TripleA Website

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TripleA Website

The Red Baron
This post was updated on .

Hello All,

The TripleA website has been launched at http://triplea-game.org/

If you would like to help out with anything, here are a few links to get you started:

  • Take a look at the Github repo to browse the source code or look at what we have already done. The README has basic instructions for contributors.
  • Start an issue if you’re looking to report a bug/suggest a feature.
  • Head over to the Trello board to discuss content you would like to add to the site, or see the progress being made on the site.
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

ZjelcoP
Hey there,

I am definitely interested in your draft and ideas. I'd love to see a new and integrated TripleA page appear that will bring all sub-communities, information, downloads or their links and competitions together into one attractive site. This idea has been proposed a few times and discussed but never executed. So I decided to see what I can do to make it happen. But as I'm completely new to all this I had to start from scratch and spent the past two weeks on learning some html, css, mysql and setting up WAMP. Am enjoying it a lot so far, but also realize that it's a long road to getting the site up the way I'm envisioning it now. So if anyone with more advanced skills than me is taking it on or helping me out that would be great.

The matter is being discussed by the development team on github though without any definite plans resulting from it yet.
https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/issues/102
https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/issues/125

Disclaimer:
since I'm new to all this I might be completely off on some idea's or understandings of how things work.
Also my personal life will become much busier soon, so I'm unsure how much attention I will be able to give this in the future. My plan was to keep working on it silently until I got something real to show, wouldn't want to start a vibrant discussion that dies without any result. But since you're working on the same thing...

My proposed ideas so far on the website:

Main goals:
-Make site look attractive
-combine all functionalities
-Make it easy for newcomers to start playing (automated help functions/downloads)

1)-Functionalities:

Forums:
-development/map-building (like sourceforge now)
-Strategy+competitions/ladder (like warclub now)
liveChat
Downloads
-either host on same server or linked to Git.
Ladder
-with automated scoring as in warclub now.
Lobby-server

Future functionalities:
-have game/lobby-server visible in, or run within the website. Show new-comers and regular site-visitors what is going on there. Possibly be able to chat or join games from within website. This to tie the two communities together and keep it all in one place for newbies and the non-computersavvy folks. Though for safety and preference of use the lobby would also run independent and without the website as it does now.
-Auto-guide for install and update through website. Make it easy, automated and foolproof for a new visitor to get a game up.

2)-location:

Where would this website be hosted?
In my view there is no problem in hosting it on a paid server as the warclub is now.
I'm confident fundraising will meet the required funds. Latest Warclub goal was met in no-time. Also observed that many enthusiasts were willing to pay good money to play on the now offline GTO-site. Other players put up big prize money on tournaments to promote Triple-A. I'd be happy to pay for the first year, but sure we'd find the funds otherwise. For instance http://www.arvixe.com/ for $3.20 per month seems sufficient to me.

I'm not sure the free options (like github and simplybuilt) could meet the requirements and flexibility for the site as I envisioned it.

3)-name:

http://triplea.sourceforge.net as a name seems very well established as a link in other sites and in the search-engines. Though we'd probably have to let go of it at some point. Not sure how to remedy the links and fame other than redirecting.

TripleAWarclub.org: already established in the community, though not very big now. Think on average some 10 visitors at any time. Seems simple enough.

New name? Don't think TripleA.xx as any domain is available as far as i could tell, though would probably be best.
 
4)-Development:

My plan would be to use a CSM like drupal for this.
Have been looking at how the Warclub is built. Php is next on my exploring list.
I was told by a professional that the integration of TripleA with the site is possible, though i doubt that is something i could learn. Remains a more distant future goal.

5)-Artistic design:

Not great at this and not something that can be easily learned. Love to see it if you have anything on this.
Hepster has also been busy in the past with this.
http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/Proposed-revamp-of-the-Triple-A-Site-tp7580219.html 
He might want to contribute with his wonderfull artistic skills.

