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Reply to Re: Dink Network - Site Upgrade Planning

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September 5th 2017, 11:18 AM
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SlipDink
Peasant Male United States bloop
2nd generation. No easy way to be free. 
> Over the next couple months, I'd like to fix up some things around here. Here's my wishlist; feel free to reply with 'yeah!', 'oh no', or 'hey what about this'. Note that none of this is set in stone, and is subject to change.
>
> In no particular order:
>
> 1) It seems like D-Mod categories (Epic, Quest, Romp, Demo) don't have much value. May eliminate these (or maybe reevaluate)? Maybe user-submitted tags that staff have to approve?
>

Perhaps keep the categories, but use objective analysis to also describe the scope of a dmod. For example. Count the number of screens, and the number of scripts. Then compare those tallies to the number of screens and scripts in the Original Dink Smallwood adventure.

Or count the number of lines in all the scripts, instead of just the raw count of scripts. Using a (*ix-like) tool like wc could make that easy. To easily count the number of screens in a dmod would be a matter of writing "C" code you could use to count the number of undefined screens (purple blocks in dinkedit and it's descendants) in a map.dat file and subtracting that from 768. Anyway, the idea is that this would be a more objective way of sizing the dmod by basing that analysis on real world information.

Example: I found 22262 lines in develop/source that represent the original scripts for the "dink/story" directory. That count or higher could qualify as a quest. That count plus 615 screens (about 80%) in use could make it an epic.

> 2) Add ability to classify a D-Mod as 'mature', and make this status visible to users.

Excellent idea!

>
> 3) Replace (or supplement) review system with 'thumbs up' / 'thumbs down', potentially allowing anonymous voting. Use fancy algorithm so it takes into account low votes = lower average. Maybe move reviews to forum discussion posts.
>

I really like the long reviews and rating systems as they are. Thumbs up/down would not tell me enough. For example, if one reviewer complained that the story was too elaborate for a particular dmod and thus he lowered his score due to this perceived shortcoming, then that would actually ENCOURAGE me to download that dmod. Different people have different reasons for their evaluations. I also like that I can see all of the multiple reviews (when there is more than one) for each dmod.

> 4) Add compatibility information (v1.08, Freedink, Dink HD) to D-Mods.
>

Good idea. But how can you do this (with certainty) for the existing library of dmods?

> 5) Update the main entry page to look nicer.
>

It may encourage more visitors if it looked "flashier" and more modern, though I would recommend avoiding actual flash animations and code per se and using other techniques as flash seems to be on it's way out.

> 6) Make it very obvious how to play the game for most people (install v1.08, then copy freedink into that folder)
>

I'd say this is a VERY good idea. Be sure to include any operating system specific instructions and a way to (for example) make sure you have all the sounds that came with the original game on your system.

> 7) Add better support for animated screenshots, like this one (right now TDN will create a non-animated preview image unless someone tinkers with the files directly).
>

This would be nice, but not very important as I see it.

> 8) Fix weird Chrome XSS error when post something to the forum.
>

Good idea!

> 9) Move to HTTPS. This kind-of works now, but style sheets are messed up.
>

I think this does not matter much, unless this web site starts taking payments via master-card, pay-pal, bit-coin or the like.