Update 4.20.2: Updated Unity

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.20.2! This is a small update with some bug fixes and improvements. This post describes what’s changed.

This version is live now on the website. The Android and iOS apps will be updated over the coming weeks.

Upgrading Unity

This update upgrades the version of Unity that’s used from 2017.4 to 2018.4. This is a big upgrade which only happens once per year. Due to this upgrade, I’m being extra careful in the release, and trying to ensure everything gets extra testing to avoid breaking anything. Due to the extra caution, the update will roll out slowly across iOS and Android.

In addition to upgrading Unity, I’ve also taken the opportunity to re-organize a lot of the internal code with the goal of increasing the performance and reducing the startup time. The iOS and Android apps now start up faster than ever, and the WebGL app can load in less than 1.9 seconds!

Other Changes

– Unity/UJS: Fixed color of team label when inviting players to a fixed team game.
– Unity/UJS: Fixed invite-by-code so it doesn’t appear in single player. Thanks to DanWL for reporting this.
– Unity: Un-bolded main font style.
– Unity: Fixed a bug that made the Standalone and WebGL apps show wrong prices in the store. Thanks to Baneos for reporting this.
– Website: When viewing a tournament with mods on the website, the names of the mods are now shown.
– All: Fixed a bug that caused errors if you made a tournament with mods and the “non members can use mods” box checked.

Update 4.20: Multiple push notification devices, new color, modded tournaments, improved graphics

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.20.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

This update is live now on the website. The Android app will be updated in the coming days, and the iOS app will be updated in the coming weeks.

Multiple Push Notification Devices

Prior to this update, only one device could receive notifications for a Warzone account. This means if you had multiple devices, such as an Android phone and an iPad, each time you played on one device it would move your notifications to that new device and the other one would stop receiving them.

Now, all of the devices you sign into will receive push notifications. If you sign out of a Warzone account on a device, or uncheck the “Push notifications” box in the settings, that device will not receive future notifications.

There’s also a new page on the website that shows you all devices you currently are receiving push notifications on and allows you to remove ones you don’t want.

New color: Green Prison

For the first time ever, you can apply a pattern to your territories! For a limited time, you can purchase the ability to play as green with black vertical bars:

Purchase now to get unlimited use of this color forever. After June 28th, the option to purchase will disappear forever, making this a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Multi-day Quickmatch Boot Adjustment

Multi-day Quickmatch games now have a more forgiving boot time structure! As discussed previously, the new banking boot controls give more flexibility that Quickmatch can take advantage of.

All multi-day Quickmatch games created after this update will use the following boot times: 24 hours boot, 24 hours initially banked, and 4 hours of bank restored per day (up to a max of 24 hours, awarded on turn advance).

The net effect of this is that it’s now possible to take one day per week off without having to worry about getting booted. Since you get 4 hours returned per day, that means you’ll get more than 24 hours returned per week, which is what enables this.

The hope is that this change allows people who have less reliable schedules to participate in multi-day Quickmatch without having to worry about the occasional boot. If this sounds like you, give it a try and let me know how well it works for you!

Modded Tournaments

Public tournaments now support templates with mods! Only trusted mods may be used. At the time of this writing, all of the Standard and Promoted mods are marked as trusted. If you find a mod you’d like to use in a tournament that you can’t, please let me know.

Improved Graphics

Some new improvements are coming to some of the menu pages, most notably the places that list items look a lot nicer!

Other Changes

– All: When loading a finished game, the game will now default into history mode so you can watch the game without spoiling the winner.
– All: Clan invites are automatically deleted after 30 days if they aren’t accepted or declined.
– All: The “Are you sure you want uneven teams?” message no longer appears in single-player.
– All: Fixed a bug that made real-time games not sort to the top in the default filter. Thanks to Krzystof for reporting this.
– All: Fixed a bug with community levels that use teams and also change the number of pieces of cards that are distributed to players on that team.
– Unity/UJS: Fixed a bug when loading a template with banking boot times enabled, but auto boot and direct boot are set to different values. Thanks to ssɐɹ⅁ƃuo˥ for reporting this.
– Unity: Fixed a bug that made community events sometimes duplicate themselves on the community tab. Thanks to Cowboy for reporting this.
– Unity: Fixed a bug that caused an error when loading a private GitHub repo. Thanks to Boyd for reporting this.

