Game Calendar is Live!
After many weeks of toiling away in my secret Batcave/Laboratory (i.e. Computer Room) and several more weeks of procrastination I present Game Calendar! Game Calendar is a way to help everybody on the site get together to play games. When you click on the link above that says "Games", you'll be taken to something that looks like a calendar. Don't be fooled by my tricksy programmer ways, that's not all there is! It's not just a calendar, in fact there's even something about games in there as well. There's alot to this Game Calendar thing and if you read on, I'll give you a few examples of using Game Calendar to show you some of the nicer features. Read on for more.Game Calendar is centered around two different concepts, Events and Games. Games are things like Unreal Tournament 2004, Battlefield 1942, or spank Certis with a rubber hose. Things you will want to do over and over again. Events are things that have a specific time and place. Such as Tuesday Night Unreal Tournament, or Monday Night Horizons. Most of the time you'll only have to deal with Events. Let's try an example.
Example - Timmy likes UT2K4
Let's say we have a guy named Timmy and he really likes the UT2K4 demo. He wants to play some UT2K4 with some friends on the site. The first thing Timmy does is click on "Games" at the top, then he clicks on "Add". This will let Timmy add an event. Timmmy types in the name of the event "Timmy's House of P41nz0r!" and selects "UT2K4" from the games dropdown. Then the page will load the files for UT2K4 for him to select from, we'll get to that in a minute. Let's talk about when the event starts.
Timmy then selects when the event starts, how long it lasts and whether or not it repeats. Events can repeat every so often, like once a week or on the second Thursday of every month. There's also a selection called "Ongoing Event", we'll also get to that in a minute. For now he selects Friday night at 8PM. It'll last a few hours and he'll try to get people to play every week.
Next he inputs the address of the server and the password. Timmy can also select a chat server, such as TeamSpeak and give it's address. Finally at the bottom are a list of files he can select to be used with the game. Right now all that's available is "UT2K4 Demo", which is because there aren't any extra levels, skins or patches available for UT2K4 since it's just a demo. Since anybody who wants to play with Timmy needs the demo, Timmy includes the file.
Then Timmy makes sure "Preview Event" is selected and clicks "go". This gives Timmy a good look at what the game will look like when everyone else looks at it so he can make any changes. If it looks good, he can select "Submit Event" and whammo! His event is created. He can then pass the link around and try to get people to play.
That wasn't so bad, definitely easier than trying to set it up in the forums, right? But what if you don't want to play UT2K4? What if you want to play the very superior but criminally underrated "Green Bunnies 2K4"? It's simple, you click "Add a Game", which is right beside the games dropdown where Timmy selected UT2K4. You can then type in your own game, preview it and submit it. It has to be approved by a moderator before you can use it however. You can do this with chat types (i.e. TeamSpeak, IRC, ect.) and with files. If your server is running custom levels or the latest patch, all you have to do is select the game you're running, then click "Add a File" at the bottom of the "Add Event" page. It'll let you put in a name, description and location on the web where you can download this file. You can also select whether or not it's a Patch/Mod or an Extra.
Now let's get to the "Ongoing Event" part. When you select this, the event won't show up on the calendar. It only shows up when you click on the Game, or when you click on a User's "Games" button. Ongoing Events don't have a specific beginning or an end. For example, Elysium's recent Civ 3 Email game would be a perfect Ongoing Event. Or Sway's GWJ PGR2 Challenge would be another good example, or Dramatic Marlin's UT2K4 or BF1942 servers. Anything that doesn't really have a set time is an Ongoing Event, sort of like an open invitation to play.
If you see an event you like, join up! Just join the game and you'll be listed with the other people as ready to play. That way everybody knows whether or not somebody is going to be there to play. You can also leave the event at any time, and if you know you can't make it, it's a good idea to leave the event in Game Calendar as well.
Now that explains about events, but how do you get to the game and user pages I just talked about? For the game page, simply clicking on the name of the game will bring you to a page that lists the upcoming events for the game, users who are subscribed to that particular game, the files and also the ongoing events for that game. It's a great place to go if you are looking to play a certain game, just see who's playing it and when. You can even subscribe yourself to the game, so that everybody knows you play that particular game.
The user pages can be reached using the nifty "Games" icons Sway made for us. There you can see when that user is going to play, what events they've created, what games they're subscribed to and finally any aliases that the user regularly plays under. It lets you keep track of who's playing what and when very easily. On your own user page, you can add, edit or delete your online aliases as you see fit, so everybody will recognize you when they see you on a server somewhere.
I hope this explains most of the features of Game Calendar, I know there are probably several I left out. Game Calendar is definitely a work in progress, so if you see anything wrong let me know. Most of all, jump in and have fun!