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Unread 20 Aug 2017, 10:49   #1
Alezzar
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Lightbulb Redesigning the Overview

Hey y'all!

So, I've been thinking lately that the Overview page needs redesigning. There is so much stuff in there nobody needs and it could be way better organized. Hear me out and see the attached photo.



Move the Quests and Bonus under the Development Menu. You don't use them all the time, no need for them to be on the Overview permanently. Speaking of which - why does anything on the Overview has to be permanent? Let's scratch that.

The new look of the Overview should be plain space, where people can add up to 6 widgets, depending on their very own needs.

Alliance DCs can have the Defence page straight on their overview and just next to it the available AF. Would save some time, wouldn't it?

Why would the scanner need to load additional pages, if he can just place the Scan Request widget on his Overview? Add a quick way to initiate a cover operation straight from your Overview and there you go - you have it all within one page.

Why the change? So many people play on mobile tablets, clicking on menus is a pain in the ass. It sometimes takes 3 times to hit the right menu and with a slow mobile internet, it's even worse. Let's make it easier for everyone to play and enjoy Planetarion. This is not going to be as good as having an actual mobile app(would definitely be my first choice and drag more players to the game), but it's easier to complete and would still greatly improve everyone's experience with the game.

So, thoughts? Not a graphic designer(you can tell by the shitty visualization), but you get the idea. It's open to suggestions.

Have a great day
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Unread 20 Aug 2017, 11:45   #2
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

I like this.
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Unread 20 Aug 2017, 12:34   #3
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

motion 2nded
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Unread 20 Aug 2017, 14:33   #4
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

yeah i like this, would be great for dcing.
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Unread 20 Aug 2017, 16:39   #5
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Why not just spend a day throwing bootstrap onto this. Out of the box something that works at the majority of popular resolutions. I couldn't care less if it looks like every other bootstrap website but pa team should make this more mobile friendly.
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Unread 23 Aug 2017, 17:39   #6
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

I also like this idea, customized start page for each individuals needs.
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Unread 24 Aug 2017, 04:14   #7
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Make it a premium feature for upgraded planets only. The game needs more incentive to upgrade.
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Unread 24 Aug 2017, 08:09   #8
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

I would be amazed if more than 20% of players in top 8 alliances (that's all of them, excepting support tags and HR) had free planets.
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Unread 19 Sep 2017, 09:26   #9
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

This is very interesting idea as well. Did anyone of the PA team actually said if it's possible to get something like this done?
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Unread 19 Sep 2017, 19:16   #10
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

i like!
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Unread 20 Sep 2017, 01:49   #11
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munkee View Post
Why not just spend a day throwing bootstrap onto this. Out of the box something that works at the majority of popular resolutions. I couldn't care less if it looks like every other bootstrap website but pa team should make this more mobile friendly.

this one hundred million thousand times, this.
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Unread 20 Sep 2017, 09:26   #12
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Tbh, I'd rather have a mobile app rather than redesigning the entire page to be more mobile friendly. Far bigger chance of bringing more players and the benefits would be pretty much the same.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 01:41   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Redesigning the Overview

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Originally Posted by Alezzar View Post
Tbh, I'd rather have a mobile app rather than redesigning the entire page to be more mobile friendly. Far bigger chance of bringing more players and the benefits would be pretty much the same.
Either would be a very welcomed upgrade but I agree an app would be the better option.

I am not sure how much it would improve the population of the game but you gotta think most people are doing their computing on smart phones now a days and if PA had an app that would make the game more accessible to younger demos and possibly bring back some players from past rounds because of the ease of access (my phone is always in my pocket, my laptop is not).

Either way interesting subject.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 05:42   #14
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

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Originally Posted by Edge View Post
Either would be a very welcomed upgrade but I agree an app would be the better option.

I am not sure how much it would improve the population of the game but you gotta think most people are doing their computing on smart phones now a days and if PA had an app that would make the game more accessible to younger demos and possibly bring back some players from past rounds because of the ease of access (my phone is always in my pocket, my laptop is not).

Either way interesting subject.
Does this insinuate that your laptop is sometimes in your pocket? How big are your pockets???

Although I like the changes suggested I have to agree with the app suggestion. It's what PA needs to regrow or just sustain. The game is playable from a mobile browser but it is not ideal or pretty. I'm surprised in this ages when young kids make large amount of $$$ from app we can't find one person to make one for this game.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 17:35   #15
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

I also think an app for PA would be a great thing. though my computer is only 15 steps away when i'm at home I still find myself playing from my phone more than my pc.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 17:55   #16
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

And I'm pretty sure that if PA team did a crowdfunding for a mobile app, they would gather the money in no time. So many people still love this game and would be willing to help to see it develop further.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 19:47   #17
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

There seem to be two/three completely separate points in this thread.

