Update 5.26: Preview of new rendering engine

Warzone has just been updated to version 5.26.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

This update is live now on the website and standalone clients. The Android and iOS apps will skip this update and receive update 5.26.1 when it’s available.

Sneak Preview of New Rendering Engine

Warzone can now be played in a new rendering engine on the website, babylonjs! To try out the preview, add &3d=true to the end of your querystring in your browser.

Here’s what it looks like:

This feature mirrors the 3D maps functionality familiar to iOS and Android users.

Though currently in preview mode and requiring manual querystring adjustment, this new rendering engine is a glimpse into the future. Since it’s new, I expect there to be bugs and issues, so if you try it I’d appreciate you letting me know what your experience was like!

Why support a new rendering engine?

  1. Unified Code

    Previously, Warzone operated on two separate rendering engines — one for Unity, supporting both 2D and 3D, and another HTML-based engine exclusive to the website, limited to 2D. Now, the Warzone codebase is unified, with one set of rendering code that can be run either in Unity, Babylonjs, or even in other rendering engines if we decide to add a new one in the future. This isn’t a “port”, this is the exact same code running in two different engines. Unifying these into a singular codebase streamlines feature additions and bug fixes, reducing redundancy and testing overhead.

    Supporting a new rendering engine was a big change for Warzone, as lots of parts of the game had to be re-written or abstracted out so that they weren’t directly tied to the Unity APIs. This work will pay off big in the future, as it allows Warzone to be more flexible and give more options for the players. Now that the bulk of this work is done, expect to get more regular Warzone updates again for the foreseeable future.

  2. 3d support for the website

    With this update, Warzone’s website users can now enjoy 3D maps, aligning their experience with that of mobile players. This gives the game a more modern look and feel. Map designers have had the option to include height/depth to their maps, as well as textures for the territories, but until now players playing on the website never got to see it. Consistency across platforms has always been one of Warzone’s core goals, ensuring seamless transitions between devices without sacrificing gameplay familiarity.

  3. Mobile access through browser

    Today, if you’re on iOS or Android and you want to play a Warzone game, you must install the Warzone app. Eventually, this rendering target will enable players to play a Warzone game directly in their browser on a mobile device, without ever installing any apps.

    I know there are some people out there for which this is really important, since I hear from people trying to use the website to play games using their mobile device. Maybe they don’t like installing apps, maybe they don’t have permission on the device to install apps, or maybe they just want to try the game without the commitment of an app install. For whatever reason, I want Warzone to be as accessible as possible. Therefore, in a future update, we will eventually make the game playable directly in the browser of mobile devices. This is made possible by this new rendering engine, which runs the full iOS/Android app code but in the browser.

  4. Support for new engines in the future

    As noted above, this abstraction allows Warzone to support new rendering engines in the future much more easily. This means if we want to add support for another rendering engine, or even move away from Unity on iOS/Android, we can do that. The goal is to provide the best possible experience for the user, so if we can find an engine that provides a better experience than Unity, I’d be interested in exploring that. It’s a very good thing to not be tied to a single platform.

Other Changes in this update

– Website: Fixed a bug where the attack/transfer dialog would close when enter was pressed even if the input box didn’t have focus.
– Website: Fixed a bug that made arrow keys not work properly when a text box has focus.
– Website: Fixed a bug that made the delete key not work properly when a text box has focus.
– Website: Fixed a bug on input boxes that allowed the enter key to insert a newline when they were supposed to only contain a single line.
– Website: Fixed placeholder text on mod input fields.
– Website: Fixed incompatibility with the “Disable Scroll Jacking” Chrome extension.
– Website: Fixed a bug with map SVG processing that could, in rare cases, make some objects appear wrong when a gradient was used in another object.
– Idle: If you try to sacrifice an artifact that’s currently being upgraded, the game now asks for confirmation that you’re sure you really want to do that.
– Idle: The draft indicator now waits a couple seconds before showing when first opening an idle level. This helps ensure it appears in the correct position and isn’t underneath the idle time dialog.
– Idle: Markets now show their name in the inspection panel.
– Idle: After clicking the draft icon, the draft label now stays above the territory instead of being in a fixed location on the screen.
– Idle: Fixed AP resets not granting super ascention starting AP.
– Idle: Fixed a bug that caused an error if mine or hospital discounts caused price to go negative.
– Idle: Fixed a bug that could cause an error when using Update All along with auto dig.
– Idle: Fixed a bug that could cause an error if you activated an artifact after swapping it out of the active artifacts area.
– Classic: When changing the map of a template set to Full Distributon, Random Warlords, or Random Cities, the distribution mode will no longer be reset to the map’s default distribution mode.
– Classic: Incomplete cards now have a small border to show their outline.
– Classic: Tournament setting pages now say “players per game” instead of “teams per game” in non-team tournaments.
– Classic: When ordering your commander into a large force, the warning message now instructs you that commanders are worth 7 armies to make it easier to understand.
– Classic: The settings panel summary now describes a bit more about what commanders are.
– Classic: Sped up auto-force-join for games with low boot times.
– Classic: Fixed the end-game-window for ladder games to say “When the game ended you were ranked” instead of “You are ranked” when looking at a game that ended more than an hour ago.
– Classic: Fixed a bug that made custom scenario tournaments set to Random Slots not be able to start.
– Classic: Fixed a bug that made the clock use hover instead of popping up a dialog in games with lots of eliminated/surrendered players.
– Classic: Fixed a bug where auto-commit would fail to use orders that wasted a reinforcement card.
– Classic: Fixed a bug in the map designer where checkboxes sometimes wouldn’t reset from their indeterminate state (“-“) when territory selection changes.
– Classic: Fixed what’s visible in a GameOrderEvent based on the game’s fog level. If no-fog, full gold modifications are now always visible. Card modifications are only visible based on the game’s card fog settings.
– Classic: Fixed having tons of turn separator lines in the chat without messages in between them when loading a game with lots of chat.
– Classic: Fixed a bug that caused an error when making a game if you entered a huge number into banked time gain box.
– Classic: Fixed a bug that made a special unit’s health sometimes not update after being attacked.
– Classic: Fixed a bug that made the “rate this map” button appear for testing maps.
– Classic: Fixed a bug that could make the clock hover dialog get stuck open if the game ended while you were hovering over the clock.
– Classic: Fixed a bug with “Finish versus AI” that made your gold in commerce games not start with the correct value.
– All: Deleted accounts are now removed from their clan if they’re in one.
– All: Forum thread watch notifications for clan forum threads are no longer sent to players that are no longer in that clan.
– All: Fixed the clan list so it now shows clans whose accounts sum to less than 1000 lifetime points.
– All: Fixed the clan list so it now shows freshly created clans.
– Unity: When viewing a forum thread or private mail thread, a new button at the top allows you to get the URL of the current discussion for sharing with others.
– Unity: Updated Unity version to 2022.3.25f1
– Unity: Fixed a bug that made arrows on the map not fade out properly.
– Unity: Fixed a bug that allowed voting on expired forum posts.
– Unity: Fixed purchasing areas of the app when no in-app-purchase provider (like Google Play) is available.
– Unity: Fixed multi-line input boxes shrinking text instead of scrolling it, in places such as when sending or replying to mail or forum posts, or reporting a bug.
– Unity: Fixed a visual bug that made the territory glow (highlight) have a small break it it on some objects.
– API: Added mod names to GameFeed API.
– API: ValidateInviteToken now returns all the reasons that a player can’t use a template, not just the first one.
– Mods: Fixed a bug when creating games with the free mod that indicated only members can be invited.
– Mods: Fixed a bug that caused a mod to crash on the website if it nested too many tables.
– Mods: Fixed the behavior of mods that created infinite orders in Server_AdvanceTurn_Order so they crash more gracefully.
– Mods: Fixed a bug that could make a game fail if a mod inserted an invalid player ID for a diplomacy card.