then there was a beer-induced bug that made every level load as the level "four". Woops! fixed. Refresh again.

Known Bug: A new bug was identified upon this release - it existed before release too, but it looks like very complicated contraptions will not store in the database properly (and upon load will just show a blank screen). The root cause of this bug has been found but the fix hasn't been put in place yet; it shouldn't affect you unless you build fantastic monstrosities. There are only 3 confirmed cases of it so far. ETA: Soon.

You might have to clear your browser cache to get the updated copy. Try hitting CTRL-F5 to force a refresh, or:

In FireFox3:
- Tools > Clear Private Data
- Select only the "Cache" option
- Click "Clear private data now"

In IE7:
- Tools > Delete Browsing History
- Click "Delete Files"

In IE6:
- Tools > Internet Options
- Click the "General" tab
- Click "Delete Files"

(Link to the previous updates thread)
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard on Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:42 pm

Thanks pacifist (and weasel for the heads up :P )!

As you know I have had a blast with this game, and the latest changes only make it more awesome. I am looking forward to hearing the full music track, and continue making some more fantastic contraptions :D
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby NightStryke on Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:11 pm

The sound cookie is much appreciated. :D

Though no longer allowing rods to be attached to a single wheel does sadden me; I know the "physics freakout" thing was a bug, but it was a damned fun one. There are still some ways to do it, though they're just not quite as simple or obvious.
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby currrie on Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:23 pm

with the big contraptions bug i think it is because it takes longer to load. even with relativly smallones it happens if you click too fast. I think a loading screen on a would really remedy the problem, instead of being able to go straight in. ANy other suggestions?
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby weasel on Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:32 pm

currrie wrote:with the big contraptions bug i think it is because it takes longer to load. even with relativly smallones it happens if you click too fast. I think a loading screen on a would really remedy the problem, instead of being able to go straight in. ANy other suggestions?


Yeah a loading screen is on the featurelist, as is some more verbose error reporting, but it's such a minor issue right now it's back-burnered.

For the technically minded, really big complex contraptions exceed string-length boundaries in, if I understand correctly, actionscript. The contraption is then saved corrupted into the database and there's not much that can be done to save it. :(
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby harborpirate on Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:06 pm

The longer music is a huge improvement. It actually reminds me a little bit of the music in XCOM: Ufo Defense. I have to agree that the cookie setting is great also, when looking at a bunch of solutions off of the forum its great not to have the music play each time when I really only want to see each contraption for a short time.
Last edited by harborpirate on Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby WafflesToo on Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:18 pm

NightStryke wrote:Though no longer allowing rods to be attached to a single wheel does sadden me; I know the "physics freakout" thing was a bug, but it was a damned fun one. There are still some ways to do it, though they're just not quite as simple or obvious.


Awwww, you broke my favorite bug ;) .

I'll miss Rocket2 and all the cannons peeps built with that one
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby Jason Harper on Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:22 am

Might I suggest that the Flash quality setting also be stored in the cookie? I have to set the quality to Low to get decent performance on my older computer - and it's getting to be a real pain to do that every single time I click on a level link...
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby Half Man Half Wit on Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:27 am

Gameplay Change: You can no longer attach a single stick to two points on the same wheel. This is the cause of many of the wacky-physics bugs that occur and also was fairly useless as the sticks didn't interact with the terrain anyway. All previous designs you may have with this kind of setup will break (one end of the rod will fall off when you hit Go).

Are you sure about that? Because I seem to have observed that the edges protruding ever so slightly on wheels fitted with additional rods supplied some extra traction -- for instance, this solution of mine to Awash used to work fine with the wheels fitted with squares of rods, but didn't work if I removed them. (It still works, now, because of the rods falling loose and sorta flailing around to drag the thing on, so I'm not too miffed, but it's less pretty now...)
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby holmstrom on Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:45 am

I love the new music, a huge improvement.. means I won't go nuts. Also the music cookie is awesome. And, well, everything is awesome :D This might be my favourite game of the year. :)

By the way, doesn't the intro to the new music remind a lot of the beginning of the battlestar galactica intro?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=rLCej27ot4w
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby AlexT on Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:58 am

Could we also get a cookie setting to turn off that white 'Welcome' window we have to click through each time? A 'do not show this again' tickbox on it would be awesome.
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby pacifist on Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:19 am

holmstrom wrote:By the way, doesn't the intro to the new music remind a lot of the beginning of the battlestar galactica intro?


