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Author Topic: Major board revamping  (Read 2426 times)

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Offline LilacTopic starter

Major board revamping
« on: February 13, 2007, 09:33:51 PM »
Okay, after a number of issues and a couple hundred games in the archives, I'm beginning to feel that trying to mimic RPOL's way of doing things is not the way to go.  We don't have the time to implement something like that, and honestly, this place has become its own.

So, considering that, I think I want to do something closer to what rpg.net does for its games.  In a sense, what's going on in the Fun and Games boards now, but broken up according to genre.  Eventually, almost all of the boards on the right-hand side of this forum would vanish.  Almost.

To break it down, rather than having a single Fun and Games board, there would be several.

So boards would be NCES: Fantasy, NCNF: Sci Fi, BATLN: Western...  and so on, as people requested genres.

In the Wanted Section, a GM would make a tag for their game.  [EMvsHB], for example >_>, and when they've got a few players they would open up threats in the target forum.  It would look a lot like One Shots does now, I suppose, and there would of course be a more extensive group of moderators.

A few games would be spared this sort of treatment.  Once they've shown to have a suitably massive amount of activity (five thousand posts sounds good for now), they would get their own forum, or keep their current one.

I'm a bit hesitant about this, because it is a big change, and I would need a lot of help, but let me know what you think.  Thank you.

Offline Hunter

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 10:03:56 PM »
I like the idea.  Anything that makes us look less like an rpol clone gets my approval.   ;D

Offline NightBird

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2007, 12:23:40 AM »
I'm confused, but that may be because it's late and it was a loooong drive home in a blizzard tonight. Does the change mean a game would have to accumulate 5000 posts to be allowed sub-threads, like for locations or OOC within the game? It could get really confusing if all the sub-threads for games were jumbled together; likewise, it could get really confusing if games had to do everything in one thread. If that's the case, I'd never keep track of what was going on where in any of the games I'm involved in other than one-on-ones.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2007, 12:28:52 AM »
This seems like too much trouble, especially since I've never had real trouble finding anything.

Offline TonyWoods

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2007, 01:54:49 AM »
We fear change...

*goes off to stab dohnut man*

Err, random Waynes World quotes aside, I think the board works perfectly well as it is - I've never had trouble finding anything, and (although I might not have grasped this entirely right) the thought of loads of different genre boards just makes my head hurt, and could result in boards being made for single games (after all, just how many Western games have been made here? Like one that I can properly remember, maybe a couple of more, but really needing a whole board to itself?)

Just my two pennies worth - like I said, I might be getting to wrong idea with what you want to do with the site here, but I like it the way it is

*hugs the site, then goes back to stabbing dohnut man*

Online Vekseid

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2007, 02:19:58 AM »
Lilac's point isn't about finding things, it's about the feasible limitations of the site.  If this place were much bigger, it would be a mess.  Also, to my knowledge no other SMF site out there stresses the SMF quite the same way Elliquiy does, and because of that occasionally entire categories get lost until fixed.

There are a few other alternatives that can be hashed out, but things staying as they are isn't a long term option.

Offline GoldenChild

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2007, 04:13:12 AM »
I'm fully for the change :) as change is often to the better.

Offline Elvi

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2007, 08:31:58 AM »
Basically I don't give a sh*t about what other sites do, or look like or prefer.
I have always found this one easy to use, can find things simply and the categories 'user friendly' and really would like to keep it that way.

BUT
If the site needs to be revamped then it needs to be revamped, it's a simple as that.

However, I would like more clarification of what you are actually suggesting Lilac, in that way I may be able to suggest something.

Not all of us have or even intend to use Rpol or rpg.net so have no idea how they deal with things and if they are like me, they care even less.....*smiles*

Offline LilacTopic starter

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2007, 10:44:02 AM »
I'm not so paranoid about us losing more than a few hundred posts...  but at any given time, only so many games are going on, and only a few of them 'really take off' so to speak.

There are a few ways I was thinking of doing it.

One is that each category have a board similar to the current 'One Shots' board, where people can make proto-games however they like, using up to say, five threads to do so.  If these threads netted a lot of posts and interest, they could be moved to their own board.  If someone is going to use multiple threads, they'll need to tag their thread title.

So basically, instead of the massive list of games you see now, under each category you would see the Fun and Games child board, like now, and the Starter Games (or however it's named) child board.  A few categories would have games that reached critical mass, about a half dozen or so in the Heavy sections.

No current game outside of archives would be consigned to this fate unless it fell into them without netting the required postcount.  Eventually I'd get rid of the archives entirely >_>  Most of the archives would be moved into the remaining 18 gaming forums over time.

Offline Elvi

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2007, 10:57:40 AM »
*nods*

Right can understand what you mean now.

Thinking out loud, it has it good points.

The biggest is the prevention of games 'boards' being set up for two or three people and could quite honestly have been run in the 'one on ones'.
As well as those which never quite get past the planning stage.

The down side of course is the fragmentation of a game that needs several threads that need to be read by all players, even if they don't contribute to them and the intial mayhem this will cause.

