Map list, Mod list, File list, What list?

Working on new maps for Multiwinia? Discuss!

Moderators: bert_the_turtle, jelco

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frenchfrog
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Postby frenchfrog » Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:02 pm

Looks good :)
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zach
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Postby zach » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:10 am

Thank you all, for your kind words :D

-----

There has been some progress, not much of which can be seen for now though.
There is one matter of doubt, though; the uploading of files.

During the beta sessions of this very game, I made a file/image hosting service available for the testers. This turned out to work very well, became somewhat popular, and I hope it has helped lessen the efforts required to report bugs.

Now, I believe one of the main reasons this service was used in the first place was the simplicity of the thing. Observe;

File selection:
ImageImage

Upload completion information:
ImageImage


Compare this to the (work-in-progress) current upload:
Image

Now, I am in doubt as to how to reapproach this simplicity on the new site, while keeping a meaningful infrastructure of the map/modlist.

Right now, just selecting a file and clicking Upload will;
  • upload that file,
  • add an entry to the database (title = 'filename', description = ''),
  • add that entry to the file/screen list, and
  • redirect the user to the file's Details page (containing board link/thumbnail)
Of course, filling in any input/textarea would use that value instead of the default.


My questions:

Is this easy enough?
Should the easy upload not be added to the database?
Should the easy upload not be public (added to lists) by default?

Additionally, should images be force-resized to some maximum dimensions (say, 1024x768 max)?
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xander
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Postby xander » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:47 am

For what it is worth:

zanzer7 wrote:Is this easy enough?

That looks pretty straightforward -- I doubt it gets any better.


zanzer7 wrote:Should the easy upload not be added to the database?

Is there any way of creating a moderated list? For instance, if you had a list of users, such users could give a thumbs up or thumbs down to a map. Users can set a threshold level, and only see maps that have made it above that threshold. That way, all maps are added to the database, but one doesn't have to see them all -- they can browse only those that are "good" (by some measure of good).

zanzer7 wrote:Should the easy upload not be public (added to lists) by default?

I think I kind of answered this above, but, to expand upon it, I think that users should have to register to upload a map. That shows at least a minimal level of commitment.

zanzer7 wrote:Additionally, should images be force-resized to some maximum dimensions (say, 1024x768 max)?

Absolutely. I would even say 800x600 for display, perhaps with a link to a larger image if needed. Not all of us have massive displays. ;)

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Postby zach » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:31 am

xander wrote:That looks pretty straightforward -- I doubt it gets any better.

Actually, I think just having a file selection button and an upload button would be as simple as it gets.
And of course an Advanced... thing for uploads that require title, description etc.


xander wrote:Is there any way of creating a moderated list? For instance, if you had a list of users, such users could give a thumbs up or thumbs down to a map. Users can set a threshold level, and only see maps that have made it above that threshold. That way, all maps are added to the database, but one doesn't have to see them all -- they can browse only those that are "good" (by some measure of good).

As it is now, I am going to implement a rating system - and possibly a download count, I don't know about that yet.
Anyway, this means that any (registered) user can vote on a map.
The map list can be sorted by whatever one pleases, rating being an obvious choice there. I don't know if it'd make sense to have a threshold per se (how many maps do you people expect to make? :P), so sorting by rating should suffice.
I have also toyed around with the idea of "moderator" users, but I don't know to what extent that'd be necessary.

xander wrote:[...] I think that users should have to register to upload a map. That shows at least a minimal level of commitment.

Definitely.

I don't necessarily require users to register just to upload a file/image to show here on the forums though, but I really don't know how to avoid misuse of that as of yet.

xander wrote:Absolutely. I would even say 800x600 for display, perhaps with a link to a larger image if needed. Not all of us have massive displays. ;)

Actually, I was thinking of ditching the larger source image here.
Keeping the larger image, there will be three version;
  • The original, source image
  • A smaller version, fitting on the (fixed-width) site.
  • A thumbnail, used throughout the site
I'll probably make the smaller (site) version 640x480, since I am aiming for the site to be displayed in 800x600 and up (It's all those netbooks, bringing resolutions back from the dead :P).

I was just thinking whether I could ditch the source image, but come to think of it, 640x480 is terribly small for some things, and you'd want to be able to link to the original image as well.

