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Anonymous: Shallot
 Wednesday, January 14 2009 @ 06:56 PM UTC  


Oh wow, those are deeply awesome. I can't wait for Season Two. Mr. Green


 
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crashtestpilot
 Thursday, January 15 2009 @ 01:28 PM UTC  
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Sigh.
Okay.
I hate the icons. Still.
Love the creativity. Love the player enthusiasm. Love the user-generated content.
It's a TEXT GAME, though.
The icons just don't add that much to the experience for me.
I don't care what race the other players are. I don't care what rank they are. I don't care about their number of DKs, who they're married to, what their favorite weapon is, or whether they prefer their eggs scrambled, sunny-side up, over-medium, boiled, or poached.

I CARE about what they have to SAY and EMOTE.
Which is what I want to see, without looking at cute icons all day.

I'm sorry. I want to like them. I really, really do.
But I can't. It's just not in me.

CTP


 
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CavemanJoe
 Thursday, January 15 2009 @ 01:34 PM UTC  
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Fair enough, then - we'll just give it an option in the player preferences, so you can decide for yourself whether you want it on or not. Smile


 
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Hermein
 Thursday, January 15 2009 @ 10:19 PM UTC  
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Whoa, somebody's been busy making icons. I like my Scythe - but now I want to try all the weapons to see what their icons are Wink


 
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CavemanJoe
 Thursday, January 15 2009 @ 10:51 PM UTC  
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That's the idea. Mr. Green


 
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Zolotisty
 Saturday, January 17 2009 @ 04:52 PM UTC  
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I just shot a Distraction over to you with the preliminary race icons, Dan. :d I'm not as well-versed in copyright law as I might be, but how can I go about totally relinquishing my rights to the images to you under the condition that you license 'em under whichever Creative Commons license you feel is best? Would a snobby sounding statement do the trick? I'd thought about going totally public domain, but attribution requires a linkback.. and more links to the Island can't hurt.


BARK BARK BARK.
 
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Anonymous: Shallot
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 11:50 AM UTC  


Aaaaagh. Okay, those weapon icons are really very big indeed. Wow.

I like the race icons, and the idea of the donator icon is a good one if it encourages people to give money to the game, but... wow. Those are a bit scary. They seem to be popular for looking at, for now, but they're basically everything people have been objecting to about the icons magnified by a hundred.

Like CrashTestPilot said, this is a text game, which relies on using your imagination and seeing the pictures in your head, perhaps better than we could if it was all spelt out in front of us. We don't need pictures on the screen. The way I see it, the more you distract from the writing, the less fun the game is, and you're too good a writer for any more distractions to be necessary.

The icons are funny, sure, and I can see how much effort must have been put into them, but when you get down to it they take up a huge amount of space and I can't really see how they're relevant to the game. They're just sort of... there, and not in a good way.

Anyway. Bitching over.


 
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SicPuess
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 01:02 PM UTC  
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So. What was the point of the icons anyways? To get fast information about a player without having to go to their bio. When do you need this information? When typing an answer, or whatever, point is, it is mainly a role-playing aspect of the game. Therefore, which information is needed? Armour? No. Weapon? No. Those two are pretty much only interesting if you're planning in attacking, and for that, you'll check the bio anyways. Not worth the space. Race? Meh. Gender? YES. This is pretty much the only thing the icons are useful for, and therefore, I think Donator, Gender and Race should be enough, especially with the last two combined into one.

Since the icons currently are eyecatchers - drawing attention away from the information behind the name - while providing relatively little information (mainly about pronoun usage, and how the person will react to catnip), what about making them grayscale (except for Donator, maybe)? You'd only see them if you need them, though I think it'd be harder to include the gender then.

And the line that is specifically for the icons: Goodness it is so /damn ugly/. It currently makes the page a mess of colourful pixels, huge empty spaces, seperates one line of text from each other, and generally looks more like an awful sort of decoration than actually useful. I assume it'd be a bitch to make it so that it appears only once if the player is writing more than one comment at once, so I say, kill it.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 01:25 PM UTC  
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I've added three new userprefs to the commentary icons module. Now you can choose whether to show the icons inline or on the line above the comment, whether to put in a blank space between comments, and whether to show weapon images.


 
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Zolotisty
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 02:34 PM UTC  
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Thank you for the prompt addition of those options! I'm with the 'oh my god those weapons are rather large, aren't they?' crowd, and I'm going to ponce about with no-space, inline-icons, no-weapons settings checked off in my user prefs. It seems to be the combination most in keeping with the original notion to provide quick and unobtrusive information about a user while -- as CTP has been frowning all along -- maintaining a clear focus on the textual element of the game. I recognize the draw and value for players like Hermein, who are curious about uncovering the lot of them firsthand, but for me, they are disruptive and superfluous. Not a condemnation, just the facts.

