Developer Update August 2021

Aug dev update blog header

Greetings PaperDemons! In the interest of transparency, every quarter I post a developer update to keep you informed on bug fixes, feature releases, and upcoming development plans. This blog post includes changes since the last developer update in April.

We've had 18 releases since the last update blog post. Our current release is v31.0.1.

We've got a lot of updates to go over so we're not even going to bother discussing bug fixes. See the change log at the bottom for a full list of changes.

Art for this blog post was done by Lauren Lee.

Usability improvements and new features


We've added a bunch of quick links to our homepage to make it easier for PaperDemon Art RPG Players to navigate the game and get to important pages such as the shop, character archive, and more. It's also a chance for us to show off the game art which often entices players to play an Art RPG.

PaperDemon Art RPG

We introduced random item drops which were first used in our Biweekly character development challenges. Soon we'll be updating all of our Portals with a random item drop reward instead of a gold reward. This roller may be adapted for partner Art RPGs at some point in the future.

Players can self-serve equip/de-equip armor and other defensive items to their character sheets.

A lot of behind the scenes stuff had also been coded for our upcoming automated battles feature. More to come on that.

There were many other content related updates to the PDARPG but we handle those through other blog posts. These were mostly technical updates.


You'll now earn XP for posting in the forums.

Per request from our partners, members are now prompted to follow a forum topic when they reply or post a new topic. This allows them to get notified of topics they're interested in.

In some forums, you can now attach artwork to your forum post. This will be more relevant when we launch our automated battles (see below).

Dates and times in the forums are now displayed in UTC instead of PST to be consistent with the rest of the site.

Other little improvements

  • Easier links to player characters and items inventories from the user menu

  • Players can see their arpg request history by clicking on the [ARPG Queue History] button from a submission

Art Submissions

As has been promised for more than a year, we finally redid and simplified the art submission page to make submitting art quicker and easier. You no longer have to pick from a long list of categories. The categories system was removed from art completely. The same will be done in the future for writing and comics.

The manage submissions page was also rebuilt and improved. We also fixed issues with managing custom folders (a feature only available to premium members).

Because our site relies on proper labeling for filters to work, we've migrated art filters from the old galleries system to the new tagging system. You'll be confronted with the list of tags when submitting so that we can continue to ensure a pleasant browsing experience.

We also now clearly label "🌟official" tags so that you can have more confidence when searching and selecting tags for your submissions. This was a system we've been planning for more than two years. A lot of kudos goes to knifecat for helping to plan and design this new tagging system. Popular tags are also labeled with πŸ”₯.

πŸ”₯ Feature removals

We removed a few things because they were rarely used and this allowed us to focus on features that are actually useful.

  • featured art feature has been removed

  • adding multiple artists to an artwork feature has been removed

  • adding art to groups has been removed

Art RPG Tools

These are features available to Art RPGs hosted with us on our Partner and Starter plans.

Plan changes

We have all these awesome tools for tracking game characters, items, and player inventories and we want to expand those to more ARPGs at an affordable price.

We're now offering our Starter plan for free to Art RPGs/Closed species that are not yet monetized. When your game becomes monetized, PaperDemon can earn a percentage of it to help cover hosting costs. If you're interested in our ARPG Starter plan, please contact me at [email protected] or DM me on Discord (username: BogusRed).

Form templates for forums

As of today, our new forums now have a template tool available to mods where they can generate a link that pre-populates a forum post with a form, making filing requests easier for players. It supports both new topics and replies.

Characters and Items

  • Players can sell items back to the bank for currency with just a few clicks. No admin work involved.

  • ARPG admins will now have an easier time doing multi item transfers. The previously selected user will automatically auto-populate when adding additional items for transfer.

  • Art RPG admins can configure items to be "equippable" by players. They can now self-serve attach these items to their character sheet having it transfer to/from their player inventory. It also allows you to configure items to destroy upon de-equip if wanted.

  • Now when you share a character or item link, it will show the image in the preview.

