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AGv3 Release History

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 7:45pm

Kirby998

Kirby998

5,236 posts

I was the the very first beta tester for the AGv3 beta. I've witnessed all the changes the team is working on and with permission, I have been given the chance to show non-participants in the beta what exactly is going on and what there is to look forward too.

Attached to this thread will be all the emails I've received from the team as well as screenshots of the actual site.

Don't think I made the decision to do this lightly, compiling all this stuff into one thread took a lot of work so if I see any poop I will have it taken care of.

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Because there have already been successive releases of new features, I cannot show you the original function of the things the AG team has improved on, however, I will post screenshots of features mentioned in the emails which I will also post.

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Release 2: Claymore

Email:
Welcome to the "Claymore" release of Armor Games v3 open beta. This release fixes several bugs from the previous release, and we're looking forward to hearing your feedback on the new features we've added, such as the ability to list and play games.

For users who may not have participated in a beta test before, please take some time to read the "Maximize Your Beta Skills" section in this Email.

New Features
*    Home Page now displays games by category. Click around, and check it out.
*    Category Pages will show their games. Check out the new 'featured games' carousel at the top, as well as the new sorting feature for the category game lists.
*    Games can be played. Enjoy the games! Let us know if you experience any loading issues by telling us your Operating System, browser and Flash versions, if possible.
*    Auto-login for games is enabled. For games which support the feature, if you're logged into the beta site, it should pass those credentials through the game for saving your progress or content.
*    New Profile and Privacy pages. The profile page is fully functional. Give it a try and edit some information. The privacy settings are "display only" for now and don't affect anything on the site. The security categories are to be determined (TBD). Let us know what you think of the privacy control setup.

Bug Fixes
*    AG2 username login is no longer case sensitive.
*    Usernames with underscores in them were causing problems with the login process.
*    Some users weren't seeing their username in the Utility Navigation bar at the top of the screen when logging in.
*    Resetting your password should work on AG3, but it only affects the AG3 site.
*    Several bug fixes with integrating the new 3rd party login features (Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
*    Misspellings in some Email notices.
*    Login window layout changes.
Important Release Notes
*    Your profile information has been synchronized from AG2 to AG3, but not the other way around. That means that any change you make on AG2 will cause your profile to become completely updated on AG3, removing any changes you made on AG3, such as changing your biography, password, Email address, and so on.
*    Featured Games and Game Ratings may be out of sync with the AG2 site by up to one hour.
*    You cannot view other user profiles at this time. This will be in a future release.
*    Everyone displays 1,000 Armor Points on the profile screen. The new points system isn't integrated yet, and the text is for display and layout only.
*    There is no comment system in place yet for leaving comments on the games or on user profiles. This will be in a future release.
*    Some areas have "place holder" text, like the profile privacy settings (they'll be populated with real text later).

Screenshots:

Homepage
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/home.png

Categories and Featured Games
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/featured.png

Game being played:
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/gameplay.png

Profile:
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/profile.png

Release 3: Falchion

Email:
In our 3rd release (code named "Falchion"), we are introducing the first elements of the new Activity Stream. Users will be able to post a status update and have it distributed to their Followers. Users will also be able to comment on their Followers' activities via the Activity Stream. The Activity Stream will be the foundation for distributing in-game activities, achievements, and other messages to your friends. This release introduces the core plumbing needed to distribute activity messages. With your help we will be able to determine if we got things right or not.

There is also a whole slew of bug fixes and enhancements, some of which are highlighted below. Thanks for your help and enjoy the update!
NEW FEATURES
*    Status updates. Users can now post a status update to all their Followers anywhere within the "My Armory" section
*    Activity Stream. Users can now view their Followers' activities on their own Dashboard page.
*    Comments. Users can use the new Activity Stream to add comments to the activities of their Followers.
*    Friend Management Tab. Users can now "Follow" and "Unfollow" other users from the "Friends/Followers" tab. Upgrading followers to "friends" will be in a future release.

BUG FIXES
*    Fixed beta sessions that were disappearing after logging in with AG2 credentials
*    Implemented CDN loading for static files (graphics, etc will load MUCH faster)
*    User profile page, what's visible to the public
*    Added "load more" button at bottom of every category page
*    Flash game punches through login overlay
*    Personal Profile page: Add 3rd party account, missing background dimming
*    Implemented javascript based Time Zone selection
*    Fixed layout problems for games with long titles
*    Fixed issue sending emails to certain domains
*    Changed "highest rated" games to be switched to "most plays"
*    Fixed un-approved games showing up on ag3
*    If a user clicks on My Armory then elsewhere on the page it will now roll up the menu
*    Fixed jGrowl artifact on the screen
*    Fixed OpenID/Janrain logos that were not showing up
*    Added game developer information on play page
*    Added proper number formating for play count on featured category pages
*    Fixed broken account linking when using 3rd party signin

Important Release Notes

Currently only Following and Unfollowing are enabled. True two-way Friendships are still in the works as well as the ability to ignore users. Also, for the time being, activity messages, status updates, and comments are limited to 1,024 characters. Anything longer will be truncated. Biographies that were copied from AG2 were truncated at 1,024 bytes as well.

Also, please keep in mind that this is a beta, things will break, and your comments/activities could be deleted at any time!

Screenshots:

Status Updates:
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/updates.png

Release 4: Falchion II

Email:
Our 4th release focuses on shoring up our Activity Stream and Follow features as well as some miscellaneous bug fixes and enhancements throughout the My Armory section. We recognize that our initial release of the Activity Stream didn't quite have all the features users needed to really make it useful. Hence this release has been deemed "Falchion II".

Since we've made several "cosmetic" changes, we recommend that you clear your browser cache. If you clear your cookies in the process, you'll need your invite code to get back into the beta site.

Users who signed up for the beta after 9am on November 22nd will receive their invite codes in a separate Email later today.

We hope you are all having a great holiday, and we look forward to your feedback on this beta release!

NEW FEATURES
*    Activity Stream redesign. We reworked the layout of Activity items and comments. Hopefully the display is more clear and useful to users.
*    Dashboard update. We added some "fixed scrolling" to some key navigation elements so they never scroll off the screen. We also added new tabs to your Dashboard:
*    Your Kingdom (activities of your friends/followers)
*    Public Square (public activities)
*    Inbox (direct messages)
*    Privacy Settings enabled. The privacy settings section has been updated and enabled. Check out the tools and let us know what you think of the structure. Currently, only Followers are affected by privacy settings changes.
*    Deletion control. You can now delete your own status updates (which also deletes all comments your Followers left for that Activity). You can also delete any individual comment left by your Followers for any of your Activities. We also allow you to delete any of your own comments that you have left for other users on their Activities.
*    Manage Friends and Followers. We reworked this section as well. You now have the tools to view who you are following, who is following you, and you can unfollow users who you currently follow.

BUG FIXES
*    Users with short 3-letter usernames should be able to log in now.
*    Relationships were not populating properly but should be okay now.
*    Frequent database errors when browsing the beta site.
*    My Armory was missing a box to list your Followers.

NOTES
*    We are planning some sorting features for your lists of friends/followers (ie, sort them alphabetically) and they will be coming in a future release.
*    The Dashboard tabs for Public Square and Inbox are not hooked up yet.
*    Currently, you must reload the page to see any updates. In a future release, we hope to have "live updates" happen on the page without requiring you to refresh the page.
*    The Utility bar at the top of the screen will allow you to read Activity Stream messages, but will only show you how many replies there are. A future release will allow you to see the replies and add your own comments right from the Utility bar.
*    Deleting an Activity will remove ALL associated comments from you or your followers. Currently, any deleted messages are permanently removed from the system and cannot be recovered.
*    To follow a user, you must view their profile page and click the Follow button. There is no search feature enabled on the site yet.

Initially, we wanted to implement game rating in this release, but we've moved it to our next release to make sure we had enough time to get some functionality working in this release, and also to give us enough time to test several game rating controls internally to find what feels right for the site based on feedback from employees.

To repeat a note from our last release: We currently only allow Following and Unfollowing other users. We are not ready yet to allow two-way Friendships, or the associated privacy settings. We will continue to work on these elements for a future release. Also, for the time being, activity messages, status updates, and comments are limited to 1,024 characters. Anything longer will be truncated. Biographies that were copied from AG2 were truncated at 1,024 bytes as well, but we will eventually update full biography messages for users before the final AG3 launch.

Also, please keep in mind that this is a beta, things will break, and your comments and activities could be deleted at any time! We are planning at least one wipe of all activity stream data in the next week or two, so please don't rely on AG3 as your sole method of communication with other users!

No screenies because the above basically cover what was fixed.

Release 5: Flamberge

Email:
In the wake of the holiday break we were actually able to pull together another release. Our latest update enables some exciting new features for AG3. We have implemented our initial search framework -- you can now find other users and games far more easily. We have also enabled real-time activity alerts, so whenever anyone in your network generates a new Activity, you will be notified immediately. As always we look forward to your feedback.

We recommend that you clear your browser cache. If you clear your cookies in the process, you'll need your invite code to get back into the beta site.

Users who have signed up to join the beta since our last release will receive their invite code in another Email to follow this one.

NEW FEATURES
*    User and Game search. You can now find other users and games using our new "Spotlight" like search toolbar. It includes real-time search results so you never have to see a search result page (unless you want to).
*    Real-time Activity Stream updates. Activity updates are now pushed to users in real-time. The utility bar at the top of the browser window will update with the number of unseen Activities, so you know you have messages waiting.

