For Whom The Web Rocks
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|Jun 6th 2006||Two new games arrive on the site - Ingenious and Saint Petersburg. For Saint Petersburg you can play a standard game, or play with the Banquet expansion published in SpielBox at the end of 2005.|
|Mar 4th 2006||I somehow missed a news item for the arrival of the first 18xx games, which were running as a trial. They've been running long enough to take it further, and there are now five different 18xx games on offer - 1800, 1825, 1830, 1856 and 1870. The biggest problem running these is time, as I do not have programmed adjudication support, and the pages have to be updated manually. The second problem is the tendency for players to provide simplified orders that do not make the adjudication as quick as it should be. That may change if I ever get the time to do the necessary work. In the meantime, a limited number of these games can be run at any one time.|
|May 1st 2004||We have another new arrival, although this is a variant rather than a completely new game. You can now choose to play Railroad Dice with an extended bank. The normal game has 40 dice in the bank, while the extended game adds another 20. This may not make the games any longer, but it will reduce the likelihood of the game ending due to the bank running out of dice. If you like this option, I can supply you with bags of 20 dice for the real game, or even supply the game itself. Place your orders on the Heron Games page if you're interested.|
|Apr 12th 2004||News two days in a row? Something must be up. What's up is the arrival of another gaming option - Princes of Florence. Three to five players can participate in this one, with a slight change of tack for the private info. Your hand of cards will be included when you get solo messages about the game, rather than requiring a look-up on the site.|
|Apr 11th 2004||The winners page has been replaced by a wiiners/ratings page, which gives you three tables. The first is the simple list of the number of games won, while the second is also pretty simple, and is the points earned from those games. I'm using 5 points for first, 3 points for second and 1 point for third. The third list is the ratings list, which is the points total divided by the number of games completed, and probably the best list for comparing performance, if that's what you like to do. You need to have completed six games to appear on this list.|
|Feb 18th 2004||Just in case anyone thinks their sound card has died, I've removed the buzzing sound that plays when the game pages open. No more will you get looks when you open a game in the office having forgotten to turn the sound off first...|
|Jan 15th 2004||Time for an update, especially as someone noticed the infrequency of news postings... I guess that's because I'm just keeping things ticking over most of the time. New since the last update is the arrival of Railroad Dice to play on the site, supported by an adjudicator to avoid lots of manual updates. Next? Probably too soon to say, and definitely too soon to offer for play. Let's just say that I have some ideas. You'll probably find out here in a year or so...hopefully sooner!|
|Sep 28th 2003||Oh, embarrassment, over a year since the last news update. Well, not much has happened apart from games, games, and more games. The subject of this item is an update to the Rules of Engagement, clarifying how I handle absences, games on hold and communication problems. I've been experiencing unreliable mail for a little while, but it's difficult to know exactly where the problem lies once it has been sent. I'm sending via a different ISP to see if that improves things. In the meantime, it helps if players check their personal pages for messages, and keep an eye on the games they're playing in.|
|Sep 20th 2002||I'm well overdue for an update, particularly as the Puerto Rico trial was passed with flying colours some time ago, and there are now four games in progress. The main news for today is the start of the 200th game. It kinda snuck up on me, and suddenly there it was.|
|Aug 1st 2002||Puerto Rico has made it to the blue screen, for a trial game at least. The game should work through this medium, but I wanted to make it clear that its long-term presence depends on how the first game goes. I'm also aware that the game pages could be slow to download, so we'll see how the players find it.|
|Jun 4th 2002||Carcassonne has finally arrived for play on the site. You can play the standard game or include The River expansion. The new expansion kit that came out in April/May of this year may be along later.|
|Jun 1st 2002|| The discussion
area has gone again, mainly because it wasn't being used and I was just wasting my time
checking for messages that didn't exist. A nice idea in principle, but this community is
clearly more interested in playing games rather than just talking, and that suits me fine.