  • Admins can now transfer items more easily between character and player inventories

  • Back in April we launched filtering items by tag. This allows you to easily link to a subset of your game items.

  • Misc usability tweaks to character pages per request from our Partners


We received feedback from our Art RPG partners that they needed to allow submissions to enter multiple ARPG queues at once. In order to do this, we reworked the queue system to allow threading so that submissions can be pending in multiple queues at once and be processed independently. This was released back in late April.

Queues are now public to players so they can see their place in the queue. We moved the queue system to the Art RPG group page and simplified the interface to be easier to understand for ARPG Admin processing. We have more plans to improve the usability of the queue experience for players including adding a page where they can see all pending requests but we haven't gotten to it yet.

Code migration

We've migrated the forums to our new code base and made the experience more consistent with the rest of the newer site. These changes were necessary for the future maintenance of our forums and to allow us to extend the forums with new game features.

What's Coming

PaperDemon Art RPG

Over the next couple months we'll be introducing a new automated battles system into the forums for the PaperDemon Art RPG that will make battles more fun, quicker, and more engaging. Expect to see that some time in October.

We started increasing our advertising of PaperDemon. You may have noticed some new members popping in regularly. But we did an analysis and found that we're losing new players along the signup and account creation process. So over the next couple months we're going to make some improvements to the onboarding and new player flows to improve retention and conversions.

We received some feedback that the wiki, which players are linked to right after signing up to teach them how to get started, might be turning off new users. People these days are always worried about scams and if parts of our site don't look consistent, they may think we are scamming them. We just have a lot of game content and felt the easiest way to organize it all was to put it into a wiki. We're going to look at alternatives that would allow us to make the game guide feel more on brand with the rest of our site while also being easy to edit.

We're going to be introducing some new ARPG mechanics tied to the XP system soon. So stay tuned for that.

We've also got tons of new items and content planned with new Art RPG mechanics but I don't want to spoil the surprise. Stay tuned for more announcements.

Art RPG Tools

We're going to introduce a way to track points directly on submissions to make point tracking easier. We're still in the planning phase on this but expect to deliver it either by end of the year or mid next year.

Submissions system

Before the end of the year, we want to launch a new beta writing system. Our writing submission system is old and doesn't support tagging which prevents our literary artists from gaining XP for their submissions in challenges. I'll be rebuilding the writing system to match the rest of the site and have some ARPG upgrades.

Development on pause part of next year

Progress on web development for is going to be taking a break for three to four months in early 2022. This is because I'm currently pregnant with my first baby πŸ‘Ά! We're expecting our little boy to be born in late January and I'll need to take some time off to bond with my little bundle.

During that time, there won't be any new releases except for occasional patches to keep things stable. After my maternity leave, I'll have child care and will be back to work as usual!

Full changelog

We do releases every few weeks. If you want to know exactly when new releases go live, please join the discord server and choose the PaperDemon updates role in the #rules-and-info channel.

Wondering if that bug you reported was squashed? Take a look below or view the public bug tracker.

cb11a75 🍱 assets (pdarpg) revise walkthrough links to go to news, not wiki

6666c3c πŸ”₯ prune (forums) most of the legacy code

4e6781e πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) redirect old forum links to angular ui

ea09fd5 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) update nav links to new forums

f4496d5 ⭐ feat (forums) move topic in new ui, prompt follow on posting

9f42954 🍱 assets (campaign) eventide ring campaign revision

f05d876 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) delete post and thread in new ui

ffbedbe 🍱 assets (campaign) eventide ring campaign revision

3699333 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) mod ctrls to edit/lock topic in new ui

843a7fe πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) edit post in new ui

dad82de 🍱 assets (campaign) eventide ring campaign draft

263c130 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) support quoting another post

36c0049 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) new topic, reply, and quick reply in new front end

429d2df πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) get session auths from api

d4bbdae πŸ‘— ui (news) mark pinned news articles on hp and news page

00dee92 🍱 assets (age-gate) revise terminology on rc splash per user feedback

2ac7adb πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) display player level on forum posts in new ui

