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I just set up a private messaging system here on OGA.
If you're logged in, you should notice a "Private Messages" heading at the top left corner of the front page. From there, you can view any private messages that you have. Additionally, you'll receive a notification in a green box at the top of the page if you have any unread messages.
If you want to send a message to a user, you can either do it from their user page (right under their user portrait) or from the "Write new message" link.
By default, you'll receive an email when someone sends you a private message. You can turn this off from your user profile page, under Private Messages. You can also disable private messages entirely if you want.
Finally, if you're finding an individual person to be particularly bothersome, you can block private messages from them and no one else by clicking on the "Blocked Users" tab on the Messages page and entering their username in the box.
In the near future, I'll be adding a link to art pages so users can be messaged directly from there.
If you have any questions or issues, reply below (or send me a private message).
Just did a big site update under the hood, which involved moving the site to a bigger machine so we can eliminate those disk full errors. We also updated the operating system, PHP, and a bunch of Drupal modules, so if you notice any bugs, please reply here and report them and I'll try to get to them ASAP.
- Apache Solr is hosed right now. I don't know how I set it up, and I'm having some issues getting it working again. If there are any solr experts reading this, let me know and I'll describe what's going on. Edit: Clint Bellanger (of FLARE fame) is going to help me out with this tomorrow. Thanks, Clint!
- I'm going to get private messaging working in the next day or two. Stay tuned for an announcement. Edit: This is now done.
- I'm getting some random errors when I try to save and delete some content. I'm currently trying to track down the issue.
OGA contributor Kenney (creator of perhaps the most popular free 2D asset packs on the internet today) is putting together a physical venue for game development, which you can read about on his IndieGogo page, here:
Here's what he has to say about it:
Kenney Land is a local venue in Kerkrade (Netherlands, my hometown) where game developers can come to work, learn, teach, create and play. There will be events organized like workshops, trainings (for beginners and advanced developers), meetings and game jams. There will also be resource available for game developers to use, like assets and book but also development kits for consoles.If you decide to pledge $20 or more you'll receive an asset pack which contains 4,000 never before seen assets which include explosions, aliens in spaceships, isometric buildings and the Roguelike pack!
As we approach the next funding goal, I've been doing some work under the hood and making some plans for some more features and additions. There are also a couple of notifications and reminders for the community that I'll touch on at the end of this post.
I'm working on updating the way OGA handles searches, which will eventually mean tossing out the old search system and replacing it with something newer and better. For the technically inclined among you, I'm using Apache Solr. I've already got a very bare prototype of this up and running, which you can check out here:
Please note that this feature is in very early alpha, and I'm not looking for comments or bug reports at the moment. The search results are just a mass of text right now, but they won't be when I'm done. At any rate, even though the results are ugly, sometimes they're more sensible than OGA's default search, which is one of the things the new search engine is intended to fix.
If you want to see how much this will improve the search situation, just serarch for "LPC base" (no quotes) in the old search and the new one and notice that the new search system very sensibly places the LPC base assets as the first result, whereas on our current search system, it's nowhere on the first page. This should also clear up the issues we have with duplicate, blank, or nonsensical search results.
Once we hit the $1000 funding goal, I'll start working on adding expanded metadata to art entries, so people can search much more fine-grained categories and filter on things like resolution and format. This will obviously take a lot of manual data entry on my part, so be aware that the new metadata won't just magically appear once we hit the goal. :)
Changes to art deletion
Occasionally we get art deletion requests that leave me wondering why the request was made. While it will always be the artists' prerogative to remove their art for any reason, for the convenience of developers, I'm going to start maintaining pages for deleted art (with the downloads removed), which will help avoid link rot and give developers a record of what license(s) the art was released under. These pages will be essentially the same as the last useful revision of the current art page (including preview images and a list of filenames), but the downloads themselves will no longer be available.
In addition, if a piece of art is removed due to copyright infringement, we'll send out notification emails to all registered accounts that have download tracking enabled (and downloaded the art after download tracking was implemented).
Deletions from here on until this is implemented will be preserved in an unpublished state and put in the deleted items archive when it becomes available.
A quick reminder
OGA has a lot of users from a lot of different backgrounds. We offer a fairly wide choice of licenses, and that means that our users run the gamut from hardcore free software advocates to closed source developers. Everyone is welcome here.
There are plenty of places where people can argue the merits of various software licensing schemes; in fact, if you want to talk about this stuff on the OGA forums, that's fine by me, provided everything stays civil. What I want to avoid is people being non-constructive and/or rude. If you feel the need to make rude comments about someone because they chose a particular license, game engine, or programming language, there are plenty of places on the internet where that kind of thing is welcome. OGA is not one of them. :)
P.S. I've got my next pixel art tutorial outlined, if people are waiting for that. It's pretty extensive, so I might have to split it into two parts, but it's coming along. :)
In this video, I go over some basic tips for improving your art, and also for making the best art possible with your current skill level. I do two pixel art demonstrations with the same subject (a vase I rendered in Blender), one of a simple shape with an outline, and two using solid blocks of color to demonstrate how to give an object a sense of volume with light and shadow.
The forum thread for this tutorial is here: