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BuddyPress – Spheres of War
1st Jul, 2009

I’ve been pondering social networks and online communities and how to take best advantage of these system to help development of Philverse ideas (get feedback) and work up the development of WarSpike. After reading this post: Use of internet to promote TFM and Warspike? by malika over on Troll Forged I thought about it and while looking as the functions of BuddyPress had an epiphany. We are all wanting the same thing, and this is how we can do it. I’m also reminded of discussions with Kage and the nature of community, I think the last one was on Anargo: Bloggarizing a forum.

However this idea is a bit of an expansion to what I previously thought was possible with my skills and only really sunk in looking at BuddyPress and the way it works. I was considering the main blog of BuddyPress would be for all things WarSpike, the main official blog for big news. Then (working) ‘groups’ could be made, each with their own group forums for each of the Spheres:  Technical, Tactical, Strategical, and Political. Simple enough, but then we could have groups for combinations like Technical-Political to form an RPG, and onto of that we could have groups for Augments. But this is missing the power of BuddyPress and what is can do, the WordPress.com which is based on WordPress MU (Multi-User) install and runs millions of pages.

Then my brain went ape shit as the possibilities flooded my mind. What if Troll Forged made a group?

Troll Forged could make a group, and that group could have a dedicated forum for the Troll Forged group, it could have a full WordPress blog to run as it’s main website with a news blog and static pages, just as I am using for this blog and the WarSpike blog. Not only that but the TF group would have the wire, where all members of the group can post news and links, and all while being signed in to this BuddyPress install.

In that instance, I thought to myself, what if Blood Moon (on the TF forums) had a group, or Anargo?

A full BuddyPress install could handle hundreds of groups, hundreds of forums all while linked together, each member can have a full  blog.

With ‘Spheres of War’ being used only for the combined edition (all four Spheres) of WarSpike on POD, I was thinking I could set it up under Spheres of War. I could move the Philverse (this blog) over to Spheres of War. All linked together with everything else.

In regards to WarSpike, the main rules and Augments could be held within Spheres of War along with miniature companies that use the WarSpike rule set (they could set up an Augment group too).

Makes me wonder if it should be done…

What are you thoughts?

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2 Responses

Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!

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  1. Kage2020 says:

    Amusingly that is one of the basic premises that I was throwing around with the Anargo concept of “community” ala a Drupal install. Even basic Organic Group functionality would replicate this concepts above, allow for group ‘blogging, independent forums, as well as development of publications via “books.”

    Thus, the visitor coming to the site would be presented with the main page upon which would be the most recent ‘blog posts from the various active groups. There would be news, polls, multi-media plugins, etc. The general community woudl have its own forum, but for the most part the action is going to be at the group forum pages, with members able to create groups on the fly, each of which would given access to ‘blog, books, and forums, as well as a place to store media such as images, video, etc.

    The people over at Anargo weren’t particularly supportive of the concept, though, feeling that the community was served with the SMF BBS install (or phpBB at the time), and that the lack of functionality for the forum module in Drupal really wasn’t “good enough.” (One wonders what they would think of the FFG forum!) Of course, I haven’t been over to Anargo for some time as it suffers its final death throes.

    Ah well.

    —Kage

    • Philip S says:

      The book feature in Drupal was of great interest to me, as I like the idea of each Sphere having it’s own dedicated book and mimic the layout of the PDF (and POD). However the BuddyPress system seems better suited to a community network for the Augments side of things (where anyone could set up a group, and forum for that group, with ease). I think when Drupal 7 comes out in the Autumn I may use it to build a Sphere of War development site specifically for the rule set, and perhaps a BuddyPress install and fan support…

      The forum software you can integrate with the BuddyPress system is based on bbPress, a light modular piece of software. However the real selling feature is that the rest is all based on WordPress (Multi-User) so there are plenty of templates (and I know how to mess about with the templates already!). I really like the idea that fans can have their own integrated blog, join groups, and have all their activity appear on their ‘wire’ (which is like a news feed) and also is a place where others can leave messages etc. The whole lot looks very interesting, though I may need a more powerful hosting option to run it all.

      I think BuddyPress would have been ideal for something like Anargo, or as the basis for a 40K community much like you are doing with Dark Reign (running Joomla if I remember) as it would give a lot more flexibility and members could create groups for their projects on the fly. If a project died the fans would still be in the community and probably posting on other groups and migrate organically. I would have thought Anargo could have been a group in one such BuddyPress community, and then link into other groups – providing a resource and ‘base’ for other projects (like Dark Heresy where detail is needed).

      This is along the lines of what I am thinking for WarSpike/ Spheres of War, though obviously not based around the 40K rule set, but I suppose some fans will make an unofficial 40K mod – after all that is way there is a WarSpike sub-forum on Anargo in the first place!

      Now all I have to do is finish writing the rules…

      Philip

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