Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JSLBrowning

Wall of History: The Nuva Update

Recommended Posts

(This post is a mirror of a post made on the official Wall of History blog, with a few changes to fit the forum format.)

After hours upon hours of hard work, it’s finally here — the “Nuva Update,” as I call it. In this post, I’ll be going over the changes made to Wall of History in detail, as well as outlining where the site is going from here.

For starters, the site has been redesigned from the ground up, allowing for aesthetic improvements (such as adding nice background images to some MNOG pages) as well as full mobile compatibility. The redesign of the site will also make the development of future updates much faster, as the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript utilized have been streamlined in key areas (which should also make the site load a tiny faster).

The next major change is the introduction of the settings page, accessible by visiting the table of contents and clicking on the gear icon in the upper right corner. This page allows users to modify the ordering of the story content, as well as choose which items are and are not included. This customization feature was particularly difficult to test by myself, and as a result, it is still very much a work in progress. As such, I would very much appreciate any and all criticisms or suggestions users might have regarding it.

Use of this customization tool is, of course, entirely optional. On a user’s first visit to the new Wall of History, the site will automatically set itself to use the default, recommended reading order, which includes most of the story content in an ordering that several fans had input on.

Speaking of content… we’ve got new content! Several story items not previously on the site have finally been added, including, in release order:

  1. BIONICLE: Quest for the Masks Story Cards
  2. BIONICLE: Mask of Light — The Movie
  3. BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui
  4. BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows
  5. “BIONICLE News Update”
  6. BIONICLE: Journey of Takanuva
  7. Takanuva’s Blog
  8. The Rising
  9. The Truth
  10. BIONICLE: Secret of Certavus
  11. BIONICLE: Desert of Danger
  12. BIONICLE: Challenge of Mata Nui
  13. Mata Nui’s Diary

Guidebook content is also being added to Wall of History beginning with this update, and this is another area where user feedback would be appreciated. Currently, there are two guidebooks available in their entirety, which can be accessed by visiting the table of contents. I’ve also been experimenting with what I call “guidebook integration” — the inclusion of guidebook content in story pages, an example of which can be seen on this page.

My current plan is for all the information from all the guidebooks to be integrated into story pages using similar modal boxes — once this process is completed, users would be able to click on the name of virtually any place, character, or object and learn more about them. As previously mentioned, though, this is a project I would appreciate user feedback on before going further with. Is this something people would like to see? Are there any better ways this could be implemented? If modals are fine, should they only be accessible the first time something is mentioned, or every time? If you have any thoughts, please share them with us below.

This update also brings e-book downloads for all the BIONICLE novels, available on the pages for each series of novels, once again accessible from the table of contents. If there is significant user demand for them, and no issues arise with the e-books published today, e-book downloads of other story materials, such as the serials, will be made available in the future.

Speaking of the future, I also said on Twitter that the Nuva Update would be accompanied by a rough timeline of planned future updates. So, without further ado…

During Q2 2020, further improvements to the design and structure of Wall of History will be made, based on user input. For obvious reasons, the Nuva Update was difficult to test, and there may still be some kinks to work out. I also want to keep making the site look better, and this will be easier to do now that the CSS utilized has been simplified.

During Q2 and Q3 2020, all guidebooks will be added to Wall of History and integrated into story pages (if the latter does prove to be something users would want).

During Q2 and Q3 2020, I will attempt to make all the Game Boy Advance BIONICLE games playable on the site, using a JavaScript-based emulator.

From Q2 2020 onwards, I will be adding higher-quality scans of all visual media to Wall of History.

From Q3 2020 onwards, I will be working on Wall of History’s most ambitious project yet: converting Mata Nui: The Online Game from a Flash game to an HTML5 game, so future generations of BIONICLE fans can experience it the way it was meant to be.

Should the aforementioned project prove successful, I would like to do the same with MNOG II: The Final Chronicle, probably around Q4 2020.

I think that about covers it for now. For more information on future updates to Wall of History, be sure to follow our blog, follow our Twitter account, and join our Discord server.

Edited by JSLBrowning
  • Like 3

1554824458_Signature1.thumb.png.b92b35987fd64998219a7750ccf7f46f.png134107221_Signature2.thumb.png.4cbc1d79cb2860c534af37071132810a.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. There's a lot to cover here.

First of all, congrats for finishing the update! It looks really slick, and some of the new features you added really impress me. The ability to rearrange the order of the content yourself, in particular, is something I wasn't expecting to see, and solves the disputes some of us have had with the ordering of the content.

