OngoingWorlds blog

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


New feature: Character tagging in posts

I want to let you know about a new update to the OngoingWorlds website that I’m quite excited about! Now, when you write your post, you can select which characters are in the post. This will show the characters names and thumbnail photos down the right-hand side of the page when you’re reading the post.

I’ve been talking about this feature for months on Twitter and to any interested people who I’ve talked to directly. I even did a blog post back in December, about why this feature is so cool. It’s part of what I want the site to be about, making it easier to see information at a glance. Being able to see a quick snapshot of the characters involved, you’ll quicker be able to see what the post is about.

Making character profiles more relevant

I’ve seen Play by post games being run before, and the character profiles always seem to be tucked away on a separate page somewhere. On forum-based games, the characters are often in a separate thread, which often just isn’t visited.
On OngoingWorlds, there is a link to a character’s profile on every page where the character is tagged.

I’m naming this feature “Character Tagging”

I’m struggling to think of a decent name for this feature. It’s very similar to Facebook‘s character “tagging” feature, allowing you to “tag” people on your photos. But I don’t want to confuse this however with the existing term used in play by post games, where members can leave a note at the end of their post to indicate another member should continue the story.

Unless anyone can come up with an alternative, I’ll call it “Character Tagging”

Lets look at how character tagging works

So you want to create a new post in your game. Select “New post”.

You’ll see the normal post screen, with a textbox for the post title, and a larger textbox where you can write your post.

The "new post" screen

The “new post” screen

You’ll see now at the bottom there’s a dropdown box where you can select any character in your game. Selecting any character will create a box at the bottom of the page with that character’s name and photo.

A character has been selected

A character has been selected

You can add as many characters as you want, and remove them by clicking the “remove” button at the bottom of each character. This removes the character from the post, but doesn’t remove the character from the game.

Submit the post by pressing the “Post this” button, and then view the post you’ve created. You should see your tagged characters down the right-hand side of the page.

The characters will now show on the right-hand side of the post

The characters will now show on the right-hand side of the post

If you’ve made a mistake, you can edit the post, and remove the characters from the post there.

Possible problems

Currently it’s possible to select a character multiple times on the screen. When this is saved, it will only save the character once however.

The thumbnail photo that is used to show the characters you’ve tagged will currently not be a fixed size. The height of the image will depend on the aspect ratio of the image which was uploaded. This means if the image is too tall, it might make the box look odd, and boxes underneath might not align properly.
If I notice that the images are much taller than they are wide, I’ll change this feature to use a fixed size thumbnail.

Get started!

If you want to start using this feature, go to your game in OngoingWorlds and create a new post.