Improving the "Current Games" page of Running Game

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Improving the "Current Games" page of Running Game

Post by Hannibal » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:44 pm

IMHO, the current format of the page for "Current Games" (the one you reach if you click on "View Running Games") is ripe for revision, before we go on a major recruitment drive.

Main problems:
1) The last column, "Next Turn" must currently be a real turn-off to new visitors. Current games? At the time of writing, there are 19 games listed. 16 of them are listed as "Turn Overdue" (hardly an advertisement for an active site). Of the 3 that actually have hours and minutes as the entry, instead of "Turn Overdue", 2 are in fact finished, and the other is a practice game for Advanced Wok. We look dead and non-playing. More than is the truth, since Duel games may be "Due" but are never "Overdue".

2) The penultimate column. "Turn no.". Obviously it helps slightly to say how far on a game is. But it does nothing to tell you whether the game has moved on, worth viewing, since you last looked. Me, I scan down it, half-remember whether a game was at turn 3 last time I looked, and is now at Turn 4, so might be worth looking at for new progress. IF I remember what turn it was at last time I checked. This is a missed opportunity, as well as a pain.


SUGGESTION:

The current 8 columns are:
1. GM
2. Name of Game
3. Version (WOK Duel, Standard WOK etc)
4. Open to (All. all, all all and all)
5. Type (Normal, normal, normal normal and normal, etc.)
6. Status (Running, Paused, Finished etc.)
7. Turn No. (4.15,3 etc.)
8. Next Turn (mostly Turn Overdue; sometimes XX hours and YY minutes).


I suggest we disengage this screen from the "Games to Join" screen, since they have different things they can say and can drop.

Here, we can drop "Open to" and "Type", since they are primarily info for sign-up, and are not needed in "Running". It leaves space for another, more important column for Running Games. And are no great loss. And are nearly always "All" and "Normal" anyway! As a Running Game, any special nature eg. "Kor's X-game", can and should be captured in the NAME of the game, not requiring a seldom-used column in Running Games. IMHO.

We NEED a column that says "Last turn ran", with the answer being a date. So that we can see which games have moved on, take a look at the update, rather than trying to remember whether "Turn 4" means it HAS moved, or it hasn't, depending on your memory of this column lst time you looked.

SO, the alternative screen (for Running Games, not same for Games to Join) would have the following columns:

1. GM
2. Name of Game
3. Version (Standard, Advanced, Full Duel, Duel-Lite, Quartet, Qintet, Sextet, Special - why not build in these future options if you are re-coding the options?)
4. Status (Running, Paused, Finished etc., as now)
5. Next Turn (this a Turn Number, 3,7,15 etc.) Same as current "Turn No.", except that "Turn No." was always ambiguous as to whether it meant no. of last turn or number of next turn (The answer is no. of NEXT turn). "Next Turn" makes it clear.
6. Last Turn Ran. This is a date. It tells you when a last turn ran in that game. So you can more easily see whether anything has happened since you last looked, instead of having to memorise whether it was already at Turn 5 last time you looked a week ago ... Might take some coding.
7. Next Turn Due. As current "Turn Due", except that the answers will more often be Turn Due rather than Turn Overdue, since all Duels etc. will be listed as Turn Due rather than Turn OVERdue.

Technical and detailed. But the effects will be that everything looks less OVERdue, and newbs and vets can more easily see which games have had a turn since they last looked?

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Post by Lardmaster » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:50 pm

Can we attach things to threads? I would find this easier to visualise if were specced out in excel or something. I might possibly have the time to be able to draw it but it would be better if we could all see it.
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Post by korexus » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:56 pm

Rune has designed and I have implemented an alternative game search page. You can test it out at http://www.kaomaris.com/phpNuke/modules ... amesearch2

The layout is not perfect yet, but feedback would be appreciated.



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Post by TBert » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:24 am

TBert likes the new page. Visuals are always good. Maybe automatically sort the list so the active games are at the top, with published games after that, then all the random broken/test games under that.
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Post by TheDragon » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:57 am

I like the new page.

I agree with TB that it needs to have some order to it.

Newest games at the top oldest at the bottom.

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Post by korexus » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:12 pm

Ok, I've played around a bit more.

The layout now has two columns of games (in my browser) to save space. If you have a small screen resolution, you may get one long list. People with very big screens may get 3 columns.

Running games have the time for the next turn mentioned. Paused, etc don't so we can hopefully cut down on "Turn Overdue" messages.

Games are ordered first by status (Open, Running, Finished, Paused, Pending, Published) Then by next turn (descending, so more recent turns come sooner) then finally by game name. Players can, of course, narrow the search options by choosing specifications from the select boxes.

With this layout it might be appropriate for us to change the naming conventions slightly. A visual of the map means that it's less important to mention it in the title and the GM's name is pulled out automatically so that's not needed. - Basically, if a name goes over onto a second line then it messes up my layout, so shortish names would be nice! :P


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Post by Tinker » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:22 pm

I like the new page as well. My only criticism would be that it's a bit of a heavy loadtime, especially if you don't have highspeed. Fortunately, that's not a problem for me. :lol:
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Post by korexus » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:02 pm

Tinker wrote:My only criticism would be that it's a bit of a heavy loadtime,


Well, the pictures are the full sized ones from the game page squashed into a smaller box, so a large list of games could make for a lot of image to download I guess. We could have a smaller picture for the game search. It'd up the server load a fair bit, but I'm sure the new quad cores can handle it...


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Post by korexus » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:18 pm

Game search is now using the pretty pictures. Please could all GMs limit game name lengths to 50 characters from now on?


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Post by 55378008 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:51 pm

korexus wrote:Game search is now using the pretty pictures. Please could all GMs limit game name lengths to 50 characters from now on?


Chris.

Game page looks really good right now, saying Page Cannot be displayed.

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