Author Topic: Let's talk, HLP!  (Read 29472 times)

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Offline Axem

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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.
There are only 10 kinds of people in the world;
those who understand binary and those who don't.

 

Offline Axem

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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.

 

Offline Droid803

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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.
(´・ω・`)
=============================================================

 

Offline deathspeed

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I agree 100% on the search.  I usually use a custom Google search; e.g. "wxlauncher site:hard-light.net".

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
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 08:45:29 am by deathspeed »
Maybe someday God will give you a little pink toaster of your own.

 

Offline Novachen

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Actually i would like to see overview page that show up with Mobile devices, and so that this one is much better useable than the current one.

And the forum itself lacks also some comfort for mobile use (too much scrolling, current discussions at the end of the page, no subscribing of topics etc.).
I do not think that anyone stays long on HLP with such devices.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 02:18:35 pm by Novachen »
Female FreeSpace 2 pilot since 1999.
Global moderator in the German FreeSpace Galaxy Forum.

Responsible for the german translation project FreiRaum - FreeSpace auf Deutsch.
Also responsible for the Nova Upgrade Project, which upgrades and fix older campaigns to make them play- and solveable again with current builds and MediaVPs.

Release List:
German Translations:
Awakenings, Between the Ashes 1, Deneb III, FreeSpace 2 (in development), FreeSpace Port, Silent Threat: Reborn & The Destiny of Peace

Nova Upgrades:
A Walk in the Sun, Into the Halls of Valhalla, Luyten Civil War, Renegade Resurgence, Revenge: Final Conflict (in development), Rogues!, Shadow Genesis (de-facto), Storm Front Saga, The Deuterium Connection, Venice Mirror & What If: Another Great War

 
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'm betting that the good search function was probably part of a different version of forum software. I'm not even sure what the HLP forums are powered by, but I know that the phpBB software has an excellent built in search, or at least there was a good one on a number of placed I used to frequent that used phpBB, such as the long defunct evula.org, which was the personal website of a guy who was a big fan of the Escape Velocity games. IIRC, the forum software was replaced at some point when I was still going by the screen name of CaptJosh.
There are only 10 kinds of people in the world;
those who understand binary and those who don't.

 

Offline JGZinv

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HLP's on top of Simple Machines Forum 2.0.13 *points to the bottom right*
True power comes not from strength, but from the soul and imagination.
Max to PCS2 to FS2 SCP Guide
The FringeSpace Conversion Mod

 

Offline jr2

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I like the helpful auto-save on the UWE forums (Natural Selection 2 / Subnautica) -- accidentally hitting back or crashing doesn't nuke your post.

I also like their Disagree / Agree / Awesome votes for each post, so you can respond to posts without just posting "Agreed" or "Amazing!" (it puts a small icon with your avatar on it at the bottom):  Example

EDIT: Another feature I like is the ability to @mention a user (with an auto-complete pop-in).
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 03:58:30 pm by jr2 »

 

Offline karajorma

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At the moment everyone seems to mostly be talking about forum features they'd like to have (which is fine) but we'd also like to discuss bigger changes. What can we do to attract more people? How can we make modding easier?
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline jr2

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but we'd also like to discuss bigger changes. What can we do to attract more people? How can we make modding easier?

Agreed, that should be priority.

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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Just a thought, not necessarily on making modding easier, but making FREDding easier.  Obviously adapting the existing FRED for this purpose would be quite difficult, but with the possibility of wxFRED, perhaps it could  be done.  I know that advanced FREDders have developed some techniques to get the game to perform some interesting functions.  These functions may require some event arrangements that except for mission-specific data such as ship names, times, waypoints, etc. are always the same.  Perhaps wxFRED could be pre-loaded with something like event subroutines.  Someone needing said functions for their mission, would have an option within the right-click menu to call on these pre-made event templates, just like there is an option for different conditionals.  All they have to do is plug their own data into the default fields and suddenly a sequence it might take an experienced FREDder 20 min to set up, and a learning FREDder 2h to figure out how to assemble, can be done a like 2min.

