Website Update - Forums

    Discussion in 'News' started by DukeofRealms, Mar 28, 2014.

    1. DukeofRealms

      DukeofRealms Count Duku

      Joined:
      Sep 4, 2013
      Messages:
      1,397
      Greetings StarMade Community!

      If you don't already know me, I'm DukeofRealms the Business Development Manager and Forum Lead for StarMade. For the past 6 months I have been working on creating and providing a new forum for the StarMade Community, along with the help from my forum team and Miles (wedtm), the main website lead. I'm finally here to tell you that the website and subsequently the forums are near. In this post I’m mainly going to focus on the forums, the hub for our community and along the way you will see some snippets of the main website here and there.

      IMPORTANT NOTICE

      Before I go any further, due to the nature of the new website system and the old website system we can not transfer posts and threads from the old website, and as such you will have to manually copy them over. The old website will be available for use for a substantial amount of time for users to make the move to the new website, we will provide the domain for use on the launch date. User accounts ARE being transferred so you will not have to sign up to the new websites, you can just login with your old information. Also, people who have bought StarMade will keep their licenses on the new website, it has been transferred.



      The forums and main website planned release date is the 4th of April, now time to get on with the new features!

      Important New Features!

      Forum home page
      The new forums have a brand new homepage and with it comes some nifty new features! The main forum page will act as a portal for community news and important information you need to know. In the middle is the news block which displays the latest website, community and game news. Off to the side you can see online StarMade Streams (I'll go into that later on) and a current members online widget.



      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      No one was streaming when I was redoing the screenshots of the forums, so here is what the homepage tab should look like with streams (top 3 are displayed when there are 3).


      User Control Panel Bar
      The user control panel bar has been greatly improved since the last website, so you can now see the latest messages and notifications as well as easy access to the main forum account control panel and a search bar. This will make it a lot easier to navigate around the forums and notifications are a lot easier to spot.

      Forums page
      The forums page is now a lot easier to navigate and visually looks much nicer. Users can see the latest posts and replies on the side and the forums bar will change colour when there are new messages in that category after your last visit. The actual forum category layout has been changed to allow for more specific threads and allows for location of different types of threads a lot easier for the user. On the side widget bar you can see how many messages you have, likes and forum points. There is also a staff online now box, which displays forum administrators and moderators that are online so you can contact the staff team a lot easier. The newest threads box is visually better than the previous website and functions a lot better by showing avatar, user, title and time.



      [​IMG]

      Community Content Page
      The community content page is the hub for all ships, space stations, texture packs, skins and mods. Under this one page you can find all of this content easily and efficiently. The main content page shows all the latest content updates, newest content, popular content and the most downloaded content. From there you can go to different content categories where you can locate that specific ship, mod, texture pack, etc. Each category page has its own latest updates, newest content, etc. So you can easily see what's been updated, added, popular and the most downloaded for each category. There is also a search option, which is on the user cp bar, where you can locate specific ships, mod, etc. As you may see in the bottom of the image, there is the most active authors box which displays users who have uploaded and updated the most content this month. Adding your community content has never been easier, you can upload your content with a few clicks and if wanted, you can provide an external download link to your content if the file is too large.



      [​IMG]

      Community Content User Page
      The Community Content module also provides a tab on a user profile, allowing people to click on the community content tab to see what other content they have submitted. This page displays some basic information such as the content, downloads, last updated and how many votes.

      User Profile Page
      The user profile page has been greatly improved, it now displays the recent profile posts (which are like statuses), the Recent Activity tab shows information such as forum posts and content uploads, likes etc. The posting page displays all forum posts a user has made, allowing other users to find more posts from that favourite forum character of yours or perhaps allowing you to do some research on that new faction member. And finally the information tab, which shows some basic details about the user.



      [​IMG]


      StarMade Streams
      The StarMade Streams page is available via the forum nav bar, users can see live twitch streamers currently playing StarMade, this page displays the viewer count of each stream and who is streaming provided with their twitch username and avatar. Other streaming services may be added in the future. This module also displays the 3 currently most viewed streams on the home page, for all to see as well as selected, official or promoted streams. Once you click on a stream you are directed to the stream on our website, where you can watch and participate in the live chat, various other features are supplied.



