Friday, July 1, 2011

New Release Today

Today we have released the latest version of Railroad Empire. There are a lot of changes today and most of them are related to the game's infrastructure and not the mechanics of the game. Below I will be highlighting each of the changes.

Facebook Credits
Facebook has required that all games on the Facebook Canvas use Facebook Credits by July 1st. (That's the reason that the release was today.) We now support Facebook Credits in the Canvas. When you click on Get More next to Board of Director Points you will be able to buy Board Points with Facebook Credits. Also, anything that costs Board Points can also be directly purchased with Credits.

Standalone Version
We have also released a standalone version of the game. You can now play the game without the Facebook Canvas. There are two options here. You can create a new game using your Google, Yahoo, AOL or other OpenId account or you can simply login to your current game using your Facebook Account. Also there is a  link the In Canvas version of the game at the bottom of the page that says "switch to standalone".

In the standalone version you have the full width of your browser for the game, as well as a slight speed increase. Also the payment system is Super Rewards instead of Facebook Credits. What happened to Tapjoy you ask? read on.

Go here to logon directly:
http://www.therailroadempire.com/login

New Customer Support Mechanism
Now that there is a standalone version of the game we needed a customer support system that would work well both on Facebook and off Facebook. We have chosen to use Get Satisfaction. You will notice that the Facebook Fan Page has a button labelled support that will take you to Get Satisfaction. Also in the game when you select the Help Forum it now takes you to Get Satisfaction. The FAQs are now driven directly from the most recent Get Satisfaction Questions. There is also a search feature on the FAQ page as well as in the Help Forum itself. You can also go directly to our support page:

http://support.therailroadempire.com/railroadempire

Standalone payments is now Super Rewards
A few days ago, we got an e-mail from Tapjoy that said they would be discontinuing their support for web based payments on the 15th of July, so we switched to Super Rewards which has said that their web based payment business is still strong.

Some Engines cost Board Points
Some engines have always cost board points, but a bug in the code was preventing the board points from showing and being charged. We have fixed that bug and now some Engines cost Board Points. We will be evaluating how users get and spend board points over the coming weeks and may modify this system as necessary. <Update> Due to a large amount of feedback most engines that cost board points before no longer cost board points.

Fixed loopholes and bugs related to multi-unit consists
When we released multiple units consists, there were a number of small bugs and loopholes that caused engines to disappear under some circumstances as well as allow you to buy engines you should not have been able to buy. We have fixed these issues.

Compare Engines temporarily disabled
The compare engines feature has been temporarily disabled because its current implementation did not work with multi-unit consists properly. We will be working to re-enable this feature shortly.

The Future
This month is the 1 year anniversary of launching Railroad Empire. We still have a lot of exciting stuff coming soon and we are excited about the coming year. Keep listening to this space for more exciting news.