Regarding the customization though, I see that there are still story sources that cannot be checked or unchecked, like the story cards for example. It's certainly not a big problem, as you can simply uncheck everything and then check the main content again, but I thought I'd mention it nevertheless.

Speaking of the cards... though it's nifty that you've added them, they are non-canon, so they do stick out akwardly. They also contradict the canon story and mention strange things like "the golden master mask of power" (at a time when the Toa don't even know about the golden masks yet). At the very least, I would indicate somehow that these things are non-canon, or semi-canon at best.

Also, is there a way to return the default order after you've customized it? And is there a way to share your ordering with other people (as in, linking to a version of the site that uses your customized order)?

There is one feature you removed, which I already miss - the original contents page, where you had each story year divided into its, own separate page. It made it so much easier to navigate the site, and I really think it should be brought back.

I really like your idea of guidebook inclusion (even if the example you mentioned doesn't actually use any of the guidebooks, but other sources). I think a system where the info is linked the first time a certain name of concept is mentioned would be good, but I would not provide a link every single time. This also calls for a bit of tactical timing though... for example, I think including a bio for Onua would be much more organic in the book chapter where Onua is introduced, rather than in the introduction, where he's just mentioned by name. Similarly, throughout the website, I think consideration would need to be given to where exactly this info is linked to. But in general, I think the idea is a good one.

Quote

During Q2 and Q3 2020, I will attempt to make all the Game Boy Advance BIONICLE games playable on the site, using a JavaScript-based emulator.

Ok, now THIS took me completely off guard. You can actually do that? :blink: That sounds really, really awesome!

Quote

From Q3 2020 onwards, I will be working on Wall of History’s most ambitious project yet: converting Mata Nui: The Online Game from a Flash game to an HTML5 game, so future generations of BIONICLE fans can experience it the way it was meant to be.

Should the aforementioned project prove successful, I would like to do the same with MNOG II: The Final Chronicle, probably around Q4 2020.

And this even more so! This would be a great service to the Bionicle community, if you can pull it off.

These are just my thoughts at a first glance. I'll have to take a more in-depth look at the site when I have the time. But it's looking good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

Regarding the customization though, I see that there are still story sources that cannot be checked or unchecked, like the story cards for example. It's certainly not a big problem, as you can simply uncheck everything and then check the main content again, but I thought I'd mention it nevertheless.

Don't worry, additional options are coming. I'm just trying to design an intuitive UI at the moment — I don't want the settings page to just be an endless pile of different buttons.

On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

Speaking of the cards... though it's nifty that you've added them, they are non-canon, so they do stick out akwardly. They also contradict the canon story and mention strange things like "the golden master mask of power" (at a time when the Toa don't even know about the golden masks yet). At the very least, I would indicate somehow that these things are non-canon, or semi-canon at best.

"Canon"? What's that? :p

My thoughts on the concept of "canon," specifically as it relates to BIONICLE, are... complicated. Basically, though, I thought only including a handful of cards, the ones that only sort of contradict other story materials (which already contradict each other constantly), would be the best option for the recommended reading order. A few other people have told me they thought it was a good idea to include them, but if more people end up feeling otherwise, I'll take them out.

On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

Also, is there a way to return the default order after you've customized it? And is there a way to share your ordering with other people (as in, linking to a version of the site that uses your customized order)?

You can return to the recommended reading order by visiting the settings page again and hitting "submit" without changing anything (currently, the settings page always loads the recommended order).

I'm working on a change to the settings page that would make it automatically reorder according to your current reading order, and then offer you a more clear way to revert... but making the checkbox items rearrange themselves is proving rather difficult, and it's gonna take a bit more tinkering before that's ready.

I'm also working on a feature to export and import custom reading orders, and it's near the top of my agenda. (I actually meant to put that in the list of upcoming features...)

On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

There is one feature you removed, which I already miss - the original contents page, where you had each story year divided into its, own separate page. It made it so much easier to navigate the site, and I really think it should be brought back.

The chapter-based table of contents will be coming back, but I want it to be able to reflect custom reading orders — so I need to make the aforementioned rearranging code for the settings page work first.

On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

I really like your idea of guidebook inclusion (even if the example you mentioned doesn't actually use any of the guidebooks, but other sources). I think a system where the info is linked the first time a certain name of concept is mentioned would be good, but I would not provide a link every single time. This also calls for a bit of tactical timing though... for example, I think including a bio for Onua would be much more organic in the book chapter where Onua is introduced, rather than in the introduction, where he's just mentioned by name. Similarly, throughout the website, I think consideration would need to be given to where exactly this info is linked to. But in general, I think the idea is a good one.

Yeah, putting that example modal during Onua's chapter would probably be better... Good call.