Could I suggest starting a new player with the weapon icons originally off, then having the new player turn them on as some part of the newb walkthrough? They should be aware that they can muck around with their user prefs that way. Possibly force them to be aware of their player bio too -- in my observation, people who write up a self-description or character snippet early are likely to stay longer -- though don't make it mandatory to write something. ..That should prevent '.' and 'PENIS' from the elevated lot likely to type that sort of thing. Or force them to look up an established PC or NPC. Something.


BARK BARK BARK.
 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 02:39 PM UTC  
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I'm planning a much more detailed walkthrough for S2. After all, even LotGD veterans will be new to the Stamina system. I'll put some stuff about the prefs in there too.

Your icons look good. Smile I'm gonna test them against a range of different backgrounds, to see if they'll fit in with all the various themes, and if the test gives 'em the thumbs-up then we'll be sorted. Smile


 
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Anonymous: Shallot
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 02:52 PM UTC  


Yeah, I'm with Zolotisty - please, please can we have them off by default? Even if they're easy to change, new players are unlikely to want to turn off something everyone else can see and possibly inconvenience themselves. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with opting into having more information, though.

I also agree about the whole line separation issue caused by the big icons. Is there any way of making it more uniform and table-like, like it is currently in S1? Everything just looks like it's drifting off a bit, and it's hard to read one comment in connection with another.


 
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Anonymous: Shallot
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 03:04 PM UTC  


Er, hang on, not table-like, exactly. You know what I mean, though - everything's just a lot clearer when the same kind of information is more or less stacked on top of one another.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 03:10 PM UTC  
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Sorry, it remains on by default. Most people aren't that into text-based games, and some visuals here and there will hopefully ease them into the transition. If they don't like it, it takes less than five seconds to turn them off.


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 03:20 PM UTC  
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Userpref for the viewer? Or for the commenter?

The latter is the only approach that could make these even halfway acceptable.

Dan, you haven't role-played in your own game. That's not what an Admin does. Your own experience is, therefore, not a good guide; you're working off what you imagine the user experience to be. Listen to the players who have done it.

Here's the thing. Role-playing is not just some frivolous side pastime that you let eccentric players engage in because they're bored and have used up their turns. No matter how wonderful and intricate you make the combat system, it's still going to be run by a computer. You aren't going to create AI in a browser-based adventure game. Sooner or later the computer-based part of the game environment will inevitably become predictable and therefore boring. The only thing that can keep a player around, after he/she has explored all the possibilities you've cast into code, is interaction with other players -- who are human beings, and therefore infinitely variable.

That means role-playing is, in the long term, the essence of your game. Don't cripple it!

Role-playing is a performance. Always. Performers need to know what their performances are going to look like to the audience. If they have to role-play on the assumption that some large fraction of the people viewing their comments are going to be seeing these icons, it will be a huge handicap. It will be awful. They have to be able to turn the icons off, on their own comments, for everyone who sees them.

(*goes and actually takes a look at the current state of the icons*)

(*tries to imagine role-playing some of the great stuff that's been pulled off in S1 with that...*)

Oh God.

Leave that in place... and you're not just crippling your game, you're killing it.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 03:40 PM UTC  
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Yeesh... Well, userprefs aren't cached, so you're looking at a whole fuckload of database queries right there. Are you sure that people who are into roleplaying won't just turn off the icons? Or ignore them?

*sighs* I'll put it to a vote, once the current one has enough data.


 
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Anonymous: Shallot
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 03:51 PM UTC  


Quote by: Count+Sessine

Userpref for the viewer? Or for the commenter?

The latter is the only approach that could make these even halfway acceptable.

Dan, you haven't role-played in your own game. That's not what an Admin does. Your own experience is, therefore, not a good guide; you're working off what you imagine the user experience to be. Listen to the players who have done it.

Here's the thing. Role-playing is not just some frivolous side pastime that you let eccentric players engage in because they're bored and have used up their turns. No matter how wonderful and intricate you make the combat system, it's still going to be run by a computer. You aren't going to create AI in a browser-based adventure game. Sooner or later the computer-based part of the game environment will inevitably become predictable and therefore boring. The only thing that can keep a player around, after he/she has explored all the possibilities you've cast into code, is interaction with other players -- who are human beings, and therefore infinitely variable.

That means role-playing is, in the long term, the essence of your game. Don't cripple it!