Update 4.19: Invite via code, banking boot times

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.19.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

This update is live now on the website. The Android app will be updated in the coming days, and the iOS app will be updated in the coming weeks.

Banking boot times

Game creators can now specify banking boot time to be added based on a schedule.

If you aren’t familiar with banking boot times, this is a way to go over the boot time in a game without getting booted. Doing so will deplete your banked time, and you’ll only be able to be booted if your bank time reaches zero. If you’ve played a real-time game with banking boot times, you’ll see a second clock in the upper right corner that starts depleting when the first clock reaches 0.

Prior to this update, it was only possible to start the game with banked time, which would never replenish after being used. Now, game creators can specify for banked time to replenish, as a factor of how much time passes.

For example, let’s say you’re making a multi-day game with a 24 hour boot time and 24 hours of banked time. Starting with this update, you can now define that 4 hours of banked time is added to each player every day, which is awarded when the turn advances. This means that, over the course of a week, players will get 28 hours of time added to their bank. This allows players who are active 6 days of the week to still participate in that game, as they can skip one day per week and still not get booted.

Note that your banked time can never exceed the amount you started the game with. In the example above, no player could ever go over 24 hours of banked time, since that’s how much you started with.

One of the goals of this system is to make multi-day Quickmatch more accessible to players who aren’t able to play every day. Once this feature is proven reliable, it will be enabled for Quickmatch which will allow players to skip a day without having to worry about getting booted from multi-day Quickmatch games.

Other Boot Time Improvements

Multi-day games now show the clock in the upper right corner just like real-time games do. This makes it easier to tell how much time you have left in a game.

When viewing a list of your games, the boot time displayed below the map thumbnail now adds in your current banked time. For example, in a game with 1 minute boot times plus 3 minutes banked, the thumbnail will show 4 minutes at the start of the game. As you use up your bank, the number displayed will accurately go down to show you how much time you really have to take your current turn. This makes it much easier to see at a glance how much time you really have to take your turn.

Also when viewing a list of your games, multi-day games where it’s your turn now sort by how long you have until you get booted. This makes it much easier to see which games are in most danger since those games will always be put at the top of your list.

Invite via code

When creating a multi-player game, you now have the option to invite players via a code instead of inviting them directly:

You can then share this 4-digit code with anybody. They’ll be able to type it into a special box on the Open Games page which will join them to your game. This makes it much easier to start a game with your friends as it alleviates the need to enter all the players before starting.

Once all your friends have joined the game, the game creator can click on the new Start Game button to start it. Once it’s started, no more players can join it.

One specific use of this is making it easier for brand new players to get into a game with their friends. Prior to this update, the game creator had to either use e-mail invites, or wait for all players to make an account and then locate those friends’ accounts by hand. Now, they can just give the code to all their friends and everything will work out.

Other Changes

– All: Added new single-player levels, and tweaked some of the previously added ones. Thanks to Lepanto31 for level suggestions.
– All: Removed vote-to-boot.
– All: Fixed a bug that made points not be awarded for new single player levels in some cases. Thanks to Hornet for reporting this.
– Unity/UJS: The lobby now has a Start Game button that allows the game creator to start any multi-player game. For a non-code game, this is just a shortcut to removing all open seats and players who haven’t accepted the invite.
– Unity/UJS: Fixed a bug that made single-player levels with AI teammates not show their orders for the first turn after resuming a saved level. Thanks to Nemo for reporting this.
– Unity/UJS: Fixed a mod limitation to allow mods to transfer armies in an unsuccessful transfer order. Thanks to Krzystof for reporting this.
– Website: Fixed [hr] inside of [code]. Thanks to TBest for being the first to report this.
– Unity: The “Past Games” button on the multi-player tab is not shown to players with no games.
– iOS/Android: Fixed a bug with clan in-app purchase.

Update 4.18: Clans into app, liked / recently played community levels

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.18.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

This update is live now on the website. The Android app will be updated in the coming days, and the iOS app will be updated in the coming weeks.

