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Return of the itch.io changelog: Markdown, Sub Prducts, Jam Updates & more

Hello everyone, it’s been a while since we’ve had a formal post on our Updates Blog.

We haven’t been sitting around doing nothing, in fact we’ve added a ton of stuff. I ran into this issue where I felt like every update had to come out as a big release with plenty of fan-fare. This didn’t match up with how development was happening though, with scattered fixes and enhancements all over the place. News of those changes got lost in various support tickets and message board posts, or maybe was never posted at all.

For this reason I’m going to change how updates are announced. We’re going to treat the updates blog like a changelog, with a granular list of things that have been added, changed, or removed. I think it’s great to open up conversation about new features as they happening. Additionally, you can get early access to things that are still in development.

Let’s get started!

Changelog for the week of October 23, 2019

This one is going to be a bit beefier, highlighting some things that have been added over the past few months that didn’t get a proper announcement.

Note: Anything labeled as admin only is not generally available and can only be enabled by the site admins. If you’re interested in using something mentioned before general availability reach out to us

Markdown support

Markdown can be used instead of the rich text editor for community topics/replies, devlog posts, and some comments sections.

Sub-products

Deployed initial version of a system for sub-products (DLC, in-app purchases, etc.). (admin only)

You can see sub-products live from a buyer’s perspective on Bot Land.

  • Added sub-products dashboard to edit sub-products per project
    • Editable fields: title, cover image, price, description, external ID
    • Option to require ownership of parent project or not
    • Option to disable pay-what-you-want above the minimum
    • Option to disable gifting
  • Added redeem URL redirection to let third-party websites use itch.io to validate payments with sub-products
  • Payments dashboard summarizes sub-product purchases
  • Add support for associating metadata with purchases via signed string passed through to checkout
    • Metadata can be debugged when you’re the project owner on the checkout dialog

Homepage

  • Add new video module banner
    • We currently are creating these videos by cropping game trailers manually
      • If you’re a featured game that would like to provide your own video please tell us
    • Uses a new algorithm to randomly cycle through list of games based on your account type (whether you’ve bought things or not)
  • Optimized queries related to fetching games on sale to improve loading time

Game jams

  • Added a new submissions page for logged in users
    • Loads significantly faster for large game jams, aggressively caches results
    • Added sorting options: most karma, submission date, least rated, most rated
    • Shows all contributors and not just the page creator
    • Direct link to game randomizer filtered to the current jam
  • Comments on jam submissions will now link back to the commender’s submission if available to encourage cross-rating/commenting
  • Files on project pages and submissions pages now always show dates when part of a jam to help highlight any suspicious uploads
  • Added a “Report project” button on jam submission pages
    • Project reports go to our admin team first, not to jam hosts. In the future we’ll likely have a way for jam hosts to get reports directly. Any obvious foul play can be handled directly by our admin team, otherwise we can forward messages to hosts
    • Added new report type: Invalid jam submission
  • Game randomizer supports filtering to jam submissions only
  • Add secret JSON endpoints for fetching Jam results and Jam submissions, suitable for making custom tools to browse/visual jam submissions.
  • Jam results page shows all contributors and not only the project creator
  • Add ratings distribution graph on submission page (visible only to the owners of the particular submission)
  • Add warning when you try to leave jam submission rating page after selecting a rating without saving it
  • Fix bug where jam creator could not rate entries like a judge
  • Added support for disqualifying entries (admin only)
    • Disqualified entries stay as submitted, but aren’t eligible for being in the results, and don’t appear in the submissions list on the jam page.
    • A notice about disqualification is placed on the submission page

Ratings & reviews

Added a new Ratings and reviews page on your library for browsing your rating & review history

  • Analytics summarizes the total number of ratings and reviews
  • Graph of rating score distribution
  • Show what percentile you’re in compared to other accounts that rate projects
  • Filter your ratings/reviews by score
  • Filter to ratings that don’t include a review

