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Nealos
25 February 2004, 02:45 PM
This thread is meant to hold dialogue on developing out a user registration piece for Starwars-rpg.net, and started in the thread titled "So What's Next for Starwars-rpg.net...?" This dialogue originally started when some of us suggested a good addition to the site would be a Player/GM Database, where interested parties can add themselves to a searchable database.

Toward that idea, we determined that we need a user registration piece for the site since that would allow users to edit their profile information at will; this would take a lot of weight off the administrators of the site. Since it's all a volunteer effort, we should seek to make it as automated as possible.

I can donate the time of some of my development resources, but not much!

With that said...

Proposed Registration Module:

This module allows visitors to register their information with Starwars-rpg.net, allowing them to take advantage of advanced features of the site.

The first feature proposed would be a Player/GM Database. Many other features could use the same system, thus the foundation (registration module) should be built properly.

Suggested Information Fields for Registration

(* means required field)

Name
*Nickname
*Email Address
Website
City
State/Province
Country
*GM or Player? (GM/Player/Both)
*Gaming System (d6/d20/Both)
*Need another player? (No/Yes)
*Want to join another group? (No/Yes)
*Current Group Size (0-20)
*Form of Gaming (In Person/Email/Message Board/Other) - multiple choice.
*Are you willing to play other systems? (Yes/No)
If Yes, enter names of systems/games (free form, separate by commas)
Comments: (free form, char. limit of around 2500).


Ok, what did i miss? Thoughts?

scottyboy
26 February 2004, 04:51 AM
Would we want to put something in there about their "Frequency of play?" Meaning do they play once a month, twice a month, every week, or as often as possible? It's not necessarily a very important factor but it's something that I'd like to know if I was going to try and join someone else's group.

The way I look at it is, we need to give the searcher as much information as we possibly can about the registrant.

Maybe we could also add a field that allows the registrant to give a brief description of any current game/campaign they are participating in. That might be something that could help a person narrow down their search (not necessarily through the search engine itself, but when they are at the profile viewing portion of the search process).

Chris Curtis
26 February 2004, 06:10 AM
Whoa... great to see you popping up, Tim! Been far, far too long, my friend!

Some thoughts about additional information that could be useful (some based on the RPG Registry (http://www.rpgregistry.com/)):

- Are you willing to travel to participage in a game?
-"If so, how far? (probably free-form input since some would use miles, some km, some time, etc.)

- When are you available to game? (the RPG Registry has these options:
- - - weekday daytime
- - - weekday evenings
- - - friday daytime
- - - friday evenings
- - - saturday daytime
- - - saturday evenings
- - - sunday daytime
- - - sunday evenings

- For contacting other database members, I'd use an on-site form rather than revealing email addresses (spambots, anyone?)

- I have no clue at all how it would/could be done, but it would be awesome to have the ability to search for "people near me" and have the system return a list of people situated near the user geographically.


That's some thoughts off the top of my head.

scottyboy
26 February 2004, 06:17 AM
Awesome ideas Chris! I was thinking the same thing you were but I have absolutely no clue how that could be done. It would have to be done through mapquest.com or some similar service. That's the only thing I could think of.

Actually something like what SWAG has for it's artists would be totally awesome. Just a picture of a world map with little icons on areas of large player/GM concentrations. However, I think that there would just be too many of them for that. Who knows? It WOULD be an awesome feature though.

Darth_Cassed
26 February 2004, 07:09 AM
Ok, we're talking RPG Registry stuff here. What about a normal Registry thing to become a member, then there are different parts that you can "upgrade" your registry to Roleplaying, or whatever modules use the registration.

That way, you only have to make one relatively small registration page that always stays the same, then additional pages to add the information required for the different modules.


That make sense......?

What about other modules? We have the roleplaying, what about a Contributor module where people are identified as contributors to stawars-rpg.net and the OJ and are all added into a database on contributors. They are classified by what exactly they do for either organization, so the sites know how to use them or other sites can look to recruit these people's abilities for their own uses.