Clans integrated into App

The iOS/Android app now have official support for clans!

This means when you tap a clan icon in the Unity app, it will now let you see clan info directly in the app, instead of redirecting you to the website. There’s also a link to view your clan in the top right menu, as well as a link to view all clans on the Community tab.

Also, if you are invited to a clan, you will now receive a push notification, and you’ll be notified of the invitation via the top right button.

Upon opening the notification of a clan invite, you’ll be shown a new dialog that lets you accept or decline the clan invite.

This is a big improvement for clan invites! Prior to this update, invites only sent you an email. Many app users don’t even have email addresses registered, so they would never even know they were invited to a clan. Now, they can’t miss it.

Also, the store tab now allows for creating your own clan via an in-app purchase.

Liked / Recently Played Community Levels

On the Community Levels screen, there are now links to view a list of all levels that you’ve liked, and another link to view all levels that you played in the last week.

This helps a lot for keeping track of levels. Prior to this update, I frequently heard feedback that someone would start playing a level but weren’t able to finish. When they came back the next day, they weren’t able to find the level to resume their game.

Other Changes

– Unity: Fixed a bug that made clan chat not be registered as viewed, leaving the red number up when it shouldn’t have been. Thanks to ViralGoat for reporting this.
– Unity: Fixed a bug that caused an error when posting to an old forum thread. Thanks to number for reporting this.
– Website: Clan pages now show their icon.
– Website: To help reduce spam invites, clan managers can no longer invite someone to a clan that’s already in a clan. If someone wishes to move clans, they must first leave their existing one to receive an invite to the new one.

Update 4.17: Expanded single player

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.17.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

This update is live now on the website. The Android app will be updated in the coming days, and the iOS app will be updated in the coming weeks.

Expanded Single Player

Although I’ve always viewed Warzone’s multi-player as the best way to play it, there are surprisingly a lot of people who only play single-player. Those people haven’t gotten much love in terms of features over the years, but today they get some!

When single-player was first added in 2009, it was primarily designed to act as a tutorial to teach players how to play before they jumped into multi-player. Initially, it only had 5 levels! (three normal levels and two challenges). A 6th level was added shortly after and then eventually a tutorial level.

In 2016, single-player was expanded to 35 levels. It was still a tutorial of sorts, as most of the levels introduced a new concept or game mechanic. Community levels were also added at this time, which as exploded in popularity as they now approach 10,000 published levels!

With the Warzone release in 2017, offline play support was added.

Starting today, the single-player campaign is being expanded to a whopping 127 levels!

These are divided into two parts: The first 36 levels are still a tutorial, introducing new Warzone features (one was added to the previous 35 to introduce commerce mode, which didn’t exist in 2016). The remaining are some of the best community levels that have been copied into the main campaign to show them off more broadly.

In order to accomodate adding so many new levels, some of the way the app treats levels had to be re-worked. Prior to this update, all single-player levels in the campaign were embedded in the app. This was great as it allowed for offline play, but it wouldn’t scale to 127 levels since embedding all of the maps into the app would make the app too large. With this update, the app will download the levels and maps from the server for all levels after World War Pixel. To help enable offline play, the app will pre-download the next 5 levels in the campaign to your device ahead of time. This will enable you to play five levels without an internet connection. You can see this work if you look at the single-player tab and look at the bottom right corner of a level’s thumbnail. If this level is not cached on your device, a small internet icon will appear to let you know that you need an active internet connection to play that level.

This update also now adds the ability to skip levels if you’re having a hard time with them. If the app detects that you’re struggling with a level, it will ask you if you want to skip. You can always come back to a skipped level in the future.

Additionally, due to the increased level count, player’s profiles no longer list the names of all the levels, as this would get too long. Instead, it simply shows the number of wins, gold stars, and skips.