      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]



      Moderation Features

      Site moderation in the new forums is far more extensive and user friendly than what you are used to on here. One of the major features is the report and warning system. How it works is, if a user finds content that they believe is violating the forum rules and/or the game's EULA then they can report it. Once the content is reported, a moderator will review it and will assign to the case. If the rules have been broken, a warning will be issued and the content removed from view. A user is punished when they reach warning point checkpoints, so if they have for example 2 warning points they will be temp banned (automatically), 3 warning points and it's a permanent ban. The amount of warning points issued because of a violation of the rules varies depending on which rule is broken and to what degree it was broken. All moderation is logged and is not a permanent deletion, a site admin can review a moderators decision and decide whether they have done their job efficiently. This means we can track all moderation and no content is truly deleted until a site administrator makes that choice.



      [​IMG]



      Search

      I had been getting a lot of complaints about the search function on the current site, such as people not being able to find threads efficiently and content. This is all solved in the new forums, search has been greatly improved and it is now extremely easy to locate threads and even CC (Community Content). The advanced search function will help you locate specific content if you cannot find it in the simple search bar, the search bar is automatically addressed to the current forum module you are in. So for example, if I was on the Community Content page and I searched a ship up, it would automatically look it up on the module I am currently on (Community Content). This makes it a lot easier to find exactly what you want, it also carries over to categories so you could specifically search for texture packs when in the texture pack CC module.



      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]



      Automatic Image Re-sizing

      Images are now automatically resized in a post, so you can chuck that large screenshot for everyone to enjoy. You can still see the full image by clicking it to expand or using the image URL to see it on a new page.



      [​IMG]



      And much more you will have to wait and see for yourselves!



      Forum Catergories (Forum Categories were selected by testers, moderators and Schine suggestions will be appreciated)

      StarMade Portal

      • StarMade News
      • Competitions
      • Suggestions

      StarMade Community

      • General Discussion
      • Servers
      • Factions
      • Fan Art

      StarMade Creations

      • Mods
      • --- Releases
      • --- WIP
      • --- Requests/Ideas for Mods
      • Texture Packs
      • Skins

      StarMade Support

      • Game Support
      • Site Support
      • Registry/Account Support



      Other Forum Information

      • The SM Forums run on the forum software XenForo (Just the forums)
      • The SM Forums are separate from the main website, but are visually connected through the main website nav bar at the top.
      • There are forum specific rules and we no longer solely rely on the EULA to enforce site moderation.
      • Bans from the forums are separate from the main website.
      • The forums login is connected to the main website, so users register on the main website and use that login information to log into the forums.



      Other features (mentioned by request)

      • You can watch threads, which means you will be notified when there is a new post on that thread.
      • In the search you can specify the search to look for newer than a certain date. The date is put in by calendar.



      Planned features

      • Multiple Authors/Content Roles in the Community Content Module, so more than one person can update content with varying permissions.
      • Badge system, badges will be awarded to users who win community competitions or some sort of recognition in the community.
      • Stats for ships and contents in the Community Content Module, so users can see the stats on the side. (Manual entry)

      (If you have any request for the forums please make a comment, I may add them in before release, or we may already have it :D)



      Special thanks to Mike from Audentio Design for creating our beautiful website theme, and all those forum testers who have been helping me track down and squash all those pesky bugs. You guys are the best :)


      I hope you will enjoy the new website as much as I, it's taken me over half a year to get there, but we are finally nearing the release!

      Thanks for playing StarMade, and I’ll see you on the new websites!
      - DukeofRealms
       
    2. Defentrix

      Joined:
      Sep 20, 2013
      Messages:
      66
      New forums sounds AMAZING!
       
    3. papamaanbeer

      Joined:
      Jun 28, 2013
      Messages:
      15
      Wen is this pretty looking thing going Online?
       
