New Campaign Homepage

Micah
Micah
edited September 2008 in General Archive

Comments

  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    We're switching the homepage (ie. landing page) for campaigns from the Adventure Log to the wiki main page. The reasoning is that more people are using OP as a wiki site with a built-in blog, rather than a blog with a built-in wiki. Plus, it will allow everyone much more customization in how they want their landing page to look.

    If you have any strong feelings about this, please drop a note here and we'll try to respond!
  • Adino
    Adino
    Posts: 4
    Mrm... I'm not a fan of the main page going straight to my Wiki front page. I'd far prefer a seperate "home page" that we can create in order to give a good first impression of the campaign, or to do something stylistically. Really I don't think there was a problem with having the Adventure Log be the front page, but I'm not liking the look of the Wiki.

    Maybe I'm just overly critical, though... but I kind of feel like I need to go back and look at my campaigns now and change how the Wiki front page looks, since now it's the first thing people will see.
  • kaeosdad
    kaeosdad
    Posts: 12
    Agreed, I think the Home page should be a blank slate separate from the wiki main page. It feels weird having two tabs that takes you to the same page, and a Home page would be a neat area to put a cool logo, some awesome art, link to a photo gallery, and probably announcements. I'd just make a wiki page titled Photo Gallery and use uploaded photos from my Picasa gallery.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    bq. Maybe I’m just overly critical, though… but I kind of feel like I need to go back and look at my campaigns now and change how the Wiki front page looks, since now it’s the first thing people will see.

    Yeah, we're hesitant to make lots of changes like this due to how disruptive it is to existing campaigns. However, from what we've seen from people's usage, the wikis are often where people start, and eventually move to the Adventure Log.

    As to the separate home page, I'll think about it. That was my original plan, but I assumed that most people would simply copy & paste from their wiki, or something similar. Perhaps I guessed wrong on that one.

    We'll let it ride as is for a while and see if we can gather more feedback. If there's an overwhelming sentiment one way or another, we can always change in the future.
  • RobJustice
    RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    I was a little off put this morning...

    I like the wiki being the main page the pops up, I'll just have to be more considerate of design elements since its now my campaign's face. I'd be happier if I had more control over the elements I could use as well... but I understand the hesitance to allow full HTML/CSS on your site :D

    My biggest issues is with wasted space, now I have two tabs that display the same thing. Seems pointless to me.
  • FemmeLegion
    FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    *shrug* It's a change. The visitors to my house are now going to all come in the front door instead of through the garage. I just need to make sure to move the welcome mat and the boot tray, and keep that foyer a little tidier since now people will notice more. =)

    I may mind a little less than most because I was already thinking I needed to overhaul the Vale's campaign site anyway. Though I see what RobJustice was saying: having the Home and the main Wiki page be the same thing is really rather frustrating. It'd be nice if I could make my Home page the splashy landing site it seems to want to be, and then perhaps my main Wiki page more like a table of contents.

    Also, I noticed the Campaign Description isn't visible anywhere that I looked. It's still part of the campaign - if I go to Edit Settings, it's there to be messed with - but it isn't displayed anywhere I can see. I especially noticed this because that's the sort of thing I'd want on a Home page.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    Ok, it seems like the consensus (so far) is to have a separate home page. Unless I hear some strong dissent, I'll go ahead and try to get that in next weekend. I hate to keep switching things around, but continual improvement necessitates a little flux.

    The home page will simply be a special wiki page, sort of like the main page. This way, you can use Textile, HTML, and easily link to other wiki pages, characters, whatever.

    For existing campaigns, I will simply copy the existing main page text into the home page. From then on, they'll be separate.

    Note: For the campaign descriptions, we want to get rid of them entirely (from the sidebar). The natural place for that would be on the campaign homepage, where you have full control over formatting. So, we've left the field available in the edit screen, but made it read-only. There's also a little note there instructing you to copy & paste the description into the home page. For new campaigns, the field doesn't even show up.
  • Flatscan
    Flatscan
    Posts: 54
    I preferred the Adventure Logs being the landing page. Is there any way to have that sort of thing be in the user's control? Maybe have check boxes under "Edit Campaign" where you could choose either Adventure Logs or Wikis to be your landing page?
  • FemmeLegion
    FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    I *love* the idea of getting rid of the Campaign Description sidebar, actually! I'd been trying to write up a how-to guide for my GM, and I had a few caveats about that field 'cause otherwise he'd've gone nuts with it.

