Feature & Improvement Ideas

edited January 2016 in Feature Requests
While there's still a long row to hoe in terms of resolving bugs and support tickets, and building out the features promised in the reforge, with the progress towards those goals picking up I've been giving some thought to what _new_ features I'd like. Andrew has talked about focusing on improving the wiki (because it's the core feature), and on dynamic character sheets (because they're a unique selling point), and I figure it's better to have ideas than not, so I have a few suggestions.

What would you add to the list?

h3. Wiki System Improvements

* *Collapsible Sections* - Make it so that sections within a page can be collapsed to keep the page compact. Attach this functionality to the header tags automatically, and let us specify in the tag whether a section should default to visible or collapsed. Useful for hiding spoilers and such as well.

* *Section Anchors* - Automatically apply an anchor tag to section headers in a page, so we can quickly and easily link to particular sections in the page using just an address. Add an option to the link creator for pointing at sections, and an option in wiki links too: [[page#section]].

* *Automatic Table of Contents* - Add an automatic table of contents for wiki pages, in the right hand navigation area, which outlines the contents of a page based on its section heads, with links to scroll the page to each of the sections.

* *Hover Note Tag* - Add a tag to the wiki system which lets us attach help balloons to text and other content, as the modern age's version of foot-notes. Highlight text that has foot notes, so users know there's more information there.

* *Allow Rowspan and Colspan* - Allow users creating HTML tables in their wiki pages to use the rowspan and colspan attributes, so that they have the whole range of normal table layout tools at their disposal.

* *Sortable Tables* - When users create a table using the textile syntax, use a script to make it automatically sortable, so that when a user clicks on one of the column headers he or she can sort it up or down by that column. Add syntax to disable this for any given table.

* *Wiki Templates* - Enable users to create pages which are built as templates to be included in other pages, so that content can be shared between pages easily. Build it something like the "Wikipedia templates system":https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Template, so it can have data driven values.

* *Work In Progress Saving* - Periodically save a user's edits on a page in progress, either to the server or just to local storage, so that work on a page is never lost in the event of any kind of connectivity issues or accidental actions. See draft saving in many other sites.

* *Inline Maps* - Enable users to place maps from their campaign's map page inline within a wiki page, using a special tag. This is a much more natural context for maps in most cases. Let the tag point to specific locations and zoom levels, to frame the default view position.

h3. Dynamic Sheet Improvements

* *Central Code Library* - Provide support for a centralized library of DST code that users can share among themselves and use on multiple DSTs. This would enable centralize bug fixing, and help more people build good DSTs without as much advanced technical knowledge.

* *Sheet Image Library* - Add image uploading to the sheet submission process, so that the images needed for a sheet can be attached directly to it, rather than DST creators having to figure out their own image hosting solutions.

* *Auto-Save Drafts* - As for wiki pages above, it would be great if changes to a sheet were auto-saved periodically, so that there was a reduced chance of losing changes by accident for whatever reason.

* *API Integration* - Fully integrate the DST system with the API, to enable things like importers and exporters from popular character creator tools. Try to set up some partnerships with one or more of these where they could support cloud sync of characters.

* *Updated DST Sandbox* - Update the DST sandbox package that's available to make it actually work with the latest version of the DST system, and include a fuller feature set, so that DST creators can actually work on development in a local environment.

* *Updated DST Documentation* - Do a complete pass over the DST system documentation, making sure it's all up to date and consistent. Add more information about how to get started, and thoroughly document any new features.

* *Dynamic Layout* - Launch an initiative to update DSTs so that they support dynamic layout and are generally more useful on mobile devices, so that users can more easily bring their electronic character sheets to the table.

* *Printable Sheets* - Add CSS to the character page and launch an initiative where sheets should be set up with the correct print media CSS to be quickly and easily printed out by users. Bring our DSTs to even the most old-school table top.


  • Tau_Cetacean
    Posts: 285
    1) a more robust download / backup option - right now it just dumps everything into a single .xml file, would be nice to have separate files for each wiki page

    2) ability to bulk upload wiki pages (maybe this overlaps with the wiki template listed above)... the specific application I have in mind is to have a bash script offline generate pages from a month template and upload a page for January_1 to December_1849 (have already manually made month pages for 1850 and beyond)... then I can go back and input specific historical events

    3) ability to bulk copy wiki pages from one campaign to another (e.g. for different alternate histories, before the divergence point, events are going to be the same)

    4) second the sortable tables request... e.g. working on page on the asteroid belt, would be nice to be able to sort it by the asteroid's IAU number and also by other features like diameter, colonial population, etc.
  • ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 530
    * *Cross-Campaign Pages* - Ability to have one page appear in multiple wikis, for sharing elements of a campaign setting across multiple campaigns.
  • Kallak
    Posts: 1,090
    Very solid ideas in here! I especially like the hover notes, inline maps and section anchors/secondary column TOC.
    All the best,
    - Kallak
  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 3,001
    Love the inline map and better backup suggestions

    Just trying to help out.

