Hi, friends! There's a few interesting things happening right now, sorry for the mess! Here's what's up.
Welcome to the new-old site!
After working on our new-ish Impress 2020 site the past few years, we've decided it's not entirely the direction we want to go after all. But also not entirely not? We love the HTML5 support, we love how it looks on mobile, and we love some of the new trading features. But in hindsight, we don't think the tech we used is a good choice for the long-term, and we want to help Neopets customization stick around for decades to come.
So, we're merging the best parts of Impress 2020 into the original site! We finally caught up on many years of technical upgrades, and cleaned up a lot of ancient rubble, so the original site can be a strong foundation for us again—and then we copied over Impress 2020's most important bits of UI, to keep things bright and breezy!
Here's what you should notice already:
- New outfit editor: The outfit editor is entirely replaced with Impress 2020's modern editor, with support for HTML5 wearables and for mobile!
- Simplified login: We used to have a weird second website for login and account management. That's all merged into the main site now!
- Improved item page: We copied over Impress 2020's item previewer, so you'll be able to see animated items, and get better support for special colors like Maraquan and Baby!
And behind the scenes, we've made this site's code a lot simpler and a lot more up-to-date, and dependent on fewer external services, so it should be a lot easier to maintain going forward.
We're still missing some really important things because we're launching sooner than expected (like outfit saving), but we hope to fill in those gaps soon!
Wait, why the sudden update?
One of our service providers recently made a change that's been a long time coming, but is unusually difficult to work around. In this case, it would require us to upgrade a lot of components of our system that, frankly, we're years behind on updating.
But this new-old beta site? It's already running on the latest tech, and depends on a lot fewer external services to begin with. So, as a team with limited resources, it felt like a better idea to just skip forward to the beta version that already works, than to split the original site into another version of DTI and have three copies of the site we're maintaining 😅
For the most part, I hope you mostly don't feel much of a difference, and that most of the changes feel good? But I also know we're shipping it out earlier than we planned and that's always a bit rough; and I know there are things about the new outfit editor that still aren't ideal for everyone, and I hope we can get those attended to once we have our stronger foundation.
And sorry about all this…
Sorry for the delay on getting this fixed, there's been a lot of family things to attend to lately, I hope everyone's been doing okay in the meantime!!
Earlier this year I put out a call for extra help, and I haven't really made good on that either, and I'm sorry for that too… soon after, I realized the help I asked for (continuing to invest in Impress 2020's missing features) didn't actually feel like the right path forward for the site long-term—and that the next step for us (unifying the sites) would kinda be the worst time to bring in someone new 😬
It can be a challenging thing, to have a site going for more than ten years and to not always be in a phase of life to give it the attention it deserves… and to have the weight of your ten-years-younger self's decisions to carry around with it 😅 My hope is that, by cleaning up this decade-long complex sprawling thing, we can build a site that isn't quite so dependent on the ebb and flow of my own personal life… I don't think we're there yet, but I'll do my best to get us there!
Sorry for the disruption, and I hope these new changes find you well, friends!