Hello patrons of the Underground!

This is your acceptably sociable Chief of Technology here. The next version of Yorick is going to be huge, so I’m looking for people to help me get it to the finish line. I’m going to detail some specific roles that I’m trying to get filled. Anybody that’s interested in the positions I’m describing please email me.  Do not contact me on Facebook. I do my UT development work over email and GitHub.

The one basic requirement for anyone interested in helping is:

  • You must have an account on GitHub. All of the development work and project management is at https://github.com/gnu-lorien/yorick and you need to be able to use this tool in order to help me.

Positions Needed

QA Tester

I’m upending a lot of stuff right now. QA Testing involves the following:

  • Watching the GitHub commits to know when a new version is updated and ready for testing.
  • Find bugs in new features that are being added.
  • Go through the bugs on the github page and triage them.
  • Regression test existing features and common bugs.
  • Document common misconceptions and workarounds on the wiki.
  • File bugs on github that have all of the pertinent details.

You’ll need a strong knowledge of the rules for either Vampire: The Masquerade or Werewolf: The Apocalypse to verify that things are working as expected. Anybody that falls into this role will ultimately have to test characters from all of the venues we support since I need regression testing.

I’m going be flexible initially when officially bringing people into this role, but I’m going to be very harsh if the bugs filed aren’t well-written or useful. I don’t have my own writing bugs guide yet, but here’s a good one to start with: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/QA/Bug_writing_guidelines. If that all sounds like too much work, please don’t apply.

 

Documentation

There’s a strong need for somebody to make the wiki here https://github.com/gnu-lorien/yorick/wiki actually useful for helping people get started with and troubleshooting their experience with Yorick. The best starting point is probably to go through the Yorick Help Group on  Facebook and write a set of guides that answers the most common questions asked in that group.

 

Software Engineer

Yorick is a javascript application using Backbone, Marionette, RequireJS and Parse on the client front-end which connects to a Parse Server backend that runs on nodejs.

If you understand any part of what I just said and are interested in contributing please contact me as soon as possible.

Thanks!

~Andrew Sayman
Chief of Technology

Patrons of the Underground,

Underground Theater is nearing its first anniversary. It’s been a long journey and we’re so very proud of how far we’ve all come together in building this community of friends who game with one another. A lot has changed since the informal first few troupes hesitantly tested the new LARP rules system. As we prepare to enter year two, we’ll be sharing with you all a few new ideas and things that will continue to grow and improve our organization.

Today, we’d like to share with you all the first of these dramatic changes.

From the inception of UT, the desire to have an online character database with all of the benefits such a system would entail was a major goal. The result of a great deal of planning, time and work toward that system is the current online database, known as GameHeart. As any patron who has used it knows, it still does not meet our needs.

We have heard all of the concerns from patrons, and we have listened and acted upon them.

As of today, GameHeart will no longer be the official database of Underground Theater. Last week, a committee was formed to begin work on a new database. This new database, called “Willow,” is being built from the ground up, from scratch. The initial programming has already begun, but we are not far enough along to share any timetable or completion date, though the goal is, of course, to be finished as quickly as an undertaking such as this can be.

If you are interested in helping with this committee and have an understanding of the game, we are looking for:

  • Python developers
  • Javascript developers (Angular and JQuery)
  • API gurus (RESTful and Swagger)
  • Designers (HTML5 and bootstrap 3.x)
  • Testers

We are also willing to have help from patrons who are interested in learning any of those things.

If you are interested in helping, please email willow@UndergroundTheater.org.

You may be wondering, what does this mean for GameHeart? For now, it means nothing changes. If you and your troupe use GameHeart in its current incarnation, you can continue doing so. If you and your troupe use some other means to track characters, you can continue doing so. The only immediate change is that further development on GameHeart is now at an end.

The patron experience is important to Underground Theater. The organization is a big ship – sometimes it turns slowly – but making UT the greatest LARP community and organization of games will always be our guiding light.

Thank you all!

The Board of Directors

UTSkull

As Nashville by Night rapidly approaches, we wanted to touch base and let you all know a few things about check-in. We will have several people with laptops at the check-in desk to help patrons who are having problems getting their sheets in the database.

