Category: Weekly Updates
Right, now that I'm back and I've, uh, recovered, I'll explain what I intend to do with my time.
First of all, I'm still working on Miasmon. I've done a lot of talking about apps and switching to Apple and so on, but I never actually explicitly said that I'd give up on Miasmon, which I've already spent a while working on. It's mostly done now, and now that I can spend all my time at my computer doing things like working, I can hopefully finish it in maybe a month or two.
I still need to do some music tracks, all the trainers' in battle sprites, and most of the monster sprites... Oh, and some plot events. And items don't work in battle. And none of the skills have particle effects yet.
Hmm. Maybe there's more left than I'd prefer... But it's still largely done, since it's properly playable; that is, all the engine's done.
I mentioned ages ago that I'd redo this site, and I'm still intending to do that; I had been planning to put it off until after the trip, and since that time is now, I've got started.
I've redone the site before, but those changes were mainly just cosmetic, or they were a tweak to a feature or two, like adding orbs or removing the HP feature.
This time, however, the change will be much bigger, as I explained ages ago... You'll have to make new accounts because I'll be starting with a completely new data structure rather than just using the old, sloppy stuff that I set up when I knew much less than I do now.
There'll be many big changes, but I'll go over a few here. Some are just ideas; if you have objections, or suggestions, then feel free to mention them in comments (even if I rarely respond to comments, I try to read (almost) all of them).
Before I say anything though, I should point out that an archived, frozen version of this old site will exist out of the way, so none of your data will be *erased* as such; it'll just be put into read-only mode.
Now, these are some changes that I intend to make:
- In the last post, I went on about my feelings quite a bit, and it's nice to have somewhere to do that kind of thing. I've been wanting for a while to change the 'Development Blog' thing so that I could write about whatever's on my mind in it rather than just writing a game-related news update each week, so with this new site, I'll be doing that. I might even update it multiple times per day with short posts rather than just some huge one every so often.
Such frequent updates may increase the site's hits, and the topics might be a good way of sparking discussion amongst people. They wouldn't all be banal topics like how I feel or anything; I might write about specific features in my games, or about a sprite I'd just made and wanted to show off or something. Some wouldn't have anything to do with games, some would be about my development on a more detailed level than I've been writing about currently.
- I'm going to be getting rid of Forum Posts as a thing, and converting all posts to a single format, like the comments are now. That is, things that you'd be able to reply to individually. You'd be able to edit them though, like the current forum posts.
There'd still BE a forum, but instead of working like it does now, the threads would be sort of similar to the news posts in format; there'd be the one initial first post in some special box, and then all replies would be in the form of comments; you could reply to the comments of others rather than the first post if you had something specific to say to them.
- I may get rid of the Reviews thing... It was nice while it lasted, but it's barely ever used, and I sort of just want to clean it up out of the way... Thank you to all of you that did write reviews, and I don't like that I'd be 'getting rid of' your hard work, but at least they'd still exist in the archived version of this site, so they'd not be gone forever or anything.
- I'd make proper support for moderator controls from the offset, and probably choose moderators early. Finally!
- I may make the rules a bit laxer... I don't like the air of elitist pretentiousness that this site's community may give off to others... Or rather, I don't like seeing loads of hugely long posts by young teenagers which essentially just boil down to them trying to show off how clever and philosophical and such they think they are... It all seems like it's a place for young 'intellectuals' to flaunt their egos, and it comes across as superficial; all showing off, no substance.
I'm sorry if this offends any of you, but it's something that I've been noticing more and more over the years and I find it really grating these days.
It's hard to know what to do about it, though. I mean, I do still want this site to be a sort of haven for clever people who might not fit in elsewhere, and I certainly DON'T want to attract those meme-using chatspeaking types or anything, but hmm... Maybe it's just the length of posts that bothers me? All these self-indulgently long ramblings that don't really *say* anything...
Anyway, I'll need to think about this. Or something.
- Following perhaps hypocritically on from that, I want to redo the ratings system... Maybe. This will be in a few stages.
First, I'd do away with orb ratings for user profiles, and the archaic Like/Hate system that I keep forgetting even exists.
Instead, I'd have the Friend List and Report sorts of things that many sites have. That is, if you like someone, you can add them as a Friend and they'll be listed on your userpage as such, and if you think that they're doing things wrong, you can Report them and I or the moderators will hear about it.
- Next, I'm considering doing away with the orb ratings in general... They were nice while they lasted, but I find it hard to rate most posts these days because I'm not sure what rating I feel comfortable with.
I've been thinking about various systems, and one that seemed interesting to me was a sort of three-criteria system...
