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Aaron Lewis (Blue Collar) 10/20/2004 6:30 AM EST : Multi-Game Guilds
GuildPortal Dev
Aaron Lewis
Posts: 1978
Zomgawsh Poster

Hey folks!  I'm starting this thread to get some input on what supporting a multi-game guild would really mean.  For some, it might be as little as having a drop-down in your roster that allowed viewing characters for the different games your guild plays.  For others, it could mean entirely different styles for each site and a multi-game option for every single content type.

What we'd like to know is what you would see as a complete implementation.  First we've got the DKP thing to finish, of course, but I'd like to get dialog started on this now so that, by the time that's done, we have a solid idea of where to head with multi-game support.  I'll list some of the things we've thought of, with a lot of input already from a lot of you:

Multiple views of the roster.  Throwing all the characters, for all the games, together on one roster would be nasty.  Not just for us in the implementation, but a lot of your guilds that are already multi-game have huge rosters, some that grow to be in excess of 200Kb.  So, there would be multiple views, although the selection process is something that we'd really, really love your input on (see the end of this post, under the heading Selection Process).

Forums.  What we think you would like, and the extent of what we could provide, would be the ability to assign forum groups and forums to either All Games or a specific game.  We probably won't get into the mess that would be necessary to allow a forum or forum group to be assigned to game 1, game 3, but not games 2 and 4. 

News.  We think you'd like the ability to post news either for All Games or a specific game, much the same as the forums.

Events.  At first, we were thinking that events would be only applicable to one game.  But then, we saw a site that used events to schedule IRC chats on the site.  So, again, All Games or one specific game would probably be the approach we'd initially take to this.

Links, Categorized Links, Info Sections, etc.  We've got over 40 different types of content, and we'd like to know which ones you think need to have multi-game support.  Some might be tempted to say “all of them” right from the start, but please be aware that each type we add necessarily lengthens the time it will take before this thing is ready to use.  So, of the different types of content you have, which ones would you initially say need to have full multi-game support from the first release?

Multiple Styles.  This is the one that makes me scream in my sleep.  I'm not going to say “no,” but I'll say that, if this is something that must be included, it's going to push multi-game support way, way back on the list.  We have some multi-game guilds that have gone with a one-style-fits-all approach, including things in their banner images like graphics and character images from all the different games they play.  I sincerely hope that this one can be done without, but if it can't, let me know so we can get a better feel for the scope of this project.

Selection Process.  Now, picture someone who is a member of one of your in-game guilds coming to your site.  What do they see?  How do they indicate what sub-set of the data (news, events, forums) they will see?  If it's a simple drop-down box, where does it appear?  Do they see everything that's not specific to a game by default, or are they forced to choose?

Time to Implement.  Based on the requirements, which we're trying to gather with this post and with the assistance of some wonderful people who have e-mailed us, offering help in the form of documentation they've already put together and time they're willing to spend, we will be able to provide some kind of estimate.  It's important to note that this is a change that reaches all parts of the architecture of the application.

Back when GuildPortal started, if there was something like a multi-game guild, it was a guild that played both DAOC and EverQuest (UO had pretty much faded before we'd made GP).  Things have changed since then!  The mega player associations were something we figured would exist one day, but at the time GP was more of a hobby than anything else, and we didn't have the foresight to include support at the architectural level for the kind of functionality needed to support one.

What I'm hoping to convey with this is that adding multi-game support to GP guilds is a major undertaking.  What's more, it affects the system from the top, all the way down.  Due to the scope, we will not be able to add anything else while this is being developed.  For as long as I can remember, it's been the most requested thing in the admin community, so it needs to happen. 

I want this to be what you want, mostly because I only want to code it one time.   So please see if you have the time to answer the questions posed, and debate the snot out of it.  The squeaky wheels will be getting the grease here, and development won't begin until we have a crystal clear picture of what we need to do to deliver this monster the right way.

Thank you for your concern, and the support you've all shown in making GP what it is!
Aaron Lewis, GuildPortal.com
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Harmond (Guild Admin) 10/20/2004 1:17 PM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds
Harmond
Posts: 1607
Zomgawsh Poster

First, YAAAAAY!

