Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

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blast
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Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by blast » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:42 am

I've been doing some work on the BZFlag website. I made up a teaser video that'll replace the scrolling slideshow on the main page. I'm also writing a Getting Started page right on the main website instead of having it link to the wiki. Eventually, I intend to have a complete set of player and developer documentation on the main site so that it's easy for people to find.

Could I get some feedback on these pages?
EDIT: The site has since gone live, so I'll provide the links to the live site.
http://bzflag.org/
http://bzflag.org/documentation/getting_started
http://bzflag.org/documentation

Are there other things I should document on the Getting Started page? And does anyone have ideas for player documentation topics?
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by Bullet Magnet » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:30 pm

Looks good to me...

Could you include how to message an individual player?... Been playing this game for 15 years and still don't know how to do it! :-)

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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by trpted » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:07 pm

+1.
Bullet Magnet wrote: Could you include how to message an individual player?... Been playing this game for 15 years and still don't know how to do it! :-)
While waiting for them to include that on their site, it is by default (unless you changed it), the dot/period ( . the same key as the greater than sign > ) and then using the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard until you see their name.

Also as noted at that site:
The full list of keys can be viewed in the Help menu in-game or in the Change Key Mapping menu mentioned above.
^^

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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by Bullet Magnet » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:16 am

Cool , thanks trypted

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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by blast » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:06 am

Okay, I improved the controls documentation part by breaking it into sections and making the keys look like keyboard keys. I also documented the two other chat keys. (Might need to Ctrl+F5 or clear cache to see the new styles/content)
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by alfa1 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:58 pm

They look nice, blast. What I could see for now: about the video, use, please, a FLOSS video format like Theora + Vorbis (OGG), and if it had sound (and any music contribution by anybody?) would be better. VLC (installed with wine) could help to convert it, if necessary. Pitivy is a good/acceptable option to edit too (though I am not very experienced on videos).
Some people place the introductory videos kind of on background and make them reproduce by default. Also, if there were more videos, it could be a switchable window.
Now, If you put just 1 video into a window (like your example), IMO, it should be a longer one (1 minute at least). Otherwise, the short one you have nowadays could be good as background.
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by blast » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:37 pm

Yep, I was planning to add at least a WebM version, but just wanted to make sure it was okay before I went crazy with encoding.

Also, Pitivi seems to only be for Linux. I'm using Shotcut.
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by llrr » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:07 pm

Hey Blast,

Would it be too much trouble to add an extra link to the top called something like "competitive play"?

I feel like we should try to show and advertise that the game has a league format. It can have a description like an introduction, and a website link to the LU website. We could also add a section on the same page called "guide to competitive bzflag" and talk about confit setups etc.

Apart from that, I think we need to add some form of text to the home page, so that people who go onto the website can actually read to see what the game is about, such as a "what is bzflag" paragraph. I'm worried that without it, and just the video, it doesn't provide enough information to attract people's attention and make them download it to try it. A lot of people may ever bother watching the video (it's definitely something I can relate to, as I almost always prefer to read text over watching a video).

llrr
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by alfa1 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:40 pm

Blast: yes, Pitivi seems only for linux; I thought you used it mostly. Shotcut seems good too; other alternatives, just in case (for other users): http://alternativeto.net/software/pitiv ... rm=windows (or change platform).

Checking more the Getting Started page, in my opinion, Control Panel should be called "System Console" or just "Console" (or adding "Output", maybe), instead; also into GUI settings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_p ... oftware%29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_console
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by Zehra » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:52 pm

The site looks very nice and the documentation is nicely written.
The video is good and some audio would be nice as an added feature too.
I'm not sure on how tactics would be written as this could be related to many different sections/maps/game modes.
So probably a general overview of different game mode tactics is a good idea. :wink:
The "Customization" could have the input of several players to base what is the best configuration and also take into account the differences on map settings.
(So basically giving advice based on depending map settings like The Purple Panzer's QuickShot map series and Ducati.)

-Zehra
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by blast » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:53 pm

llrr wrote:Would it be too much trouble to add an extra link to the top called something like "competitive play"?