Other Changes

– All: Made level World War Pixel easier since it’s no longer the final level.
– All: Profile pages now show some quickmatch ratings.
– All: Fixed a bug in team games with huge numbers of orders. Thanks to krinid for reporting this.
– Unity/UJS: The stroke opacity on a map’s bonus links are now displayed correctly. Thanks to NinjaNic for reporting this.
– Unity/UJS: Improved the quickmatch tutorial.
– Unity/UJS: Links sent in chat by players using the red color are now white instead of blue.
– Unity: If no open tournament is available, the My Games page will now show a random open game instead.
– Unity: Replaced the multi-player “Play now” arrow with a less intrusive button highlight.
– UJS: Fixed a bug with the map designer that made bonuses not register their bonus link right after being added. Thanks to Bane for reporting this.
– Website: The “Switch Web Mode” link is being moved into the Account Settings page. The old link will remain for a bit to tell people where to go if they need to switch.

Update 4.16: See finished games, new map designer

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.16.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

The website and Unity client have been updated to this version now. The Android and iOS apps do not need an update and will stay on 4.15.

See Finished Games

Have you ever been playing a multi-day game, only to find that the game mysteriously stops appearing on your My Games page? This is a common occurrence when your opponent surrenders but doesn’t give you a parting “gg” message in chat.

Prior to this update, the My Games page would only show you active games or games with unread chat. This means that if a game ends without anyone chatting, the game would simply vanish from the list and never give the satisfaction of letting you see how the final turn played out unless you dug it out of the Past Games section. This was a very common complaint, and something that’s now finally fixed!

With this update, Warzone will give you one final chance to see how a game ended by including finished games that you haven’t watched the end of yet in your My Games section. To clear the game, simply open it and watch the final turn. If you never watch the final turn, the game will go away on its own once it’s archived (typically after approximately 24 hours for a real-time game and a week for multi-day games.)

New Map Designer

For the first time in 9 years, the map designer is receiving an overhaul! The map designer is used, along with an svg editor, to make Warzone maps.

Starting with this update, the new map designer is available to anyone whose account is in UJS mode by selecting Multi Player -> Design Maps. If you want to access the old map designer, you can still do so by changing your account into Flash mode.

The biggest feature of the new map designer is that it does not rely on Flash. This means that maps will continue to be able to be created after Adobe kills off Flash in 2020. Yay! It also means it doesn’t require un-blocking Flash constantly and also loads much more quickly as a side benefit.

As a bonus, the new map designer also has the ability to automatically default set the center of point of territories to the center of the object. While this won’t always be the correct center point, it saves a step when it is.

The UI around creating and managing different versions of your map is also much clearer and faster to use.

If you’re a map designer, please let me know what you think!

No longer dependent on Flash

With the map designer no longer requiring Flash, it marks a major milestone. For the first time in 9 years, Warzone is no longer dependent on Adobe Flash. And for the first time ever, we’re is not dependent on any browser plug-in at all! This means that all features of the game can be run in your browser using pure javascript + html, so we are officially ready for Flash’s demise.

Of course, the option to play Warzone in Flash still exists. Don’t worry, Flash users, that option isn’t going away yet. My numbers show that just over 1% of Warzone’s players are still using Flash. You will need to upgrade at some point, though, as Flash is being killed by Adobe in 2020.

Other Changes

– iOS/Android: Push notifications are now sent when someone sends you private mail.
– All: The chat room no longer advertises open game creation.
– All: If no players in a quickmatch game enter orders on the first turn, they will all lose the game instead of randomly picking a winner.
– All: When creating a double-elimination team tournament, third place will now always have coins that divide evenly by the number of players in a team. Thanks to Phakh Gokhn for reporting this.
– Unity/UJS: When loading a template, you now have the option to load quickmatch templates.
– Unity/UJS: Fixed the link color on players using Electric Purple so it’s readable.
– Unity/UJS: Client-side mod failures now get recorded on the server so that the mod author can see them.
– UJS: Fixed maps that use even-odd fill rule, such as Poland Big. Thanks to Dj Storm for reporting this.
– UJS: Fixed an issue with local storage filling up. Thanks to Rome_Warrior for reporting this.
– Unity: Blog posts are now only shown if they’re made within the last 7 days.
– Unity: Decreased the number of posts shown per page on a forum thread to keep things loading speedily.
– Unity: Mod authors now have an option to delete all pending reports at once, as a convenience instead of doing them individually.
– Unity: Fixed a bug that made the map disappear when trying to open a map preview link that does not exist. Thanks to Bane for reporting this.