If You Check In Using the Database:

Checking in to the UT games at Nashville is both fast and easy. Just follow the following steps once you’ve signed in to the database:

1. Go to “Sign In To Games”

2. Select Troupe: “Nashville by Night Sabbat Events” or “Nashville by Night Cam/Anarch Events”

3. Select Game: “Nashville by Night Pre-Reg”

4. Select your Character

5. Click “Sign In”

And that is it, your done! As a thank you to all our Patrons using the database (or who can show that they honestly attempted to use the database), you will receive a free Underground Theater lanyard when you arrive for your first game. We will have it with your character when you request it at the game check-in desk.

Please sign in via the database by September 8th!

 

If You Send Your Character In Via Email:

We understand that not all of our Patrons will be using the database, so we will also be accepting character sheets sent in via email.

Please have your LST email your character sheet to either: cam-events@undergroundtheater.org (for characters in the Cam/Anarch venue) or sabbat-events@undergroundtheater.org (for characters in the Sabbat venue). We will have it printed out and ready for you at the event, but you will need to give us your User ID for the database at the check-in desk so we that we may confirm your patronage.

The deadline for submitting sheets via email is also September 8th!

 

If you Bring a Signed Copy Of Your Sheet To The Event:

If neither of the above are an option, you can bring a physical copy of your character sheet to the event. However, we do require that it is signed by your LST and includes your Troupe name and location. We will confirm your patronage at the sign-in desk, and you will be all set to go.

For about 5 days, we’ve had a bug in the database causing havoc with time zones and traits.  This should now be fixed.  If you’re seeing longer than a few minutes for approvals to appear, or the character creator still fails for you, please try a new character and have your LST kill and delete the character having issues. Thank you everyone for your patience during this issue.  All of the date code has been rewritten to use UTC and no other time zones, to help prevent future problems like this. Next up , merit costs and missing merits.

In our continuing efforts to improve things based on feedback from LSTs, we have added a “Delete” button to the database for storytellers. This feature is now live. If you are an LST for a game in the database or “Admin” in the database (not an Underground Theater Administrator, not a Troupe “Admin”), you will be able to see thisd new button option for “Dead” characters.

This means it’s now possible to delete characters completely from our database using the following steps:
  1. Login to the database as Lead Storyteller or Database Administrator
  2. Click on “My Troupe’s Characters” to get a list of all characters in your Troupe
  3. Click on the character you want to get rid of.
  4. If the Character’s State is already “Dead,” skip to step 7.
  5. Click “Kill,” and accept the 2 warnings.
  6. Click on the character again, now listed as “Dead.”
  7. Click “Delete” button.
  8. Wipe hands on pants.
If there’s no “Delete” button but the character is marked as “Dead,” either you don’t have access, or there’s something wrong with the specific character. Please file a bug report if you attempt to delete a “Dead” character and it fails.

As Underground Theater continues to grow and develop, our staffing needs increase as well.

Michael King, the UT Chief of Technology, is pleased to announce the hiring of Andrew Allen from our Tampa troupe as Database Administrator. This position will assist the Chief of Technology in day-to-day database administration tasks for UT staff and Patrons, as well as lead a small group of Technical Support Administrators to manage support tickets.

With this success implemented, we would like to call for volunteers (who will NOT need to know any computer coding) to fill the roles of Technical Support Administrators:

Technical Support Administrators will be responsible for maintaining our technical support tickets, which include: password resets, username lookups, subscription verification requests, flagging actual bugs for developers and delegating any other support tickets to the database administrators.  Some of these duties will be removed as they become automated.  Training will be provided for all tasks, but some basic technical skills are desired.  If you’ve ever helped someone solve a problem logging into Facebook or even make a character in our database, you’re a great fit.

General Requirements:

 

  • Ability to check tickets twice-weekly (around 1-2 hours per week)
  • Good communication skills
  • Some basic technical troubleshooting skills

 

Nice-to-haves:

 

  • Ability to use Google Docs (spreadsheets) and Drive proficiently
  • Experience with Redmine
  • Experience with Django Admin panel
  • Real-life technical support experience

 

We have 3 positions open and will fill them as we get qualified applicants.  We may take on more if we have more qualified applicants.