Some of you may have noticed that I've been away for about 6 months. I needed to take a sabbatical from the site to get things in order in my life - developing on the site was consuming most of my spare time which was having a negative effect on my home life, especially with my lovely kids. I've gotten some perspective now, and while Art of War won't be my top spare time priority any more, I still plan on doing some development to improve the site and hopefully get it a bit more popular.
Lately I've being doing some behind the scenes work on periphery domains, bringing them to the same server Art of War is hosted on. This has been done primarily as a cost-cutting measure, but it also means that I don't have to individually manage three separate servers - it's all under the one, so I apply a fix once, and it's done everywhere. Saves me a lot of time, so that's good.
Also, I've been working on the new version of the Circle314 framework, with the view to releasing it on GitHub. This is a major undertaking, and while it won't be possible to simply "drop it in" to Art of War, it does provide a mechanism for a future migration to that framework to facilitate better integration with other front end technologies.
Around February to May I was working on converting the game page to be mobile friendly. I wish I could show you some screenshots or pop up a test site, as I think you would all be pretty chuffed with the changes, but I don't have them immediately available. Everything is much slicker in the interface, and you don't have big ugly popups all over the screen - everything you need to manipulate the interface and perform actions is nicely tucked away in the wings, so you can see the map the whole time. I'm about 60-70% done in that work, and will be continuing that this week with the view to having it done in a few weeks. Once it's done, I'll release it as a test site and provide the address so that you can all see what it's like and report back any bugs or slowness. Once that's passed testing, I'll be working on about 4 components for the mobile app (yes, there is a mobile app - it's pre-alpha and not released even in PlayStore yet), after which I'll release a test version of the mobile app for Android, in which users will be able to sign up. I'm hoping to have push notifications and automatic login (so you only have to enter credentials once), so it should be an easy connection experience. The app is just an embedded web page at this stage, so don't get all excited about great new features, but that does mean you should have the same experience as in your web browser. Once the mobile app has passed testing, I'll release it to the big wide world and do some marketing. My research has shown that even the crappest (and I mean crappest) Risk-like apps still average 1-5 million installs - I'm hoping that is enough to kickstart the community out of it's slumber.
So anyway, there's the plan. Apologies for being away for so long, I really needed some time away. Happy gaming everyone!
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