Profile theme editor

The theme editor was updated to match the UI on the project page editor

  • All UI components rewritten, with consistent image, color, etc. pickers
  • Added font & font size picker
  • Added background image options
  • Added border radius option
  • More display options for the types of content shown
  • Scrollbar style based on the theme of the page, use browser default scrolling instead of JS
  • CSS editor can be popped out for a bigger text editor

Project comments

Comment rendering was rewritten for logged in users to make it easier to interact with comment threads

  • New comments load automatically as you scroll down
  • Replies/edits/deletes can be done inline, and show up without reloading the page (you can now comment on html5 games without messing up your progress)
  • Long comments are auto-truncated and can be revealed with a click
  • The comment textarea is shown in a reduced state by default to reduce visual clutter
  • Same changes applied to project devlog widgets
  • Add the ability to click to reveal the post of a blocked user

Project analytics

  • Added Plays graph to projects that have a game embedded on their project page
  • You can now filter project analytics by date (using same UI as account total analytics)
  • Project totals graph can now be sorted based on date, revenue, etc.
  • Added alternate view of referral traffic based on domain instead of URL
    • Added a graph for referral views by domain over time

Job board

We launched a paid job board as a way for companies to access the developers on our platform. Note that free jobs listings can be posted on our Help Wanted community.

  • Companies can pay monthly for slots on the job board to promote their paid positions
  • Add impression and view tracking so post authors can monitor listing performance
  • Add job browsing page with filtering by job types, tags, and location
  • Note: now that the job board has been out for a few months, we see a lot of opportunities for improvement. We’ll address the issues and share our changes in a future post

Browsing

  • Fixed a bug where paid games with no files available would be listed under Free
  • Changed cropping rules for tabletop/physical game cover images: Instead of cropping, the images are resized to fit inside of the available area, with a blurred background filling the empty space (Matching how the covers for books are cropped)

Documentation

Community & Support

  • Updated backend to latest version of lapis-community
  • New category: Game Jams, for sharing and discussing game jams
  • New category: Get Feedback, for requesting feedback about your projects on itch.io
  • Collapse 3rd level nested categories into a single line
  • On the top level community, topics are automatically closed after 50 days if there aren’t any replies
    • We’ll probably need to tweak this for certain sub-categories, please give us feedback if you encounter any issues
  • Updated rules for itch app Development message board: You must test with your virus scanner disabled before reporting an install issue
  • Updated rules for Questions, Ideas & Feedback message board: If you’re having issues with your game appearing in Search/Browse you must confirm you read the new documentation about getting indexed (linked above)
  • Added prioritization for support tickets based on account status
    • Accounts with high traffic or earnings will have their tickets prioritized on our support ticket queue (Although we try to help everyone, we don’t want to leave people with a lot of money in our system feeling like they aren’t being heard when they have an issue)

Misc

  • Removed colored header bar from all pages to reduce conflicting contrast of itch.io UI vs content on page
  • The dark theme is available on every page, instead of being available on select pages
  • Added off-site game launcher widget on project pages for browser games that are hosted off of itch.io (admin only)
    • The Plays analytic is incremented when people click to launch the game

Internationalization

Out website translation project has made incredible progress since we launched it earlier this year.

  • 24,236 strings in our translation database
  • Over 120 contributors (link only includes those with GitHub account)
  • 40 languages that have some translations available
  • 8 languages are over 90% translated
  • 12 languages are over 80% translated
  • We’ve still got a long way to go on extracting English text for translations, but many of our core pages are available: the homepage, project editing, dashboard homepage, jams, browsing, and community
  • Work for RTL languages has begun, a small set of pages can already be rendered in both LTR and RTL
  • Note: alternate languages are still opt-in: you must have an account and select an alternate language from your account settings

If you’d like to join please check out the thread in our community: https://itch.io/t/383202/translating-itchio


That’s all for now. Keep in mind this is a special changelog since it’s covering many updates from many months. Future changelogs will be more focused.

Thanks for reading

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(+1)

Thank you! Great work

(+2)

Thanks for the update. A lot of stuff for me to catch up on!

(+2)

Keep up the good job! o/

(+2)

I love this format for announcing improvements, and I'm really excited about the improvements you've reported here!  Thanks so much for all your hard work!

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An automated, online strategy game
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