Here's two completely opposite takes.

Multiple Roster Views - Drop down!  And fix the alternate character views while you're in there!

Forums - I think this may be controversial, but my thought is just to have ONE forum for all.  That's what I'd do.  This way you could make topics/categories for your different games at the admin level.  A sample might look like:

Game A:  (Forum Category)

   General Discussion (Forum Topic)
   Officers Forum (Forum Topic)
   So-on

Game B:  (Forum Category)

   General Discussion
   Officer's Forum
   So-on

Multiple Styles - I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest maybe a “skins” approach.  I've seen sites that have the ability to switch between different skins.  While all the actual content on the front page would be the same, if you had the ability to change the skin to the style for a specific game (and it remembered each user's preference), it might be an easier approach.  The style might consist of a different banner, and content box borders.  Don't know, just a thought.  Either way, it wouldn't be a requirement for me.

News - Don't see a reason to change it.  We already have the abiltiy to add news for games that we are in.  Just make sure that in the drop down for what games we are actually playing that we have the ability to select multiple games (which I'm sure you've already thought of), so that way the game specific news xml feed content boxes will show up as an option in the cp.

Links, Categorized Links, Info Sections, etc - Categorized links might need some “parent categories” so that the box would work the same way it currently does, only you have the option to add links for each parent category which corresponds to the different games you're playing.

Selection Process - I think they should see a spiffy flash intro!  Kidding.  Not sure about this one.


Well, ok...or...

How about just a “Gateway Page?”  If you're in a guild for only one game, then it wouldn't apply to you.  I'll explain...

I've noticed that a lot of the multi-game guilds are currently free guilds that just make three or four seperate free sites.  Yes, I know that this isn't the case for everybody, but you've seen them too, and you know what I'm talking about.  I'm not saying they're evil, either.  Merely pointing out that this seems to be the route of choice in the current state of things.

Why not just alleviate the whole mess by allowing subscribers guilds to maintain more than one site without ads?  Then you're coding a LOT less.  You're not losing any money because not too many people I've seen are actually paying for multiple guild sites.  Some pay for one, some pay for none.

Then you could just code up a parent 'gateway' page and link to each of the uber-guilds home pages.  So, newbies would see the gateway page, say, “I wanna check out their World of Warcraft sub-guild.“  They click a button, and zing!  You add the ability to add a couple images, and you're done.  Everybody gets different front page styles, seperate forums, news, yadda, yadda, yadda. 

Now, I'm not currently running a multi-game guild (although I plan to be, which is why I care), and I'm not real familiar with alliances either, so I'm not real sure how they work, or if they would be able to co-ordinate under the way things currently work.  But Events would have to show up on all the different calendars, and access would have to be granted to forums.  Raid Points/DKP might be a tricky one, what with players playing different games.  If it's me, I say points earned in game A must be spent in game A.  I'm not everybody else.

But, from what I've read about how the rest works, it seems to me like it's almost to the point where this would work right now with a 'gateway.'  Make a couple of tweaks, instead of an entire re-work?  Sound appealing?

I don't think anybody who's in a multi-game guild would say that guildportal dosn't work, in fact it works pretty good.  I think it might just need a little inter-guild connectivity.


 
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Mysticus (New Admin) 10/22/2004 8:47 AM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds
Mysticus
Posts: 796
Zomgawsh Poster

I would have to agree with the 'gateway' idea. That is basicly what I am planing for our guild. But..here is what I am gonna have to do inorder to accomplish this.

1) We are paying $160 a year for some realy nice webhosting.
a) that webhost will provide us with a place to store all our images/banners/flash/custom html pages/XML and the 'gateway' index page.
b) The 'gateway' page will send folks to the Guild Portal site for either DAoC or WoW.

2) We are spending about $15 a year to have a separate domain name inorder for people to actualy find our Guild Portal Site.

3) We are paying for two Guild Portal sites, one for DAoC and one for WoW at $120 a year for both.

