1.40 Family Trees & New Lookup Search

Dear Kanka users, after a quiet start to the year, we’re back with a big update. We’re introducing family trees, as requested by our community, as well as the new lookup search.

Family Trees BETA are here!

From today, families in superboosted campaigns can set up a family tree. This is available as a new subpage called Family tree when viewing a family. A family tree focuses around a founder, their relations, and their children.

an example family tree

To start adding elements to a family tree, click on the big orange Edit button to the top right of this page. This enables the family tree’s edit mode, allowing you to add a founder, their relation, their children, reset and clear the tree, and of course save it.

The edit mode of a family tree


While Family trees are currently only available to superboosted campaigns, they will be made available to all boosted campaigns in the near future. We just wanted to buy a little bit of time to fix any major issues before the full rollout. While we initially talked about supporting more than two parents for children, but sadly it is not yet possible with this version. We also haven’t yet fully figured out the math to properly display family trees in every scenario, and sometimes you’ll see extra spacing between elements. We hope to figure out these issues with your feedback. Lastly, family trees aren’t currently available through the APIs.

One thing to note is that editing the family tree uses the edit permission of the family, and it is not currently possible to make any elements of the tree “private”. The way the tree is built means that if a player edits a tree where there is a character that they can’t access, saving their changes will remove that private character from the family tree. This is fine if your players can’t edit a family, but could lead to data loss if they can.

New design – quick search

Our new lookup search, which we demoed in late 2022 and gathered a lot of community feedback, is now live! It replaces the old lookup feature.

lookup search

Clicking on an entity’s image will open the entity’s overview page. Clicking on the entity’s name will open the new “preview” panel. This preview includes info from the entity’s profile and pinned attributes, as well as a “links” tabs which displays pinned relations.

Lookup preview

When logged in, the lookup will remember recent searches that were clicked on in the current campaign.

lookup recents

Creating entities aka the quick creator button

As part of the new designs survey from the end of 2022, the “new entity” button is now in the header bar, which is always visible. From the community’s feedback, we know you are very excited about this change!

new entity button

Bragi improvements

Bragi now uses the faster and more powerful GPT 3.5 engine. Thanks to community feedback, we were able to add more options for generated background. Bragi is now also aware of an entity’s gender and pronouns. We’ve also made Bragi available from posts on an entity.

Lastly, we’ve increased the amount of monthly tokens available to Wyverns from 15 to 25, and for Elementals from 25 to 50.

General improvements

Lookup and mentions is now smarter thanks to our Illuminate community member. Exact matches now appear first in the list, so searching for “school” will list an entity called “school” before “school of”.

On the topic of mentions, advanced mentions now support field:race and field:family for characters. Since characters can have multiple of those, it will take the first one added to the character.

The list of creatures of a campaign now includes their locations.

creature locations

Connections replace the term Relations in English, which is consistent with the subpage’s menu name.

For our CSS wizards, the page’s body now includes a new is-admin class if the user is an admin of the campaign.

When viewing a campaign and deciding to boost it, the confirmation popup now also includes a button to superboost it. This button only appears if you have enough available boosters.

Campaign admins can now disable the attributes module of a campaign.

campaign module: attributes

Accessibility improvements

A fantastic member of our community has been helping us with making Kanka easier to use on screen readers for people with impaired or no vision. While a majority of our users won’t notice these changes, we want to take a moment to thank those who help us make Kanka better so that everyone can, regardless of physical ability, enjoy the hobbies that we all share and love.

Bug fixes

Editing the first and only layer or group of a map no longer increments its position with each save.

In the quick creator, an item’s parent item is now filterable.

The campaign member table’s headers are no longer in the wrong place.

The table-compact and table-centered css classes are back.

The Quest API endoint no longer crashes on a permission issue on a quest element.

The Gallery API endpoint no longer crashes on every request. The image property has been replaced with file.

When using the midnight and future themes, an attribute’s privacy and pin status is now more clearly visible.

Code cleanup

Behind the scenes, we’ve updated our Stripe APIs, as well as many internal libraries to be able to migrate Kanka to Laravel 10. We could also remove large amounts of custom code and hooks that are now available directly in the Laravel framework, reducing some of Kanka’s code complexity.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

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