Published on 1/21/21, 5:43 AM
GAMERS, it has been quite a while since we last posted any news, and it's about high time we do that.
2020 sucked for all of humanity, and 2021 looks to be turning that around. At the beginning of 2020, we helped run Salt Flats 2020. That event was a blast! But unfortunately it was the only event we were a part of for the entire year. The rest of the year we pretty much stayed silent (except for some Twitter chatter). However, we were not dead to the world!
Throughout almost all of 2020 we have been quietly working behind the scenes on the new event section, and related services. The new event section is not yet ready, as 2020 presented many challenges to us on a personal level. However, important progress has been made, and we hope to give you a little taste of what we want to do with our event section and related stuff!
One major reason the event section is taking so long is because of all the things we want to bake into it. We have a backlog of features and fixes that span about 8 years. For the 7+ years before we launched the v3 LANified! website, we were using v2 and trying to bring new features and fixes into existence on that old website. The list of features that we wanted to add to the website grew, and grew, and grew, continuously over the 7+ years. However, the methodologies and technologies we implemented for the v2 website resulted in all the features and things we wanted to be very "time and effort expensive". This unfortunately turned into a bigger and bigger mountain to climb, just to get some of the features we wanted added. This "technical debt" eventually turned into a deadlock scenario where we couldn't move forward with what we wanted to do. We had to change the way our website worked drastically.
I (BloodyIron) took the reins. In 2019 I spent almost the entire year designing and developing the v3 website, and launched it at the beginning of 2020. At first glance it may not seem like much work was involved, but that is far from the case. I needed to have our website overcome a lot of problems up-front, before we even started addressing what we wanted to do with our event section. It had to work fabulously on all devices (v2 sucked on mobile), and so much more.
Since the launch of v3, I have been working hard on the new event section. The first phase was designing what we wanted in it from a functional and logical regard. That took many months of introspection and iteration. Later in 2020 I started actually building the backend in a development space, and that is almost done. But there is much more to do (presentation, validation, etc). I'm getting more wind in my sails. I want this done in time for when it's safe to run events again. But I cannot stress enough, a massive amount of "awesome stuff" is being baked into our event section (and related services).
But BloodyIron, what is this "related services" you keep referring to?
We have an ever-developing internal roadmap of technical products and services we want to offer. There is plenty to come after the event section rolls out. The event section and what we want to roll out after it rely on some sexy and less than sexy things that are "related services".
First, our account system
At the same time we roll out our event section, we will also be rolling out our "LANified! Account" system. We will be using the account system in such a way that you should only ever have one account to work with all of our current and future systems. I also want to bring to your attention that we are very privacy concerned. We are currently scoping your account to only require a username, an E-Mail address, and a password. We want to minimise any storage and collection of personal information. The business model that we follow has zero plans for resale of any data that we collect, as we would rather be sustainable through ticket, product and service sales, not sale of personal data. We may need your first and last name at the time of transaction (buying a ticket), but we are hoping we never have to actually store your first and last name, and instead can tie "ownership" of things to your username instead. We are optimistic about this being achievable.
This system may be one of the least sexiest of all the systems, but we also want to make this the least painful system to use. One account, easy to make, easy to change your password, secure to use, and usable everywhere you login to a LANified! service.
Second, our storefront system
This is probably the biggest painpoint we have had in the entire history of the v2 website and onwards. For over a decade we have only been able to sell one ticket type per event, only through paypal, and nothing else. We have been listening to complaints about this aspect the whole time, and chomping at the bit to do something about it. This will be completely new, and will ship with the event section when it rolls out. I cannot stress this enough, this will be a big deal, and we hope you love it.
The LANified! HUB service is still in development behind closed doors. It will probably not ship with the event section, and will probably be the next thing to roll out after the event section. However, with the LANified! Accounts service rolling out, and other things behind the scenes, the groundwork is already being laid to roll this out. No, we will not be using Discord. LANified! HUB is being scoped to address many functional needs that we have had for years, including ones that Discord is ineffective at serving. It has been in private development and testing for multiple years now, and we are really excited about what it can do to bring gamers together, enhance our event services, and so much more. We do not have a launch date yet set, but watch the skies!
Well I've already kind of given you a bit of a teaser with the storefront, but there is so much more coming! I'm not going to tell you all of it, because a lot of it is best kept a surprise until we make it happen. But for now, here's a list of some stuff we're baking into the event section:
- multiple ways to register for tournaments
- automatic schedule generation
- improved check-in processes
- improved sponsorship features
- support for multiple ticket types
- support for computer, console and many other types of gaming at the same time
- seriously loads more
It's a new year, 2021, and we're just at the beginning of it. I can't precisely tell the future just yet, but we want to finish our event section (and related services) so we can not only get back to running events (many of them), but take them to a whole new level. We hope you are as excited as we are, and that you will join us when we get back to running events. We miss seeing all your lovely faces. From all of us at LANified!, we hope you and those you care about are all safe. Stay safe gamers, and watch the skies.
- BloodyIron -