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Elder Stats Development Blog

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Elder Stats Development Blog

Postby Tom » November 9th, 2008, 5:24 pm

The Elder Stats Development Blog
Written by: Tom (Founder of The Elder Stats)
Contains all the latest news on the progression of development on The Elder Stats website.
Click here to comment on this blog!
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In this topic, posts will be made like a blog. These posts will contain information and news on how the development of The Elder Stats website is progressing. This blog should keep you informed on all development progress of The Elder Stats website. This blog will be updated regularly, as needed, by the Founder of The Elder Stats, Tom.
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Re: Elder Stats Development Blog

Postby Tom » November 13th, 2008, 4:23 am

I've started some intense development on The Elder Stats website tonight, and so far it is looking quite good. What I started on was the character listing system, the system which displays separate pages for each character's stats to be publicly displayed on. After long hours of research and guess-and-test coding, I was able to devise a system where a character's page could be accessed by going to a short URL, instead of a long URL with a lot of random characters in it. This might not seem like much to the average internet user, but to a web developer such as myself, it means a lot and that is why I spent so much time on that one aspect. It will end up benefiting the members, as well, when they wish to send links to their characters' profiles to other friends of theirs.

I'm also starting to develop a member profile system, along with member registration and login. More will come, along with member and character control panels for ease of use. If anyone has any suggestions or questions about the current development process or progress, please feel free to make your inquiry known.
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Development Continues on a Strong Pace

Postby Tom » November 27th, 2008, 2:18 pm

I've been developing a lot for The Elder Stats website lately, and I am pleased to announce that I have made a lot of progress. The UCP (User Control Panel) for character management is almost completed. I've created two easy-to-use wizards in the UCP: one wizard is for adding characters to your account, and the other wizard is for creating custom classes for your new characters to use as their main class. All in all, it's going quite well. No real bugs have emerged, at this point of development, which is of great relief to me. There's still one final large script that needs to be created to finish up the UCP, but all I need is time to complete the UCP.

Once I am finished developing the UCP, I will start working on the character profiles. If you take a look at Xavier's Graphic Design Blog, you will see that he has already created a beta template for the character profiles. That template will be used as the base design for the character profiles, and it will also include a real working scroll bar that looks exactly like the scroll bar in the journal in Oblivion. It takes a bit more work to do that, but I think that no expense should be spared for my fellow Oblivion fans. ;)

So, there's a quick update on development for you all. I know that it's hard to appreciate development progress on the website because you cannot see what it looks like, but once the website is completed and released, you will surely be ecstatic at the way the website operates and at the user-friendly atmosphere that The Elder Stats will provide.
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A Preview of the Character Modification Page

Postby Tom » December 7th, 2008, 7:58 pm

Development of the UCP for character modification is almost complete. Since I'm sure you all are wondering what the character modification page looks like, I have taken a screenshot of it, as it appears in Mozilla Firefox. Click here to view the screenshot.

As you can see, the screenshot above only shows part of Section #1 of the character modification area. You can see that some test options have been entered in for the character, and hopefully you get an idea of how the character modification area will look. Here's a second screenshot of the character modification area. This screenshot showcases how you will be able to manage the status and rankings of your characters in each faction in Oblivon. As you can see, I'm trying to make it as user-friendly as possible.

I will be posting more screenshots over time, so keep reading this blog for more updates!
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Good Progress and an ETA

Postby Tom » December 28th, 2008, 7:15 am

Development progress has been going well lately. A few bugs and errors have appeared, but it's nothing that I can't fix. Since my last update, I have done a lot of work. Some of the noticeable things I have completed since the last official news update include the completion of all the tabs for the character profiles, designing the new member profiles, and making The Elder Stats compatible with characters that use official Oblivion expansion packs. I've done some other things, as well, but these are the most notable.

Now, I'd like to address a topic that is on many peoples' minds around this time: when is The Elder Stats going to be released? Well, considering that fact that I want to release a completed version of The Elder Stats with many various features, I can't promise you that The Elder Stats will be released before the new year arrives. However, I am working diligently on the website, and I hope to have it finished sometime in January of 2009. I'm sorry if anyone was expecting a release in late December, but you all should be much happier with The Elder Stats being released in January because the more time I have to work on it, the more features and less bugs there will be in the finished product. Of course, more versions with more features will be released in the future, but I would like to present the Oblivion community with a powerful and feature-filled first release to give The Elder Stats a good first impression. Hopefully you all will think that The Elder Stats seems professionally-developed. I am trying my hardest to make it as complete as possible.

So, Happy Holidays, and I hope this update was useful!
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Plan for an Earlier Release

Postby Tom » January 7th, 2009, 12:46 am

I am really looking forward to releasing The Elder Stats website as soon as possible. Seeing that March through May will be a hectic time for me this year, I would like to try to finish and release a stable version of The Elder Stats sometime in mid to late-January of this year. I also am looking forward to getting a large community aboard early after the release of The Elder Stats website, and the earlier it is released, the better. So, with this in mind, I am planning on cutting out a few advanced features from the 1.0.0 release of The Elder Stats to save time and to get it released as quickly as possible. Some of these features that will be cut from version 1.0.0 include character photo galleries, dynamic auto-updating images called Stat Cards, character comparing feature, and listing your favorite "places" and quests in Oblivion. I am dropping all of these extra features from the initial release of The Elder Stats in order to release The Elder Stats as soon as possible for all of you guys who have been waiting patiently for it. But don't worry about loosing all of those extra features - those features will come eventually in future releases of The Elder Stats after the version 1.0.0 release. So, don't worry about loosing those features, all you have to do is be patient and wait for them to come. :)

