Switching engines

The new Adobe Flash Client has arrived on the live server! Over the past few weeks we have been testing and refining it based on your great feedback.

New features include:

  • Fully animated battles
  • A new powerful full screen mode utilizing all your screen estate
  • Click and drag to traverse large maps

We have moved many of the game’s calculations to the client and reduced the number of calls it has to make to the server. The reduced load will make for a much better experience for everybody.

The new system also addresses many of the Internet Explorer specific slow downs and freezes you may have experienced.

We are very excited about this update. It is key to many of our future plans for Weewar. Let us know what you think and how we can improve it further!

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41 Comments

  1. nosaj
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 06:04 | Permalink

    I tested the flash version earlier and wasn’t a big fan. But I wasn’t against it enough to complain since I mostly shared the frustrations of others.

    Now, though, having played in some of my larger games, I’m finding it really frustrating. The big problem is the lack of stats (provided by the handy greasemonkey script). Without such basic information as opponents’ base count and army strength, a lot of the playability of large maps is gone. How difficult would it be to simply integrate such information (which would be visible to anyone who took the time to count) into the standard layout?

    • nosaj
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 06:06 | Permalink

      Also, why can’t the attack animation be turned ALL the way off? Seriously, what was wrong with double-click attacks?

    • RoyTheB0y
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 09:42 | Permalink

      agree wholeheartedly, loss of scripts is major, battle animations are naff. Does moving calculations to the client compromise security I dont want to be playing against some hacker who has rigged all the battles in his favour

  2. Posted January 22, 2010 at 09:28 | Permalink

    I don’t like the new flash client very much, it doesn’t allow any scrolling on my Macbook.
    I always double-clicked an enemy unit to attack it, but this is gone too. The popup that appears when you attack looks horrible in my opinion.

    The old client used the possibilities of AJAX and HTML very well. I think you should always choose web standards over browser plugins (such as flash and silverlight) when possible.

    Could you offer us an option to use the old client instead?

  3. Chrigi
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:42 | Permalink

    Bah, I never liked Flash :/ eats my CPU and feels bulky.
    Have you really reached the limit of what you can do with HTML, AJAX, CSS?! I always admired the lack of Flash here but now :(

  4. danlar78
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:53 | Permalink

    The new UI has a lot of potential and I like that it’s faster. I like the build dialog and the pop up terrain info.

    What I don’t like are the unnecessary changes and loss of info. Why change the location of buttons and info? Chat is on the right side, repair is in the lower left corner, income is in the lower right corner with a very small, pale font. Nobody liked the animations on the test server, still they are implemented. Why? If I turn it off I don’t see how many units that are killed. I want the old info that says -2 for me, -5 for my enemy. Stats does not work so you have no idea what is happening in a big game. Stats should be integrated in the UI. Team chat does not work and I just realized that I can’t see maps coordinates in the new interface! How am I supposed to coordinate attacks with my team mates now?

    I might sound grumpy but as I said, the new UI has potential to be good. I just don’t see how a strategy game is improved by REMOVING information and adding animations? It’s not an action game…

    P.S And why the ugly coin symbol on the bases? When I started playing I didn’t need a symbol to realize that bases give me income. D.S

    • tobyyy
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 13:57 | Permalink

      I fully agree to danlar78.
      the only positive is the faster game play.
      Additionally i agree RoyTheB0y. It could be a hacker problem if the calculating went to the client side…

  5. bill
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 17:28 | Permalink

    While I’m not a fan of most of the changes, the loss of the rollover coordinates is a deal-breaker for me. The reason Weewar has stuck with my circle of friends is the team play–we enjoy strategizing and coordinating in the 4-6 player games. We’ve gotten around the lack of team chat by using email, IM & Skype–we spend more time *talking* about turns than we do actually *taking* them.

    I hope you re-evaluate the importance of team play–and enhance it, rather than hamper it. I’ve loved playing Weewar, but this new client has just taken the best part away from me.

    Without the ability to coordinate, I expect the majority of my 8-10 friends (all of who have started playing since this summer) will quit. I know I will.

