Hey guys, as we move closer to the 28th anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D’s full release, I wanted to start talking about the website, and what will be coming in the future.
When I started this website (and restarting the idea of WolfSource), I did so with various ideas in place for what it would be. I started with WordPress because it was a system I knew well enough to get everything running.
However, while this all works well enough, it became apparent that unless a person had an in-depth knowledge of WordPress and plugin development, it was hard to implement things without paying money, being heavily restricted in what can be done, or having to install ten features to access one.
Among these things is the limited use of the Gallery system as little more than a frontend display, member profiles being lacking, a general slowness of the website due to WordPress’ management of things, as well as feature-bloat mentioned above.
As the website was built “as-I-went”, organization is also a mess, leading to much being buried amongst the amount of other things on the site.
I’ve been working over the past few months building a whole new website from the ground up, using what I’ve learned to this point to create a better experience.
I see the people creating things in Wolf3D as more than just modders. When I compare the likes of Orb of Dilaaria, Witching Hour or one of ack’s mapsets to Wolf3D products that were commercially released on the engine, I see a major overlap in quality and offering. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that many projects are of higher quality than many of those retail products.
The name change to Wolf3D.net is to try to more accurately represent what the website and community is about; not just Wolfenstein 3D itself, but the engine and fan community that has spawned around it in these last near-30 years.
The core philosophies still remain largely unchanged though, if only more refined.
With this rebuild comes better searchability for games and mods. In the past, mods were divided into their respective sections in an effort to keep things organized, but there are many core problems and limitations with the systems currently in place.
Instead, here’s a small screenshot of what searching for Games looks like (Subject to change):
Unlike current pages where mod lists were all separated according to engine, this page will list all games and mods on the site.
However, with just a few clicks users can restrict the list to just the titles that you want to see, then organize the table by various elements (such as release date).
Potential additions include more source ports and the ability to sort specifically by “mod” and “standalone game”.
Additionally you may notice something; users will be able to rate games and mods available on the website, and sort the list by those ratings. While I have always wanted to add the functionality, for the reasons outlined at the start of the article, this was forever just out of reach.
With hundreds upon hundreds of projects having been released over the years, it goes without saying that some will unfortunately get buried, or missed. The hope is that the combination of this with other elements (that I look forward to discussing in future posts) will help improve discoverability of some of the amazing things people have made over the years.
As development continues, I’ll slowly get to talk about the other elements of the new website and their relationships with each other, hopefully filling in any blanks. In the meantime, feel free to comment if you have any thoughts on the ideas laid out in this post.