Obsidian Portal Launch Feedback

edited October 2013 in General Archive
Hi everyone!

We’re excited to bring you the new Obsidian Portal today! Needless to say, it’s quite an update. As a lot of you are aware, the Reforging was part of a KickStarter we ran and through the forums where we generated a lot of great feedback on design and the direction of the new site. Now that we’re out in the open, we’d love to continue the process and open the floor.

Part of our Reforging process was updating the whole site from the core to the front end styles making it easier for us to maintain and follow modern web conventions. If you haven’t done so yet, I’d urge you to take a peek at the site on a tablet/phone, as we’d love to hear your thoughts on mobile as well!

First off, some of the things we’re hearing is that people are unsatisfied with the color scheme. We definitely want to address these concerns, we’ve already pushed a small change to darken the text input and fix some links. Another thing to note is that all Ascendant members have the ability to further customize colors and css. Another thing to note is that we’ve started a basic style guide here:

"Style Guide":https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SEGiRhBC5I-JjZJROQnWuJ0W-6SXfZ9uAgMPstu0hcA/

and you can leave basic feedback/suggested additions to the style guide in the forum here:
"Style Guide Discussion":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=3324

We’ll also be updating the stock backgrounds in a few days to better help with the text contrast in other parts of the front facing design.

Another concern we’re hearing is that the sub forums are gone. We understand all the work put into place and are working on a few solutions. The ‘new’ forum is in place to facilitate quick discussions and remove email chains from players.

For the right sidebar, we’re very happy with some of the information listed there (take a peek at the campaign home-page) and some of the stretch goals will utilize the space even further. We are open to hearing more suggestions and thoughts on this change.

We’re really excited about what we’ve built so far, and know with some great and constructive feedback we can make it even better. Thanks for all of the comments--positive and negative. We're reading them all and taking everyone's suggestions into consideration as we move forward with the Reforging.


  • metzger79
    Posts: 1 edited October 2013
    2 little things so far:
    1) I use a lot of quotes in our adventure logs. So a times I'll use a '...', as in etc..., or a character thinking out loud but not finishing the thought. Well, everywhere in our logs that has that '...' it turns the line or partial line coming before it into gibberish letters and symbols.

    2) Maybe this comes under the color scheme thoughts above, but the background in editing becomes too light gray once you start typing. It makes it harder to see the white letters you're typing. And I think all of my headings show up with the code, for example, "h4. Tomb of Rehotep" rather than made into a heading.
    Post edited by metzger79 on
  • dragoner
    Posts: 37
    As it stands, both my campaigns are done for unless the log comments come back; also all the images are changed, shrunk, the text is changed, the colors are bad, I can't even see what I am writing now. I told my players to give it a week ... but right now, this is really depressing to see all the years of work just instantly gone.

    I guess my biggest question is what are the chances of a refund for either the year's membership and/or my kickstarter contribution?
  • ruleslawyermark
    Posts: 9 edited October 2013
    I thought, from a preview video I watched months ago, that the editing screens were going to look basically like the normal view site screen. What happened to that idea?

    Black on white.
    Post edited by ruleslawyermark on
  • madartiste
    Posts: 328
    Any chance we'll get the ability to embed grooveshark links back? It used to work splendidly...
  • trublunite
    Posts: 1
    cant find the link to add friends, and the friends page looks a bit wonky in Chrome - not sure yet about other browsers
  • SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    Bug: when typing an item in the search bar; forum results are shown. Implying that if you click on them it will take you to the forum post the search term appeared in.

    It does not, just takes you to the main forum page. If that gets fixed, this could be nice.
  • RTukka
    Posts: 4
    Apart from the issues covered in the OP, I feel the borders are either side of the content are too thick. White space is nice, but it's going a bit overboard at present I think, and leaves no room for white space within the content itself, so it actually makes things feel even more crowded. Reducing the width of those borders to about half what they are currently would be good.

    I like the look and feel overall though.
  • DreadGazebo
    Posts: 218
    @Ruleslawyermark - This is natural editing, it is a stretch goal and was slated for a post-launch update, per the Kickstarter. It is still coming, but not immediately.

    @dragoner - I have seen your comments in support tickets and various other threads here, I'm asking you to please consider coming back in a day or two after Micah and other team members have given some updates and we've managed to address some of these concerns.
  • ttalamini
    Posts: 9
    What Rtukka mentions about the side areas seems to be true. The center content now seems more cramped into the center of a thinner column.

    1) Can this be changed?

    I have a hundred + GM only wikis that I have started. In the old site format I could select "Show All" and scroll down to my list of GM only material.

    2) How do I do this now??

