Beta Call: Blades Forge

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AuthorTopic: Beta Call: Blades Forge
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #0
Not a scenario. A website:


IMAGE(http://stuff.ermarian.net/arancaytar/images/screenshots/bladesforge/reskinned-s.png)


(other pictures)

Quick introduction: It will become a combined Blades repository for scenarios, scripts, custom graphics and articles. It will also have a mechanism for reviewing scenarios and (hopefully) organizing beta tests.

The new concept is that thanks to the marvels of Web 2.0 and content management, it will be the first Blades site whose content is entirely user-controlled and maintained.

Progress:

As of now, the unlocked features deemed ready for beta are:

- account registration and profiles
- uploading and navigating custom graphics
- uploading and navigating scripts

I already have six testers, and with their help I've improved the custom graphics section a lot. Now, however, I need to work on the scripts part. Ideally, the beta testers should submit real content, so if anyone has written scripts and would like to test a new repository, you are invited to come in.

Objectives:

The main target for testing and improvement is now the scripts section, but I would still like to have input on the custom graphics part. And if you have comments on any other aspect of the site, these would be very welcome! :)

How to join:

In beta, the site is not yet available for public access. This means I need your email to create an account for you, after which you can log into the non-public site and fiddle around on it.

You can use the following template:

[b]Desired account name:[/b] <Name>
[b]Email address:[/b] <Email>
[b]Design expertise:[/b] (Scenarios|Graphics|Scripts|etc)
Notes:

Please note that this is still an unstable testing site. As it is already filled with actual data that it would be ugly to lose, I am taking good care to keep it safe from harm, but as long as it's still in development, anything can happen.

Also, while I hope (of course) that many people want to participate, the test has to be limited in size for now to around 5 additional participants. I can only respond to so much feedback at any given moment.

Of course you can still sign up if the slots are filled - more testers will be needed soon. :)

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #1
Sure, I've got some scripts that migth as well end up in the Blades forge. Count me in.

I must warn you, though, that I'm beginning my week of tests tomorrow, so I don't know how much time I'll have on the short-term. Count me in anyway :P

Username: Thralni (what else?)
Email: B.J.van.Soldt AT inter.nl.net
Design expertise: scenarios, scripts and graphics.

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.
Co-designed with Nikki: El Presidente.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #2
Thralni and Lazarus have been granted access.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 10488
Profile #3
Will this ever have BoE stuff? Because it would be nice to have all Blades (BoE and BoA) scenarios and graphics all together in one place.
Posts: 334 | Registered: Friday, September 14 2007 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #4
I posted this topic in Blades of Avernum because that's where the action is these days. But in reality, it is in all senses a BoX site.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #5
I can't get in. I get a "Forbidden" error every time I try to get to the login page.

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.
Co-designed with Nikki: El Presidente.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #6
I have had to disable the site for several hours while I was testing a feature that would have been too risky to work on while people were logged in. Try again now.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #7
Yep, it works. Thanks!

--------------------
Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.
Co-designed with Nikki: El Presidente.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #8
Scenarios will shortly be unlocked, and the test positions (which haven't been filled completely yet) will be expanded. :)

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #9
quote:
Originally written by Arancaytar:

Scenarios will shortly be unlocked, and the test positions (which haven't been filled completely yet) will be expanded. :)
Yay. Finally. :P

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Nikki's Nook - pretty, pretty?
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #10
Several bugs have been fixed, among them:

- Profiles can be edited (nodeprofile module)
- Script source no longer shows up as "n/a" on Preview (cck module)
- Script download link is not displayed on Preview as it doesn't work anyway - (boascript module)
- All text fields now automatically show what input they expect, ie whether BBCode is allowed or not (cck module)

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #11
Numerous tons of bugs have been fixed that I cannot list. I have been working on the scenarios, and they're close to done.

To be beholdink.


IMAGE(http://stuff.ermarian.net/arancaytar/images/screenshots/bladesforge/scenario-s.png)


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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #12
Testers may now upload scenarios.

The mechanism is a bit inconvenient, as you must first post the scenario node (without any downloads), then create a release for this scenario (and upload the scenario files in the process). I have tried for half a day to unify these, and have decided to postpone it as the system is effectively functional.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #13
Hey hey, I got myself a blog topic!

---

New feature in development: Bulk uploading

Background:

The site philosophy is: All content to be found on the site is hosted on the site. No links. Since you retain full control of the content you upload, this should not be a problem for you. I don't want control over the content, I just want to be sure that the archives will never contain a dead link.

When it comes to graphics, this means that every single graphic must be uploaded with its full sheet as its own node.

TGM's situation (~250 dialog graphics) gave me an idea how the graphic uploading process could be made much more convenient.

Basically you upload a zip file, my site starts a batch process and creates the nodes in your name. So you can upload a 5 MB file with 300 graphics, and the site will process them all for you.

