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Guardians of the Light

Jun 6th, 2006

This website was built for a Guild Wars computer gaming group. The members needed community-building tools such as a forum, photo album, and areas to boast their in-game prowess. The site had the following features:

Website themes:
the entire look of the website could be changed by a setting on the user's control panel.

Member Sign-in:
There were multiple sections of the website that only members were allowed to view. The security of this website was managed by the built-in functions in the phpBB message board package working in consort with our own security functions. Upon request of a secured page, the user would be redirected to the forum sign-in page. After signing in, the user would be redirected back to the requested page. This process worked site-wide, even between the message board and normal website pages.

News Management:
On the website home page, news articles could be posted by any site administrator via a web form.

User's Webspace:
The website gave each member 2Mb of server space to create one html page for each of the user's in-game avatars. These pages could be used to give information about their avatars and any achievements. The webspace could also be used to hold any images the user wished to add to forum posts (much like a flickr account).

Photo Album:
There were actually two distinct photo albums: one for the general public that contained "screenshots" taken from inside the game. The other was for real-life pictures of the guild's members (For example, the other developer and I live near each other and would put pictures of our planning sessions in this album).

Message Board:
The message board was a phpBB board with a built-in theme modified slightly to fit the group.

In-Game Achievements Tracker:
From time to time, a certain group of the guild's members would do battle in-game against other guilds. These members wanted a method of keeping track of their battles and the associated commentary. This section of the website noted which members were involved, any commentary, and the outcome of the match.

New Member Application:
The guild had a policy that any new member had to apply, be interviewed, and be given a trial membership before that player could become a full member. The member application was a simple web form which was then inserted into the message board in a special "membership" section and an email was sent to the membership officer.

Interface to TeamSpeak™:
During group play, the guild would often employ a VOIP program called TeamSpeak to communicate. A package was included in the website to allow non-participants to listen in to the game communications without interfering with communication. This package was modified to fit the group and a marquee of teamspeak information could be found on the website home page.

Languages/Technologies: PHP4, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX
Pre-Packaged: phpBB, PHP RSS Syndicator, TeamSpeak Web Interface
Novelties: theme system, phpBB security Interface, users webspace manager, staff file manager, photo album

Visual: 1st Image
The visual theme depicted above was inspired by the epic fantasy feel of the game. We used large background images and transparencies to allow an "open" and "large" feel. This theme was designed for the "Player versus Environment"-oriented members.

Visual: 2nd Image
This visual theme was inspired by the "player versus player" part of the game where players compete against each other. The feel is more warlike without losing website functionality. This was the default theme for the website.

Note: both of these images contain content which belongs to ArenaNet™ and used with permission as part of their "Fansite Kit".