OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Character tagging in posts on OngoingWorlds

OngoingWorlds is currently on my development server, awaiting to go live. There are a few features however which I haven’t yet implemented. These features are the cream of the cake however, and might not be added until after the site goes live. It’s taking long enough to get a basic version working as it is!

A knight on a horse

Sir Tony might be tagged in this post

Currently, when a user submits a post to OngoingWorlds it will create a post which will go into a thread of posts. All posts will be archived in a long list by date. Easy and simple.

Other members will be able to see that post, and read its contents. For example the post is about a character called Sir Tony who is riding on a horse to a castle. The post has been written with amazing love and care, the spelling is perfect and the grammar is amazing. But it’s still a page of plain text, and I want to jazz it up a bit with an image. Asking a player to submit an image every time they post is a bit unreasonable, as finding an appropriate image would take a long time, and might actually be impossible unless the user draws the image themselves, scans it and uploads it. Far too much work, but it’s not too much work to put an image of the character on the post.

In OngoingWorlds you’ll be able to “tag” a post just like you can tag users in a photo on Facebook. So in our example, the player tags their character Sir Tony in the post and his smiley face is shown to any other players who are reading that post.

A second player wants to reply to that post and interrupt Sir Tony on his way to the castle. The second player has a character called Grimlock, so s/he writes the post about Sir Tony and Grimlock meeting up and exchanging some dialogue. This player then tags Grimlock, and also tags Sir Tony because they are both mentioned in the post. All other players can see thumbnail images of both ‘Sir Tony’ and Grimlock on the post when they read it.

This is extremely simple, but it just shows at a glance which characters are used in the post, which provides a visual aid to memory. Also the images are links to the character’s full biography, allowing all players a quick link to the character’s biography without having to trawl through the Character list to find the character they’re interested in.

Mockup of the post page

Mockup of the "New Post" page

I’ve not started on this functionality yet, as I don’t think it’s essential to go live with it. I might create it as a “phase 2” project. I want to make sure the site is successful before adding features that users might not want or use.