This blog post was used to coordinate beta testing of Rentable Spaces. As the feature is released now, we though it could be interesting for everyone to see how it went…
Habbo is a social platform. At the very core of our world are Rooms and Chat. We have recently decided to take a look at these features with the goal of unlocking new possibilities for Habbos to interact and have fun. We feel our first step into this challenging area of development went well. We were able to bring new room layouts, stacking tools, and more intuitive navigation. Many more possibilities will follow.
Working on such core features is never easy and we understand that it can be a bit scary when things change. For that reason, we’d like to explain exactly what we’re doing now with the chat and why.
First, let’s define the problem. The chat system currently works by placing one speech bubble on each line and varying length of the bubble based on the amount of text. This works well in situations where the entire room is having a single conversation. However, in many rooms the layout provides various seating areas and hangouts. Habbos often gather in these hangouts to form groups and chat, but their speech winds up as part of the whole room conversation rather than supporting this natural tendency toward small to medium sized groups.
Enter the Free Flow Chat: Non-overlapping bubbles can now pass each other and avatars talking in one position for a longer time get their chat pulled together into a single column. Your group of friends get your own column, while the group next door gets theirs, and the room owner gets to decide how wide these columns are and how fast they scroll up, and design their room accordingly!
Example: If you go to a dedicated area of a large room like a diner with your friends and sit down at a table, you can’t really casually talk without interruption if the room is busy with lots of chat already. We believe room building skills and your avatar’s position should affect the range of possible socializing actions in more intricate ways than just the crude hearing-range implementation Habbo has now. We want to offer the room builders more than just furni to control the atmosphere of their rooms, hence the possibility to also control the way the chat flows.
And now for the apology: The old chat was great in many occasions and should still be available (in pixel perfect form)! We believed the choice of chat style should be made by the owner of the room since it requires users to navigate a bit differently to fully appreciate the benefits. However, chat is such a personal experience that the choice should rest with individuals as well. For this reason, we will be adding an account setting to choose your chat style as well as the alternative to take the room’s default setting.
If you’d like to follow along with the progress, the Free Flow Beta group will be open for everyone to opt-in. A lot of people enjoyed the new model, and we will offer them the possibility to take it to use everywhere in the hotel while we work to emulate the old chat perfectly while still giving you the improvements of the new: Chat history view spanning multiple rooms with time-stamps, instant response to room panning, pointers moving while you walk, fabulous-looking chat styles, and more still to come!
We now have BETA groups for testing the chat in COM, ES, FR, BR and FI. Join your local beta via the following link:
The moment has arrived! Pocket Habbo is now available for your Android phone or tablet. Get it from Google Play store.
This is our first version for the platform and we tested on most modern Android devices, but please provide us with feedback in the comments if you come across any bugs. Note that our minimum supported screen size is 320×480.
In addition to the tablet layouts some other small tweaks were added like searching for new friends like you can do in Habbo Messenger. These changes are also coming for the iOS-version soon.
So grab your phone and start chatting.
Soon habbo.com will get some UI improvements for stacking helper, as well as 1×2 and 2×2 versions. Then we shall finally switch to new walking and stacking code. This is not fully 3-dimentional code yet, as I have to move on to work on other projects. But at least it’ll get us one nice bonus – ability to have proper bridges over non-walkable items without the need for optical illusions.
habbo.com got a new build today, which should resolve most of the issues.
- diagonal walking – works as two weeks ago
- walking over high furniture – works, subject for limitations (see next item)
- climbing and dropping – Habbo can climb up 1.25 and drop down up to 4 units. Chairs and beds are exempt, you always have to get to the bottom of chair/bed to climb it. Had to be made this way due to a large number of old furniture using this “feature” (zeppelin, thrones, etc.)
- “ditch” stacking – “fixed” by using old code (more about it later)
- client shows every location as “stackable” – fixed, but will be deployed tomorrow
If you cannot climb some places, chances are first step of your stair is too high. Try lowering it.
If all goes well, these fixes will be deployed to other countries tomorrow morning (Finnish time).
To bring back “ditch” stacking, we had to temporary bring back old buggy code that allowed it. This code gets into the way when we try to do anything related to room architecture improvements, so we need to sort it out somehow. Rather then emulating old bugs with ditch corner, coins and song disks, we are going to enable the same tricks but using more “standard” way. Current idea is to have a special “stacking helper” furni. This will be some flat furni with minimal graphic, you can put it on the ground and it’ll enable “advanced stacking” for this tile. Once the job is done, you can pick it up, but your stack will stay.
