"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night"
The By Stars Above update is a Major SCG update implemented on August 5th, 2019. The goal of the update was a massive overhaul to the group's optimization and automation efforts. Many new systems were designed to help automate the creation and flow of group data as well as massive changes to many different SCG systems.
Much of what is on this list may not seem important, but as a mostly one man operation, all of the tools I can use to better spend my time allows me to focus more on fun things like new servers and such. This list is effectively and end all be all to any last big time sink I had to do to keep things up to standard.
Proxima has been in operation for a while now, but until now hasn't officially been announced. Proxima Centauri is a third bot account that is purely designed for interacting with / communicating with the SCG Servers directly. Both a Steam and Telegram bot, it allows me to update, view details, run scripts and more from my phone virtually anywhere. This was partly designed to replace our panel we used in the past and later designed to be super accessible.
The SCG File Manifest System is a series of tools that look for potential changes in assorted SCG server files. Data such as download lists, map files, MVM missions, etc. The system was designed to be openly flexible so that new files can be tracked on as easy as possible.
The system tracks map changes, mvm missions, store updates, downloadable file changes, and more.
The Jewelbox and main site now supports being able to login with Telegram as well as Steam. Discord is coming soon, pretty quickly hopefully. Adding a second login to your account allows to login with either or service. Note, you need to login first and add it in your settings.
Not exactly new, but never officially announced. The server population notifier is a feature built into Poe that allows him to check our server query list and look for active games. These games have an active threshold and an empty threshold, that determines when a game is starting up and when it has died off for the time being.
When Poe locates an active game, he alerts the appropriate Discord room and our Telegram announcements chat with the correct information.
As better explained below, much of the SCG website as well as the bots have had major code rewrites. The main reason for this is simply as time as gone on and I have become a better coder, I have been able to look back and see things I could improve and clean up. A big result of this has been to redesign the SCG code bases like real ones competent people use! This means whenever I need to add a new feature, design a new thing, or fix up a bug, everything is super duper organized now.
It may not seem very important, but already it has proven to me the effectiveness in how quickly I was able to add some new features and whatnot.
- The updates page has been completely redesigned, and now uses the file manifest system tools to display server manifest log changes
- Updates using the old style system have been added to their own special archive page
- Server query data is now properly cached to improve website performance
- The Welcome page has been redesigned
- The navigation on the servers page has been improved
- The overall design of the servers page has been changed to be consistent with most other pages
- Many pages now have reference to Jewelbox posts when needed, namely the help page and server pages that feature plugin lists and so on
- The downloads page has been completely rewritten and is now based on the file manifest system.
- Map icons on the main site have been changed to support games other than just TF2.
- The feedback page has been removed due to lack of use
- The contribution donation page has been redesigned to better match other page designs
- When donating, a missing follow up page has been fixed
- The Jewelbox back end has been almost completely re-written to be much more optimized and the code base has been immensely cleaned up and redundancies reduced
- To better optimize user experience, the Jewelbox now uses much of the same theme scripts as the main site.
- The new discussion, edit discussion, and draft discussion pages now have an auto-save in the event of page problems
- Channels can now have a post limit assigned to them, discussions made under a post limit cannot be deleted manually (This may be reworked later on)
- There are a number of cosmetic editions added to improve member experience, namely a warning before deleting things
- The settings page has been tweaked and the option for adding a second login has been added
- Avatar handling has been optimized, and avatar sizes have been increased to 184x184
- The search page has been completely redone and is completely optimized by handling multiple search types at once
- Main tags (Tags that admins set) are now separate from normal tags and are searched differently
- If the latest post on a discussion is deleted, that discussion will update the latest poster info with the most recent existing reply
- When you reply to a discussion and your comment will fall on a page other than page 1, you will be taken to that comment directly
- Error handling inconsistency has been cleaned up
- Rare cases that weren't properly error handled are now handled correctly
- Pagination has been redesigned and all errors in page views should be fixed
- Error handling for permission errors has been fixed so if an admin sets something on a member's discussion they do not have access to, the original settings will stay and not be reset
While there was a lot presented here, I have stressed that a lot of it was for me, both emotionally and for optimizations sake. But do you really think I was going to just end it here without something useful?
Sven Coop will soon be getting an update that will add all of the important files to our download infrastructure, allowing people to download the hefty amount of files required to play in advance of future game events. On a funny note, Sven Coop was the original motivation behind for the file manifest system. I designed the original concept around it, however it isn't already compatible with the current system!
We will also be organizing the server finally and make it easier to play by yourselves outside of events. This means adding more things to the regular game pool, planning out mods and so on.
But alas, that is it for now! Kudos to you if you read this entire thing, and as always thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a member of SCG. I have lots of things in store, and I appreciate your patience!
SCG relies on contributions to cover hosting costs, but also if you'd like to support the work I do and give me more time to do it, consider chipping some money in to help cover costs / support my efforts! You can learn how here!