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Brass: Lancashire» Forums » General

Subject: Brass Website is now open for beta testing rss

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Philip Eve
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Some of you may be aware that I have been making a website to allow people to play Brass against each other on the internet. That website is now ready, I think, to go into "beta testing". It is located at

http://wargamessoc.union.shef.ac.uk/brass/

(I know the URL is unwieldy. Hey, the hosting is free. Put it in your bookmarks.)

You are all invited to join the website and help test it out, and hopefully have a good time playing some games of Brass at the same time.

The site itself includes a (crude) facility allowing discussion threads, but feel free to use this thread too to ask questions or report problems (particularly if they relate to difficulties accessing or using the site).

I should emphasise that the website is in a beta testing state. That means I hope I've sorted out all the major bugs in it, but there might still be little problems with it, as well as bits that aren't as polished as they could be. But I think it's usable in the state it's in now, and certainly ready for playing a few games. So please don't be put off by the word "test".
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William Shields
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Cool! Hey, just curious: what's this written in?
 
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Josh Luub
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I created an account and went to the game you created; but there doesn't seem to be a button to join the game! Am I missing something?

edit: Working now...
 
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Philip Eve
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The site is written in PHP and MySQL.

Squonk, yes there was a problem initially, but it's sorted out now. (People were able to try to join but it didn't register properly. 4 people had already tried to join, which was why the system thought it was full.)

I need to warn anyone who has joined up before now (midnight GMT): If you chose a Secret Question other than the default when you made your account, the system hasn't remembered what question you chose. I have fixed the page now, but if you wanted to have a way to get your account back if you forget your password, you need to go to the change password page (get there via the "User Details" link at the top of the page) and set the correct question. You need to re-type the secret answer twice as well (sorry) but you don't need to choose a new password, just enter your current password. I am sorry for the trouble!
 
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Jeremiah Lee
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I'm excited to start playing, but I can't seem to join a game. I created an account, verified it, and I can successfully login. When I tried to join a game, though, it told me my password was incorrect (the button was there to join). My username on there is "jdl".

Am I doing something wrong?
 
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Philip Eve
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Was it this game?

http://wargamessoc.union.shef.ac.uk/brass/lobby.php?GameID=2

The guy who created it has made it "private". That means you need the game password to join it. That's not the same as your user password. Private games are so that someone can start a game and then invite only their friends, or something like that.
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Andrew Swan
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I've started a friendly public game and seek 2 or 3 more players:

http://wargamessoc.union.shef.ac.uk/brass/lobby.php?GameID=7

Will the system notify me when people join?
 
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Philip Eve
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The system SHOULD email you when the number of players reaches the maximum number you have set, PROVIDED you have set in your user profile the option to be emailed when it's your turn in a game. (I'm probably going to change this to make it on by default for new accounts.) As far as I know that is working, but it might be prudent to check in case I screwed that up.
 
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Maciej Welc
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Is this a PBEM?
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Bo Link
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I received an email once the minimum number of players joined the game I set up. I went ahead and started it as a three player just to get some testing done. Thanks again for setting this site up.
 
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Philip Eve
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macike wrote:
Is this a PBEM?


It can be played like a play by email, i.e. the system lets you know when it's your turn and you go on to the site and make your move. Games could also be played in a session if you and some others are on at the same time (although the board page does not automatically update, which hinders that because you would have to keep refreshing).
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Hammerite wrote:
It is located at

http://wargamessoc.union.shef.ac.uk/brass/

(I know the URL is unwieldy. Hey, the hosting is free. Put it in your bookmarks.)


So try this instead: http://snipr.com/brassgame

I just created a 3-player game ... c'mon ya'll!
 
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Andrew Swan
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Hammerite wrote:
The system SHOULD email you when the number of players reaches the maximum number you have set, PROVIDED you have set in your user profile the option to be emailed when it's your turn in a game. (I'm probably going to change this to make it on by default for new accounts.) As far as I know that is working, but it might be prudent to check in case I screwed that up.

Yep, it's working, thanks!
 
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g s
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Thanks so much! I own the game, but could never find other players. Now I'll finally get to give it a try.
 
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Jeff Michaud
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Hi Phil,

Thanks for doing this... Brass is a game I own but does not come out enough but should, so it's nice to now be able to play it online.