I'm half-way done with the feature - uploading works, the batch process can extract the images and parse the meta-textfile. It just needs to create the nodes now, which is fairly easy.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #14
A bit more general of a question: what will be the final main purpose of the Forge? Right now, it's just doing what existing sites already do, albeit using the user-submitted content paradigm. Don't get me wrong, I think a user-driven site is needed. I had just thought that Blades Forge would be analogous to Source Forge: a revision control system for scenarios.

For designers: will you use the Forge in your beta testing? Or even use it to release unfinished scenarios before they're ready to be beta tested?

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"Or it could just be that most people don't view urination as a valid problem solving technique."
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #15
I would like to see this as a final version, rather than beta, repository. But, I really think it will be most useful for the review function. Gotta love the lyceum, but it may be time to move on.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #16
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

For designers: will you use the Forge in your beta testing? Or even use it to release unfinished scenarios before they're ready to be beta tested?
I must say I'm noit sure if I will be using it as aplace to release unfinished stuff. What I will do, though, is put all released scenarios there and all the graphics and stuff I want to share with others. For beta versions of scenarios I will probably still use a special folder on my own site. i don't want beta versions to get to people whome I don't want them to have a beta version at all. What I will be using the Forge for, is probably some sort of a preview of TNS and other big scenarios. Ya know, just to show what I'm busy with.

--------------------
Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.
Co-designed with Nikki: El Presidente.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #17
It makes me smile (warmly, not amusedly) to see that each of us has ideas for what the site should be and do, and what its most important function is. It would be a real challenge to make the site be and do all of that; and I like challenges. :)

quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

I had just thought that Blades Forge would be analogous to Source Forge: a revision control system for scenarios.
You got that right - except that team-made scenarios are too rare to make actual revision control practical (if it were, and .bas files weren't binary blobs, I would consider tacking on an SVN repository...). So instead, it's just a mechanism for submitting a (scenario) project and adding a new release to it.

Beta-testing and non-public releases are a step further ahead. I have (potentially) a feature that would allow you to create a group (of Beta testers), invite users inside it, then release a non-public version of your scenario that can only be downloaded by this group.

Optional email alerts, communication over the site's forum, automatically sending out the beta release as an email attachment to the beta testers, collecting reports sent via email... there are a lot of possibilities in that direction.

---

Salmon:

I know we talked about the review system already, but could you describe what you would especially like to see?

So far, my idea is that any user can add a long-ish text describing their experience of the scenario, plus a few ratings in a standardized rubric (say, plot, graphics, technical quality, etc.) that will be averaged.

Time to move on or not, the Lyceum is a community, and nobody has ever supplanted a community - I'm not going to try. But I am considering the possibility of syndicating/scraping the Lyceum's CSR as well as the Spiderweb tables to integrate that information with the scenario scores.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #18
Also, an update on the bulk graphics feature: We're almost there. I have successfully uploaded an archive, let it create its nodes, all that. But replacing the upload with an internal file through the site engine is tricky. I had almost done it and was still in the final testing stages when the server went down like a dodo. This is site-wide and affects the entire Ermarian Network. It's been down for the past two hours, so I'm not hopeful for today.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 10488
Profile #19
How long before the beta stage is over (roughly)?
Posts: 334 | Registered: Friday, September 14 2007 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #20
I'd like to at least add Reviews and Articles before launching, to make the site fit the original conception. Scenario beta organization looks like it will take a lot of time, and I'd rather not wait for that; it can be tacked on later if the concept is successful.

I predicted that scenarios would be done this week, and they are - more than that. I may not be done with the site by next weekend, but there's a good chance.

[ Sunday, November 11, 2007 10:21: Message edited by: Arancaytar ]

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #21
Articles are unlocked. An article consists of a title, an abstract and a main text. Optionally, the publisher can designate co-authors as well as reference other articles or scenarios. If anyone wants to try out this system (afaik, the testers who are already on haven't written any articles), you're welcome.

Reviews aren't tricky, but the "Scenario -> Review" node relationship may take some time to get right.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #22
TGM alerted me to the lack of a screenshot option in the scenario node.

Hence.


IMAGE(http://stuff.ermarian.net/arancaytar/images/screenshots/bladesforge/scenario-screenshots-s.png)


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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #23
I wanted to suggest that too, but for some reason I didn't... Oh well. Good to see it's there now, though.

--------------------
Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.
Co-designed with Nikki: El Presidente.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #24
Two things. Firstly, Aran, why can't I have zero outdoor sections??

Secondly, me and Thralni made EP. If I upload it though, it's just going to credit it to me, right? Is there a way around that?

Edit: As an aside, I think it'd be nice if a users submissions could be seen in his/her profile. I mean, suppose I like Frostbite (for some unfathomable reason :P ), and wanted to play other things by Lazarus. It'd be nice if there was a list of an author's scenarios right there in their profile.

[ Tuesday, November 13, 2007 02:38: Message edited by: Us ]

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Nikki's Nook - pretty, pretty?
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00

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