It would also help if we could manage to sort out the 'bug' that seems to be plagueing the "Show new replies to your posts." feature. It continually doesn't do what it says on the label.

I haven't had any immediate brain waves on this, so I'll have a think on it more.....

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2007, 04:15:12 PM »
Fine with me. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference to me.
Eventually, games get moved into archives anyway, right?

Offline NightBird

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2007, 04:36:44 PM »
Maybe we need to encourage a more honest assessment of when a game has gone inactive and a shorter retention of abandoned games, one-on-one threads and even older or unused threads of a still-running game. And maybe there needs to be a realistic appraisal encouraged of whether a game is intended to be linear, in which case multi-threads aren't necessary, and when it's intended to be a text version of an MMORPG, where keeping who's in which location straight makes a big difference. A linear game doesn't really need a lot of threads, mainly one for the story line and one OOC to discuss issues related to the specific game, and I suppose the original thread with the discussion in GMs/Games Wanted or Players Wanted could be moved to the game to reduce that duplication, as well.

I'd like to think that all of us here would be cooperative about making these kinds of judgements to reduce the pressure on the site.

Offline Elvi

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2007, 05:22:44 PM »
If only Nightbird.

Thing is that (and I can say this from experience), there are GM's out there who  demand a board and a child board for their game immediately.
First they get shirty when asked if they have enough players, to actually set up the game in the first place, then there's the mega huff because they can't have a child board of their own to put their OOC stuff in.

Ironically these were usually the games that ended up laying inactive for months and then dissapearing.

I am not saying that this is the normal aproach that I got from members while I was a goddess, but there were enough to warrant comment upon.

So, unfortunately, there may not be the amount of co-operation that is needed volunterily and it may be a case of having very clear guidlines on how a game should look and what it can have.


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Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2007, 08:21:35 PM »
 I rather like this idea (quote from Lilac):

One is that each category have a board similar to the current 'One Shots' board, where people can make proto-games however they like, using up to say, five threads to do so.  If these threads netted a lot of posts and interest, they could be moved to their own board.  If someone is going to use multiple threads, they'll need to tag their thread title.

So basically, instead of the massive list of games you see now, under each category you would see the Fun and Games child board, like now, and the Starter Games (or however it's named) child board.  A few categories would have games that reached critical mass, about a half dozen or so in the Heavy sections.


----
I've got a few games with many many posts (Corruption of purity being one) and they have never required child boards. However, I personally think of it this way: Lilac (and Vekseid) are providing this free service to us and they should set it up however they see fit. Besides, if they set it up this way, can it not be changed back if it doesn't work out?

Offline LilacTopic starter

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2007, 09:14:36 PM »
Well it can, the problem is this isn't working out.  Imagine this board triples in size, glance at the right-hand side of the board index and decide if that's what you want to see.  Also, I think having a limited set of boards would help with games being active in general, since people would see fewer threads.

Offline NightBird

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2007, 11:11:46 PM »
Gotcha, Elvi.  It is a constant failing of mine to hope for the thoughtful and rational... a lesson you'd think I'd have learned by now, but I'll let you know how muh longer it lasts once I'm teaching full time. 

Guidelines sound good, though. I think those will be needed to move forward with the changes Lilac has discussed, like naming threads that are meant to go together. I know the board software can sort by subject box text, but even a typo would make that problematical, and it would have to start out with the game name to be worthwhile as a sorting mechanism. Once it's sorted by subject text, however, it doesn't necessarily sort with newest at the top. Is that a system setting, perhaps? That could alleviate a lot of the potential hassle of having multiple games separate threads jumbled into one board.

Then three more questions for you, Lilac:

1) The mention of having five threads to set up proto-games... would that be a rules-based limit on the max number of threads for a new game starting up, or would that be a system setting for the max number of threads a single person could create in a given board? Quite a number of site members seem to have several one-on-ones and a game, for example, so I was curious how that would work out. Looking at X-Men: Unsung Heroes provides a good example of a game with fairly good activity that relies on multiple threads for the ability to follow the gameplay, not to mention housing the character information to where it's easy to find for reference. Now, if we're moving to something where that sort of game just won't be workable here anymore, that's cool, but it's something we should all understand and be prepared to adapt to.

2) When you say that having a limited set of boards would help because people would see fewer threads, that might be the case on the main page, but it would be the opposite in the subject boards, wouldn't it? If I'm grasping this correctly (which I might not be), there would be threads from multiple games all in one board rather than split out into daughter boards, so people would see fewer titles on the main page, but lots more as they try to find the threads for a given game. How much will it drive people crazy to see the threads for possibly a dozen different games all in one list and follow what's going on in just one of them? Me, I'd rather see the larger game list on the main page, and ignore the games that don't interest me rather than slog through to find isolated threads that do interest me out of a far longer list of threads. Again, like in question #1, if that's where the site has to go, then that's a fact we just have to deal with, but it raises a different kind of cooperative, thoughtful behavior to keep things straight: accurate and thorough tagging to allow sorting by subject text. If one kind doesn't work, will relying on this kind improve the experience on the site?