Now, the question is – what exactly should this furni do? Current plan is following:
- Objects manually put to this location will go to the ground level. This will help hiding wired stacks.
- Objects put to the location via rollers, will keep their “roller” altitude. This way it’ll be possible to stack things into others, as before.
- We can provide some additional functionality via context menu, but what should be it? Moving entire stack or last placed object up/down? Squashing everything to the ground level?
Comment and suggestions are welcome. Just don’t write “it should work as before”, please. I have to remove that code to move further.
Recently, habbo.com has been going through a series of updates changing the way walking and stacking works. While these changes went unnoticed for a vast majority of a users (except, perhaps, for the “glued chairs” bug), there are people who feel really affected by these changes. This post is some insight to what is happening, as well as a way to say “sorry guys for your troubles”.
First, I’ll introduce myself – my Habbo nickname is dmitrym, I’m Habbo developer and I work at Sulake since 2008. Chances are, last week I broke some of your mazes.
Habbo has to evolve to stay cool. And just adding the content is not enough, we need to improve core features to be more intuitive for the new generation of Habbos. What was cool in 2000 and 2006, is lame by standards of 2013. So we are working on an improvements to core room functionality of Habbo. This should both make Habbo more accessible to the newer generation, and give more experienced player more powerful tools for creating rooms that were not possible before. Sorry, I’m not allowed to give you more details (“… yet”, hopefully).
Yes, but why breaking X?
Habbo code is old. Heck, compared to other MMO games, it is ancient. Some parts of it (especially related to rooms) are older than many of the current players. :-) It is layers of legacy stuff, complex, obfuscated, all glued with patches and supported by crutches. Add to that more than 4000 different furniture types. Whatever unbelievable combination of furni properties you make up – chances are, there is two or three types with this combination, all released back in 2007.
So when we tried to implement something that was not possible before, we had to clean the mess first. And doing this, we accidentally fixed many of old bugs, which for older player became a de-facto standard. Skipping over void. Dropping down or jumping up 6 levels. Stacking things into each other. God knows what else. Of course, we introduced some bugs, but those are nice modern bugs that we at least know how to track down and fix. :-)
- Diagonal walking – after recent code changes, Habbos could not walk over non-walkable furni when moving diagonally between two adjacent tiles. While technically such movements constitute a bug, we’ve listened to you and will make it possible again. Walking diagonally between two non-walkable furnis is still not allowed, as is not allowed to walk over the void (even when moving diagonally between two adjacent tiles).
- Going on high furni was broken. Fixed.
- Dropping down from high furni – previously, it was possible to drop down or climb up furni of arbitrary heights under certain circumstances. New code allows only height changes of no more than 1.25 units in any direction, so falling down is no longer possible. We’ll add explicit support for dropping down up to 4 units.
- “Ditch” stacking – thanks for the feedback from you, we’ve realized that this feature (still a “bug”, technically) was essential for building highly sophisticated rooms. We’ll temporary put back old buggy code, while looking for a cleaner solution for more flexible stacking.
- Client shows that you can stack furni in any place. This may be really confusing. We are working to fix it.
- The fixes mentioned above are going to be deployed tomorrow.
I found not listed walking/stacking bug!
Please, post here detailed description of what is wrong and a link to room (as in http://habbo.com/room/xxx, not room “Lions den”) that demonstrates the bug. If the bug needs a few players to reproduce, please describe how many players and where those should be standing. Mind you – by bug here is I mean obviously wrong behavior, not “it worked differently before”!
I want X back!!!
If you really think X was important – please comment down here why you think Habbo will be a better place if we bring X back. Not just “it was cool and I had rooms using it”, but what cool games/features does X provide. I cannot promise that every cool feature will be brought back. The code is different now, and emulating old bugs is a curse for any developer.
Again, the new code was put in place to make extending core room functionality for new (yet undisclosed) feature. But here are some nice side effects:
- Now you can put welcome mat in the doorway :-)
- You can stack things up to level 40 (compared to old 10, guess why this change)
- And if I’ll have some time to spare in the coming weeks, Habbos may gain an ability to walk under stacked furnis, provided there is enough vertical separation. At least now this looks technically feasible.
What would you say your favourite thing was about Habbo? For me, the main thing is the people. Be it users, Staff… whoever. The thing is that in the Hotels I could meet more friends than I could ever imagine in real life. Is that because my social environment is bad shape beyond my laptop screen? Not really, it is simply a question of math: whenever I enter Habbo there are plenty of users from here and there, or even farther. And hey, my ability to be in several places at the same time is somewhat limited.
