Obsidian Portal Launch Feedback



  • twiggyleaf
    Posts: 2,019

    I just wanted to say that it is all a big shock and I am still too stunned to know exactly what I want to do or how I even want to ask for help but I want to say that, regardless of my TECHFOBIA and stunned inaction at the moment, overall, I love the improvements and will eventually work towards fitting in my new designs to the new layout regime.

    I especially love the CHARACTER icon design. Much better than I what I had before and when the CHARACTER IMAGE thing is sorted out, I'm sure my players will be a lot happier too. I also find that the fonts on my Pathfinder DST (Udalrich) are much more legible than the old ones, which were always a bit too small in my view. I think it is understandable that some people are upset - it strikes right into the heart of one's creative process when things are so disfigured, but I feel that we all got there somehow before and we'll all get there again.

    I will need some expert help but at the moment, I cannot even contemplate opening a page in the VANGUARD section, because for me it is going to be a bit of an ongoing thing. My WIKI looks like a dog's breakfast at the moment, but it actually still works and I am presently having to prepare for unexpected ACTUAL tabletop adventures, so I will live with it for now, but I will try and take note of some of the new ideas and eventually I am confident everything will be alright.

    My one suggestion would be that in the setting up of new threads, discussing ALL AND SUNDRY, where possible, it might be a good idea to set up the THREAD BEGINNINGS as particular issues, e.g. 1. Banner Changes, 2. Central Page Size, 3. Changing and Arranging Fonts, 4. Campaign Forum Structure, etc. etc.


    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • deljohn
    Posts: 24
    Hi, just asking this on behalf of a campaign I am working on with the GM...

    We have about 100 "GM Only" pages in the works with no way of identifying them on the new site. Please include either a filter or some way to identify those pages. Sorting them to the bottom of the list was how the old site did it which is fine. We just need some way to locate them now...
  • dr_venture
    Posts: 32
    The wasted space at the top of the page is pretty bad - as I said, literally 1/3rd of the page is the dragon logo, my campaign name in text, and my page banner (that also has my campaign name). And my banner is only 150 pixels high - if it was 300, it starts approaching half of the screen space. Ugh.

    It occurs to me that it would be really great if you put any uploaded banner on the same line as the dragon logo, and just left off the text of the campaign name. If someone doesn't upload a banner, then put the campaign name in text at the top. That would cut the top area in half, height-wise. I'm just guessing that most people who have uploaded banners have included the name of the campaign in it, or else why have the same picture at the top of every page with no text? But I ask that question because I may well be mistaken there.
  • Baard
    Posts: 16 edited October 2013

    If something like this is what you mean "Cracks in the Facade":https://cracks.obsidianportal.com/, then I can help you with that. :)
    Please note that the campaign is under heavy construction, but I have managed to tighten up the top a bit, as well as few other tweaks.

    Edit: The code. Duty called, and I forgot.

    The height of my banner is 120px.

    /* Hide Header Content */
    .campaign-public-layout #banner-container .campaign-banner-image {height: 120px; margin-bottom:-40px;}
    .campaign-public-layout #campaign-summary-row .campaign-public-title-container {display:none;}
    .campaign-public-layout .flame-dragon {display:none;}

    /*Hide bar on top of banner and content*/
    .campaign-public-layout .highlight-container {display:none; height: 0px;}

    There probably is easier ways to do it, and if so, I'd be glad to learn of them.
    Post edited by Baard on
  • Joedylan2000
    Posts: 21
    I really like mprovments to the mobile viewing. I use my tablet in liu of a pen and paper when playing, and pretty much always skipped the 'mobile site' to view the main site.

    Its going to take some work to get my campaigns back to looking as nice as I want. The CSS I used to use ( courtesy of Wolfhound and Kallak mainly)mainly dosn't work so back to square 1.

    I see the silver lining that when the reforging is complete and the teething problems overcome, my campaigns will be better thanks to the improvments. Not looking forward to the proccess, I am looking forward to the result.
  • dr_venture
    Posts: 32
    Baard - Yes, that's much more what I'm looking for... *much* better use of a banner/masthead space! I'd love anything you want to send my way, thank you!
  • Baard
    Posts: 16

    I edited, the post above as I realised that I forgot to paste the code, here it is also for reference:

    /* Hide Header Content */
    .campaign-public-layout #banner-container .campaign-banner-image {height: 120px; margin-bottom:-40px;}
    .campaign-public-layout #campaign-summary-row .campaign-public-title-container {display:none;}
    .campaign-public-layout .flame-dragon {display:none;}

    /*Hide bar on top of banner and content*/
    .campaign-public-layout .highlight-container {display:none; height: 0px;}
  • Meagoinc
    Posts: 26
    This is going to be so awesome once we all figure out how to re-code it! I'm sure this is a massive improvement, particularly for people who have just begun.