    Thanks for being attentive and responsive, Micah. I'd offer to send you cookies, but any time I promise things like that to people, my life gets really hectic and I always fall through on such promises.
  • super_rats
    super_rats
    Posts: 24
    I like the Wiki as the home page. A separate home page that's nothing but a cover seems like a waste. Like in the late 90's how everyone's personal site had that annoying 'enter' page that nobody uses anymore? A separate home page is an extra step to the content.

    Maybe an option to set either the Adventure Log or the Wiki as the front page would be better?
  • FemmeLegion
    FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    Super_rats, I point to my first post in this thread. My plan would be for the "home page" to have a telling of the overarching story, with some "in context" links to the rest of the site content. The Main Wiki page would be like the Site Map or the Table of Contents. Strictly utilitarian, and different enough from the home page to be worth its own tab.
  • hutchgamers
    hutchgamers
    Posts: 7
    I really like the idea of having a homepage tab, where like FeemeLegion mentioned, displaying your campaigns general overview. This would also be a great place for a summarized storyline (kind of what has come before as in the opening scenes of supernatural). Quick and neat. The adventure log tends to get jumbled as the PCs do the postings and they tend to be very wordy.
  • DarthKrzysztof
    DarthKrzysztof
    Posts: 132
    A separate front page is fine with me; I can use it to provide the sort of content that other GMs used a "2012" adventure log entry for.

    And I definitely won't miss the Campaign Description sidebar. Too many GMs used it for a "Story So Far" info dump that sounds like it should be coming from the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past, which made you scroll down the page to get to the important stuff like the players, the GM, etc. If it were brought back, I think it should have a maximum word count, or appear beneath the other items.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    Wow, I guess people feel pretty strongly about this. It's good to get all this feedback.

    Of course, we won't be able to satisfy everyone, but please keep voicing your arguments and we'll try to come up with a good solution.
  • FemmeLegion
    FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    Thanks, Micah! And rest assured I'll still love you and this site no matter what comes up.

    (I am so tickled...my GM is starting to really get the hang of things. He added new NPCs ALL BY HIMSELF! =)
  • bevinflannery
    bevinflannery
    Posts: 114
    I'm not philosophically opposed to a Home Page other than the Adventure Log, but forcing it to the Main Page of the Wiki seems ... well, redundant. After all, there's a tab for the Main Page of the Wiki that shows exactly the same thing. And unless I'm missing it, I don't see a way to actually edit the Home Page _as the Home Page,_ only by making changes to the Main Page of the Wiki.

    Also, apparently now the "tagline" for the campaign is completely invisible.
  • Flatscan
    Flatscan
    Posts: 54
    I agree with bevinflannery about the redundancy of the Home Page tag being the same as one of the other tabs. My suggestion is to remove the Home tab completely and allow a check box system of which tab the user wants displayed as the landing page, Adventure Log, Wiki, NPC, Comments, or Map.

    Or, at least have Adventure Log as an option and I'll be happy. :-D
  • redstar
    redstar
    Posts: 119
    I agree with Flatscan and bevinflannery, althought I prefer the wiki page being the main page. I just think the redundancy doesn't add much. Also, Im not sure how the wiki structure is setup, but if one can check a box on any page that would really great and flexible enough for each user.
  • kaeosdad
    kaeosdad
    Posts: 12
    I vote for a Home page that is separate from the wiki page. I like what FemmeLegion suggested about the option of putting your campaign overview etc. in the homepage and using the main wiki page like a table of contents. It would be nice and neat.

    Alternatively an option on the home page to mirror either the adventure log, or the wiki main page, with the option to not choose either and have the home page be a page in itself is a great idea. This would most likely satisfy all three parties as it has been suggested a few times so far.
  • gorthmog
    gorthmog
    Posts: 14
    Would it be possible to have a preference for the landing page? In my case, I'm running a bunch of pregen chars thru Keep on the Shadowfell, so there is really no over-arching "campaign". For us, the Adventurers Log *is* the main page, and it is a bit annoying to now have to come up with some bogus main page.