If we did not have a couple of nice benifactors in our guild who are mature adults who have decent paying jobs, there is no way we could as easily come up with the $295 a year we have to pay to have this kind of 'website'.


Now...if Guild Portal could come up with a similar idea and similar functions for us 'multi-game guilds', and if you could package it for less money, we would MUCH rather give all that 'package' money to GP than to a web hosting co. and domain name hosting co.


Building on this 'gateway' idea...if it would be implemented...the features we would like to see would be as follows.

1) Members list able to be linked between the two differnt 'guilds'. Somehow letting members 'recognize' one another across the different guilds...even though they are bound to have many various 'alts'. (IE their GP name would be their main 'handle' and that 'handle' is what you would see on top level members list. List would be able to be broken down into 'guild leader, various officer ranks, members ranks, recruits ranks etc.' Currently, it is just too jumbled for my taste.)

2) Expand the 'alliance' abilities that is currently implemented. Continue to allow us to add a 'common general purpose' forum that runs between both guilds. Perhaps more of a 'persistent' chat utility that runs between all linked guilds. Also an option in the 'events' area to 'add event to all linked games'.

3) Provide webhosting as part of your service so that we do not have to go outside to find it.

4) Create an easier way for members to upload screenshots or forum avatar images to that webhosting service without the administrator having to always do it for them. (open folder on the host that is accesable only to approved members) Find a more customizable way to display screenshots rather than just nested links like it is currently?

5) Package all that for like $150 a year for 3 different game sites, add $20 every 6 months for every game site after the initial 3. (just off the top of my head of course)

Ya..that may or may not be easier for you as a developer. I have no idea since I am not one. This is just my 'real-world' situation that our multi-game guild is facing.

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Deleted User (New Admin) 10/23/2004 12:41 PM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds

Deleted User
Posts: 0

WOW I have been waiting for this topic to come up for a long long time. I am so glad that you are at least considering it. We personally only use one site for our guild then we break our forums down into game sections. Ultima Online, Lineage II ect. This works great for us. Instead of having two or three different sites, We only use one. Here is a preview http://eq2.guildportal.com/Guild.aspx?GuildID=12205&TabID=101318

Some may not like this idea, but it is easier for us. I do not want to maintain two or three different sites when I can maintain one. I do not think that a guild should have to. What I would like to see is a good multigame roster implemented. I would like to see all memebers of their chosen games to be under that game only. You can still have one total roster just find a way to break it down into games. I also use Guild Boss clan managament system. It is very easy to use and might give you some ideas. I bought some web space awhile back because your services did not support multigame guilds. We still have and use, the GP site until we are done with the new site. However, if you are serious about hosting multigame guilds, then I will stay with GP and use that site for something else. I love your services. Our guild does not need much exept a roster that supports the game that the character is in. As far as a news board, PhP Nuke has a good one. They use the same news board, but before you submit the news it will ask you what game you belong to. You choose your game and then when you submit it, the host automatically puts the name of the game at the top or you can use a graphic. A site does not have to be costly. I pay for this site out of my own pocket. Not everyone can pay $150.00 a year. I will not pay to have different sites, when there is no need for it. There are so many ways to run a multigame guild without it costing a lot of money. That is why most guilds are here. We get a great service without too much cost. At a price one person can afford if they need to. Another thing that I would like to see are real domain names without GP.com   OOPS seems you have to be a member to view those pages. Arron you should be able to right? Anyway, they are set up like this.

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537049546_Inactive (New Admin) 10/25/2004 9:00 AM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds

537049546_Inactive
Posts: 695
Zomgawsh Poster

I agree with multi game support... More to come enorumous post on the way....
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537049546_Inactive (New Admin) 10/25/2004 11:36 AM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds

537049546_Inactive
Posts: 695
Zomgawsh Poster

Ok i decided to give you all this in sections since it is going to get a bit large. I have left in all the areas i plan on covering and should Finish the rest of it of over the next two days spacing it for easy reading. I will just add to this post.  As for you aaron i will be sending this and a few other things via email to you on Tuesday.

Member Administration…..

 

User Admin.  

