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stimarco

GDNet Trump Cards: adding gameplay to the GDNet forums.

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Original post by stimarco
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Original post by Kazgoroth
I also really like how uncluttered the GDNet forums are compared to a lot of other packages out there however, so if such a feature were included I would hope it isn't too complex.

Valid points, and I agree with that. But tweaking the graphics shouldn't be too onerous: it's not as if there aren't already a plethora of icons, buttons and other chrome to fiddle with. A few more shouldn't cause too much pain.

Quote:
Original post by aidan_walsh
To help combat the clutter, and reuse some elements that are already present, why not include it as a hidden part of the forum UI, using a common element that presently doesn't do anything when clicked? ...

First, we're going to be consolidating the current UI to make it even leaner. The footer on each forum post is wholly superfluous, really, as those links could go in the header (which could be reduced to one line).

Thus, we can use the second line in the header to display an array of badges - perhaps your three or five highest rated, in thumbnail, with a link to see more in your profile. Clicking on the individual displayed badges (in posts or in profiles) would expand an AJAX-y window with a little more detail, which you could collapse.

Basically, don't worry about clutter. There's a redesign effort underway to keep things clean yet information-rich. And making them theme-friendly is a big part of that (we'll even publish a spec for user-created themes, so they can make sure all UI elements work well).

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The idea of badges is a great one, not only will it be more visually appealing but it conveys more information.

However I'm not keen on conveying information as bars which fill up. I've seen this on other forums and it has a tendancy to turn into a penis-sizing competition (the current rating system seems to avoid this by being pretty discrete and unobtrusive). Plus it enforces an upper cap on the elements. If the whole thing was represented with an assortment of your best/highest badges then you emphasize a person's strong points. You also don't have to worry about an upper cap, as new badges can be introduced as required.

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Original post by OrangyTang
However I'm not keen on conveying information as bars which fill up.

I concur, actually. I think merely awarding badges on a binary basis (you are/aren't good at X) is better. Instead of stat bars, we can have a progression of badges within each "character class" (I hope I didn't muck that up; not much of an RPG player...).

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I too, like the idea. Perhaps, in addition to the "Rate this User" type of button, you could nominate people for a particular badge. Once they get a set number of nominations, it is brought to the attention of the moderators/staff, who can then reward the individual with a badge.

I wonder how long my beard would be... [grin]

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I agree. This is probably the best proposed change to the ratings system I've ever seen. Its more functional than the current system, and fun at the same time.

One point that might be worth considering is if (and how much) to decouple a user's Loounge rating from their other ratings / badges. A typical argument against the ratings system as a whole often boils down to "My rating got thrashed in the lounge because I'm a Republican/Democrat/Homosexual/Oppinionated/whatever! The system is Broken!"


Perhaps there can be some effort to display an overall rating followed by a per-forum rating (perhaps next to a per-forum icon) and a selection of badges that are most-relevant to the forum in question. Perhaps the ratings could be more granular than per-forum, say, Lounge, Technical, Design, Business/Legal, Music/Sound and Art. With the badges to distinguish particular abilities within these broader topics, I think that system would be very usable.

Badges could also be awarded (possibly temporarily) for certain accomplishments, such as having an Image of the Day, A particularly good Help Wanted reqruitment thread, authoring a Stickied posting, being a "Member of the Month/Week" -- awarded by the staff/mods to individuals they've noticed being particularly helpful, Having a published game (both pro and indie.) There are endless possibilities.

I would also hate to see the site cluttered, or to have too much of a negative impact on the back-end, but those are some of the ideas I'd like to throw out there and possibly see in the future.

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I think I need to put together a quick mock-up of how it could look. I'm not sure what other UI plans are in the pipeline, but I'll take Oluseyi's points on board too.

But first, the day-job gets priority...

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