That idea doesn't seem all that solid to me, but you never know.



Is there gonna be a place in the profile for a person to enter their HNet Id or are we keeping this seperate? Or is it possible to link the names so you just enter Darth_Cassed in there and your password and it takes the info off the HNet database.....?

I'm not sure if that's possible or feasible, or if you want to keep these two places completely seperate in that respect.

Nealos
26 February 2004, 07:11 AM
It's great to be back. Took me long enough. ;)

Ok, very good ideas from both you and scottyboy as well. So, here's what we have now...

(* means required field)

Name
*Nickname
*Email Address
Website
City
State/Province
Country
*GM or Player? (GM/Player/Both)
*Gaming System (d6/d20/Both)
*Need another player? (No/Yes)
*Want to join another group? (No/Yes)
*Current Group Size (0-20)
*Form of Gaming (In Person/Email/Message Board/Other) - multiple choice.
*Are you willing to play other systems? (Yes/No)
If Yes, enter names of systems/games (free form, separate by commas)
Comments: (free form, char. limit of around 2500).
Frequency of Play (weekly/monthly/never/when we can)
Describe Your Current Game/Campaign (free form, char. limit 2000)
Willing to Travel for Gaming? (yes/no/maybe)
When Are you available to Game? (weekday daytime/weekday evenings/friday daytime/friday evenings/saturday daytime/saturday evenings/sunday daytime/sunday daytime)
Contact this Person (form)

Cool...:)

Now, regarding the "people near me" deal, there's several ways to do this. The first is to have a system that counts 10 increments up and 10 increments down from the zip code entered as the query. This will pull adjacent zip codes, but is only applicable to United States individuals (and doesn't always work that great). Any other way is very complex (ie. expensive) to develop.

Might be best to just leave it at having people find others in the same city or state.

Additional thoughts?

Nealos
26 February 2004, 07:19 AM
Darth_Cassed, looks like we posted at the same time, so I missed including a response to you. So, here goes...

You might be on the right track regarding making a modular system. I've been thinking about how to make this scalable so we can add additional features - you and I are on the same page there.

I'll spend some mindmatter on a base registration form, and then the first module which would be the Player/GM Database. That module would just be another form that adds to the base registration form in terms of data.

I'm inclined to keep the Holonet ID's out. There should be a clear separation between the two sites so that people aren't under the impression that it's all one big system (which it isn't). That's my two cents there, but if many think there's merit in the idea then I'm open to exploring it.

In case I haven't asked this earlier - WHERE THE HELL IS EVAN? :)

scottyboy
26 February 2004, 07:38 AM
Awesome ideas everyone! And I agree with Nealos about the user IDs. These are two completely seperate sites and that seperation should be kept.

One question for Evan... are we gonna have any space issues on this? I don't know how much space a database like this would take up but I know that the OJ has some pretty sizeable files for download on there (and quite a few more to come) and I don't want space to be an issue for any of this.

Obviously, if it is going to be an issue, we can definitely work something out... IF EVAN WOULD GRACE US WITH HIS PRESENCE!!! :)

Nealos
26 February 2004, 09:22 AM
In regards to space issues, I might be able to alleviate the trouble with one simple thing. I'm going to guess that the downloading of the Journal is probably the single largest weight on our hosting limits.

My idea is to host the Journal files themselves on one of my company's servers, and just have the links point there for the .pdf's. I can furnish practically unlimited bandwidth and storage, so for now this would be an easy fix until we can afford to purchase a server and get it into my datacenter (big costs associated here).

Hence, that should solve any bandwidth issues, but not necessarily space...

I wonder if Evan finally met a sheep he couldn't say no to...;)

Vanger Chevane
26 February 2004, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Nealos
*Form of Gaming (In Person/Email/Message Board/Other) - multiple choice.
PbP/PbEM/PbIM are generally locationless, IM only requires everyone to be online at the same time.