BUG FIXES
*    Updates to privacy settings. Now we only show activities that the current viewer is allowed to see. We only show tabs for achievements, game favorites, and game history on a user's profile if the viewer is allowed to see "game activity".
*    Comment deleting was not working properly (reply counts were not updating properly).
*    If a user changes their mind part way through authenticating a 3rd-party service (like Gmail), and instead logs in with their Armor Games credentials, they were redirected back to the 3rd-party link page without a proper authentication token. For now, the user will be redirected back to the home page.

NOTES
*    Known Bug: There is currently a bug with the live updating of activity streams in Safari and Opera. We are working on a fix and will roll it out as soon as we have it ready.
*    We have implemented a sort of "feed cleanup". Clicking on the "Load More" button will only fetch 5 days worth of messages. This limit is flexible and there is a chance we will change it in the future.
*    All Activity feed data has been reset. We noticed that our initial database configuration was on track to have similar issues as our GameSave configuration (which we had to repair a few weeks ago). This has been fixed and as a result, everyone's feed data has been reset.
*    Game ratings have been moved to a future release.

Screenshots:

Search Engine
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/search.png

Release 6: Longsword

In our sixth release (Longsword), we have spent time refining our new search feature as well as adding a new search result page. We also continue to enhance the Activity Stream and with this release we have enabled the "Recently Commented" sort button on the dashboard. We look forward to your feedback.

Users who have signed up to join the beta since our last release will receive their invite code in another Email to follow this one.

NEW FEATURES
*    Sort Activity streams by Recently Commented. You can now see which items are being talked about most and easily jump into the conversation.
*    New search result page. If you hit ENTER or click the Search button when using the Search feature on the beta site, you'll see a new results page of matching Games, Users, or both. And it's a snap to drill through them with the dynamic load more button.
*    Search box enhancements. Refined layout & design, better results sorting and more stable overall.

BUG FIXES
*    A few tweaks and changes to the search engine
*    Home page now shows 9 "featured" games instead of 6
*    Various realtime notification issues were addressed
*    Resolved notification issues with Safari and Opera

NOTES
*    Known Search Bug: Searching for things with spaces doesn't work at the moment. Hopefully we'll get that resolved soon.
*    Game ratings have been moved to a future release.

No screenies, nothing really new that I haven't shown.

Release 7: Sabre

We have been toiling away on all sorts of projects during this development cycle, some of which are not AG3 related, but you'll being hearing about those soon enough. As for the AG3 beta -- codenamed "Sabre" -- we have enabled a few more activity stream features, further refined our game/user search engine, and implemented our initial game ratings widget. We look forward to your feedback!

Users who have signed up to join the beta since our last release will receive their invite code in another Email to follow this one.

NEW FEATURES
*    The 'Public Square' is Live. For users who have their Privacy Settings for 'status' set to 'Public', you will now see those updates in the Public Square of your Dashboard.
*    Game Ratings are Live. Every game will have the rating system enabled. It will currently show how you've previously rated a game if you've rated it on AG2, but now you can change your rating score on AG3! Your new score will only show up on AG3, it will not migrate back to AG2.
*    Username Searches are Faster!. We spent some time tweaking our database code to make it much faster, especially for very common username.

BUG FIXES
*    Fixed privacy setting issues that weren't remembering their value after saving, which meant that status updates weren't behaving as you would have expected.
*    Fixed some bugs affecting Safari users.
*    Fixed activity stream bugs regarding comment counts. They now increment and decrement properly.

NOTES
*    Searching for things with spaces was fixed shortly after last week's release.

Screenshots:

Game Ratings:
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/gamerating.png

Release 8: Scimitar

Because new games don't launch themselves we have been spending a significant portion of this release cycle implementing our new Game Management feature. We figured it was time to show our own AG staff a little love. However, on the AG members side of things, we did manage to implement Game Favorites as well as Game Play Histories. Check out "Games" in the utility bar to quickly play your favorite games or go back and play a game from your game play history. As always we look forward to your feed back and ideas.

Users who have signed up to join the beta since our last release will receive their invite code in another Email to follow this one.

NEW FEATURES
*    Manage Your Favorite Games. You can now jump to your favorite games right from the utility bar. Add new favorited games from the game page and review and delete them from your Dashboard.
*    View Your Game History. You can now see a history of your favorite games from the utility bar as will as from within the dashboard.
*    New Game Administration System! Ok, so this is more of an Armor Games Staff feature but trust us when we say it's pretty darn slick.

BUG FIXES
*    Misc bug fixes as well as a few small enhancements.

