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First and foremost, sincere apologies to all of you that have been affected by the recent issues affected by the broken search function. The issues run a little deeper than that, but that is the most visible of the problems.
The problem lies with Darkadia's ability to communicate with Giant Bomb. Giant Bomb have recently tightened up restrictions around access to their data and Darkadia has run squarely into these restrictions.
Update: Darkadia Pro has now launched.
As Darkadia Pro nears its official launch, I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you an update on where it stands, where it's going and what it means to the service.
Darkadia has been running for more than 4 years and there are now over 5,000 registered members. It's not a massive amount by any stretch of the imagination, but given the fact I've done next to no promotion, it's a number I'm quite satisfied with.
Just a short announcement to say that Darkadia Pro members are now able to configure and describe multiple copies of any game in their libraries.
I know there is currently no way to actually sign up for Darkadia Pro. This will be addressed very soon. Of course, anyone who has previously donated to Darkadia has automatically been upgraded to Darkadia Pro, and you can enjoy the new features right away.
For more information on Darkadia Pro, see this post.
The observant amongst you may have noticed that I rolled out a change to the copies tab on the game dialog last week (previously known as the "collection" tab). The new tab gives you extra fields to capture information about your specific copy of the game, e.g. where and when you purchased it, whether it's a physical copy or digital media, etc. Today I rolled out some fixes and improvements to the tab.
Here's a small update with some big potential to tide you over until I roll out the new categorisation features: Darkadia now lets you, dear member, write game reviews.
Reviews are published on the game detail pages for all to see, so why not let us know why we should be playing (or avoiding!) some games.
Wondering why you should bother? Well, there's a nifty game recommendation in the pipeline and your ratings and reviews will help improve the relevancy of game recommendations both for yourself and other members.
As a freelance web developer I can't deny that it's good to be busy, and over the last 8 months or so I've been involved in building and launching two large websites. The frustrating counterpoint to that is, of course, that I just don't have as much time to spend on my own projects.
With this busy period coming to an end, it was really good to get back on to Darkadia and finally begin to put in place the various ideas that had been simmering in my mind for too long.
This one's been on the to-do list for far too long, but I'm happy to let you know that Darkadia now supports custom tagging. That means you can now create and filter by your very own custom categories.
You can create new tags straight from the pop-up dialogues, or head over to your profile editing screen to edit or delete existing tags.
So, how about a "play next" category, or "favourite co-op games", or "for sale"... The choice is yours!
Here's a wee Friday morning update for you... Darkadia badges! Now you can show off your games collection on your own website, or as a signature in forum posts.
Badges are updated once per day, so it'll stay fresh no matter where you use it. You'll find yours under the extras tab in your account settings.
I've made a change to the library category filter in response to your feedback. You can now once again make your own combinations of categories to filter your library by. The pile of shame super-category remains.
The shelved and unshelved categories have their own entries in the list, so if you want to exclude shelved games from a view, you have to specifically select the latter. The exception to this is the pile of shame, which does exclude shelved games.
Update: The uncompleted category now also excludes shelved games.
Hi all. I've just released an update to Darkadia that changes EVERYTHING. And by everything, I mean just one thing: the way you browse your library.
Gone are the navigation buttons and the ability to scroll left and right. Now to see all of your games on one magnificent page, all you have to do is... scroll down.
Darkadia updates are a bit like buses then, aren't they? You don't get one for ages, then two come along at once!
And this time it's the library filters that have received a bit of attention. Along with a new look and feel, there's also a shiny new keyword search — finding a particular game in your library has never been easier.
The old toggles have been moved to Filter by category dropdown, and they've gained some new new friends. Look out for the combination categories such as Pile of shame, Completed and shelved, and Played and uncompleted.
I'm once again very pleased to announce an update to Darkadia; one which is long overdue. This is an important update -- if not the most expansive -- as it lays the groundwork for a number of future updates. Work is already underway on some of those, so hopefully I won't have to keep you waiting too long.
Here's what's changed:
I'm very pleased to announce an update to Darkadia, which brings several improvements and a significant new feature: wishlists! The first thing you'll notice is a new wishlist tab on your profile. Your wishlist will be empty right now so head over to the games page to populate your list. Look for the star icon to add an item to your wishlist.
Quick update today to add a new feature. It's now possible to make your profile and game collection private (i.e. visible only to you). You'll find the new option on your profile edit screen.
More updates are coming... Please check back soon!
A quiet week day job wise meant I could get around to crossing a few items off Darkadia's ever growing to do list. There's little I like better than pushing out new features, so here are a few things for you to check out in this new release:
Hi all. Happy to say I'm back with a few changes, and some renewed energy to get the ball rolling on even more new features in the near future.
