Category Archives: Dev Rambling

Don’t I feel kinda silly

Ahoy, commander! Well, as it turns out the iToysoldiers Help Portal hasn’t been working in like… well… ever.  Kinda explains why the Bug Hunt has been kind of quiet.  Anyway, I fixed it by trashing the old system and bringing in a new one.  I still need to put the knowledge base back in there but you can now submit bugs and feature requests with impunity.

Oh! And because of this, I’m going to extend the Bug Hunt until May 31st.  Feel free to let me know what’s wrong with the Help Portal as well since it’s kind of new and hasn’t really gotten a thorough shake down.  Not at all like the previous version.

Carpe Acies!
Rob

What’s In the Pipeline at iToysoldiers

Ahoy, Commander!

So I just wanted to let you know about what’s currently being worked on for iToysoldiers right now. I have a release scheduled for next week that’ll include the following:

Achievements

  1. I’m redesigning the look and feel of the Achievement pages. They’ll be cleaner and it’ll be much easier to see who’s earned a given achievement.
  2. I’m fixing the “bulk award” achievement rule so that it doesn’t generate quite so much email. This is a little thing ’cause it’s not often that I introduce a whole bunch of achievements.
  3. I’m going through and fixing some of the older achievements to use better code.

General Stuff

  1. In an effort to make navigation a bit easier I’m totally revamping the left nav menu.  Rather than being clever with titles like, “Order of Battle” I’m going to be using the categories of Gaming, Narrative, and Modelling for the major features.  Theater will still be events.  Think, “Where, when, and who to play” and Gazetteer will be collapsed into Community.
  2. General bug fixes that probably won’t really be noticed.

Bug Hunt 2017

Oh, and don’t forget that Bug Hunt 2017 is running right now. If you have any bugs, feature requests, or comments, do not hesitate to zip over to the iToysoldiers Help Portal and submit them.  You’ll be entered for a chance to win $25 at your favorite game store.

Carpe Acies!
Rob @ iToysoldiers

Bug Hunt 2017

Ahoy, commander! It’s a little bit later than usual, but the 2017 Bug Hunt begins today! What’s the Bug Hunt? Well, as with any software product, iToysoldiers probably has a few quirks that are driving you mad. You may also have an idea for a new feature. Well, this event is intended to encourage you to tell me about both! Anyone who reports a bug or a feature request on the iToysoldiers Help Portal will be entered into a drawing for a $25 CDN gift certificate for either the store or online vendor of their choice.

The Rules

Bugs reported between now and April 30th at 23:59 will count as an entry.

The winner will be contacted during the first week of May.

Only bugs or feature requests reported on the iToysoldiers Help Portal count as an entry.

Each unique entry from an individual counts as an entry into the drawing so even if someone else reports the same bug you’ll still get credit for reporting it – unless that duplicate is from you.

Only valid bug or feature requests count as an entry.  In other words, the entry has to be something related to iToysoldiers and how it works (or should work).

A bug or feature request does not need to be accepted to be counted (i.e. your bug may be “works as designed” or it could be a feature request that isn’t in line with iToysoldiers).

iToysoldiers reserves the right to consider a report as “not really related” and cancel the submission.

You do not have to be registered on iToysoldiers in order to report bugs (although it’d probably make sense if you were).

And there you have it! Good luck!  I really value the Bug Hunt because it gives me a bunch of feedback that I don’t usually get. So go ahead and get started now at the iToysoldiers Help Portal.

Carpe Acies!
Rob @ iToysoldiers

Oh, Gods! Reversion Control!

Ugh.  So as I continue to work on various Event management pieces I’m finding that I’m breaking existing functionality! WTH! Aaaack!  Curses!

So for the next little bit I’m going to be remediating that.  I’m gonna have to pull the leagues and tournaments into the Event content type just so that I have consistency.  This is not what I wanted to work on this week (or two).

Damn.

Where Have You Been?

No note.  Car’s gone.  You could’ve DIED!

Actually it’s not quite that.  November and December have been super heavy hobby months for me.  I’ve had to get my Phantom playable for an Apocalypse game in early December and then there was the whole Calth Build Off event that ended the first week of January.  I’ve been head down getting those two things wrapped up.

The good news is that I don’t have any real hobby commitments due until the beginning of April so I can procrastinate on those for at least two months.  *snicker.  And that means I’m wrapping up the Ragnorak release and preparing for the release after that.  It’ll be a pretty simple thing with HUGE ramifications for iToysoldiers.  I’m pretty excited about it and I’ll share some more info once I have Ragnorak in the bag.

Anyway.  Not dead.  Still working on making iToysoldiers the best place to chronicle the glory of your miniature wargaming armies.

Rob @ iToysoldiers

The Chosen jQuery Library is amazing!

So I stumbled across the coolest thing ever!  Okay.  Maybe not the coolest thing ever but it’s pretty slick and I have to say it’s going to make some of the UI issues you’ve been experiencing go away.

It’s the Chosen jQuery library (which you can find here: https://harvesthq.github.io/chosen/).  Essentially it does magic things to select boxes on forms and makes ’em WAY easier to deal with.

I’m currently playing around with it on the good ol’ dev server and I have to say, I’m pleased with the results.  It even works pretty well on a mobile device.  Now…  I guess that is to say that it doesn’t modify the interface that iOS throws on top of select fields and that’s actually brilliant.

Oh, I think you’re going to like the results, my friends.

Carpe Acies!
Rob

Wanted: Co-founder who’s good at business stuff

Hey, commander!

So iToysoldiers is pretty well established to some extent.  And I’m delighted with how well it’s been received.  But I’d like to take it to the “next level” and for that I need someone who’s good at marketing and promotion and all that.

