Transcript of RuneScape Podcast #43: Forums Exposed

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[00:12] hello and welcome to this week's podcast
[00:14] forms exposed so we're going to chat
[00:17] about forums today with a bunch of
[00:19] changes that we've recently made and
[00:20] with me i have bought all-star i'm a
[00:23] front-end web developer on the real
[00:24] escape platform right bring it nice to
[00:26] have you on the surfers i'm mod right
[00:28] here the podcast monkey as most of our
[00:30] listeners will be aware so straight into
[00:32] it why did we make changes to the forums
[00:35] i think very long time a lot of our
[00:37] player base that use the website have
[00:39] often asked us to update the forums
[00:41] they've they've been needing a lot of
[00:42] love for a very long time and tap time
[00:45] seemed like a perfect opportunity for us
[00:47] to go in and put in a lot of updates
[00:49] that a lot of people have been asking
[00:50] for right so tap time what's tap time so
[00:54] every fortnight we have we call tap time
[00:57] which is originally kristen thursday
[01:00] afternoon projects but we've now
[01:01] expanded at the whole day where everyone
[01:03] in the company takes some time out of
[01:05] their regular working routine to work on
[01:07] projects to benefit the company outside
[01:09] of their current work so you can choose
[01:13] anything you want to work on anything
[01:14] you want to learn their can better
[01:16] benefit jagex on runescape moving
[01:18] forwards right yeah so it's a really
[01:21] valuable thing for our employees and
[01:23] loads of good things we've added to the
[01:25] game such as deal with flash mobs is
[01:27] another good example and your form
[01:28] changes have come out of that tap time
[01:30] yeah okay so how did you go about making
[01:33] this changes then was it just you
[01:35] working on it your tackle where other
[01:36] people involved so there's a lot of
[01:38] unsung heroes I think so far right or
[01:41] about Dave his chance to make this thing
[01:43] ok I'm going to try and go through the
[01:45] list now apologize to any of them if I
[01:46] miss them but the project started off a
[01:48] very long time ago probably over half a
[01:50] year ago yeah we work in an agile
[01:52] development system and the forums was
[01:55] never quite we were never quite able to
[01:57] get around to updating the forms how he
[01:58] liked so it's quite a big tricky project
[02:00] it is a huge project yeah I don't think
[02:03] a lot of people realize just how large
[02:05] that project is it's the forums as a
[02:08] very old module that takes a very long
[02:10] time to do it do any large amount of
[02:12] work too ok we started with mod Biggs
[02:16] who's the website designer right on
[02:18] runescape and he came up with a concept
[02:21] of how we can bring the rs3 theme which
[02:24] is what we've used on the new
[02:25] most of the website into the forums yeah
[02:27] and in doing so we were able to add
[02:29] various other new features to that so he
[02:31] spent a lot of time several weeks
[02:33] designing taking feedback from people
[02:36] across the whole company and some of the
[02:37] player base on what how we could design
[02:40] the forms to be better and integrate all
[02:42] these exciting new things that we wanted
[02:44] to add okay from there it was a case of
[02:46] right sitting down going through one of
[02:49] our oldest code bases and ripping out a
[02:51] lot of the old code and inserting new
[02:53] lovely shiny html5 well well keeping it
[02:57] all working with all the old you
[02:58] were going to have to oh yes whilst
[03:00] maintaining what was already there so
[03:02] the challenge was adding all that new
[03:04] code maintaining all the oil existing
[03:05] code and we had basically spent half a
[03:08] year doing that in that it would either
[03:10] be spent on tap time or we would do it
[03:12] after work hours and by we I mean myself
[03:15] and gradually more and more of the web
[03:16] team overtime got involved so that would
[03:18] have been various other web developers
[03:20] and then as we go towards the end of the
[03:22] project web QA jumped in and they teamed
[03:25] up with genki way yes I all of them
[03:27] tested that together one evening and we
[03:28] did a massive amount of work within get
[03:31] the localization teams in and they
[03:33] translate everything and allow the other
[03:35] languages to work as well in the forms
[03:36] and then finally the rest of the company
[03:38] has a look and then last of all we
[03:40] launched it and that's what you see now
[03:43] okay so you've made some objects were
[03:45] there any other particularly hero if you
[03:46] wanted to mention yeah long list and say
[03:49] get okay here we go people that I think
[03:53] that a massive contribution that
[03:54] probably haven't got the necessary
[03:56] thanks ship for it so if we go right to
