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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…

How I have been using Facebook to advertise Ongoing Worlds

January 4, 2011 2 comments

Ongoingworlds facebook pageSo I’ve created this website called Ongoing Worlds. I think it’s pretty cool but I got to the point after I’ve put it live to the internet where I realised it’s missing something. Members! So I had to go about getting people to use the thing, quite nervously biting my nails because I’ve put so much effort into building that site that I really don’t want it all to be wasted if nobody likes it.

With Facebook dominating the news lately as the most popular social network in the world, I had to at least consider it as a way to promote the website. I’m a keen user of Facebook anyway to chat to my friends, but I didn’t really have a lot of friends on there that were roleplayers.

Read more…

Website Update – Post Summary and Formatting options

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve added two great new features to the Ongoing Worlds website this week, as well as fixing a few bugs that were causing problems.

Post Summary

This was something which was inspired by the Yahoo Groups page that I’ve been running my Blue Dwarf game on for over 10 years. A table allows you to see how many posts were submitted each month, and different years will appear on different rows underneath. It’s a great way to see at a glance how long a game has been running for, and how popular it’s been.

If you’re worried that a game might be too involved for you, and has hundreds of posts per month, then you’ll be able to see on this table. Or the opposite, if a game seems to be struggling with only a few posts per month and you want a faster paced experience, you’ll be able to tell by looking at this table.

Post summary

The post summary, showing posts per month since the game started

This table will show on your game’s homepage, and will only show if you game has more than 20 posts.

Read more…

OngoingWorlds website has been updated

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

The latest upgrade of the OngoingWorlds website is really to fix some bugs, and tidy up a few things which were a bit rough around the edges the first time round.

Here’s a list of what’s been changed:

View postsPosts changed to “View Posts”

Not a massive change, but one which I thought was important. When testing the site when I wanted to view the posts that have already been posted, my eyes were scanning the menu down the left for the keyword “view”, but it wasn’t included because I’d tried to be as concise as possible when coming up with names for pages. I’ve decided to change it now to “View Posts” which I think is a lot more intuitive.

Read more…

Categories: Website Development Tags: ,

New feature: Character tagging in posts

July 17, 2010 2 comments

I want to let you know about a new update to the OngoingWorlds website that I’m quite excited about! Now, when you write your post, you can select which characters are in the post. This will show the characters names and thumbnail photos down the right-hand side of the page when you’re reading the post.

I’ve been talking about this feature for months on Twitter and to any interested people who I’ve talked to directly. I even did a blog post back in December, about why this feature is so cool. It’s part of what I want the site to be about, making it easier to see information at a glance. Being able to see a quick snapshot of the characters involved, you’ll quicker be able to see what the post is about.

Read more…

You can now add character photos

April 26, 2010 20 comments

The OngoingWorlds website has now been updated so that you can add photos to your character profiles. The photos will show when you view the individual character pages, as well as on the “Characters” page for each game.

All games have been upgraded, and any new games which are created will have this functionality as standard.

Add a photo for your character

To add a photo for your character, view the character’s profile, and click “Edit Character” (note: you can only edit characters that you own, or if you’re a Moderator in the game you can edit all characters in your game).

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Should story posts be private?

April 9, 2010 3 comments
Private sign

Some PBP/PBEM games can be set to private so that you can't see their messages but what have they got to hide? There are some disadvantages of a private game

Play-by-email and play-by-post games have in the past been either private or public, and in this article we’re going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each, and see why people might want their games to be public or private.

What is public or private?

Traditional play-by-email games (PBEM) were stories told by users who sent emails to each other, always keeping every member in the group cc’d into the email, or every member was part of a “newsgroup”, where emailing one email address distributed the email to all members of the group. Doing this meant that the posts that you sent to each other were only ever seen by other members of the group.

Games played on a public forum, or Yahoo groups are often public. This means they can be seen by anyone who has navigated to the website, and doesn’t have to be a member to view all posts in the story so far. In both forums and a Yahoo group, you have the option to make all posts private if you need to. This means that only members will be able to see the posts, retaining your privacy.

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