Session 06: System Design and Implementation

Session 05: Researching Preexisting Tools
Session 07: Ad-Hoc Upgrade (and Content Back-Filled)

Hey there. Welcome to this session about the Online Notes project for Cryptiquest. Today’s session is a recap as the work for this has been done offline but the goal was to design the system – which also entailed implementing the system.

During the last session I came up with a plan for how to get the system up and running. The basic idea was to use WordPress (which I am already proficient in using) to create the session notes and string all the architecture together. It works. It needs to be cleaned up as some of the styles are ugly and there are some spacing issues, but the functionality is there.

Here is how I went about the process of creating the WordPress site. Note that this isn’t intended to be a “how-to guide”, just a high level recap of how this was created.

I Created a Subdomain

The first thing I did was to create the subdomain through the webhosting service I subscribed to. I already have a domain – which I use for all of my Cryptiquest sites. I have several subdomains already: company.cryptiquest is the website for the company page and imbue.cryptiquest is the website for Imbue Role-playing Game. See how convenient that is? For this site I created projects.cryptiquest since this was for Cryptiquest Projects. See? Easy.

I Installed WordPress on the Subdomain

The next thing I did was install WordPress onto the subdomain. I actually didn’t do that next. What I really did was experimented with some other types of structures (e.g. wiki, educational cms, and some others) and tested them to see if any of them had functionality right out of the box that would do what I wanted but they didn’t and then I installed WordPress.

I Experimented with WordPress Themes

There are hundreds and hundreds of themes for WordPress and while this sounds like a advertisement for the tool, I hate all the options. I installed twelve of them trying to find one that did what I wanted – which specifically would natively present posts on the homepage in a grid fashion, had a mobile-friendly menu (crazy how many themes do not have a mobile-friendly menu). Those were the two must-haves.

The theme I chose (which by the time you are reading this might not be the same one) met those two requirements but it’s kind of ugly and has few options to fix it. Luckily, as a web designer I can tool around and fix the styles to something more appealing but that must wait until passes a functionality test.

I Tinkered with Styles Anyway

As I was adding content to the site in order to test the functionality I just couldn’t let some of the styles stand. The font on this theme is absolutely unreadable. You can change the fonts by purchasing the pro version of the theme. I’m not going to do that since I have the know-how for doing it myself. I want developers to get paid for the work that they do but don’t make the default font freaking unreadable. I am so angry at these stooges.

I Added Content

I added some content. You may have noticed that the Movement Mechanics session is sort of oddly positioned in-between the Online Notes sessions (regarding dates). Those are serious notes but they are also a test case. I also added a session note from the Tales from the Wilds project I was noodling over in the beginning of December.

I Created Branding Graphics

To prevent a bland and confusing wall of text headlines, I created some basic graphics for each project. They aren’t exactly museum pieces but they are easier to discern than a wall of text.

That Sums It Up

As the header says, that sums it up. The system is created. Now I need to back-fill some of the content. I’ll add all the session notes I have for Tales from the Wild and for the Online Notes project. That might take a couple of weeks. That’s the next step. Once that’s caught up, I can start to use the site in real time. Any Movement Mechanics note will definitely be real time as none of that work has been completed yet.

Session 05: Researching Preexisting Tools
Session 07: Ad-Hoc Upgrade (and Content Back-Filled)