The Newsroom

Happy New Year and enjoy the Winter Update! :D
Does a page look really weird? Your browser may have cached an old css stylesheet. Try refreshing the page or restarting your browser (or computer) to see if that fixes the problem. Still having an issue? Post it on the Preemptive Winter Update Glitches topic on the forums.

As you can no doubt see by the site's radically different appearance, the major update that I've been talking about for two months has been released! There are many, many things that are different now. I'll go over a few of them, but I have redone so many things that you'll just have to discover most of the changes yourself. ;P

New Layout

This may be the most obvious change. Everything is wintery now! But the changes go much further than than a new banner and a new color scheme. The layout has been completely re-coded from the ground up. There are now click drop-down menus to allow for more navigation options. If you aren't a big fan of drop-downs I'll let you know my reasoning for why I changed from the previous system. Before this new layout, you would click a button and go directly to a hub page. You would have to wait for that page to load and then click another link to actually get to where you wanted to go. With drop-downs you still have to click a couple times to get to your destination, but you do not have to wait for the page to load in-between. This is especially good for people who are browsing ibbits on mobile. I suggest you try the new layout and navigation style for a few days before passing judgement. If something is still bothering you about the way the new layout is set up let me know (if it is obviously broken and not just a change, let me know sooner rather than later so that I can fix it ;P) and I'll consider changing it. We'll all have to try out this new layout before we figure out the perfect site flow so suggestions are always welcome.
Also, if you happen to be on a laptop or a desktop, try double-clicking the buttons on the navigation bar. They'll take you directly to various pages rather than opening a drop-down. I'm not sure if I like this feature yet, but try it out and let me know what you think.

House System

For those with some extra bits to burn, you can visit the Housing Office (click on the compass icon, and then City Hall to get there) to purchase a home so that you can organize and store more items. You can find out more information about the benefits of buying a house by asking the receptionist there.

ibbit things

Just a side note, I've temporarily disabled pet activities since I'm still tweaking them. They'll be back up very soon. ;D In the meantime, there are a few fun things that I've added. Now each ibbit has their own unique size within a range of sizes depending on their species. You can find your ibbit's size on their profile or on their ibbit detail page. The larger your ibbit the more you'll have to feed them, but they can also carry more things in their inventory. Also, ibbit's food preferences have been redone. Each ibbit now has their own unique favorite flavors. It is still based somewhat upon species, but there is a lot more room for variation now. There are even a couple crazy Kakin'eko out there that hate meat! Who would have thought? ;P

More stuff...

I had a ton more stuff written up, but I am not being very articulate (I mean, it's late after all, right?)...I will catalog more updates in the morning. XD; For now, explore the new layout and check out the updates! And don't forget to get your New Year's item! Pretty much everything has been redone even if it looks pretty similar to how it was before so overall everything should be much less glitchy. If you do find a glitch, let me know and I'll take a look. Have fun!
posted by heidi on Dec 31, 2014, 10:27 pm
Major Winter Update to be released on New Years Day!

That super major update that I keep talking about is going to be released on New Years! To be more specific, it is being released the very first second of 2015 if everything goes as planned. So if you can take a break from all the New Year's fun, check out ibbits around midnight tomorrow to see what all the fuss is about! :D

Note: The site may see some downtime tomorrow as I move all the new files from the testing server over to the main server. Everything should be in order before the big reveal at 12:00 AM 1/1/2015.
posted by heidi on Dec 30, 2014, 7:55 pm
Hey everybody! Here is what I've been working on recently...
Hello fellow citizens of Bita! Sorry that I haven't posted any updates recently. I caught the coding bug and decided to re-engineer a lot of things. As you may have seen on the forums, I am currently working on updating the item system to make it more robust. I'm really close to being done! I'm currently testing things on my test server so that everything will work nicely once I roll out the new features. Here is a list of all the things that I've been working on and am almost ready to unveil:

finally switching from mySQL to mySQLi
This is a major update that I've been meaning to do for a while. You guys won't really notice a difference, but it is a much more secure way to do things. For those who are interested, here's some more information about mySQL vs mySQLi.

