Home > Website Development > Ordering the games on the games page

Ordering the games on the games page

So I’ve been working today on the “Games” page. This will be a page accessible to all users that lists all of the games on the site so far. This can be where users can browse, to see if a game interests them.

I’m displaying the game title, as well as a thumbnail of the profile image you can upload for the game. Other useful information I thought people would want to know initially is how many members the game has, and how many characters it has.
I also think what is most important is that a user can tell how long it has been since the last post, which is why I have included a link to the two most recent posts, and specified the dates they were posted. This way, a user will not try and subscribe to a game which hasn’t had a post in five years.

See the screenshot below (remember this is still in development and the colours/layout will change significantly when the site is launched!).

Game list page (in development)

The “Games” page. This lists all PBEM/PBP games on the site

I also think the order of this list is important. I’m hoping that there will potentially be hundreds of games created on this website, and a lot of these games will become abandoned over time or come to a natural end. So I want to show the currently running games at the start of the list, so that users don’t have to scroll past these abandoned games. This annoys me about the way that EpicWords.com orders their campaign list. They do it alphabetically, so the first page has games listed which haven’t had an update for months, or years.

Screenshot of EpicWords.com campaign list

The campaign list on EpicWords.com is listed alphabetically, which means you have to scroll through many games which haven’t been updated recently

I also want to give the user to option of what to browse for. They already have a search box, to search the games list for words that are interesting to them. But this does require them to know what they’re looking for. Most people will just be browsing for games that take their interest.

Each of the games will have a category, so “scifi”, “Fantasy”, “Modern” etc, so you will be able to display games of only these categories. This will be done via a drop down menu, select your category and then click “go”.

I wanted to ask this question, what other criteria would you like to be able to search by? I was going to add an option so that you can reorder the list alphabetically if you’d like, but is there much point? If this is a feature that you think would be useful, please let me know. Alternatively I could add in the ability to reorder the list by least popular first. Again, would this be useful at all?

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  1. December 6, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I really would like to see some sort of description of the game, a title doesn’t say everything.

    But as for sorting, from the top of my head I can think of a couple ways that would be useful from a user perspective to sort the list:
    New games – based on creation date
    Active games – based on latest post date
    Size – number of posts or maybe number of members?

    Anyway, I want to be able to find games that are starting up that I can be part of from the beginning.
    I want to find games that are already established as smooth running games.

    Hmmm… Perhaps instead of sorting based on size, there can be a filter to show games with more (or less) than X members for example? That would allow the user to combine searches, like finding new games with more than 3 players already.
    It feels like I am rambling on here, too early in the morning I guess.

    Sorting alphabetically isn’t really that useful, if you know the name of the game you are looking for I guess you can use the search box anyway.

    Is there a point in showing abandoned games in the same list (other than it looks like you are hosting more games)? You could flag a game as abandoned after X months of no new posts or so and show them in a seperate list.

  2. December 6, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Yeah I like the idea of searching by creation date, and then also by activity. Searching by size seems a bit more complicated as I’m not sure which is more useful, knowing the number of posts, or the number of members. I could do both but that would be a lot of work. For now I might focus on the top two and then if people request the third when the site is live I’ll add it in.

    There is currently a way for a moderator of a game to “close” the game. But you’re right a game should probably be classed as “abandoned” after 6 months or something, but should that also be discounted from the search? I’ve seen some games picked up again after a long time. Removing it from the search might mean it is never found again. I could have a tickbox I suppose to include abandoned games, but it adds clutter to the interface – which I want to be dead simple, and also it adds more time for me to create it. I’ll stick it on my list as a possible amend for the future.

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