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Author Topic: Looking for someone to host a Saga Frontier hacking community  (Read 781 times)

creeperton

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Looking for someone to host a Saga Frontier hacking community
« on: December 03, 2011, 07:12:04 pm »
Someone brought up the desire to create a SaGa Frontier modding forum to me, and I thought it would be prudent to ask the people here what they think, if anyone will host us, and if they'll let us have our own independent forum (not a sub-forum or a section on their forum, since we need to use specific mods to SMF) on their server.  We would probably need someone to install and use the SMF tools and mods, and set it up, but we can take care of the day-to-day affairs.

ME:
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If we want to do anything, first we need a forum of our own, but we should decide what our goal is before we design the forums.

Him:
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The focus of the forum as I see it would be to be able to make patches to the game or clones of the game ala FF Hacktics. But it would have to be a slow build, especially since the SF community is smaller than the FFT community. I think three goals would be in order:

a) find other people who are interested
b) make a general "rebalancing" patch and
c) begin work on conceptualizing a clone project.

Before any of that gets going, we'd need to find a host for the forum and someone willing to be the webmaster. I can bounce the idea off a friend of mine who has some html experience.

Me:
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HTML experience? AH HA HA HA HA!

Seriously, the only thing worth using is SMF. Google it. We could use PHP, but it has serious security flaws.

Specifically, we need the latest stable version of SMF, since there are several mods I want to incorporate into the forum that can only be used with the latest version, which I forget, I think it's 2.xx.xx.

I'd ask ffhacktics to host it, but they're SMF 1.xx.xx. I don't want to use verve fanworks, because I want this site to be dedicated ONLY to SaGa Frontier, and perhaps to the other SaGa games, but only as an afterthought - much the same way FFHacktics hosts FFTA hacking.

Otherwise, your reply is good advice. What kind of board layout do you want, since there are plenty of free boards out there (though it's hard to find one w/ the features I want).

Do you want to go with the Ogre Battle forum layout I use at Verve Fanworks (ask for a link if you need it)? Would you rather something more like romhacking.net, something like byuu.org, or something like the current layout of ffhacktics?

How does the layout influence the interactions on the board? What do we want the layout to make it easy to do (like contribute, and report bugs on different versions of hacks), and hard to do (like get lost)?

SMF comes with some very easy to use tools, but they do require a bit of know how. You should ask around, and see if anyone will let us have our own forum on their server, separate from their forums or sites or whatever.

Also, I'll appreciate it if anyone has any advice on the layout for such a forum.  SaGa Frontier isn't as popular or well known as FFT, but it's fanbase is just as fanatical, if not more so.  So we need a very focused layout.  Eventually, we want to make a SaGa Frontier clone, but right now we just want to organize our consolidate our modding efforts, to eliminate any duplication of effort.

a) find other people who are interested
b) make a general "rebalancing" patch and
c) begin work on conceptualizing a clone project.

With these three goals, it should be very newb friendly, above all else.  You shouldn't be afraid of posting in the wrong board, but it should have a place for newbies to go.  So, instead of a Help board, like FFH, we should have a Newbie board.

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-Hacking Section - this section is where it's generally okay to post
*Newbie Board = not restrictive at all
*General Hacking = there's a bit of overlap between this and Newbie Board, but that's okay.  Tutorials are stickied in a this board for now.

-Projects Section = posting is very restricted in this section
*hacks = (a hack is literally a hack.  like an asm hack, a hex edit, or whatever.  Each hack should get it's own topic, to keep track of them, bug reports and interactions and such)
*mods = (a mod is a any modification to the game which is not a hack) (posting is slightly less restrictive, but you must have a PPF patch file to create a topic in this board)
**(Mod discussion?) (sub-board for prospective modding talk) (I don't think we need boards for WIP and finished mods, since we need a flagship mod and a ton of members before we get that far)

-Tools Section = off-topic posing is restricted.
*(each tool get's it's own board, where the tool creator gets feedback and archives older versions)
**(each tool get's it's own feature request sub-board)

-SaGa Clone Section
*(Project Name) Discussion Board

-Off Topic Section
*General Discussion
*Forum Feedback
^Here's what I have so far.

December 06, 2011, 04:23:49 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
UPDATE

http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=8122
^Same topic at ffhacktics.

http://board.byuu.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2235&start=0
^Same topic at byuu.org

Laggy just PMed me.
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Hi-ho good sir,

As a disclaimer, I'm not really a member of the FFH community. I just lurk on their boards on occasion and noticed the topic you posted recently. If you've already spoken or have plans to set up your board in affiliation/under FFH's hosting please just disregard the rest of what I have to say.

There's another community (the RPGDL) which I primarily reside at and of which is possessed of a few but very rabidly dedicated SaGa frontier fans. I myself happen to one of them, along with NeoElfboy (who frequents the GFAQs SaGa board on occasion) and some others. To briefly summarize, the DL's itself main focus is on documenting and dissecting the various gameplay systems of RPGs in a hypothetical dueling format, although we've moved away from that in recent years due to inactivity and are now more of a general loose RPG information repository (lots of math geeks abound). Some SaGa-relevant work that we've done include a few stat topics (one by myself, one by NEB) to give you an idea of where our interests lie.

Getting to the actual point, I help with the technical aspects of hosting the site and boards for the DL community alongside Talaysen (our main admin) and he has stated that he doesn't mind sharing the hosting for your hypothetical SaGa modding board. I would be handling the forum setup for you guys, basically installing SMF as requested, then handing off an admin account to whoever should be in charge of the board and letting said person set up everything else. I've been following the SaGa data mining for quite some time and would absolutely love to see you guys make more headway on the thing, so if this is at all appealing to you, let me know and we can discuss further details.

Thanks and good luck!

Regards,
Laggy
Laggy, some questions and clarifications:

*I was wrong, or mistaken, or whatever, about several things concerning SMF and PHP.  Here they are:
1. PHP is a programming language.  IIRC, it's a html scripting language.
2. There was a major security flaw, but it was with phpbb, a software suite - much like SMF (which stands for Simple Machine Forums) - written in the PHP programming lanuage.  phpbb is written in PHP, just like SMF.
3. SMF is probably the best option, but, since I was misinformed (a polite way of saying "Fucking Stupid") about phpbb, I will leave all decisions concerning the software to be used in the prospective SaGa Frontier modding forum to my betters - those who actually work on and maintain internet forums.

*Will the prospective SaGa Frontier modding forum at the RPGDL be a part of their current forums, or will we just inhabit the same hard drive as them, and otherwise have really nothing to do with them (besides giving them all the ad revenue in exchange for hosting us)?

*Will the RPGDL help maintain backups of our forum, since we're on the same hard drive as them?

*Do you have experience in web mastering and administration of web sites, and internet message boards and forums?  Will you be our admin?

*I'm kinda hardheaded about some things, but I have my reasons.  I want the Hacks portion of our forum to be unpostable, at least directly.  Specifically, if you want to add a hack, I want you to have to fill out a set of custom forms, detailing info about the hack and what platforms you tested it on - among other things - after which the hack will be added to a searchable/browsable database, and a topic will be created in the Hacks forum.  After someone posts a bug report or update or recommendation or request on the hack via another set of custom forms, a post featuring the aforementioned info will be added to the relevant topic.

I want to make it like this because SaGa Frontier is a very disorganized and unoptimized game.  I really don't want to have a Final Fantasy 3/6 situation, where we have dozens of hacks and nearly as many editing tools, with no consolidated info on bugs, testing, compatiblity, and version history.

*In closing, I hope everyone who is intersted reads your offer, gives it a fair hearing, and supplies their honest opinion.  Yours is probably the best bet we have at establishing a Saga Frontier modding community.

Thanks, laggy.  Please tell your friends at the RPGDL, and make a topic linking to this topic.

~ Fanatics, Unite!

EDIT

http://www.rpgdl.com/forums/index.php/topic,5903
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 09:22:01 pm by creeperton »