[New Topic]   [Reply]
[Edit Profile]  [Edit Your Preferences]  [Search]
[Private Messages]  [Memberslist]  [FAQ]  [Login]
MUDII Forum Index General Chat Newbie-friendly Website
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
Author Newbie-friendly Website
Karya
Arch-Witch



Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 156
Posted: 29-09-2006 19:21   
As Havoc suggested I have started a new thread. Foddy and I are restructuring the mudii website so this would be a good opportunity to make the site more newbie friendly. We've already had some suggestions but it would be good to open the subject up for discussion.

How do you think the website can be made more newbie-friendly? As part of this we need two new clients. One will be a replacement for the current Java applet to allow newbies to play directly from the website. The other client will be a dedicated, customisable and pretty client. Do people have suggestions for these two clients?

Ideas anyone?

[ This Message was edited by: Karya on 29-09-2006 19:22 ]


  View Profile of Karya      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Heiach
Wizard



Joined: Oct 31, 2001
Posts: 515
From: I can't remember!
Posted: 02-10-2006 17:24   
Well my first suggestion would be to have a large and obvious button or link on the front page saying something like "New to MUD2? Click here!" Etc..

That would then take you to another set of pages... giving them a newbie tutorial as it were.. putting all appropriate information all in one place that's easy to see.

Or re-design the entire site as to make the above true all over.


But basically, the newbie button/link would be there mostly to help people get through the introduction stage.. so they know how to set up an account and even a quick-play (as a guest) link.
Looking through all of the links on the side bars isn't all *that* easy, especially if you're new.

Also another idea would be to have either a "Newbie" board for people to introduce themselves.. + lots of Q&A and FAQs. Or have a thread on the general board that does much the same called something like, "New Comers, introduce yourselves!" And so on..

That's all for now...

- Nathe


  View Profile of Heiach   Email Heiach   Goto the website of Heiach   ICQ status             Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Cradle
cleric

Joined: Jul 07, 2003
Posts: 230
From: England
Posted: 03-10-2006 00:00   
thats all good, But maybe aswel the tour on the actual can be updated, because it is abit. blah lol

  View Profile of Cradle   Email Cradle          Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 04-10-2006 00:48   
I think the home page should *assume* you are a newbie. The first page needs to:

* explain what mud is
* be obvious about why mud is great fun
* make it very easy to jump in
* lead directly into a tour of mud

Karya: could any work in progress be published somewhere so we can provide feedback?
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 04-10-2006 00:52   
I'm thinking we need to find ways to work on building up the community feel of mud:

An area of the website could include profile pages for players. Somewhere they can upload a picture for their persona, add a description of who they are, link to their mud-pals pages, list achievements (best ever reset score, highest ever score, etc).

(I'm thinking that some of this information could be automatically collected by a swish client)
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 04-10-2006 00:53   
For the instant-play client, I think more people have Flash installed than Java.

Not sure if it's too easy to do things with Flash, it's not a language I'm familiar with myself.
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Karya
Arch-Witch



Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 156
Posted: 04-10-2006 11:53   
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 00:52, Malbery wrote:
An area of the website could include profile pages for players.



Funny you should suggest this as Heiach suggested the very same thing to me last night! It's a good idea. I'll reply to your question when I've got a bit more time later tonight, I'm just catching up whilst at work.

Cradle, can you be more specific? What don't you like about the current tours? We are concentrating on changing the website though rather than making any further changes to the game at the moment. Somthing like this might be considered for the next version release.

Keep the ideas coming.


  View Profile of Karya      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Azrael
Wizard



Joined: Aug 19, 2001
Posts: 40
Posted: 04-10-2006 15:03   
The main problem with the existing tutorial is that in pretty much every instance that I've seen someone do it it's gone something like this:

[Welcome, Newbie! This appears to be your first game of MUD. Do you wish to view a tutorial which demonstrates the game's basic commands?]
*yes
[MASSIVE PARAGRAPH OF TEXT]
[Well, come on, retard, don't tell me you didn't read all that in 4 seconds. Type N.]
*n
[ANOTHER MASSIVE PARAGRAPH OF TEXT]
[Wow, I can tell that your mother was obviously on a cocktail of scag and bleach when you were conceived, because anyone with more brain cells than fingers would have typed QW by now.]
[Remember that time you logged onto MUD? Remember how it involved pressing all these keys on your keyboard? Wasn't that a whole load of fun? Is it not an experience you'd really, really like to repeat?]
[Wow. Y'know, it's like I walked into a Big Brother audition, the intellect that's on display here. I'm going to leave you now to drown in a pool of your own fluids like you should have done years ago].
[Tour over.]
*+- No input for the past 4 minutes. Do something! -+
*+- No input for the past 5 minutes. Exiting now. -+

[ This Message was edited by: Azrael on 04-10-2006 15:03 ]


  View Profile of Azrael      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Foddy
Arch-Wizard



Joined: Aug 19, 2001
Posts: 138
Posted: 04-10-2006 19:36   
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 15:03, Azrael wrote:
The main problem with the existing tutorial is that in pretty much every instance that I've seen someone do it it's gone something like this:

Azrael, yes this is a good point and something we've considered in the past - we discussed changing the tours with Richard for the last release, but it would have severely delayed it. The tour certainly isn't the most newbie-friendly!