Update 4.15: Chat links, community tab, mod categories

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.15.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

The website has been updated to this version now. The Android app will receive this version in the coming days, and the iOS app will receive this version in the coming weeks.

Chat Links

In Unity and UJS, links present in game chat or in the chat room will now be a hyperlink that you can click on to visit. This alleviates the need to copy/paste links into your browser to access them.

Community Tab

The Unity app now has a new tab at the bottom:

This allows iOS/Android users to access features that were previously only accessible on the website, such as blog posts, map of the week, forums, the active twitch livestream, new maps, new community levels, and see ladder standings.

Map of the week also allows voting, as well as browsing previous map of the week winners. Forum integration allows browsing each forum, making new forum threads or replying to forum threads, as well as upvoting or downvoting forum threads or posts.

Mod Improvements

The mod page now sorts mods into categories: Development, Promoted, Standard, or Experimental:

The Development category shows your own mods while you’re working on them, and are only visible to you. The other three are publicly visible.

The categories are determined by an admin based on the stability and general usefulness of the mod. New mods will start out in Experimental and then move up as they’re tested and proven to work well by the community. This helps new users of mods have a good experience with them by picking the mods that are known to work reliably.

The maximum storage size available to mods has been increased from 100k to 1000k. This helps ensure that mods won’t die when used in very large games.

In an update a few weeks ago, the performance of mods was greatly increased. Like the storage size increase, this helps ensure that when mods are used in very large games they don’t time out.

Finally, mods now have a “trusted” flag that can be set by administrators. Only trusted mods can be submitted to quickmatch, and this flag will also be used in the future when ladders and tournaments support mods to ensure that malicious mod owners don’t try to sneak in changes.

Other Changes

– Unity/UJS: Sped up the speed of the game chat panel opening.
– Unity/UJS: Fixed the “chat chunk negative” error. Thanks to Bonsai for reporting this.
– Unity: Links in private mail threads are now clickable.
– Unity: Fixed display of large round robin team tournaments. Thanks to Min34 for reporting this.
– Unity: Fixed color of icons on settings page. Thanks to Bane for reporting this.
– Unity: The Contact Fizzer button now uses the built-in mail page instead of redirecting to the website.
– UJS: Fixed errant “Friends” tab when changing players in a custom single player game. Thanks to Muli for reporting this.
– UJS: Fixed multi-select checkbox not showing up until window was resized. Thanks to Muli for reporting this.

Update 4.14: New Dark Theme, UI improvements

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.14.0! This update brings the new Dark Theme to the game, fixes up the UI throughout many pages of the game, and fixes a few bugs and small improvements. This blog post describes what’s changed.

The website has been updated to this version now. The Android app will receive this version in the coming days, and the iOS app will receive this version in the coming weeks.

New Theme

As previewed previously, Warzone now has a fresh new look!

In addition to the new theme, I’ve also gone through every page in the entire app and tested how it looks on small devices. The most difficult configuration to support is a 2.5-inch wide phone being held in portrait mode, due to the limited amount of horizontal space. I’m proud to announce that, with this update, all pages work well in this configuration. Prior to this update, some pages looked horrendously awful, such as the level up dialog and the community levels details page. I’m hoping this is a very appreciated change in the long run.

Let me know what you think!

11 years old!

Last week marks 11 years from when I first started making this game, way back in 2008. We’ve come a long ways since then, and we still have a long ways to go!

Other Changes

– Unity/UJS: When making a tournament with a very short start time, the game now warns you that not many people will be have a chance to join.
– All: Level “3 Blind Mice” made slightly easier.
– All: Fixed InvalidOperationException error.
– All: If a game with mods times out more than 10 times in a row, it will be automatically ended by vote-to-end.
– Website: Fixed missing style on forum next to “hidden threads” link.
– Unity: Fixed level up dialog from overlapping alerts. Thanks to Hamstirly for reporting this.
– Unity: Fixed flag on full profile page.
– Unity: Fixed a bug with changing accounts with the chat room open. Thanks to Beren for reporting this.
– Android/iOS: Fixed the message that appears when a notification arrives while the app is open. Previously, it would always say the game “just advanced” even when it didn’t.
– Android: Fixed a bug that made the hardware back button potentially break the tutorial.

