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GamerDNA Townhall #2 (Give me your questions!)

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QforQ said...
  • excited
This past July we did a video called "GamerDNA Townhall", which was a platform for the community to ask questions, and @ChangeAgent and myself would answer them.

Here is the first Townhall, for reference:
http://blog.gamerdna.com/blog/2009/07/26/gamerdna-townhall-1/

So to kick things off for the 2nd Townhall, we need something very obvious: Your Questions!

These can be questions or feedback on GamerDNA, features that you would like to see, asking us how we do things at GamerDNA, or some of the features that will come down the road. Basically anything you want to ask the gamerDNA staff, please ask it!

We need these questions to be posted on this page by 3pm EST (Noon PST) on Monday, Sept 14th, 2009. That is this coming Monday.

We will answer as many questions as possible, so please post your questions on this page!
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I asked this in another post, but I'll put it here in the hopes I get my name mentioned on video. I have very simple needs...

Anyway, here's the question: Will we be able embed videos and the like in our game posts? I think I remember from the first Townhall that we'll be able to upload videos at some future date, but I'd like to be able to embed them in a game post (along with pics).

And here's the gratuitous praise: I love the direction the site is going. Having the ability to see any addition to any post I've made or commented on in the past is very cool, and makes it easy to follow what's going on throughout the site. Kudos, bravo, and any other word or phrase that indicates approval.
I guess it would be cool if you guys said a few words regarding the state of PS3/PSN support here on GamerDNA. So anything involving trophies, game data tracking, etc. I heard from a certain someone that you are working on a change for the PSN trophy situation.

Also, this coming Monday is September 14th, not September 21st - that's the Monday after.
Where can I get a GamerDNA t-shirt? ;-P
Oops, thanks for the heads up!
No problem! ;-)
I have noticed after several tries that the Avatar upload will not support animated Gif frames. I have seen only two animated Gifs on the gamerDNA site {Wormy and someone else} that were maybe 3 frames at most. Any plans to add the capabilities for users to upload multiple frame Gifs for Avatars ?
Huum... what mykalgaidin is a interesting questiom. ^^
Should be nice if we can embed our videos.

"Where can I get a GamerDNA t-shirt? ;-P"
Sounds nice too. xP

Huum... I think that in our profile could appear our achievements in a lot of plataforms (XBox 360, PS3, Steam). Just an idea. :P
1- The gamerCURRENT font is huge. Too huge.

2- I believe new members get about 20 recommendations for who to follow. The result is that we all seem to be following each other. Do you think that fewer recommendations would make a bit more sense?

3- What happened to the "friend" functionality. I think even with the "follower" function, there is a place for "friend."
*looks at plaintive previous post*

4- It's also obvious that you guys have been very active in troubleshooting the site, based on a few bugs that appeared after the update, only to disappear. Thanks.

5- Seems like I spend alot of time scrolling (big font humor), but it's time well spent. Good job on the site :-)
Did you guys take away the GamerDNA trophies for doing stuff on the site? If yes then you should add it back because you really screwed over new people as some people have a good amount of respect/fame from getting those trophies in the past.
My question may be answered somewhere already but nobody I've asked knows where that is so, waht exactly does voting on peoples activities do? Other than eating the muffin I mean :P
Just something I've been wondering, is there a page or link that shows the people with the highest amount of followers? The highest I've seen was over 600.
@Bonemane Hey to answer your question. They haven't taken away the gDNA trophies. They are still there and being tracked (as of last time I checked) just aren't displayed right now. That is because the gDNA team is working on pumping out a whole new rewards system. (see gDNA TownHall #1). Hope that helps.
Is there anyway to get achievement names to show up in the game activity? Right now all it seems to show is that you played the game and got a certain amount of gamerscore.
This actually just reminded me to watch the first one, I postponed watch it til my internet speeds were fixed then forget. I'll watch it now to make sure my question wasn't previously answered although I think the muffin votes were part of the new update >.>
I would like to know what you are going to do to improve the news section? I know I had a long post about it that we discussed earlier, but I guess if this the official topic, I would like to say that I think that news that is submitted should also appear under our "recent activity" list as well, that way it grabs people's attention.

