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« Blogs Index < Interguild-Related Posts < ''State of the Interguild'' Blog
« Livio's Blog

I'm currently making a lot of big changes around the level database, and I will post my progress in this topic and periodically ask for you opinions on things. First of all, let me say what I plan to do.

Reform Goals and Ideas:

  • Improve the level-browsing experience.
  • Attempt to make a much more sleek user-interface without clutter.
  • Fix everything wrong with the Favorites feature
  • Add a queue feature.
  • Link levels with all archive videos that include them.
  • Make the CaveList run out of the same database table that levels are kept in so that when you search for a level, it simultaneously searches through the cavelist.
  • Give each level a preview image, similar to the video archive.
  • Add more game-specific settings, such as:
    • A field for N replay codes (sorry video archive)
    • Recommended vehicle for Free Rider 2 levels
  • Add support for files that you upload straight to the site, and make them mod-approval-required in order to prevent the possibility of a virus spreading.
  • Make easier and faster the process by which you upload levels for games that are not yet logged in the database.
  • Let people do searches through levels that have won awards.
  • Maybe add a field to the "add level" page that lets you specify which account a HATPC level is uploaded to. It will then run the cavelist code through that username so that its info is updated in the cavelist.
  • One day make map/preview generators for more games, such as N, Free Rider 2, and Super Mario Flash.
  • Finish this as fast as possible so that I can make a new video archive.

Right now, as my first step I'm focusing only on design and usability. I'm running a rather sloppy test file on http://www.interguild.org/levels2. The black squares represent preview images. I'm currently experimenting with an idea to show some game info and other links whenever you have a game selected, and I'm not sure if it's a good or bad idea. I also removed the color around level ratings and difficulty ratings in an attempt to make it all look cleaner and more professional. Things still look a little cluttered, so I'm gonna have to experiment more with some of that stuff.

Anyway, comment on what you think so far, make suggestions, and propose ideas below.

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User Comments (46)
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shos
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Wednesday, July 7 2010, 9:45 pm EST
~Jack of all trades~

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that test looks good. I'd like to see it implemented.  


Livio
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Monday, July 19 2010, 10:45 pm EST

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http://www.interguild.org/levels2
I don't think I've changed much since I posted this blog, but could you guys give some feedback?

What do you think about the way the level info is displayed?

Are the navigation links simple and easy?

What do you think of the game info that comes up when you're viewing a game's levels? Do you think this could be a good page to link to from the GAMES tab? Is it worth keeping even if the tab links to the game info pages? Actually, now that I think of it, some of those "Links" should be to videos and blogs.
Yaya
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Monday, July 19 2010, 10:55 pm EST

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If you follow thru with these ideas (which I hope you do) the staff will love adding images to 2000+ levels.



COMING SOON: A giant meteor. Please.
Give me +karma. Give me +karma.
Livio
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Monday, July 19 2010, 10:57 pm EST

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hopefully we won't reach 3000 by the time this is done....
krotomo
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Tuesday, July 20 2010, 12:04 am EST
The Shepherd

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can people put their own images for their levels or is it all done by the staff?
Livio
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Tuesday, July 20 2010, 12:06 am EST

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I think it would be smart to let people upload their own images, but we'll have to approve them the same way we approve videos.
krotomo
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Tuesday, July 20 2010, 12:09 am EST
The Shepherd

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That's good, because for some reason I see with so many levels, the images could get very sloppy-looking if they were all done by the staff.
Livio
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Tuesday, July 20 2010, 12:12 am EST

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I think I'll even let you upload multiple pics for a level, especially since it's hard to tell what the level for most games is like before you open it. Maybe a limit of like 4 pics aside from the preview pic.
jellsprout
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Tuesday, July 20 2010, 1:54 pm EST
Lord of Sprout Tower

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Yaya said:
If you follow thru with these ideas (which I hope you do) the staff will love adding images to 2000+ levels.


That is why we hired Intimi.


