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Online Management System


Guest Hieremias

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Guest Hieremias

Hi guys, I'm a friend of Renzatic's, he asked me to post something here. He said you guys are looking to build a new website with a system that would allow you to manage and track workflow. I build content management systems professionally, and I absolutely love the Thief games, so I can help in this regard if it's needed.

 

So in a nutshell, here's what I can and can't do:

 

What I can do:

 

- Database-driven web management systems. If you guys want something to monitor and control workflow, assign tasks, update team members on job status, etc I can build that. I'll need more detailed requirements of course, so I know what you want it to do. I would prefer to build it in ASP and mySQL, but PHP is also an option if people really want that.

 

- Basic web design. I can make simple but elegant websites. Something like http://sscar.musicexplosion.net/site/ is do-able (Renzatic pointed me to that, it's another Doom 3 mod).

 

- Remain committed to the project. I've been bitching to Renz for months that I want to see the Dark Mod completed. I love the Thief games, and if I can help bring the Dark Mod to reality I would be very happy.

 

- In the long-run, basic C++ AI programming. It's been a while since I used C++, but I did take some university courses on AI and if you guys want help on that, I could try. I've never done any game programming though so I don't know how much use I would be. I have a BSc in Computer Science, if that matters (I would say it doesn't).

 

What I cannot do:

 

- Graphics-heavy websites. I am not very skilled with graphics. Now if someone else made the images I could certainly use them. But I wouldn't be able to come up with something like http://www.thief2x.com by myself, that's a bit out of my league. I'm a web systems programmer, not a graphics artist.

 

- Flash. Yuck.

 

- Game textures, modelling, animations, sounds, etc. I wouldn't know where to start.

 

So anyway, if you guys are interested let me know. I can build a (non-functioning) prototype / mockup, to see if you guys like it. I read the other "I will build your website" thread, and.... uh, I won't be like that guy. :) If you don't like it I won't freak out.

 

Just please, please don't let this become Yet Another Unfinished Mod. :)

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Hi guys, I'm a friend of Renzatic's, he asked me to post something here.

 

He already told me on IRC about you. Welcome. :)

 

- Database-driven web management systems.  If you guys want something to monitor and control workflow, assign tasks, update team members on job status, etc I can build that.  I'll need more detailed requirements of course, so I know what you want it to do.  I would prefer to build it in ASP and mySQL, but PHP is also an option if people really want that.

 

PHP is ok. I'm running a server with MySQL and PHP is installed. For our internal development this is no problem, but my server can not handle a large load. For our public website I don't think we will need this anyway. Only probably something which allows easily adding images and text for news. Don't know how Spring does this currently. Maybe manually, but I'm just guessing here.

 

- Basic web design.  I can make simple but elegant websites.  Something like http://sscar.musicexplosion.net/site/ is do-able (Renzatic pointed me to that, it's another Doom 3 mod).

 

That would be nice. Though I must say I prefer the looks of T2X much more. :)

 

- In the long-run, basic C++ AI programming.  It's been a while since I used C++, but I did take some university courses on AI and if you guys want help on that, I could try.  I've never done any game programming though so I don't know how much use I would be.  I have a BSc in Computer Science, if that matters (I would say it doesn't).

 

That would certainly help us. :)

 

I'm a web systems programmer, not a graphics artist.

 

No problem. As you may have noticed ;) we have a lot of very good artists on the team who will happily provide content. :)

 

- Flash.  Yuck.

 

Good. :)

 

- Game textures, modelling, animations, sounds, etc.  I wouldn't know where to start.

 

Also not an issue.

 

So anyway, if you guys are interested let me know.  I can build a (non-functioning) prototype / mockup, to see if you guys like it.

 

Yeah. Actually there are two different requirements. One is four our internal needs and the other is for the public sites. As these are two different servers, they can not be mixed up.

 

I don't know how much work that would be, but one thing I also had in mind, but couldn't find anything suitable is a good bugtracking system. I don't know if this would be out of your scope though. I tried bugzuilla, but it lacks certain features that I would like to see. The other requirement that we currently have should be much easier to do. A tracking system for our content.

 

I read the other "I will build your website" thread, and.... uh, I won't be like that guy.  :)  If you don't like it I won't freak out.

 

I hope so. :) He started spamming some members email and forum flooding, but nothing serious. :)

 

Just please, please don't let this become Yet Another Unfinished Mod.  :)

 

We certainly try not to. :)

 

You should also register on this site. Otherwise you can not use PM and we can not take you in as a member.

Gerhard

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Okay I registered.

 

Yeah. Actually there are two different requirements. One is four our internal needs and the other is for the public sites. As these are two different servers, they can not be mixed up.

