If you’re one of the many people that likes to participate in some of the various mmorpgs (text based and otherwise) around the net, then you are no doubt familair with the concept of a community portal/main page which is used to greet guests and introduce them to recent changes, updates, in addition to other basic material needed to learn about the mmorpg.

Basically I consider pages like these, to be portals:

http://maplestory.nexon.net/WZ.ASPX?PART=/Main

http://www.gaiaonline.com/

Gaia to a lesser extent, but MapleStory’s page is an excellent example of what I want to be doing with Twilight’s portal.  While pokemonfan.net and twilight’s portal will both be using joomla, I will not actually be using joomla’s user base system for Twilight’s portal, whereas pokemonfan.net will be getting a whole bunch of new social networking features hopefully in the middle of december.  Twilight’s Portal will therefore serve pretty much solely to introduce visitors to the fundamentals of the game and the plot while updating players on what’s going on in the game.  We will in all likelihood not actually “finish” Twilight before we release it to the general public.  Thus the portal will serve a perfect purpose to help us with updates to the game.  Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, since Twilight is running on phpbb 2.x, the whole graphical elements bit, especially when you visit the forum, will of course be lacking.  Now while Twilight is a text based mmorpg, more than anything, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some awesome pictures of the new pokemon, trainers, etc.  The portal though, will achieve that though, since joomla is infinitley more suited to displaying graphics and generally looking awesome.  The portal development is being codenamed “Polaris”, for future reference.  In any event, we’re still thinking of what kinda things should, in addition to updates, be included on Polaris.  Here’s what we’ve got so far.

- mmorpg background storyline
- special events
- top 5 players
- top guilds
- recent updates/additions
- user shop advertisements
- available jobs
- perhaps something about the plot?  Say “Today, this happened…”
- Forum Rules/Regulations
- Beginner’s Guide
- News from around the network
- Hint of the Day?
- Big Store Sales
- Store Hours
- maybe we have a blog thing from one of the characters in the story who’ll make an entry every so often.
- game faq
- support

If possible it might be interesting to stream some of the stock market functions that the mmorpg has onto the portal as well, but the stock system doesnt’ really have that much of a role in the mmorpg, and I’ve yet to decide whether that means we should take it out or leave it in there as an amusing extra.  In any event, Polaris is waiting till January when Pokemonfan.net’s content is slated to be finished.  With Twilight and Polaris next on the to do list, 2009 should be an interesting year.