Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

[Rabbits] Icehouse Games Wiki Navigation Pages (a bit long--get coffee)

  • FromDavid Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateThu, 26 Jul 2007 11:26:09 -0700
Cross-posted to Icehouse AND Rabbits list (the latter, to get some "new to Icehouse" interpretations, hopefully).

Due primarily to the shift in product packaging and subsequent design focus, the IcehouseGames.org wiki requires building "static" navigation pages for finding games based on one's collection of pyramids.
--Why static? Because it's neigh-impossible to efficiently manage Categories that can sort games by # of multicolor TH sets, # of monochrome IH stashes, and vagueness between the two. For example, Martian Chess--a color-independent game--requires 3 stacks per players, so it take 5/3n sets or stashes, where n is the number of players. Conversely, Martian Coasters--a color-dependent game--requires n/5 sets (2n/10 requires one each of the two different spectrum of sets!) OR 1 stash per player.

To resolve some of this confusion, we have used tables to sort games by # sets or by # stashes; and we have Categories for number of players, mechanics, themes, and other equipment required (easy enough). However, various philosophies of "how to sort" are in conflict, now, and that is leading to a proliferation of sorting pages ("Level 1 Navigation"). The conflict, further, is being waged on the Battlefield of Anecdote, with no hard data, just personal preferences shaped at times by professional experience with user interface design (*ahem*).

Currently, there are way too many "Level 1 Navigation" pages to update when one makes or finishes a game. Further, it could be a bit confusing to new users to see all of these various "sorting pages" when they've just gotten a set (or stash) or two and want to play something.

We have the following pages for these "Level 1" break-downs/sortings:
* Games Under Development
* all games, alphabetically ("The List"; actually, there's two or three of them, due to a naming preference battle in 2005)
* all games, by requirements ("What Can I Play?")
* all games published or awarded, by requirements ("Choosing Games")
* all games, organized by whether published or awarded, then alphabetically ("Existing Games")

[See where I'm heading, yet?]

I propose the following navigational breakdown at the IcehouseGames wiki; I need your feedback (on the list or at the Main Page Talk on the wiki):

* "The List" = Alphabetical list of all games, needed anyway to drive an enumeration template (making "Existing Games" a redundant page).
* "What Can I Play?" = Finished games, by requirements, with superscript icons/acronyms to indicate publication or awards (thereby making "Choosing Games" a redundant page)
* "Games Under Development" = Unfinished games, sorted into sections by completeness, then put into tables by date of request for assistance.

Obviously, this is WAY more verbiage on this matter than a new user would see on the Main Page. That's the beauty of it, really: we could make the Main Page really tight and clear, with straight-forward instructions on what to do based on WHY the user is there: initial learning (new user), quick look-up (experienced user), or publication (developers and editors).

Your thoughts, please? Even if you don't care, say so. My only request is that votes for "leave it as it is" be accompanied by a justification for why we should continue to suffer with five poorly named, incomplete, separate, overlapping, and redundant Level 1 Navigation schemes.