  6. PsiPhi
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 18:30 | Permalink

    Ugh, this was a shock… Guess I should have been keeping an eye on the blog because I had no idea this was coming. I’ve played my queue with this new engine and I’m certain that, all things considered, I hate it(‘s current incarnation). That said, there are a few things I like about it. I’ll start with that list since it’s much shorter than the Things I Hate About It one:

    1. The attack strength graph is keen, much better than the old “Weak vs./Strong Vs.” table.

    2. The build “dialog” is much better as most if not all units are on screen without scrolling. (This *will* take some getting used to, though, since I’m so use to “Trooper? First one. AA? Scroll all the way down. Berserker? Scroll to AA then roll up once.” etc…)

    3. Nope, that’s it. There is no 3.

    Now, onto the (many) reasons why this is going to make it less enjoyable for me:

    1. It’s Flash. Yes, Flash has it’s place in the world, and I’m not one those “ALL Flash is teh Sux0rs!!!1!” guys, but one thing I *really* liked about WeeWar was that it could be played in almost any browser (though it stopped working on Mobile Safari some time ago) without any kind of plugin. Gone.

    2. Everything — EVERYTHING — moved:

    a. The turn indicator is now on the right side (and is not intuitive and — dare I say? — ugly).

    b. Chat moved to the right (for no apparent reason) and uses way too much space. Sure, it can be toggled, but I’d rather see all that extra space be put to good use *and* be able to see the chat

    c. Capture/repair/stay here moved to the bottom (again, for no apparent reason). When I click a unit in need of repair my mouse instinctively travels to the old position and then I have to stop myself and look at the bottom to find/click it. Not to mention the look changed, making it harder to find, but I’ll get back to that later. I am sure I can get used to this (if the rest of this list doesn’t make me stop playing, that is) but still, it seems unnecessary and arbitrary.

    d. The credit counter moved to the bottom (and is too small). Again: why? This is a very important number, it should be prominent and easy to find.

    e. Less annoyingly, the settings/surrender/team/skip/kick menus have moved to the most prominent spot in the play area. Why? These are not nearly the most importing things when playing a game. But at least the icons are indicative enough of the actions, though the button/menu with turn time indication label is… weird. It’s a button! No, it’s a menu! No, it’s information. NO! It’s all three! :-/

    f. End turn moved. This isn’t a big deal, I could possibly even be convinced it’s better at the bottom, but still: why?

    g. the Expand-cum-full-screen button moved *again*. It was bad enough when it moved the first time (I use(d) that button often — that will change now, but I’ll get to that, too — and it took a while to get used to it being on the top right even if it did make more sense there) now it’s moved to the bottom right (where it makes less sense than when it was top left… Why?

    3. Expand Map becomes Full Screen. Why? In a big browser window, even small maps are cut off and require scrolling but why force me to go FULL screen? Couldn’t we have “Expand map to window size” AND full screen for those that want it (not me, obviously). I like the “I’ll just take five minutes and play my queue” aspect of weewar and hijacking my entire screen just to see the 2 hex rows cut off is not conducive to that.

    4. The animations… They’re… ok, I guess. Not terribly pretty but weewar was never about pretty. They are, however, completely pointless and time-consuming. Yes, I know they can be turned off, but:

    5. You can’t disable the animations without disabling attack confirmation! What I hate about this is it has completely changed the game play. I’m used to double-click to attack — simple, intuitive, and quick, with built-in attack confirmation — and that is simply gone. Now I can only choose between “Watch the overlong animations” or “If you click an attackable unit – you’ve attacked it, no ifs, ands, buts or undos. Since attacking is the *only* thing(?) that can’t be undone, the confirmation (even the built-in confirmation of simply having to click twice) is very important as a defense against errant clicks. “Skip attack animation and confirmation” should be two options: “Skip attack animation” *and* “Skip attack confirmation.” Right now, still getting used to this, I’m unconsciously double-clicking to attack, which pops up the animate/confirm dialog then immediately dismisses it. I could get used to “Click the unit, click attack in the dialog” if I could skip the animations, but it is more time-consuming — for no apparent gain! — than clicking the unit twice (no mouse movement needed).

    6. No more 5 second grace period after clicking end turn. Granted, this is a small thing as I’ve only cancelled an end turn a few times in my weewar career but those few times… it was a life saver!

    7. Capture/Repair/Stay Here icons have changed needlessly, look worse than their previous incarnation and are not intuitive enough. I’m not a designer, so I won’t critique the work done but it doesn’t look good to me. The old ones were better and had labels (without having to wait for a tooltip to pop up) that made them immediately accessible and understandable. Once more, I’m sure I could get used to it quickly but at the risk of beating a dead horse: WHY?

    That’s my list for now. Perhaps some things would stop bothering me (as much) given time, but some are practically deal breakers. I joined weewar on September 1, 2007 and have played at least once a day nearly every single day since then. I’ve had a paid pro account — and bought pro accounts for others — for most of that time.