 

User administration should be what everything else Falls Around. Now there are multiple ways you can go about this and I am going to give you examples of each and then further go into the component Level.

 

  1. Single Site User Admin……

The goal for this type of site is ease of use integration and cost effectiveness.  We will start with the elements of a User. (All of these elements save a few will go for both types of sites) Some user elements I will deal with in the site design section.

 

  1. Each user have a unique Identifier for game of Choice. In the Application setup the admin should be able to List the games the guild plays. Which in turn would display Check Boxes to the user, allowing them to select one or multiple games they are a part of.  They should also be flagged with a Join date and this field should be editable.

 

  1. Users Should have to specify in the application which is there Default game(If a part of more than one game) This will allow GP to Make there starting News that of there Default game. It will also allow all the other games they are a part of to show up in a link box for news as a secondary game.

  2. From the get go Customizable Rank system(Exclusive from the actual site administration ranking system) should be put in place. This will allow guilds to create there own rank structure. 

    This can be done in two ways. First you could have a rank system that is independent of the GP ranking system. This would then just display a secondary title. This would create a drop down in the members admin popup that would allow the GM to select a title for the user. 

    The second way for this to be implemented would follow the above guidline but implement the ability to assign GP ranks to customized Ranks. This would allow Admins to assign GP rank 3 to say 5 of there ranks. It just allows for more customization. A bit petty I know but Ranks are big in a lot of guilds.

  3. Sponsorship System this is a nice feature that for a lot of large guilds with probation periods(And most of the large guilds have them) are able to create a sponsorship list. This list contains people from each of there games who are actually allowed to sponser someone into the guild for membership.  Again this would create a drop down menu on the application for the user to select from so that the game masters know this is not a random join and can check with the sponser if something is questionable.

  4. Still on signup. The ability to have an Accept Rules and Regulation button In the application with a link to a guilds Rule set and lore is something I have seen in a few of my friends larger guilds.  They feel that it is a critical step since often a user will signup without reading. So having a link they have to click on and scroll all the way thru the rules before letting them choose accept is a way that some make sure that there members read the rules at least once.
  5. The ability to Modify Participation points manually, and add Participation points to the medal system. This gives the admin and or game masters to add points for in game accomplishments besides just posting to a forum.

 

2. Multi Site Guilds..

This is where the user wants Multiple different sites Not styles. (Figured since you said multiple styles would kill the idea we go with multi sites. ) Some people ARE willing to pay for multiple looks and to be honest I like it too although after reading my ideas it may be easier to do styles

a.  Site Inter-Dependency… Each guild no matter what has to have a Primary or Parent page.  Unlike the alliance system though to integrate users I believe the easiest way to do that would be to Register all of the other GP sites Owned by the guild with the Parent. Once this was done it would automatically integrate the User list from the parent with these sites. (Note: This may wreak havoc with your top sites lists). By doing this either you choose one of two paths. A all members of the parent list are sent down and registered with the children as well.. Or the easier way the Parent guild takes over as the User list for all sites registered with the Primary page.

b. User Interface. Again at registration the User would have to select the Primary guild. However in this model they are re-directed to there primary site page…(This should be able to be over-ridden in the control panel to force all start pages to be the Primary guild page.)

 

c. In this model each guild within the guild may want a separate rank from the parent guild. This is what the title field should be used for. Admins should be able to set up the user titles in a list and just have a dropdown to assign titles in user admin.

 

d. The ability for the Parent site to do a Forced 1 read message. To explain  Joe user comes to the site and only likes to read the forums for the guilds SWG chapter. So he bookmarks the link there. This means Joe never ever reads the main page. The system should allow a SUPER ADMIN only to create a news article Or forum entry you decide which and mark it for One Read only. Once this flag is set the next time any user including Joe will be forced to the page with this message before doing anything else no matter what link on the site they follow.  This is a big thing for some admins of Larger guilds whose members never read anything but the forums for there game.

 


I put most of the things in here I thought you did not have. If there are any gaps I still have my original layouts.  As for other member stuff like roster and What not I am putting that under site Layout.

