20150604 /vocal/

published 04 Jun 2015

Many people say that it’s the vocal minorities that express the most negativity, and while this is definitely the case, I still aim for the unattainable 100% satisfaction. I hold myself to high standards that I have learned over the years I cannot expect from anyone else. This is actually one reason I am aiming to move osu! to an open-source model, but that story is for another day!

I go out of my way to answer every single email that comes to my personal address. The answers may be brief, but I take in every single word of feedback that users have to offer. I also check the forums, reddit, BBS and basically anywhere people are discussing osu!.

While some may say this is a complete waste of time and focus - and this may be true - I feel it’s something I cannot avoid if I want to keep up-to-date with the temperature of the community. Unique things happen almost every day, quite often which need multiple team members’ input to resolve, so it’s important to stay on the watch for ongoing and upcoming events.

Remember that osu! is actually a very simple game at its core. The gameplay has rarely changed over the years, while the ecosystem around that gameplay is constantly developing. The drive for more accessibility, more stats to track, better ways to communicate with friends is strong. The social and community aspects of osu! really make it feel to me less game, more web service.

Not to say we don’t have stuff in the pipeline to spice up the gameplay too ;).

Today’s Changes:

  • The forum search system now defaults to matching all keywords, rather than any. The sorting of results returned by the back-end (elasticsearch, for those playing along at home) has also been changed to relevance rather than freshness. Sorting from newest to oldest is still applied at the forum front-end as a last step. This should hopefully provide for much more relevant results. Once the new site is up, search will be overhauled and provided in a similar way to how you use the facebook search box. For now, let’s make do!
  • The help forum now shows only the “Chat with Support” button when someone is available. There are way too many posts in the help forum that could be answered in a single line (profile being in wrong mode, pp not updating etc.). While this is a band-aid measure while we get a full knowledge base system ready, it should help.
  • Began work on the osu!web (2.0) site for the first time in a long while. I have made a promise with myself to not add any new features to the old web, so the new username changing system is going to have to be done here.
  • Spent a good portion of last night getting my dev environment set up correctly for osu!web development. The new site is being written completely from scratch in Laravel 5. Learning a new framework as I go, already I already wrote the web store in it quite some months back.
  • In order to support username changes, which are going to be presented as an item on the store, we first need support for store items with infinite stock and custom display implementations. I made good progress on building the framework for this.

For those freaking out about the username change being a store items, here’s how it’ll work:

  • First Change: free (with supporter)
  • Second Change: $8 (equiv. 2 months supporter)
  • Third Change: $16 (equiv. 4 months supporter)
  • Fourth Change: $32 (equiv. 8 months supporter)

I’m sure you can see the pattern here. It will continue to double, likely with a cap at around $100. This may seem like an expensive purchase, but the idea here is to stop people from recklessly changing their name too many times. We discussed the cost amongst team members and decided doubling each time was the best approach to achieve this.

As for history, you will be able to see all previous usernames that a user was known as in their profile, as you’d expect.

early design mock-up