    However, I spent weeks of my time combing through actual digitized medieval manuscripts to try to find the right graphics to get the feel of "being" in our pseudo-early-medieval set campaign. One of the things I loved best about OP was that every time I went to a new campaign page, it felt like a different world-- the Old West, the far away future, decrepit post-apocalyptic wasteland, various medieval and fantastical settings. One of the first things we're going to have to figure out is how to replace nearly everything to make it look less... google-y. This is on par with how OP was before, though "1999 vintage HTML" was a bit closer (only by 10ish years) of a look to medieval than sans-serifed everything. My main concern is that we won't be able to access code to replace everything on the wiki and dashboard that now looks like Google after I started despising Google because their "simple" required clicking on things a hundred times more, and lingering over stuff to "reveal" menus, and hiding essential scroll bars... but you've avoided those pitfalls, at least!

    My main concerns:
    1) Whenever I had a question, or needed inspiration, I headed to the OP forums. It's now quite difficult to find the link to your super-strong community! Can we move these forums out from a tiny link bottom of the page to the main bar at the top of it, as it was before?
    2) Will we be able to CSS-edit the dashboard? One of the best aspects of OP was that, once edited, it felt like a unique world website, special to each campaign. It would be a shame if we were all limited to the same certain hyper-modern look, a la wordpress or somesuch. It was so marvelous to just go to our site and FEEL where we were in the campaign. It inspired us to keep editing and be perfectionists about not having dead links and (for me) to keep searching for more marginalia to bring people into our imagined worlds.
    3) I am so glad that you are bringing back sub-forums!! It's already been mentioned, and you already mentioned you'd fix it, but sub-forums are crucial.
    4) I am in agreement with the folk above about the narrowness of the middle frame/ journal entries. The fact that the right bar takes up so much blank space (particularly in the dashboard, which I'm not a fan of as a main page, but which should be the best it can be anyway) is both unaesthetic and inefficient. Could you scootch the middle pane there so it's a bit wider?
    5) Last thing which is more of a call for help to the wider community, as I'm sure other folk don't mind-- is there anyway to _un_box the tables/get rid of the table color fill? I made our DM Thorvaldr slave away at the CSS to make them clear before, as they are so jarring against the parchment background, but as they have re-filled themselves, am assuming it's a deeper CSS issue associated with the campaign. Is it possible to maybe publish where we should look to start changing that?

    We were using the site for our campaign more as an encyclopedia with a side forum (great for setting dates! super for recording what on earth went on last week!), but I think the dashboard really pushes the 2010s-feeling, organisational aspect of the campaign to the fore (rather than the campaign world itself). I'm not sure that this is a good thing. It looks very professional! But I especially cannot understand the campaign forum formatted-as-inbox. The multiple scroll bars are ...somehow unintuitive. Everything is too buffered by large margins, which, again, I know is a trend to look spacious and clean, but is neither aethetically pleasing nor functional.

    Thank you so much for your hard work and patience with us perfectionists! I'm sure the new campaigns appreciate the changes.
  • The_Warlock
    Posts: 6
    Wow. So. This is not anything I was hoping for.

    However, kudos for keeping in communication.

    Here are the issues as I see them upon logging into my site and campaigns.

    1) The tiny column of in the middle for text of any nature is unhelpful, and from a perspective of usability and readability, especially in a widescreen world, horrible. This applies to the wiki, the adventure log, and any singular character once clicked into. The width of the edit screen while better, is encroached upon by too many large buttons, which then leave dead white space around it. The overall width of readable and usable area of any site, without use of advanced web or CSS editing skills should be at LEAST as wide as the banner, preferably adaptive to the width of the screen of the viewer. The quicklink bar (dashboard, front page, adventure log, etc) should be outside that on the SIDE. As should any external function links (like the calendar select on the adventure log - which is by design, a horrible and inefficient use of space, which should only be seen when you click on some form of calendar sort widget). This goes double for the various list/widget that encroach on the right side of the text column, they need to be condensed, desparately, or push outside the boundaries set by the banner.

    1a) Barring that, every side bar on the front facing site should have a Collapse Option like the quicklink bar has in settings, to free up space. In that vein, the message/action/comment stream can clearly be condensed to take up less horizontal room, like wise the players of the run on the front page would be better organized like they are on the GM dashboard, a vertical list, rather than a space hogging block.