Perhaps there could be a way to customize these.  Lets say that you use a specific type of event frequently in your missions, but it takes a while to set up.  You could create your own template, save it, name it, and call on it whenever you need it.
I know you could simply create a mission with your own templates in it, save it, and call it up whenever you want to create a mission with these functions in it, but this way you can combine as many or as few functions as you want without having to delete what you don't want to keep.  HLP could even keep an online repository of commonly used event templates, as decided by popular vote, and accept submissions for further event templates for later inclusion.
The Trivial Psychic Strikes Again!

 

Offline Mongoose

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No sense repeating two other threads' worth of posts at this point, but what I think bears repeating is that we could really use some community members who have a decent handle on the social media stuff that all the hip kids are using these days, because most of the staff are apparently old farts who are behind the times.  HLP does have a Facebook group and Twitter account, but they're definitely not being used to their full potential, and something like Instagram seems tailor-made for grabbing people's eyeballs.  So if you have any free time and would be willing to hit up some sort of daily social media barrage, please let us know!

 

Offline niffiwan

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  • Eluder Class
Just a thought, not necessarily on making modding easier, but making FREDding easier.  Obviously adapting the existing FRED for this purpose would be quite difficult, but with the possibility of wxFRED, perhaps it could  be done.  I know that advanced FREDders have developed some techniques to get the game to perform some interesting functions.  These functions may require some event arrangements that except for mission-specific data such as ship names, times, waypoints, etc. are always the same.  Perhaps wxFRED could be pre-loaded with something like event subroutines.  Someone needing said functions for their mission, would have an option within the right-click menu to call on these pre-made event templates, just like there is an option for different conditionals.  All they have to do is plug their own data into the default fields and suddenly a sequence it might take an experienced FREDder 20 min to set up, and a learning FREDder 2h to figure out how to assemble, can be done a like 2min.

Perhaps there could be a way to customize these.  Lets say that you use a specific type of event frequently in your missions, but it takes a while to set up.  You could create your own template, save it, name it, and call on it whenever you need it.
I know you could simply create a mission with your own templates in it, save it, and call it up whenever you want to create a mission with these functions in it, but this way you can combine as many or as few functions as you want without having to delete what you don't want to keep.  HLP could even keep an online repository of commonly used event templates, as decided by popular vote, and accept submissions for further event templates for later inclusion.

+1 for this - I really like this idea (even if it's probably longer term aspirational given wxFREDs current state).
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
----
Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
----
m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...

 

Offline karajorma

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So the global moderators talk about HLP's future and we get 59 replies on the topic and some good ideas. We ask the project heads and get 62 replies on that thread and even more positive ideas.

We ask the whole board - 13 replies. Seriously? No one has any other ideas how we can make this place better or attract more people?
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 
Man I don't think it's ever going to be a good idea to shame board members into contributing
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline Lorric

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What would be the point in giving them to you, since you haven't delivered the last two times?

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=90699.0

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=92265.0

The avatar thread ended in August.

And as soon as in the thread the other day Flipside arrived to drop some truth, the panic button was hit and the thread locked. You are not interested in what we want.

 

Offline The E

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Lorric, if you had read the google doc axem linked, you might have realized that Avatars are on the to-do list for the coming server move.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline karajorma

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If you don't wish to be part of the process, no one is forcing you Lorric. Just don't complain later that no one asked you, or that we should have done something differently.

Man I don't think it's ever going to be a good idea to shame board members into contributing

I'm really not shaming anyone. I'm just honestly surprised that the response has been so low. The main reason we asked the other two groups first was to avoid getting swamped. I was expecting this thread to have far more replies than the other two put together cause if there is one thing I would have thought we could count on HLP to be good at is to have people tell the moderation staff where we're going wrong! :p
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 10:05:22 am by karajorma »
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline Lorric

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Would it do any good anyway? You already gave all the people that actually matter to you first dibs and made your plans before throwing us this bone.

And we can't complain if we don't like the changes after they've been implemented and we have experienced them? Nice.