On the first one:
The widgets are a nice idea, but will involve quite a lot of rework on existing pages - also, things like gal status / ally defence can get pretty huge, so we'd have to look at some sort of summary. Please bare in mind that, whilst this code has been refactored, the framework was put in place in ~2004 by one developer and one hacker.

On the "just spend one day and bootstrap everything to solve the issue" - please see above. There are 80 pages additional common libraries and I suspect it would take quite some time to boostrap them all.

On the "make an app" - I've seen certainly 6 developers over the last ~10 years say they had time, come in to "help make the game better", and ultimately contribute about 0 lines of code which is still in use. There was actually also a team who went to go and make an app for us 2 years ago or so, and then basically faded and gave up.

Everyone who posts assumes this is actually built with some sort of modern framework, rather than 80k of "legacy code" which has gradually been refactored a bit over 10 years part time. It's a little frustrating.
Crowdsourcing to make this into an app you'd almost have to build the game from scratch; there's only internal perl libraries to call and I doubt anyone would want to use perl to make apps. Even assuming for no graphics, it's a few months and you'd want to do it iteratively as much as you can to get value and grow the app, but you're still talking a couple of developers at a cost of ... well, conservatively, I can't see you paying external professionals less than 5-10k for it, if you take into consideration testing and matching Planetarion code. Happy to be challenged on that.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 20:01   #18
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Those sound like good estimates to me, which means the real cost is probably 3-10 times as high.
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Unread 24 Sep 2017, 00:25   #19
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiba View Post
Does this insinuate that your laptop is sometimes in your pocket? How big are your pockets???

Although I like the changes suggested I have to agree with the app suggestion. It's what PA needs to regrow or just sustain. The game is playable from a mobile browser but it is not ideal or pretty. I'm surprised in this ages when young kids make large amount of $$$ from app we can't find one person to make one for this game.
My pockets are swole.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster View Post

On the "make an app" - I've seen certainly 6 developers over the last ~10 years say they had time, come in to "help make the game better", and ultimately contribute about 0 lines of code which is still in use. There was actually also a team who went to go and make an app for us 2 years ago or so, and then basically faded and gave up.

Everyone who posts assumes this is actually built with some sort of modern framework, rather than 80k of "legacy code" which has gradually been refactored a bit over 10 years part time. It's a little frustrating.
Crowdsourcing to make this into an app you'd almost have to build the game from scratch; there's only internal perl libraries to call and I doubt anyone would want to use perl to make apps. Even assuming for no graphics, it's a few months and you'd want to do it iteratively as much as you can to get value and grow the app, but you're still talking a couple of developers at a cost of ... well, conservatively, I can't see you paying external professionals less than 5-10k for it, if you take into consideration testing and matching Planetarion code. Happy to be challenged on that.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to assume anything and I am sure it's frustrating seeing people (esp like me) throw comments around about things you guys have probably already discussed ad nauseam and I agree it wouldn't be cheap or easy and atm definitely not cost effective.

That being said, the game would be more enjoyable if it had an app.
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Unread 24 Sep 2017, 08:09   #20
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster View Post
There seem to be two/three completely separate points in this thread.

On the first one:
The widgets are a nice idea, but will involve quite a lot of rework on existing pages - also, things like gal status / ally defence can get pretty huge, so we'd have to look at some sort of summary. Please bare in mind that, whilst this code has been refactored, the framework was put in place in ~2004 by one developer and one hacker.

On the "just spend one day and bootstrap everything to solve the issue" - please see above. There are 80 pages additional common libraries and I suspect it would take quite some time to boostrap them all.

On the "make an app" - I've seen certainly 6 developers over the last ~10 years say they had time, come in to "help make the game better", and ultimately contribute about 0 lines of code which is still in use. There was actually also a team who went to go and make an app for us 2 years ago or so, and then basically faded and gave up.

Everyone who posts assumes this is actually built with some sort of modern framework, rather than 80k of "legacy code" which has gradually been refactored a bit over 10 years part time. It's a little frustrating.
Crowdsourcing to make this into an app you'd almost have to build the game from scratch; there's only internal perl libraries to call and I doubt anyone would want to use perl to make apps. Even assuming for no graphics, it's a few months and you'd want to do it iteratively as much as you can to get value and grow the app, but you're still talking a couple of developers at a cost of ... well, conservatively, I can't see you paying external professionals less than 5-10k for it, if you take into consideration testing and matching Planetarion code. Happy to be challenged on that.
Thanks for sharing some of this, Appoco. There are a lot of people out there thinking you guys just don't try, so it is actually good to get some insight.

Creating a mobile app would indeed mean creating the game from scratch, but I do think this is for the best. Creating an app based on old Perl libraries... Well, I don't think it would last.

I'm not very familiar with the process of creating a mobile app, but the first step would be to find someone serious (a company perhaps) and get them to look at the game and tell you an eventual price. I think your evaluation is quite on point and it's not that huge sum for a game that has been around for almost two decades. I mean, how many people have fond memories of this game? We still have 500+ player base and I'm sure at least half of them will be happy to donate to an eventual crowdfunding project.

I for one can help with organizing the crowdfunding project and whatever else I can. I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of other guys willing to help with everything. After all, for many of us, Planetarion has been a safe place from RL and the issue around it, it's only fitting to give some back and try to keep it going. Sadly, without a mobile app, the game eventually will die.
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Unread 24 Sep 2017, 10:58   #21
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Have coders been contacted about this? Would be interesting to see what a fixed price competition for this would do. I.e. what the lowest cost would be.
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Unread 24 Sep 2017, 12:47   #22
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

Let’s not let some of the requests here to get lost in translation.

There is a big difference in the following:

- Rebuilding PA from scratch in what may or may not be in perl again
- Building a “mobile app”, which in nature sounds like you are discussing a native app here. This does not require a complete re-write of your back end, just the addition of an API layer
- Rebuilding your front end views into something that is “mobile friendly” hence my suggestion of bootstrap etc. Allowing for all your legacy code to still be used and only looking at the presentation layer which is really what 90% of the moaning seems to be about when it comes to mobile.

I think it is a big ask to suggest that we should contemplate or even fund a complete rebuild of PA from scratch. In essence, thats what all these other PA clones have been including Spinners latest work. That stuff doesn’t cost 5k, add a 0 and treble it and you might get close to the funding input required.

I think PA would benefit greatly from offering up some further data to the community. The PA Dumps have been relied upon heavily by many alliances over the years and has allowed for lots of great web apps to be built off the back of them. If more data was offered out, the community would just build things itself (FOR FREE). Then if the PA team (or a third party) were to get more serious and offer up full API services I think you would once again find the community would build things bigger and better (FOR FREE!). I think this is a medium to long term goal for the PA team and anyone who would like to help. You do not need to switch away from perl or your legacy code, we just need to make it more accessible which is very easy in the modern world to do!

The biggest benefit though, isn’t a native mobile app. It’s a waste of investment and locks you into a world where your web content has to match your mobile content. So instead of pushing updates to one place its now in 2 places (or several if you wanted 100% native code and targeted android + iOS). It’s a resource drain. This is precisely why I would look to just fixing your presentation layer. Make the front end of PA more mobile friendly and everyone is happy. I’m not fussed if this is bootstrap or something else it doesn’t matter theres a million front end frameworks I could recommend but the point here is that a cross browser, cross device front end framework will satisfy the majority of the whine when it comes to “PA needs a mobile app to survive”. It also requires the least amount of investment.

So if we are discussing funding options, I would be more than happy to throw money at a UI refresh. Utilising all the same data PA makes available today in its lovely MVC pattern, all I want is to be able to navigate the bloody site on mobile.
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Unread 24 Sep 2017, 16:10   #23
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

I love the idea of being able to customize the overview.

I also agree on the frustration of navigating PA on a mobile...especially after spending the last month logging in solely from my phone (thanks for trashing my house, Hurricane Harvey!).

That being said, I'd throw in some cash to move these ideas forward, as I'm sure many people would.
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Unread 28 Sep 2017, 16:14   #24
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Re: Redesigning the Overview

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I love the idea of being able to customize the overview.

I also agree on the frustration of navigating PA on a mobile...especially after spending the last month logging in solely from my phone (thanks for trashing my house, Hurricane Harvey!).

That being said, I'd throw in some cash to move these ideas forward, as I'm sure many people would.
Sorry to hear about your house Cochese, my family in Southeast GA is dealing with damages as well. Hope everything goes smoothly.

And I agree, I would put some of my own money forward as well.

I don't think the app needs to compete with "Tank Wars" or "Pokemon Go". Just being able to play the game in it's current form on my phone mobile friendly or app would be lovely as long as the design is navigable GUI.

I also think that making an app that changes the game and implements other things would be fun as well!
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