Project Report


Description

My project will be a website/fan site giving information about an old MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Roll Play Game) called Astonia V2. The game was shutdown in 2002 after 4 years of running however still had a large player base. Due to the game being shutdown in June 2002 as the creator moved to Astonia V3, the server was licensed out to a number of players for a license fee. This started the revival of Astonia V2 by allowing a bunch of servers to start up and caused players to return to the community. The source code is now freely available and more servers are appearing, however this website will be focused on the original V2 and will not be displaying changes or information on anything that servers implement from the time the game shutdown on June 2002. The site will contain all types of information on the game which will cover characters, npcs, monsters, skills, ranks, areas, quests and labyrinths.


Target Audience:

The target audience is aimed at the current population who play Astonia V2 as the information would be best understood by them, however new players to the game would also find the information useful as it would uncover and assist them in any problems they may come across.


Aim of the Project:

My aim for the project is to have a clean website that is easy to access and shows all information for the game in an easily set out state. When viewers view the website I hope they can navigate to the information they are after fast and the information is accurate. I have had a similar website in the past however it was clustered and eventually lost in moving servers, it was also hard to update. A side aim for the project is to advertise the game and attract new players.


Effect on the Viewers:

The effect I’m aiming for with the website is an old-fashion feel which is based from the original graphics of the game. I have extracted the background from the original game interface which was used on the original Astonia V2 homepage. There primary focus is on the current players, when they view the website I want them to instantly recognize they are on the correct page.The site layout and graphics would also get new players used to the graphics and theme of the game.


Message to the Viewers:

The site is supposed to send a message to the views saying 'This is an old fashioned game, A Classic' while also informing them it is a information source. The site will also try and encourage players to have a go at the game. I have seen many people whom I try to encourage turn away from the game before even starting due to the graphics and speed the game is played at, however I consider this a loss for them as myself and many others that have played the game or begun to play the game have become hooked.


Anything Else:

The website is a library of information for the game, there are many different servers currently up of the game as the source was released when the game was shutdown. This site is dedicated to the original V2 and will only have information based on that, any changes done by the multiple servers currently running will not be placed on the site.


Clever Features:

CSS:

I have used a few features in this project that I consider to be ‘clever’. First the CSS used on the website allows me to create a new page from scratch and within seconds it can have the same look/feel as the other pages as well as reducing the amount of code (redundant code) on each page. By not using in-line CSS I do not have to repeat the code one every page, instead all my CSS data is stored in my style.css located under /scripts/style.css and when changing any data in this one file, it changes all my pages simultaneously. By using the CSS it gives me a lot more freedom to change objects on my Website, for example my hyperlinks are always set to a specified colour and have a hover effect which reinforces my theme. My tables are able to use no frames and have multicoloured backgrounds and data formatting with minimal effort.


Menu:

I am using is a JavaScript for the sidebar/menu. Again I only need to call this feature once per page and my entire sidebar is being called from one location (scripts/menu.js). The feature is called on the body load, doing this ensures that it is the last object to load. Once a user goes to a page all the data will be loaded first before the menu itself is reloaded, I used this to ensure that the content on the site is given priority encase the JavaScript takes extra time to load for any reason.As I have two lots of page locations for my pages I have needed to create two menu calls in the JavaScript file. However this is only to ensure that my root folder does not become cluttered with an additional 20pages.


Scroll system:

On multiple pages on my site I have a scrollbar that uses JavaScript. The icons for the scrolling are skulls with red candles facing the direction. These icons also come from the Astonia game and continue with the overall theme of my website. The scrollbar is easily setup on any page with a simple hyperlink tag over an image, when moving the mouse over the selected image the page scrolls the content panel. The Scrollbar is set out to work easily in conjunction with my CSS to display on any page in the site easily.


Borrowed Features

Graphics:

All graphics used on my site apart from the header and footer have come from Astonia V2, I have extracted the graphics from the game and modified the file type so I may use transparent backgrounds.
These files can be found at: http://www.brockhaus.org/merc2.html.
A direct link to the graphic zip: http://www.brockhaus.org/merc2gfxdat.zip
Also on the website it informs me:

You may do whatever you want with this, provided you:
a) give proper credit (eg. "is based on the Mercenaries of Astonia engine by Daniel Brockhaus" somewhere in your game / on your website).

I have ensured I follow this guideline by placing the exact line in my footer on every page.


Scroll System:

My scrollbar JavaScript was originally given to me by Joshua Green with the permission to use/modify his code that he originally had for other use. Since obtaining the code I have slightly modified the code changing the scroll speed and function call, merging the feature into my menu.js.


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