  • Banzai_Aether
    Posts: 8
    I second (or would it be third?) inline maps, wiki templates, section anchors and everything under DST improvements. Especially updated documentation for the DSTs.
  • andreww38
    Posts: 239
    FYI, to add to the points above, there are also plans to have the ability to use OP in some "offline" capacity, especially for those who're in an area (eg basement or rural areas) with less 3g/4g/wifi access.

    Also the ability to export stuff to pdf or mobi, and print out ref sheets is also noted.

    Take this like a brainstorming session and Chainsaw and I will figure out how to make as much of this work as we can.


    There are long-term plans to consider going beyond a mobile responsive OP site to consider iOS / android apps, either native apps or via phonegap, though the timeline might be fall/winter after we get the outstanding KS stretch goals and a number of the persistent minor bugs fixed.
  • Keryth987
    Posts: 1,047
    The ability to have links open in a separate tab is something I really would like

    Keelah Se'lai,
    "Shadows Over New York":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shadows-over-new-york
    "2013 Campaign of The Year":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/2013-coty-shadows-over-new-york/
    "Campaign of the Month July 2013":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/shadows-over-new-york-julys-campaign-of-the-month/

  • weasel0
    Posts: 435
    What about bringing back the old page shortcuts via tags that used to be on the right-hand side? Limit it to say the top 5 or 10 Keyword Tags. It's currently all hidden under the "All Pages" button that you then have to sort through or scroll through from there.
  • twiggyleaf
    Posts: 2,014
    Easy Printouts for DSTs is a big wish for me too!
    Also, ability to import documents e.g. Excel Tables, PDFs, HERO LAB Character Sheets.


    "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

  • ketherian
    Posts: 203 edited February 2016
    Right now there's a ton of CSS info, the odd tool (thank you ChainsawXIV), and guidance in the forums - but it's really decentralized and hard to find by the nature of being buried in threads. There was an attempt to produce a document some time ago that explained the layered methodology of this site; but it never progressed past a generalized outline. A centralized source for code-snippets, links to tutorials, etc - would be awesome. Rather than being run by a member (and running the risk of being deleted or dying because the member leaves OP), it should be part of the OP site. Members should be allowed to add content, perhaps under a moderated methodology.

    *Configurable length to the list of updates on the dashboard*.
    The stream is limited to a fixed list size. I'd love this to dump to a page and just keep dumping. Sometimes I edit a page multiple times in rapid succession; and this results in having very few updates in the stream. Heck, even turning the Stream into an RSS feed that could be picked up externally would be sufficient.

    * Click on the date to add an event on that day.
    * Have the end date match the start date by default.
    * Links to wiki pages, adventure notes, and characters should be respected in the event display (on the calendar page).
    * A button to send out an email about an event now (and not just as a reminder x days before the event).
    * Linking the calendar to google calendar.

    *Image and resource management*
    The tool to add an image is a touch clunky, but it works. Ability to resize the window or at least change the display (so that there's more images visible at once) would be cool.
    I'd love there to be a way to see everything linking to a page or a graphic, and by inverse - all the pages and graphics that have no links to them. These orphans are really hard to spot when doing site maintenance. Images too.
    This goes for character images as well as images in the media library. It would be cool to be able to access character images through the image embed tool/Media library and vice versa.

    Edited to add Image and resource management.

    "Signs & Portents":https://swtwc.obsidianportal.com The war comes
    Post edited by ketherian on
  • Abersade
    Posts: 422
    Cross-Campaign Pages – Ability to have one page appear in multiple wikis, for sharing elements of a campaign setting across multiple campaigns.

    This. Most of the games that I run take place in the same setting during different time periods, this feature would be a godsend when creating the next campaign in a series.

    Inline maps, better backups, section anchors, and hover notes too. Great ideas.

    DM of "Rise of the Durnskald - Wrath of the Fallen Goddess":https://rise-of-the-durnskald.obsidianportal.com/
    "Campaign of the Month - February 2016":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/obsidian-portal-campaign-of-the-month-february-2016-rise-of-the-durnskald/

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

    GM of Core: The Ashes of Alcarna - April 2020 CotM

    GM of Stream of Kairos

    Need CSS Help? It may be covered here: Abersade's CSS Hub

  • Basileus
    Posts: 585
    bq. FYI, to add to the points above, there are also plans to have the ability to use OP in some “offline” capacity, especially for those who’re in an area (eg basement or rural areas) with less 3g/4g/wifi access.