New Dark Theme Preview

Hello all!

I’m working on a new theme for Warzone. Here’s a sneak peek at what it might look like. In all of these screenshots, the current theme is on the left, and the new dark theme of the same page is on the right.

In addition to just changing colors, I’m also trying to fix how the app looks on small devices. The most difficult configuration to support is the 2.5 inch wide smartphone being held in portrait mode. Some of Warzone’s pages look very bad in this configuration, such as those that list games/tournaments/templates. Here’s an example of how these terrible looking pages are becoming not-so-terrible with this new theme:

I’m also looking at fixing up some areas that are hard to read, such as the Ladders section on profiles:

Let me know what you think!

Update 4.13: Speeding up real-time games

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.13.0! This update takes a first step towards the eventual goal at decreasing the amount of time it takes to complete real-time games. This blog post describes what’s changed.

The website has been updated to this version now. The Android app will receive this version in the coming days, and the iOS app will receive this version in the coming weeks.

Server stores your orders

Starting with this update, the Warzone server now stores orders as you’re entering them in multi-player games. Previously, these orders would stay on the client until you pressed the Commit button, at which point all of your orders were sent to the server.

By sending orders to the server more often, this offers a few advantages:

Auto Commit

Prior to this update, failing to press the Commit button before the timer hit 0 in an auto-boot game would result in you getting booted and losing the entire game. Now, with this update, Warzone will simply use the orders you’ve entered so far as your set of orders for the game and continue it as if you had pressed Commit.

This makes the booter much more forgiving and allows you to continue to try and salvage a game where you would have otherwise been granted an instant-loss. Auto commit is a necessary prerequisite for games with faster boot times. Once this update is fully deployed, we’ll start to reduce boot times on some real-time templates to experiment with making real-time games faster.

Teammates Orders Appear in Real-Time

Prior to this update, you could only view orders entered by your teammate after they commit them. Now, you’ll be able to view your teammate orders as soon as they enter them.

This greatly eases the collaboration in real-time team games. When your teammate deploys or attacks, the armies+arrows will show up immediately on your map so you can see what they’re doing.
If they play a card, it will show as “Played” immediately so you know not to use it, alleviating the need to call out “I’m using the card” in chat.

Resume your turn across devices

If you enter orders for a multi-player game on one device, you’ll be able to view or commit those orders on another device. Prior to this update, this was only possible if you were on the same device or if you committed your orders.

Push Notification Improvements

When a multi-day game ends, players in it who have push notifications enabled will receive a notification letting them know whether they won or lost.

Push notifications are also now sent leading up to the start of real-time tournaments you joined, giving you plenty of reminders so you’re ready for it.

Renamed Blacklist to Block List

Your blacklist is now known as your block list. Its functionality has not changed, just the name. While the term blacklist has never meant to refer to skin color, we want to make sure that new players don’t think that it might.

Other Changes

– Unity/UJS: Fixed the turn number displayed in the top left corner when watching turns. It displays one number lower than it did before. Thanks to the person who reported this on twitch.
– Unity/UJS: Fixed a bug with mods that change territory ownership before deployments happen that would cause an error if someone deployed on a territory that they ended up not owning when the deploy order executed.
– All: Sped up the animation speed slightly when watching turns play out.
– All: Added a pop-up message the first time a new player opens Quickmatch that explains how it works.
– All: Players below level 10 can no longer create private mail threads.
– All: The surrender tutorial no longer requires watching an ad to play. Thanks to dannyB for reporting this.
– All: Fixed an issue with FFA coin tournaments that caused the second place prize to be wasted if it didn’t divide evenly. It now gives the left over coins to first place. Thanks to Wayne for reporting this.
– All: Fixed some issues to improve the reliability of 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 ladder.
– UJS: Fixed a bug that could cause alerts to close right after opening. Thanks to TBest for figuring out how to reproduce this.
– Website: Separated Wiki and FAQ into separate items under the Help menu.
– Website: Fixed a bug with surrender tutorial and Facebook login. Thanks to Syphen for reporting this.