6)-challenges:

a)-Import sourceforge forum posts: to me they have been a valuable resource when building a map. Also they're part of the history of TripleA.
I believe most of it should be preserved and preferably imported to the new forum.

b)-Import Warclub forum posts: there are some interesting strategy posts and other discussions that are worth preserving. Many other posts are merely about past games and tournaments. These i believe can be discarded.

c)-Importing these forums might prove to be peanuts or a real challenge, I can't say yet.

d)-Replicate the current ladders running on Warclub. Though they are not very active anymore. I believe many players at the top haven't participated for over a year. Maybe start from scratch. Best consult the ladder-players on this.

e)-Importing and merging user-accounts from sourceforge, warclub and possibly the lobby.
logging in just once to be able to post in forum and chat/play in lobby would seem best.




So this is what I've been cooking up for quite some time now.
For now I only have idea's to show...
Would like to hear your idea's and what you and others think.

Sorry for the long post, here's a potato:









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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

redrum
Administrator
Yep. We are definitely looking at doing this but haven't made any decisions yet so I'd like to hear ideas/suggestions/etc. Definitely looking for some people to assist as well since we only have a few devs and we are mainly focused on the TripleA source code.

ZjelcoP brings up lots of good points and the main things I think we have to decide on initially are:
1. Where does the new site live (github, new site, warclub, etc)?
2. Are we gonna merge with the warclub web site or continue to maintain 2 sites?
3. Should we merge/move this forum and warclub forum?

I think most people agree that trying to consolidate things would be beneficial but maybe we do it in stages.
ice
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

ice
ow this sounds exiting!!!

unfortuante i cant be of much help other then moral support and offering some sugestions and feedback

if this is gona happen i would defenatly advice for 1 website, meaning merging the 3 existing ones all to 1

namely: warclub, sourceforge and github

hopefully this can be done at some point, and i cheer to you who can work on it, i also think an attractive website can indirectly help with engine development, since hey where gona get so many more visitors then and they all wanna help you guys with development  :)

good luck

ice
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

Cernel
In reply to this post by redrum
To me the 2 different websites TA has seem pretty good already; at least just looking at them.

And I think that having well separated player and developer websites is a good idea for many reasons.

So I don't understand the matter.

Changing or making prettier the website seems close to worthless to me, or at least very low priority, aside from developer things I don't understand, of course.

But I'm willingly to help with very simple image requests (like the logos Hepps proposed, or some sort of artistic collage of maps, etc.), if stuff clears out.

Cheers
History plays dice
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

The Red Baron
In reply to this post by ZjelcoP

Wow! I’m glad to see that so many people are this enthusiastic! Well, here are some of my thoughts as well.

First, I don’t mind having several sites, as it adds a little depth to TripleA, and makes the community seem quite large. I also will say that Github pages would be really cool and is free (and so far TripleA devs have tried to not pay for a whole lot). It limits one to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but that also brings a lot of extra simplicity for upkeep and such (plus no stupid hosting companies to deal with ).

Of load time, I really would like to see a simpler page, because, speaking from experience, a user will not wait for all of your images, no matter how beautiful they are. Thus, we are torn. Many of the commercial games have useless and slow sites because of all the graphics, but the open-source stuff often lacks originality. We want the perfect blend

I do not claim to be the best in any way, shape, or form, here. I do have some experience, and I hope to be of help, but my ideas might not suit everyone’s tastes. My homepage design (so far) is very simple.

Here are some of my first comments:

  • It has three images: a logo, a collage of screenshots, and a little teaser with all the roundels in the footer.
  • It is lightning-fast, even on slow servers and internet connections.
  • It could use some help as far as getting closer to looking like a game’s website, than a open-source project like PHP’s website.
  • It is personalized, functional, and could have been put on Github pages last week (the HTML coding for the homepage is done)

It also has some issues:

  • Contrast is not optimal in all places as normal for a rough, thrown-together, design like this; it needs some major polish
  • I know that all of the immensely talented artists that contribute to this game will scream at the simplicity, but I am willing to incorporate any of hepster’s, or anyone else’s ideas, while keeping load times reasonable.
  • It’s just a homepage (for now). I could get you a functioning site all in HTML5 and CSS3 (backwards compatible to a reasonable extent with polyfills) faster than you could spin the lid off a pickle jar (ok, maybe exaggerating, but you get the idea ).

