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> What happened to Shadowland.org
safetypin
post Jan 27 2015, 04:22 AM
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Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I first encountered SR on SL.org back in 2001 and really enjoyed it. Well, round about 2007, I started working on a new piece of software to take over for SL6. I can't remember what happened, it might have been that I got married, but I sort of lost track of things and forgot about the project. Anyway, I was recently reminded of the project, and started working on it again, and I was wondering if there were any SL.org refugees here, and if there was any interest in rebuilding it. Like, if I completed the project, and hosted the site somewhere, would anyone use it?
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Sendaz
post Jan 27 2015, 04:52 PM
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Would certainly be worth looking at. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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safetypin
post Jan 27 2015, 07:27 PM
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Does anyone know who is currently in charge of the current location? the whsites.net looks like it belongs to westhost.com. Is that someone here, who has moved the SL6 files to their own server? I saw a thread talking about creating an archive of lost SR data from the web.

One of my struggles is that it's been so long since I 1) looked at shadowland.org or 2) played Shadowrun, that I'm having a little bit of a hard time understanding why I did certain things. For example, on SL you could sign up for an account, and then create "nicknames" that would allow you to post as a particular character. This makes sense, but I also included an IC/OOC flag that could be toggled, and I don't remember why I would want to allow a posting under a nickname OOC. It seems like it would make more sense if nickname posting was always IC, and if you needed to have an OOC discussion, it would be under your account name.

I could figure this out if I could either 1) look at a functioning installation of Shadowland Six, or 2) get my old code up and running. But unfortunately, I wrote it using Ruby on Rails back in v1.2, and I stopped maintaining it, so it uses a bunch of stuff that doesn't exist in the current version of Rails.

I'm actually glad to rewrite the code, I've grown a lot as a developer, and I know a whole lot more about HTML, CSS and Javascript. So rewriting it is actually fun for me, but I've just lost touch with a lot of the reasoning behind the code.

So, I guess I really have two more questions:

1) Is there anyone here familiar enough with how SL6 worked who could consult with me on a completely irregular basis (probably just having a thread here would be enough).

and

2) Is there any way we can get the SL6 software running? Whenever I try to log in, it says the server is down.
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Demonseed Elite
post Jan 27 2015, 08:15 PM
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Former Shadowland moderator here. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Last I knew, Shadowland Six was being maintained by Ellery, Shadowland's most mysterious moderator. Problem is, I tried to contact Ellery about a year ago at the last email address I had and received no response. Dave Hyatt, Shadowland's original creator, is still out there, but he's pretty busy working for Apple and hasn't been involved with Shadowland or Shadowrun in many years, as far as I know. I have been in touch with some of Shadowland's moderator crew, but none of them have access to the code.

I wasn't involved in the coding you had started, so I'm not sure I can explain decisions that were made then. I can only guess the IC/OOC toggle was because people may have wanted to post OOC comments as their characters for the background of a game scene. But in SL6, OOC comments were handled with hidden sections that were attached to IC posts and became visible when you pressed a link. Maybe it was for the real-time chat room functionality? In SL6, anyone could spawn a chat room, so maybe they wanted a way to designate certain chat posts as OOC. Not sure.

As for being potentially interested in a new Shadowland, I would be, yes. And my day job is a front-end web developer/designer, so I might be helpful there too.
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safetypin
post Jan 28 2015, 03:09 AM
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Sweet, I totally recognize that handle, Demonseed.

One of the big questions I have is what domain it should be under. I'm super frustrated that it looks like shadowland.org would cost like thousands of dollars to buy, and I've spent some time trying to brain storm a less valuable domain name that's still available. But maybe whoever it is that owns it, just put it up for auction, and would be willing to transfer it for $0 to someone else. Maybe I should try to contact Mr. Hyatt about getting an old backup copy of the software running on a subdomain so I could get a look at all the functionality.

Have you done any Ruby on Rails programming? Do you prefer to design UI/X stuff?
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Vegas
post Jan 28 2015, 03:17 AM
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Thais here... Another SL mod (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) I'd absolutely be interested in fleshing this out a bit more and offering up any help I can. I can root around in old computer files and see what history I have on SL6/7 and offer them up if I can find them. Occasionally it is a good thing to be a pack rat (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) but I make no promises...
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Demonseed Elite
post Jan 28 2015, 07:17 PM
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That's a good question about the domain. I looked it up and I don't recognize that owner at all, so I'm guessing Dave's original ownership of it expired and it got picked up by a squatter/reseller. Hmm...many of the other variations with different domain extensions have also been picked up.

You can definitely email Dave, I'm just not sure if I'd count on a response. I've had a really hard time getting in touch with him in the past.

I haven't done any Ruby on Rails programming, but my employer's back-end code is all in C#. But yes, I'm mostly a UI/UX developer anyway, so most of my work is in HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
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safetypin
post Jan 28 2015, 11:04 PM
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Demonseed, I would love to see what you think a new interface should look like. When I was working on this before, I ended up deciding to use a frames based layout, where the navigation was in a sidebar-like frame, and the page content was loaded in a frame that took up the rest of the page.

This seems like such a terrible idea to me now. I think I didn't know about the position:fixed back then, and I was just discovering AJAX. But it really seems to me like this would be the best way to go now. Basically make it work kind of like GMail, but maybe even getting rid of the top section, so it's just a two-section page, where the top of the sidebar gives access to global functions.

Anyway, what do you think?
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Demonseed Elite
post Jan 28 2015, 11:55 PM
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As soon as I have some time, I'll work on some mockups.

A fixed sidebar could work, but there are some things to think about. Fixed sidebars like Gmail's tend to have a set width. But Shadowland used to have a ton of nested objects: pages within folders within folders, etc. If those nested objects are indented like they used to be on Shadowland, they will either get cut off or you'll have a horizontal scrollbar on the sidebar, which isn't ideal. We could just stack nested objects vertically, which could work, as long as we have a way to nicely scroll the sidebar (Gmail does this if you have lots of contacts in their sidebar).
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Critias
post Jan 29 2015, 02:16 PM
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Flea and I (so, uh, two more SL mods, checking in?) chatted about it a few years ago and tried to email Ell, too, and also had no response.
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safetypin
post Jan 29 2015, 04:34 PM
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Well, as far as the domain goes, it looks like these are available:

http://theshadowlands.org
http://theshadowland.org
http://thesixthworld.org

And if someone (or some people) were feeling generous, it looks like

http://theshadow.land

is also available, which would be pretty cool, but a little more expensive. Like $40/yr instead of $15/yr.

I remember that SL6 supported more games than just Shadowrun, were the other games active? I suppose we should try to err on the side of generalization, since "The Sixth World" is SR specific, right?
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Demonseed Elite
post Jan 30 2015, 12:05 AM
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SL6 did support other games, but only The Hunting Ground (for World of Darkness) ever came close to Shadowrun's dominance of the site. I would say that it's probably best to focus on Shadowrun support first and worry about others later.
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safetypin
post Feb 7 2015, 05:31 AM
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Well, I've got a surprising amount done. There's a lot of tweaking to be done, but a lot of the basic functionality is there. I need to add dice rolls to comments, a way to view OOC comments on a page, and the ability to store character information, and setup a permissions system, so people can create semi-private folders and pages.
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KarmaInferno
post Feb 7 2015, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (safetypin @ Jan 29 2015, 11:34 AM) *
Well, as far as the domain goes, it looks like these are available:

http://theshadowlands.org
http://theshadowland.org
http://thesixthworld.org

And if someone (or some people) were feeling generous, it looks like

http://theshadow.land

is also available, which would be pretty cool, but a little more expensive. Like $40/yr instead of $15/yr.

I remember that SL6 supported more games than just Shadowrun, were the other games active? I suppose we should try to err on the side of generalization, since "The Sixth World" is SR specific, right?


shadowlandsix.com appears to be available.


-k
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safetypin
post Feb 11 2015, 06:59 PM
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Is there an IRC chatroom ya'll sometimes hang out? I could use some realtime qa about some of the mechanics - I lost my 3rd edition books, and I can barely remember anything about how a dice-roller should function... Alternatively, it doesn't seem like the wiki has much information on this; maybe I'm just missing it, but if I could read an online description of how all the different dice rolls were supposed to work, that would be very helpful.

I could definitely see a shadowland___.com domain working. I was planning to call this SL7, since it's pretty much a completely new system. How does http://shadowland7.com sound?
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Acenoid
post Feb 12 2015, 07:46 PM
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Hey there!

Not involved into Shadowland.org at all, but I wanted to throw in a thought if you are about to reinvent the wheel / revive some old site:

Why not just ask the dumpshock mods to get some access or get the things you would like to see here implemented? Here you have userbase, infrastructure ecetera... Maybe there is an interest there.

And a while ago I saw some threads that discussed, how to draw attention to the forums. Maybe fresh ideas and motivated moderators will do the trick (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

(Though I find it very lively in here and always get help from fellow users - Thanks for that (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) )

Cheers
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safetypin
post Feb 12 2015, 09:14 PM
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Acenoid,

Hey, Shadowland Six was a like a very specialized forum, and it did actually occur to me that dumpshock.com would be a great place for it to live. I sent a private message to RedJack about it. I am partly doing it for the software engineering challenge. I'm not really interested in trying to tweak an existing forum into acting the way SL6 used to act. I've already implemented most of the basic functionality that the software needs to work in a Ruby on Rails application. However, I would really love to get all of the dumpshock people who are currently RPing on the forums to switch over to my SL software, and I think it would be great if there were a really close relationship, since there is an already established userbase here.

One of the really cool thing that SL let users do was create 'nicks' (I'm going to call them aliases in the future) so you could post as your characters, and include dice rolls with your posts. It also allowed for public and private RPing, as you could create your own locations inside the public space, or create a private space for playing with just a small group. If you've ever used a MUDD, it was a lot like that, except instead of a game-like interface, it was a forum-like interface. It looks like you have a pretty vibrant group of Play-by-Post players over in "Welcome to the Shadows" and I would love for all of them to move over. I think it would be difficult to migrate all of the exiting content/posts. But for any who are interested, you could send me a pm with your: email address, and your character(s) names, and I will make sure that you have an account with those aliases when the site is ready for use. It would probably make the most sense to retain DS usernames, which I'll get if you send me a message.

I'm also planning a character sheet management interface, so you can track your character's status. So, Shadowland Six also had private messaging, a friends system, live chatrooms, and administrative boards, and a lot of more basic forum-type functionality. Some of that might be necessary, like the friend system, but I think it would be great to make SL7 dependent and integrated (as much as possible) with the DS forums. If RedJack (or whoever is the forum's technical administrator) is amenable, it would probably even be possible to integrate login systems, so you could use both systems with a single account.

So, that being said, I know I'm a total newb here, and I'm aware that I'm suggesting things that require some trust in me as a person, so I don't expect any of this to happen immediately. I'm just thinking about the future.
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Acenoid
post Feb 12 2015, 10:18 PM
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I never played on a forum - I'm just afraid that I will not be fast enough to keep the game going - and to be forced to check "daily" becomes a chore quickly. Even if SR is currently my #1 rpg. But I - so far - played only face 2 face games.

Some suggestion for forum / web / internet based rpg play:

- Possibility for the GM to prepare posts / things / resources. E.g. upload some maps and "reveal" certain posts, when the game started.
- Click on profiles show vital stats (if user is eligble to see them)
- small tools for the players to track ammo, weight, monthly costs (most of this could just be "excel style notepad" - maybe use google shared docs?
- Schedule aids (or link to existing services aka doodle or similar)
- timezone aid , to aid all players in managing their game
- if you include a level of rule support allow to set different settings / house rules e.g. sr3 , sr4, sr5

I think a shared login with an unknown person is a no no, though. Like you said, some people could hold DS liable for sharing credentials. Well excited to read about future updates. Who knows maybe I will try to join a game in the future (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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safetypin
post Feb 12 2015, 10:33 PM
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Yeah, definitely not sharing credentials, but it is possible to securely share authentication status. Think of how lots of web sites now allow you to log in using your Google or Facebook accounts, instead of creating a new, standalone account on their web site. Anyway, the more I think about it, the more I think it's probably not worth the hassle. We'll see.
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Demonseed Elite
post Feb 15 2015, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE (safetypin @ Feb 11 2015, 01:59 PM) *
Is there an IRC chatroom ya'll sometimes hang out? I could use some realtime qa about some of the mechanics - I lost my 3rd edition books, and I can barely remember anything about how a dice-roller should function... Alternatively, it doesn't seem like the wiki has much information on this; maybe I'm just missing it, but if I could read an online description of how all the different dice rolls were supposed to work, that would be very helpful.


I haven't hung out in IRC for ages. We could probably set up something like a free Slack.com account, though, to help organize our work on this. And I've been slow on UI mockups, mostly been swamped at work and then dealing with the snowpocalypse up here in New England. Hopefully I'll be able to put some stuff together soon.

As for dice mechanics, is it safe to assume it would be staying edition-current? Which would mean Fifth Edition mechanics. I'm not totally familiar with Fifth Edition, since I haven't played SR since the new edition came out, but I'm sure I could learn it pretty quick. At the most fundamental level, you're going to need to be able to roll multiple d6s and count successes off of them. There are also limits in SR5, so your count of successes has a limit ceiling.

QUOTE (safetypin @ Feb 11 2015, 01:59 PM) *
I could definitely see a shadowland___.com domain working. I was planning to call this SL7, since it's pretty much a completely new system. How does http://shadowland7.com sound?


shadowland7.com would definitely work as a domain name, in my opinion.
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safetypin
post Feb 16 2015, 06:54 AM
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I don't know much about the newer versions of SR, I guess my main question would be: are the mechanics of dice rolling much different, or are the differences in the interpretations and applications of the rolls? From what little I've read (just that article) it seems like there might not be much mechanical difference. I think it makes the most sense for the public areas to stay with the most up-to-date ruleset, since there's a Private Campaigns area that can be used to run campaigns with a different ruleset.

So, I found the location of the original FAQ page which will gave me a huge reminder about how the old system worked, so I have a really great explanation of how a lot of the mechanics worked in the SL6, which has helped to remind me of some of the logic behind how it worked.

So, I'd really like for the system to facilitate play, but I don't want to try to implement rules. I want to do character sheets, but I'm not going to do validation or generation. What I'm going to try to do is make it easy to track things. For example, I think people should be able to make edits to posts. But I'm not going to allow deletion. And I'm going to implement a versioning system, so if you change a post, there will be a record of the change. It might even be publicly viewable by anyone with read-access to the page. So if a dispute arises from an altered post, it can be quickly resolved.
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Demonseed Elite
post Feb 16 2015, 02:31 PM
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I think the main differences in the mechanics are fixed target numbers and limits on successes. I think. But I need to go over 5th Edition mechanics more too.
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safetypin
post Feb 16 2015, 05:25 PM
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I suppose I can probably fish through the threads here discussing the new editions and glean some bits of information, rather than going out and buying copies of all of the editions, but that might take a really long time. Looking at the old system, it looks like there are three types of rolls: standard (which included a target number and rerolls), open, and initiative. Is that still the case?

In which of these situations does the rule of six apply? (I think that's what it's called, right?) The thing where if you roll a six, you roll the die again and add the second role to the six?
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safetypin
post Feb 16 2015, 05:50 PM
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Also, if you want an invitation to the slack.com account, PM me your email address.
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safetypin
post Feb 16 2015, 05:58 PM
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Also, I was thinking about the interface, and it occurred to me that maybe i should look at an application for inspiration. So, I pulled up Brackets, because I remembered that it is created using HTML, CSS, and JS, so I figured I might be able to get some CSS advice for how to create a layout like that, and so far I haven't been able to find the CSS that lays out the main interface. But, it occurred to me that it would be dead simple to make the sidebar resizable with JQuery, so when I finish implementing some basic dice rolling I'm going to try switching the layout so it looks more like that. So, in this layout, the sidebar will be fixed, and resizable (so people can avoid horizontal scrolling if they want). I'm using SASS/Bourbon/Neat for layout structure, so by default, it will be a reasonable percentage of the viewport width. And instead of having a header/footer than stretches the whole width, they will appear to the right of the sidebar. In fact, we could even make it switchable, so if people preferred to have it sit on the right side of the browser, they could do that.
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