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Let's talk, HLP!

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Hello everyone! If you have some time, let's talk about HLP and what we can do to make it pretty awesome.

At some point in the near future, HLP will be switching to a new server. Now this probably doesn't mean a lot to you, we're not changing forums or anything. One thing that is going to change though is the front page. We're planning on making it a lot more welcoming and glitzy so people know exactly what HLP and FreeSpace Open are all about.

On a somewhat related note, I began a discussion with the staff, which later moved to the hosted project board, about HLP's future and ways to revitalize slower parts, making the forums easier to use, making content easier to find and play. A big problem HLP has is you really need to know what you're looking for, and where it is exactly. Its hard to come across something by chance.

Here is a list of changes that have been proposed by me and other people in the first rounds of feedback solicitation. The intents of the changes are basically to 1) make content easier to find, 2) give the forum a bit of a spit-shine, and 3) develop ways to get people more involved and engaged.

So I'd ask you to give your best constructive feedback for these measures. Nothing is set in stone yet, and nothing is immediate yet. Let me know what you like, what you don't like, what's missing, your genius new forum layout structure, any questions, concerns, areas that need clarifying, or your experiences with how other communities have handled these things. I'd only ask everyone to be positive and build up ideas.

I'd also like to hear how much concrete interest there is in people joining the HLP Aide teams that are proposed. The idea behind the aide teams is to let people who don't have the time or patience to learn to mod or make campaigns to still contribute in someway to the community.

I would like to add a suggestion. Could some effort PLEASE be made in fixing the built in search to the forum. If that isn't doable, how about a custom Google search targeted at this site in place of the current nearly useless search box. I'm not even sure that the advanced search works better than the quick search. I may do some testing and see if there are any differences.

That is an amazing suggestion and I am embarrassed that I didn't take note of that before (mostly because it so bad that I forgot it had even existed). Hopefully we can do... something... about it.

There was a good search function at one point.
And then it got replaced by google custom search or something, and it was bad.
And then it was replaced by something else, and it was worse.
Or maybe this is just nostalgia talking.
I was able to find stuff using search once upon a time. It hasn't been that way for ages.

I agree 100% on the search.  I usually use a custom Google search; e.g. "wxlauncher".

Another thing that has been discussed before that i would like to see better implemented is better integration of "getting started" information for new players.  This was discussed a lot when Freespace came out on Steam, and improvements were made then, but I still see posts from brand-new players who are lost in the process.  The community is great about helping people through technical issues, but sometimes the first responses assume that the player knows something that they don't.  Goober's installer helps immensely with initial setup, and I know there are other installers in the works, but there are still questions about which executable to use, which launcher (or which version of wxlauncher), how to install mods not on the installer, how to play certain mods (select from the launcher? select from the campaign room? select individual missions from the tech room?), and other things.  Most of these topics are covered somewhere in the forums, but even with improved search they are difficult to find, and it is hard to know if you are using the most up-to-date information.

edit: corrected typo


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