StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

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J-Ray
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#46 Post by J-Ray » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:15 pm

It looks like a good place to connect VN content creators with people who need it.
From music producer's point of view... It would be great to be able to embed tracks from Soundcloud / Bandcamp / Youtube to let people listen to samples without leaving website.
(I wish Lemma Forums could implement this feature)

Cheers!

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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#47 Post by Tempus » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:32 am

Alte wrote:Could there be an option of Narrative point of view for writing?
I think that could make sense. I'm not gonna change/add to the options for a while now but I've added it to the ideas doc!
J-Ray wrote:It looks like a good place to connect VN content creators with people who need it. From music producer's point of view... It would be great to be able to embed tracks from Soundcloud / Bandcamp / Youtube to let people listen to samples without leaving website. (I wish Lemma Forums could implement this feature) Cheers!
I'm glad you think so! And having an embedded player is definitely something I want on the site. Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and YouTube should all be doable. I'd like to include an option for Vimeo too.

---

Will probably have more updates soon but in the mean time here's a couple of changes have been made to the beta site (beta.storydevs.com):
  • The about page has been significantly expanded and redesigned to be a little more readable. Though as I read through it again it occurs to me that it's a little too oriented toward people looking for developers and neglects highlighting why you might want to use it as a developer yourself. For example, it's a convenient place to list projects you've worked on if you wanted to show people what you've done.
  • There's now searchable dropdown lists for the talent search. Some of the lists have like 100+ options so it was kinda necessary. Was pretty annoying to implement. The actual searching part took like 5 minutes to code, while the rest was wrangling with browser inconsistencies and the joy that is CSS. I detail the whole ordeal in this blog post.
Image

Image
Eventually these and other changes will be pushed to the www site once they're working properly.

---

Anyway, there'll be some more stuff to share soon. Was set back by some personal drama last month but it seems to have righted itself now. However, since I've started commissions again to help fund some focused development time for StoryDevs it's become clear that it'd be easier if I had some help. So I'm looking into setting up a system to allow people to volunteer if they wish, though I'm trying to take it slow so that things don't end up a huge mess.
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#48 Post by Tempus » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:54 am

Just a quick post to say this is still being worked on! I had to take a break from developing it (at least in terms of actually writing code) for a while so that I could do some art commissions and, you know, afford to live~

Anyway, last week I resumed developing. Here's a rundown of the things I've done / relevant news:
  • You can now edit the basic profile's details. This is the main thing I've been working on the last week... it's not a hard thing to implement per se but I found I had to clean up and restructure a lot of my older code along the way, hence why it took a week (that and just refamiliarising myself with the code!). This is, of course, a precursor to being able to create and edit your own talent profile! Some stuff like password reset, account deletion, email confirmation upon changing address and so on are missing but will be added later.
    Image
    You can try this out at beta.storydevs.com — register or log in, visit your account page (your username at the top-right takes you there), and choose "edit account details". Please note that the beta site is exclusively for testing—registrations aren't actually open yet. If you'd like to reserve a handle you can do so on the www site at www.storydevs.com/reserve. Once the beta site is fully functional the changes will be pushed to the www site and registrations will be opened.
  • Minimum password length is now 12 characters. Additionally each password must contain at least one lowercase, uppercase, numeral, and special. Some people won't like this (a friend of mine complained about the length) but honestly it is just not that big of a deal to come up with a password like this. While I'm open to feedback on a lot of things, this is something I will not change. If anything, it'll get longer.
  • Leah Waig (head of production w/ Sparkler Monthly) has been helping out with social media. She's authored and posted the last few Twitter/Tumblr updates and it's been nice. I tend to spend way too long writing posts, deciding what's relevant, what's not, agnosing over wording. This helps free up time and Leah is also more familiar with that role than I am anyway — I don't tend to remember to post at specific times / bump news etc.
  • I'll be working on adding a marketing option under 'skills' on the talent database search. I recently talked to Lauren Clinnick, a games marketing consultant, for some advice on these options. She was quite helpful and as a result I have some decent notes built up.
I think that's it for now!
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#49 Post by Alte » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:58 am

  • The 'vv' (two Vs in a row) slightly resembles to a w, however not many names contains the letter w. Something of a minor mention.
    Image
  • Could the password length get shorter if emojis were to be acceptable characters for authentication? I might be joking about that.
    Aside from it, the message for password creation error seems inconsistent with the requirement for the letter part.
    Passwords must contain at least one letter, number, and special character.
    One letter of uppercase and lowercase to be oddly specific?

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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#50 Post by Tempus » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:25 pm

Alte wrote:The 'vv' (two Vs in a row) slightly resembles to a w, however not many names contains the letter w. Something of a minor mention.
Ah yeah, I did consider trying to prevent that. It's more egregious with things like lowercase 'L' and upper case 'i' where they look basically identical in some fonts. I could do something like... if you register, say, the handle "leila" it prevents other people from registering "IeiIa", "1ei1a", "Iei1a", etc etc. But I decided that it's an unnecessary amount of extra complexity. That, and calculating permutations is extremely costly beyond with even a relatively small set of characters. Still, impersonation like that can be used as a harassment tactic so anything to reduce the possibility would be welcome. Probably the easiest thing would be a font that makes the difference between characters obvious.
Alte wrote:Could the password length get shorter if emojis were to be acceptable characters for authentication? I might be joking about that.
Ha, well at the moment only the English alphabet, numerals, and some specials are supported sadly. The problem being that stuff like emoji cause JavaScript to misreport the number of characters (technically it doesn't misreport them but it behaves in a really dumb way). Eventually though almost any unicode character will be supported.
Alte wrote:Aside from it, the message for password creation error seems inconsistent with the requirement for the letter part.
Ah, good catch. I've fixed it now. I also found an error message bug with the email input too!
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#51 Post by Mammon » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:10 am

I don't think it has been mentioned yet (but maybe it has and I read over it, this is a long thread), are you planning to implement reviewers/proofreaders/betatesters?

I ask this because this might also be a sought for service, especially for new developers. Right now, there are plenty of new developers who make a thread on Lemmasoft to get some feedback on their work, and the people who happen to be browsing the forum and have some spare time on their hand play the game and might give a review. However, most people will only do so with promising or attractive games (from already established developers) and with completed games. Demo's and Beta-testing, especially when posted in the Demo's and Beta-testing thread rather than the Works in Progress thread, can go completely unnoticed. StoryDevs could help these young developers find people who can proofread or beta-test work, and who could give reviews of what (and how) to improve.

This might also help with the hurdle that it might take several years for an aspiring developer to get a proper résumé on their profile. Right now, people might find a group to work with in the several years it takes to get all their skill and abilities out there, negating the need for StoryDevs for starting developers (a.k.a. the lifeblood of your community to be). This problem doesn't really apply with artists, the searching party can just take a look at their artwork and immediately tell if it's good enough/what they want. But with coding this can become more problematic because the searching party might not know code and programming jargon themselves, and I highly doubt that people are going to read through an entire story to estimate the worth of a writer's résumé. They'll look at reviews or sample chapters instead. Reviewers can be a better solution here.

And hopefully, this might make another people-inspired filter of quality for searches. If someone writes a lot of good reviews or has knowledge in a certain field like coding, people can look up their recommended developers instead. Hopefully, this would eventually result in something like the following scenario:

There are two developers; A and B. A has made a lot of games, shows a lot of examples of their work and has a broad and promising array of skills. B is an aspiring developer with only one barely known game released, doesn't really have a lot to show for and their skills are a bit vague. Producer C sees this and obviously wants to hire A. However, he sees a review from D on both pages and decides to look at them, knowing D to be fair and strict in their judgement. C then reads that of the many games A worked on, only a few were ever released and that A's work seemed pretty much the same in all of them without a learning curve or showing their ability to adapt to the project. And apparently, A has abandoned a few games before when offered better pay elsewhere. Obviously something A didn't include in their profile. B isn't too amazing themselves, but they seem to have the dedication and focus to work on a VN.

This is obviously a bit of a fairy-tale like example of optimistic thinking, but from what I have heard reviewers, betatesters and proofreaders are a good and sought for part of VN development. So especially a site like yours, where people can look for the kind of reviewer they want by f.e. betatester -> available -> honest critique, or something like that, it would be a very useful addition. It would also set you apart from Lemmasoft, because it doesn't require new developers to either just hope that the betatester will find their thread but also because it would allow them to approach people without having to know from other threads/people who tends to review stuff a lot and has the free time to do so.

This would probably require a grading system of some kind, preferably with multiple factors like <writing, coding, art, etc.>, that can be linked to the profile of other developers. If it doesn't work with Storydevs coding, maybe you could do it under a different name. (Dare I say, StoryRevs?)
ImageImageImage

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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#52 Post by Tempus » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:06 pm

There will be a skill option for testers, though the exact form it'll take is undecided at the moment. Regarding reviewing it seems like you're suggesting reviews of other members rather than reviews of works. I'm not ruling out some sort of system for members collectively verifying "yes, this person is reliable etc" but I'd like to avoid grading/rating people and instead give people enough tools to make their own decisions.

In the experience section of a talent profile it will be mandatory to provide a link to any projects listed, as well as a link to the developer. Since "projects completed" is a search criteria, this means that anyone you search for who claims to have completed a project or projects will have a link to every single one of them. Now, obviously you could just put any old link there. I could claim I worked on, say, Steins;Gate then put a link to the McDonald's website — StoryDevs won't know the difference. However, it forces people who are lying to put something there. If the link is ambiguous and doesn't verify their claims in any way then that in itself is a kind of meta information about the profile-holder: it tells you that this person is unable to provide basic information about their experience even with an explicit prompt to do so.

Proofreaders are covered by editing — there's an option for this under 'skills' on the beta site. The 'light touch' sub-option under 'scope of edits' is basically proofreading. Reviewing (of works), journalism, and criticism will be listed as skills but probably not until after the site launches.
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#53 Post by Tempus » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:47 pm

Recently added Visual Novel Maker to the list of engines for programmers. It occurs to me as I'm typing this that programmers aren't the only ones who can have experience with engines... So maybe it makes sense to have some general section for engine experience. Anyway, here's the option on the beta site:
Image
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In other news, I've also been working on a login manager for the site. Basically when you log into StoryDevs you're logged in forever unless you explicitly log out. That could be a problem if you lost your phone or accidentally stayed logged in at a library or whatever. So there's an option to log out remotely in your account section. You can also rename logins so that they're easier to identify.
Image
This is also on the beta site, though you'll need to register there to see it. Keep in mind that it's the beta site, and your account won't be transferred to the www. site. It's still buggy atm but I thought I'd share my progress.
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#54 Post by Alte » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:30 am

Is there a possibility for another addition to the list of Engine Experience?
Even though few of the engines I mentioned are not known for making VNs, it can be done or at least story-oriented. Most of MoaCube’s projects are developed in GameMaker. Aviary Attorney [by SketchyLogic] and tuesday [by Ren, Ryuno, kyuu] are made in Construct. What about Adventure Game Studio and RPG Maker?

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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#55 Post by Tempus » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:27 am

Definitely — I just added them based on your suggestion! You can see here on the beta.
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#56 Post by Alte » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:38 pm

I see! Under Programming could Language(s) be specify as Computer Language(s)?

How about length of work? [Short-term, about 2 months or under] | [Intermediate-term, few to several months] | [Long-term, up to a year or over]

What are your thoughts about a slogan?

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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#57 Post by Tempus » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:32 am

I'll probably just leave it "languages" since it's clear enough from context what's meant, I think.

Length of work... could be useful. I can imagine someone experienced starting a long-term project (say, 2 - 3 year dev cycle) and wanting to find people who had spent >1 year on a project and completed it. Obviously, someone could just take a long time to complete a simple project but presumably at least some of the results would include people who'd spent an amount of time proportional to the complexity/size of the project. That's all the options really need to do: make the results more relevant, not perfect or 100% accurate.

As for a slogan there's already a phrase I re-use a lot (which I came up with for SEO purposes) that goes, "A place for developers of visual novels, interactive fiction, and story-oriented games to find each other and collaborate." The title of the home page (i.e., http://www.storydevs.com) is "StoryDevs | Find developers who make story-focused games" which, again, was chosen for SEO purposes. So I guess they're the de-facto slogans, though they're more to do with marketing and orthogonal to my goals for the site.
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#58 Post by Tempus » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:32 am

StoryDevs now supports gamepad input in the following browsers:
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Edge


There's a live demo on the beta site right now that you can try. I've only tested with and mapped the buttons for an Xbox-like controller so if you have a PlayStation controller let me know how things go for you!

Internet Explorer will never support this, but Safari will in future versions (it already supports it in the tech preview). Unfortunately I had trouble getting my gamepad to work with Mac OS so I don't really know whether it's working properly. Apparently PlayStation controllers work better for Mac OS.

Important Note: I'm in the middle of a complete re-write of the beta's front-end so many things are not working. I'm aware of this. The functionality will be restored soon. I've disabled everything except the gamepad demo and header/column collapsing for now.
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#59 Post by Tempus » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:34 pm

Just a quick update to say that StoryDevs now has a Discord server: https://discord.gg/eeWHtHY

If you want to hang out or ask questions or whatever. Well, that's what it's there for!

---

P.S. I tend to mostly update on the StoryDevs Tumblr and Twitter accounts now — I often forget this thread exists...
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Re: StoryDevs — a site for finding VN devs

#60 Post by KittyWills » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:53 pm

The site is looking really good! Great work so far. =D

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