Alex Houghton

Custom Web Development and Design.

An Old Blog

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Story Game

2014-01-08 11:51:56

I have been reworking Story Game. It's a game that lets people tell interesting stories with other people.

There have been 3 big changes...

  1. Focus

  2. Interface

  3. Backend


Story Game is still about collaborating with other people and creating stories that are unique and interesting. The change here is that Story Game is now catered towards a much smaller audience.

Before, you could only make stories if there were other players online. It was all live and so there was no helping it. Now, anyone can hop into a story at any time. There's less in the way if someone wants to just tell a story.

I will have the old real-time story making back up soon, but that will no longer be a focus.


I don't think flat design is any real big deal, and anyways, this isn't totally flat. There are elements of the page that break the simple "one-tone" design and the user is meant to be drawn to them. Shadows and animations are the primary effects.

Font sizes are also larger and expand for larger viewing. The site is responsive. It can be played on a handheld device, but the one-column design doesn't work as well as I'd like, so I might futz with that. Measurements, font sizes, etc. are all done in em's, making it very easy to change the relative size of everything on a page.

Colors were chosen to be light or vibrant and inviting. I want people excited to play this game, and I hope the colors reflect that.

My favorite part of the new design is the login form. Try it out! I will likely make next week's post about it, if I have time to make a CodePen for it or something.


Much of the same technologies used in the old Story Game are used in the new, but here are a couple notes on the update.

I think the major change is the switch from mysqli to PDO. It made creating functions that updated or changed the database in any way much easier.

The functions used for implementing Ajax were changed as well, and for the better. Only one global variable is used for Ajax handles, but I've created a buffer system that mitigates any issues that would normally (and has in the past) cause. This also helps reduce the potential load on browser and server, since Ajax calls can be made only every tenth of a second.

That's all I have to say on it for now, but if folks have suggestions on making the site better, contact me and I'll try to get back to you!

Email me at [email protected].

Hi there!
I am a web developer from Platteville Wi, doing freelance contract work and a whole lot of side projects. I spend my free time with my boardgame-making hobby and talking about Star Wars. Did you know that John Boyega saves lives?

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Website Development Résumé

Current Web Projects

Story Game

Story Game is an online app that lets you create stories with your friends (or play anonymously) in real time.

I wrote the code, designed the site, and did pretty much everything there. I hope for it to be completely finished sometime this year, but there's currently no schedule.

The Platteville Gaming Association

The Platteville Gaming Association needed a way to easily organize their many different games sessions for Plattecon, so I worked with them to create a scheduling system full of useful options. Then I redesigned their website. This is ongoing!

Check out the Plattecon gaming convention, from March 4th to 6th in 2016 at UW Platteville, Wisconsin.

Boardgame/RPG Projects

Shark Roulette

You've all been trapped in a whirlpool with a ravenous shark! Rotate tiles to change the current and get the shark to eat your friends instead of you...


A 3-minute family-friendly party game where players work together to create ridiculous stories in the form of conspiracies.

Chocolate Box

An RPG system with the world's only 3d paper mache character sheet.

Last Draw

A card game where you can mix-and-match pre-built magical characters and weapons to fight with them. The unique timeline system makes this a downtime-free game.