At the moment, we are prioritising work on the website rather than the game - so, do you think it's worth introducing the game tour in some format on the website?

Does anyone have any ideas of how this can work practically?


  View Profile of Foddy      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Foddy
Arch-Wizard



Joined: Aug 19, 2001
Posts: 138
Posted: 04-10-2006 19:43   
Quote:
On 04-10-2006 00:53, Malbery wrote:
For the instant-play client, I think more people have Flash installed than Java.

Not sure if it's too easy to do things with Flash, it's not a language I'm familiar with myself.

So far this year, 96.72% of visitors to the website have Java installed (although I don't have the breakdown by version).

Flash is better supported, but unfortunately only allows socket connections to read XML documents/fragments. Shockwave would be an option, but it's less well supported than Java.

I'm currenlty in the middle of writing a new Java client with newbies in mind to be embedded in the website. I hope to have it finished in the next couple of months.

I seem to remember you offered to write a whizzy graphical stand-alone client - does the offer still stand?


  View Profile of Foddy      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Karya
Arch-Witch



Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 156
Posted: 04-10-2006 20:07   
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 00:48, Malbery wrote:
I think the home page should *assume* you are a newbie.



I'm in two minds about this. On one hand we definately need to attract newbies and to make it as easy as possible for them to play the game. On the other hand we don't want the newbie focus to distract existing players and prevent them from using the site.

We were thinking of re-designing the site into more of a portal style website. So maybe the following could work - design the site so the home page is focused on newbies but with a big button to stop the newbie related content being shown again once clicked.

We can put a big 'newbie' button on all other pages to ensure that people who stumble across the site bypassing the home page get redirected to the correct place.

If anyone knows of any websites that get the newbie/existing player balance right, please post links here.

Quote:

Karya: could any work in progress be published somewhere so we can provide feedback?



Currently there is nothing to see visually. We are still at the planning stage as well as gathering suggestions made here and through e-mail correspondance. However, I think getting feedback on work in progress can be very valuable. Therefore if anyone is interested in providing feedback please e-mail me and when we have something to show I'll be in contact, probably in November.

[ This Message was edited by: Karya on 04-10-2006 20:08 ]


  View Profile of Karya      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Tharg
friar

Joined: Sep 23, 2001
Posts: 78
Posted: 04-10-2006 20:10   
If someone makes a new advanced client, I'd like to see a snoop window. I've only snooped a few times, mainly because it's so confusing (I use zmud). And as simple macros are allowed now (I think I read that on the BB ingame, right?) the ability to create them would be desirable.

Personally I'm against stat / inventory windows and stuff like that but I think that's a bit hypocritical of me since I want a snoop window, so I wouldn't complain if they were added too.

On the other hand ... if i's possible to force people to use a particular client, then I say get rid of macros and leave out all extra windows except for a snoop one. Snooping is (IMO) just too much work otherwise.

[ This Message was edited by: Tharg on 04-10-2006 20:13 ]


  View Profile of Tharg      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 04-10-2006 20:34   
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 19:43, Foddy wrote:
I seem to remember you offered to write a whizzy graphical stand-alone client - does the offer still stand?



Absolutely. Ideally I'd find one or two other programmers that know C# that might be able to dabble in the code base. That would help improve the technical quality of the product as well as make future maintainence more responsive (I have time now but won't in 6 months). I'd also be good to have at least two players willing to test it out. Also someone with decent graphics skills for creating static images.

Of course I could do it all without any of this but I think it'd turn out a lot more like mud4mortals than the crowd-pleasing client we need.
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 04-10-2006 20:40   
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 19:36, Foddy wrote:
Does anyone have any ideas of how this can work practically?



As a minimum we can paste the tour text verbatim onto the web site. Maybe we should do that anyway, it might lead to more google hits.

The best IMO would be to actually survey some newbies (most likely force friends to sit infront of computers) and find out:

* what concepts they have difficulty with
* which commands they most need to learn first
* what we can show them to most capture their imagination

I think this information is best made bite-sized, and a main page with a fairly shallow but wide hierarchy would be appropriate I think.
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 04-10-2006 20:47   
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 20:10, Tharg wrote:
If someone makes a new advanced client, I'd like to see a snoop window.