Anyways, I hope I can be some help, and I will commence on the rest of the site if directed (basically duplicating the function of the triplea.sf.net site with some added stuff).

I am making the design for now. You guys tell me, and I can start on other stuff as well. Again, I really like that the TAWC forum and this one are separate, but that’s just me. Maybe this forum could go on the new site and we leave TAWC alone. But then we’d have to buy hosting. Anyways, looking forward to your comments.

"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

Cernel
Map selection seems cool; I would just suggest also including 270BC too, in the screenshot, so to have stuff from classic time to world war 2, with napoleon in between of course. Would give kinda more omnicomprensive feeling.

Cheers
History plays dice
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

The Red Baron
@Cernel: I argee entirely. In fact, I have already added it, but will wait for more suggestions before posting an updated screenshot. Plus I like the mod itself so much, it would be rude to snub it
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

ZjelcoP
Perhaps for a collage you like this:
http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/Frontpage-Art-tp7587213.html
Though might need some finishing touches

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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

Cernel
In reply to this post by The Red Baron
"Rome defeating the Carthaginian Empire"

Eheh, not very easy recreating that on 270BC, tho it happened to me 3 times so far, but only with dice.
History plays dice
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

redrum
Administrator
Looks like a good start. My one comment on that homepage is please don't make it the awful gray color. I really would like to update TripleA itself to not be that awful color either. I would suggest just a very light gray or even white background. Much more refreshing and light.
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

Frostion
In reply to this post by The Red Baron
@The Red Baron
Nice work! But I of course have some constructive criticism .
My first impression told me that it was good and eye-pleasing. After looking at the details i see improvement possibilities. I can't se the point of the red download button in the top right. The download in the middle is well placed and easy to see. I like the grey/red/black theme. But the red text in the bottom menu is nearly unreadable. Black would be better. I think the row of flags could be mistaken for website language options.

Regarding the the middle picture/collage; I think ppl would get uninterested in any picture you place there after their tenth or so return. To anyone but new visitors, the picture would just be "waste of space" that you had to scroll down from. I think it would be great with an image/welcoming screen that was not a still fixed picture. If it was somehow possible to have a smaller interactive picture there it could be awesome. Like a picture of the most played map with a "Top Maps" scroll-arrow pointing to the left and a "New Maps" scroll-arrow pointing to the right. And if it was possible to have the "next" map in line there already but small and semi transparent until you press the arrow would be way cooler
Who knows! The map picture previews might even have map info texts also.
But I have absolutely no idea how to make html stuff like this. Maybe some ... what do you call it ... java boxes /widgets?
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

Cernel
In reply to this post by The Red Baron
Even tho it may be correct leaving it out, on a second thought, because TripleA is partially bad at representing warfare in the pre-gunpowder or early gunpowder era, or almost anyone but WW2. For example, ships at the time in which boarding was a main element of sea warfare should have their power modified depending on their cargo, or, better, have the cargo fighting while the ships getting mostly captured. None of this is in TripleA. Also, even representing WWI is bad because you can't put air into transports; so, for example, you have no way to produce a fighter in US and ship it to Europe, without having carriers. Or even having ships transporting troops and naval bombarding is not really supported, because a ship can unload in a territory and naval bombard another one, which makes no sense (especially since it can unload only in 1 territory, yet it can naval bombard whatever). Or think about the ridiculous fact that the flyers of lord of the rings can't land in captured territories (unless you totally disable removing air), making nazgulls behaving like aircrafts needing friendly airports. Etc. etc..