A couple of changes in my professional situation meant a bit of a slowdown towards the end of 2011. I'd quit my job to begin a career as full-time freelancer. I was pretty excited about this as I thought it meant I could spend more time on Darkadia. Well, the exact opposite happened. I got busier quicker than I expected and when you're being paid by the hour, then it's not very hard to set priorities.
It's been almost six weeks since the last update, but I've been hard at work bringing you today's update. What started as a small task to add support for game ratings, has ended in a sprawling update that includes a number of architectural changes all designed to bring speed improvements.
As ever, if you spot any problems, do drop me a line.
Just a small update today, but one that will hopefully make your platform tagging a bit easier. In addition to seeing the number of games you have tagged for each platform, there is now also a special "uncategorized" option on the platform filter dropdown list, which will allow you to see which games still need to be tagged.
This also means that every user will see the platform dropdown, regardless of whether they have tagged any of their games.
I'm really pleased to announce that support for game platforms has finally been added!
You'll immediately notice a new platforms tab on the game tooltips. Clicking that will reveal a list of all platforms that particular game has been released on. Simply tick those that apply to you. Once you've configured a few platforms, reload your library and you'll notice that a new filter dropdown for platforms has now appeared. Hurrah!
There have also been a few other changes, visual tweaks and bug fixes:
It's taken a bit longer than I expected to get this update out the door. What started as the relatively easy task of enabling browser back and forward button support and deeplinking for libraries, quickly spiralled into a large rewrite of the library handling function. The result though is a much more efficient platform that's a lot faster and a lot easier to build on for future enhancements.
The site is now also running on brand spanking new server. Here's hoping we can avoid another meltdown come the next traffic surge.
I've just released an update that makes the library filter buttons a lot more useful. A much requested feature, you can now filter your games by the inverse of the loved, owned, played, and finished toggles.
Want to see which games you own, but haven't played? No problem. Want to see which games you love, but haven't finished? Go crazy.
These past few days I've been concentrating mainly on content and stylistic changes to the site.
You may have noticed a new header bar along the top with an expanded menu. I'd always felt that the old header took up too much space and was... unsubtle, for lack of a better word. The new design respects the fact that this site is actually about your library. The expanded menu also contains a much asked for logout link.
The number one complaint I receive about Darkadia has to do with users not being able to find all the games available in Giant Bomb's database. Not all of that is my fault; the search facility provided by Giant Bomb still has no support for special characters (e.g. ü, é, etc.), and there is no ranking by relevance of the search results provided, meaning that searching for "The Dig", would only return that title as the 57th result. Not ideal, as you can probably imagine.
By now you might have heard about the outages being suffered by Amazon Web Services. At the time of writing, there are still issues to be resolved, according to the company's service dashboard.
Turns out Giant Bomb, whose database this site relies on to do its thing, makes use of Amazon and has similarly been down all day. As a result you may experience timeout errors when performing certain functions that rely on connectivity to Giant Bomb.
Small update today as a new tab appears on your games' tooltips, which provides more information about the game. You can now see when you added the game to your library, when it was released, who developed it, who published it, as well as a confirmation of the assigned genres.
The box art has also been retooled slightly and a maximum height as been imposed.
As ever, if you spot any problems, please use the feedback form.
Just wanted to catch up and lay down the number of changes I pushed out in last week's ALPHA6 update. The update coincided with a nice bit of publicity from Whiskey Media, the parent company of Giant Bomb, whose massive database of games I use to power this site. The publicity led to a rather nice bump in the user numbers, but excitingly opened up some opportunities to work with Whiskey Media in the future.
There have been a few updates recently, released as ALPHA4 and ALPHA5 respectively.
ALPHA4 fixed a caching bug and added a "no genres" option to the genres filter (you'll only see the genre filter once you've applied a genre to at least one of your games).
Just a short note to say that I've released ALPHA3 of Darkadia, which brings with it a single new feature and a bunch of bug fixes, but also removes the requirement to register with an invitation code.
Games that have been newly added to your library will now be marked as "new" for a period of 30 days.
I'm very pleased to announce some new features that have been added to the site.
Following on from last month's addition of a facility to add encryptable notes for each of the games in your library, you are now also able to categorise your games by genre. You'll find the genre option on the game pages (for games in your library), as well as on the tooltips that pop up when you hover the mouse over an item in your library.
Once you've set at least one genre, a genre filter will appear on your library. It'll let you filter the current view by the genre you select.