The Big Move is Finally Over

Posted by Administrator.

So it's official. We're no longer Watercolor Games and we're now officially Bit Phoenix Software. Even the domain name says we are. Well, what has this big move done for us? And how did it go? Well, I'm going to write about that in this post.

What's it done for us?

A lot. For one, the website is now an actual website. It's not just a redirect to the forum anymore. Now we have a wiki, the forum, AND the blog/main site which is what you're reading this off of.

And the best part? The forum and wiki are federated. Because not only do we have those, we have a nice authentication server sitting over at auth.bitphoenixsoftware.com powered by Red Hat's Keycloak identity provider. In laymen terms, that means you're signing into both the forum and the wiki with the same user account. No more remembering multiple accounts!

Furthermore, the forum has seen a complete overhaul. Rather than it just being about The Peacenet, it's about a lot more.

  • You can ask questions about programming on it - like a mini Stack Overflow.
  • You can post your own games/concepts to get feedback.
  • You can talk about computer hardware.
  • You can talk about gamedev in general.
  • You can talk about programming in general.
  • There's now even a "General Discussion" category for things that don't belong in the other categories.

Some sections on the forum, like the Peacenet "Bugs" section, even allow you to mark a post as "solved," letting someone know their answer to your question was the right answer and thus solved your problem, allowing other members with that same question to see that answer.

Moreover, there is complete integration with our Discord server on the forum.

  • Announcements and updates get posted in the #updates channel.
  • Bugs get posted in #bugs.
  • New Peacenet releases go in #new-builds.
  • Peacenet Early Access posts go in #early-access.

And eventually we'll have it set up so if you submit site feedback, it'll post in the #staff channel for us. This means that, unlike before, the forum is fully integrated with Discord and the two platforms don't feel completely isolated anymore. I guess this is what Project: Unite from the ShiftOS days was supposed to be like.

How'd the move go?

It was hard. Like, really hard. Thankfully, the lovely guys and gals over at the Discourse Meta were here to help us along. In fact, while setting up Discourse to work with Bit Phoenix Accounts, we managed to find a bug in Discourse that is now fixed and you can update your own Discourse instance to get that bugfix and use Keycloak with it. Awesome!

If I can offer any tips for doing a big move like this, they'd be:

  • Make sure you're handy with a Linux shell.
  • Ask for help when you need it. You may end up finding a bug that'll get patched for everyone.
  • Cloudflare is your best friend.
  • So are nginx/apache2 reverse proxies.
  • So is openid-connect.
  • Make sure you have the rest of your staff team test out the new site before you roll it out to the public so you can iron out any issues.

Anyway, now everything's nice and integrated. The only thing missing is a logo and some dark themes in some areas of the site, but those are both being worked on as I speak.