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Single post in PokéFarm "Reboot"

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Niet's AvatarNiet
Niet's Avatar
Almost ten years ago, PokéFarm was created. A few years after that, it was recoded. Coming up next (...eventually), it will be rebooted. (Thread unlocked! Sorry for the delay <3 ) --- Edited OP: Hey, all, Garthic here. I will be addressing things that people said in a "FAQ"-ish format. Niet acknowledged that his announcement was a bit too vague and the reason for this is that a lot of these things he didn't really have the answers to. The idea here was to merely show off something that he was working on and say a little bit about it, a lot of the questions that people posed hadn't actually had any consideration put in to them because he simply hadn't got to them yet. This meant that he couldn't answer such questions with solid answers because, as I said, he hadn't got there. Over the past few days, he has taken the time to look in to the issues that people had concerns about so that he could address them properly with me. And... That's why I'm here now! c: Some of these are still not concrete answers, but they are more than what Niet had to give initially and we feel that we've spent the time that we had in providing more information, any longer and it would just look like radio silence (if it doesn't already). So! FAQ / Addressing common concerns that were brought up - Q: What about our progress? A: Long story short is, we'll save everything that we can. Currency / shiny chains / Pokémon etc. In regards to Pokémon, let me be very, very specific when I say "all of them", I do indeed mean ALL. Any questions as to 'what about 'x' ' can be answered with a 'yes'. Because when we say "all", we mean "all" :p When Niet said that you'd need to start a new account, he was correct. However, what he didn't specify was that with the "Transfer tool" that we will be providing for the transference of Pokémon, that's not the only information that can be present. The "Transfer tool" is effectively a 'link' between the PFQ account and the new build that he is working on. This can include all your account information, progress and all, if that's something you should opt to transfer over. As far as we are concerned, at this time, transferring the progress over does mean that the progress is lost on PFQ in return for it being gained on the new build. The main issue that we had was that it was wanted that people not be able to skip any progress milestones. However, in the feedback provided, people made it clear that we would need to find a way around this - and we think we have. We can't confirm it just yet because, again, Niet hasn't got there and the idea he initially put forward, he knew FOR CERTAIN that he could get that to work. He doesn't know that the new idea we have will necessarily work. In other words, it's being workshopped and is presently back to a "planning" phase. We'll provide more information on this when we can. As a bit of an off-note, Niet took note of people mentioning living dex's and has said that whatever system he implements for the transfer of things should not require the rebuilding of said living dex. ...He also says that looking back at his original plan, it was... "Rather silly". Q:What about my username? A: All users of PFQ will be given priority sign-up to the new build. This will be in the form of a link that you will click. This link will then fill out a form for the new build with your information. This information will not be editable so nobody else can change to take a username that is not theirs. ... Or something along those lines.