    2) Why must those of us who signed up directly with OP click through three separate float/scroll interfaces just to log in? It's not efficient, it's not helpful, it's not convenient. You can't even bookmark the login page so that you just go there and have just a username and password field. I'm sorry, I value my security and privacy, I am not just leaving cookies to every website to which I have access enabled on every browser on every system I may want to log in through.

    3) While I understand you may not have the resources to change the banner size back to the original, the dragon logo above it is a waste of space - it would be better served as the over-arching icon above a true sidebar - at best next to the left side of the banner, giving back top of page real-estate. These are campaigns in role-playing worlds, they are text and image heavy, to provide clear visuals and imaginative descriptions - you want the important text to be seen and read without be cramped, or forcing the reader to scroll incessantly down the page for every other paragraph or image.

    4) The character list cutting off the list of tags in it's block view is not at all helpful. Yes, I can search by tags, but sometimes you just want to scan the lists, since you aren't certain what you as the GM are looking for yet, or don't remember the tag you want, and it's not visible. Having to either guess, or click through each character to remind yourself what character tags you used helps no one.

    5) If you have a Dashboard view for the GM, why forcibly shift him to the web facing page when he clicks on anything else in the menu list? The GM should be able to remain in the dashboard view to edit any number of things with the greatest facility for easy links rather than having to be limited by the enforced sidebar limits of any given web-facing page. While being able to do natural editing in page can also be useful, having all the tools at your fingertips without the layout of the page constantly changing is often much more useful for the person who is trying to balance all the spinning plates.
  • The_Warlock
    Posts: 6
    6) There need to be easy ways to see tags, choose filters, see/list wiki pages, ID GM only content. But these also need to be tools which remain out of the way of the presentation of the web page while being accessible, and clear as to their function. I still have not yet been able to deduce what the Exclamation in the Gear icon is for - it does nothing when I click on it, has no hover text, and for all I know is telling me that my car needs to have it's engine checked. Icons are useless if they aren't easily and immediately interpretable by your users.

    From someone who is a techie and an artist, but not a web designer, a lot of this layout speaks of conceptual design without testing, a desire to buff rough edges and add elegance without firm understanding of usability/needs of the user base. You clearly made something nouveau pretty, but right now, it's failing to live up to the acid test of usability, at least for me, and from the looks of this thread, for a lot of people.

    I have used you for years now, and felt it was worth paying for. I honestly look forward to changes to make this usable on the scale it was previously. But I must admit, at this moment, what I'm seeing looks like I need to put in MORE effort, rather than less, to have a baseline of usability, readability, and editability of the campaigns I've already built.

    So, I'm glad you are listening, I'm glad you are taking actions, I know it will take time. But please understand also that you took something that was very usable, and now isn't, and that is VERY frustrating. And it's really hard to feel like this is a time saver at the moment, which was at least one of the things it represented, and often delivered on, in it's prior version.
  • The_D
    Posts: 9
    Meagoinc, where did you see that they will bring back subforums? I just started a discussion based on not hearing anything that suggested that, and if I'm wrong, I'd like to correct myself so I'm not some asshole ranting about something that has already been addressed.
  • xxxRocketxxx
    Posts: 8
    How do I fix my campaigns to look how they did?

    Now I have a white pad where I had once a texture which appeared to be an old paper.
  • Meagoinc
    Posts: 26
    @ The_D -- you're right! Langy said they MAY bring back sub-forums, and I optimistically re-read it.

    @ The Moderators: Please, please, DO bring back sub-forums!! They are essential for organisation: removing them is like removing the capability to organize your computer's hard drive with folders. The world is a better place with sub-forums! Sub-forums provide clarity (we don't need our zeppelin thread right next to the thread on who's bringing what casserole on Saturday), swiftness of accessibility (it is easier to click through to something than to scroll to it, on the whole), and mean that important threads do not get lost (the threads on attendance shouldn't clog the feed and prevent us from swiftly finding the campaign-centric comments). Consider campaigns which are largely played through the forums as well-- losing sub-forums is a crushing and confusing loss to them.

    One more thing, while I'm asking, I suppose: Please DO bring back the campaign comments. They were heartwarming, and a nice casual way to connect with other campaigns on the whole without PMing folk.
  • dr_venture
    Posts: 32
    Baard: With a couple small tweaks, it worked great - thanks!!
  • The_Warlock
    Posts: 6
    @ Baard > Thank you for providing that header code - it seems simple, but to someone who has not delved into site coding, having a place to start from and quickly fix the banner issue, it is immense.