4d9216d πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) include player level, xp in thread

6667077 πŸ› fix (forums) misc display fixes new forum UI

d5a2b37 πŸ”¨ refactor (user) export previous login date in api

0b85686 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) add breadcrumbs to new ui

e7d648a πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) view post permalink in new UI

95d129e πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) attach thumb/user codes to post permalink api

67e4267 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) view global topic UI

6e04329 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) attach user and thumb code info to forum api

ff4cb7d πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) add sub to forum component

7db6ef0 πŸ› fix (forums) homepage news posts weren't loading

46d2f9b πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) build angular UI for viewing a forum

af47a16 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) get most recent post in threads

0e56e20 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) list global forums in new UI

537f54f πŸ”¨ refactor (forums, folders) add additional properties to api data

a099b06 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) include forum stats in api

5857401 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) api to add/edit/sort forums

503c26f πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) implement post api for threads/posts

d917647 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) set sorting order of forums backend service

7256df1 πŸ”¨ refactor (folders) set sorting order of folders backend

e0735d2 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) record view count when viewing thread

1369a63 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) add/edit forum, add/edit forum folders

d1e3dbe ⭐ feat (forums) grant XP when user posts a topic or reply

088b12f πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) reply, edit, lock in new service backend

625bb22 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) add/edit thread in new service backend

bcda7fc πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) service and api list group forums

4d539fa πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) get public forums and latest posts

b48ef6f πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) get post by id

3dc20b2 πŸ”¨ refactor (forums) allow multiple actions in api

f9ed6b0 ⭐ feat (game-items) display preview img when link shared

4fdfda1 ⭐ feat (game-characters) display preview img when link shared

a117bec ⭐ feat (game-items) allow admin transfers from player to character

19529fe πŸ”¨ refactor (folders) use new install script

ef25466 πŸ‘— ui (homepage) add links and icons to major PDARPG sections

42c6adb πŸ‘½ compat (app) upgrade angular 12

5d69c0a πŸ‘½ compat (app) upgrade angular 11

679a3ca πŸ‘— ui (game-items) make admin multi item transfers easier

46b78d4 πŸ‘— ui (profile) add notes for admins for changing usernames

e015abb πŸ‘— ui (nav) collapse on mobile after clicking link

c4364f7 πŸ› fix (profile) fix broken link to art manage page from profile

da9bbc8 πŸ‘— ui (profile) for those who want, display real name and location on profile

3135a05 πŸ‘— ui (flags) add link to player inventory

bdb6421 πŸ› fix (legacy-blogs) ampersands not displaying properly in titles

8ee6ec7 πŸ› fix (blogs, art, writing, comics) support base64 encoded images in user html text

9be11f8 πŸ› fix (art) sorting empty folder throws unknown error

4f7b0be πŸ‘— ui (user) make usernames more easily readable in red curtain

8fc22e8 πŸ‘— ui (comments) display time next to date and timezone

5e128b6 πŸ”¨ refactor (user) migrate manage acct email to new backend/frontend

90b9eb6 ⭐ feat (folders) add child folders

ad27444 πŸ› fix (user) mod log panel show correct user

f8141ae πŸ› fix (pm, art) sending mod/admin pms for submissions with emoji

b6e88b1 πŸ”₯ prune (art) gallery links in site map

3f2379c πŸ‘— ui (art) add margin to manage art header

6537b46 πŸ”₯ prune (art) legacy art files, link to new manage ui

62b7762 πŸ‘— ui (art) display folder name and description at top of view folder

652f822 πŸ”¨ refactor (folders) rebuild art folder management in new ui

de382f2 πŸ”¨ refactor (art) rebuild delete page in new frontend

24fc7f2 πŸ”¨ refactor (art) rebuild management page in new frontend

3ebb496 πŸ› fix (art) manage list by folder showing wrong results

84487e9 πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈ build (styles) fix gulp watcher

