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Updates

Lead Update - September 2023

Hi everyone,


It feels so great to be back and I can’t wait to dive straight into this last stretch of 2023! We have lots of great stuff in the works, with changes that are going to benefit SkyBlade for the better, and we’re not far away from getting them released onto the server.


We’ve had some great feedback lately about how we deliver our responses, changes and commitments regarding suggestions, updates and upcoming projects. As Lead, I absolutely agree and we will be addressing these starting today.


Deep breaths… this is a long post!



Extensive and Detailed Update Posts

From this point onwards, larger updates, changes and releases will receive detailed changelogs and announcement posts, including what’s new, what we’ve removed and what we’ve changed - if and when applicable. Sadly, Discord has a character limit (as we all know) so we’ve built a shiny new home for these Updates directly on our website. In fact, you’re in that shiny new home right now! Don’t worry, though, we’ll continue to update everyone with key posts over on Discord, but this will be the home of all the extra bits and bobs. Over time, you’ll be able to browse through all the Update posts and see how far SkyBlade has progressed over the weeks, months, and even years!



What Are We Working On?

Yeah… I’m 99% certain you’ve all wondered what SkyBlade’s releasing next or what our next big project is. The best part is, you can now stop all your wondering! We’ve created a public Trello page where you can view our roadmap to see what’s in the pipeline and what you can expect to be released next.


We hope this creates greater hype over each update and can allow our community to suggest feedback and ideas for us to include in the stuff we’re developing. Some projects that are in their very early stages (or don’t even have a name or foundation yet) likely won’t appear on this page until we’re certain they're a project we’re going ahead with. We don’t want to say we’re working on insert NEW game here and then later decide to pull it due to lack of resources or us wanting to put funding into other projects.



Discord Rules Refinement

I’ll admit that the rules we featured in the “Hello” channel on our Discord server were limited. In fact, there were occasions when someone sent a message containing something that we would’ve deemed against the rules (like sending a download link) but it wasn’t actually stated in the rules! With User Safety in mind, we’ve updated our Discord rules to contain more of what you can’t do when chatting on our Discord server. We advise @everyone (ha, get it) to review these to prevent any punishments moving forward.


Map Submissions

We’re changing the way we ask and obtain maps from the community. Starting today, we will no longer be creating “Map Competitions” for certain games, but rather creating a way for you to submit a map for any game of your choosing and at any time you please.


Each game has its own set of map requirements (you probably know the Spleef and TNT Run ones off by heart by now), but these are in place to ensure all our maps are fully playable, consistent in gameplay, create a fair experience for everyone and, of course, are appropriate for all. I must make it clear, however, that submitting a map won’t mean it will be added instantly, and it might not even be added at all if it doesn’t follow our guidelines and meet our standards. If you’re interested in submitting a map, you can do so here.



Helper Applications

We’ve had a few people ask about these recently, and I’m pleased to report that they’re open right now. We have an amazing team of people who help to keep SkyBlade a safe, friendly and welcoming place for all - and if you’re interested in being one of those people, apply now! We’ve updated our Staff Requirements and Advice, so please read over everything before you apply. For the time being, we don’t plan to close these applications, so take your time to think and consider if you’d like to be a part of the team.



Changes to Vote to Donate

In case you didn’t know, we have a program that allows you to convert points you receive from voting into real-life charity donations. We’re thrilled to see so many choosing to donate their points every month. For every 500 points donated, we donate £0.05 - and when you (and everyone else) have the chance to donate multiple times a month, this makes a real difference. I’m happy to announce that, starting in October, we’re bumping each vote point donation to £0.10! Over time, this is going to make an even bigger difference.



Background Testing

Before anything is published to the server, many tests are conducted to ensure we’re delivering functional and operational content to our community. Just like any other server (and game for that matter), some things slip through the gaps as we don’t always have the resources or players to find every little issue. From now on, in our efforts to deliver better and even higher-quality games and features, we’ll be inviting players outside of the SkyBlade Team to exclusively play-test our new games and features before they’re made public. Not only will this help us to find any minor (or critical) issues before release, but will allow us to obtain feedback to make them better!


Because sometimes getting a group of players online at the same time can be a challenge, we plan to spontaneously invite a group of players to help play-test whenever there’s a set of players already online. Lookout for any “we’re looking for people to be online at <time> to test out our new update for <game>” messages on Discord, as well.



Offline Warnings

While our punishment systems have been the most advanced they’ve ever been, there has been one great flaw in them for quite some time: issuing a warning to a player when they’re no longer online. As they’re offline, they can’t see the “you have received a warning” notification - which is neither helpful to us nor them. Starting today, that changes. If you’ve received a warning while offline, you will be notified of the warning when you next join.




Inappropriate Names

Before, we completely banned a player who was using an inappropriate username on SkyBlade. This meant that they had to go through the appeals process once they changed their name and wanted to re-join. Starting today, that all changes. From now on, players will only be blocked from connecting if we deem their name to be inappropriate. Once they change their name, they’ll be able to re-join again (on the condition they didn’t change it to another inappropriate name) and no appeal will need to be processed.




Legacy Library

The introduction of Legacy (/legacy) has been great for SkyBlade. Not only can we keep our library of mini-games high, but it also prevents them from being completely removed due to a lack of resources, popularity, or plans to no longer support or fund games. We understand that the accessibility of these Legacy games isn’t great, especially for new players. By the end of 2023, we will have a dedicated button built right into the main Game Selector for all players to find and play our Legacy Library.



The Handling of Suggestions

We cannot be more thankful for the time people spend suggesting their ideas and feedback to help build a better SkyBlade - but we do understand that a lot of suggestions tend to get left in the dark for quite some time. I understand that, because we don’t make our response to each suggestion public, it's not helpful to the person suggesting nor to the community who may like the idea. Starting today, a thread will be attached to each suggestion made, containing our response to it.



Discord Server Boosting Rewards

We want to give back to those who choose to Boost and support our Discord server. Starting today, for every Boost you give to our Discord server (every month), we’ll give you 100 Stars on SkyBlade. Boosters will also be separated from other online members, to show who's supporting the server with (a) Boost(s). Within 24 hours of your Boost being applied, you’ll receive a message on SkyBlade, either when you’re online or when you next join.




Have Discord Nitro but haven’t made use of your included Boosts?

Now could be a great time to use ‘em - but you didn’t hear that from me.


 

I would personally like to thank each and every one of you who continues to support us, helping keep SkyBlade going and to build our community to be even stronger. Together, we make a difference!


I’m back - batteries recharged - let’s do this! 🚀


Ryan

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