Going forward with the CWA

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Toshiba-3
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Going forward with the CWA

Post by Toshiba-3 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:23 pm

4 years after the new style and 3 after the last update, it's time to rethink some stuff. There's less and less visits on the CWA or actually any Carma forum. Even though it would have been nice for things to go the Doom or Quake way community-wise, it is not the end of the road either and times like these are natural. Much older and quieter communities are still around.

It would be nice for the board to continue to evolve and accomodate that slower pace. Here are some ideas that I plan for the upcoming weeks:

:swink: Sort the forums differently. Bye-bye devWAM:
- News merged into General Discussion
- Files, Tutorials & Infos merged into Noobs Start Here
- devWAM main merged into C1/C2
then:
- Tech forum merged into Noobs Start Here, then the subforum is renamed
- TDR2000 and C:MD subforums moved into The Vault ? The Vault then renamed?
^ it's either that or we keep the four Carmageddon subforums in order.
- C1/C2 subforum split into two separate C1 and C2 ones (shadow copies can be used to leave topics that cover both games in each subforum)

:ssmile: Keep one main style and improve it:
My idea here is to keep the piranha one with some elements of the narrow header. (I imagine the autoscum logo with the CWA letters as teeth being centered in the banner.) The little previews of the last posted pics would have to go ; while it looks nice, it requires maintenance and the script slows things down. It could be replaced by a single long image randomly picked among a preselected lot.
Anyway, just one main theme, to make it easier to work on. Current ones are still rough around the edges. The oldschool one can stay but won't be updated much at all.

:sbsmile: The biggest change:
While the "latest news from devWAM" thing would disappear, I'd like to replace the frontpage by a feed of the latest C1/C2/TDR/C:MD topics. Exactly like the frontpage of the Func_Msgboard (http://www.celephais.net/board/news.php). Or rather, while posting the new topic, you could choose to make it also a news item.
The frontpage could also feature news from other sites, like a ticker or something.


Any opinion on all this? I'm also especially interested in example of other old gaming communities that have a great platform/portal.
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Harmalarm
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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by Harmalarm » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:15 am

Well first I don't follow many other old gaming communities. I do see some news/feed setups like Func_Msgboard. Goldeneye Vault for example. I guess that's the main theme across the board (pun intended)

I'm glad that you are giving CWA another overhaul! My thoughts:

- Separating C1 and C2 subforums is a good thing if you ask me. I'm a big C2 fan, as you know, and having the topics presented to me related to that version has my preference.

- I still think that the devWAM could have it's own place, but that is more of a preference. The techy topics are quite specific and I like to have them in one place. What is your main reason for merging it with the C1 and C2 subforums? To keep it simpler? On the other hand separating the tech C1 from the tech C2 topics would be okay I guess as they are now mixed in devWAM.
Or rather, while posting the new topic, you could choose to make it also a news item.
- Probably easiest, so long as not everyone turns their topic/post into a news item.

- I prefer the cwa_narrow logo to the cwa_piranha one... It seems more outspoken if you ask me. The preview images are so so. I never use them, so in my opinion they can go.

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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by Toshiba-3 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:38 pm

The whole idea behind the sorting/merging is to get subforums that fit actual needs more closely but then also help the board seem more lively. C1/C2 editing is still going on so many years after, and with this retrogaming era C1 shines more and more. Just seems fair to split the boards.

I'm just quite concerned about the TDR/C:MD subforums fate, they are rather dead but being put into the Vault seem too much, maybe fuse them together and call the new forum "Other Carmageddon games" and make it sound like it includes Carma64 and CarmaPSX too?

About devWAM, it's just that it seems to me like CWA=devWAM now somehow. Like having the separation is now obsolete.

