Archive for the ‘Notices’ Category

The Glitch That Launched A Thousand Ships

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Not exactly a glitch and not quite a thousand ships, but I apologize for inadvertently launching everybody’s vessels in celebration of New Year’s Day.

There is currently no easy way for me to inactivate periodic events, so instead I set them to happen annually at midnight each January 1st, the idea being that just before January 1st I would change the date to July 1st and then change it back soon afterward. To make a long story short, I forgot. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. In the meantime, enjoy the show!

Vessels Are Back On The Map

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

It has been a long (steampunk) road back to where we were a week ago, but the vessels are finally back on the map. Although there are no visible changes on the outside, there have been lots of positive changes behind-the-scenes which have greatly improved the system. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Server Outage

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

We experienced an unexpected server outage for important maintenance this morning, followed by a maintenance-triggered issue with our blog. Both of those problems have been resolved, obviously. We generally do not have issues like these, so we definitely apologize for the inconvenience.

Should you ever have a problem with Steampunk Road where you can not connect to the game, forums, or blog, then please head on over to the Steampunk Road page on Facebook and look for an explanatory post and/or leave a comment there.

Peace Talks Among the Guilds

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Although war was expected to break out among the guilds today, last minute peace talks have silenced the hawks … at least for now. We will keep you abreast of how the talks are going and what this means for you.

What this really means is, due to the time spent fixing the Facebook* registration issues yesterday, the Guild Wars are not quite ready for primetime. Great progress has been made, but a few wrinkles still need to be ironed out before we can declare all-out war. We hope and anticipate that the Guild Wars will be up and running tomorrow.

*Twitter Login was fixed yesterday as well. We will have a detailed blog post about that later in the week.


Facebook Registrations Fixed

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

If you tried to register using your Facebook login any time between now (September 1, 2013) and immediately after the guilds were introduced (August 15, 2013), then you may have been puzzled by your complete lack of a guild. That issue has been identified and rectified. New registrations with Facebook login should work fine now with no problems, and those of you who had registered prior to the introduction of guilds should have had no issues.

If you ever have an issue with the game, please report it in the forums or send an email to “Bugs” at

Happy Birthday To Us!

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 celebrates its second birthday today! Check out our birthday hat on the home page. (You may have to clear your cache to see the birthday hat.)

Beta Launch Delayed

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Dear Friends of Steampunk Road,

It is with great regret that we must postpone our beta launch previously scheduled for September 2nd. Looking at how much time is left and what we have left to do, there is just no way that it can all get done in time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

That does not mean that there will not be something new and interesting September 2nd. We still hope to launch the Guild Wars on that date. In addition, we have a new game (with a very steampunk pedigree) which we hope to debut then as well. Finally, we may unveil the easier-but-still-challenging puzzle we wrote about earlier.

Once again, our apologies for this temporary setback.

Theatre Chat Stress Test Update

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

This is a reminder that we will be performing stress tests on our Theatre Chat subsystem tomorrow and that we absolutely need your help to accomplish this. We regret that we will not be available for the 4 PM UTC/12 noon EDT Friday, August 23 stress test. Please do participate in that chat if you can not participate in the later chat. Otherwise, please join us for the 2 AM UTC Saturday, August 23/10 PM EDT Friday, August 23 stress test, which we will be attending. See this post for more information on how to participate. Thanks again for you assistance, and we hope to chat with you online tomorrow!

Theatre Chat

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

First off, here is a really simple opportunity for you to help out. We need to test our browser-based chat system under as heavy a load as we can wrangle up. We will have two test sessions. The first session will be at 4 PM UTC (12 noon EDT) on Friday, August 23. The second will be at 2 AM UTC on Saturday, August 24 (which is 10 PM EDT, Friday, August 23). Use your favorite online world time converter to find those times in your neck of the woods (EDT = Eastern Daylight Saving Time = New York, USA time).

You will need to do the following to help us test the chat:

  1. Login to Steampunk Road
  2. Launch your vessel (using “Set Destination”) if you are currently docked (stationary)
    (This is very important. Different chats take place in different ports. We want everybody on the “Travel Chatter” chat used for those in transit, because the more the merrier.)
  3. Click the “Chat” button.

“Theatre Chat” is our unique chat system that addresses a problem frequently encountered with other chat clients. When engaging in a chat with a featured guest, you want to focus on what the featured guest has to say. Whereas there are methods to highlight certain speakers’ text in other chat clients, they are often ad hoc and rely upon the cooperation of everyone involved.

Even with highlighting in place, it is too easy for the featured speaker’s posts to get lost among the chatter of the other people attending. “Theatre Chat” solves this problem by dividing the chat into two parts: the stage and the (peanut) gallery. Featured speakers, known as “actors”, have their text appear on the stage: Everyone else is a “guest”, and their posts go to the gallery. In this way, important dialog is kept separate from the less-important (but usually equally entertaining) side conversations. What is more, only actors have access to HTML features that can be useful in the right hands but annoying or dangerous in the wrong hands.

“Theatre Chat” is available for use outside of Steampunk Road as a drop-in feature for any web site. Make inquiries here in the comments, in the forums, drop us a line, or just ask in the chat while we are testing. See you there and then, and thank you for your assistance!

Avatar Resize

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

We are working on a subsystem that includes a graphic element that you, the good people of Steampunk Road, create. It is always difficult to figure out how to handle user-generated graphics because of the difficulties of size and proportion. While researching the issue, we came across the fact that avatar images on Steampunk Road were being displayed with an odd ratio of width to height. Portraits are usually 2:3 for 35 mm film, 3:4 for older point-and-shoot digital cameras, 4:5 for some portraits (“8 x 10 glossy”), and 9:16 for widescreen digital cameras. After much debate, it has been decided to display avatar images at the 3:4 ratio. We recommend using an image that is at least 120 pixels by 160 pixels. We have also increased the limit on file size by a factor of ten: from 1 MB before to 10 MB now. In the near future, you will be able to click on an image to see it at a higher resolution, so that extra storage will come in handy. If you have not created an avatar image yet, or if you just want to touch it up, consider this your invitation to do so.