  • Langy
    Posts: 364
    Dragoner: Mind posting a link to your campaign? I'd like to see what you mean about the images and text being messed up (though of course I can't do anything about magically making the comments come back).

    TTalamini: You can alter that with CSS at the moment. See "Edgerunners":https://edgerunners.obsidianportal.com/dashboard for an example and "here":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=3393&page=1#Item_8 for how I made it work. This doesn't change the two side columns, but they're the same size now as they were on the original site. This edit provides about 220px more space than we had available on the original site for the main content.
  • WhiteHaven
    Posts: 2
    I am not an art person. The difference is, I'm not being paid to be one. Accordingly, while these arrows are incredibly fugly, it should get the point across. This isn't even at full 1080 width, but /what the hell/ wasted space?


    You literally have enough extra width to do triple-column format if you wanted to, the white-space is that revoltingly overused. If your UI people have no talent, hire new ones. Please.
  • EugeneGM
    Posts: 11 edited October 2013
    Ack! What happened to the character page?! It was very nice having my GM-only NPCs tucked far away. Now it is all mixed in. Will I have to create a tag for non-gm-only NPCs, just so I can ignore them most of the time? Also, whatever happened to moving NPCs from one game to another?

    Also, I've got a big ol' space between my banner and the top bar.
    Post edited by EugeneGM on
  • Number_Six
    Posts: 9
    I'm with Dragoner in wanting a refund. I just re-upped my ascendant membership a week or two ago, but that was clearly a mistake given how fubar'd my campaigns are now. I spent weeks of my life farting around with CSS code and now I have a Myspace page. Dislike.
  • deljohn
    Posts: 24
    Feedback so far:

    1) Please double the default width of the content column, or give us a setting to control it.

    2) Is there a "show all" option for listing wiki pages, or is hitting ENTER in the search field the only way to accomplish this task?

    3) Is there a way to indicate or filter pages that are not viewable by players?

    More to come...
  • Hotfoot
    Posts: 1
    Well, this is sadly disappointing. I was hoping that the site would be easier to navigate and manage, but instead it has become more difficult. The pages use less screen real estate, uses them less effectively, starts players in the dashboard instead of the front page, GM hidden items are not hidden in the dashboard, thus giving away key plot details to the players, which is a major issue to say the least.

    The character selection screen not having a distinction between NPCs and PCs is not one I enjoy, the Character Sheets and basically every other page have a crushingly tiny amount of screen space, which is terrible given that most people have widescreen monitors, and no additional information is given in the areas around it.

    As far as first glance impressions go, I'm not fond of this. I've supported the site and recommended it to people for years despite some issues, but as it stands now, I'm not sure I would continue to do so.
  • willowpolson
    Posts: 2
    I'm trying to use this on a laptop computer at 1366 x768 and fully half of my screen is nothing but big fat pictures and backgrounds that serve no purpose. I have to scroll around for -everything-. The elephantine close-up picture of the dice at the bottom takes up literally 2/3 of my screen. I'm happy to provide screenshots to prove my point.

    Additionally, the right-hand column does not have a ghosted background, so depending on the color scheme and background image combo, it's varying degrees of difficulty to read.

    Those are my first impressions. It seems to me that the purpose of Obsidian Portal should be less about giant pretty pictures and more about actual UI functionality.
  • waxwingslain
    Posts: 2
    I just want a way to get rid of the default giant background picture and have a plain white background.
  • waxwingslain
    Posts: 2
    Also, my banner is totally wrong now. I resized it to the recommended size (750x300) and it's still way outside the margins of the...banner space, I guess?
  • EugeneGM
    Posts: 11
    I've got another one.

    My main campaign takes place in the future. Adventure logs are thus logged during the year they take place in (currently, 2048). I used to be able to input the year, but now I've got to really scroll to get to my required year.
  • Langy
    Posts: 364
    The recommended size for the banner listed in the dashboard is, unfortunately, incorrect. The correct recommended size is 1000x220 pixels.
  • occam99
    Posts: 1
    Initial feedback:

    1. As stated by others a 'Show All' button for wiki pages would be great. Preferably to a list that does not contain a page preview of each entry.
    2. I made my campaign without custom CSS, in the old fashioned method of DIV tags on each page. I had a graphic menu that overlaid the default OP menu along the top of the content bar. Unfortunately those graphics now cover up the only 'Edit page' button so I can't even change my pages back to plain text. An 'Edit Page' link at the bottom or in the top ribbon would be great.
    3. The imbed image button won't run for me (Firefox) so I can't even access my uploaded media to delete the images.

    As it stands, Reforged has rendered my campaign unusable. I have no issue with having to restyle all of my pages - but right now I can't even do that.