~ The point is that it'll be something like this and you won't be able to lose your username unless you don't do the thing within the timeframe we set up, which we'll ensure is a more than reasonable amount of time. Q: What about item transfers? A: Not all items will exist in the new version but for those that do, the aim is to make them all transferable (maybe even those that don't could appear as legacy items?) To name an example, special evolution items may be overhauled. And in that case, the old items will either be discontinued outright or - be transformed in to the new system when transferred. ...If that sounds vague, that's because it is and right now, Niet doesn't know how that'd work but the point is that this is something will be made to work somehow. ...This is kind of what 'early development' means... oTL. Q: Why is everything getting reset? A: It's not. It can't be getting reset if it's a completely new game :p Besides that, we're allowing the transfer of your progress from here to the new build... Something most games don't do. Q: What's to say that another version isn't going to be built after this one? A: To be blunt and completely honest with you... With the things that are being planned, we'd sooner quit than rebuild everything again. We are building "PokéFarm, the definitive edition". There will be no more new versions after this. The current version that you're seeing was initially built to be a Facebook game. Yeah, that plan totally worked out. ( sarcasm o: ) Problem here is that as a result of that... There are things built as though it is still a Facebook game. ...It is not. For those who have seen me (Garthic) mentioning how the designing progress has issues? This is in part why. It is very difficult to build something for one platform and then, mid-way through development, with minimal changes, decide... Nah, I'll just build it for this instead! ... At that point, it's either hack it a bit to make it work or start over. ...Truth be told, we did not have the time to start over. That's it, really. Here. We're not being faced with the issues that led to what happened... Well, happening. So we're doing it RIGHT. Q:What is happening to PFQ? A: PFQ will be kept open for as long as it remains practical to do so. In real terms, this means that as long as it makes enough money to cover... Ehh... 75% of the server costs (instead of 100%) then it'll remain open. Which, on a side-note we can opt to downgrade the server instead of closing PFQ, if less people are using it. ...So in other words... We're really going to be trying to keep it open. Q: Will there be any new content for PFQ? A: So, Niet did pose an answer to this question in a help thread which basically said "eventually, no". However... After having spoken to one another and made some educated guesses as to how things will be working moving forward... While there will be no 'feature'-related development... Tournaments, MCWs etc. will continue, meaning new releases alongside the new build. There will be some possible issues as the new build will allow for sprites up to 128 x 128, while PFQ caps out at 100 x 100. This leaves us with two choices if any sprite (including in an evolution line) is too big. a) Don't release on PFQ. b) Cut off the sprite or downsize to 100 x 100 and if it looks bad... Well, that's that. So there will be no story-related events, or at least... Very few of them (as the new story engine has been upgraded and is no longer compatible with the one on PFQ) and there will be no new features. Bug fixes, so long as they're simple or urgent will occur. Q: Why can't you do this to PFQ? A: As a "tl;dr", here is what I can tell you. PFQ was built in a hurry, in secret, originally as a Facebook game, with little to no design or planning. ...The Recode that we did helped (which is what you're on now), but it can't fix the underlying core issues that are the foundation of the entire website. There is much more to this story that Niet is simply not comfortable talking about, as he worries that people will see it as 'playing the victim card' instead of it simply being an explanation of the duress under which PFQ was initially developed. Q: Why now? A: Niet didn't have the knowledge that he has now. It's that simple. He knew he couldn't do it justice at that time - and now he feels that he can. --- This thread will remain locked for the moment as I'm off to the Pride Parade in Leeds and will not be available for on-hand communication until tomorrow due to travel. Of course, if anyone has any further questions that they would like answering, please feel free to send me a PM with your question while the thread is locked and I'll be happy to answer at my earliest opportunity / add the question to the above list, if appropriate.

