Edmonton's LAN Party Scene
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 rbLAN (a basic on-the-fly game/event scheduling tool) 
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Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 201
Location: id software
You ever been to a lan with no schedule, but you still wanted to schedule something and let everyone know about it without using a megaphone(annoying everyone) or projector("wearing and tearing" that $900 lens) ?

Well, now you can; with rbLAN.

Completely ajax-driven.
Cross-browser compatible.
Cross-device(Mobile(iPhone, iPad, etc.)) compatible.

rbLAN (rblanx.com) is a lan-party tool for on-the-fly scheduling of upcoming events/games, for up to 72 hours.

This tool is purely a "FYI" service. (No attendance expectations. No sign-up system. etc.)

This tool is ideally for short lan events (up to 4 days) only.

How it works:
Basically, you leave this tool running (full-screen) on a PC (with screensaver disabled) somewhere in your LAN. (Perhaps a dedicated PC, that anyone a) can see from distance, and b) use themselves)
People (that walk by) will see the big timer bars on the PC screen.
The bigger the bar, means the closer the event gets to it's start time. Full bars means that the event is ready, and/or has already started.

Events (that have reached their time, and begun) will be removed from the screen after 30 minutes.

This tool automatically refreshes the screen every 30 seconds.

How to use it:
- Click "Add Game", select the game and select when it starts, then click Submit.
- You can set a "note" by clicking "..." button. E.g. "12vs12", or "Talk to Dolphin", etc.
- You can Delete your own games/events.
- You (as owner of the lan/group) can edit Settings for everything.
- You (as owner) can set the lan/group to private mode(set a password).

Unlike traditional "event scheduler" systems (where you have to deal with a "calendar popup"), rbLAN takes an easier approach by which you select # of hours (for when your game/event will begin in). E.g. Simply select "2 hours", to set your event to start in 2 hours.

NOTE: If you haven't used it before, then:
- Type in the group name "garagelan", or visit directly at: http://www.rblanx.com/garagelan
- Type in group password "garagelan", press Enter. (Yes, I have it set to private even though it doesn't really need to be unless trolling occurs. The only reason it's currently set to private mode right now, is because for development/demonstration purposes.)

History:
I originally developed this to be for garagelan only; because it only took around 5 hours (to do something that was restricted to one group only (with hardcoded config, etc.)). But, then I decided to upgrade it (additional 25 hours) into something that could be used by multiple groups; implementing dynamic lans/groups (along with an intro screen("type in group name")), dynamic settings, dynamic administration, access system, private lan/group system, lan/group password-protection system, etc.

Screenshots:
Image
Adding a game/event.


Image
Game/event added.


Image
Multiple games/events.


Image
Settings.

---

Well, there you go.

Up to you guys if you want to use it (find it useful or not). I'm leaving it alone now, and it will remain (run forever) at rblanx.com. I will still fix any reported bugs, though.

I personally will be using it and leaving it running on my screen(for if we don't have it running on a dedicated-lan PC screen) at lans. For example, me and my friend may plan to play SC, and we'll be willing to schedule it (even though we have no expectations that anyone will show up; but we know it's always possible someone may take an interest), using this tool. Anyone walking by our screen(during that time) will/may see it, and make a mental note(adjust their personal schedule to follow up on it), and they may follow up on it when the time comes(whether it be 2 hours, or 4 hours, etc.)


Sun May 19, 2013 4:39 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:44 pm
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Location: The void
Excellent concept, Kryps. It would almost be a good tool to use in everyday life, too. Say you plan on playing a multiplayer game at a certain time or in 2 days, you can post it on there and maybe gather some participants from the GarageLAN crew. I would carry that app around on my phone and definitely check it for my days off. If you do implement this feature, it might be prudent to actually have a sign up process for gaming events. Especially if you are planning on playing games with a limited player cap.

For example, it would suck to get 18 people join up randomly and be left out for Guns of Icarus. A game where the cap is 16 players in a 2v2 match. Yes, yes, I know there are 3v3 matches with 24 players, but I'm setting up a theoretical situation where you don't' want a 3v3 match. Plus 2 people would be left with the retard AI that literally spins in place.

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Sun May 19, 2013 6:42 am
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Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 201
Location: id software
Thanks for the response, Gomer.

Well, you certainly can use it for everyday life if you want. But, you still have that max-4-day range (which is probably enough for most cases/scenarios anyways).

The "sign-up" stuff can be strange sometimes. From my experience, sign-ups never work out as expected, because either 1) people never "sign-up" but they attend anyways, and 2) people sign-up, but then never show up. -- It's hard to rely on it, and therefore not quite justified for building/offering as a feature. But, if enough people feel otherwise about this, and feel it should be a feature--then I will build it. But for now, this tool is meant as a "no strings attached" kind of thing (no sign-ups). I will give "sign-ups" some more thought, though.

Bug fixes:
- Fixed bug that prevented people from creating a lan/group. (a line of code(redirect) I entered(to prevent something) also prevented visitor from proceeding to the next page when entering a group name that doesn't exist.) To create a new lan/group, just enter the name (in "tag" form), and press Enter; if it doesn't exist, you will be presented with the Settings page to create/save your new lan/group.


Sun May 19, 2013 2:19 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:44 pm
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It would only really be in a situation that it really did take off. Making it a one click thing to subscribe and just add your name and than another 1 click thing to unsubscribe and type your name in again might alleviate people just showing up or signing up and not showing up at all. But really, it's all dependent if it gets popular. Even than, you might need a sign up process to prevent people trolling and unsubscribing or subscribing other people as a joke.

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Sun May 19, 2013 4:40 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 201
Location: id software
Yah.

Well. Perhaps I'll start off with something simple (by skipping the "enter your name" part), and have just a button (with icon of Pin or Star) that people can click and that's it. So, if 10 people click that, then the website will say "10 people are interested" for that event box/bar.


Mon May 20, 2013 2:59 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:03 am
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yes, needs something that you can click to show, yes I will be ready for that event

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Mon May 20, 2013 8:13 am
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