I feel like we should try to show and advertise that the game has a league format. It can have a description like an introduction, and a website link to the LU website. We could also add a section on the same page called "guide to competitive bzflag" and talk about confit setups etc.
That's possible. And when you say "config setups", are you referring to adjusting stuff in the menu, or hand editing the config file? I fully intend to have some documentation on the site for the in-game options menu. I will not document the configuration file format as there should, in my opinion, be no need (and no advantage) to doing so.
llrr wrote:Apart from that, I think we need to add some form of text to the home page, so that people who go onto the website can actually read to see what the game is about, such as a "what is bzflag" paragraph. I'm worried that without it, and just the video, it doesn't provide enough information to attract people's attention and make them download it to try it. A lot of people may ever bother watching the video (it's definitely something I can relate to, as I almost always prefer to read text over watching a video).
Have any suggestions for what I should include?
alpha1 wrote:Blast: yes, Pitivi seems only for linux; I thought you used it mostly. Shotcut seems good too; other alternatives, just in case (for other users): http://alternativeto.net/software/pitiv ... rm=windows (or change platform).
Nope, I use Windows for desktop systems. I really only use Linux for servers or the occasional VM to build/test BZFlag.
alpha1 wrote:Checking more the Getting Started page, in my opinion, Control Panel should be called "System Console" or just "Console" (or adding "Output", maybe), instead; also into GUI settings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_p ... oftware%29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_console
As of yet, we call it the Control Panel, so that's what I'm documenting it as for now. We'd likely redo our UI system for 2.6 (possibly replacing it with MyGUI), so maybe we can look into it at that time.
Zehra wrote:The video is good and some audio would be nice as an added feature too.
The audio is a bit messy since there's other stuff happening off camera, and it doesn't cut nicely from one scene to the next. Initially I was going to have the video auto-play, so I didn't want audio. But then I had changed it to be click-to-play with no preloading (so I wasn't wasting people's bandwidth loading a video). Eventually I'd like to have longer (say, several minute long) gameplay videos posted on the Media section.
Zehra wrote:I'm not sure on how tactics would be written as this could be related to many different sections/maps/game modes.
So probably a general overview of different game mode tactics is a good idea. :wink:
Yeah, it's just going to be general tactics that should apply to most servers, with some notes about how some server settings may affect things. For instance, I might mention that dodging guided missile may be harder/impossible on servers with different shot speeds.
Zehra wrote:The "Customization" could have the input of several players to base what is the best configuration and also take into account the differences on map settings.
(So basically giving advice based on depending map settings like The Purple Panzer's QuickShot map series and Ducati.)
I don't want the documentation to be map/server specific. I merely want to provide information about what settings will do and some general advice about how to decide what values to use.
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by Zehra » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:33 am

blast wrote:
Zehra wrote:The "Customization" could have the input of several players to base what is the best configuration and also take into account the differences on map settings.
(So basically giving advice based on depending map settings like The Purple Panzer's QuickShot map series and Ducati.)
I don't want the documentation to be map/server specific. I merely want to provide information about what settings will do and some general advice about how to decide what values to use.
Would something like this be helpful if more players would give advice? (link.)

-Zehra
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by blast » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:38 am

No.
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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by llrr » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:38 pm

blast wrote:
llrr wrote:Would it be too much trouble to add an extra link to the top called something like "competitive play"?

I feel like we should try to show and advertise that the game has a league format. It can have a description like an introduction, and a website link to the LU website. We could also add a section on the same page called "guide to competitive bzflag" and talk about confit setups etc.
That's possible. And when you say "config setups", are you referring to adjusting stuff in the menu, or hand editing the config file? I fully intend to have some documentation on the site for the in-game options menu. I will not document the configuration file format as there should, in my opinion, be no need (and no advantage) to doing so.
Mm, I'm referring to hand adjusting the config file actually. In any form of competitive play in bzflag it is absolutely imperative that the new player understands how to adjust the config file using notepad. This is because one can extend the radar leading shot line length significantly in order to allow dodging. This option is in the in-game settings however the longest leading line length is nowhere near sufficient (for example I use 30 in the config file, and alot of players use higher values).
blast wrote:
llrr wrote:Apart from that, I think we need to add some form of text to the home page, so that people who go onto the website can actually read to see what the game is about, such as a "what is bzflag" paragraph. I'm worried that without it, and just the video, it doesn't provide enough information to attract people's attention and make them download it to try it. A lot of people may ever bother watching the video (it's definitely something I can relate to, as I almost always prefer to read text over watching a video).
Have any suggestions for what I should include?
I was thinking rather than bundling up lots of information under each heading that are displayed along the top, we could have some more links to different sections of those pages on the front page, much like how a wiki home page would set out.

Games Modes:
- FFA
- CTF
- Rabbit Hunt
etc..

Another set of links..

Mechanics:
- Flags
- Jumping
- Controls
- UI
etc..

This way, the "getting started" page could just contain information about downloading the game, and other information could all be linked to the front page, through those links (each dot point would be a link). They don't have to all have separate pages, simply could have the information on one page, but each link causes the user to jump directly to that heading under the linked page.

It's just a different format of the website I think.. I'm not actually sure if it would be an improvement over what we have now. It's just that in my mind, if we pack the home page with lots of information and links, people may be more interested in looking further.
llrr

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Re: Feedback wanted: Updated BZFlag website

Post by ducatiwannabe » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:35 pm

First off, thanks for the nod toward Missile War 3!

Second off, I love the simplified look and the game-play video you've implemented on the home page. With shorter attention spans in the world I feel like quick-gripping pages are a great improvement.

Thirdly, I like llrr's idea of attracting more attention to competitive play. Perhaps kierra or prior Riker Cup players could write up something about key events? Some video clips of HIX matches?

I appreciate the improvements you make, it helps keep the game young.
Like BZFlag a lot? Want to take your level up a notch? Play in a BZFlag League! Check out the GU BZFlag League and the Ducati BZFlag league today.

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