Gripes with Nova

Use this forum to talk about Nova and ask any questions you may have about it. Please use the Help & Support forum if you have found a bug or need help getting something working.

Penta Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:27 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

....See, I've never thought to go wandering my site logged out. I feel silly now.:)

Posts: 109


cmdrlanc Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:18 am

Re: Gripes with Nova

I also am really aggravated that the monthly stats are month to month only now.

I am big into statistics and really miss the full list of previous stats.

I forget how far back SMS went, but I remember it being at least 12 months.

I would be really excited to see that come back in the near future.
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Posts: 281


LeiYong Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:32 am

Re: Gripes with Nova

First off, outstanding job. Nova has revolutionized simming. Period. I think all of us amateur writers have to applaud you for making such a software for us which if used properly ..... can give outstanding results. I have seen many such simm and they all would not be possible without your platform. Kudos.

As for a suggestion, Is it possible to allow GM's to order their posts to their liking?

Currently, the post order is determined by 'when' you post them, whether its kept in pending or not does not matter. Since some GM's, ok dont know about others ... but for me, I like putting up JP's in a chronological order which is often not possible due to some players being slower than the others, etc.

So if it is possible to order the posts according to the liking of the GM, [something like when we order our avatar photos, drag and displace kind of a deal] it would be swell.

Thanks!
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Posts: 38


Endy Tue May 08, 2012 2:33 am

Re: Gripes with Nova

I'm going to start by telling you all that I see Nova as a downgrade from forums, rather than an amazing upgrade from PBeM. But this is how many Trek sites are run nowadays, so I use it.

Regardless, there is a distinct lack of help for new users who are unfamiliar with SMS/Nova. They are placed in front of a rather dizzying array of buttons, none of which directly allow them to see the RP going on. An admin should never have to point offsite for help files - I have had people actively turned off from my site because the best help file I have is on Anodyne Docs. Simple things like "How do I Join?" "How do I Post?" "How do I read Activated Posts?", and of course, for forum users, "What's the difference between 'Save' and 'Post'?".

So, take it however you want, but I feel that professional looking help files, not a page of the Wiki but built-in to Nova, with a user-oriented focus, would be a very good idea and would help at least a few sites grow.

Oh, and another user-friendly thing that I'd like to see. This time it's the Manifest. Why is it that the departments and roles aren't coded to either link to the appropriate section of the Departments page, or to pop out a one-or-two sentence description tooltip? Not everyone is going to know what a quartermaster does, or the duties of a Chief Strategic Operations Officer. Why force them to go digging about when a link or a tooltip would do just as well?

Posts: 6


AgentPhoenix Tue May 08, 2012 8:12 am

Re: Gripes with Nova

There's a lot of thought going in to several of these things for future updates. I understand that doesn't address the issues immediately, but I do know they can be pain points for some people. (The other fact is that a large number of people are already intimately familiar with how Nova works, so it's a fairly small percentage of people who would really need built-in help.) That being said, some of the things I'm looking at are:

- A getting started piece that would show up for every new user and provide a checklist of things they should do (updating their preferences, post, update their bio, etc.).

- Inline help on more fields (it's there for some fields, but not for fields the average player uses, mostly for fields only admins see when the options could be confusing).

- A redesigned control panel that would be more of a Facebook news feed type of thing showing the activity on the sim. This would give users a look at what's going on with the game as well as options to quickly get in and start posting or comment on things.

Thanks for your feedback on Nova!
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Posts: 7567


jordanjay29 Tue May 08, 2012 8:31 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

My major gripe with Nova has been one for a while, that Nova sites lack even a rudimentary discussion area for players to interact. I understand that the RP platform of Nova is not forum based, but the lack of any community area for Nova sites means that there is a hodgepodge of Nova sites that either use IM/email for community (bad) or a separate forum installation or mailing list (tolerable), and nary a drop of consistency between any of them.

I'm not standing here to say that Nova admins can't turn off a built-in discussion area and use their own preference, whether it be IM/email or a separate forum community/mailing list/etc, but it would be nice if Nova came with at least something basic for admins who have no clue how to install something else and aren't the greatest at building communities on their own.

I've been on too many sites where the lack of real community has negatively impacted the game, which wouldn't generally occur in a Forum or Email-based simm, where there's an easy outlet for community discussions right at hand.
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Posts: 100


AgentPhoenix Tue May 08, 2012 9:00 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

Nova 3 will come with a built-in mini-forum to address that very issue.
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jordanjay29 Wed May 09, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

I look forward to Nova 3, then.
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Posts: 100


Stormwolfe Wed May 09, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

YAY for the future mini-forums. That will help my groups out a lot!

In the meantime, I've found it handy to actually utilize the News Items for on-site discussions, feedback, etc. I simply expanded the categories and have educated my users on when to set the item as public or private.

I've also integrated WordPress as my "portal" to the Nova RPG sites, but to date, no one has shown much interest in signing up to use the blogs and other features. It's likely with the advent of Nova 3 and integrated forums, I'll discontinue the WordPress sites.

Thanks and Regards,

JC
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Posts: 467


Endy Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:01 am

Re: Gripes with Nova

If you're going to have a program include a "mini-forum", why not just move the site entirely to a forum-based structure? It seems to me that trying to get the "best of both worlds" is just ending up with more pointless complication and stress.

Posts: 6


AgentPhoenix Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:16 am

Re: Gripes with Nova

How exactly would that work?
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Endy Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:09 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

Probably by turning the proposed "Forum Nova" into a mod to phpBB or phpMyBB, honestly; one which would allow for the creation of a manifest page directly from pre-defined usergroups. Either that or use the forum for RP, and then the Admin publishes the thread(s) to the Missions page when completed.

But what I'm saying is, if you're going to have a forum, and we know that there are far more Forum RPs than Nova RPs out there, why would you just try to reach a halfway point? It seems to me that there's a lack of focused vision going on, frankly - at least, from my perspective. No system can be all of the things all of the time.

Posts: 6


Stormwolfe Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:27 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

I think I would have to mildly disagree. Nova, for all its drawbacks for those of us with limited or no coding skills / knowledge, is still a great platform geared to one thing... online storytelling type SIMs and RPGs. I have used probably every type of venue out there for simming/rping. None of them are perfect and all have pros and cons.

A big con with most forums and groups (such as Yahoo and Google) is the ability to actually write as the character you're portraying. Some forums - and even Wordpress - offer "user" switching, but usually it's a mod and has security drawbacks. Otherwise, you have to have numerous accounts and log in and out to switch. I'm sure this is a minor issue for many people who use "post headers" to state who/what/when/where, etc. But then, you have to police posts and make sure that information is populated and populated correctly. Groups which are pretty much PBeM make editing and joint posting painful to impossible. Again, a work around is having posts moderated so corrections are made before they are released. The downside is having to have someone review all posts and decide to release or reject.

The final con with forums and blogs (maybe the wiki based games too, not sure) is that e-mails are only sent to users if the user subscribes to the forum or topic. To combat that, some forums let you tweak a setting to having subscriptions to all forums by default for new users...

In short, there's probably not a 100% ideal solution for 100% of the RPers/Simmers out there.

And while the mini-forums will be awesome for those of us that depend on lots of user/member interaction to choose and plan upcoming missions, again, News Items provide a work around. A "select all" on PM recipients would help in that regard as well.

My last two requests would be that the Blank Genre come with more neutral language, less "ship" specific - or - allow the GM to select a genre within a genre with language specific to that...I'm sure, however, that that would be a monstrous undertaking. But to elaborate, like if I selected "blank" for my genre, a secondary choice be ship, organization, colony, starbase, etc.

My final request - and I've put this out as a Mod Request - would be to have the ability to set certain elements within Access Roles to View Only. I mean, yeah sure, someone you've written with for years can be trusted to have site-wide post editing/deletion access in order to view ALL saved posts. But, what about the new person who might or might not take a wild hair if they get pissed off and delete everything for "revenge"? Again, this might be a significantly more difficult undertaking than the reward for it warrants.

The bottom line is that no one playing platform fits absolutely everyone. Some offer more features and mods than others but usually at a cost of some type. IMHO, Nova is still ahead of the pack on RPG/SIM specific platforms...not even sure there is a pack out there anymore.

Again...this is not meant to be anything other than a long-time gamer's opinion...and everyone has one!

~ JC
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Posts: 467


AgentPhoenix Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:47 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

Turning Nova into a phpBB mod (or any other such course) is out of the question. In my opinion, that would take all the work Anodyne has spent the last 7 years doing and flush it down the drain. I refuse to do that. Too many people have worked too hard on what we've done to make it all for nothing.

I have never said, nor ever worked toward, making Nova be all things to all people. In fact, I've usually said the opposite: if it isn't for you/you don't like it, don't use it. It's meant to be something to help people manage their games. Some people don't want that help, others want different kinds of help; Nova is meant to just be one option for RPGs to use. There are plenty of other tools out there. People have their own preferences and I'm not out to change them.

Nova's built-in forum will be built in-house. I've been a part of projects that have tried to build off existing software and it leads to complication and more issues than it's worth. That's the reason Nova doesn't provide a "bridge" to any forum software. Nova's forums will be more geared toward RPGs with things like marking a thread as a mission thread (which will tap in to crew activity, post counting, sim stats, etc.). The forum is actually the last piece of Nova 3, so it's tough to talk at any length about it without getting in to speculation, but it'll certainly be a simpler, smaller forum that'll be handy for OOC discussions and posting (for those sims that prefer that style of posting).
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Stormwolfe Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:34 pm

Re: Gripes with Nova

The OOC bit for the mini-forums will be awesome all by its lonesome! But the option to use it for actual game posting sounds great as well.

Personally, I've found that, while challenging for me as I'm not a techie, Nova really provides as much or as little as a person is willing to put into adapting it. I've devised numerous work arounds for things that don't suit our RPG style or our genre. It's not impossible if you can be a bit creative.

Also I really appreciate the proactive way issues are handled here and how much thought and work has gone into Nova from the get-go. I think the platform works as well as it does because it was created by a gamer for gamers.

So...thank you for all the time and effort!

~ JC

PS: You'll be proud of the Skinaphobe (i.e. ME), I managed to modify Titan to suit our new look for our S.H.I.E.L.D. game with only a few wrinkles left to work out. *grins*
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