We really only need to know gamers that are close to us for face-to-face tabletop/LARP gaming, unless we plan to run a Social Calendar as well.


Now, regarding the "people near me" deal, there's several ways to do this. The first is to have a system that counts 10 increments up and 10 increments down from the zip code entered as the query. This will pull adjacent zip codes, but is only applicable to United States individuals (and doesn't always work that great). Any other way is very complex (ie. expensive) to develop.

Might be best to just leave it at having people find others in the same city or state.

This gets problematic for large metropolitan areas. For Example, the Denver Area in which I live is over 50 miles across, has no fewer than 26 different zipcodes, at least 10 separate towns, and 2 co-located Area Codes (same area). At least a half-dozen (and 3 very dissimilar) zipcodes & 4 different towns are within a 20-minute drive of my home.

Unless specific ppl are tasked to parse/map out some of these larger areas, wading through large numbers of ppl "near" them for some that actually are will hamper the effectiveness & popularity of the DB.

scottyboy
26 February 2004, 10:00 AM
That sounds like a plan Nealos. If you want, we can begin the file transfer immediately. I have copies of all the files on the Journal site and I can send them to you directly if you'd like. Then we can just have Hisham or Evan switch the links around as necessary. Or you can arrange things through Evan. Whichever would be easier for you.

Back to the matter at hand...


Originally posted by Vanger Chevane
PbP/PbEM/PbIM are generally locationless, IM only requires everyone to be online at the same time.
While that may be true, I'm sure there are many PbEM and PbP games out there than those that have been advertised on this site. This will give registrants the opportunity to not only search for and find a game of their liking, but it will also give those registrants who participate in that type of game the opportunity to advertise their games a bit more if they choose. Albeit in a less direct and visible manner, but advertisement nonetheless.

Also... I can certainly understand the dilemma that you have provided with the zipcode issue. I am in a similar situation living in a large city. I would really like to incorporate a feature that would provide the same services, but I don't think that's the way to go. We have all the time in the world for this one, there's no deadline that I know of. So, we have time to figure out alternative options. We'll figure something out.

Darth_Cassed
26 February 2004, 11:14 AM
I think perhaps the roleplaying questions should be kept to a minimum in the basic registration. Those who will not take part in the roleplaying will not take any benefit in listing their Roleplaying preferences.

Modules: Basic, Roleplaying, Contributors?.....sorry my head is really stuffed up...I can't seem to think of anymore!

Dr_Worm
27 February 2004, 01:37 PM
Perhaps some place to list your IM ID's.

Darth_Cassed
11 March 2004, 07:38 PM
Hey, maybe there should be a chat module or something of the sort.....? Or simply as Dr. Worm suggested, a listing of IM screen names so people can gather themselves.

scottyboy
12 March 2004, 04:39 AM
I definitely agree with that... there should definitely be a place for Instant Messenger IDs to be disclosed...

Darth_Cassed
12 March 2004, 06:32 AM
I know there is scripting to show on a website if people are online on ICQ, but is that possible for AIM and Yahoo!? Cause if that can be done it could be pretty cool...

Also, from what I understand here there is to be a basic registration, then people can upgrade to Roleplaying or whatever other modules there are. What do people get out of the basic registration? What is there to offer them?

evan hansen
19 March 2004, 06:09 AM
Aw, man...

A guy gets busy for a few weeks and misses all the fun... Well, at least the beginning of the fun.

This is all remarkable -- and exactly the sort of thing I would hope it would be when I posted the poll. :-) To quote the Col from the A-Team, "I love it when a plan comes together." (Well, part of one anyhow.)

Anyhow, I apologize for my absence. I generally make it practice to check here in once a week (though I check the webmaster email account every night or every other night) to make sure I don't miss anything. But these past few weeks have been prohibitively busy.

I'm going to do some organizational thinking and be back to post more in a little while... I'm geeked!