Role-playing is a performance. Always. Performers need to know what their performances are going to look like to the audience. If they have to role-play on the assumption that some large fraction of the people viewing their comments are going to be seeing these icons, it will be a huge handicap. It will be awful. They have to be able to turn the icons off, on their own comments, for everyone who sees them.

(*goes and actually takes a look at the current state of the icons*)

(*tries to imagine role-playing some of the great stuff that's been pulled off in S1 with that...*)

Oh God.

Leave that in place... and you're not just crippling your game, you're killing it.



Seconded times a million. You just explained that a hell of a lot better than I ever could. Smile


 
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SicPuess
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 04:02 PM UTC  
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Suggestion: Single, grayscale (`&)* combined Race/Gender icon in text line as standard setting. Opt-out. Coloured icons as opt-ins, same for the extra icon line and every other information.

*depending on used skin

And I wouldn't pull a vote now, instead, I'd add it to S1 for, say, a week, with some information on it, and then check how many players are using each preference. /Then/ I'd poll.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 04:14 PM UTC  
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Quote by: SicPuess

Suggestion: Single, grayscale (`&)* combined Race/Gender icon in text line as standard setting. Opt-out. Coloured icons as opt-ins, same for the extra icon line and every other information.

*depending on used skin



Not technically possible, sorry. :-/

Quote by: SicPuess

And I wouldn't pull a vote now, instead, I'd add it to S1 for, say, a week, with some information on it, and then check how many players are using each preference. /Then/ I'd poll



That's the plan. I'll give this poll a day or so to confirm the landslide, though.


 
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Zolotisty
 Sunday, January 18 2009 @ 04:22 PM UTC  
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HELLO.

Hi!

My name is Zolotisty. I roleplay.

hi zolotistyyy..

Like the thick, horny pad of skin on the back of your heel, I am nigh impossible to get rid of. I've been an active writing presence on the Island since the beginning of S1. I want to explicitly stress that I don't come to the Island to play the game anymore. I stopped playing for DKs shortly after I received my complimentary side of fries, and continued my aggressive speed runs only because SPOON's coffers were in sore need of cigarettes. I come to the Island to play and write with other people.

So: I'm here to briefly characterize the population of your Island that roleplays. I'm going to present a few subcategories. You have writers, you have roleplayers, and you have people out for a lark.

Let's start with the people out for a lark, because they are the ones who will not particularly care about the clunkiness of their chatspace. These are the folks who will pipe up for a little while in town squares with the intention of playing a role for silliness and diversion. They like short-form slapstick humor and immediate gratification in terms of player interaction -- a lot of their interaction is bouncy teasing or messing about with anyone and everyone who has currently posted in the chatspace. Many of them make it to Kittymorph and stay there before fading away. They take what they know about the race and don't expand upon it -- that's not what they're interested in. They're after 'random' humor and quick interaction without the creation of significant on-Island friendships. These people are the ones that won't care.

Then you have your roleplayers, the folks who breathe life into their characters and actively present themselves as a consistent, continual presence in public chatspaces. They like reading. They like writing. They like short, free form plots with emphasis on silliness and general engagement -- doing 'big,' 'loud' things to draw the attention of their fellow players, all of whom the roleplayer typically knows in passing if not as an acquaintance or friend. They like establishing routines for themselves on the Island and making sure that other people know that it is their little routine, and they are the most compatible with the people who are out for a lark, as they are unintimidating and open. They absolutely not so prolific as your writers, and I very strongly suspect they will not be happy about the disruption of their chatspaces, though if you pad the hook in delicious cheese or peanut butter, perhaps they'll be more likely to accept it. (I doubt it. They're a clever group.)

Your writers, Dan, are the obsessed group who have been battering your chatspaces with storylines for other players. Puzzles and riddles and clever PMs. Elaborate cross-Island parties and theatrical performances. Thoughtfully crafted monologues where appropriate. Metaphors that are designed to make readers smile or turn English on its head. Careful attention to self-presentation and in-character consistency -- these are the folks that CTP was talking about reading for the pleasure of reading. These are the people who have shanghaied your ideas and back-stories to make the Island a grittier and more vivid place. These are the people Sessine is so adamantly warning you against alienating. These people stay.

So:

Are you sure that people who are into roleplaying won't just turn off the icons? Or ignore them?


Assuming you're talking specifically about the weapons icons, absolutely not -- how can you ignore them? Much too big. Much too much dead space. I suggested tightening the icon designs because there seemed to me to be a lot of dead space to begin with -- why have three icons in-line when one would do the trick?

Turning them off would work if it was as Sessine suggests. Neutral


BARK BARK BARK.
 
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