New Player Guide Feedback!

Be sure to read and follow the guidelines for our forums.

Jul 6, 2016 11:42 pm
Please leave any feedback, criticisms, and suggestions for the New Player Guide here!
Jul 6, 2016 11:52 pm
If I had a way to give you a thumbs up I would; and then I would create ten sock-puppet accounts and give you ten more.
Jul 7, 2016 4:20 am
You have my thumbs, as well!
Jul 7, 2016 6:07 am
First off, thanks for putting this together. It was very helpful for someone new to Gamers Plane.

A couple of things that I found that could have been clearer.

--------------------
Big Issue #1: How to get to the game forum for a particular game. I had a devil of a time figuring out how to find the game forum. In my case, the first game I joined had a private forum, so I ended up just asking the GM. While this isn't really an issue with your guide so much as a usability issue with the site, I would have expected a link to the game forum from the game details page. I feel this would be especially important if the GM was using a public forum and placing the character creation information or a more detailed description of their campaign world, etc, in the game forum itself instead of the game description. For a new user, this was super confusing. Even as a user who has now been accepted into a game, the only way I know of to get to the game forum (besides the link from the emails sent by the forum subscription) is to go to the Forums Tab, have the Public Games toggle turned to off, and scroll down to my game's forum. From a usability standpoint, this sucks. The homepage has a link to the Game details, but not the forum. So, even once I'm in a game, if I don't use the link in the email, I'm having to take several steps to get to the forum where I'm doing the most important activity on the site (posting), assuming I don't just have it bookmarked:

1. Go to the homepage.
2. Go to the forums tab.
3. Scroll down to the Game Forums section.
4. Find the link to my game (If it's a private forum and I have public games toggled off, this isn't so bad. Otherwise, it's a pain.)

An improved version could look like this:

1. Go to the homepage. In addition to having the *games* I'm in listed with a link to the *game* there should be a link to the game forum.
2. Click on the link to the forum for my game.

Given the URLs involved, I wouldn't be surprised if all it took was a simple lookup of the forum associated with a given game, and building the URL for the link would be child's play (game ### -> forum ####, so a build a link to /forums/####). I'd be shocked if that information wasn't available in the database, and that relationship must already be modeled somehow.

Anyway, to get back to the point about the Guide, I'd explicitly mention that you won't be able to get to the forums from the game details page, in bold. Beat them over the head with this so they don't miss it, since it's something that I think most players would expect if they've been on a site like Myth Weavers or other PbP sites.

------------------------
In Step 2: Find a Game, you have the instructions for applying under sub item 1. I think it would be clearer to have it separated into
a) finding a game you'd like to join
b) applying to the game.

When you first mention applying to a game, I think it would be helpful to restate that you'll be creating the actual character in the next step, after you've been accepted. I found myself wondering whether I should be worrying about character creation before applying. It felt strange to apply for a game by simply hitting a button, rather than posting to a forum and chatting with the GM about a character concepts, the campaign conceit, etc. If there's a particular accepted etiquette around chatting up a GM before simply hitting the button, an explanation of that might help reduce any confusion. In my experience on other PbP sites, getting into a game could be very difficult because there are so many players applying, and GMs often have to do a sort of audition process, where every applicant essentially pitches a character concept and creates a character sheet, and the GM sifts through them and then decides who gets into the game. Things appear to be different here, so maybe a quick note to any gamers who are coming in with experience from other PbP sites would be good, or maybe my experience here so far (hitting the apply button, getting accepted right away, then jumping into character creation) has been outside the norm.

-----------------------

I hope both of the suggestions are taken in the spirit they were offered. I love the look and feel of the site for the most part, and I was really impressed with the guide you put together. I definitely think new players could benefit from a better experience getting to (or knowing how to) get to the game forums, and getting a better intro up front to how the application/character submission process works.

-Origami
Jul 7, 2016 11:32 am
For the first issue, there is a link to the individual game forum, though it's becoming clearer and clearer it's not obvious: on any page relating to a game, there is a red bar that sticks to the bottom of your window with relevant links. For the GM it contains characters, will eventually have special notes, etc. It also contains, for everyone, a link to the forums for the game along with a dice roller.
Jul 7, 2016 1:00 pm
Keleth says:
For the first issue, there is a link to the individual game forum, though it's becoming clearer and clearer it's not obvious: on any page relating to a game, there is a red bar that sticks to the bottom of your window with relevant links. For the GM it contains characters, will eventually have special notes, etc. It also contains, for everyone, a link to the forums for the game along with a dice roller.
One thing I really would love is to have that show up on mobile somehow, in some form. I use my phone for the site a lot. On the bus I use an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard. That bar doesn't show up in either place so I find myself having to open a bunch of mobile tabs then browsing to pages to read stuff I need to respond on.