3) How severe are the underlying software issues? Are we really saying, here, that when you get down to the nitty gritty of it, the software truly only has the capacity to handle linear gaming, where everything can be in one thread, whether it's two people or twenty writing in the game? If that's what's under the hood, so to speak, then I can understand that, but I'm getting really confused about whether this is about software limitations or about what people want to see in look and feel. Are a lot of people complaining about having to scroll up and down on the main page?

Online Vekseid

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2007, 11:25:12 PM »
To answer 3, there have been complaints about the number of child boards.

Occasionally, when a board gets added, it messes something up and an entire category gets dropped.  Right now it auto-fixes itself, usually, but it wasn't always that way.  However, auto-fixing means there's a problem in the first place, and if something really does go wrong and Lilac and I are both gone for awhile, people may be out a category until one of us gets back.

We also have to watch the permissions for each board.

Lilac will have to answer the rest.

Offline LilacTopic starter

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2007, 02:57:10 PM »
1) The mention of having five threads to set up proto-games... would that be a rules-based limit on the max number of threads for a new game starting up, or would that be a system setting for the max number of threads a single person could create in a given board? Quite a number of site members seem to have several one-on-ones and a game, for example, so I was curious how that would work out. Looking at X-Men: Unsung Heroes provides a good example of a game with fairly good activity that relies on multiple threads for the ability to follow the gameplay, not to mention housing the character information to where it's easy to find for reference. Now, if we're moving to something where that sort of game just won't be workable here anymore, that's cool, but it's something we should all understand and be prepared to adapt to.

It's a soft limit, probably set so that active games would all display on the first page.  If a given genre proves to be exceptionally popular, and people want a lot of threads we may break it out into its own subforum.

Quote
2) When you say that having a limited set of boards would help because people would see fewer threads, that might be the case on the main page, but it would be the opposite in the subject boards, wouldn't it? If I'm grasping this correctly (which I might not be), there would be threads from multiple games all in one board rather than split out into daughter boards, so people would see fewer titles on the main page, but lots more as they try to find the threads for a given game. How much will it drive people crazy to see the threads for possibly a dozen different games all in one list and follow what's going on in just one of them? Me, I'd rather see the larger game list on the main page, and ignore the games that don't interest me rather than slog through to find isolated threads that do interest me out of a far longer list of threads. Again, like in question #1, if that's where the site has to go, then that's a fact we just have to deal with, but it raises a different kind of cooperative, thoughtful behavior to keep things straight: accurate and thorough tagging to allow sorting by subject text. If one kind doesn't work, will relying on this kind improve the experience on the site?

What I'm really trying to avoid is all these ... little games that die after a hundred posts.  We need a proving grounds.  Even if I have to set the limit for a separate board down to say, 1,000 posts, that's leagues better than the current setup.

Offline Nanoki

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2007, 06:09:45 PM »
I like the idea.  It may be a bit tougher but it's a great idea.

Offline LilacTopic starter

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2007, 11:42:47 AM »
Alright, I'll be making some new boards, and perhaps solicit moderators.  Stay tunes ^_^

Offline Vandren

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2007, 01:22:04 PM »
Sorry to come into this late, but I have a question re: the "proving ground" boards.  And that is this: will it be possible to keep threads with one tag line, say [EMvsHB], together, or will they be scattered throughout the board (as they'd be in the Fun & Games boards)?

Offline NightBird

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2007, 01:44:20 PM »
They'd initially appear by date posted, just like they do now in the "Fun and Games" boards, now renamed "Single Threads" boards. To group them together by 'game', you'd have to click on the word "Subject" at the top of that column, which will do an alphabetical sort by the text in the subject line rather than by date. The 'new' content icon would show you which have new posts since the last time you looked.

Offline LilacTopic starter

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2007, 01:45:30 PM »
There is the "sort by name" option.  Also hoping to squeeze in a 'favorite threads' type thing and possibly have a two-column index. 

Also, Bishrook asked some questions, so I'll answer them here, too:

Hi Lilac,
I have a number of questions about your new small games board and your clean up project.

Quote
1. I have five players signing on. Does that mean that each can start a board or that I can start five boards? (I'd like at least three. A background.an OOC/announcements board and a story board.)

Either, as you specify, plus one for yourself (you count as a participant - a GM and five players means six participants).

Quote
2. Do GNs/co-GMs in a game still have edit ability for all posts in our threads?

I can give this permission to moderators and thread-starters only, unfortunately.  I will turn on that ability for said boards if people wish it.  Moderator applications will be accepted but I would prefer it if people only applied for a single board.

Offline Vandren

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2007, 05:53:32 PM »
Cool.  Sounds good (not a big fan of the "new content" thing, so I don't really use it, but the search/sort sounds good).

Danke,
-Van

Offline NightBird

Re: Major board revamping
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2007, 10:23:01 PM »
Just a question from the hopelessly confused...

Why are we keeping really old games and mixing them into the current ones? When you change to sorting by name to get all the games together, you then get a bunch of old games to scroll through to find what you're looking for, and that's already confused me once today, when there were games with similar names by the same game owner in adjacent categories, one coming up on two years old, and one current.

I dunno, maybe it's just me that's having a hard time...