As of right now, there isn't even a link to the news section and most don't know about it, and those that do, don't see a reason to really go there. It would be cool if it appeared under recent activities to stimulate discussion about certain topics.

I (like most others) would really like to see the Fame system improved, I mean before it showed how active someone was on gamerDNA more or less, I think that the old system should still be active until the new one comes around (because who knows how long that will be?) Otherwise the fame currently on our profile is near useless, not to mention most new users won't even know the purpose of it as they won't know what it means when they have "Dotted I's" or "Crossed T's" without the old page explaining what it was. I do realize that some of the old achievements aren't compatible with the new site, but surely the ones that were could of been left, until the fame was revamped.

Now for the positive note: I honestly believe this is the best gaming community site on the net for various reasons, and I really do like the direction the site is heading (I mean it is why I'm here even now). Keep up the good work and I noticed that you all took out the "beta" under the gamerDNA title (does that mean it is here to stay?)
@jimothyjim is it a muffin? I always thought it was popcorn, like you enjoy the post so much you can eat popcorn to it, like you do when you watch a movie.
@Vegeta I wholeheartedly support the idea that news should be supported! Why not give it spotlight treatment, especially if it goes hot? I'm all for knowing my fellow gamers, but gaming news should be just as important a topic of interest to me as well.
I would like to know more about the future of the PS3/PSN support/integration in GamerDNA, including the display/notification of trophies won. The ability to find people by system and country. Lastly, where we can buy GamerDNA stuff to promote the site, for example, a GamerDNA cup, so I can have a cup of tea and advertise the service, while at work!!
Also you guys did one hell of a job to the redesign. love everything about it and the few "burps" it had from time to time, seamlessly fixed. Keep up the excellent work guys!
BTW, I got your Email Q, I sent ya a private message about it.
I'd like to see a better friend comparison system. As of now, when you view someone's profile to see how much in common you have, it only looks at games played, traits applied, and people you're following. This often results in me seeing someone I have "12" things in common with only to find out it's actually just 12 people we're both following. I'd like to see it tell me if we play similar genres (not just games), and even play on the same consoles. Maybe you could include that nifty genre and console break-down pie graph when comparing yourself to people. I really enjoy those pie graphs.

Also, and I already know there's isn't a damn thing that gamerDNA can necessarily do about it but I can still dream, it's a real shame to see the Wii get so neglected. I can off-hand think of at least three or four Wiiware titles that are not listed in the games database. But my real gripe is my jealousy. I don't have an Xbox 360, and I don't want one. And damn it, I'm jealous that Xbox 360 users don't even have to update their gamer activity because it's updated automatically whenever they're playing something -- it even shows when they're currently playing a game if you're tracking them. It's just a shame. Maybe you guys can cut a deal with Nintendo and have them include some gamerDNA support in the next system update. I mean, my Wii is always connected to the internet whether its in the foreground *or* background. And we all have unique Wii console friend IDs. It's just a shame to see the Wii get neglected when it's more than proven it's capable of competing with the big boys.

Like I said, I know there's nothing you guys can do about. I know it's because Nintendo doesn't have an "online service" like Xbox Live or Playstation Network. Meh, I'm just ranting.
i only have one question.

WHAT POSSESSED YOU TO CALL ME A GIRL!

/strangle
@Mishy It's hillarious seeing Allyson Hannigan say that.
My questions were already being responded elsewhere, but I'm still interested in live video streams being integrated or embedded into a user subpage.
My question is on mobile support. Yes, a full fledged iPhone application would be great, blah blah blah, you've heard it all before. But that takes new development that can't leverage much beyond whatever webservices you have, it also takes time, and it doesn't help those with blackberries, etc.