[03:59] beginning moderniser who's moved on to
[04:01] other company now but he was massive
[04:03] help lead web developer at the time and
[04:05] then we have modulus senior web
[04:07] developer more gesture regular web
[04:09] developer muddly on web QA tester yet
[04:13] mod pug web QA tester lot Ambrose lead
[04:16] web QA tester mods blue web QA tester
[04:19] mod lack web systems developer mods
[04:23] stephen g web systems developer and mod
[04:26] mark s web systems developer and then
[04:29] additionally all of content QA who i'm
[04:31] never gonna believe although they get
[04:34] out they did a massive helps you've got
[04:36] mod grandmother
[04:37] no and many others that I cut removed
[04:39] the air yeah yeah so lots of people so
[04:42] he took so I was going to ask you how
[04:44] long the table says that it took well
[04:46] over six months from start to finish
[04:48] well over six months for a month cept to
[04:50] finish all I missed one personally or
[04:51] wanted before I forget him most
[04:53] importantly mod rass kass right so he
[04:57] was a he was a massive driving force
[04:59] behind it and several of the community
[05:01] team have also been really helpful yeah
[05:02] yeah we were always about for this
[05:04] cancer especially wait a minute our
[05:06] lovely forms got updated we were very
[05:08] happy so let's run through the changes
[05:10] what changes did you make so other than
[05:13] obviously the reskin which yet
[05:15] completely visual overall which i think
[05:17] it more than needed one of the biggest
[05:19] ones we added with signatures to your
[05:21] posts so players and moderators can save
[05:24] a little tagline to the bottom of their
[05:26] profile which will show up under every
[05:27] single post yeah where they can include
[05:29] details whatever they like the game
[05:32] titles what their interests are maybe
[05:33] even their twitter handle if they're
[05:35] like yeah additionally we added some
[05:36] extra bbcode including spoiler tags and
[05:39] link tags so yeah it's quite a lot of
[05:41] people like this for the time yeah that
[05:43] was a lot more popular lyrics even I
[05:45] expected it to be there was a I've seen
[05:47] some very creative uses of that you
[05:49] never even thought I'd see them in the
[05:50] signatures but there you go the link
[05:53] tags greater allows players to link to
[05:55] any other page on runescape calm so that
[05:57] encourages the community to help each
[05:59] other and yeah yeah share the knowledge
[06:01] better I suppose we also added little
[06:03] things that make probably navigating the
[06:05] forum easier such as making qfc is more
[06:07] prominent and easier to copy and
[06:09] basically increase in the ability to
[06:11] navigate around the forum easily ok and
[06:14] finally there was a feature that I
[06:16] didn't even know existed that you stupid
[06:18] was called a forum picker which was
[06:19] there on the very old version of the
[06:20] forums and we dug that out and reaper
[06:22] they're back in and that allows you to
[06:24] select any forum from a drop-down list
[06:26] yeah and go to it directly rather than
[06:29] having to go back to the front and go
[06:31] back in back and forth and back and
[06:33] having a ok so that was a really good
[06:36] solid set of changes is there anything
[06:38] else in the pipeline for the forms as
[06:40] well yes I one of the updates we've got
[06:42] in the pipeline that we want to
[06:43] introduce is forum ranks Ryan that's
[06:46] something we've been discussing with the
[06:47] community so we can implement that the
[06:49] best way to satisfy
[06:50] most amount of people there's there's a
[06:52] little bit of controversy about forum
[06:54] ranked although it's very common feature
[06:55] of lots of forms as there's always some
[06:57] people who are not comfortable with it
[06:59] necessarily yeah so we're listening to
[07:02] those people and yet we're finding we
[07:04] think we've got a solid way to implement
[07:06] it now and we're hoping we can share
[07:07] that with you soon that will give the
[07:10] best of both worlds and that it's not
[07:11] going to be so in your face but it's
[07:13] going to be there for the people that
[07:14] want it okay and I think that's going to
[07:16] improve the forms a lot and they'll be
[07:18] the ranks will be based on your post
[07:19] count and the more posts you make the
[07:22] different color medallion you'll get the
[07:23] medallions are based on materials and
[07:25] the actual game actually you can go all
[07:27] the way up and the more posts you make
[07:29] the bed of material bad you'll get and
[07:31] with that we're going to add a few extra
[07:32] links and extra things to the posts
[07:35] themselves to make it a bit easier for
[07:36] you to navigate around that person's
[07:38] contributions the forums if anybody
[07:41] wants to comment on that all words to
[07:42] add to the thoughts about forms where's
[07:44] the best place for them to go so the
[07:46] best place to leave feedback for us on
[07:48] the forums is in the fonz you have a
[07:50] website and forum section where you can
[07:52] create your thread and offer any
[07:54] feedback tool that you think we should
[07:56] take heed of and the web team commonly
[07:59] you're looking at that the web team are
[08:00] reading it a phenomenal amount at the
[08:02] time we we really do make an effort to
[08:05] read as much as possible on that forum
[08:07] we can't promise we'll catch it if you
[08:09] post outside but we'll have a very good
[08:10] go edit if you post in there brilliant
[08:13] alternatively if you do want to get hold
[08:14] of very quickly you can tweet us but
[08:16] best to stick with the phone isn't it
[08:18] with the forms okay and what other
[08:20] things have the web dev team be working
[08:22] on them so we work on a very broad range
[08:25] of projects and some runescape rated
[08:29] some not and some behind the scenes that
[08:31] we can't talk about and some a lot of
[08:33] front-facing ones too and the biggest
[08:35] one reason the oven the forms has been
[08:36] relapse and now against players the
[08:38] opportunities submit ideas for game
[08:41] content yeah and all of that mechanic
[08:44] about how that works website is all the
[08:46] web dev team is me yes so there are
[08:48] front end and back end web developers
[08:50] who worked on roon ABS myself and more
[08:53] gesture did all the front end so
[08:55] everything you see and then some
[08:58] back-end guys mod Stephen G and mod
[09:01] andrew s did a lot of the back end
[09:04] and then we have sir ma de Leon who qaid
[09:07] it and and we all delivered the whole
[09:09] project that you can now use and submit
[09:12] your content whoever it is or
[09:13] suggestions ok ok are there any other
[09:17] changes you would like to make to the
[09:18] forum if you know you found more tap
[09:21] time or zoom there are many many updates
[09:24] that a lot of people have suggested and
[09:26] that I would like to make I think yes is
[09:30] the answer we would definitely like to
[09:33] add the ability for people to favorite
[09:36] their posts or threads so people have
[09:40] some threads that they feel especially
[09:42] attached to and we would like to be able
[09:44] to store that so you could save that in
[09:46] your profile so you can go back to it
[09:47] easier saves the need for constantly
[09:49] having to post on it to remember this is
[09:52] the profile post yeah it does exactly
[09:54] and I think that's something a lot of
[09:56] people I think now is the biggest
[09:58] requested feature and it's it's
[10:00] something we have noticed it's just a
[10:01] lot more work than some of the other
[10:02] things we could do yeah there's some
[10:05] other low-hanging fruit you might be
[10:06] able to do first yes and I think one of
[10:08] those is people wanted to be able to
[10:10] expand and contract the categories on
[10:13] the home of the forums right where I
[10:15] weren't interested in and I've been
[10:17] talking with several of the other
[10:18] members of the team and we think we can
[10:20] probably deliver that something we may
[10:21] do in the future which we were quite
[10:23] excited about and the again that's been
[10:25] asked for a lot so ok and my final
[10:28] question for you what is the favorite
[10:31] change your feature that's coming I'm
[10:34] probably torn between two of them to be
[10:35] honest I really really think the
[10:37] signatures was one of the my favorite
[10:40] ones to get working was also the most
[10:42] amount of effort to do it's surprisingly
[10:44] harder than you'd think but that was
[10:46] definitely one of the greatest things
[10:48] because now people can save the
[10:49] signature and just breathe automatically
[10:51] without having to that without having to
[10:53] take away from their own post count but
[10:54] I think as we mentioned earlier the
[10:56] sports seeing people's creative use of
[10:57] the spoiler tags as a certainly been
[11:00] enlightening to how much fun you can
[11:02] have a BB code is quite impressive the
[11:03] different uses people have had for them
[11:05] and I think it's been great to see that
[11:07] kind of excitement and in my dream was
[11:10] bringing life back in ya arms i respect
[11:12] that that's been very satisfying and it
[11:14] actually made the six months of
[11:15] incredibly hard work worth
[11:17] when we launched it all of the web team
[11:19] were there skimming the feedback and we
[11:21] were all smiles about it was great
[11:23] brilliant well thanks for all your hard
[11:25] work model start and the rest of the
[11:27] team that you've mentioned today and we
[11:30] look forward to great things from the
[11:31] forms in the future thanks very much
[11:33] great to be here bye
[11:51] Oh