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Acenoid
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 771

Old December 14th, 2014, 03:21 PM
Just create a wiki template, where LWD works on and registered users alike.
A wiki-community will establish by itself and if it goes into the "wrong directions" LWD could simply stop contributing (and devoting resources to the site).

However they would have to invest into a stable environment and maintain it.
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Dark Lord Galen
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Old December 14th, 2014, 08:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acenoid View Post
Just create a wiki template, where LWD works on and registered users alike.
A wiki-community will establish by itself and if it goes into the "wrong directions" LWD could simply stop contributing (and devoting resources to the site).

However they would have to invest into a stable environment and maintain it.
This approach has a two fold problem,
One, LWD resources (Colen in this case I think) is already overloaded with what is on his plate berfore maintaining yet another site (remote at that) for LWD

Two then if left abandoned, like so many wiki sites, the information becomes either erroneous or -404 and lost to the sands of time.

I was envisioning something similar to what LWD already has by compartmentalizing the "chapters" thus giving users the "view as it is being built (ie discussion threads) and then "published" in the "approved works Rob already has, than to re-invent the wheel.

Another Forum dedicated to World of Greyhawk that I write for is set up in similar fashion.


As you can see the structure is similar, BUT we divide by Edition types and general discussions. There is a wiki as you suggest and a Chat on Thursdays, but we have more personnel managing those pieces than I think LWD can currently free out.
Allong the top are downloadables, and reviewables, etc, that would drill down into a sub-table such as this.......

In this drill down below, the regions are not edition specific, but "realm" specific, providing discussions and published works by areas.



As articles are submitted and approved by the editor they are cataloged in these various categories, or collected into published E-magazines for download like those listed below.

In this particular shot, I have two, one participatory, the other I wrote solo.

The complete listing of drill downs, threads, articles and published works is far more extensive, but you get the idea I think.

Anyway, Just as ShadowChemosh, LawfulG(Now Arron for LWD) and MANY others support various sub-sets of Herolab, there could certainly be similar LawfulG's / Shadows' out there in the community to do something similar for the parts and pieces of the "How to Documentations"... and pass that along to the LWD team.

Just my 2cp
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MNBlockHead
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Old December 14th, 2014, 11:13 PM
I think a Wiki could work, but I would start it out as a private wiki, on the wolfair.com domain and only those who purchased the software can edit the wiki. A small team of trusted volunteers could be made moderators to ensure consistent quality. That would go a long way towards creating a *comprehensive* set of documentation without overly taxing and distracting the development team. Unfortunately, it won't help new users that much.

As a new, but rather intense OCR user, I've spent, easily 16 out of the 48 hours since purchasing the software moving content into it, reading/viewing available documentation, and reading and posting on these forums. Here are my observations:

The tool really is awesome. The advertising copy does a good job relaying that, but when you actually buy, download, and start using the software, I felt like I jumped into the deep end of the pool. A big part of the reason for this, I think, is that the software developer's paradigm is lost in the thicket of details. Also, there seems to be a lack of examples and walk-throughs.

I don't mean to ding the existing documentation—it is good. As I became familiar with the program, and went back to the material, I found them very very helpful. But there wan't any thing that really eased me into the program.

As an example of great intro/new-user documentation for a highly flexible, feature rich, application, I would point to Wrike's documentation (https://www.wrike.com/help/). In particular, their on-boarding documentation is excellent. They explain their paradigm and product vision in clear terms and then introduce the interface and main features in that context. Also, their examples and walk-throughs are especially helpful. I also like their online design that integrates bit-sized video into the text, but also provides well designed PDFs for printouts.

Given limited budget and time to even oversee end-user volunteer work, I would prioritize the following:

1. Use Case Studies. Have your users show other users how they used the tools in their campaigns. This could (should) be a combination of PDF and video. Each use case should include an explanation of the kind of game and style/philosophy of play, and explanation of how they structured their data, how the tool has helped there games, what features have been particularly useful, and tips and tricks they can share. SEEING *EXPERIENCED* game master who have a deep knowledge of the tool walk users through the tool is very helpful. The existing videos don't do such a good job with this. Like others have mentioned in the forums, pausing the Gencon videos (I watched them all) was helpful, but that's A LOT of video to go through for a few screens worth of examples.

You would want to invest some time into ensuring consistent quality and branding. But you should be able generate a lot great end-user content with a contest. Ask your users to share information about how they built their worlds/adventures in RW, with specific elements that must be covered and to keep the videos to say 10-15 minutes. Have the forum community vote on the best, and the winner(s) get free player licenses, or a years subscription to your cloud service, etc.

2. The Wiki. This is a bit tougher, since you don't want half-baked content reflecting poorly on your brand. Perhaps try it out as a non-public wiki until sufficient quality content is available. Again, give awards to your best contributors. I think this is an easier approach than managing assignments to volunteer content creators.

As a new user, I've been impressed with the responsive and detailed responses I've received to my forum posts by your users. You already have users making videos on how to use your product. I think you can leverage your users to do a lot of the heavy lifting on this.

Last edited by MNBlockHead; December 14th, 2014 at 11:23 PM.
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Dark Lord Galen
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Old December 15th, 2014, 07:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlockHead View Post
I think a Wiki could work, but I would start it out as a private wiki, on the wolfair.com domain and only those who purchased the software can edit the wiki. A small team of trusted volunteers could be made moderators to ensure consistent quality. That would go a long way towards creating a *comprehensive* set of documentation without overly taxing and distracting the development team. Unfortunately, it won't help new users that much.

As a new, but rather intense OCR user, I've spent, easily 16 out of the 48 hours since purchasing the software moving content into it, reading/viewing available documentation, and reading and posting on these forums. Here are my observations:

The tool really is awesome. The advertising copy does a good job relaying that, but when you actually buy, download, and start using the software, I felt like I jumped into the deep end of the pool. A big part of the reason for this, I think, is that the software developer's paradigm is lost in the thicket of details. Also, there seems to be a lack of examples and walk-throughs.

I don't mean to ding the existing documentation—it is good. As I became familiar with the program, and went back to the material, I found them very very helpful. But there wan't any thing that really eased me into the program.

As an example of great intro/new-user documentation for a highly flexible, feature rich, application, I would point to Wrike's documentation (https://www.wrike.com/help/). In particular, their on-boarding documentation is excellent. They explain their paradigm and product vision in clear terms and then introduce the interface and main features in that context. Also, their examples and walk-throughs are especially helpful. I also like their online design that integrates bit-sized video into the text, but also provides well designed PDFs for printouts.

Given limited budget and time to even oversee end-user volunteer work, I would prioritize the following:

1. Use Case Studies. Have your users show other users how they used the tools in their campaigns. This could (should) be a combination of PDF and video. Each use case should include an explanation of the kind of game and style/philosophy of play, and explanation of how they structured their data, how the tool has helped there games, what features have been particularly useful, and tips and tricks they can share. SEEING *EXPERIENCED* game master who have a deep knowledge of the tool walk users through the tool is very helpful. The existing videos don't do such a good job with this. Like others have mentioned in the forums, pausing the Gencon videos (I watched them all) was helpful, but that's A LOT of video to go through for a few screens worth of examples.

You would want to invest some time into ensuring consistent quality and branding. But you should be able generate a lot great end-user content with a contest. Ask your users to share information about how they built their worlds/adventures in RW, with specific elements that must be covered and to keep the videos to say 10-15 minutes. Have the forum community vote on the best, and the winner(s) get free player licenses, or a years subscription to your cloud service, etc.

2. The Wiki. This is a bit tougher, since you don't want half-baked content reflecting poorly on your brand. Perhaps try it out as a non-public wiki until sufficient quality content is available. Again, give awards to your best contributors. I think this is an easier approach than managing assignments to volunteer content creators.

As a new user, I've been impressed with the responsive and detailed responses I've received to my forum posts by your users. You already have users making videos on how to use your product. I think you can leverage your users to do a lot of the heavy lifting on this.
Well Said on many points Block.....
I think we are on the same page...

As to the wiki, your correct, Ours at Canonfire (detailed above) started privately, with access to for members only, and even more limited to who could actually write to it. IF the wiki is approached, it is the only why to really control it.

I agree with the community approach (think we are conveying the same "plan" here. It allows for the most thru-put of information sharing with the least level of LWD worker resources.
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weogarth
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Old December 20th, 2014, 05:42 PM
Nicely thought out, MNBlockhead. While I try to help out others when I can, and am vocal on my desire for some features, I am not a heavy user of the product yet so I benefit from the expertise of those who have used it more than I do.

The course of action you describe seems possible. Rob and team often seem to find a way to take an idea we toss out here and turn it into (or point out an existing) something useful. It'll be interesting to see if this holds true again.
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MNBlockHead
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Old December 21st, 2014, 02:43 AM
Of course, there is nothing stopping us users from creating videos and our own help material and cheat sheets. I feel like I'm spending a lot of time saying what others should do rather than doing much myself. But I am still a very new user and this is coming more from a place of "if the following existed, it would really help me as a new user." As I have my world more fleshed out, I hope to be more on the helping new users side of the fence. For now, I'm firmly on the "beg veterans for help and advice" side.
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MaxSupernova
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Old December 21st, 2014, 07:30 AM
MNBlockhead, it's a bit of a crazy time for me until the new year, but I've definitely been planning on making more videos. I'm not an in-depth user, but I have done some customization and I use it a lot.

I just want to know if user-made videos make the coders cringe, because they are working on improving help and making their own videos, or if we're actually helping the cause.
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MNBlockHead
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Old December 21st, 2014, 02:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxSupernova View Post
MNBlockhead, it's a bit of a crazy time for me until the new year, but I've definitely been planning on making more videos. I'm not an in-depth user, but I have done some customization and I use it a lot.

I just want to know if user-made videos make the coders cringe, because they are working on improving help and making their own videos, or if we're actually helping the cause.
Well, if users are helping each other get more out the program, to use it more, to enjoy it more, and are getting the word out to other RPG enthusiasts, I can't imagine that the developers would have an issue with this. Of course, it is always good karma to make it explicit that any such videos are the opinions of the maker and are not reviewed or approved by LW.
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