What might be simpler is to craft a "m.gamerdna.com" or an "qforq.gamerdna.com/m/" version optimized for mobile users. Are there any plans to make such a simplified mobile web version of the site? Something that we could hit that is a little less busy, makes entering activities a little bit easier.

Yes, what it all comes down to is I want to enter iPhone gaming activities from my iPhone. I don't care about forums (though there's lots of good examples of mobile optimized examples out there - like redflagdeals.com, for example). I really want to hit my activities and add them.

(maybe this was addressed in the first one, I didn't watch it)
I skipped PAX... but I still want a gamerDNA sticker!! Is there anything I can do?? I know they were given away free @ PAX, but I'm willing to pay you for the trouble of packaging and shipping me a few.. or at least two (one for my car and one for my laptop!!)
@spazure I agree! I need more swag, a T-shirt is can only get me so far. (and so far it's gotten me a bad rep amongst friends, since every time I wear it they all lose "the game")
Oh and what DevsterC said, too. A mobile version of the site (that I can use on my phone OR my PSP) would be awesome.. but as an iPhone user, if you just make an iPhone app instead of a mobile version of the site, I'd be OK with that, as well. ;-)

TL;DR = mobile ability to add game activities = FTW
meh an mobile phone website reindly version would be awesome! then i can use GamerDNA in class! lol
My question:

Why is QforQ so damn sexy?
@ChangeAgent I fear that will always be a mystery.

I love reading these questions. It's such great insight into what this amazing community is looking for. Your participation only makes gamerDNA better - so... many thanks. Can't wait to dig into all of these and offer you guys some answers. Keep the questions coming!
I for one would love to know if you - considering that you see the forum only as a byproduct of gDNA - have any plans to include it in the comment/post system or if it will stay like it is right now. Another button anywhere up there would also be nice, i'm too lazy to scroll :D
How about some kind of calendar Tool/Utility to let followers or friends, etc, know when you plan on playing or having some kind of Game themed party?
Google's calendar app comes to mind for suggestions. Other than that, the site is awesome, and only has up to go with this kind of communal support.
When are you guys going to start doing a podcast? I listen to lots of podcasts on my daily commute as well as host one (insert shameless plug for www.thisxboxlife.com) and its a great way to keep in touch with your community when they are away from their computers.
Keep up the great work guys.
Speaking of commenting. What kind of options have (or will) the gamerDNA team be looking at to help members manage their comment subscriptions?

I may be alone in feeling an email per comment is too frequent, but no emails at all allows some interesting conversations to be missed. In my case, my main email account is linked to my phone; a great number of automated notifications a day is distracting. A digest-type or daily summary emails as options might be appreciated by some members.

(A parallel question is how helpful are you finding the "Get Satisfaction" comment/support area as a method of submitting requests - and what's the perceived level visibility/use of this system amongst members)

To follow-up on the sticker question. One of the things 360v did was shirt-enable people's gamertags. Yes, I will be trademarking the term "shirt-enable". We know running a merchandise emporium is not your intended line of business - but are you planning to make such things available? I'm sure you have some sweet black coffee mugs with your logo in house by now - hook us up! :-)

Lastly, a business model question. We know, due to your guildcafé roots, that there's some good ties to the MMO community and developers (we see it in their beta key donations, for example). Can you talk at all about what kind of bridges are you building with other development/publishing houses, what kind of info they are asking you for, how they see your role in their broader community outreach processes?

And if that means sharing drinking stories from hanging with Boston-based shops like Harmonix or 2k Boston, that'd be fun.
@WayneMSmith

Thanks for replying to my post.

I'm with most people when it comes to improved tracking of gameplay. Sometimes I think its not adding things then I get the gameplay items randomly 3+ days after I played the game and right before I'm about to add it in manually. Not to mention it takes even longer to get the stats and doesn't work as well if you play multi-platform.