Timing is definitely a concern with this one. I want the guidebook integrations to be spoiler-free, so there would probably be a new link the first time something is mentioned in each of the twelve chapters. For example, Tahu's first mention in Makuta's Revenge would give you information from The Official Guide to BIONICLE, while his first mention in Shadows in the Sky would give you his Encyclopedia Updated entry.

On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

Ok, now THIS took me completely off guard. You can actually do that? :blink: That sounds really, really awesome!

I can actually do that, yes! :p I've been able to get a prototype of this working a few times, but I've also had it crash a few times, so... it can be done, but it needs a bit more time in the oven.

On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

And this even more so! This would be a great service to the Bionicle community, if you can pull it off.

I definitely think I can. Once you get under the hood, MNOG is pretty simple.

On 3/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Toatapio Nuva said:

These are just my thoughts at a first glance. I'll have to take a more in-depth look at the site when I have the time. But it's looking good!

I'm glad you think so! If you have any more thoughts or suggestions, feel free to let me know here, or in the #website-feedback channel of our Discord server. Your suggestions are always really good, so I look forward to hearing whatever you've got.

Edited by JSLBrowning
  • Upvote 1

1554824458_Signature1.thumb.png.b92b35987fd64998219a7750ccf7f46f.png134107221_Signature2.thumb.png.4cbc1d79cb2860c534af37071132810a.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

My thoughts on the concept of "canon," specifically as it relates to BIONICLE, are... complicated. Basically, though, I thought only including a handful of cards, the ones that only sort of contradict other story materials (which already contradict each other constantly), would be the best option for the recommended reading order. A few other people have told me they thought it was a good idea to include them, but if more people end up feeling otherwise, I'll take them out.

Well, I mean, there is a pretty clearly defined canon. 2001 is really the only story year with lots of contradictions - with the rest, the number is significantly lower.

Aside from that though, I do think the cards are very nice, but I would definitely exclude those cards that contradict other story material. Such as the golden mask ones, for example.

Quote

I want the guidebook integrations to be spoiler-free, so there would probably be a new link the first time something is mentioned in each of the twelve chapters. For example, Tahu's first mention in Makuta's Revenge would give you information from The Official Guide to BIONICLE, while his first mention in Shadows in the Sky would give you his Encyclopedia Updated entry.

I like this idea. It does require work to figure out the ideal placements, but it would definitely make for a nifty addition.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the new update!

Where did the high-quality images of the Quest for the Masks cards come from?

A tip: you might want to interlace large images, like ones used for the comics, so that they do not load slowly from top to bottom, but instead start out grainy and get sharper as more data loads in the browser.

I would prefer that the character bios be separate pages that you can hyperlink to, rather than modals, because modals cannot be linked to.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/9/2020 at 11:30 PM, Planetperson said:

Congrats on the new update!

Thanks!

On 4/9/2020 at 11:30 PM, Planetperson said:

Where did the high-quality images of the Quest for the Masks cards come from?

They were created by ivanproff on Reddit.

On 4/9/2020 at 11:30 PM, Planetperson said:

A tip: you might want to interlace large images, like ones used for the comics, so that they do not load slowly from top to bottom, but instead start out grainy and get sharper as more data loads in the browser.

That's a good idea! I'll put that on the agenda.

On 4/9/2020 at 11:30 PM, Planetperson said:

I would prefer that the character bios be separate pages that you can hyperlink to, rather than modals, because modals cannot be linked to.

The guidebook information will be on separate pages in addition to the modals. Each modal will have a link to a page containing all the guidebook information for that subject.

  • Upvote 1

1554824458_Signature1.thumb.png.b92b35987fd64998219a7750ccf7f46f.png134107221_Signature2.thumb.png.4cbc1d79cb2860c534af37071132810a.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good work you do. I'm impressed you were able to add the movies and I'll be even more impressed once you add those games!

I have to echo the sentiment about the new contents page though. I found the the older "contents" and "sources" as separate pages much easier to navigate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/23/2020 at 7:10 PM, Valendale said:

Very good work you do.

Thanks!

On 4/23/2020 at 7:10 PM, Valendale said:

I have to echo the sentiment about the new contents page though. I found the the older "contents" and "sources" as separate pages much easier to navigate.

Yeah, that's an improvement I'm working on, there's just been a lot going on in my personal life that's slowed my progress. But don't worry, it's coming!

Edited by JSLBrowning

1554824458_Signature1.thumb.png.b92b35987fd64998219a7750ccf7f46f.png134107221_Signature2.thumb.png.4cbc1d79cb2860c534af37071132810a.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...