So, as a matter of being trutful, it would probably be more coherent, at least at this stage of the engine, having only WW2 maps on the main page. Cause not WW2 maps are not really a TripleA thing, but just mapmakers getting wild.
History plays dice
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

The Red Baron
In reply to this post by redrum
Well, here is what I have for you guys. I can't please everyone, so I have made several screenshots, mixing and matching.

First, here is the original design with the addition of 270 BC.

Now, here is one with Zjelco's collage

Now with a lighter design that redrum might like better


@Redrum: Did I go to light, or is that better? I can't say I mind it really...

@Frostion: I agree entirely about contrast issues. That was probably one of the greatest weaknesses of my design in the first place. I have tried to remedy some of them in the new screenshots. About color scheme, I'll probably do what redrum wants for the moment, since he's the dev in the thread, but maybe we could have a poll or something?

The middle collage is intended for new visitors. It wasn't originally meant for function, not saying it couldn't be, but if you guys want it to be a slider of Zjelco's GOTMs or something, I could do that...you might need to expound, but I think everything you have suggested is possible without server-side scripting, PHP, Java, or whatever, which Github does not allow. The slider deal shouldn't be hard, maybe a little time-consuming, if that
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

ZjelcoP
In reply to this post by redrum
Nice work RedBaron!

redrum wrote
Yep. We are definitely looking at doing this but haven't made any decisions yet so I'd like to hear ideas/suggestions/etc. Definitely looking for some people to assist as well since we only have a few devs and we are mainly focused on the TripleA source code.

ZjelcoP brings up lots of good points and the main things I think we have to decide on initially are:
1. Where does the new site live (github, new site, warclub, etc)?
2. Are we gonna merge with the warclub web site or continue to maintain 2 sites?
3. Should we merge/move this forum and warclub forum?

I think most people agree that trying to consolidate things would be beneficial but maybe we do it in stages.
I agree that these are good questions to get answered. However I'm not sure how decision-making process works in an open-source-project like this.
But to keep it going let's zoom in a bit and get opinions and if possible facts. Also I'm trying to understand some things.

As to making the website prettier I definately welcome a makeover as RedBaron is making.
People over several forums have expressed to be completely put off and hesitant of continuing when visiting http://triplea.sourceforge.net/mywiki/TripleA for the first time. The amount of potential players lost due to this is unknown, but I believe substantial and is fairly easy to fix. So a priority seems appropriate to me.

1. Where does the new site live (github, new site, warclub, etc)?

First off: I understand that the reason to move development to Github is to make the programming and contribution to this easier. Also more people around on Github with the right knowledge.
What I see now is that the Github-repository is mainly used by the guys working on the engine, with a structure suitable for this. It's like the garage where the actual work and design is being done. To me it doesn't resemble anything like this forum. I could see that it might be annoying or obstructive to have people that are not actually coding anything coming in and commenting. Correct?
 
So the webpage would then be a separate environment and just happen to be also hosted on github?

What are good reasons to actually move this forum over to Github?
A: Will sourceforge evict us because the repository moved?
B: More users/better publicity?
C: "I also will say that Github pages would be really cool". What makes it cool? Github is new to me...
D: Certain benefits of having development and forum/webpage on same site (technical or promotional (finding new devs))?
E: .....

Possible obstructions I see:
A: Losing the well established http://triplea.sourceforge.net name. Would time and redirecting solve that?
B: Importing the forumposts: to me that seems like a must. Anybody disagree? Have no idea of technical implications. Anybody?

To summarize: why moving at all instead of just a makeover which seems almost finished?


2. Are we gonna merge with the warclub web site or continue to maintain 2 sites?

Apparently not everyone agrees consolidating things is beneficial.

