[powerpress] | Episode 91 |
ENnies voting is over, Gencon hotels are booked, and we’re looking forward to the con. Be sure to stop by our Kickstarter backer party if you’ve got time Friday night, we’d love to meet as many of you as we can in person. Also, be sure to check out our post full of what we’ve got going on at Gencon too, hopefully you can make it to our panel!
Gencon is just around the corner so we thought we’d bring you the skinny on what exactly we’re going to be up to while taking part in the best 4 days in gaming! We’ve got our yearly panel about tech in RPGs this year which includes our Excellence In Innovation Award presentation, as well as a get together for all of our Kickstarter backers. Here’s all the info you’ll need to link up with us at the show.
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.
And Then There Were 4
Well folks, you sent us your nominees and the finalists for this year’s Excellence In Innovation Award are in. They are as follows:
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!