If anyone has any objections, questions, or comments about this article, please post them in the Elder Stats Development Blog Discussion topic. Thank you, and have a happy new year!
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Development on ESv1.0.0 Coming to a Close

Postby Tom » January 20th, 2009, 8:19 pm

I've been working extremely hard on The Elder Stats website lately, and I am pleased to announce that development on The Elder Stats version 1.0.0 (ESv1.0.0) is coming to a close at this time. With few features remaining to be developed, it is easy for me to say that ESv1.0.0 should be released sometime before this Monday, January 26th. Now, although I am quite sure of this estimated release date, please do not get your hopes up too much. I've devised this time frame for release based on how far development on ESv1.0.0 has progressed and how fast I am getting it done, so my calculations could be wrong. However, the worst you can expect to see is an early-February release of ESv1.0.0. Just thought I'd let you in on that. ;)

Some of the features I have finished since my last blog post have been The Elder Stats Knowledge Base (the ESKB), an "About the Elder Stats" page with full descriptions of The Elder Stats, and the Score system. Some features that I am currently working on are character leaderboards, a character search function, and The Elder Stats Home page.

A lot of good features are coming your way soon, so please sit tight while development comes to a close - you won't be disappointed. :)
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Things to Consider Before Release

Postby Tom » January 28th, 2009, 6:27 pm

The Elder Stats is nearing completion now, and there are very few things left to finish for the website. Things are going well, but there is one thing that we are worried about, and that is copyright issues for the images that we are using from in-game Oblivion. Even though many websites use images from in-game Oblivion, and even though we are not making any profits off of these images and we are giving full credit to their creators, we still are a bit uneasy about using these graphics/images from in-game Oblivion without express permission. So, we have contacted Bethesda, the makers of Oblivion, to ask about the policy that exists for the use of images from one of their games on a website with proper credit applied. This is the second time we have contacted Bethesda on this issue; they did not reply to us the first time. If they do not reply this time, then we have kept records of each e-mail that has been sent to them regarding this issue, and if Bethesda chooses to attack us on this matter, we can simply present them with the two e-mails that we sent to them without reply and present to them also the fact that we are not generating a profit off of their images. If they do not reply to this second e-mail within the next week or so, we will proceed to release The Elder Stats with the images used from Oblivion properly credited, and we will try to compensate for the use of these images by posting a banner on every page of the website that says something like "Join the fun - Buy Oblivion from Bethesda." This way, if Bethesda sees The Elder Stats promoting their product and sees that we are not making a profit off of their images, maybe they will see The Elder Stats as a sort of vehicle for boosting their profits rather than a website that is hurting their multi-million dollar company (if that's even possible).

Anyway, there is the scoop on this. We're sorry that The Elder Stats will not be released this week, but if we do not receive a reply to our second e-mail to Bethesda by next Tuesday or Wednesday, we will proceed to release The Elder Stats to the public and take as many precautions as we can to prevent any legal issues.

We thank you for your cooperation, and please stick with us through this. We have not at all given up on The Elder Stats, we are just worried about legality issues. The Elder Stats itself is actually around 95% completed, at this time.
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Good News on Legal Worries

Postby Tom » January 30th, 2009, 3:23 am

I know that it's quite soon after my last blog post, where I talked about us trying to get permission to use graphics/images from in-game Oblivion, but I have some good news. I received a reply to my e-mail to Bethesda regarding the use of graphics from in-game Oblivion, and that reply stated that there is no formal way of giving permission to use assets from their products, and as long as the images are used properly and given proper credit, there should be no problems. This means that the legal worries of using the graphics from in-game Oblivion on The Elder Stats website have subsided.

Despite this good news, I'm still not predicting a release of The Elder Stats before Wednesday, February 4th, of this year. So, if you can stick in there with us for one more short week, you will have the great website that you've been waiting for since early November of last year. :)
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Thoughts of Future Versions

Postby Tom » February 14th, 2009, 7:38 pm

With Elder Stats version 1.0.1 now public for about a week, I think that it's time for me to start thinking about new features that should come in future versions of The Elder Stats. Trust me - don't think that I haven't thought of this before, and I actually have a list of features that I plan to develop and release with future versions.

For one, many of you have probably noticed the "Photos" tab on top of each character's profile, or the "Photos" link in the Manage Characters panel in the UCP. If you mouseover any of those two links, you will notice a little text box appear that says that the feature is coming soon. Well, I just placed the links to "Photos" around the website because I wanted to let the members know that, even though there are not character photo galleries out yet, I plan on making and releasing them in the future. So, now I'm starting to think up a blueprint for the character photo gallery feature that should be coming with the next release of The Elder Stats (1.0.2), along with some other minor features and bug fixes. The character photo gallery will be a great feature for those who wish to share photos of their characters with others. Sometimes typing in your character's stats just isn't enough, and that is why character photo galleries are going to be a big feature for The Elder Stats. Along with this major upcoming feature, I am also working on some other smaller features to be released in future versions of The Elder Stats. One of these features is the character comparing system, which will allow members to compare two characters by certain statistics, as they wish. These and other upcoming features will add to the enjoyment that our members get out of using The Elder Stats.

And we always welcome feature requests, comments, feedback, and site discussion in The Elder Stats Discussion forum.
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