Stendhal Development Meeting 2014-04-02

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On the 2nd April 2014, we had a development meeting regarding recent changes to the Stendhal website and future plans. Please find a summary of the meeting below.

New unified search

  • There is now a search box in the upper right hand corner. It will find: Creatures, Items, Quests, Regions, Dungeons, pages from the manual and players.
  • Mostly positive feedback
  • Sometimes it is unclear, why certain results are included and other are not shown: When you search for a black sword, the result shows the black giant but not one of the other ones who drop it. Black giant, however, is not shown because it drops "black sword", but because it has both words in its description: "You see a tall black giant. His armor and sword will hit you hard. Be prepared!"
  • It might be a good idea to return the creature which drop a searched item. At least if it is a rare item (e. g. not money).
  • It may be a good idea, to convert the search boxes for players, items, npcs, etc. to use the unified search as well, with a filter. For example a row of checkboxes like [_] Creature [_] Item [X] Player.
  • Multiple people did not notice the new search box. It's not close to the item/player sections so it does not work as a reminder. Upper right hand corner seems to be used on many website. But that is very far away from the focus of attention. We might want to move it into the World guide navigation box.
  • Actually, position of the search box may be a good path to another topic.

Content of start page

  • How should the start page look like, in order to be attractive to new people as well as seasoned players?
  • At the moment, the start page has a lot of news, with quite a long history of old entries. New players are probably not interested in them.
  • More information about the game, not just the events that happen here
  • Games stats, like how many rooms, how many creatures, how many maps
  • buzzwords like "free to play"
    • free is in the center
    • we need a nice way to make it clear, that it is really free. There are many other games which claim "free to play", but than require you to buy items or tokens later on.
    • "Your current game only goes to level 99? Turn it all the way up to 597! Come play on Stendhal! Free and always will be!"
  • content
    • gallery with images and videos of the gameplaying at a more central place, as slideshows
    • show some items of our game, creatures, tutorial videos and other
    • basic information on how to understand the game
    • pictures of the most attractive animals such as pegasus
    • make it more obvious, that there is more than one screenshot/video.
  • dynamic
    • featuring an item, creature or npc every day/week, like Wikipedia's "Did you know?".
    • choose one item to be shown on the site, and so on, it is also important to highlight the properties of it, such as strength and attack
    • popup-image library can do slideshows, so that would be easy to implement.
    • use popups for videos, too
    • slide-show images need roughly the same size. If you look through the current selection of screenshots, the window grows and shrinks a lot.
    • at the moment a click on the Movie-box throws you to a huge wiki page, we could think about using one of these videopages, except of youtube, for using direct links to an official account
    • We should look into streaming Stendhal, perhaps for official tutorial, perhaps just for normal game play.
    • Special front page for mobile devices might be a good idea, e. g. easy access to postman messages

Navigation menu

  • Draft structure of navigation menu
    • Idea 1: screenshots and movies into media, world guide and player guide into guide
    • Idea 2: About (Screenshots, Videos), World Guide (regions, items, ...), Player Guide (how to play), Community (Chat, Hall of fame), and Development.
  • Drop down menu or keep the current always visible menus
    • Drop down menus make the webpage a bit more "active"
    • It will not be that full with headlines and tabs
    • It's used like that on many pages I think so people will know how to work with that
  • JavaScript is not an issue for crawlers (e. g. Google)
    • Drop down menus work without JavaScript by linking to a page with the sub menus. For example https://stendhalgame.org/world.html
    • The complete menu exists in the html code, but is hidden via css, so still accessible to crawler.

Integration of Wiki content

  • Examples Beginner's Guide, Armor for Dagobert.
  • Wiki integration into the website seems to work reasonable well.
  • Dungeon information on the atlas still point to the wiki, will be fixed after the next Stendhal release
  • Dungeon and read pages
    • Still missing some information, please contribute
    • Some pages are using lots of information with a huge background story, others contain lots of items and stuff...
  • Split of the quest page
    • - Browser search does not work anymore because of the individual pages
    • - Unified search box does not find "banker" or "banking" on a search for "bank"
    • + Does not spoil all quests
    • + Old page was too long to keep attention
  • Linking related information
    • Region pages should point to quests, needs manual work
    • Item, creature and NPC pages should point to quests, might be generated automatically
    • We might want to add keywords (e. g. region) to the quest pages, e. g. search for "bank" and get dagobert, the nalwor quests, ...
  • What do we do with the wiki pages on items, creatures and npcs. They have little/some additional information to the normal wepages

Other topics

  • Translation
  • Mobile client
    • first step is to work on a user interface design (e. g. touching a creature for attack will move the hand between the screen and the eyes).
    • recoding the client would be a lot of work.

Conclusion

  • Thanks a lot for your feedback and ideas regarding the Stendhal website. While we cannot add everything right away, the discussion was very helpful.
  • Thank you for attending this meeting.
  • Feel free to join us in the arianne chat channel and contribute