"First, I don’t mind having several sites, as it adds a little depth to TripleA, and makes the community seem quite large."  
Depth: yes.  Seem larger? To me and I believe also to new visitors it only makes it seem smaller as there is less activity per site. Also believe consolidation would actually make the community more active and grow. 1+1=3

"I really like that the TAWC forum and this one are separate."
"And I think that having well separated player and developer websites is a good idea for many reasons"

Could you eleborate? Why you like them separate, and what are those good reasons?

Anyone else have opinions?

3: Should we merge/move this forum and warclub forum?

If merging could Github also technically host
-all download-files
-the lobbyserver
-allow for ladder which involves php and mysql now?

If not merging I'd say let the warclub be. I'll see if I can improve it in due time.

Cheers


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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

redrum
Administrator
So I definitely prefer the lighter one. An image gallery/wheel of some sort is an interesting idea. Something like this: http://www.bkosborne.com/jquery-waterwheel-carousel

Also, I think we need to have links to the best places to play multiplayer such as this page: http://triplea.sourceforge.net/mywiki/FindOpponents

1. So we could just makeover the existing one though I think we are slowly trying to decouple from sourceforge for most things though file hosting is possibly the exception. It just sort of seems like the next step plus we could stand up the new site in parallel then slowly redirect over to it.

2. My vote is definitely for consolidating but looks like there are some people that prefer status quo. I think it would just be easier to maintain and navigate if we combined them. This is definitely more work up front though and would need buy in from more people. So maybe we push this off until a phase 2 and just focus on revamping the site separately first.

3. So Github doesn't offer forum hosting so we would need to either merge his forum with warclub, keep this one, or host it somewhere else.
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

Veqryn
Administrator
FYI, the site should be mobile friendly...
Please contribute to the TripleA 2013 donation drive:
http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/2013-TripleA-Donation-Drive-tp7583455.html
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

ubernaut
a few thoughts:

#1 wordpress also does github and SVN so i know its possible to maintain both things in tandem, although i have no idea if this creates a bunch of extra work.

#2 on the design i agree the site should be mobile friendly it looks like it is already or could be made so without much trouble the only issues i see there are the footer and to a lesser extant the main navigation. I also wondering what happens if someone tries to actually download triplea on a mobile.

#3 another design question wondering if we can achieve that main font via web font rather than an image would maybe be a little better seo-wise.
ice
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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

ice
In reply to this post by ZjelcoP
wel there are tons of stuff that coul be improved for both sides, i reallly like those front page pictures, and yes i do think such a page can make people stay and read more, another simple thing is forum options

this website defenatly lacks any of the handy forum options around, and warclub is an even bigger mess, example properly quote someone or copy and paste some artilcle, this will be all screwed up.

with 3 forums as it is now, warclub dev and github, you expect everyone to login to 3 different websites if they really wanna get involved in various different things, i personaly think this is our BIGGEST problem.

people are asking if bugs are being fixed in the lobby, people are asking mods to fix the engine imediatle :P what i mean is, lobby people mostly dont get involved and are too lazy to post any sort of bugreport etc, best thing to do is would make it much more userfriendly, and this means a combined login to 1 website, and preferably the same account to use for the lobby (i know this would make all mods happy :))

u can then always split up the forums and give the right people acces to some parts of it, mods forum (the bunker) devs forum etc they would be invissible for the regular visitor

ice

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Re: TripleA Website Redesign/Migration to Github Pages

Frostion
In reply to this post by The Red Baron
@Redrum + @The Red Baron
That http://www.bkosborne.com/jquery-waterwheel-carouselis pretty close to what I had imagined. But that specific system seems to be only semi-compatible with my old Android/Galaxy S2 mobile (Only Works when tilting the mobile to widescreen/horizontal position). Nevertheless, something very similar to that could be used for slides with all maps and hopefully with added text info boxes.

If we went more advanced, then multiple sliders with “Top Maps” (most played?), “New Maps” and also links representing links to “News”, “Hot Posts” (on the different forums?), “Games of the Months”, “Winners of the Months” (?) and other stuff. Of course it would be best if it all was kept simple, automatic or with as little dev maintenance as possible.
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