Player Secrets / User-specific content

ZacZero
ZacZero
edited May 2013 in General Archive
I haven't seen this specifically addressed anywhere - all apologies if I overlooked it somehow.

I love the option to create information that is available only to specific players using the player secrets functionality.
I'd love to see this expanded upon and refined in the re-forging. Is this anywhere in the roadmap?

Comments

  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    For the near future, player secrets will stay mostly as it is, with a better looking interface. The current "edit player secrets" section is pretty ugly. I at least want to make it look nicer.

    That being said, I have some radical ideas on how to vastly improve it, but the technical challenges are very steep. So, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up with my pie-in-the-sky ideas, since I'm not sure they're achievable yet.
  • JustinMason
    JustinMason
    Posts: 36
    I like pie.
  • Langy
    Langy
    Posts: 364 edited May 2013
    Micah: How about removing the 'edit player secrets' and 'edit GM only' sections entirely and instead using tags (maybe pre-defined CSS classes with the player names, like "secret-micah" or "secret-langy", etc) to be able to place secrets within the natural text of the page? Of course, a widget would be needed in the edit page window to be able to automatically create those secrets for those of you who don't like all that manual coding.

    I think putting secrets in the natural content of the page would make them much, much nicer. The only truly difficult part would be making it so OP only serves the player with the appropriate raw HTML; you don't want to make secrets display/not display via CSS, and you wouldn't want to do it via raw javascript, either.

    EDIT: And yes, pie is great.
    Post edited by Langy on
  • crimsonknave
    crimsonknave
    Posts: 28
    I've noticed that some of my players don't notice secrets that are attached to a page. Especially when the secret is below the fold due to the page being long. I'd love to see some indication that will always be visible so they know they should check for a secret.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    @Langy - So what you're describing is essentially my pie-in-the-sky idea, but it's much harder than that. At that point you're collaboratively editing a document and not everyone can see the whole thing. It's all slightly different for each viewer. You're walking through a minefield with a map that only shows some of the mines.

    The GM creates a page with ABC where B is a gm-only section. A player opens the document, selects the end of A and the beginning of C then hits delete, then hits save. What happens to B? What if instead of deleting, the player adds something new in the middle, say paragraph D? So now he sees A'DC' and hits save. What should the GM see? Should it be A'BDC' or A'DBC'? Or should B be moved somewhere else altogether with some kind of "hey, I've been displaced!" flag on it?

    There are a lot of approaches to tackle this, but none of them are trivial. We would probably have to track page content down to some sort of "chunk" level where as you're typing you're adding new chunks with different visibility metadata associated with it. To you it looks like "lorem ipsum" but to the system (and most importantly the database) it looks like lorem ipsum. Breaking down a document like that and rebuilding it for display is definitely a complex thing to do. And whenever we do something complex, there are bound to be bugs and weird edge cases. When those bugs are going into something as core as the wiki editing, that gives me a lot of hesitation.

    That's not to say I won't take a stab at this, but I want to be clear that it's an incredibly hard problem, probably one of the hardest we've ever considered.
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    HopTown... did you just try to being back _Pie_? (yes that's a capital P)
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,962
    I have found, just like all participation on OP, is that if you give your players reasons to use the secrets, they do- we use them extensively!

    Just trying to help out.

  • Langy
    Langy
    Posts: 364
    That's a *really* good point, Micah. I completely didn't recognize the issues of multiple people *editing* a document with hidden content, but yeah - that's a big issue. The immediate idea that I have for 'fixing' that is to, when editing a page, indicate where secret content may exist. There should be no indicator of who the secret content is for unless they're the GM or have access to the secret (in which case they only know they have access to it; they may not even be able to edit it). It would definitely require some coding wizardry to make work, but it'd allow people to design .

    I'd suggest replacing all text within a secret with 'Lorem Ipsum' (of the same number of characters and probably the same whitespace and everything) and just render it normally in the WYSIWYG interface; pictures, of course, would be replaced with generic images. This would make it so the editing player can see how the page should look to someone who has access to the secret without giving the secret away (except that one exists, which honestly isn't a big give-away as it could just mean the GM has some notes on the subject for himself).

