GDC was an Awesome experience. It brought me hope that what I was doing was possible and worthwhile. Just seeing the one man show of "Papers, Please" take a lot of awards was motivational by itself, but also talking to the various booths at the expo, and with a focus for this post, Facebook.
While it was just a short talk, where the Facebook representative just ended up telling me to look at their developer site, just talking about my idea gave me the motivation to do it. While half of my idea had already been implemented, posting every Milestone "Alpha" build, it was missing the second half, the ability to comment. Now it has it. http://bluestar03.com/Chronicle/Alpha is now the page to all the alpha builds.
Thou because of the way Game Maker exports to HTML5 and wanting to keep some elegance in my code, I had to redo what I had. So while I was up to Alpha 004, now I am down to Alpha 001. It is just my finicky self that I will be redoing all four alphas, 'cause I could just have exported the game as it was and called it Alpha 001, or get the code to work with the old exports.
Still, the main thing here are the comments. I added Facebook comments to each alpha build, so now people can comment on them, which is the entire point of showing each alpha build. Implementing it was a bit tricky, since I want a single page to load up the alpha, instead of each alpha having its own page. While at first glance, it looks like one can only have one Facebook Comment box per page, I soon found out that adding a # followed by whatever, one can place multiple comment boxes on a single page. on my page, it loads up the appropriate comment box with the alpha. The alpha itself is chosen server side base on the URL. the link above right now give you a list of current build, and by clicking on one, it will append /BuildNumber to the URL, Chronicle/Alpha/000 will load up Alpha 000, and Chronicle/Alpha/001 will put Alpha 001, and so on. Right now, the /Alpha page gives the list of current alphas, but in the future, it will load up the most recent alpha, with a drop down menu somewhere to choose previous alphas.
Anyways, right now, /Alpha can load up the alphas, with its proper Facebook Comments Box, and that is core functionality that I want. I will continue to refine the site, and make the code more elegant, but I'll shift my focus back to the game, rebuild the other 3 alphas, and publish Alpha 005. And for the curious, the site is hosted on Microsoft Azure, it is being developed in WebMatrix, and the server-side code is Razor, and other than the code added by Facebook Comments, Game Maker, and Unity3d, everything so far is written by me. Was thinking of using WordPress or Orchard, but couldn't figure how to make this core functionality work.