  • thalaen
    Posts: 1
    One minor issue I've run into:

    If a user account is either assigned to two different PCs (as is the case where one of my players manages both his and his significant other's Obsidian Portal character profiles), or if a user is both GM and PC (as I am in one of my campaigns), it only shows one entry.

    Example A): In https://relics-of-a-lost-age.obsidianportal.com/ , there is another character named Natalia who is owned by the same Obsidian Portal account as the character Solven. Solven shows up on the front page, Natalia does not (I have confirmed she is flagged as a PC).

    Example B): in https://shadowrun-nyc.obsidianportal.com/dashboard (a skeletal campaign I've thrown together while waiting on the actual GM to register on Obsidian Portal so that I can turn it over to him), I am currently both GM and owner of the PC Yurei - but Yurei doesn't appear on the front page (I have confirmed he is flagged as a PC and not an NPC).
  • Langy
    Posts: 364
    Occam: Use Chrom's 'Inspect Element' or the Firebug extension to Firefox to access your page code on the pages you can't hit the 'edit' button for and disable the offending navbar.

    Or, and this is probably easier, just go to the address bar and type /edit after the page address and hit 'enter'.
  • Veovondi
    Posts: 2
    I just don't like the "new" Obsidian Portal. It was great before, but I see this upgrade as a step in the wrong direction. It feels really unintuitive, and I can't describe the "look" anymore than to say I just don't like it. I am grateful for the time I've had with you OP, but I am cancelling. I'll log in every few months to see if you've either reverted back to the old or decided to completely fix this new ... whatever it is.
  • MadDogMaddux
    Posts: 10 edited October 2013
    Agreed with Dragoner et al about the Comments functions. I've been running a campaign where the IC content is entirely in the Adventure Log, using the comments section.

    I see that @DreadGazebo has said that this may be soon rectified, can we get some clarification, please? Are you bringing back the Adventure Log comments function?

    There are a number of aesthetic options that I don't care for, but the only thing that will totally kill my game is the lack of Adventure Log Comments.

    Also the lack of a genera Comments section is a pretty big detractor. We use that a lot for OOC chatter.
    Post edited by MadDogMaddux on
  • Langy
    Posts: 364
    Veovondi, I really recommend you give them some time to iron out some bugs and, if you're already an ascendant member, to see if CSS tweaks can make OP more what you want. If you aren't, wait and see if OP rolls out some common CSS tweaks as options for non-ascendant members.
  • madartiste
    Posts: 328
    Can I also request putting in some kind of a class for each of the individual links in the navigation bar? Before each li (home, adventure-logs, characters, ect) had their own class, and it made it much easier to target them with CSS.
  • jtanzer
    Posts: 5
    I don't think I have anything original to say but I'm going to second:

    1) A "show all" for the wiki that separates the GM-only pages. If you could make it sortable that would be phenomenal, but for now, I really would like to see just the page titles all together like you used to.

    2) PCs and GM-only characters separated from the others. We've got a LOT of characters in one of our games and it was nice to have the PCs right there at the top.

    3) The color seems to be a bit better than it was earlier today, but still, white text on grey? A little bit of glare or even just a crappy monitor and we won't be able to see what we're editing. Please give options. (If that's in the CSS I might not have seen it. Because like most people who don't know anything about coding save for textile basics and some simple html, I don't want to have to learn how to do that. I got other stuff to do.)

    4) Tags visible on the wiki front page was very useful. I like the new tag search, but if there's any way to make the list of tags more readily available (like it used to be), I'd appreciate it.

    5) There are issues with the character icons on the front page of one of our campaigns. One player's character shows up twice, and two don't at all. One of the missing characters was created as a second character by a player, the other was created by the GM, but both should be categorized as PCs.
  • Number_Six
    Posts: 9
    It's funny you mention time, Langy.

    Time is what I put a considerable amount of into learning CSS code and editing, editing, editing page after page for weeks on end. I am not the most computer literate person in the world.

    This is after I paid good money to OP for ascendant membership.

    I'm sure some of the minor snafus in terms of layout and appearance will be ironed out shortly, but that's not my concern. I simply don't have the TIME to go through and re-edit my entire campaign from scratch. I won't do it.

    Right now I'm not even sure I want to continue playing. Our group was pretty dependent on our OP page. This horrible update has murdered my enthusiasm for running our real-life RPG with my friends. And surely that's not what the OP staff set out to do.
  • jtanzer
    Posts: 5
    Oh, and the ability to edit forum posts needs to happen. Please. I was about to start a PBP game, and I really don't want thing to be any harder for the players than they have to be.
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