I was waiting for someone to mention that! I totally agree with you. My mind keeps trying to segue into the Battlestar music after the first couple of bars. Might be one of the reasons I like it so much ;)

AlexT wrote:Could we also get a cookie setting to turn off that white 'Welcome' window we have to click through each time? A 'do not show this again' tickbox on it would be awesome.


That is quite a good idea. I hadn't thought of that but will try to come up with something.
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th.... Arrrrrrgggh!

Postby tjd11 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:22 pm

I protest! Please take back some of your changes. Lines connecting two vertices on the same object did interact with the environment and the polygons they were connected to (partly because of the "give" and "bounce" you've allotted the anchor points). I even used lines connected to two vertices on the same object as a limiter, to stop the rotation of an arm. Yes, it causes some glitchy solutions to puzzles... but those are fun, damnit! And besides breaking my designs that violated your new rules, you've managed to break one of my designs that didn't (as far as I can tell)
http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=8360
Although, now that I look at that again... maybe it broke because of redundant lines... but then why does the structure of the catapult fall apart instead of just having less lines... and what's wrong with redundant lines? Again because of your bouncy physics, they can make that tweak to the chaos that makes something work that otherwise wouldn't.
I guess overall, I'm just angry that you would change such basic rules of the game after it's already in play. I shouldn't have to go back and troubleshoot my designs to make them work again (some of them may not be fixable [I was not using glitchy solutions]).
How about adding an undo feature, or a select area feature, or a copy and paste feature? When you make revisions, please think more about what features and options you could add to the experience, rather than spend time taking options away from us (and breaking our carefully thought out machines).
Please remove the restrictions you added. Thanks.
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby Intermission on Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:03 pm

Great game, I'm really enjoying it. Here is a bunch of random ideas for improvement:

- Undo feature while building. Deleting the wrong tube/stick is usually easy to put back so long as it had two fixed points on other items, however accidentally moving a ball or intersection of points can really destroy contraptions. I spent around 10 minutes tweaking 5 little points in a catapult projectile rope in order to get a landing and flight path correct, only to accidentally move the projectile ball itself by a pixel or two and couldnt replicate until I went back to an earlier game-save. (this level, for reference: http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=99213 ) I'm assuming this would be very hard to implement though :(

- Confirm feature for deleting designs/levels. Should be easy to code in? Might save some people who miss-clicked when trying to publish their fancy design.

- Showing the date of creation on player levels (from the list view), and the date of solutions (from the list view). You can already sort levels by date, and the solutions already order themselves by date I believe, so shouldnt be too hard I guess. Putting the number of published solutions would be cool too.

- In-game stopwatch that starts when the start button is pressed, stops when the victory is accomplished, and also has another timer that keeps on going too, regardless of victory. Doesnt really matter if the time doesnt match up with real-time because of slower PC's... so long as its unified with the physics engine so its useful to time solutions.

- Jump to page, or 10-page jump buttons on the player level/solution list view. Clicking through can take a while when the database is pretty laggy.


And I cant think of anymore. Just thought I'd throw the ideas out there :)


edit: oh oh I thought of more!

- Whats with the voting of levels/solutions? I assume you click on the ball thing that you want to vote it as, but it isnt really clear. I'm also not sure if it actually did anything, as my vote didnt change the average if it did indeed work. I should of voted on a brand new level to test. A clearer voting system would be sweet. Maybe put a numerical value out of 5 in the list view, and a voting ball clicker thing when you're viewing the level? Then the ability to sort the solutions by rating as well as date, would be awesome. Hey, on that path, is it possible to have the game count the amount of sticks/balls/powered balls so you can show/order that in the list view, mark some levels as 'green', etc?
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby jojojo on Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:18 am

I would like to report a bug, I suppose this is the best place to do it. I found out first accidently, then decided to use this one for demonstration: http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=108852

I'm not sure what causes it. When moving an object, press right-button while holding down the left, now release both; click the object (with left button) and drag - now the object can be moved (a bit) outside the drawing box. Repeating the procedure can produce the demonstrated effect, although part of the object has to remain in the drawing box.

Hope this helps to fix the bug. Fantastic game!

jojojo.
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby monkeylord0003 on Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:05 pm

today this topic turns on
YAY
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby Foro on Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:58 pm

1 year ago things got fixed. lol
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby saw wheeler on Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:26 pm

well
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th

Postby oozle2 on Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:37 pm

hey! don't bump old threads!

But check this out... a lot of the people who posted early on were actually inxile staff... Just look at their black names. They were in on the game from the start!
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Re: Latest Game Revision: July 24th 2008

Postby Linkzcap on Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:39 pm

Yeah...

They're geusts. You know that though, don't you, oozle2?
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