If I play the 360 then get on xfire and play some games I might as well tack on another 2+ days before they show up on my calendar and if I'm lucky half the games I played will show up. Xfire tracking could use a tweak because on here on some games like Atlantica I remember it showing only 600 minutes of gameplay (10 hours) when I have well over 100 hours (I remember having xfire on for more than 10 hours as well so even if it somehow just tracked the time I was used Xfire it should have been more). It also seems like its pulling in parts. One day I have 45 minutes playing the next time I use Xfire I have like 5 hours then 7 (again while I'm still past the 100 hour mark) and so on. It should just pull everything as soon as it connects. The way it goes it'll eventually catch up, but it might take awhile.
It would be cool if there was a way to create an event and send out invites. You guys don't off something like that do you? I think FB has some kind of event creating/notification system. There are some online games I have that folks on my friendslist don't have or don't play. It would be cool to organize Gamerdna events for some of the more obscure multiplayer titles.
You can nudge your followers about stuff. Guess that's what you meant? I am sleepy.. :D
Why the heck does the firk ding cuss word filter only blinking get at most one ding dang swear word in a bleeping thousand, and only in the gosh darned gamer current?
@Svoboda I know that comment took you ATLEAST ten minutes to type XD
@Mishy Um, Mishy? Look at your avatar choices. You've got a pretty cool avatar pic on Facebook, why not use that?

How about the ability to apply different themes to our profiles? Change up the colors a bit, you could even link some of it in to ads, increase your revenue stream a bit. Kind of like what you do with the gDNA homepage, but applicable to our home pages.
@Mishy I have this mental thing where anyone who has a girl avatar = a girl in RL. I know that will set me up for many-a-let-down, but it's just the way my head works!
@Svoboda ROFL at your question.
@Mishy Most people pick an avatar which reflects their self image. Your avatars are always female, so either you are still trying to find yourself, or you have a female self image.

My question:
Why do I still need to log back in every 2 minutes when I'm using a computer with SiteKiosk?
@DevsterC I may be alone in feeling an email per comment is too frequent, but no emails at all allows some interesting conversations to be missed. In my case, my main email account is linked to my phone; a great number of automated notifications a day is distracting. A digest-type or daily summary emails as options might be appreciated by some members.

This.

Or even twice a day, one around noon and one around midnight. You already offer several automatically updating services (Twitter, Facebook, and more) -- It can't possible be that difficult to do the same for an email -- I'd know, I code myself.
What about BB code? I just noticed It doesn't work... and also doe these little blurbs count as "contributions"?
I'd like to see Crabs for the future of gamerDNA... can you add it? What I mean is... you know... CRABS FTW!
@Scary101 If you have crabs, you should see a doctor. :o

And I was thinking recently about possible having an active monitor on XFire/Steam/GFWL/XBL and having the player's status updated as close to realtime as possible in a news feed banner style, or status box, on the player's main profile page.
@Torinir I'm only new...
@Scary101 Joke, my good man.
@Torinir Oh... :D Well, hello!
That "nothingness on the right is sad. Are we going to be able to change it to the Hot Games tab by default?
@favogiuseppo What do you mean "nothingness on the right". What are you referring to?
I think he's referring to the "Oh the nothingness!" blurb.
Exactly that "nothingness". I mean, in GamerDna's main page, we have a box on the right. The Games box. It has 4 tabs: Friends Playing, Hot, New and Upcoming. Even if I follow a couple of players, the (default) Friends Playing tab tells me "Oh...the nothingness!"
So, I'd like to have the option to set the Hot games tab as the default one!
@BlueEyesWhiteGirl you see though even when i had a male avatar (yeah its happened) it was still called a girl so = P

Anyway i act like a girl in real life anyway so why not cofnuse people into thinking it more!
Competitive gaming is pretty big. We could add some support for sites like Gamebattles.com. Doesn't have to be big. It could be something small such as a list that shows our clans (maybe the ability to add a custom banner for each one) and win/loss ratios. Then when a top ranked clan is beaten it could automatically create an event about it and give you the option to nudge everyone or spotlight it.
I agree with @Bonemane - Definitely would be good to have some competitive gaming site support, although some sites have been experiencing a major downturn of late.
Have you guys given any thought to when the next GDNA community night might be? And what game?
@Mishy She was right, then! You do have a female self image!
Well after thinking about what question is most likely to get my username said in the town hall again (Insert Jokes Here) here it is.

