Some of you may have noticed the new TOG ladder site - affectionately called TOGGLe by some (TOG G
adder). I thought I'd write a brief article into what is involved in setting up such a site. If you're watching the progress on the ladder site and you're curious about why things are happening and when, then you might be interested to know what is happening behind the scene's.
The ladder site is a commercial product that was bought from the internet. It wasn't home grown or developed by any TOG programmer. As with any purchase of any product the TOG ladder team did some research on the product and looked at the demo's available. I personally emailed some existing clients and we compared the list of functions the software can do against the list of functions we were hoping to make available to you - the TOG members. Some call this a gap analysis or a fitness test to make sure we didn't buy a lemon.
The decision to buy the product was made and Nestaron installed the ladder. Easy as that - hurrah!! Actually, no - its not that easy. The product did - and still does - have software bugs in it right from day 1.
These bugs were discovered through testing and trialing the ladder s'ware. The ladder committee and the ladder managers tested the more obvious ladder functions and we compiled a list of problems with the software. The committee then had to prioritise those bugs and work out which problems would annoy our members the most. We got to work on fixing those bugs!
While that was happening the team started discussing graphics we can insert into the site. We have looked at the current TOG site and considered adopting the same theme. We've looked at banners and discussed where the famous TOG cross-hairs should be placed. And I'll give you a warning - there will probably be a google ad so be ready for that one too!!
All this needs to be planned out and decided on.
Nestaron has spent a large portion of his time rewriting a lot of the code and changing the ladder database so it can better integrate with the TOG database. If you check the ladder site today you'll see every TOG member has instantly become a LADDER member as well! That didn't happen out-of-the-box but a little bit of forethought has made this aspect straight forward for our members.
The graphic artists are a very important part of the ladder site and hopefully we'll see some new and fresh images appearing on the ladder site in weeks to come. Those images need to be discussed, drafted and changed and then checked for presentation with the rest of the site.
TOG journalists have an important part to play with writing articles about the ladder site and keeping TOG and the greater community informed. TOG has large and long term plans for this ladder site and it has caused quite a few raised eyebrows. The ladder committee need to work with journalists to ensure the public-relations side of the ladder goes as planned.
Last but certainly not least are the ladder managers. These people are at the coal face - they're dealing with the DC's and the members and working with the community to ensure ladders are set up correctly and assistance is available when required. There will be sticky threads and user guides available to help gamers get the most from this investment and all this is done by the Ladder Managers or by the Ladder Committee.
I think its been 4 weeks since the purchase of this version of the ladder software and its still not ready to go live. It's very close - but we still have a little work to do. We don't want to be too over enthusiastic and disappoint our fan-base with empty promises.
So you can see the size of the team required to put such a project together - System Administrators, software coders, graphical wizzes, journalists, Ladder Managers and Division Captains. Everyone on the ladder team is excited about the future of the ladder and the size of TOG and its combined resources make this project possible.
In a few weeks time, when you're enjoying the presentation of the site and recording your latest victory against your opponent, you'll have a better understanding of how it all came to be.
Stay tuned for more communications in coming weeks!