Instead of the row of orbs on a post, there might be a display something like this: L:00 A:00 C:00
Except the 0 things would be buttons or orbs or something like that; one green and one red for each pair.
The letters would mean 'Language', 'Attitude', and 'Contribution', and each post would be 'rated' on these, but in a binary, boolean sort of way. All three would need to be selected for a single three-part rating to be submitted. Ratings would be of the form '101' (positive Language and Contribution, negative Attitude), '100' (positive L, negative A and C), '111' (all positive), '000' (all negative), etc... So you see, one rating, three parts, not separate ratings for each part. To submit the rating would require three clicks rather than one, but it might be easier to assess which rating to give.
A system like this has a reward as the default and a penalty as a deterrent for certain behaviours. Most decent posts would get '111' ratings, positive for everything, and it's only by being uncivil or lazy or inane that they'd get zeroes or reds or whatever they'd end up being called.
'Language' would be positive unless the post had poor spelling and/or grammar, profanity, or wasn't in English.
'Attitude' would be positive unless the person was being aggressive, condescending, or otherwise rude and unsettling and uncivil.
'Contribution' would be positive unless the post was completely inane and added nothing to the discussion or said nothing of value (think posts that say 'yes (extra words 2 inceraese post lenthg)' or something.
This is still very much in the 'just an idea' stage, so feedback would be appreciated.
- I'll probably add some relatively minor but perhaps interesting features like being able to choose your Interests on your profile in such a way that you could search for other users with the same interests (like, each interest could be chosen from a drop-down list (or new interests could be added to that list if your interest wasn't already there), and the interest would be a link as displayed on your profile; clicking on it would list all users with that interest), and things like that.
I got the idea from Facebook (which I've barely used, but I took the time to input my profile information and was impressed by how it all worked), but I don't want to turn this site into Facebook as such; I just want to increase the feeling of 'community' about the place or something.
- Despite saying that I don't want this to become like Facebook, another idea I had was allowing people to upload photos of themselves, which would be displayed on a separate tab on their userpage, so then you'd only see it if you actively looked for it. There'd only be one photo per person, not a photo album or anything like that. And it'd be completely optional.
Interestingly, I'd want to label that tab 'Appearance' rather than 'Photo', and in it, there'd be the photo, but also, next to the photo, a description by that user of how they look. Wouldn't that be interesting, comparing how they think they look to an actual image of themselves?!
It interests me in the same way that the current Personality tab on profiles does; it gives you a good idea of how the person's mind operates, what they think of themselves, and you'd learn more about them and whether you'd like to associate with them or not. Or something.
- The final thing I'll mention here is another 'just an idea' thing, which may not be necessary but could potentially be interesting.
I'd add a tab to peoples' userpages called something like 'Opinions' or 'Reviews' or something along those lines, and in that area you'd be able to leave an anonymous comment saying what you think of that person. You'd only be able to leave one comment, which you could edit at any time, and it'd show up as completely anonymous.
So if you feel that a member is doing wrong but lack the confidence to actually confront them about it, then you could write anonymously on their page and others reading it later would see that there was something about that member that might have led someone to feel that way about them. Similarly, you could write praise about the person if you like them a lot, though it'd still be anonymous.
I'd imagine that many people will see the obvious potential for trolling here, so of course there'd be a way of reporting these comments so that moderators could remove them, but even if there WERE trollish comments on someone's page, wouldn't that show that there was something about that user that made people want to troll them!? HMM.
I just find it interesting to look at peoples' profiles and try to get an impression of how people feel about them, and how they feel about themselves. Being able to read a bunch of 'reviews' - which would be little blurbs of things, like "he has a good heart, but really needs to improve his pushy, aggressive attitude" - would tell me a lot about how others saw that person and I'd get a feeling for how to perceive them. It'd also be a good way for member to be told what they're doing wrong so then they could learn from their mistakes.
That's all for now; there are more changes that I intend to make, but they're probably things that aren't worth describing or which don't come to mind at the moment. The appearance of the site will change, and I'm recoding everything from the ground up so it might be faster and more stable or something... I've no idea when it'll be finished, but it'll likely be 'weeks' away.
Oh, and one final note... I'm still thinking about getting a Mac to do app-related stuff, but if I do, then I want to get a Mac that is a LAPTOP (this is important), and I'd not do something dodgy and potentially illegal like running the Mac software on a non-Apple computer. I like things to be neat and proper, so I'd rather use what I'm supposed to use rather than using hacks and such in order to save money. I'm just not comfortable with that.
It's a big change though, so I won't decide for a while. I'll just work on Flash games until I have decided. And this new site thing, of course.