    Still, I can definitely see why that's a pie-in-the-sky idea. I'd like to see it implemented, but I'm not about to say you gotta to it or anything!
  • Viehmagnat
    Viehmagnat
    Posts: 24
    I believe this goes along with the Secrets theme of this topic.

    I would like to have a way to "tag/permission" forum posts for specific members of the group.

    Our group uses Obsidian Portal forums for a lot of AFT (Away from Table) shenanigans. But when the party is split up, I would like to be able to help the players stay honest about what their characters know and don't know. At the same time, I would like to be able to make that forum viewable by the group once that portion of the adventure will no longer affect the play of the rest of the group, so they can share in the fun stories they create along the way.
  • weasel0
    weasel0
    Posts: 433
    Like how RPOL.com has "Languages(Private Groups)" and "Groups." Private Groups will scramble text when read by someone not in that group(goblins speaking to a character who knows goblin can read it, anyone else not in the "Goblins" group will see gibberish). Groups actually change what threads characters(and by extension players - excepted by those the GM allows to run multiple characters) have access to and who can PM whom in the game.

    Though the site is not very user friendly....and by not very....really isn't at all.

    !http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j111/weasel0/RPOL-GM-screen.gif!
  • Matrissa_The_Enchant
    Matrissa_The_Enchant
    Posts: 18
    @weasel0 That "languages" idea is really neat. Being able to mark a post as private to specific players and having it appear as "gibberish" for anyone not logged in or logged in as another player would be a really interesting way of addressing this. It would mean people could see that there was a post, they just couldn't read it.

    You could also allow for markup to flag sections of the text that would always be public so that you could have something that anyone could regardless of private flags. If you also restricted editing capabilities to only the GM and the players who had private status you would be able to keep the actual private information away from anyone who shouldn't see it.

    -J
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    Thanks for the tip about permissions on forum posts. I doubt we'll implement the gibberish system described, even though it's pretty neat. However, I am starting to see that hiding things extends beyond wiki pages and characters. There are valid reasons for hiding almost anything (forum posts, maps, uploaded images) so I'm trying to extend some of the gm-only controls to other pieces of content, beyond what it can do now.
  • Langy
    Langy
    Posts: 364
    Awesome, Micah. That's really great to hear:)
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,962
    I second Langy- awesome news! Now I can stop having multiple sites supporting my main one!

    Just trying to help out.

  • Talonious
    Talonious
    Posts: 6
    I would love to be able to open and close these sections as a GM. Like how they are setup on the edit page, but for the viewing as well. That should be doable right?
  • Maesenko
    Maesenko
    Posts: 325 edited July 2013
    I'm glad to know you are extending the GM-only controls, as there was one particular point of that I was wondering about. Would it be possible (if it isn't already) to have GM-only tags on pages that aren't totally GM-only?
    For example, I have a few characters that my party will be meeting soon, as well as some that they have already met, and I wanted to link them through tags; however, the tags themselves could pose as a giveaway for information. Would it be possible to implement it such that the tags are on the revealed character and the GM-only character, but the tags that link them aren't seen on the revealed character (the same goes for other wiki pages)?

    Also, I like the idea Viehmagnat tossed in. Individual permissions would be AWESOME as I have some players (and their characters) who are more knowledgeable about events occurring in game than others and would like to be able to reveal site/campaign information as they each find out about it.
    Post edited by Maesenko on

    ~Mae

    CotM Selection Committee

  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    Hmm, gm-only tags are an interesting idea. I hadn't considered that, but I'll definitely think about it.

    For now, I don't think we're going to mess with permissions too much. I think I'll have to revisit it at some point, but for now it's out of scope.
  • Maesenko
    Maesenko
    Posts: 325
    Seeing how we can already restrict pages to GM-only, and we can send update notices to individual player accounts on any page that updates, it seems like it might not be too much of a stretch to expand those concepts into a player-view option.

    As you said, it may be out of scope for now, and I'm not really code-fluent so I have no idea how much actual work it would entail, but it's definitely something I have been thinking could make for a more immersive experience and keep "in-character vs. out-of-character" better on track.

    Nonetheless, it's a concept for the farther-flung future, and right now there's enough on the plate without trying to add more.

    ~Mae

    CotM Selection Committee

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