-----

From a technical point of view, none of these approaches are difficult;

The database is pretty flexible, and the different tables are linked etc. Things like quotas, moderator status, file ownership etc. are just a column away - so please, if there's something you'd like to see on the site, let me know now. :)
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Postby xander » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:51 am

zanzer7 wrote:
xander wrote:That looks pretty straightforward -- I doubt it gets any better.

Actually, I think just having a file selection button and an upload button would be as simple as it gets.
And of course an Advanced... thing for uploads that require title, description etc.

To my mind, a map requires three things: a file, a map name, and a description (given that the author's name is automatic, as they have to login to upload). If you don't have those three things, then there is nothing worth downloading. I want to know what I am downloading before I do so. Perhaps you could parse some of those things out automatically (i.e. map type, number of players, &c.), but probably not, and it still wouldn't really be useful. Thus, a file selection and upload button wouldn't be useful. ;)

Of course, that is just my opinion.

As for features, how hard would it be for your site to automatically fill out Ambrosia's plug-in dialog (i.e. for instance, the dialog that appears when you hit submit at the bottom of this page)? (if you want to experiment with the DEFCON add-ons page, let me know -- I have moderator access, and can delete any extra stuff you might put in there that doesn't belong) :D

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Postby zach » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:55 am

I might not have been clear.

Uploading a file is one thing (the thing I'm in doubt about).

Defining a map entry for the map list is different, and consists mainly of;
  • Selecting a file from a drop-down list of files on the server
  • Writing a title
  • Writing an author
  • Writing a description
  • Selecting up to three screenshots from a drop-down list to accompany the map entry
The file upload is completely separate from this, and all the maplist in theory requires is for the file to be on the server in the files directory, and preferably metadata (date, uploader, name) to sort sensibly.

So, really, with regards to files for the maplist, one could do with only date, uploader, and filename - and rating/downloads would be automatically generated over time. This can all be handled by the server with the only user input being a 'file selection' and an 'upload button'.

What I want to do though, is have the ability to upload a non-map file, and write a description for the file where applicable.
When uploading a map file/archive, I think 'file selection' and 'upload button' ought to suffice. That way, the file will still be added to the database with the metadata mentioned above, as generated by the server.

There is a file list, and it is with this in mind that I am in doubt.
Image
For files, the only thing that can't be generated is Title and Description.

My thoughts are that you could have the 'quickie-upload' simply not be added to the file list (but still the database), so only meaningful files (ie. not the screenshots or the map archives) will show up on that list - and map list entries will still be able to link to that file.

-----
xander wrote:As for features, how hard would it be for your site to automatically fill out Ambrosia's plug-in dialog

This should be fairly easy to implement - I could just have the site add the map to Ambrosia when someone decides to define a map. Only problem would be if you accidentally duplicate-defined a map, or want to update something, or roll out a new version of the map - It can't really update Ambrosia's site at that time, then.

But if you feel it would make sense, I could enable auto-ambrosiation of maps. I'm just a bit concerned with updating those entries.
Yet again, I imagine anything would be above the updatedness of the Defcon mods :P

Either that, or have the moderating members of the (mwmap) site have a button that says 'Submit to Ambrosia'.

</monologue>
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Postby xander » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:57 pm

zanzer7 wrote:Yet again, I imagine anything would be above the updatedness of the Defcon mods :P

You're telling me? Just about everything on the ASW Defcon site is something that I have searched out to put there -- none of the Windows mod makers bother to upload to ASW, and none of the Mac users make mods. Thus, for every file that is there, I have had to get permission to post, post, approve, &c. I got tired of doing it (and yet, Mac users still complain about the paucity of mods, the lazy bums). So, yeah, there is not much there. ;)

zanzer7 wrote:Either that, or have the moderating members of the (mwmap) site have a button that says 'Submit to Ambrosia'.

That actually sounds like a good idea. This ensures that only completed and/or well liked mods are uploaded.

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Postby zach » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:26 am

The past few weeks of inactivity on my part can be attributed to the following causes:
  • Full-week trip to England
  • Exams
  • Moving to a new place (and 100 km away, at that)
Now, all of that should be over with by tomorrow afternoon, after which I hope to get some work done on this (what I will believe will become mostly a) Maplist.

As stated earlier, it is nearly ready for public use already.
Just a few things - like user registration, map definition and screenshot resizing (woah, a British word ending in -izing) - are left for me to do.

For now, be patient please :)
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Postby jelco » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:15 pm

Minibump. Any progress, zanzer? :)

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