    A preference for the landing page would be great!
  • Idless
    Idless
    Posts: 58
    bq. Ok, it seems like the consensus (so far) is to have a separate home page. Unless I hear some strong dissent,

    Let me get this straight?

    The "Home" and "Wiki" is exactly the same, but you made it 2 different tabs so that you could call one "home" so you could justify to put it first, even though what you really wanted was to have the Wiki come first, but felt you could not, because that was called "wiki"... so you dublicated it to do it anyways?

    This Chewbacca... he is a wookie from the planet Kashyyyk, but he lives on Endor ...think about it - it does not make sense! Why would an 8 feet tall wookie live among 2 feet tall ewoks... it does not make sense

    bq. shrug It’s a change. The visitors to my house are now going to all come in the front door instead of through the garage. I just need to make sure to move the welcome mat and the boot tray, and keep that foyer a little tidier since now people will notice more. =)

    And now I need to take them in through the garage... here I placed everything for convenience and practical purpose, not for people to feel at home. One reason is, that I want my players to use my garage all they want, and they need to know were everything is.

    Skipping the metaphore: I once had a weird menu system, because I thought it looked cool. I threw it out, in favor for a simple bullet list... because it makes it SO much easier for my "not that wiki savy" players to use it. Its not pretty, but it works! Yet I love for my welcome page to have some star wars logo and bling-bling... but I can't now, for the sake of usability, and I might as well delete the bling from the log.

    Now, if the Home was a separate page I could be ok... then I could make a nice welcome screen, some navigation to the Log, to the wiki and perhaps even that English Introduction that I been dreaming about. Also it could have Bling Galore, and never worry if it threw my players off from participation.

    ...Idless
  • bevinflannery
    bevinflannery
    Posts: 114
    My apologies if this is just beating a dead horse at this point, here's another observation on the consequences of forcing the Wiki Main Page to be the default Home Page --

    It was no problem for me to take the material that I _had_ set up to be the "welcome mat" in a top post in the Adventure Log and slap it into the Wiki Main Page in order to force it to the Home Page. However, I didn't want and still don't want the material that was _already_ on the Wiki Main Page to be on that Home Page. So no biggie -- just create a new subpage, and move those links to there.

    Except now I have to go back through the entire Wiki and edit the links that were "back to Main Page" -- because they don't go back to what I had (and want) on the "Main Page."

    I don't want to go through the hassle though if the end result is that the "default forcing of Wiki Main Page as Home Page" is going to change ... which I hope it does.

    Looking at the swtich from the outside, it seems that it was made not because of any need articulated by the users of OP, but by a perception of how other people not using OP perceive OP.

    /end deceased equine flogging
  • outrider
    outrider
    Posts: 46
    I would like to also add my vote to return the adventure page as the first page. My guys will get lost trying to figure it out and probably not be happy.
  • Yax
    Yax
    Posts: 3
    Congrats on embracing change and going with the flow. I personally like the switch.
  • Snargash_Moonclaw
    Snargash_Moonclaw
    Posts: 40
    Personally, I don't see the point of a Home Page in the Adventure Log. I'm doing the development work on the Campaign Builders Guild wiki (which doesn't have a corollary to te Adventure Log) and if you click on a setting name in the overall wiki main page it links straight to the campaign's Main/Front/Home Page. The main page for Of Poets, Fools and Madmen is copied from my CBG Main Page and simply edited for spoilers. Currently here you can still see the internal link formatting embedded in that page to go to various other pages e.g., racial descriptions, regional material, deities, etc. (which, BTW, I'm having trouble seeing how to do here, or even to create other pages after the main. . .) It's not material that I would put at the start of an Adventure Log (which I'm uncertain that I would even use), but the introductory description of the setting, so links from it reasonably follow to more detailed descriptions. My primary purpose here is to provide players ready, organized access to the setting material, kept separate from the developmental wiki which contains a lot of GM's-eyes-only information.
  • bevinflannery
    bevinflannery
    Posts: 114
    _Personally, I don’t see the point of a Home Page in the Adventure Log._

    Things developed that way because the Adventure Log had been the default view when someone clicked on a campaign. To clarify my own position, I don't disagree with the decision to create a separate Home Page -- I simply disagree with the decision to default force the content of the Main Page of the Wiki as the Home Page. The Home Page tab then is simply redundant of the Wiki tab, can't be separately edited, and requires those who already have a Wiki set up to rework material that they never intended to be the "first face" of their campaign site for no coherent reason.