    For everyone else, I changed the header height value in the second line of code, and now my original banner shows as close to correctly as it used to.

    I may still not be happy, but I'm at least less unhappy.
  • xxxRocketxxx
    Posts: 8
    There are two things I want to know asap:
    I want to know how to fix my campaigns.
    I want to know when the site will break my campaigns again.

    Since 2011, I paid $40 a year in support.
    I spent days learning and making my campaigns look how they did.
    My emotional response is anger.
  • LordMisha
    Posts: 14
    Won't bother echoing all of the problems listed so far in this forum thread other than I agree with most of them. I am an Ascendant member and backed the Reforge. I even tried to follow the Reforge forum threads about this launch and design, weighed in with some opinions and eventually gave up. I didn't agree with the direction it was going and now with the new launch and every one one of my Campaigns broken and near useless, even the ones I just play in via Play-by-Post, I am giving a pass for continuing with Obsidian Portal.

    I am a web designer and artist by trade and spent alot of time designing my campaign pages, and yes I used CSS. When even my custom banners don't even fit with the new launch...bleah, just isn't worth the time to continue.

    Some great supporters on the site/forums and they will be very helpful to those creating new campaigns or trying to fix their old. I just do not have the time to go through and redo every damn thing to try and get even close to what I had before. At this rate, I might as well just go to some RPG Campaign Forum site and run my games as play-by-posts from there and not even worry about trying to be picturesque and well-designed.

    This was an opportunity to take Obsidian Portal to the next level...and over time, with the new style and look it just might achieve that. Maybe in a few months or years I will pop back over and check it out. Right now I am just gonna delete campaigns and close up shop. I was working hard to convince fellow GM's to jump on board OP but no longer.

    No disrespect intended to Micah and the small team supporting the sight. I understand a small team, but you collected quite a bit of money to make this happen and just feels like where the team wanted to go and where users thought it was heading seem out of sync. Good luck to everyone. Now I need to try and figure out how to even reach my GM's in the games I was participating in to bow out.
  • xxxRocketxxx
    Posts: 8

    I want to say that it is ok to bow out of a game because the site flaked on us. Your GM and other players put time into you though, so don't just flake out on them. I want to say that you should work out RP for your characters leaving those games, though you may already have that intention unstated.
  • DarthGM
    Posts: 3
    Going to be patient, but also going to echo what's been said here;

    White letters on grey background for editing; I cannot read
    Yellow Letters (for active links) on white translucent backgrounds, I cannot read
    The text box is WAY to narrow. It should be at least twice that width.
    Why are my banners all blurry and cropped?
    What happened to "blue for a link to a page" and "red for a link to a page that doesn't exist yet"? Bring that back, pronto.

    I'm going to hope that some of this gets fixed in the next few days before I start entertaining thoughts of "why did I renew my membership again"?
  • dr_venture
    Posts: 32
    Dunno if anyone mentioned it yet, but it's extremely aggravating to have PCs and NPCs treated exactly the same, as far as the default display on the Characters page. I now have more NPCs than PCs, but they all appear in one large group with no indication whatsoever as to which is which.
  • EugeneGM
    Posts: 12
    More thoughts:

    -Tags vanish when uploading pictures. (Though I think you see this now).
    -The column width of pure empty on either side is aggravating and distracting.
    -It would appear that the OP Dragon (re-sizing itself?) is what is causing this huge gap between the banner and the top of the page. For now, I've adblocked it. Once you've fixed it, I'll turn it back on, because I thought it was pretty cool.
    -It'd be neat to be able to change text color without coding stuffs (A lot of stuff isn't appearing with my mainly white background. My fault though, shouldn't have that background). Also, deadlinks not being red? Causing me and my players some distress.
    -Not sure why people are talking about the wiki pages all at once not appearing. Just type in: https://'Nameofcampiagngoeshere'.obsidianportal.com/wikis

    Won't lie, I'm pretty stoked about what could happen in the coming months. Unlike a lot of folk, I invested more time into my campaign's details and rules than the site's look, so I only had to delete a few lines of some sort of code (I think. I don't code stuffs) and everything was hunky-doorry. I was just hoping for something more than just cosmetic changes, you know? Like, having the text box have things like text alignment that worked, or being able to easily create some sort of ability to jump to places in your wiki pages. C'est la vie. As long as you don't delete my game, I'm happy to keep using OP. Once you work out the kinks, I'll even go back to recommending you! As it stands, I'll look pretty foolish. But hey, it's only day 2!
  • Belrathius
    Posts: 206 edited October 2013
    @dr_Venture: Yes, this has been mentioned. I would suggest that you look at my thread listing out all issues (that I picked out from the threads), the one titled "New Reforge Issue Tracking List". If you see something is missing, please post there what is missing (as well as posting anywhere else you feel appropriate) so I can detail it out for the devs to track. Thanks.
    Post edited by Belrathius on
  • GTB
    Posts: 10
    I'm with EugeneDM, I like the dashboard and I wish the whole site looked like that.
  • FuManchuDrew
    Posts: 6 edited November 2013
    Hi Everyone,

