Gleemax Thoughts

Micah
Micah
edited October 2007 in General Discussion

Comments

  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    What do you guys think of Gleemax? What do they have that Obsidian Portal lacks? What about the reverse?

    For me, I'm a little perplexed. I really didn't see any sort of social networking / friend feature. You can tag people as "favorites" but it's not really the same thing, since there's not reciprocal link back.

    All told, there just didn't seem to be that much there. Considering how long it's been in development (especially compared to Obsidian Portal), there's just not much to speak of.

    And of course, the color scheme still sucks ;)

    P.S. I'm biased as hell, of course.
  • DMaple
    DMaple
    Posts: 63
    What do they have that Obsidian Portal lacks?

    Erm.... erm.... erm... a putrid colour scheme? Oh WotC Designer Blogs. A calendar (not that it works).

    What do you have that Gleemax lacks?

    Pretty much everything.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    ha ha! You are too kind :)

    Now, if you're serious, then I need you to evangelize! When I go out and tell people that Obsidian Portal is better than Gleemax, no one believes me and they call me a spammer. If you guys do it, then it's genuine! So, tell your friends: If you're tired of waiting for them to come through with all the promises on Gleemax, then head over to Obsidian Portal and get started now!
  • DMaple
    DMaple
    Posts: 63
    Gleemax seems to be filling a different role it seems to be more about personal blogs and social networking, there isn't much support for campaign blogging or wiki like stuff that you have on this site, but it is in it's really early stages at the moment.

    It does seem however that it is more just a social network for gamers (of all types) so in the end I expect it will do that better than this site (you've only recently started adding a social networking side to this site) but I doubt it will ever support campaign blogging as well as here.
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    I... didn't care for it all that greatly. It was awkward, slow, and very light on features. It wasn't really so much a social networking site, nor was it really a place like this. It was basically just like... a user profile for the WotC message boards with a basic blog tacked on. However, it DID have one positive aspect in that it lead me to this place, so...
  • viz
    viz
    Posts: 19
    Here's something I think Obsidian Portal has that Glemax lacks, and may always lack. Like me, I suspect that Micah has a job, maybe a family, and he pursues his roleplaying activities in his spare time. He may have a business model for Obsidian Portal, but he probably did not start the site expecting to make a lot of money. Far fewer resources are invested in Obsidian Portal than Gleemax, yet we can communicate directly with the developer every day, and we know he wants to hear us and act upon what we say.

    That is the sort of community I want to be part of, and I hope it thrives.
  • geekevolved
    geekevolved
    Posts: 75
    What I don't like about Glemax is the name, for one. I also don't like how they are holding everyone at arm's length while giving away information. Some people might not pick up on this(or I might be paranoid), but everything seems a little too fake and over done. I kind of get the feeling that they wouldn't like third party press (A blog) or some other company giving out information about whats happening and they are absorbing so much into their own press machine. I actually have the feeling that they will make a bid for this site because it seems to be doing a better job than what they are doing.
  • viz
    viz
    Posts: 19
    Geekevolved,

    That last sentence is quite a devious thought. I hope you are wrong but what you say makes sense. If WotC bought Obsidian Portal, I worry that they would require rights to the work we post that go beyond reasonable. And that it would all be buried in small print.
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    I doubt they would try and buy it on that criteria alone. I mean, after all, MTG Salvation is widely accepted as being a more vital part of the Magic the Gathering community than WotC's own forum, but barring a certain court case, they generally have expressed no real interest in it at any point.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    I won't lie: We really hope that WotC loves us so much (and gets so frustrated with Gleemax) that they come running, checkbook in hand.

    However...as photoneater says, past behavior indicates otherwise. I have never heard of WotC ever acquiring a competitor or fan site. Instead, I have heard of them trying to shut down such sites with cease-and-desist letters. That's one of our greatest fears...
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    I don't think they would ever do that. For starters, D&D player sites have been around for longer than WotC has even been publishing the franchise. Secondly, there is already a precedent for tabletop gaming communities on the internet. While some may have been targeted, I would wager that far more have not been. I also don't think Obsidian Portal is the same beast as Gleemax, to be totally honest. I don't really think of Obsidian Portal as a social networking site- it has social networking elements, but it also has a much more prevalent wiki element. Meanwhile, Gleemax is almost entirely social networking. While OP does a better job at catering to the needs of tabletop gamers than Gleemax currently does, Gleemax still has qualities of its own that this does not, and most likely never will have, if only by virtue of the fact that OP is tailored specifically to just tabletop gamers, while Gleemax also acknowledges CCG and miniature wargame players as well.

    Also, you have to consider why those other sites were targeted. I would be willing to bet it had something to do with violations of fair use in regards to open content material. I could be wrong, but to my knowledge, the only instances in which I can recall WotC taking action against a site is when they reposted non-OGL material. While many of the campaigns on this site are very heavy on information, it all appears to fall under fair use, as far as I can glean. People are just documenting their campaigns and maps and character sheets, not reproducing the 17th page of the Complete Arcane for all to see, or something along those lines.