211358b πŸ”¨ refactor (favorites) api for listing who favorited

334f905 ⭐ feat (art) api for listing submissions for management

1aa6f52 πŸ› fix (legacy-art) manage page blank

075a784 πŸ‘— ui (user) make username easily visible in main nav

5d022d7 πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈ build (app) fix broken sass compilation

b76504c πŸ‘— ui (game-challenge) add icon for biweekly challenge

d7f607d πŸ› fix (app) deploy to correct port on deployment

11338ef πŸ”₯ prune (art) gallery services from view component

c6339e9 ⭐ feat (game-challenges) display biweekly challenge on homepage

a0b3b70 πŸ› fix (global-components) rich text edits weren't being saved

34fb7de πŸ› fix (subscriptions) closed/banned accounts receiving sub notices

c7cc7c9 πŸ”¨ refactor (art) new fields to support writing, comics, blogs data

0053036 ⭐ feat (game-characters) change health fields for dracostryx

54cbb3d πŸ‡ perf (users) debounce user searches

2733fd5 πŸ› fix (forums) show unlock success message

5d7c7dc πŸ› fix (notifications) fix art and forum notifications

b819b45 πŸ› fix (comments) error handling when comments don't load

83f67be πŸ› fix (comments) don't show hidden comments

e2aa93f ⭐ feat (game-items) allow player to sell items back to store for currency

f02f86d πŸ”¨ refactor (app) remove view encapsulation setting from components

8e1f7d7 πŸ‘½ compat (app) angular v9 --> v10

f9087a0 πŸ‘½ compat (app) TestBed.get() --> TestBed.inject()

b3173a5 βœ… test (app) tests for v9 compatibility

5f060c7 πŸ‘½ compat (app) angular

db6194c πŸ‘½ compat (app) pre-steps for angular

af77d10 πŸ‘½ compat (app) pre-steps for angular upgrade, node upgrade

8d449d1 ⭐ feat (game-rollers) boss attack character roller

92b0890 ⭐ feat (game-characters) collapse admin notes

5f22e24 πŸ› fix (game-items) searches showing wrong results, race condition

2b57b20 πŸ‘— ui (art) display visibility settings on view page, move arpg buttons

ffa55d9 ⭐ feat (game-items) player ui to equip/de-equip items

6bffd6c πŸ› fix (game-items) fix api for adding/editing item equipping properties

e671238 ⭐ feat (game-items) backend to allow players to equip/dequip items

55eef1f πŸ”₯ prune (art) view art gallery pages

1615953 πŸ› fix (user) search display exact username match when searching

a66a82d πŸ”₯ prune (galleries) remove gallery side bar from art browse

c270a7f πŸ› fix (art) submit page in SSR mode

686ca97 πŸ‡ perf (tags) tag search auto complete debouncing

445afbd ⭐ feat (art) add entry to mod queue if moved from RC/PD and vice versa

f54d8e5 πŸ› fix (art) misc bugs with new submit/edit pages

c0d4dd2 πŸ”₯ prune (galleries) remove gallery list from art view

edb6e0f πŸ”₯ prune (galleries) art edit galleries pages, templates, links

df80593 πŸ”¨ refactor (art) migrate galleries to tags

8fca123 πŸ”¨ refactor (art) migrate edit page to new front end

6e9307d πŸ”¨ refactor (art) migrate submit page to new front end

8a56b9a 🍱 assets (arpg-directory) prune inactive ARPGs and update partners

64dfa85 πŸ› fix (notifications) delete only notices of that page's type

d0b67ab πŸ”¨ refactor (subscriptions) new subscription notices UI

83bf3a0 πŸ”¨ refactor (subscriptions) use universal notices

9f27516 ⭐ feat (art) json apis to manage art

9d0bb50 ⭐ feat (folders) support add/edit in json api

1ec5c62 πŸ› fix (app) catch more observable errors to prevent app crashes

a3adbd9 πŸ› fix (art) error on submitting art, missing entry_type

fb0004b πŸ”¨ refactor (art) management services add/edit art

db0bd7f ⭐ feat (promo) cache promo in backend

5c1f947 πŸ› fix (art) cannot read property 'filterIds' of undefined

8fc0b8d πŸ› fix (game-items) cannot read property 'groupUrl' of undefined

c335095 πŸ› fix (groups) admin page cannot read property 'group_id'

ab64628 πŸ‘— ui (game-items) prevent confusion of empty searches on item compendium

