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Posted by Ender on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 1:37:34 am (ET)

What is Smarty and why should you care about it?

Smarty is a PHP Templating Engine. In short, it is what wires together (a) all the logic in the game's backend with (b) how the data from the backend gets presented in the browser. It's the glue that holds together every page on this site.

You probably don't have to care about it. The only reason I'm announcing this is because it's a major version upgrade with breaking changes. I've done my best to fix everything that it breaks before enabling it, but mistakes of course happen, especially with big changes like this.

Please be on the lookout for anything obscure this may have broken (if you do find something, either reply here or more preferably create a bug thread) and enjoy the perhaps small performance boost this upgrade results in (the main benefit of the upgrade has more to do with my use of it).

Posted by Ender on Monday, September 15, 2014, 3:48:52 am (ET)

Continuing with this year's theme of automation, getting and changing custom logos on bots with 9+ stars no longer requires interacting with a human (read: me)! The details:

  • There's a new field on the workshop settings page.
  • The new field is only editable for bots with 9+ stars.
  • Like bot/clan images, you use Imgur to upload your logo.
  • Unlike bot/clan images, the logo will be downloaded to the bots4 server and thus the Imgur URL you use will not be saved.
  • Some basic validation is done on things like image dimensions and extension.

This update is a big win for everyone. Players no longer have to wait for me to manually move a file around and I have one less recurring game maintenance task to deal with, freeing me up to work on more interesting updates.

Stay tuned for self-service perm star moves. That should be the last recurring chore of mine to automate. \o/

Posted by Ender on Monday, September 15, 2014, 1:07:15 am (ET)

I just added two small improvements that had been suggested by players:

  • New fields on clan profiles - Clan profiles now include average level, wins, losses, and ratio. Thanks to Pothead for the suggestion.
  • Improved trophy shop sorting - The Mindreave buffs are now sorted in the order you'd expect: I, II, III. Thanks to Jans for the suggestion.

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the August 2014 clan competition and securing a 7th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
8,208,366 (x9.91)
2 <Atreides> gr33n [82]
6,737,101 (x8.02)
3 <The Reason> overdose7 [122]
1,973,074 (x2.24)
4 <lHl Luthrin lHl> Luthrin [100]
1,834,421 (x2.25)
5 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,341,658 (x1.52)
6 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
1,332,838 (x1.51)
7 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [295]
965,312 (x1.09)
8 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 900,984 (x1.02)
9 <Model Citizens> Serial Killers01 [100]
900,280 (x1.02)
10 <The Lonely Island> Daikatana [190] 898,041 (x1.01)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Saturday, August 2, 2014, 2:11:19 pm (ET)

Sorry for the long (almost 5.5 hours!) downtime. :(

It was the same old kernel crashing issue that has plagued the game every now and then. I keep putting off the updates because it's such a rare crash and I'm usually around to fix it quickly when it does happen.

This time, it happened to be early in my first night of vacation and I overslept, so yeah. Thanks to the many, many people who contacted me about this. When I woke up and looked at my phone and saw I had 8721312 notifications, I knew something was wrong. :)

Sorry again for the trouble and I'll work at getting that kernel updated soon!

Obligatory social media stuff: