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News forum discussion

Unread postby icycalm » 03 Feb 2013 20:46

Via email:

ronan wrote:Your idea has indeed been effective! It is true that getting such a well-organized news forum is a benefit that I had underestimated. Have you considered the possibility to sort news by genre, or to indicate the genre in the thread title or with an icon?


I understand why you'd like to see threads sorted by genre: you are not interested in many of the genres, and would rather have an easy way of ignoring threads which belong to genres you are not interested in, instead of being forced to click on all of them to get to the news that you are interested in. And though this is not such a problem for me, since I am interested in all the genres (except the ones I've banned lol -- though note that most of them are not really genres but theme types), I do recognize that this would be a useful feature -- even for me, to an extent (though on the other hand, it's kind of exciting to me to not have any information on a game beyond the title and system, and clicking on its name while waiting for the images to load, etc. to find out what it is. It was one of the things I loved about the Korean site VideogamerX, which I visited daily for years before it went belly up for a few weeks last year and then came back essentially neutered). However, I have no technical means of implementing it at this time, short of dividing the news forum into multiple boards, one for each genre, etc., which would maybe make your life easier, but it would make mine hell, because I would have to click on several dozen different forums every fucking day, etc. Even if I simply divided it into two forums, say one for 2D and one for 3D games (which is a TERRIBLE way to categorize games, since it has ALMOST NOTHING to do with genre -- see Recap. You'd be essentially categorizing games by aesthetics...), it would still be a pain in the ass for me. The easy solution would be of course, as you say, to simply add a genre tag to each game's title: FPS, RTS, STG, FTG, etc., but there would be two problems for this: 1. There already exist many games for which listing even their full system tags is impossible due to length -- for example games like R-Type, which have been ported to dozens of systems, and for which I have invented the [VAR] tag, so adding yet another tag on top of that would make the situation even worse, and 2. There are plenty of genres for which tags do not exist and I would have to make them (e.g. free-roaming), and also plenty of games which are a combination of genres (e.g. Deus Ex, where you'd need to include both the FPS and the RPG tags, or Planetside, which is FPS and MMO). When you also consider that there are also quite a few games (usually Japanese) with such long titles that you can't even write their full names in the thread title, adding genre tags can be seen for the overkill that it is. I mean consider the "Learn to Counter" moran, and just look at how ugly his forum is:

http://www.learntocounter.com/forums/in ... ?board=3.0

He copied the system tags from me, but in order to not appear to be simply copying me, he thought to himself "Let's add something, anything, to appear that I am actually able to think and not just simply copying him". So he moved the system tags to the RIGHT of the title instead of the left (which is counter-intuitive, since the very purpose of the system tag, as a more general category, is to help you filter what you're interested in, and should therefore be placed before the title), and then he added the year of release after that, which is sort of superfluous if you are already using system tags, because, with the exception of the timeless PC, the system already gives you an idea of when the game was released. When you see Amiga or Mega Drive you think early '90s and when you see GameCube you think mid-2000s, and in the vast majority of cases you'll be correct; all the year tags do in his forum is make it harder for your brain to process the game titles on each page which are supposed to be the focus of the page -- and that's what would happen if I flooded my own forum with genre tags and tag combinations.

Now, perhaps there's a phpBB3 mod which would add proper tags to each thread (as opposed to having to include them in the thread title), as they have on rllmuk, which is powered by IP.Board:

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/f ... iscussion/

But as you can see if you click on the above link, they rarely ever use them, and even then they use them very inconsistently, because there's no moderation and the users do whatever the fuck they want -- or most usually nothing at all. So the Dark Souls thread is simply tagged "Action" lol, etc. But obviously such a system would work great here, if I could find a way and the time to implement it. So if anyone knows of a solid (i.e. without bugs) phpBB3 mod that would do it, let me know here and I'll look into it once I find the time. The other thing to consider is that I am using a heavily modded forum with a custom template, which could make it potentially hard to integrate any mod of this kind also aesthetically -- and if the end result doesn't look good I don't want it.

So that's all I had to say about that for now. Any more thoughts on this issue, or on any other issue pertaining to the running of the News forum, should be posted here.
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Unread postby icycalm » 12 Feb 2013 17:20

lol there's so many news updates now I don't have the time to read them. Great work guys, keep it up. And in exchange I'll give you a shitload of things to read on the frontpage.
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Unread postby icycalm » 02 Mar 2013 00:03

Can everyone please do me a favor and upload all the images you post to my server? All it takes is a couple extra minutes: just click "Upload attachment" at the bottom of the post box, then "Browse" -> "Add the file", and then "Place inline", once the file has been uploaded. Repeat for all the images you want to upload. It really sucks when I go back and reread old threads with missing images, because the sites they were hotlinked off have been taken down, so doing this will ensure that all the threads remain perfectly readable for years to come.


P.S. You don't have to go back and do it for old posts. Just do it for new ones from now on.

P.S.2 Some uploaded images will be displayed with some weird scrollbars, for some reason. This is a problem with the forum that I am trying to solve, and there's nothing you can do about it, so if this happens to you just leave the images as they are and let me worry about it.
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Unread postby icycalm » 07 Mar 2013 19:37

Guys, when making threads, remember that only NEW games go in the News forum. Ports, remakes, patches, localizations, etc. go in the Games forum. You've been around long enough, you should have figured out how things work by now. If you are bumping an existing thread and it turns out it's an already released game but its thread is still in the News forum, all that means is that I neglected to move it over and your bump is going to remind me to. If you make a mistake it's not a big deal and I am fixing mistakes all the time, but try to work out how things work here so you don't make mistakes ALL the time.
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Unread postby Dolt » 18 Apr 2013 13:32

Uploading images one by one is pretty tedious. Is there a way of uploading a bunch of attachments at once?
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Apr 2013 16:24

Not in the standard phpBB release. Maybe with a mod. If anyone finds one, I'd be willing to look into installing it. Alternatively, you could ask in the phpBB forum for someone to make a mod, but you would have to be patient because, even if someone took you up on it, it'd take a while to make and test, etc.
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Unread postby SriK » 30 May 2013 22:27

Is there any way to make attached images look less ugly? I really don't like the useless captions beneath, as well as how images can't be tiled side by side within a post -- in the recent News post I made for Brave Earth: Prologue I had to remove the attachments from the server and put them on my Dropbox instead because of how bad the thread originally looked (1 2). What's also weird is that attached images in some threads (e.g. here) don't have captions and look great (they even get an added gray border), but then in other threads they have the caption -- I'm guessing this has something to do with image size?
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Unread postby icycalm » 30 May 2013 23:08

You don't understand: you don't have the choice to use Dropbox. You WILL upload the images to my server if you want to keep posting here. I don't trust Dropbox to preserve the images or stay online any more than I trust any other shitty website. As for the rest, read this thread.
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Unread postby SriK » 30 May 2013 23:22

Alright, edited. I got around the tiling thing by putting all the individual screenshots in a single image. I also searched and found this post, if that helps for the scrollbar.
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Unread postby icycalm » 30 May 2013 23:32

I'll try that, though I don't have much hope since I've already tried half a dozen other "solutions". If you find anything on the captions, or the tiling, post it here and I'll also try it.
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Unread postby icycalm » 30 May 2013 23:47

Also try to avoid hiding the url of your links as much as possible. Sometimes it's unavoidable, if you want to link something in the middle of a paragraph, but in most cases you can just post the full url, and this is what I prefer. I want to be able to see immediately where your link will take me without having to click or even mouse-over it. It's very annoying, and you do it all the time.
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Unread postby Fudge » 31 May 2013 20:42

You can use the [img] tag to eliminate the scrollbars and file names:

Image

The drawback is that attached images are displayed in the post regardless of whether you use the [attachment] tag, so a duplicate will be created every time you use the [img] tag. It works properly here because the image I linked to is attached to a different post. To circumvent this, you'd have to create a sub-forum specifically for uploaded images, and then people could safely use the URLs of those images elsewhere on the forum without creating duplicates. Pretty crude and inelegant.
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Unread postby icycalm » 06 Jun 2013 01:36

It used to be that the only tag for cellphones and generally mobile devices was [MOB]. Sometimes, if the game was made specifically for a tablet, I'd use [TAB] instead, but I was never too consistent with this usage. The difference is that cellphone games are usually rubbish (and hence the [MOB] tag was meant as a red flag to avoid them), whereas games on tablets have more of a chance of being decent, so now that those Halo and Deus Ex titles have been announced exclusively for tablets and cellphones, it's time to start making sure we use these tags properly. So let's do that, please.
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Unread postby Dolt » 24 Aug 2013 23:03

I came here to flag a "500 internal server error" when uploading images, but it seems to be working now. The thread did remind me about multiple file upload mods, so I did a search on phpbb.com. I found two options:

https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/ ... le_upload/
https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/ ... one_click/

The second adds ctrl-click and shift-click functionality to the file select dialog box, provided the browser supports HTML5. In my imagination this is the fastest and best option.

This is the search I used:

https://www.phpbb.com/search/?q=multi+upload
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Unread postby icycalm » 23 Oct 2013 04:19

Guys. I thought this went without saying, but I guess I am gonna have to say it. New threads are far more valuable than making additional posts in existing threads. Aren't you more excited to come here every day and see a dozen new games instead of the same 5 or 10 threads bumped over and over again? And do we seriously need 50 news posts on Assassin's Creed IV and Call of Duty 12 or whatever? Is anyone seriously watching every single one of the dozens of videos posted in these huge threads? Well, maybe some people are, and I don't blame them for that: these are good games and whoever's been following the series closely might be so excited for the new games that they may indeed be watching all the videos that are released for them. Assassin's Creed IV in particular looks amazing. Nevertheless, perhaps you might want to take a page out of my playbook and not watch more than one or two videos of your favorite upcoming games, because, you know, you are spoiling them for yourself. I just watch enough to determine my degree of interest in a game, and if it's a must-play I stop watching anything and wait for the game to come out. And if it's not a must-play, well, then I stop watching more videos simply because... I am not that interested.

Anyway, I don't mean to discourage anyone from bumping existing threads. If you find something that's interesting to YOU, by all means link it. All I am saying is that -- as a website and a forum -- it is FAR more interesting and important for us to have as COMPLETE and COMPREHENSIVE view of the upcoming releases as possible, and the way to do that is to value new threads far more than simple bumps of existing threads. So. Look around the internet and find out all the cooler games that are coming out, then come back here and tell us about them. (And only bother with less cooler ones if it seems to you that we've exhausted the cooler.)

This is just a general guideline. By all means don't stop adding screens and videos and other pertinent information to threads that lack them. Just try to give priority to new threads, is all I am saying.
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Unread postby icycalm » 22 Jul 2014 02:37

Early Access games go in the News forum, and stay there until they are officially released.
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