Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | jlesk's commentslogin

Nice work so far. There seems to be growing interest in online roleplaying, but most of the current offerings are lacking right now.

I personally launched Fabletop.com a couple of months ago, but the approach is a bit different, focusing more on a robust chat system, and less on the battlemat.

Good luck to you guys!

-----


Do you also own recievd.com? I'm sure a lot of people forget "I before E, except after C."

-----


We do, actually - it should be forwarding now.

-----


I learned a lot from playing D&D as well -- my interest in graphic/info design can be traced back to when I was designing my own charts and character sheets.

-----


Related to D&D and startups, my current project is a web-based virtual tabletop for roleplaying, built on node. =)

http://tabletopquest.com

-----


why did you choose isomorphic over a top-down view? It looks interesting, though.

I had made a RPG mapping/gaming thing in flash WAY back in the day, and had always thought about making it into a web version. Never got around to it, though.

Good luck with yours. =)

-----


All of the top-down approaches just look ugly to me. You're either looking at the top of people heads, or tokens of disembodied heads. This also gives it a pseudo-3d look, with a bit of clutter to add that homey tabletop atmosphere.

-----


I came to the opposite conclusion. When you add perspective to game visualizations, it becomes harder to judge distances, estimate angles, make out details, and identify borders. Small items tend to get reduced to squint-inducing shapes. Large items occlude each other and cause an infuriating visibility problem. The only advantage is that it looks a little bit more like a "real" world, but if you're using a simplified art style, it doesn't matter anyway.

From a UX standpoint, the best balance is "iconic" perspective - most things rendered flat with low occlusion, like an Egyptian painting, much of medieval art, or Japanese woodblock prints. All the boundaries can remain clearly delineated with this style, but aesthetics can be retained through careful composition of each icon.

I did exactly this style for the game I'm working on. My reference points(within video games) are Ultima 1-5, Heroes of Might and Magic, and Battle for Wesnoth. In these games you are never wondering what something is, because you can always make out what it looks like.

-----


Normally I'd agree with you, for those exact reasons, and my first prototypes were all generally flat (also being a fan of the Ultima series.)

But when I tried the current isometric style on a whim, it managed to solve all of the problems I was trying to address. Probably because I use a hybrid approach: only the underlying battlemat tiles are isometric. The miniatures are flat, slightly-transparent stand-ups and always face the player.

-----


Have you seen RPTools' MapTool? It's a really nice looking top-down java app.

http://gallery.rptools.net/v/screenshots/

And of course Fantasy Grounds is an amazing piece of software if you have the money: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/screenshots/

-----


After doing it the longhand way for over 10 years, I will never go back to that after using Haml. It just feels like the right solution to the problem of dealing with lots of nested markup. It might not be obvious what a benefit it is until you try it. I actually use my own custom-rolled flavor of Haml that is less Ruby-like, and I think it maps a bit better to the stylesheet and javascript.

On the topic of javascript templates, I tried Jaml for a while because I really wanted to have templates that could be cached on the client-side, but the function-based approach was really cumbersome. I ended up creating a server-side pre-processor that converts Haml to vanilla javascript functions that just build the output using string concatenation. These are called at run-time by underscore's template function. Overall, I'm totally happy with it so far.

-----


I use composers for my slices: copland, glass, tallis, bach

-----


I use Cancel buttons for pop-up forms all the time. It usually just hides the containing div, so re-opening the form will show the data as it was entered previously. Making the Submit button 2-3x longer than the Cancel button helps mitigate the risk of accidentally hitting the wrong thing.

-----


There were even fewer options when I wanted to go this route 2 years ago, so I just went with a standard payment processor (BMT Micro) and charge one-time payments for users to pre-pay for time. e.g. $19.99 for 3 months or $59.99 for a year.

If you want to get from zero to charging ASAP, this might be worth considering. You could probably be integrated in a day or so. They are mainly geared toward downloadable software vendors, but I just use the "serial code" field as an Activation Code that the user enters into their profile page.

BMT Micro's royalty rate is around 10%, have awesome customer service, and just added a recurring option. The main downside is limited control over the template. I would also look into FastSpring since they are newer and seem to have more flexibility with the store configuration.

-----


I have users that spend nearly all of their free time on my site. One recently asked me to ban them so they could kick the habit. I asked him what part of the site was addictive and he said, "Basically everything."

One of the key things, I think, is having lots of little things to do that you can get immediate feedback from. e.g. Check the forum for new replies, rate new content, see what kind of response their content is getting, etc.

Kathy Sierra has a great article on this kind of thing: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/0...

Having strict moderation keeps the general quality high, which means it's usually worth checking back to see what's new. There are also multiple tracks of achievement, like hitting 500 comments, etc. so there is always a new badge within striking distance.

You don't even need to have permanent badges. I have a list on the front page of the people who have submitted the most ratings that day. You don't get anything from being on the list, but people try to get to the top anyway. People like seeing their own names.

Having a friendly community is also a big help, since it means that other users are a direct source of positive feedback. That's a bit harder to develop, though.

-----


"Creating Passionate Users" means "creating addictions," basically. This is partly why I have grown to really hate the word "passion."

-----


Is your site a gaming site? because I always thought that this type of addictive usage is only on games

-----


Almost every successful(and even some which are not so successful) forum has a number of people who are addicted to that particular site.

In fact, I would wager that a number of us here on HN are engaging in highly addictive behaviour.

-----


I've always enjoyed the fun/weird bits of the Perl community and wrote a fair bit of (intentionally) obfuscated Perl a few years back.

My personal best was this "zombie" code: http://www.joelesko.com/cgi-bin/obfu.pl?obfuID=5

-----


I love the "unpack" dripping off his arms.

-----

More

Applications are open for YC Summer 2015

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Y Combinator | Apply | Contact

Search: