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 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.