Hey! This doesn't sound like a newbie-winning feature to me. Newbie winning features might be:

* graphical representations of stats
* a scanned in mud2 map highlighting where they are
* suggesting website help pages based on where they are, what is where they are, what's happening, a command they just tried that failed, etc.

that's just off the top of my head. We need to think of features that will help people understand and get into mud2 - and I think any way we can find of building community spirit would be a great help.

Any ideas?

PS Yes, I love snoop views. Go track down a copy of mud4mortals ??
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Karya
Arch-Witch



Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 156
Posted: 07-10-2006 13:55   
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 20:47, Malbery wrote:
Quote:

On 04-10-2006 20:10, Tharg wrote:
If someone makes a new advanced client, I'd like to see a snoop window.



Hey! This doesn't sound like a newbie-winning feature to me. Newbie winning features might be:




I agree with everything Tharg said but that's my personal view and I'm not sure we're in a position to force players to use only one client currently.

I know this is a thread about making the site more newbie friendly but I think Tharg made a valid point with regards to a client. Would it be possible for your client, Havoc, to have several modes (similar to the original Wireplay client)? For example F1 would be the newbie mode, F2 would be for more experienced players and would have features as Tharg suggested and eventually, but not a priority, a F3 mode aimed at wizzes?

By the way, Tharg - did you get my e-mail about Muddled Times? I wasn't sure if I had your current address.

Who's client was mud4mortals? Was it yours, Havoc? I do vaugely remember it but I can't find any links for it. Was it the one that had built in forums and other community-based features?

[ This Message was edited by: Karya on 07-10-2006 14:01 ]


  View Profile of Karya      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Karya
Arch-Witch



Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 156
Posted: 07-10-2006 16:50   
Something this site has always lacked is a proper newbie/help/info section. Something like this:

http://www.avalon-rpg.com/help/ or

http://www.bat.org/help/help.php or

http://buffymud.wolfpaw.net/about/newbies.html

Ok, maybe not the last one but you get the idea. I'm intending to piece this together from Muddled Times articles. But which ones? Lexley's series would be an obvious choice but it doesn't cover everything. Are there any other articles that you think should go on the mudii website? The articles can always be adapted for this purpose. Here's a list of the Game Information articles:

http://www.muddledtimes.com/section.fod?CategoryId=2


  View Profile of Karya      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Cradle
cleric

Joined: Jul 07, 2003
Posts: 230
From: England
Posted: 11-10-2006 01:05   
For a little tour for the website couldnt you redirct to as new a page and use back and next buttons so they have the time to read it as the please. i notice with muds that i tend to try out every now and then the tours are to much text and not enough time to actualy read it, and scrolling up can be a pain, because by the time you've finished you have missed like 2-3 more tour information.

  View Profile of Cradle   Email Cradle          Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 11-10-2006 03:25   
Quote:

On 07-10-2006 13:55, Karya wrote:
Would it be possible for your client, Havoc, to have several modes (similar to the original Wireplay client)? For example F1 would be the newbie mode, F2 would be for more experienced players and would have features as Tharg suggested and eventually, but not a priority, a F3 mode aimed at wizzes?


Absolutely. I'd just like to be clear that what ever the newbie-biased one was (say F1) that that would be the first priority for me.

The other side of the coin is that it's very hard to make the client to suit everyone's taste. And once a download starts *growing* in size people will complain. Although perhaps less so these days.
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Havoc
pioneer

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 327
From: portland, oregon, usa
Posted: 11-10-2006 03:28   
Quote:

On 07-10-2006 16:50, Karya wrote:
Something this site has always lacked is a proper newbie/help/info section. Something like this:



The first lin kis my favourite of the lot, mostly because the layout is well done; The text is not overwelming.

It's good to have a wealth of information. This is then for the newbie after they're hooked.

What I think is the hardest is the newbie-hooking material. What three pages of three paragraphs do we want them to read in order to decide that Mud2 is the one for them?

I agree with Cradle. It's got to be bite-sized amounts. Each easily digested, involving without being too waffly.
_________________
Havoc


  View Profile of Havoc      Edit/Delete This Post   Reply with quote
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
[New Topic]   [Reply]
Lock this Topic Move this Topic Delete this Topic

These forums may be read by anyone, but only registered mudII.co.uk
players may post. When posting, please refrain from behaviour
not tolerated in the game.

These forums are moderated.

Powered by phpBB
Copyright © 2000 - 2001 The phpBB Group

phpBB Created this page in 0.033223 seconds.