adding back the "house" system like in Starbits Pets
I posted my ideas for this on the forums a few weeks ago (read the topic here), and I'm making it into a reality! For those of you who played Starbits, you'll remember that you had a House where your items were stored. Your pets could eat/use the items in your house, and having nice items in your house made your ibbits feel happy and safe. I'm bringing this system back with a couple differences, which you can read about on the forum topic I linked to.

making everything involving items easier and prettier I've completely re-done the way anything involving items looks, which is great because everything is currently really clunky. Moving items from one location to another will be a breeze, and every time you click on one of your items you'll get a much more detailed overview of the items stats and information. Check out the screenshots below...
Yes, that is a Zikklefruit. ;P As you can see, you'll be able to see much more information about each item, such as its effects, where you can buy/sell the item, and which ibbits you have can wear the item. I've also switched the way the item dialog box opens from whatever weird way I had jerry rigged before, to the much nicer jQuery ui Dialog Widget.

re-coding the shops, both buying/selling
The way that the shops are currently coded is really terrible so I've been working on making them much better. There's now a lot more room for making each shop a little different which gives me many more opportunities to take advantage of the shop karma system which I bet you guys didn't even know existed. You'll be able to talk to the shopkeepers too, and perhaps get little side quests and things which will be fun. I've also re-coded item selling so that it actually works, which is obviously a good thing.

re-coding rock smashing and mineral refining
I've redone the scripts involving rock smashing and mineral refining too! Now when you smash a rock you'll be able to choose which pickaxe that you want to use so that you can have more control over the wear and tear of your tools. Also, when you refine minerals the chance that you'll get gravel is much lower. To balance this out though, you are also less likely to get rare minerals such as Pyrite and Turquoise, but overall I think this is more fair. Even better, when you go to the Adventure Outpost, you'll be able to check how many minerals are currently being refined and how much longer it will take. Neat!

objectives/quest system
Just to add another layer of flavor to the site I've coded an objective system. That will make it easier for me to add fun things like shopkeeper quests, or really all sorts of fun things. It will also serve as a guide for new users to learn about the site. For example, one simple objective a user may get is to "Learn how to open a rock." They will get an objective that will give them an option to talk to Farran the Adventure Outpost shopkeeper about rocks and tools, and then the option to refine minerals will be unlocked. This is kind of a way of teaching new concepts which I think will be pretty cool.

Phew! This is like the longest news post ever! :o Anyway, the features that I have mentioned above are all things that I have 99% done, so they should be coming your way very soon! :D Let me know if you have any other ideas or comments in the forums. I still have to finish coding some other stuff before I can release these features since they are all dependent on the new item system which I am still testing...but I promise that it will be worth the wait!
posted by heidi on Nov 26, 2014, 5:21 pm
ibEX item refund and some goodies

I'll start with the goodies! Since there is a lot of construction going on around the site, I've added a nifty new badge. See if you can get it! ;D Also, there is a new secret emote that you can use on the forums if you can figure out the code for it. Discuss your theories on the forums. ;D

Now to business...If you had a trade or a trade offer going your items have been removed from the ibEX and put into your backpack. You should have received a datagram if this applies to you. Like I mentioned in my last news post, I'm reorganizing a lot of things in regards to the items system. Once I'm done everything should be much simpler. Hopefully, a lot of glitches will be sorted out as well. Once I'm done fixing everything up I can do a bunch of fun things like user shops and more item features.

posted by heidi on Nov 7, 2014, 4:13 pm
Some new things coming your way
This week I am planning on updating a few things to make way for some new features. Because of this, some odd glitches may happen. I'm going to be focusing on the items system, fixing some glitches (tool use, food servings, etc.) and overall updating how that all works. So, if you notice something odd going on, don't worry about it. Just check back after a while. If the problem lasts more than a few hours or if you lose an item then send me a datagram or post it on the forums so everything can get sorted out. Thanks for your patience everyone! Expect some cool things in the near future!
posted by heidi on Nov 3, 2014, 11:07 am