00f1a08 πŸ› fix (game-items) mod can create store transfers

5e665e8 🍱 assets (inn) add packing and crafting step

457baf6 πŸ› fix (art) mature sidebar links, art list display

678f2ca πŸ› fix (app) prevent SSR app crashes

5897557 πŸ”¨ refactor (art) submissions list component

c0f732d πŸ”¨ refactor (art) move to submissions folder

6460917 πŸ› fix (game-items) player inventory sorted in wrong order

302f98f πŸ”¨ refactor (art) track entry type

8cc31e1 πŸ”¨ refactor (art) move to submissions folder

fd40d5c πŸ”¨ refactor (art) consolidate constants

815fd2a πŸ”¨ refactor (art) update to new error format

be577c2 βœ… test (art) add missing unit tests art service

67f1663 ⭐ feat (game-rollers) roller frontend for random item drop

46b51ec ⭐ feat (game-rollers) roller backend for random item drop

e80306f πŸ‘— ui (game-items) clarify game inventory from player inventory

229639e πŸ› fix (game-items) don't submit item transfer form prematurely

e900137 🍱 assets (landing) correct links for character samples

6ea8b98 πŸ‘— ui (game) add links to a player's characters and inventories in menu

4a572cf βœ… test (app) quill module causing multiple test failures

883d027 ⭐ feat (tags) manage tags ui for mods

342b4bb ⭐ feat (tags) apis to moderate/manage tags

13d7dea πŸ‘— ui (tags) indicate tag type/popular in tag cloud and search

b70a2ba ⭐ feat (art) implement tag filtering in frontend

d44b853 ⭐ feat (tags) add user tags filter settings

2e65044 πŸ› fix (global-components) rich text editor formatting issues

80262c9 πŸ› fix (flags) broken arpg flag history page missing user info

15debbf ⭐ feat (game-characters) allow larger character numbers

ea3f3a5 ⭐ feat (flags) allow setting flag on the view submission history page

f4407c9 πŸ› fix (flags) error on view ARPG history for submission w/o history

1df600d 🍱 content (arpg-directory) add link to info about hosting packages

352b29c πŸ‘— ui (arpg-directory) change button to say view group

d74d64b πŸ› fix (game-characters) prevent data from spilling into item column

6a6d7fd πŸ”¨ refactor (tags) add script to migrate old tag format to new format

ee9ae1e ⭐ feat (tags) backend track new meta information about tags

dc8a54b πŸ”¨ refactor (tags) replace exceptions with Result object

4246a19 πŸ”¨ refactor (tags) move to single word tags

1e843f5 πŸ”¨ refactor (game-characters) support games without schema

6a5b9ad ⭐ feat (game-items) allow filtering by item tag in group item list

72a9faf πŸ‘— ui (game-items) display more info in item list

296d1e3 ⭐ feat (groups) group hierarchies, list child and parent groups

90637fd πŸ‘— ui (flags) make queue instructions visible before choice is made

4a483a3 ⭐ feat (game-characters) fix sort and add more data to list

d9392e5 πŸ‘½ compat (php) upgrade to composer 2 and deps

4f17e92 ⭐ feat (game-characters) display latent element on character sheet

0055f12 ⭐ feat (game-items) paginate player inventory

4f49936 ⭐ feat (flags) support threads and multi-queues

241d445 ⭐ feat (flags) link player to view their request after adding to ARPG queue

2294801 ⭐ feat (flags) move ARPG queue management to groups

012e9e6 πŸ”¨ refactor (flags) BACKEND split queues for mods vs arpg admins

f8f051c πŸ› fix (flags) console error on view user flag history

d981d1d πŸ› fix (flags) fix broken add to queue page