NOTES
*    "Community" now renamed to "Forums"
*    How we handle Favorites between AG2 & AG3 Beta:
*    Adding a new favorite on AG2 will sync to AG3 (within 15min).
*    A delete of a Favorite on AG2 will not sync to AG3.
*    Adding or deleting a favorite on AG3 will not be sync'd back to AG2.
*    In a future release, we will allow you to sort your favorite games by plays or rating, or in alphabetical ord. Right now, they're being shown in a somewhat random order, but approximately in the order in which you marked them as favorite games. Once AG3 fully launches later this year, we will allow you to define a custom order.

Screenshots:

Favorite Games:
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/favoritegames.png

Game History:
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/history.png

Release 8: Spatha

Email:
In this release, code-named Spatha, we are introducing our new messaging system. We have received quite a bit of feedback requesting a private messaging and we are happy to announce that it's finally here. The goal of our messaging system is to provide users an effortless way to communicate with one another in a one-on-one setting.

We only have private messaging enabled with today's release, but will soon have public profile messaging as well (messages will be delivered via the recipient's public activity stream). Eventually, most messaging features will also be available via the global Utility Bar, allowing users to interact with their friends without leaving their current game.

Users who have "blocked" you will not receive any messages you send them. Messaging security will eventually be driven by the recipient's privacy settings. You will get to choose who can and can not send you messages, both public and privately. (Users will not be able to block Administrators or Moderators from sending official messages, though!)

We look forward to your feedback!

NEW FEATURES
*    Private user-to-user messages are here! To view your Inbox, click on "My Armory" in the Utility Bar, click on "Dashboard", and then click on the "Inbox" tab. By default, you can start a NEW message to anyone you're following, and can reply to anyone who sends you a message. In a future release, we'll allow you to send a message to any user if you know their username, have extra privacy settings for who is allowed to send you a message, including a setting to block any user from sending you a message (users will not have the ability to block moderators or administrators), and allow you to send "public" messages similar to the profile messages on AG2.

BUG FIXES
*    We've fixed some bugs with setting games as a favorite.
*    The Activity Stream menu on the Utility Bar has had some layout fixes to make entries a little smaller.

NOTES
*    The "Activity Stream" menu in the Utility Bar has an "Inbox" option, but we have some neat things planned for this area.
*    User profiles have been changed from http://beta.armorgames.com/profile/username to http://beta.armorgames.com/user/username (the same as our current Armor Games web site) to avoid some confusion.
*    We've refined the game rating features based on testing and user feedback. Thank you, everyone, for your input.
*    Some of the game thumbnail images on the beta site may appear missing. This is temporary and will be taken care of this week.

Screenshots:

Messaging someone
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp218/Kirby998_2008/messaging.png

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That's it for now, I will be updating this thread everytime there is a new release. Thanks for reading it took for ever to make this thread.

 

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 8:08pm

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

I was the the very first beta tester for the AGv3 beta.

Nope, we had a few hand-selected users (like the moderators, Freakenstein, and a few others) in the closed beta.

This is an AWESOME write up though. Thanks!

 

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 8:34pm

GhostOfMatrix

GhostOfMatrix

11,693 posts

Knight

This is a fantastic, Kirby. Great for those that haven't been able to see the Beta site yet.

I was actually thinking of doing something similar to this a few days ago.

 

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 9:38pm

Ghgt99

Ghgt99

1,441 posts

This is great Kirby! It is really cool to see how AG3 has evolved with the helping hand of the Web Dev team!

 

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 9:40pm

idontsuckthatmuch

idontsuckthatmuch

1,728 posts

Wow. This is actually my first time seeing anything of AG3, so this looks pretty awesome to me. I'm pretty excited!

 

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 10:03pm

WorstSniper

WorstSniper

340 posts

The new Armor Games looks a lot better, along with a few new features! I like the new look, since this new one is getting kind of bland.

 

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 10:42pm

knight_34

knight_34

11,455 posts

I was one of those "closed" testers, but I haven't done much since the early stages of the open testing. I hope the next school break will suffice.

Excellent summary Kirby.

 

Posted Mar 9, '11 at 11:11pm

Kirby998

Kirby998

5,236 posts

Nope, we had a few hand-selected users (like the moderators, Freakenstein, and a few others) in the closed beta.

Actually Dan gave me a code before the the closed beta email even went out xD

 

Posted Mar 10, '11 at 12:02am

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

8,206 posts

Moderator

Hmmm....Well, if you were on Beta before 7:05PM EST, then you would be the first beta tester. But come on! So underhanded and unsportsmanlike to not be announced officially ;)

 

Posted Mar 10, '11 at 6:11pm

mrtim

mrtim

2,052 posts

Lol at the PM you've sent Freak.

Nice to see those AG 3.0 BETA, we could put this in the archive section when AG 3.0 comes out. Really nice to see how it evolved.

 
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