I’m looking for a co-founder to help me with the promotional stuff.  I’m pretty good at coding but as a one man shop I don’t have the time to really go and promote the site.  I think it could be awesome if only more folks were aware.  Can you help?  Do you want to? Are you enthusiastic about miniature wargaming? Do you want to promote tools that help wargamers chronicle the glory of their armies?  If so… Let me know and we’ll talk.

Send me an email at rob@itoysoldiers.com and we can chat about what being a co-founder might mean.

Carpe Acies!
Rob

New Home Page and Player Profiles Live

Greetings, commander! iToysoldiers is super pleased to announce the release of “Kilgrave”.  The Kilgrave release introduces a brand new home page for folks who aren’t a member of the site yet as well as a brand spanking new player profile and stat pages for every player on the site. We’re also introducing our new iToysoldiers Help Portal, which isn’t huge news but still pretty slick.

Let’s chat about the new home page first.  The old one was kind of dated and had a few issues.  The first of which is that it didn’t really tell anyone what iToysoldiers was all about. Well, now it does. Yeah, it’s kind of a marketing page for the site but I think that’s okay ’cause it’s important to let people know what iToysoldiers has to offer the miniature wargaming community.  I built it to show off the player functionality ’cause that’s what most people are interested in.  I’m going to be working on the Ironmonger program (for local game stores) and the event management pieces shortly.

Now.  The really cool bit of Kilgrave is the new player profile pages and the stats pages.  Here’s some of the new features:

  • A consolidated statistics page that covers all of your activity on iToysoldiers.
  • A great new player “landing” page that highlights your best stuff on iToysoldiers and provides easy navigation to all of your content, decorations, and media.
  • A fantastic new battle statistics summary page with new charts, and even competitive play stats.  Check it out on the Stats tab of your profile.

And lastly, I’m introducing a new support portal – one that I control rather than a third party so I can be sure that all the usage follows the iToysoldiers privacy policy.  So if you ever have a question or wanna find our faqs you can zip over to http://help.itoysoldiers.com.

And that’s what’s in Kilgrave.  If you run into any issues don’t hesitate to let me know at http://help.itoysoldiers.com or send me an email at rob@itoysoldiers.com or you can comment here.  Curious to know what you think of the new stuff.

Carpe Acies!
Rob

New Player Profiles: Kilgrave is going to be Legendary

I’m working on the Kilgrave release.  There’s really two pieces to it: A better “Home Page” for folks and updated player pages.  I know…  They don’t seem related but they kinda are in my mind.  At least that’s what I tell myself.

Anyway… I’m really excited to show off the new player profiles.  As iToysoldiers has grown and there’s more kinds of things to show off about your miniature wargaming exploits I’m finding that I’m having to revamp a bunch of things.  That’s not bad, per se…  I’ve learned a bunch building this site and as I come back to various things I can make ’em better.  The profiles are no exception.

So what you’re going to be looking for is a player profile that captures all your deeds.  There’s going to be lists of media (images and the like), achievements, campaign badges, lists of your army…  Essentially I want to capture all the bits that show off your wargaming prowess.  I want the profile page to be the page you use to say, “Hey! I play wargames.  Here’s what I’ve done.”

Now that’s harder than you might expect.  So, there’s site specific stuff like your renown, level, battle score and the like.  And then there’s the content you’ve contributed.  What’s that all going to look like.  Well, that’s what I’m thinking about now.  So, internal iToysoldiers metrics will have a lower priority on the screen than images and content.  I find it sad that iTS achievements and campaign badges are not the defacto standard for war gaming accomplishments but I think I’ll live.

I’m hoping to have Kilgrave ready for release early next week but I keep finding things to tweak.  Bare with me, commander!  I’ve got your six.

Carpe Acies!
Rob @ iToysoldiers

Planning the “Kilgrave” release

Ahoy, commander!

Well, Release “Smaug” is rapidly approaching completion and it’s time to give some thought to what the next release’ll have in it.  I’ve code named it Kilgrave.  Why?  Well…  Kilgrave was kind of a narcissist and since I plan on giving some love to the Player Profiles I thought it kind of appropriate.

So here’s the things I want to address with the Kilgrave release:

  1. Update the look of the player profiles so they’re a bit more consistent with the site layout.  They’re not bad right now but there’s some whacky layout decisions I made early on that need to be addressed.
  2. Probably the most important bit: Player battle stats need to be revamped and get similar treatment to the factions.
  3. Introduce stats for other types of content.  Maybe not quite so indepth but at least enough to give you an idea where you’re at.
  4. I’d like to introduce a site wide battle rating system based on acknowledged battles.  This may or may not make it in.
  5. I’d like to introduce “privacy/notification” settings so you can control what sort of email is sent to you by the iTS system.

And now for some additional stuff that needs to be addressed:

  1. Any bugs that show up from Smaug (although these may end up as Hot fix releases depending upon their severity).
  2. A revamp of the home page for folks who aren’t registered.
  3. Finish the migration from Mailchimp.
  4. Start the migration from UserVoice.

Those last two, Mailchimp and UserVoice…  I mean to comment on that and I will.  Promise.  The short version: I want to reduce the number of “channels” I have out in the world.  It’s too hard for you, my valued member, to manage the interactions with iToysoldiers if I’m using third party platforms.  They’re really slick and I’m going to lose a bit of functionality (purely on the back end of things) but I think the trade off of having yours truly as the owner of all elements of iToysoldiers will help with piece of mind.  I hope so at any rate.

Anyway, that’s what’s planned for Kilgrave.  If you have any input on what you’d like to see on your player profiles I’d love to hear about it.  Drop me a line at rob@itoysoldiers.com and I’ll take a gander.

Carpe Acies!
Rob