 

I don't know how much work that would be, but one thing I also had in mind, but couldn't find anything suitable is a good bugtracking system. I don't know if this would be out of your scope though. I tried bugzuilla, but it lacks certain features that I would like to see. The other requirement that we currently have should be much easier to do. A tracking system for our content.

 

Two different systems. What do you want the public site to do? Just a news update? To be honest, unless you're making daily updates, manually adding items is probably easier if the guy doing it knows HTML. I can still build a new webpage if you want, but if you want something like T2X you should probably ask someone else, or supply me with the images. I can barely draw a stick man using a ruler.

 

I could build a simple bug tracking system, provided I know what you want it to accomplish. What is missing from bugzilla? And what else do you want the internal site to accomplish? I was picturing a system where each registered member (teammate) could:

 

- add a task (ie "model of a 3-legged table")

- claim to be working on it (ie "3-legged table is being worked on by Renzatic")

- post task updates ("3-legged table currently has 2 legs, working on 3rd")

- post screenshots

 

And all of these tasks would be listed in a chart, that could be sorted and searched.

 

Is this what you were thinking of? I could build a non-functioning prototype and then you could offer suggestions, features, or trash it.

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Two different systems.  What do you want the public site to do?  Just a news update?  To be honest, unless you're making daily updates, manually adding items is probably easier if the guy doing it knows HTML.

 

Springheel is doing that. And we don't update so often, so a full news management system might be an overkill. Still a redesign would be in order. I guess you should talk to Spring about that, as we would need some concepts for that and see what can be done.

 

I can still build a new webpage if you want, but if you want something like T2X you should probably ask someone else, or supply me with the images.  I can barely draw a stick man using a ruler.

 

As I said. Supplying the images is not the problem. :)

 

I could build a simple bug tracking system, provided I know what you want it to accomplish.  What is missing from bugzilla?  And what else do you want the internal site to accomplish?  I was picturing a system where each registered member (teammate) could:

 

The one thing that is missing from bugzilla is that you can subclass reports in groups. You can create a product and add some keywaords, but you can't create a group with subgroups. I would like reflect bug reporting to the areas that we have, to make it easy to assign it to a developer.

 

For example: The major group would be art, sound, coding and mapping. Under Art we would have a section for models, textures, and animations. It would be very helpfull if the grouping is done in a generic way so there is not an arbitrary limit on subgroups. Databasewise this can easily be done by just specifying a parent in a task. This way you can easily create a tree hierarchy with arbitrary levels without an additional effort to support this.

 

- add a task (ie "model of a 3-legged table")

- claim to be working on it (ie "3-legged table is being worked on by Renzatic")

- post task updates ("3-legged table currently has 2 legs, working on 3rd")

- post screenshots

 

I don't think that we will need this level of detail but the concept is going in the right direction. :) I guess it would be enough to have a progress meter, or a state, so we can specify in which state that model is in (example: Modelling, skinning, animation).

And there should be a description we can add. Making this to fine grained as you suggested will probably result in people not using it, because they think it will be to much effort to maintain it. And of course the name of the member currently responsible should also be listed.

 

And all of these tasks would be listed in a chart, that could be sorted and searched.

 

Yes. So we can do an easy search. Which model needs to be skinned, so we can select one and hand out the task.

 

Is this what you were thinking of?  I could build a non-functioning prototype and then you could offer suggestions, features, or trash it.

 

That would be fine. :)

Gerhard

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Springheel is doing that. And we don't update so often, so a full news management system might be an overkill. Still a redesign would be in order. I guess you should talk to Spring about that, as we would need some concepts for that and see what can be done.

 

Yeah, right now I update the main site manually, and we never really do it more than twice a month, so no biggie there. We do need to update the look of it, but it isn't a priority right now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sounds like you could benefit from a custom Mambo install. I've just put up a few of these, and they are incredibly easy to install, mod, and customize. Hieremias could probably do a bang-up job using that as a code base.

 

And don't be too quick to smack down Flash! While doing an entire CMS site w/ a Flash front end would require something like Flex, there are lots of advantages, especially if it's built correctly. The main problem at this stage is that there aren't many pre-built applications, and certainly almost none that are free/open like Mambo. However, you could use Flash for some instructional stuff, interactive demos, and Central content. Mostly whizz-bang kinds of thing for the moment, but could be useful down the road.

 

Lemme know if you are interested in Mambo - or just check it out:

 

http://mamboserver.com/

 

http://mambohut.com/

 

http://mamboportal.com/

 

Also, I do a fair amount of design work for web pages and GUIs - if you still need web graphics or heavy Photoshop work, drop me a line.

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What is everyone's #1 complaint about incorporating Flash into our site? I'm just curious. Is it that you don't want to install the browser plug-in? That you think the incorporation of Flash means a pop-up banner will jump around our page that you have to find the "[X]" button to close? That it will be blinking bright colors on and off in the background? That it will take 5 minutes to load our page? That you hate change? That you're afraid of animated graphics? That you think it shows pretentiousness? That you view web pages in text only? What?? LOL. I just seen so much negativity against Flash that I'm dumbfounded, thus I'm curious.

