Which way will the story turn, and who will come out on top in What a Twist? Tune in to find out!Start Reading
Check out Lyons of Kosma
"Lyons of Kosma" is the story Andrew, a young lion lost between universes on the beautiful and dangerous alien world of Kosma.
Aided by his brilliant parents who are back on Earth, both of whom work as defense contractors, who discover a way of sending their son advanced defensive and offensive weaponry, "Lyons of Kosma" follows Andrew across it's surreal, fantasy landscape, in his quest to contact his parents and find a way home.Start Reading
There are some major changes in the works for AnthroDynamics. As discussed in a previous developer blog, we are going to be updating emojis, search functionality, and some more layouts for Literature. I would like to take a few more moments to talk about some more of the upcoming updates.
Clubs will be seeing some major feature changes when the 4.3 update goes live. On the top of this list is Paid Clubs. This means that a Club Owner can choose to monetize their club monthly. There are several options for this feature:
For open clubs, the user will be immediately prompted for payment. Once paid, they are automatically added to the club.
For closed clubs, the user will need to request to join as normal. Once the club owner has accepted the application, the user will be able to pay the membership fee and join as normal.
For private and read-only clubs (Read-only clubs are also a new feature!), users have to be invited to join the club by the club owner.
Public clubs are public, and so these cannot be set as Paid clubs.
Club owners can also chose to waive the membership fee, allowing certain users to join the club for free (by invite). If a member fails to pay their renewal fees, they are moved into an "expired" state. All club owners can see the status and renewal dates of their members, and use the filter tools located in the Members panel to see active or expired members.
Paying out these membership fees is done just as it is with our marketplace feature. You can request a payout through PayPal (so long as your account has over $40 in any given week). Payouts are processed (currently, at the time of this writing) on Fridays.
New Club Type: Read-Only. In addition to open, closed, private, and public, we have added a new club type with this update. In a read-only club, everyone can (without joining) view everything in the club. They may not participate unless they are invited by the club leader, however.
We have also enabled Club Leaders to fully moderate their clubs, including adding and removing content sections. We hope that these changes will make Clubs a more user-friendly and active feature in the community.
Gallery will also be seeing a major overhaul in terms of functionality. For one, the uploading interface has changed dramatically:
Gone is the somewhat confusing interface. The aim here is simplicity and functionality. Choose which category you want to post in, choose if you want to use an existing album or create a new one. Here on AnthroDynamics, we will likely remove the option to continue without using an album when Update 4.3 is live. Along with this change is a change to the upload interface itself. No more refreshing between images required!
As you can see, you can now edit the caption, the description (and if we had remembered to enable it on the test!) the tags, all from the same upload interface. Setting credit, copyright, and notifications on all your images should be much simpler now. Images will ALSO support drag-and-drop reorganizing on this page. You won't have to use "Page 1" "Page 2" and so forth. You can manually reposition all of your images. The description field is a paired down editor box, but as you can see you can swap to our WYSIWYG editor at any time.
Images should also process much faster than currently. The way these are saved and uploaded has been changed.
Albums are getting a major change as well. Album creators can now create "Shared" albums. When you create a new album, you can now specify (Under the new Privacy Menu) who can submit to the album. These options are: only me, anyone, only the users I specify, only the groups I specify.
Another great feature coming with Update 4.3 is a new Gallery layout!
As you can see, images when selected from anywhere will automatically load straight into lightbox. The new lightbox is greatly improved over the one currently in use. Not only will it have more noticeable karats to move from image to image, it is also touch and swipe responsive (for our mobile users).
Only a few minor changes in the marketplace. The only one on the front-end will be that the content-starter can now leave one reply to reviews.
Twitch.tv embed support is coming! You will be able to drop a twitch.tv link into the editor, and our WYSIWYG editor will automatically embed it. Search will be receiving an interface overhaul along with the functionality changes mentioned in a previous developer blog. We will be swapping to the new Invisible reCaptcha, so that users won't need to go through the full reCaptcha process unless the system flags for some reason. And we will be switching to Mapbox for maps (off of Google Maps) for use with Calendar.
Currently, Update 4.3 is in alpha stages, but we hope these insights are helpful to you all!
I have seen time and time again on various websites that users have their account passwords "cracked" (Someone was able to use software to figure out a user's password). In today's developer blog, I would like to discuss some ways in which AD makes your account secure (with your help, of course). Let's discuss:
AD has many ways to help secure your account. Our entire back-end is protected by 2-Factor Authentication. The same can be said about our database credentials. However, there's a few things that some users may not know about the actual website that I'd like to cover here.
1. If a user fails a login more than 3 times, their account enters a special "Locked" status, which disables logins for that account for 15 minutes. Repeated attempts and failures will be logged into our administrator control panel. The only way to unlock an account is to wait. If a user cannot remember their password, there is a Password Reset feature on the login page.
2. Users can optionally add 2 Factor Authentication to their account by visiting their Account Security page. Here you can add either question and answers, or an actual app such as Google Authenticator. We have also added support for Duo Mobile now as well.
Using these tools is the first step in keeping your account secure. We highly recommend adding at least the Question and Answer security method to help us keep your account secure.
Once more, I would like to take some time to blog about some upcoming enhancements to AD's community software. I will briefly touch on some major (and exciting!) changes that are likely to take place in late January or early February, if everything goes smoothly.
The first step here is to change how Emojis are displayed and generated on AnthroDynamics. With this change, we will be hosting a poll (to be posted at a later date) of what type of Emojis our community wants to use. We have the option of using either the Twitter style, or the EmojiOne style. This new list will be fully scrollable, searchable, and you can select the skin-tone (if all goes well). Failing this, AD will develop it's own set of Emojis, and use those instead. One more thing is that the new Emojis system will also enable the :short_codes: function, and these will autocomplete as you type!
Literature is getting an overhaul! Imagery has become one of the most important roles in representing data, and having only one image for a story didn't sit right with us. Thus, we will be adding an area for chapter header images. We are also working on a grid-view listing of entries for a more unique style of presenting your stories, rather than the traditional list format (We'll see how that goes...). With this change, we will be adding default images to all Stories which do not currently have them.
Speaking of adding default images...we will be adding default cover photos for those who have not uploaded one. Our goal here is to create a decent graphic that won't clash with any particular theme.
We like to be able to search for exactly the content we want. Currently, AD is limited by MySQL searches (which require at least 3 characters), which not only limits user's ability to search for simple terms, but may also cause issues with database tables locking while a search executes. AD will be upgrading to ElasticSearch with this release. What this means for you is a much more functional search system. The new system will default to "everywhere" searches. You will have the option to search for all or any of your search terms, filter that by content title and body, or title only, and many more options. Generally, searches will execute faster with this change. Another cool feature is that ES understands language. For example, if you search for "community", ES will return results with the word "communities" as well, as it understands they're very closely related.
That's all for now! We hope you all continue to enjoy all that AnthroDynamics has to offer.