    I'd like to thank everyone for keeping the conversation constructive and helping each other explore the new site. We know that you as users, just like us as developers and designers, have put an immense amount of time into building Obsidian Portal. @DreadGazebo is staying on top of monitoring the feedback, and I've been following every post as well. Behind the scenes, we're doing our best to catalogue feedback and build a task list for fixes and changes.

    I know it's hard to tell, but part of the Reforging was rebuilding the base code of Obsidian from the ground up to make it faster and more stable in the long run. We also focused on using modern web conventions and the inclusion of Foundation gives us all a base to start from when formatting CSS changes. I'd urge everyone to check out the style guide, throw some suggestions on the Style thread:

    "Style Guide":https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SEGiRhBC5I-JjZJROQnWuJ0W-6SXfZ9uAgMPstu0hcA/
    "Style Guide Discussion":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=3324

    Also don't forget that the Foundation documentation is a good source of CSS info:
    "Foundation Docs":http://foundation.zurb.com/docs/

    We'll make sure to keep you updated as we tweak the site and fix these bugs, so keep any new catches or requests coming!
    Post edited by FuManchuDrew on
  • Davidb_S
    Posts: 13
    I didn't know where to post these questions, so I apologize in advance...

    Is it possible to delete a forum post or even the entire thread anymore? And how do I favorite a campaign now? Oh and what's the small pin icon for, in the upper right corner of the screen?

  • MadDogMaddux
    Posts: 10
    Just wanted to drop a line to say that I'm really digging the menu bar along the top. That's definitely a step in the right direction. ;)
  • DarthKrzysztof
    Posts: 132
    Overall, I'm pretty happy with the redesign. It looks like most of my comments and concerns have already been voiced in this thread by others, but I still wonder why the campaign banners on my profile page show in a different ratio than they do on the campaign homepage? The sides for my "Skull & Shackles" banner are cut off on my profile page, for example: https://www.obsidianportal.com/profile/DarthKrzysztof
  • Gromnar
    Posts: 5
    As I'm sure its been said already (many times), the forums need to have subforums returned or a plausible, workable, similar feature that allows those of us who use the forums for important organizational matters to continue using them as we need. Various sources on here indicate that subforums will not be returning, and if that is true, I hope the above mentioned (and necessary) compensation is implemented within a few days.

    I will say that regardless of how upset I am that the reforged update has severely damaged my game and all the effort I've put into creating it, I am pleased with the politeness of the OP support staff who have promptly replied to all my emails. For that, you have my thanks and respect.
  • DreadGazebo
    Posts: 218
    After many, many support tickets and a lot of coffee I can happily report that we've just deployed the following:

    * A contrast fix for the text on the site, you should notice a darker background which makes the light gray text much easier to read than previously
    * All users (Ascendant and non) now have the ability to set their page width campaign wide, get in there and play with it and tweak it to your liking. Some good sizes are 1200 is good, or 1400, just play with it a bit.
    ** Campaign dashboard > Settings > Advanced (ex: "https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2354361/Custom%20CSS%20for%20OP/width.png":https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2354361/Custom%20CSS%20for%20OP/width.png)
    ** Example before: "https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2354361/Custom%20CSS%20for%20OP/before.png":https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2354361/Custom%20CSS%20for%20OP/before.png
    ** Example after: "https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2354361/Custom%20CSS%20for%20OP/after.png":https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2354361/Custom%20CSS%20for%20OP/after.png

    Tomorrow we'll be taking a look further into the issues we're experiencing with tags, restoring adventure log comments, and the ability to edit forum posts. Beyond that we'll be prioritizing more issues and tackling them in small pockets like we've done tonight. Keep the feedback coming, the relevant bug report tickets submitted, and most of all stay positive. We're going to make OP one of the most kick-ass sites out there!

    Goodnight folks!
  • Orclord
    Posts: 1
    I'm sure the image problems are going to be fixed. Any chance there will be an option to run in "classic mode"? My whole site has be @#$*'ed up now.
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