Author Archives: Micah
Help Beautify Obsidian Portal
One of my favorite parts of the Reforge redesign is the ability to choose a nice high-resolution background image for your campaign. You can change the tone of your game from high fantasy to space opera to gritty urban streets just by selecting an image.
However, we need more images! Our current background image library is too small and we need help expanding it to add more images and give people a variety to choose from. To that end, we need someone with an eye for imagery and color and the ability to put together an image / color scheme combo that will make peoples’ campaigns look awesome.
Update: We’ve gotten quite a few responses, so I’m closing this down for now. After we’ve interviewed some candidates, if we are still looking for someone, I’ll re-open this.
We’ve grown to a size now where every day we get a lot of questions about some of the basics of the site, plus people having trouble logging in or figuring out how to reset their password. We want to provide the best possible customer service experience that we can, but we all have day jobs and other responsibilities that keep us busy, and we’re slowly getting buried.
We need someone to help us answer support tickets, review user feedback, and just generally help Obsidian Portal users who have questions and issues. Can you help us out?
Answer help requests using our support system
Keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook, and Kickstarter for people who are in need of help
Keep an eye on our community forum and give help there when necessary
Good writing skills
Helpful and courteous
Able to navigate a virtual helpdesk system (we use tenderapp.com)
Familiarity with social media
Previous customer service experience a plus
In-depth coding knowledge or Obsidian Portal experience is NOT required.
$10/hr, with an expected commitment of 5-10 hours per week.
Work from home, a coffee shop, or anywhere else you bring your laptop
Extremely flexible schedule! Fit this job in around your other work, whenever you have a spare moment or two
Hang out in a chat room all day with Jerry and Micah passing around links about RPGs and video games and other geeky stuff
How to Apply
Send a resume detailing your customer service background and experience to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a remote contractor position. You are responsible for providing your own computer, software, equipment, and internet connection.
The items section on Obsidian Portal started out with the best intentions. I thought: “Hey, if we can track characters, why not their items as well?” I took a quick stab at it, then switched to some other features, and I haven’t looked back since. There has always been something more important to work on, and the items section has remained untouched.
Here we are several years later, and the items section just doesn’t do what it should. It doesn’t allow you track loot for your character, or for the party as a whole. It doesn’t allow you to keep track of how much gold (or whatever currency) you’re carrying. It doesn’t even have item types beyond a very limited fantasy-centric set like armor, weapon, cloak, and so forth.
So, after some hard thinking, I have decided to take action and sweep the items section out of view. It will still be there if you want to use it, but for new campaigns after we launch the Reforged website, the items section will be hidden by default and you’ll need to enable it if you want to use it. Perhaps in the future, we may disable it completely for new campaigns. I haven’t fully decided yet.
But couldn’t you X, or change it to Y, or make it Z?
There are a lot of things we could do to make it better, but all of them require a real time investment. That’s time that we’re not spending in other places. Time is our most precious resource, and we have to be very careful about how we spend it. Right now, we would much rather work on things like natural editing, or the uploaded file library. These are features that every campaign could use right away, while the items section is less essential. You can always use a special wiki page to track loot, or just keep a list on your character’s page. The bottom line is: The items section just isn’t as core to Obsidian Portal as the other features, like the wiki or the characters.
But why hide it? Why not leave it alone?
Right now, providing as little functionality as it does, the items section provides an unsatisfactory experience. So, for someone who is brand new to Obsidian Portal, they’ll click around, find a few things they really like, then land on the items section and wonder, “Huh? I don’t really get it, and it kind of sucks.” Its mere presence serves to tarnish the surroundings. It’s like having a beautiful back yard, but there’s an old shed that’s decrepit and crumbling. Sure, you can just leave it there, but it will always be an eyesore unless you take steps to either fix it or get rid of it. For now, we’re going with option 2.
We want everyone to have the best possible experience when using Obsidian Portal, and for now that means hiding the items section. My hope is to one day come full circle and turn it into the first-class loot tracker / item catalogue that it should be, but for now, we’re going to focus our attention on more important features.
If you read our blog or follow the podcast, then you’re the core of the core of the core of the Obsidian Portal community. We want to give you all a little extra insight into our plans and thoughts for the coming Kickstarter.
Drew, our awesome designer, will be making t-shirts for a backer reward, and here’s a sneak peek of his design. It’s only a rough draft at this point, but you get the idea. It’s going to be sweet!
We’re aiming to launch the campaign on March 25, and there will be some special limited backer rewards, so be ready to pledge. Make sure to keep an eye on the blog, the podcast, Facebook, and Twitter for more details!
Things may have seemed a bit slow around here lately, but we’re busy behind the scenes getting things ready for some big changes coming in the summer. We’ve got a lot of ideas and we just need the resources to do the work, so we are going to be running a Kickstarter!
We will be releasing more details soon, but the basic plan is to take the awesome core that is Obsidian Portal and reskin and reshape it to be a much friendlier and sexier modern website. I know that redesign can be a scary word to a lot of people, but trust us that we want Obsidian Portal to not just look better but also work better.
Stay tuned for more details, and the actual campaign should be launching within a few weeks!
This is a placeholder for the eventual details for the Tech in RPG panel, and for the Improving Your Game With a Wiki and More! panel.