I wanted to wait until I had a more finished version of the website, but I must express my satisfaction of how good ASP.NET MVC and LINQ are to speed up web development.
I'm building a website for my new project, The Dark Portal. The Dark Portal aims to be a small gaming hub, with few game servers and a community around them. Everything for free, of course (maintained by advertisement and maybe donations or something similar).
Right now, the ecosystem consists of the following:
- A Wiki: Built with ScrewTurn Wiki, that allows to work only with local files (no DB needed) and it's simple to use but full of features (and extensible).
I strongly think wikis are one of the best methods to build lore and knowledge around everything, from software to a videogame. Also, allows players to help adding content.
- A Forum: Built with PHPBB 3.x. I don't like PHP but I have to admit that in forum applications it has no competence.
Forums are needed always, both to have bi-direcctional communication with the player base and to allow the community to grow and meet other people with similar interests out of the game itself.
- A Blog: Created in my blogging community Kartones.Net ;) No need to describe what a blog is :)
Used to centralize game servers' news in just one place, and allow RSS syndication of the news .
- A Website: Still in "alpha" (a lot of content missing), also serves me as a sandbox for learning ASP.NET MVC and LINQ (LINQToXML actually, as I don't plan in the near future to place a DB for the website).
The website will serve as a frontend for all the other places, and as a general overview of what is all about.
the UO server status page (which takes an XML as a Model and ends rendering it) have been made with few lines of coding, and I've spent more time learning basics of LINQ or Model-Controler-View data handling and passing than actually coding.
I have a lot to learn, like how to build User Control-like MVC views (to refactorize and reduce code), but that's the best part, learning new stuff!
Update: The Dark Portal project has been suspended because it didn't reached the "critical mass" of players (those who came were expecting more to come and as we didn't surpass the 20 players base, they left) so there was no point on spending time on it. I hope to somehow revive it in the future (probably with other games) but in the meanwhile I can concentrate on other projects I have in mind.
I plan to integrate the latest 10 news into the webpage's home in the near future, via the RSS feed.