There are plenty of other places that offer the chance to discuss games, and do it a lot
One other change is the arrival of bread crumb trails for each page, just below the main header. Their main advantage is in providing alternate navigation, as none of my pages are particularly deep in the structure.
|Feb 19th 2002||The discussion area is back under the heading of Forums, using the Discus forum software. This allows topics to be grouped sensibly, and also lets you search the messages, check for recent messages, or even be notified by e-mail when new messages are posted.|
|Feb 1st 2002||The link to the discussion area has gone. That's because a better one is on its way.|
|Jan 5th 2002||You'll have noticed that Carcassonne hasn't made it to this silver screen yet, but the plans are still there. It's just the time that isn't available. In the meantime, having finished the last of the old Ra games, I've decided to offer it once more, although I may well limit the number I run at any one time.|
|Sep 13th 2001||A bright day for the site. A discussion area has arrived out of the blue. To be used for games and related topics, please!|
|Sep 8th 2001||A black day for the site, as some might say. I've decided, after thinking about it for some time, to charge small Game Fees to play here, to weed out time wasters and to cover some of the costs I incur in running the site and adjudicating the games. I hope this won't spoil your enjoyment of the site.|
|Aug 18th 2001||So, what next? Carcassonne has been mentioned and is something I was already looking at. Now I feel pretty sure that it will be joining the games on offer, but I need to write an adjudication program for it first. I've scanned the tiles, but may well do this using geometric tiles to reduce the graphic sizes for a quicker download. It will be interesting to see how long it is before the first game can be offered. In the meantime, the game is on offer elsewhere - check out amarriner.com.|
|Apr 5th 2001||I've had a number of queries on games, either about the game rules themselves or how the web-based games work. While I don't have all the original game rules available, please note that nearly all the questions could have been answered from the Rules of Engagement page and the specific rules on each game's main page. You are supposed to be familiar with these if you're playing here, so please make sure you know how the system works. If something is missing, let me know.|
|Mar 14th 2001||Ra games came off the agenda today. The second game finished recently, and like the first took more than a year to complete. I can run at least four other games in that time, so have decided not to run any more games of Ra on the web site. There is also the aspect of the game that leaves players out of the action once they have used up all their suns. That's not so much of a problem face-to-face, as they'll be back in again quite soon, but with the pace of the game on the web they could be out for a couple of months. My preference is for games that keep all the players occupied.|
|Feb 24th 2001||The private game information for players has finally been moved to a new server, which should improve a service that was plagued with response failures.|
|Jan 31st 2001|| For the first
time, the logged number of visits to the site in a single month has topped 1,000.
Considering that this is measured purely from the main page for the whole site, rather
than a total of individual page visits, that's not bad! All you naughty people who
bookmark your own game pages and go straight there are keeping the numbers down, but you
keep doing what's best for you.
All of the FWTWR pages have now been changed to the new format, and changed again when I realised that it was more effective for download times to have one graphic for all the navigation icons rather than one for each link. The revision allowed me to test the theory of making such a change easily - and it was proved. No doubt you'll let me know if you experience any problems.
|Jan 14th 2001|| The idea of this
news section is to provide some information on what is going on behind the scenes, but
don't expect daily updates or earth-shattering revelations!
The first thing is that there are some style changes on the way, notably the arrival of some quick-navigation icons. If the graphics are not intuitive (and let's face it, however much people like to think icons are intuitive, it's quite rare unless you already have a clue what they might mean), you should get additional help if you hover your mouse pointer over them. The top row are for Home and the various support pages, while the bottom row are for the various games. Clicking on the heron continues to take you to my overall home page.
The top-right icon is for search. The search isn't new in itself, but I've been quite lax in publicising it. When you go to the search page you can choose to limit your search to the pages in For Whom The Web Rocks, or search all of my pages.
I've been wanting to do something like this for some time, but have been concerned over how to deal with updates. As my ISP doesn't handle server-side processing of web pages, I can't update the navigation bar and have all the other pages automatically update. Fortunately, I've found a means of doing this in my development area. I have to republish all the pages, yes, but I won't have to edit them one by one. It will make me consider any changes and make sure they're worthwhile!
These changes will be introduced across all the pages as and when I can get round to them. In the process, I will be making sure that all graphics carry pop-up text, to make the site more accessible to users with disabilities.
If you have any comments on this change, please let me know, particularly if you think it slows the site down too much. It shouldn't, according to the estimates of download times I've got for the revised pages.
Secondly, the Rules of Engagement have been updated. This is less of a change to these rules, more of a revision to the layout, and hopefully clarification of a couple of points.
Finally, apologies for continued problems with the private game information. I'm hoping to be able to make some progress with this shortly.
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|© Keith Thomasson June 6th 2006|