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Holdover from Jakob Nielsen:

 

FLASH == BAD

 

I'm so tired of this argument that 'there are lots of bad Flash sites, so Flash will make us look bad'.

 

1) Jakob Nielsen needs to update his research. The last thing he published from actual research was done in the 60s and 70s.

 

2) Nielsen needs to come out and say it's the designer's fault, not Flash. He still hasn't said this, despite years of getting blown by Macromedia.

 

3) It's the designer's fault if a Flash site looks bad, operates incorrectly, or has some other problem. One might as well condemn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and all imaging formats. Oh, and let's throw in MySQL and PHP because some jackass found a security flaw in phpBB and proceeded to screw half the BBS world. Hell, Photoshop must suck because so many people make bad art. And let's not even start on compact digital cameras!

 

Ok, I'm done for the moment. Let's just say I have some opinions on using Flash or any other technology :D

 

Where was I? Well, it probably wasn't important, anyway :blink:

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I don't like flash (or similar sites) for one simple reason. It delays the loading of the site. When I want to access a site, I usually want to acces the content and don't have a flash movie forced on me. Don't know if flash can be used for other things as well, but an intro movie is a bad thing for me. If I want to see a movie the siteowner can provide it as download, which I prefer much more.

Gerhard

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Flash can be used for many other things than an intro movie (rollover buttons, etc.). File sizes can also be kept very small, depending on the use. And I agree with Loki in that Flash isn't bad; it's the designers. The Thief website was Flash-heavy and slow for 56K, unfortunately. The end result is cool, though. Not sure if they have one, but that site would've been a good candidate to also have a non-Flash version.

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I've been using Flash since v4 hit the market, and been on the beta team for every release from 5 on. I've run a Macromedia user group for the last 4 years. I've only ever done an intro one time just to play with some animation techniques, which were heavily script-based. And that was offered as a 'goodie' on the site...

 

The vast majority of sites I've developed with Flash use it to configure content easily. Only a few are meant to be eye candy. Over time, it actually becomes easier to develop robust, rich sites in Flash very quickly, especially when dealing with dynamic data and small animations (buttons, etc).

 

I view Flash as a wrapper for content, whether it's a website, game platform, or mobile device application (yes, X-box games have used Flash as a menu interface, and many home automation systems are using the Flash API as a configurable interface, much like the context-sensitive consoles on Star Trek: TNG). So, Flash should be viewed as a front end that doesn't have the same browser compatibility problems that CSS, JS, or even HTML has. If the player is current, it looks the same everywhere and acts the same everywhere. And the player is a tiny download, which is usually included in most browsers today.

 

Anyway, I'm not trying to push Flash, just trying to give some information to hopefully eliminate what I see as an unfair bias.

 

Back to the subject at hand - I think something like Mambo wrapped around this forum software would be an excellent (and pre-buit) solution. It has lots of content editing features, and some of the modules are built with the idea of having a CMS or versioning system online. There might be some bug trackers out there, already, or one could easily be integrated once the features are built.

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hmm... sorry, but I don't know enough about actual bug trackers to be much use in that area. Seems like a simple addition to a db. Maybe if you can find one written for a PHP/MySQL install, it would be very easy to modify. Heck, it might be as simple as an extra column in a table, with lookups to another small category table.

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Yeah. But I don't know PHP that good. I can read it and understand it enough to fix bugs, which I already have done, but I don't really intend to learn it just for this because this would deviate me from what I want to achieve.

It should be pretty simple to add a column to an existing bugtracker software like Bugzilla, in order to make parenting possible in a generic way. Only thing that would be needed then is some code that creates the tree for the webpage in a managable way.

Gerhard

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I completely understand about not wanting to learn a new language just to do what appears to be a simple one-time task. If I get a chance in the next week or so, I'll d/l Bugzilla and see how it's put together. The functionality might already be there, just hiding.

 

Has anyone heard from Hieremias?

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Guest Guest_Stardog

Whatever happens, please don't use a CMS unless you have a great original template. I hate CMS's with a passion. They are generally treated as an "insta-website" with some random template downloaded from a website. I think a CMS for this mod would be absolute overkill for the small amount of sections you have, and the small amount of updates you do.

 

A simple redesign would be more than enough.

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Hi guys, sorry for the lack of updates. I'm still working on things, getting the work management system going. I've been insanely busy with work (the kind that pays money), and I'm having to plan my wedding ("you make the decisions honey" has not been working so far), so it's been slower than I figured. I haven't abandoned it though, honest.

 

When I have something that looks good I'll post some screenshots with explanations.

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