    The Home Page, if there is going to be one, should be separately editable, or at the very least provide the option for existing campaigns to choose the "default" -- Wiki or Adventure Log.

    _Currently here you can still see the internal link formatting embedded in that page to go to various other pages e.g., racial descriptions, regional material, deities, etc. (which, BTW, I’m having trouble seeing how to do here, or even to create other pages after the main. . .)_

    It's deceptively easy. If you want to set up a separate page about the Dragonspine, simply put the word into double brackets on your Main Page and then save your Main Page. You should now see the word displayed in a different color on your Main Page. Click on it -- that will open up the subpage to be edited.
  • Snargash_Moonclaw
    Snargash_Moonclaw
    Posts: 40
    After saving my main page I noted the redundancy you mention - while trying to find the edit icon on the home page before I realized I wasn't in the wiki. . . I would agree with you here - the Home page does have some useful information in the screen, and really doesn't appear to me to be connected to the Campaign Log since it's in its own tab, but yeah, to really be useful it should be editable. The way it's set I can see it's utility for introducing one of multiple campaigns, while the setting info in the wiki would be the same for both. Alternatively, the first couple of paragraphs in my wiki main could actually go on the home page as they address more gaming style behind the development than the setting itself. This makes a certain sort of sense here which would be pointless in the developmental wiki on the CBG.

    THanks for the help w/new pages and links (got your full description in Tips. . .) I should be able to edit the page readily by modifying the link code ported from the CBG (which is what I had hoped and why I left the codes in for now. . .) Wiki formatting drives me nuts.
  • Idless
    Idless
    Posts: 58
    My problem is not the change in it self. Its okay to relearn systems from time to time. I didn't mind the change in Facebook, that has otherwised caused an outrage... it just took me a few days to get used to it, and I was ok with it.

    my problem is this:

    bq. The Home Page tab then is simply redundant of the Wiki tab, can’t be separately edited, and requires those who already have a Wiki set up to rework material that they never intended to be the “first face” of their campaign site for no coherent reason.

    yup
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    Ok, based on the discussion and the feedback we've gathered, we're going to go with the separate homepage. It will be a new wiki page, separate from the main wiki page. You can style it as you like, and link to other wiki pages as desired.

    We've got most of it in place right now, but we're working out a few final details. Expect us to roll this out in the next couple days.
  • Micah
    Micah
    Posts: 894
    Ryan and I have discussed it, and here is our plan. We're laying it out to gather any feedback or better ideas.

    h3. Campaign Homepage

    As I said earlier, we are going to offer a campaign homepage that is a special wiki page. It will be separate from the main wiki page, but will have all the wiki functionality such as easy linking and Textile formatting. So, in short, it's just another page.

    h3. New Campaigns

    For new campaigns, it's easy. We'll just create the page with a "Welcome to your campaign!" message. No big deal.

    h3. Existing Campaigns

    Things are a little harder for existing campaigns. We don't want to add a thousand-odd "Welcome to your campaign!" pages that are the first thing anyone sees for an existing campaign. So, we need a way to automatically create the homepage for all existing campaigns. Here are the possibilities we've thought of so far, but *we welcome other ideas!*

    h4. 1. Copy the description field to the homepage.

    This is currently my favorite idea. We simply copy the existing description from the sidebar into the homepage. If there is no description, we put up the "Welcome to your campaign!" page.

    *Pros*: Easy. Most campaigns get good descriptions.

    *Cons*: Confusing to those without an existing description. Some descriptions will come through poorly formatted.

    h4. 2. Copy the main wiki page content to the homepage

    We could copy the main wiki page over and then let them diverge from that point on.

    *Pros*: Easy. No surprises about formatting.

    *Cons*: Extremely confusing to anyone who doesn't read these forums and know what's going on.


    Come to think of it, those are our only options as of now. If you have any thoughts or better ideas, please let us know. We're shooting for a target deployment of Wednesday, October 8th, so act now if you want your voice heard!
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