    4. CleanRabbit

      Joined:
      Aug 29, 2013
      Messages:
      61
      Very nice, well done on the development so far! I can\'t wait to see it in action now! :)
       
    5. Ithirahad

      Ithirahad Arana'Aethi

      Joined:
      Nov 14, 2013
      Messages:
      4,112
      Very improved... no longed un-updated :P
       
    6. mcboydesign

      Joined:
      Jun 26, 2013
      Messages:
      7
      This new forum so cool!



      Big THX! :)
       
    7. Zovc

      Joined:
      Jul 11, 2013
      Messages:
      311
      looks alot like windoom, i think titan had something to do with this, or whatever our program is, is popular or useful and known
       
    8. Zovc

      Joined:
      Jul 11, 2013
      Messages:
      311
      Im not sure if thats implemented, but i would love a way that i can find my post history, and track down posts, especially if i post, leave for camp in the summer, and come back, it may be popular and have lots of support, but died down and i cant find it again.
       
    9. Zovc

      Joined:
      Jul 11, 2013
      Messages:
      311
      nvm read the text above profile picture.
       
    10. RobinZ52

      Joined:
      Jul 11, 2013
      Messages:
      139
      While you guys have done an absolutely brilliant job here, I am a little sad that all the history/content on this current page will evenutally cease to exist. By that I mean this website has not only hosted interesting subjects, but also months/years of very creative discussions and creations...it will most certainly be a pity. But nevertheless: to fly to a new realm, sometimes means leaving the old one behind, and I have no doubts that the Starmade community will continue to thrive and grow on this new page. :)



      Towards the future!

      -Robin.
       
    11. Azurite

      Joined:
      Feb 24, 2014
      Messages:
      284
      Very nice! Everything I dreamed of and more :)
       
    12. Lozdy

      Joined:
      Nov 5, 2013
      Messages:
      64
      Great work! Looking forward for it:)
       
    13. Lozdy

      Joined:
      Nov 5, 2013
      Messages:
      64
      Sorry for the doublepost but I cannot see the \"Ship\" section like we have on this to become old page:<
      If I skipped it through the post without noticing it, sorry for that aswell:>
       
    14. 2dozen22s

      Joined:
      Nov 10, 2013
      Messages:
      44
      i will miss the old forms, but the new one look amazing!
       
    15. Cybertooth

      Joined:
      Aug 11, 2013
      Messages:
      389
      Its under the community content page, but i think the most interesting thing about that page is it has space stations listed as a catagory. Does this mean we are going to be able to save space station blueprints soon?
       
    16. aceface

      Joined:
      Jun 20, 2013
      Messages:
      2,773
      finally the briggadier and damocles will not be number 1 anymore, i\'m really tired of those ugly ships when there are so much more better ones that are constantly downvoted never to be seen again :D
       
    17. Titansmasher

      Joined:
      Jun 23, 2013
      Messages:
      221
      The forum software had been chosen before I was made part of the goup of people that were granted access to it ;) XenForo is a great peice of forum software, Windoom and Starmade using the same software is purely coincidence ;)
       
    18. Titansmasher

      Joined:
      Jun 23, 2013
      Messages:
      221
      All of that is included with the XenForo software, including e-mail notifications on updates to watched threads
       
    19. METROID4

      Joined:
      Aug 17, 2013
      Messages:
      7
      That is some profound work over there! I love the beautiful, straightforward and not too complex visual style of the new forum/site.

      Content is very structured and coherent, your long work is clearly visible in this project. I am really impressed and I love that such capable personel are working on StarMade, and the website/forum is one of these aspects.

      Please, continue with your outstanding work, I appreciate every effort you and the developers have put into this game!

      Regards from a great fan,

      METROID4
       
    20. ltmauve

      Joined:
      Aug 28, 2013
      Messages:
      1,835
      What\'s the full set of fourm sections/subsections?

      Also, shouldn\'t contests go under community, rather than the portal section? I mean, unless you plan on starting your own contests, all of the competitions will be started by users, have entries made by users, be judged by users, and be rewarded by users.
       
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