    You can take my grievances as the ramblings of an old fuddy duddy if you want to, but this new engine removes so much of what I have loved about weewar (quick, fun, browser-based-but-NOT-flash, unobtrusive and usable) that it seriously has me considering whether it’s “for me” any more. I’m not giving up yet, which is why I’m writing this long-winded rant.

    I’ll hope I’m not the only one with these gripes and that some of the more glaringly Bad Ideas will be dealt with quickly. I’m not naive enough to think you guys will dump the Flash client (please dump the Flash client! ;) and I’ll sincerely try to work with it (Flash), but this change is… inconceivably ill-conceived, in my most humble of opinions.

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 19:38 | Permalink

      I think summed it up even better than I ever could, as this might prove:

      http://weemorewar.com/tiki-view_blog_post.php?find=&blogId=1&postId=11&show_comments=1

      I happy to see Weewar continue to be developed but overall this is a little disappointing. Hopefully the developers will work with the community and make Weewar as great as it once was.

      • PsiPhi
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 21:01 | Permalink

        Thanks. Yours is good, too, and touched on a few points that I did not (such as team chat and grid coordinates) simply because I never used them much. I don’t play a lot of >3-player maps and, as such, had little use for team play-related features. I can certainly see how people that do would miss them, though.

    • conrey
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 21:21 | Permalink

      this hits nearly everything I came here to say. x2 this for me

    • ParahSalin
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 22:25 | Permalink

      thank you for typing up everything i was going to say and then some.

      +1

    • HalfCockedJack
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 23:15 | Permalink

      Here! Here!
      Ditto! What he said! What he said x2!

    • JumpmanMJP
      Posted January 23, 2010 at 05:07 | Permalink

      Couldn’t have said it better.

      I’d only add that the mini-infographics that now pop up when hovering over a unit are extremely distracting, covering too many nearby hexes. Can this be turned off, or made optional? I’m afraid to rest my cursor anywhere! Moving my mouse across the map now feels like tiptoeing through a minefield.

  7. Nate
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 20:32 | Permalink

    As has been already detailed, the Flash client feels like a net loss for people not on IE.

    Why not develop the AJAX client simultaneously and allow a choice of clients?

  8. vidar
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 20:41 | Permalink

    i’ve asked for my money back on the remainder of what ive paid for. I’m quitting the 15 games im involved in and after a year and a half of enjoying this game im moving on to hopefully find something else that i will enjoy. this is a big slap in the face and basically a middle finger to the people who pay for weewar.

  9. Mo
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 21:28 | Permalink

    Bluntly put, the guy who made the decision to move from the AJAX-based client to the utterly useless Flash client needs fired.

    I’m going to let my Weewar subscription expire and I’m not going to buy a new one.

  10. Hal2000
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 21:41 | Permalink

    Having a new interface is fine, but there are some real annoying things with this new one.
    – Hex numbering? I use this ALL the time in team games. Please move to hex X,Y and attack X,Y, and follow the following 8 moves to various hexes to achieve an objective. Removing a huge piece of information used by teams to coordinate in a strategic game is wrong and a bad decision. ADD BACK HEX NUMBERING IMMEDIATELY!

    – Team chat? This is a great option and I was really enjoying using the monkey script that gave us team chat. You could easily have normal chat on the left and team chat on the right to avoid confusion or do the two “tab” option similar to the GM script that use to work. Add this feature.

    – Army Strength stats. This is a very important feature that is missing.

    – Auto Repair is also another useful feature.

    – Please add back the ability to use my mouse wheel to scroll. It is a small thing but it makes playing from a small screen so much more enjoyable.

    – Interface layout: The chat on the right side seems silly. It would have made much more sense to keep it on the left where everyone is use to it. This is pretty minor, but I don’t see a great reason for putting it on the right side vs leaving it on the left side. Your current credits and income should also be on the top clustered with other important information. Once again not a huge deal, but the bottom right seems like an odd location for it.

  11. RickSmith
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 00:57 | Permalink

    i’m not disappointed that weewar is now playable in flash, but i’m really disappointed how it looks … not only that the buttons have moved, it really looks messed up …
    there is this “remaining time” button with those other icons. all open up the same way in a menu, but why is only the remaining time displayed as a button …i’m studying interfacedesign here in germany and there is much more i have to complain about …
    this semester i’m learning flash at university and i started to make a weewar-application for android as a prototype, so i cover the topic of creating an appropriate interface for weewar. what i see here is kind of a worst case …
    please go back to the old version while you revise!!!
    and don’t change the position of the buttons!!!