Original post

As PFQ has grown, more and more features have been added. Slowly but surely the code becomes harder and harder to manage. Such is the curse of feature creep. There's always one more thing to add. It's also harder and harder to make major changes, as people have grown used to PFQ with all its quirks. One of PFQ's major failings is its high barrier to entry. The game does very little to teach you its mechanics, and out of everyone who joins, it's about a 50:50 as to whether they leave within a week, or stay basically forever. We can do better than that. Another failure is that... well, it's not really a game. You can collect stuff, and that's cool, but there isn't really much in the way of content, and there's certainly an emphasis on making your own objectives. Which is fine, but it could be a lot better. The aim of the Reboot will be to fundamentally change the core of PokéFarm and make it into something ever better. So today I have the first screenshot for you. Graphics are in development and of course subject to change. Let's unpack a few things here. • The navigation system has been condensed. Rather than having an assorted selection in the NavBar and then relying on the Farm Page to access everything else, now everything is sorted into a set of menus at the top. This allows quick and easy access to any feature of the site. Also, it works better for mobile users, whereas on the current PFQ some of the buttons/links are too small to reliably hit every time. • Numbers are abstracted away. EXP is just shown as a percentage, and Pokémon level progress will be too. • A surprising number of people didn't realise that you can click on the ☰ to access a menu. So now it's a button. People like buttons, buttons just have this aura of "click me!" that a bare ☰ simply doesn't have. In general, options and the like will be easier to find. • "Newbie" is renamed to "Starter". It's a small thing, but "Newbie" does unfortunately have some negative attachments. "Starter" is more thematically relevant too :D • Instructions are more clearly provided. Don't have any VIPs? It tells you how to add one. Want to progress your Rank? That's explained too. • In general, things are bigger. This is great for readability. • Colours have been adjusted. On the current version, the colours for disliked
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liked flavours are actually quite bad: they look pretty similar to colour-blind people! Here's a demo for people (like myself) who are not colour-blind, to show what it kinda looks like for them:
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With the reboot, the colours are changed and a contrasting border is added:
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and this is much better for colour-blind people, as in this demo:
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During development, all colour choices will be checked against filters to ensure that all types of colour-blindness are correctly accounted for. Additionally, link colours - especially those for the various staff ranks - have been adjusted to ensure they meet proper colour contrast levels. This will actually be made a requirement when creating custom skins! • On the back-end, many things have been brought up-to-date. Colours are now done using CSS Variables rather than relying on LESS, meaning that skins are now just a list of colour values, rather than having to compile every single CSS file with the colours you chose. Other things such as CSS Grid are used to make things line up much better. You probably haven't looked at the code behind PFQ's current Party page, but it uses columns and then outright shifts columns around to make them appear in the right order when viewed on mobile. It's... not pretty. Grid is much better as it allows me to dynamically move things around on different screen sizes! However, this does mean that browser support for older browsers will be limited or non-existent. You will need to ensure your browser is up-to-date - as it should be anyway, for security reasons. Otherwise, things may not appear correctly. • More back-end stuff, but jQuery is no longer used. Since jQuery's primary purpose was to bridge the gaps between browsers, and browsers have since become much more standardised, jQuery just isn't needed any more and so it has been removed, greatly reducing the amount of code. • While the new site background is obviously just a WIP, we do have some beautiful shiny new Type icons!

Type icons

• ... All right, I've ignored it long enough. Let's talk about quests! Since the "Story Events" we've had here have been received extremely well, the decision has been made to create an entire Quest system out of it. The initial quests will teach you the ropes, explaining how to go about getting your Egg hatched and providing you with objectives to help achieve that. You'll meet many characters along the way, and experience a story that I hope you will enjoy being a part of. That's all I'll say about this for now, but hopefully you'll really like it!
Now, let's get some easily anticipated questions out of the way: • Q: What about my stuff? A: This will be a brand new game. You start from scratch, with nothing, and progress through the story. At a certain point, you will gain access to Transfer to bring your Pokémon over. The only requirement will be that you must already have the Pokédex entry of the thing you are transferring. Shinies etc. will grant you the corresponding entry in the rebooted Dex, so there will be no need to re-hunt them (unless you want to, of course!). Transferred Pokémon will be able to be traded, unless they were already account-locked for one reason or another. Items and currency may be a little harder, so I can't 100% confirm whether they will be transferrable just yet, but I will see what I can do. • Q: When will this happen? A: Please bear in mind that this Reboot will not be released for quite some time yet, as it's still in very early development. Even then, the current PFQ will be kept running for as long as it remains practical to do so, allowing you to finish any goals you had previously set before transferring over. And even when PFQ is eventually closed to make the Reboot the "only" version, all data will be kept forever until transferred. So don't panic :)

I hope you're as excited about this as I am, and I look forward to sharing more progress and changes as time progresses! As always, feedback is appreciated. Just remember that you're allowed to dislike something, but a) please don't be rude about it, and b) explaining why you dislike it is immeasurably more useful than just stating that you hate it. I want to make it better but can't do that if I don't know what's wrong! :) Thanks for making it to the end of this rather long post! Hope you have a great day, I'll see you next update o/
Clip from Pokémon anime, re-lined by me
-- OMNOMNOM!
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