    What kind of barbarians are infiltrating Obsidian Portal?! Next they'll be wanting an abacus-compliant version, or smoke signals!
  • david_kristof
    Posts: 6
    I'd like to see the ability for a DM to mark specific wiki pages as "read only" for players. The current method of doing so actually hides the page so they can't even see it.
  • weasel0
    Posts: 36
    Can we have a Search ability like there was prior to the All Campaigns removal?

    Since we got back the All Campaigns, there's been no rhyme or reason to much of it's sorting. Updated campaigns from 5 hours ago mixed in with 5 days ago in both New and Latest Updated. Default is exactly the same as Popular. No way to actually search out specific people or campaigns.
  • JaymesBolton
    Posts: 278
    A private setting for the wiki forums. Just like you can have secret wiki pages have a way to have private forums. This will be usefull for the more intrigue based games or just when you have a character with a big secret. This way you can have a private communication between a specific player and a GM, multiple players, etc. and a way to review that information later.

  • SkidAce
    Posts: 46
    Good idea. We were using the honor system and PM, but that left a lot to be desired and was very difficult to review information.

  • weasel0
    Posts: 36
    This is why I also have an account with "rpol.net":http://rpol.net. The interface isn't as nice but it was built(as OP was for RPG Wikis) from the ground up for Play by Post. It allows for something like 20 or more languages in addition to 15+ group permissions. So you can have all the dwarves speaking dwarven and unless the others know that language, all they see is gibberish. You can use the same languages tagged differently, and it won't even show to people not part of the language group(like in ear radio communications). You can also use the same kind of tag to post many details in one post but only the right people will see the right details and no one will be able to tell there's anything different other than you the GM who sees the tags. Thief sees the trap but the fighter doesn't, you can tag the details of the pit trap in the same post the fighter and the rest of the party gets, but only the thief will see those details and nothing will indicate to the thief that that information was only for him. It's up to him to share the information or assume everyone else sees it too.
    And for the groups permissions, you can set it so if the party splits, you can change the group permissions they have and now they have access to different threads and can't see the what's going on in the other ones.

    Here's an example from a "table rules" thread with and without the spoiler activated:
    Here's what players see with different permissions:

    The top two are my user colors for the whole site. The last one is a player who hasn't done any adjustments and is on his cell phone.

    PS- Something we used to have: Die roller. The one at RPOL retains all rolls unless the GM clears them.
  • cgregory
    Posts: 780

    One thing that I really miss from the old site was that when I visited the All Campaigns page, by default it showed the most recently updated campaigns. The current setup always shows the same campaigns.

    Nine of the 12 campaigns on the first page that it shows haven't been updated in 3 months, 5/12 haven't even been updated in the last year.  Before, you could stumble across some great hidden gems as you made your way to the forum. Even if you kept the default pretty much the same but drop campaigns that haven't been updated in a month it might make for a more interesting page. Or provide a preference to in our profiles as to what we'd like as our default view for that page.


    The other issue with that page is you can't search by game type and most recent at the same time. If you search by game type, it is automatically by most popular.



    They are among us!


                       XCom: Defiance - Campaign of the Month November 2016



  • weasel0
    Posts: 435

    per campaign options for email opt-ins and outs(wiki, char, item, calendar, forum: edits and additions)-added benefit=lower email cost

    A reduction in line spacing between paragraphs(makes bullet lists look bad)

    A way to clear saved drafts after you post. Every time I got into a thread I've posted in it nags me if I want to reuse the draft info I already posted.

    A way to permanently enable spell check.

  • abu_is_evil
    Posts: 168

    This used to be a stickied discussion thread, and has some great suggestions.

    Just trying to help out.

  • Bush363
    Posts: 1

    It would be great if we could share the media libarary between campaigns.

  • cgregory
    Posts: 780

    I'm guessing that you mean sharing media libraries between campaigns through the use of the image embed button. Since you can use the media from other libraries by manually adding an img tag with the url of media from a different library.

    <img src="https://db4sgowjqfwig.cloudfront.net/campaigns/124016/assets/703905/2017-02-19_22.42.34.jpg"; >


    They are among us!


                       XCom: Defiance - Campaign of the Month November 2016



  • menglehart13
    Posts: 1

    * Recurring Events -- it would be able to use this to keep the regular game schedule and auto remind my players who have busy lives.

    While I don't see this feature mentioned in this thread, it does appear elsewhere in this forum, so I am clearly not the only one who would like it.

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