Archive for the ‘Website Development’ Category

This blog has moved

February 7, 2013 Leave a comment

People carryinghouseYes that’s right, this blog has moved location. It’s become so popular and so awesome that we had to put it somewhere else and not on the basic hosting. There’s many reasons for doing this, mainly to make it even better!

Just like the hundred minions carrying the house in this picture, I’ve worked hard at moving all the useful articles across that I and many others have written over the last 4 years (Wow! Has it really been that long?).

The new blog will continue to have useful posts for all PBEM and play-by-post roleplayers.

Why did we move?

To make the blog better. The free account we had (this one you’re looking at right now) only allows us to choose from a few templates, and I have niggles with the presentations of each of them. Like the way the headings don’t quite have enough spacing, and the colours are all drab and dull. Moving to a proper hosted WordPress means I can choose from a million other templates, and make changes that will make it match the OngoingWorlds website so there’s no confusion when you go from there to the blog and go “what the hell is this? It looks all different!”.

Also there’s more options for allowing other users to post to the blog. I’ve had some amazing people contribute articles to the blog, but unless they go through the complicated process of getting a account, the article looks like it was posted by me, and they don’t get the credit they deserve.

Anyway, enough of the boring technical stuff which I’m sure you don’t care about. Check out the new blog here.

New “story summary” feature added

December 10, 2012 1 comment

Last week I added a new feature to OngoingWorlds which allows long-running games to show an summary of the recent story. This is to communicate recent events to a new member without amending your game description.

I explain it better in the video here:

New OOC update for everyone

November 1, 2012 1 comment

I heart OOC

The OOC update has been around for quite a while, but until now you’ve had to opt-in by registering on a form on the original article. Now it’s available for everyone, in all games.

Here’s a video where I explain how to make a post into an OOC post, it’s really simple. Read more…

Introducing the fly-out character summaries

June 11, 2012 1 comment

This article has been moved, you’ll find it here. 

Announcing the new OOC update

May 30, 2012 Leave a comment

OOC t-shirtLast April the game Blue Dwarf had been running for 12 years, the game HMS Sovereign has been running for a year an a half, and next month the game What will be will be… will be 1 year old.

Half of the battle of keeping a successful play-by-post game going for a long time is communicating with other members, and many people have told me that it’s the community around a game that keeps them interested. Read more…

Categories: Website Development

Update to character groups

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Some updates to a website take a long time and a lot of effort, but there’s not always something obvious when it’s done. This is one of those changes that’s taken a long time, and the advantage isn’t totally obvious straight away. I’ll start by explaining the problem.

Character groups for the game 'What will be'

Characters can be organised into groups

OngoingWorlds allows you to list all characters on a game’s character page in groups. By default there was a maximum of 10 groups, which wasn’t enough for all games. Another problem was that the order of groups could not be changed, which I’ve now solved by a nice easy drag and drop interface. Read more…

Updating the default character groups

May 20, 2012 4 comments

Cats in a boxI’m currently working on changing the character groups in a game, if you don’t know what these are, look at the character list of any game on OngoingWorlds (for example this one). See how the characters are grouped together? Those are character groups.

Groups will be different for each game, which is why if you create a new scifi game you’ll get a different set of character groups than if you created a fantasy game, although you’ll be able to change these if they’re not suitable to whatever you want.

If you think these default character groups aren’t appropriate or you think they might need changing, now is actually a good chance to speak up and give me some suggestions. This won’t affect existing games, only ones that will be created from now on.

Read more…

New mobile style

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Samsung Galaxy S2

Have you noticed how you use your mobile phone differently to a computer? Because of the small screen of a smartphone, apps usually push content into one narrow column that you can scroll down through.

When I originally created the OngoingWorlds design, I hadn’t thought of this, so never created a mobile specific stylesheet until now. Read more…

Chat box added to OngoingWorlds

March 24, 2012 2 comments

Screenshot of the new chatbox

A few weeks ago I created a poll asking users what feature they would most like to see added to OngoingWorlds. The results were pretty clear and most people wanted an instant chat box. Read more…

How to give awards to members of your game

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Award trophyWhy not reward the members in your game for taking part, and writing great posts? Some players work really hard to create an interesting storyline, and write great dialogue between characters. It’s time you gave them a little something for their effort!

We’ve been testing a new awards feature that has previously only been available for a very small amount of games. To have the ability to give awards to your members you had to sign up for it here (but now they’re available to everyone!

Read more about awards in Ongoingworlds here! 

New feature: Rating member posts

September 13, 2011 1 comment

Here’s a new feature that we’ve recently added to OngoingWorlds. There’s nothing better than receiving feedback to help you improve your writing. We’ve added a new feature that allows you to rate other posts to let the author know how good it was.

How to rate posts

When you read through posts in your game written by other members you’ll see 5 stars at the bottom. These will show the current rating for the post, showing the average rating that everyone else has given.

Rate posts

Read more…

Need an autosave?

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

A woman looking miserable because her computer has crashed
One of the features that has been requested to be added into OngoingWorlds is to add an autosave feature for when you’re writing a new post. I’ll explain about that in the article here.

Play-by-post or Interactive Storytelling?

May 22, 2011 1 comment

woman dressed up playing a gameWhen I first started creating the OngoingWorlds website I was faced with many challenges about how to technically build it, but also I had one question which was far more difficult to solve, how do I describe it?

I’ve always been clear in my head what I wanted OngoingWorlds to be. I want it to be a place where a group of people can create a story together. This isn’t an original idea, nor is it unusual. There are thousands of roleplaying games across the internet that people have been playing for years. But everyone seems to call it something different.

This article has moved. You’ll find it here.

Rewarding your members with awards

March 6, 2011 3 comments

squid trophy

You might have seen the mockups that I’ve put on Facebook already, showing a peek at a new feature in OngoingWorlds that allow moderators to give Awards to their most worthy members.

This article has moved. You’ll find it here.

I’ve been rejigging the homepage!

January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

OngoingWorlds homepageI’ve been rejigging the Ongoing Worlds website to:

  • Help make it clearer what the site is about
  • Help people find a game easier
  • More easily show the features of the site

Things changed on the homepage

You might have seen the mockup I created and added to Facebook last month showing these changes. I wanted to get approval from users before implementing them.

  • The freetype search has been removed, looking in the website analytics showed that this wasn’t used very much, so I’ve removed it for now. One possible reason it wasn’t used is that new users might not know what to search for, so would rather pick from a list, and members might navigate to their game from their ‘My Profile’ page, which lists all the games they’re a member of.
    The search will probably return at some point as I believe it’s common practise to include a search in the top right of your website, and removing this might frustrate some people. But for now I wanted to remove it to make the other options clearer.
  • The ‘Want to join a game?’ option is now at the top, this is a dropdown box of game categories. If users are thinking about joining a game or want to see games on the site, they can see all games of a category by selecting them here. Read more…