Theatre Chat

First off, here is a really simple opportunity for you to help out. We need to test our browser-based chat system under as heavy a load as we can wrangle up. We will have two test sessions. The first session will be at 4 PM UTC (12 noon EDT) on Friday, August 23. The second will be at 2 AM UTC on Saturday, August 24 (which is 10 PM EDT, Friday, August 23). Use your favorite online world time converter to find those times in your neck of the woods (EDT = Eastern Daylight Saving Time = New York, USA time).

You will need to do the following to help us test the chat:

  1. Login to Steampunk Road
  2. Launch your vessel (using “Set Destination”) if you are currently docked (stationary)
    (This is very important. Different chats take place in different ports. We want everybody on the “Travel Chatter” chat used for those in transit, because the more the merrier.)
  3. Click the “Chat” button.

“Theatre Chat” is our unique chat system that addresses a problem frequently encountered with other chat clients. When engaging in a chat with a featured guest, you want to focus on what the featured guest has to say. Whereas there are methods to highlight certain speakers’ text in other chat clients, they are often ad hoc and rely upon the cooperation of everyone involved.

Even with highlighting in place, it is too easy for the featured speaker’s posts┬áto get lost among the chatter of the other people attending. “Theatre Chat” solves this problem by dividing the chat into two parts: the stage and the (peanut) gallery. Featured speakers, known as “actors”, have their text appear on the stage: Everyone else is a “guest”, and their posts go to the gallery. In this way, important dialog is kept separate from the less-important (but usually equally entertaining) side conversations. What is more, only actors have access to HTML features that can be useful in the right hands but annoying or dangerous in the wrong hands.

“Theatre Chat” is available for use outside of Steampunk Road as a drop-in feature for any web site. Make inquiries here in the comments, in the forums, drop us a line, or just ask in the chat while we are testing. See you there and then, and thank you for your assistance!

One Response to “Theatre Chat”

  1. Steampunk Road Dispatch » Blog Archive » Theatre Chat Stress Test Update Says:

    […] AM UTC Saturday, August 23/10 PM EDT Friday, August 23 stress test, which we will be attending. See this post for more information on how to participate. Thanks again for you assistance, and we hope to chat […]

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