  12. Posted January 23, 2010 at 05:21 | Permalink

    Hey everybody,

    as always we are committed to make Weewar the best it can be and we relay on you input to achieve that. We have been reading your feedback since the release and have already started implementing some of your helpful suggestions. Several of these improvements just went live (co-ordinates are back!). More soon!

    • PsiPhi
      Posted January 23, 2010 at 05:54 | Permalink

      Awesome. And great to hear. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes (once I’m at a computer with Flash… ;). For what it’s worth, if you read my post above, the biggest problems (for me) are 3, 5, and 6.

      • Posted January 23, 2010 at 06:11 | Permalink

        We have read it all.. more to come.

  13. bdmiller
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 08:33 | Permalink

    (cross-posting from the forums)

    My feedback: the word “needs” is misspelled in, “You either have javascript turned off or your adobe flash player neeeds to be updated.”

    I’m one of the unfortunate souls who does not have access to flash on my normal system (Linux 2.6.23 x86_64, any browser).

    Q: Is it possible that a non-Flash UI might become available again?

    FYI, after finding a machine where I could explore a game here are my likes & dislikes, each ordered by priority:
    + The imrpoved detail when popping up unit types’ strengths relative to other units is good. Even more detail (i.e. including little numbers) would be even better. Showing it to the side of the map (where it won’t obscure what I’m doing) would also be even better.
    + The selection box for building units is faster & more convenient
    + There are fewer points where the game lags
    + ending a turn jumps to the next person faster…apparently waiting players don’t have to poll and reload.

    – Requirement for Flash video. I don’t have it; the family members I wanted to play weewar don’t have it.
    – Battle animations. Some people might like them, but nobody who plays weewar does. Need the attack confirmations & results instead.
    – It’s harder to figure out how to make a unit stay without capturing.
    – Is my income one of those invisibly faint numbers down in the corner?
    – Moving the button locations wasn’t bad on it’s own, but the new layout was bad. I kept having to slowly move my mouse all over the place and wait for tooltips in order to figure out what anything did.
    – no coordinates (I know this is fixed; just listing it to establish my priorities)
    – no confirmation for “end turn.” In the old UI I used to hit “end turn” frequently when intending for a unit to stay. Someone mentioned that having “end turn” away from anything else is a good idea, and I agree.
    – chat was buggy. I had no issue with the size/location of it, but sometimes the Flash app got in a loop and kept repeating the same message endlessly. After a reload it was sane again and only showed 1 instance of the message. The looping problem showed for both players at the same time, using IE 6 and Firefox 3.5.7, both with Flash 10,0,42,34 on WinXP 2002 SP3. (game 214526, the last 2 msgs from “let_the_children_sing”)
    – Idle units still don’t automatically repair. It seems silly to have something that just makes it harder for users.

    My own observation: it seems like most people’s pros and cons indicate they like things that make the flow of playing a turn faster or more convenient, and don’t like any gloss that doesn’t actually contribute to convenience or speed. i.e. people want simple functionality and actually prefer NOT having impressive graphics, sound, etc.

    Thanks for reading my feedback; best of luck in triaging everyone’s input and keeping weewar a fun game!

    Brent

    • Ken
      Posted January 26, 2010 at 01:00 | Permalink

      Actually.. Linux x64 is the ONLY x64 platform Flash supports currently. I had to cross install Firefox x86 with Firefox x64 on my Windows 7 box in order to view the game.

      I don’t like the new interface, as I can’t even LOOK at the games on my phone anymore. I think it’s a step backwards, but for YOUR situation – Adobe flash is available.

      L

      • bdmiller
        Posted February 8, 2010 at 08:15 | Permalink

        Sorry, I said “any browser” but I’m actually running a 64-bit browser. So yeah, for those reading this blog: Flash is available on Linux, but you must use 32-bit executables. I’m not sure why Adobe’s requirements recommend 64-bit processors–the only rpm they make available is 32-bit binaries. I’m assuming they’ll run no worse on 32 bit machines running 32 bit kernels…can anyone confirm?

        Ken, thanks for correcting me.

  14. McMonster
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 08:39 | Permalink

    get rid of the animations, or make them an option we have to turn on instead of off. i never want to see them again. weewar is about strategy, not silly little action graphics.

    reinstate simple double click attacks.

    reinstate the 5 second countdown before turn endings – that helps.

    incorporate the best of the lost greasemonkey scripts = base count, unit stats, teamchat.

    shrink the chat box and move it back to the right side.

    i want to see the names and rankings of my opponents without needing to hover on their icons.

    consider getting rid of flash – it may help you, but it seems to piss a lot of people off. personally, as a non-technical weewarrior, i don’t care if it’s flash or whatever. if it helps speed things up, reduce bugs and use less space on your servers, fine with me…

    • McMonster
      Posted January 23, 2010 at 08:42 | Permalink

      i meant left side for chat – sry

      and thank you for reading!