I have noticed since the update, that with all the added stuff to the site it seems to have slown down. I have gDNA set as my homepage, and now when I open a browser I have enough time to decide what I want to look at before gDNA even opens. This means I am less likely to see anything that is happening on gDNA before I navigate away.

Do you have any plans to upgrade servers, hosting, or something that might speed up the delivery of the gDNA website?
@WayneMSmith This may actually be client-side. I'm a coder, and I can tell that gamerDNA is a very complex website. It may not be a problem so much as their servers can't send all the data fast enough, but a case of your internet client and cpu not being able to process it fast enough. I obviously don't know how good your computer is, so I can't say for sure. I'm just pointing out.

I also experience laggy loads, but I blame my cpu.
Well, me being a lazy person means I won't scroll through all of those posts just to see if what I'm about to ask has already been asked.

Let's say I am a game developer (I'm not, but I want to be :P). Is it possible for me to incorporate gamerDNA into my game using Helix? What features will I be able to put in my game (Friend feeds, gaming activities, spotlights, etc)? Will my game be able to affect my (or others') profile? Is there anything else to gain from using Helix in my game other than being awesome and supportive? Which platforms does it support (C#, Flash, etc)?

If I'll have anything else to ask, I'll let you know.
@Jono00 Game developers should be able to use the Helix API no matter what language they use to program their game. The I in API means Interface between two products, so the product itself can by anything as long as it follows the API's rules to talk with gamerDNA. I haven't seen Helix advertised a whole lot, so mentioning it in the Townhall video might be a good idea. :)
@TamaraLane BBCode would be very nice. We can add links and images using HTML, but on the flipside I read someone lost a bunch of text because (s)he uses a less than character. I love being able to link to people with the @ already.
@QforQ Question/suggestion: The overall site homepage shows us up to 20 friends' statuses. Why not implement that to people's personal profile page as well, in the Bio section? Just for that one person of course. (I put my Xfire and Xbox Live sig images in mine manually.)

Q: In the Bio section, the AKAs don't actually (clickably) link to our other profiles. Why not?

Q: Any news on more/different games lists? Some of the work-in-progress screenshots tease a game Wishlist for instance, something I'd love to have to keep track. The same thing for Badges (gDNA Achievements) of course. I did notice some other features getting added to the site unannounced since the really big update.
How about some more WEB AKA? First one that comes to mind is Youtube. I upload gaming videos up there from time to time.
I've got another question :D

I know it takes a long time to create these, but what about some more quizzes? These are really fun to fill out and are usually quite accurate. I love these things so, naturally, I want more =].

And on a completely different note, when you vote for a post, the muffin gets a chunk bitten off. When you remove the vote, its complete again. I wish I could do that in real life - eating my cake and keeping it full. Hope I wont have to throw up what I ate in order to do that though :X
(Oh, and a voting system for comments, like in youtube, could be nice.)
are you planning on implementing a gameplay stats page? e.g. # of players per game per week, average hours per player,... y'know, all that data you gather, visualized?
@rgoff31 That reminds me...

We could also use in-game AKA's. City of Heroes has a global messaging system which lets you communicate across servers and with the opposite faction, using a global name which is independent of any of your character names. CoH can't be the only game with this sort of system.