What are we all doing here? I guess we are not looking for the answers to the big secrets of mankind: we just want to have fun, to talk and listen, to be amazed by how different you see life or to satisfy our egos from time to time, why not? It is really easy to do in Habbo and so difficult in some other places. Several years of Habbo adventures have made our sites and Community one of the strongest and wisest on the Internet. Habbo Staff are trained on moderation and safety, and constantly share their knowledge of online safety with the authorities, users and other companies all over the world. Honestly, is there any Habbo not educated in the right use of Internet? I don’t think so, please, use this power that you have!
To me, safety is the basis of fun on the Internet, rather than a limit. It inspires every movement, new feature or activity that Habbo launched over the years. Let me check by memory: the data of the users is managed by professionals, and not shared with 3rd parties; the guarantee of getting the Credits that you are paying with almost any kind of safe method; consistently reliable technical functioning Hotels, with a fast response to any unexpected problem, and the list continues.
And the best of this is the people again, you and us. Habbo is always listening to users’ suggestions and recommendations – even if those making suggestions don’t always realize, and then spend tons of hours developing something suitable to what Habbos are missing. From behind the curtains, Habbo prepared with dedication things like Lovelocks, Relationship Status, Duckets, Wired, tons of Badges and Furni, Crackable Eggs, Rentable items for free, Loyalty points… Habbo is able to bring you to Venice or to put you on a Steampunk Zeppelin. You won a golden medal in the Habbo-lympix and your first Yacht was made of pixels. We know that during Habboween you laughed nervously. Where else could you be a genuine leader of opinion, manage a Fansite and even tell a VIP visitor that you love them without trembling (well, you trembled a bit)?
The original feeling only happened in Habbo. Thanks for making it real and keeping it real!
P.S. We have recently received some inquiries regarding retro sites, as some people have noticed that many of them do not work at the moment. As promised earlier, http://www.sulake.com/blog/entries/brief-faq-on-habbo-retros/, Sulake has taken legal actions against the individuals developing emulator softwares and due to this many retro sites are unable to operate.
Its been a while since our last blog post, but there is a good reason. We’ve been hard at work tackling a slew of User Voice requests and adding new features to enhance your Habbo experience. Here’s a list to summarize the changes we’ve done this year and some hints of things to come.
Your new (Free) virtual currency that can be earned simply by logging in and being active in Habbo. Now everyone can customize rooms and own pets, even if you have no credits. Duckets will also be used within campaigns to reward active players ensure that certain items remain rare.
Searchable & Expandable Inventory
You now have a search field in your inventory as well as filtering options (about time…)
Our data shows this feature was used by a very small fraction of the community. We felt it was best to remove for now to make the hotel load faster while we rethink the concept. We apologize for the inconvenience if you liked this feature, but we think you’ll be happier in the longrun (hint: tired of notifications all over the place cluttering your right column? … hmm where should they go?)
New :Kick + :Kickall commands and Wired Kick Effect
These features give better means to self-moderate your rooms and also create lots of opportunities for new/improved wired game building.
New :MuteBots command
In a room with too many bots and want to clear the noise? :mutebots!
Love Lock Furni
A new type of social furni that works in similar fashion to our trophies. You and a friend can lock your avatar image and the date to be displayed on double-click. Although this came out specifically for Valentines we see potential to expand this functionality into new themes that are more friend or group oriented.
A new way to categorize friends and display the relationship on your Habbo profile. Just one small step to bring Habbo friendships closer together.
Earn Credits & Prizes by Watching Videos
You can now earn prizes and credit furni by watching sponsored videos without leaving the hotel.
New Year’s Resolution Trophies & New Achievement Levels
These Achievement furni allow you to select an achievement to complete by a specified date which unlocks a new furni state proudly displaying your accomplishment. Along with this update we increased the level of many achievements and even added a few new ones for our Baby Pets.
We hope you are enjoying these new features as well as the daily events run by hotel managers and frequent furni updates.
UPDATE: We have now updated the feature to automatically unlock your account when accessing from a trusted computer. We hope this prevents anyone from being accidentally locked from your own account.
We’ve just added a new way to keep your account safe and secure.
The account safety lock will automatically disable some features in the hotel if your account is accessed from an unknown computer. To unlock your account after safety lock, you’ll just have to answer a few additional security questions.
Features locked by this feature:
- Adding or removing credentials
- Changing password
- Changing email
- Linking and adding accounts to identity
- Using marketplace
- Purchasing from catalog
- Dropping furniture to group room
- Deleting rooms
Visit your account identity settings to choose questions and enable this feature.