I hopefully can give you some more beta feedback/suggestions, but my biggest one is...

... use something other than PHP session keys/cookie to keep track of who you are. I'm finding those sessions on the server expire relatively quickly and I have to log back in all the time And I'm one of those folks who keeps their browser running for days (I hibernate the computer instead of shutting it down/rebooting).

BGG, Spielbyweb, Mabiweb, all have long living user tracking cookie(s) so users don't have to repeating logging in. I'm guessing you are currently using the PHP session stuff because it's easier to get the system going, but longer term another solution will make it more user friendly

Jeff
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Kirk Thomas
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I'm having trouble viewing the board - when it is displayed, there are big chunks missing. Are there specific browser requirements and/or settings I should be using? I'm currently using IE6.
 
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Ken Hill
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stlkt wrote:
I'm having trouble viewing the board - when it is displayed, there are big chunks missing. Are there specific browser requirements and/or settings I should be using? I'm currently using IE6.


I think there is a thread on his message board about issues with IE versions earlier than 7. You might want to look for that. He tested the site mainly with Firefox and I can attest that it works fine with it.
 
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Andrew Swan
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Hammerite wrote:
feel free to use this thread too to ask questions or report problems (particularly if they relate to difficulties accessing or using the site).

My comment after playing a couple of turns is that the page is too large and contains too much text, even for my 1650 x 1080 widescreen LCD. A first step to make the screen less "busy" would be to remove a lot of the help text. It could be moved to a separate help page, put into pop-up windows, and/or turned into tooltips. Most people who will come to the site to play would (indeed should) already know how to play the game, and will soon learn how to use your interface, so there's no real need for help text to be permanently displayed on the page (by all means, show it if the user makes a mistake).
 
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Philip Eve
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stlkt wrote:
I'm having trouble viewing the board - when it is displayed, there are big chunks missing. Are there specific browser requirements and/or settings I should be using? I'm currently using IE6.


Yes, there is a problem with IE versions before v7 that relate to it not understanding transparent PNG images. At the moment there is no workaround for this, you will have to upgrade to a more recent version of IE, or use Firefox or another browser.

game_boy wrote:
My comment after playing a couple of turns is that the page is too large and contains too much text, even for my 1650 x 1080 widescreen LCD. A first step to make the screen less "busy" would be to remove a lot of the help text. It could be moved to a separate help page, put into pop-up windows, and/or turned into tooltips. Most people who will come to the site to play would (indeed should) already know how to play the game, and will soon learn how to use your interface, so there's no real need for help text to be permanently displayed on the page (by all means, show it if the user makes a mistake).


Some of the help text can be turned off using the options on your user details page.
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Kirk Thomas
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Thanks Philip - I went to using Firefox and it works beautifully. And thanks for the site - I'm in the middle of my first two games, and after a bit of experimentation, have it all understood. Great game!
 
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Mike K
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I agree: thanks for giving me the impetus to finally getting Firefox 3. I'm amazed how much faster everything runs now.
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Henri Harju
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Just finished a 2 player game and after it I thought it would be cool to be able to re-play that game (or any game by the way). I don't know much about the coding side of the things so this might be infernally hard to realize or laughably easy..
 
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Subhan Michael Tindall
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Is this a good place for UI suggestions?
1) move the list of cards in your hand down to the move entry area instead of above the game board
2) highlight cities on the board that match cards in your hand in some fashion.
3) move the move entry box up to directly underneath the game board display instead of at the bottom of the page. It's really hard to set up my move with constant scrolling up & down to check the cards in my hand, the board, & my move entry.
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g s
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1) You can see the list of your cards in the drop down action box, so that's not much of a problem, IMO.

3) This would be nice.

I really wish the online game could be more like the standalone version, but that's probably not possible.

Great game! So nice to have a way to play it online.

subhan wrote:
Is this a good place for UI suggestions?
1) move the list of cards in your hand down to the move entry area instead of above the game board
2) highlight cities on the board that match cards in your hand in some fashion.
3) move the move entry box up to directly underneath the game board display instead of at the bottom of the page. It's really hard to set up my move with constant scrolling up & down to check the cards in my hand, the board, & my move entry.
 
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Henri Harju
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Another thing.

Do we really need the Friendly, non-friendly separation? Could you at least set the default setting to be Non-friendly?
 
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