I've been coming to this website off and on for months, so I thought I'd finally leave some content and tell you what I'm about.
I'm thinking about developing a web-based volunteering platform with a superhero slant. Volunteers can build a superhero profile with an avatar and hero name, and apply for missions which call for not skills but superpowers. Volunteers can acquire new powers by completing missions, or +1 their existing powers. They also receive experience points. Acquire enough experience points, and you get a new fan.
A fan is a sim-person inside the game who hangs out on the hero's profile page. I'm thinking of using full-body images and giving them names to make them seem more real.
When a superhero completes a mission, they don't just receive a report with their experience points and skills earned. I'd like to create a front-page faux newspaper with their superhero name and picture in the headline, an interview with one of their fans and a short news column (perhaps a few words of thanks from a volunteer coordinator).
This is about as far as I've gone with the idea. I'm thinking about calling it Superhero Cities. I'd like to build in more resistance and fun(ny) ways to fail. I'd also like an automated way to include more story, to incorporate a hero's journey in some way.
I'm a web developer by trade. While I'm not an android/iphone developer, I'm going to build the interface for easy browsing on any size of screen.
I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas they'd like to share, or if they'd like to collaborate further. I would want to open this to my home community of Halifax Nova Scotia, but wouldn't mind it being used elsewhere if there are any nonprofit volunteer coordinators out there who'd like to help out. It's also hard to stay motivated, especially when working around a full time job.
Do you have thoughts on the type of web technology that you'd like to use?
I wanted to offer a real quick idea.
I've been playing around with ideas that are very similar. For my personal project, I had discovered elgg.
You can learn more here: http://rosarioconsulting.net/inspiredtoeducate/?p=312
It's kind of cool that it provides a basic framework for a social network at low cost. This might be a cool platform to use to "play test" certain game ideas.
It seems to have a web service api too.
I'm pretty busy with current projects. I, however, would enjoy supporting you through brain storming on this site or twitter. (@michaelrosario)
I'm looking to write it in php/mysql. I've used frameworks before. I've heard of Elgg, briefly, and I've spent some time working with Drupal. I've found that frameworks can take more time than they save. If you can find something that works out of the box, or only needs a little window dressing to do what you want, then they're great. But that's never been the case with me, and I always end up in a new learning curve or a quagmire of rewriting to get things working the way I want them to or fixing bugs in plugins or making plugins play nice together.
I'm using Facebook as my identity/social layer. Most of us have a Facebook account, and if not it's pretty easy to sign up. I also think it's important for sharing and propagating messages onto an existing social network rather than a new (and empty) one.
I think the biggest challenges I will have are staying motivated. I'll always be thinking that maybe this isn't a good idea, maybe I'm not good enough to implement it, maybe everyone will think it's silly. Maybe no one will participate -- the internet is full of ghost towns, and I could just be contributing to one.