You have a good point about the techy topics, and maybe a simple solution maybe the ability to flag the topic as "tech" just like the "news" flag mentionned earlier? And then it would appear with a different icon in the topic list, and also on the front page under a column "Latest tech talks" (yeah, I had a look at that GoldenEye Vault site! Columns are so 2000s but still useful!) I guess visually shuch a column should be positionned on the left with content slightly less impactant than the news feed.

About the News flag, moderators could unflag topics that don't need a frontpage exposure?

About the style: what I have in mind now (I should really make a mockup already) is really a mix between the two using the black/yellow piranha. I understand the MagnaChem CWA is very readable, but I just feel like the whole thing is too... serious?
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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by Razor » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:07 am

Personally I don't like the idea of separating C1/C2 up into two forums, solely due to the lack of activity though this isn't a bad idea for archiving and searching purposes.

I was also thinking, the news section could perhaps have some sort of integration or something alongside Wasted as Wasted is now pretty much defunct, I no longer update it with news due to time constraints and Newton has no interest in Carmageddon anymore, perhaps try and get the domains/databases/data from him and merge things together, I don't think it would be a bad idea at all to have a proper repository (similar to Wasted) located here.
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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by matt » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:51 am

Toshiba-3 wrote: - Tech forum merged into Noobs Start Here, then the subforum is renamed
- TDR2000 and C:MD subforums moved into The Vault ? The Vault then renamed?
^ it's either that or we keep the four Carmageddon subforums in order.
Great proposal Tosh. Merge all the things! FWIW, and it's very much a personal taste, I have a strong preference for fewer subgroups. It's less hassle to browse and looks more active, I remember saying this at the time the board change was made but I'm in the minority. I'm not saying go all the way back or anything (good old days, rose tinted glasses :tongue:). Your idea for the retro Func_ style newsfeed is fantastic on this front - if this isn't too much work to implement and I could easily see that becoming the main catch-up landing page, certainly for me.

I should know the answer to this :oops:, but does the board have an RSS/atom feed, would like to add it into feedly.

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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by Toshiba-3 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:10 pm

I replied to matt in IRC but if anyone else wonders about the RSS feed (actually ATOM) it's simply here: http://www.cwaboard.co.uk/feed.php

I'm still undecided about moving the CMD and TDR subforums into the Vault, it seems a bit excessive :grin: But yeah, they aren't very lively either...
the main catch-up landing page
That's certainly the idea!

I guess I'll duplicate the board to test these ideas and try to implement the frontpage and news/tech tagging system. And the header design idea.
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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by Toshiba-3 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:56 pm

Bumping this topic almost exactly two years later..!

After 8 years on phpBB 3.0.x, we moved today to 3.2.5 (the current latest version). I felt like it was getting urgent to upgrade and after Errol pointed me in the right directions regarding several features I was after, I decided to stay with phpBB (I was planning to move to Invision Community).
Not having to convert the database is ofcourse very good.

This time however we won't customize the board as much as we did last time. It'll stay completely vanilla to make it easy to apply updates and eventually upgrade again. PhpBB 3.2.x offers the possibility to install and use plug-in extensions rather than having to modify files manually to install mods.
One of such extensions is used to introduce the successor to Wasted! as linked in the navbar in the header. It isn't set up nor populated yet but that will come gradually.

Finally one of the most obvious changes, the theme, will be declined soon from this default theme and will be kept fully compatible. It will also stay responsive.

We'll address the other points discussed in the posts up there at some point too :twisted:
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Mastro 666
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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by Mastro 666 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:07 pm

Hello there! Good luck. :rockon:

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Toshiba-3
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Re: Going forward with the CWA

Post by Toshiba-3 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:21 am

Thanks Mastro :sbsmile:

Work-in-progress CWA style should be up for everyone now. I'm sure there are some stuff to fix here and there, don't hesitate to point them out. Also I didn't test on older browsers, especially Internet Explorer on Windows XP.
I haven't designed the new header yet, I'll do that next week when I come back from vacation. Background drawing might change too.

Then I'll have to take care of the download database. Then somehow work the news portal out.
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