  15. Posted January 23, 2010 at 11:20 | Permalink

    I think my hopes of playing Weewar on my iPhone and future iPad/iSlate have just died. :/

  16. nosaj
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 18:43 | Permalink

    Thanks for adding coordinates back in and moving/fixing the credit indicator. I notice that now it doesn’t say how much each base generates. Perhaps when you add in army strength stats you could also include income for each player? I don’t think counts of number of bases or income per base would be important as long as we knew the relative spending power of our opponents.

  17. bill
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 01:59 | Permalink

    I have to say I’m very impressed with how responsive you’ve been to these comments–both in listening to our comments, and how quickly you’ve been to fix many of the problems. Despite how unconstructive & rude some of the comments were (mine included). Thank you.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the continued development–and being able to communicate coordinates with my teammates. :)

  18. Mo
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 21:00 | Permalink

    Since when is it unconstructive or rude to suggest firing someone? <..<

    Also, what is the chat doing in the freaking middle of my sceen?! It was perfectly good where it was – to the left of the map! And where's team chat gone? Oh yeah… I forgot… no Greasemonkey scripts anymore.

    Flash is bad for WeeWar. Say it with me. Bad. Baaaaaaad!

  19. Mo
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 21:01 | Permalink

    edit: apparently I have to repost this since some characters (I’m assuming the < and > brackets) caused whole paragraphs to be eaten up…

    Okay, here goes:

    Since when is it unconstructive or rude to suggest firing someone? -.-

    Okay, I’ll give you that. Still. The least they could do is make the flash client opt-in, or at least opt-out while still offering the trusty old DHTML client.

    That way they could still do all their flashy stuff they say they have planned, *and* not render all previous development work done by the user community useless, i.e. the Greasemonkey scripts that were extremely helpful.

    Without base / army stats, how am I supposed to make sound strategical decisions? Count the units and bases manually, then add up the army strengths in my head each turn? I didn’t drop out of college only to need Math later on when playing a web game. Srsly…

    Also, what is the chat doing in the freaking middle of my sceen?! It was perfectly good where it was – to the left of the map! And where’s team chat gone? Oh yeah… I forgot… no Greasemonkey scripts anymore.

    Flash is bad for WeeWar. Say it with me. Bad. Baaaaaaad!

    • Posted January 26, 2010 at 01:21 | Permalink

      Flash is bad for Weewar because I haven’t seen or read a reason to use it over AJAX, et al. (The battle movies could still be done in Flash without using it for the entire app.) Granted, I’m not privy to the long-term roadmap for the game.

  20. Smaller Infinity
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 03:30 | Permalink

    This change is a complete disaster from my point of view. If I had wanted to play a different game than Weewar, I would have gone looking for one.

    The lack of functionality has taken many steps backwards. The interface is unintuitive for anyone familiar with Weewar.

    My subscription is up in March. At this point there is 0% chance of me renewing. After 2+ really fun years of playing Weewar, I am now uninterested.

    I applaud the developers for creating a gem of a game; I condemn them for ruining it.

    “New Coke” comes to mind. Please follow Coke’s example on how to handle a product change failure: bring back the original.

  21. nosaj
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 00:02 | Permalink

    When you update the player list in-game (to show name and rank without mouse-over), could you also add some way to tell whether an opponent is online? I know you can see this in the list of your games, but it would be nice to be able to tell in-game as well.

  22. omen
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 21:04 | Permalink

    When you update the player list in-game (to show name and rank without mouse-over), could you also add some way to tell whether an opponent is online? I know you can see this in the list of your games, but it would be nice to be able to tell in-game as well.
    Reply

  23. Posted February 26, 2010 at 21:18 | Permalink

    When you update the player list in-game (to show name and rank without mous

  24. Posted March 18, 2010 at 22:38 | Permalink

    i think it is a useful update especially i like new screen mode.

  25. DanD
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 03:05 | Permalink

    “Upgrading” to Flash to support IE. Isn’t that the opposite of what everyone else is doing online?

  26. Posted July 27, 2010 at 20:41 | Permalink

    I liked the UI and the game was visible faster however, I’m not a big fan of flash and I want my stats back. Please.


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