Before you start any big project, you have to think it through logically and make some design choices before you even start, so that you don't code yourself into a corner later.
I'm going to be coding completely custom forums. I want them to be unique, but usable to everyone. By unique, I mean that I don't want it to just be a remake of every other forum out there, but I don't want to make something that no-one can use.
This is where my first design choice comes in.
BBCode vs Markdown
I dislike BBCode. I think it's clunky and difficult to use correctly. On the other hand, most people that use forums are used to using BBCode in their posts.
Markdown, on the other hand, is straightforward and pretty easy to use. It requires minimal extra typing and formatting. This is what Reddit uses for their post/comment system. However, most people that use forums aren't used to using Markdown.
Right now, I'm going with Markdown as my choice in ways to do posts, and I will of course have a formatting help thing you can use.
Forum Profiles and Settings
I don't see the point in having the Forums being a separate entity from the main site. Forum settings will be in the main UCP in a new tab, and your profile will be getting some new stuff, like an About Me, optional comments, customization, and maybe some other personal, optional, fields.
Custom avatars vs ALog Avatars
At the start, I'm planning on everyone's default avatar to be their ALog profile picture (face), however, if there is a demand for it, customizable avatars are a possibility. This is to cut down on the initial work required and to avoid having to moderate avatars.
That's all the big things that I'm currently thinking about. I'm sure there will be many smaller things as I progress. If there's anything you dislike about forums or anything you've always wished forums had, please let me know. I want this to be as much your forums as it is mine.
Happy New Year! 2013 was an amazing year of growth and expansion. We grew from a community of just a handful of people to now over 2,200 users! Thank you to each and every one of you for all your continued support. Let's make 2014 an even better year :)
Let's look at some analytic statistics from 2013 (June - December):
- Unique Visitors: 26,581
- Visits: 109,602
- Pages/Visit (avg): 3
- Top 3 languages: English (84%), Dutch (5.5%), Finnish (1.3%)
- Average daily unique visitors: 513
This post is going to be a kind of preview about what features I'd like to implement in 2014. Some of these will be very large while some will be smaller tweaks. I am always interested to hear what you guys want to see, so always feel free to post suggestions in comments, even if completely unrelated to the post.
The largest issue prohibiting growth of community is that we have a user-base, but there's no community interaction. I'm planning to work on this by creating forums that will use your already-existing account and allow interaction in the community. It is my hope that we can grow into a strong and helpful community!
Sure, the profile system is a great way to keep track of your Completionist requirements, but it lacks a certain personal touch, and may not be a great solution for everyone. I will be implementing a way to set personal goals that will display on your profile like the already existing requirements, but will be completely unique to you!
I'm a believer that personal customization is what makes something stand out. Soon the profiles will be much more personal. You will be able to change colors, what's visible, have an "about me" section, goals, and maybe even have some other modules available (nothing planned yet).
Better Mobile Support
This isn't a huge priority, but I know how tough it can be to use a full size site on a mobile device. I'd like to implement a nice mobile theme that works well and doesn't get in the way.
What better way to bring a group together then some friendly competition? My current idea for skilling competitions is to have two brackets: Competitive and Casual. Competitive will be for those who really want to go for the most xp possible, with a large prize, where the casual bracket will be for those of us who only get to play a few hours a day, with a smaller prize.
As always, these features aren't final and are subject to change. I'm always looking for suggestions and ideas, as well as any bugs that need to be fixed. Thank you all so much.
As some of you may have noticed, we've recently passed 2,000 user accounts created. This is a huge milestone, and I would like to thank each and every one of you personally, but there are just so many of you!
As a thank you, I am going to be holding a prize drawing, of sorts. Starting Sunday, December 8th, there will be a page that you can go to and input your RSN for a chance to win!
Winners are as follows:
- Man guy
- He Belongs
I've rerolled a few names due to the name not existing in-game. Sorry!
Winners have one week from December 25th to contact The Orange to claim their prize!
I will attempt to contact all winners. Failure to collect a prize will result in a repick for that bond.
Thank you everyone for helping to support this site!
You do not need to have an account to enter the competition. Simply enter your name on the page to be entered!
I know it's been a long time since I've posted or updated anything, and there's a good reason for that. Lately, I've been extremely busy with work and school, and I haven't had a lot of free time, and when I do have time, I haven't had a lot of time to come up with good ideas on what new features I could set up here.
So that's why I'm posting this. What features would you guys really like to see here? Post your ideas in the comments and I'll be happy to discuss things with you about your idea, along the lines of how possible it would be. I'll of course give you credit if I do end up using your idea.
As always, thanks for everything. If you have any ideas, post in the comments below! :)
Updates I've made:
- Added a page to see all the capes you've submitted in the UCP. Here you can see the votes and favorites, and delete capes you don't want anymore. Clicking on the names will take you directly to the cape.
- Added a new "options" tab to the UCP that has some new options. Currently the only option that has any effect is the comment background color. This feature is going to be greatly expanded on.
- The "Cached Stats" message at the bottom of a calc page now shows the exact time til next update.
Temporarily disabled the recent searches sidebar as it was causing load time issues. I have a plan to fix it, just need the time.
This should now be fixed!
- Expanded on the options tab to make the chosen signature colors have effect on the signatures. Example:
There are many areas in RS where a timer can be very handy, whether it be skilling, combat, or anything between. So, I've decided to make my own timer! The global timer is located in the bottom right corner of your screen. Simply click on it to expand it and set it, and click it again to minimize it.
Why is it called a "global" timer, you might ask? Well, that's simply because it will work seamlessly across all pages. Set it on one page, and as you surf the site, it will continue to count down. You can even close the browser completely and come back later, and assuming the time hasn't run out, it will continue to count down.
Currently, you can only input minutes and seconds, and there is no "pause" functionality. If there's a demand for expansion of these (hours/pause), I will definitely look into it. Comment below if you feel strongly :).
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to comment below!
In other news:
- The Divination inline skill calculator has been populated. Simply click on the Divination row on the calculator to view. Experience values are without boons.
- Fixed a bug on the profile where the Completionist Gauge was ignoring Dungeoneering experience if it was between level 99 and 120 (non-inclusive).
- I have unhidden all previous updates and added pages to news posts. They were previously hidden in order to keep the front page short and load quickly. With pages I can have them all visible, and still maintain that.
- There is now a new sidebar on the front page that shows all recent comments.
- There is now a relative timestamp that shows how old a comment is on each comment.
- Those that have donated will no longer see ads!