Spoiler:
FlashMarsh
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Thursday, July 22 2010, 3:18 pm EST

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I'd be quite happy to get screenshots of levels without being a staff member.
shos
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Thursday, July 22 2010, 4:03 pm EST
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you should be able to, but it'll have to be approved by a staff member before it uploads, just like videos.


krotomo
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Thursday, July 22 2010, 6:53 pm EST
The Shepherd

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there should also be a box you an check if you want to put your own screenshot and don't someone else's there.
Livio
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Thursday, July 29 2010, 5:56 pm EST

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I just got a cool idea. Levels should keep track of which "version" of the game it uses. This would be useful especially for linking to different versions of Free Rider 2, or levels that were made for old versions of Aeon.
Isa
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Thursday, July 29 2010, 6:05 pm EST
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Sounds not so useful and only adds more things on your "to do"-list. No thanks.
Livio
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Thursday, July 29 2010, 6:09 pm EST

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It's definitely useful when linking to those various free rider sites, or to tell you that a certain level may not be compatible with the demo anymore.
Isa
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Thursday, July 29 2010, 6:13 pm EST
No. I'm an octopus.

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Future problem in the Aeon case and a very, very small problem in the FR2 case. Don't work on that now.
Livio
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 2:48 am EST

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In the new database, the links to browse each specific game will be like this:
http://www.interguild.org/levels/hannah-and-the-pirate-caves/
http://www.interguild.org/levels/free-rider-2/
http://www.interguild.org/levels/amberial-axis/


But I'm in the middle of a dilemma here on what the level urls should be. Here are some ideas of what I'm considering, using jebby's Chaos theory level (id# 1996) as an example:
http://www.interguild.org/levels/1996/
http://www.interguild.org/levels/1996/chaos-theory/
http://www.interguild.org/levels/hannah-and-the-pirate-caves/1996/
http://www.interguild.org/levels/hannah-and-the-pirate-caves/1996/chaos-theory/


The ID number must be included to ensure that the link will always work, even if the title of the level is ever changed.

The first URL is the most compact. Easy and straight to the point.

The second tells the user a little more about the page. You instantly know which level the link will lead to, which is quite convenient for posting links about the forums (unless you change the title in the link to something else and trick people )

The third is one of my favorites out of these. Like the first, it is simple and easy, but it's also user-friendly in that the user can easily change the url and go straight to  
http://www.interguild.org/levels/hannah-and-the-pirate-caves/
  to find more HATPC levels. Not only that but it attracts search engines.

And then there's the last one, which I'm not sure about. It's just like the third except that it includes the level title, which is user-friendly in that the user will know more about the link. However, at this point, I'm beginning to think that it makes the url too long and less elegant.

What are your thought's on this?

EDIT: Or here's another idea, kinda to simplify the fourth url a bit:
http://www.interguild.org/levels/hannah-and-the-pirate-caves/chaos-theory_1996/
http://www.interguild.org/levels/hannah-and-the-pirate-caves/1996-chaos-theory/
  
Livio
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 3:04 am EST

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okay everyone was logging out as a wrote this.

But I think I'll just go with
http://www.interguild.org/levels/hannah-and-the-pirate-caves/1996/
  
Isa
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 4:02 am EST
No. I'm an octopus.

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Whatever you do, do not include level title, as that may change and screw over links already posted. I'd go for number 1, but 3 works as well.
jazz
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 4:47 am EST

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Why don't you use #1 and redirect the others to the level page?
soccerboy13542
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 12:50 pm EST
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I've got an idea, when you post a level you are allowed to also link your own image url.  


Livio said:
You know, I was thinking of getting an internship at Microsoft, but I'm not sure I want their lameness to rub off on me.
jellsprout
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 12:57 pm EST
Lord of Sprout Tower

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Instead of hannah-and-the-pirate-caves, use hatpc. For urls abbreviations are much more convenient.


Spoiler:
Isa
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 12:58 pm EST
No. I'm an octopus.

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soccerboy13542 said:
I've got an idea, when you post a level you are allowed to also link your own image url.  


I agree with this.
soccerboy13542
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 1:05 pm EST
~*~Soccer~*~

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:O isa agrees. now we need the great Fürher for it to be official.


Livio said:
You know, I was thinking of getting an internship at Microsoft, but I'm not sure I want their lameness to rub off on me.
Isa
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Tuesday, August 17 2010, 1:28 pm EST
No. I'm an octopus.

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Since when am I the official gateway to approval from D52?

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