Also it would be super awesome to quickly add rolls without having to go to the advanced page so I could always scroll up as I build up response posts and add rolls in reaction.

Of course both of those have nothing to do with the Player Guide, I think that is coming along pretty well and will only get better.
Jul 7, 2016 1:06 pm
Great work with the New Player Guide, Naatkinson! I'm about to run my first game on GP (I'm bringing in my RL gaming group) and this guide is going to be a ton of help!
Jul 7, 2016 1:34 pm
PhantomNimbus says:
One thing I really would love is to have that show up on mobile somehow, in some form. I use my phone for the site a lot. On the bus I use an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard. That bar doesn't show up in either place so I find myself having to open a bunch of mobile tabs then browsing to pages to read stuff I need to respond on.
I put in a fix for the bottom bar a bit ago; others are saying they see it now. You still don't?
PhantomNimbus says:
Also it would be super awesome to quickly add rolls without having to go to the advanced page so I could always scroll up as I build up response posts and add rolls in reaction.
I'm in the middle of upgrading the forums now. Once that's done, I'd like to build a more advanced Quick Post, with stuff like a roll short code (we'll need to have a long discussion about that), multi quote, and maybe even a sticky post frame so you can move around and even change pages without losing your post.
Jul 7, 2016 1:34 pm
PhantomNimbus says:
One thing I really would love is to have that show up on mobile somehow, in some form. I use my phone for the site a lot. On the bus I use an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard. That bar doesn't show up in either place so I find myself having to open a bunch of mobile tabs then browsing to pages to read stuff I need to respond on.
I've noticed in just the past day or two that this shows up on my iPhone. I was very happy to see it!
Jul 7, 2016 1:37 pm
Keleth says:
For the first issue, there is a link to the individual game forum, though it's becoming clearer and clearer it's not obvious: on any page relating to a game, there is a red bar that sticks to the bottom of your window with relevant links. For the GM it contains characters, will eventually have special notes, etc. It also contains, for everyone, a link to the forums for the game along with a dice roller.
Well crap... of course now I see it. I think it gets mentally filtered out as just another footer item.

Thanks for the quick response, Keleth. Hope I didn't come across too whiney :-)
Jul 17, 2016 3:05 pm
I have only one thing to ask at present and that is how you Friend members? To make it easier to keep in contact with each other?
Jul 17, 2016 3:30 pm
DKDBSD says:
I have only one thing to ask at present and that is how you Friend members? To make it easier to keep in contact with each other?
There's no functionality like that right now, and actually the first time I've heard someone ask for it. I'll have to consider that. It fits the mentality of the website, though doesn't fit it functionally. I suspect this will be more a cause of how we make it work rather than actually making it work.
Aug 10, 2016 1:42 am
If only I had this 2 months ago when I joined! Super helpful.
Nov 29, 2016 11:10 pm
I cleared up a little bit of wording and such, in addition to adding a little blurb about making new threads (can't believe I didn't have it there before).

I never asked, but is a link to the guide included in the welcome emails? Or maybe it should be stickied on the front page of people's accounts for the first two weeks after joining?
Jan 18, 2018 7:43 pm
Question- was there ever a guide created for new GMs?
Jan 18, 2018 9:19 pm
Moofsalot says:
Question- was there ever a guide created for new GMs?
Yeah, right?
Last edited January 18, 2018 9:19 pm
Jan 18, 2018 10:29 pm
Moofsalot says:
Question- was there ever a guide created for new GMs?
I've begun work on one, but haven't done much with it lately. I'll look into working on it some more this weekend
Jan 19, 2018 1:43 am
Thanks Natch! I really need the help.
Jan 21, 2018 3:20 pm
Here's a question for the GMs FAQ: How do we flip the forum posts around so that the most recent post appears at the top, instead of at the very end of the thread? This little fix would save me many hours over a span of just one year.

Thanks in advance!

Cru

You do not have permission to post in this thread.