    So, to put it more succinctly, I think we're probably pretty safe. And if not, we can always acquire some black market armaments and engage WotC in an epic, bloody war. I mean, I can't imagine game designers having very good AC...
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    Yeah, we'll probably never cater to the CCG and wargamer crowd. It's easier to succeed when you keep your focus small.

    As to the social networking, that's something we're on the fence about. We don't necessary want to focus on it, since the campaign blogging is working well here. On the other hand, it would be a very useful feature, I think.

    As a partial solution, I've been communicating with a few of the player matching sites to see if we can't work something out where we share the data. If you're interested, I've written up some of my ideas over on our development blog. Check out my "post on the Lonely Gamer Protocol":http://blog.aisleten.com/2007/10/28/lonely-gamer-protocol/.
  • geekevolved
    geekevolved
    Posts: 75
    I think the internet as a whole has embraced this whole social web 2.0 thing. If WoTc tried to shut you down, there would be a Digg post with a million Diggs ;) Everyone loves bashing a big guy trying to bash a little guy.
  • FemmeLegion
    FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    I am not a lawyer, and having lawyer friends doesn't help either. Also, I understand that occasionally it doesn't matter whether a company has a legal leg to stand on when it's trying to shut down a site it doesn't like. But I really don't see how ObsidianPortal could be considered a competitor to any official WotC product and thus in need of any orders to cease and desist.

    For one, the stated focus of ObsidianPortal is to help people share their stories. Unless you're running pre-printed D&D modules, WotC doesn't own the stories shared here. Okay, right here you might run into trouble if too many people start archiving records of their exploits in pre-printed modules, but you could always reserve the right (and in fact you may already reserve the right) to remove that kind of content if it's discovered. Heck, even without the potential legal liability, some of us might want to play that mod later and not want to be spoiled by stumbling across a catchily-named campaign archive. =)

    For two, ObsidianPortal can be used to archive stories and characters and items in ANY game system. The only thing that's really going to distinguish a Fantasy HERO character from a Scion: Hero character or a D&D 3.5 character is the "crunch". And in the case of D&D 3.5, the SRD covers a lot of those rules mechanics, so OP would need to be hosting lots of characters that have lots of stuff from "splat books" like Complete Arcane or the Spell Compendium before I would expect it to be a legitimate problem.

    For three...well, I don't actually have a three, but it seemed lame only going up to "for two". =)

    Best regards,

    FemmeLegion
    (Cybele, Edwin, Beltiya, Toro, Kleshay, Michelle, Nicole, and Marli - and that's just for starters!)
  • photoneater
    photoneater
    Posts: 182
    bq. For two, ObsidianPortal can be used to archive stories and characters and items in ANY game system. The only thing that’s really going to distinguish a Fantasy HERO character from a Scion: Hero character or a D&D 3.5 character is the “crunch”. And in the case of D&D 3.5, the SRD covers a lot of those rules mechanics, so OP would need to be hosting lots of characters that have lots of stuff from “splat books” like Complete Arcane or the Spell Compendium before I would expect it to be a legitimate problem.

    Even then, just talking about the characters made with that content is perfectly legit. It would never really be a problem unless the character sheets posted allowed an individual to make use of the supplemental material without having a copy of the original publication. Just saying your character is say, a Warlock with X invocation and what not doesn't really allow someone to run a Warlock of their own without a copy of Complete Arcane, and as such it falls under fair use.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    I've been following Gleemax a lot since they opened. I'm still scratching my head as to what they're doing. They have promised patches and upgrades and been late at least 3 times. So, even though they claim to be doing agile development (which says "Get it done NOW! Don't deliver late!"), it doesn't seem very agile. The site remains stagnant and nearly unusable.

    Meanwhile, Ryan and I are working on OP in our spare time, and we've been able to consistently deliver new features and bug fixes every week. Seriously: It's not hard to add one small thing every week.

    I cry a little bit whenever I see someone trying to run a campaign blog on Gleemax. It's just so clunky and unusable. Blogger or Wordpress.com are much better choices, not to mention OP. Sometimes I'll leave a comment saying "Come to OP if you're looking to run a campaign blog" but then again, I hate to feel like I'm spamming. If only I could get our Google ads to show up in the Gleemax sidebar. That would be some nice irony...
  • geekevolved
    geekevolved
    Posts: 75
    Clunky sure describes it. I can't keep up with the 4th edition updates because the blogs are horrible to navigate. I'm thinking their original idea is marred by red tape.

    As far as the updates go, I'm sure if you guys had to get everything approved through a commitee and voted on by a 2/3rds majority before it even goes to the senate. Then it could get veto'd by Bush and we'd be back at square one. Those poor programmers have so much red tape to deal with :x
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