This could be implemented as another blank you could fill out when you ad certain MMORPG's to your DNA. In you enter such a game, and choose to enter your global name in the blank, the global name would appear with your other AKA's.
@LordXenophon You can already do this, it's just not under the AKA section.

http://www.gamerdna.com/dna/add_character/?t=1

They're called "characters"
My "Home" page has become ridiculously slow.... any plans to remedy this?
I'm not talking about characters.
@TamaraLane yes, it is due to the large threads with lots of comments trying to render in the gamerCURRENT. We are adding separate loading to that on Monday to hopefully cure some of those issues.
Thanks
It's wastelander75's fault! He had to go and post the most controversial screenshot in history!

http://wastelander75.gamerdna.com/images/8Uraesx/harleyquinnaa-jpg
Yeah... we never really tested how much a 350+ comment thread would tax the setup. :) Not to mention that all threads are getting way more comments than they previously were... so we just have to make some adjustments. :)
@LordXenophon T,T

-hides his shame-
Well, I was going to ask a question, but I read the other replies so...
Since it's all wastelander75's fault, I guess I have my answer.

Oh wait, I do have a question, since wastelander's pic is still getting comments. Is there a possibility that we will get the ability to lock our own threads if we want?
@WILDMAMMOTH Or maybe ignore a post/thread/news/ w/e.
(Though I think there is a way to do that)
Any plans to implement a fame system for comments like you have for the forums?
@WayneMSmith There is a fame system, however it's given to the player, not the post. I think a post based rating system for comments would be welcome.
A small suggestion for the townhall vid - Get some screen-shots/recordings in there too! Its way more interesting to see things in action (when possible of course) than just listening to 2 guys talking (No insult, you guys are awesome :P )
How about adding a feature listing the game releases for every month or even one that would list upcoming DLC?
I agree with Vegeta on have currant gaming news, and I agree with Wastelander75 about a column about new releases and DLC.

I would like more customizing to my Home/Items page. So I can add and remove columns/items, so I could keep my calendar then add what I'm my currently blogging about or what's new in the gaming industry or what's in the spotlight around GamerDNA.
Thanks for your questions/topics of discussion everyone!

We've reached the cut off - So any questions after this comment aren't may not make it in to the video. I'm now going to be pulling all of these in and we will address as many as possible in the Townhall.

Stand by for updates on when we will have the Townhall vid up!
Darn... had one final thing that just caught my attention... move the Logout link away from the Profile/Messages/Notes links!
This is probably a stupid question, but will the GamerDNA twitter be updated when the video is released?
@TheTot Of course!
We will be live in about 2 hrs for the GamerDNA Townhall!

http://blog.gamerdna.com/blog/2009/09/14/live-gamerdna-townhall-2-sept-15th-3pm-est/
Hey! I want to know will my Question be answered in gamerDNA Townhall 2? :D
It'll be on really soon now. Just wait and see. :)
But... I just want to know!
All of the videos are now on our blog, check em out!

http://blog.gamerdna.com/blog/2009/09/17/gamerdna-townhall-2-video/
Thanks!!
Awesome, I wasn't playing attention when you answered my question, haha.
I should have asked this a long time ago, in time for the video, but can we maybe do something about the fact that 99.99999999999999999999999% of my alerts are behind the spotlight?
@DarthShadows That's more of a support related question. Could you send us a support ticket at http://www.gamerdna.com/feedback ? Thanks!
And 98.888888888888888888% are from one thread? (harleyquinnaa.jpg)
I tried sending a support ticket already. I got a 502 error.
You shouldn't receive a 502 error right now - The page is displaying fine for me.

If that doesn't work, we ask that you submit a ticket through http://getsatisfaction.com/gamerdna

Thanks!
I just keep having a continual problem with the ordering of ranks . seems what ever number i insert for the rank to display in. it doesn't change. IDK can you guys look into that?
Ranks?
She must be talking about forum sections in the guild sites.
OH.... I still don't know what it is...
Site manager. you can go to Manage / Members / RANKS it is where you can name and order Ranks on your guilds website. I have a problem that no matter what order i put them in the display how every they like. i can not control the order they are displayed in the Manage / members page. ( hoping i explained my question better. )
OH OK I think I know where that is... I'll look & see what it does.
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