 

 

Roster View

 

In the Roster I think you have to account for multiple views I will list what I Think is needed.

 

  1. View By Member.
  2. View by Game.
  3. View by Rank (Applicable if you do user ranks)
  4. By Raid Standing
  5. By Participation points (Admin only view.)

 

In General Roster views are very important. For people to see what’s up who is where in what game.

 

This would have to directly tie into the user flags that get set when the user registers and select the games they are playing. The user must also be allowed to specify new games as they come along.

 

Roster view by game could check against the rosters and you could do sort by fields so if you set the roster View to view by rank you could sort by game. This means that while the roster view is a set view you can still sort by different components such as rank, level, start date.

 

USER COMPONENTS



 

SITE LAYOUT

 

  

News

Events.

Links, Categorized Links, Info Sections, etc


Multiple Styles


Selection Process



Forums

 

FORUM SHARING.

 

FORUM CUSTOMIZATION

 

MODERATION.

 

IMAGE/Script Hosting.


INTEGRATION (Game info)

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536931316_Inactive (New Admin) 10/28/2004 11:14 AM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds
536931316_Inactive
Posts: 3160
Zomgawsh Poster

Hi Aaron


As you know Divine Retribution has been a Multi guild web page for over year now....

Yes I would love to see more multi guild controls avaible to me and my admin team

Here's a few idea of to help you along...


Multiple views of the roster...

Basically a roster by game would be great (more detailed) and then a master one(less information)


Forums

Best way would be foldable forums like this...


Link : http://community.istaria.com/web/

or

You could assign a forum group / tab for each set of game forums...


News

Having multiable news feeds for all that guilds games would be awesome...

Saves people coding their own like we had to do @ DR

The news panel doesn`t seem a problem to us @ DR we just title it to which game the news refer's too...


Events

Events could done on multiable guild event panels / Tabs


Links, Categorized Links, Info Sections, etc


Isn`t a problem to us @ DR


Multiple Styles

We have some multi-game guilds that have gone with a one-style-fits-all approach, including things in their banner images like graphics and character images from all the different games they play.



This also isn`t a problem to us @ DR


Selection Process

We use your welcome message system by access levels to address this point...

Again not a problem here @ DR


EXTRA stuff

Members Admin

Zed_T0 has covered part of what I would like to see in the members admin

What I would really like to see is following against the members name...

Their Title...
Which game they are in...
Tagging the player to a game...
A few lvls of access other that defualt ones we got at the minute...


Joining a guild web page...

Make it alot easier than it is now...

Have a BIG JOIN BUTTON not text on the login bar...

Reason is alot of people join guild portal okies but don`t tick the join box to join the guild web page or correctly fill out your questionare...

Hence they don`t appear on your members admin sheet and then the fun starts with that player....



Getting their registeration to appear on your members admin and be a najor taks with some players...


Sum up

Well I hope this helps aaron and I think you do one hell of a job here @ Guild portal

Kind Regards
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537095708_Inactive (New Admin) 10/28/2004 10:07 PM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds

537095708_Inactive
Posts: 35
Becoming Adept!

our guild is currently changing direction to a multi guild type of format as these days, people like to hop around.  i for one want to give them that freedom.  adding features to make this easier for me would rock.
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Wyldchyld (Guild Admin) 10/29/2004 1:37 PM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds
Wyldchyld
Posts: 3500
Zomgawsh Poster

Our guild is also multi-gaming right now and it is making communicating on one site a bit confusing with the current set up.

Wildcards Guild Leader
Wyldchyld 80 Night Elf Druid Aggramar
Smylin 70 Night Elf Rogue Aggramar
Herilak 80 Night Elf Warrior Aggramar
Charlynn 70 Dranaeni Priest Aggramar
Temper 58 Dranaeni Death Knight Aggramar
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537095708_Inactive (New Admin) 10/30/2004 6:26 PM EST : RE: Multi-Game Guilds

537095708_Inactive
Posts: 35
Becoming Adept!

please include fps games.  this is a big year for fps games, and to be honest, most of my guild members have moved away from mmorpg's to games like ut2k4, cs source, and doom3
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