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|Latest Announcement: We are currently working on the content for this project site. Many sections will be empty for a while, but the installation of version 1.0 final should be relatively easy, so download and install it and have fun with your friends. If something doesent work as expected, you can get free support at our development board.
NEW! Download v1.0 final!
NEW! Demo Installation
NEW! Main Video Tutorial
PhpMyDesktop|arcade fills a space between a Bulletin Board and a Chat Room with an additional focus on gaming. To find out why we even need something between them, we should have a look at the good and bad aspects of Bulletin Boards and Chat Rooms respectively.
A Bulletin Board is very good for topic oriented discussions and it gives you a lot of freedom for when to post a reply, mostly there is no need to watch the discussion all of the time, you can log-out for some hours and later come back to further discuss the topic. The bad part of a Bulletin Board is that if you want to speak directly to someone inside of a topic, the endless quoting can get really annoying and it does happens quite often that the thread goes off topic.
A Chat Room (or IM) on the other hand is very good for person to person discussions, but you have to be there for the whole discussion, you just can't leave easily for some hours and later come back to further discuss on the same topic.
Did nobody do something between those two extremes? Yes, there's something between them, it's called a Tag Board or ShoutBox, but it never really was a good solution, not because the Tag Boards where badly realised, the problem was more of a conceptual nature, because basically a Tag Board is just a slow chat or a cheap Bulletin Board to be honest.
PhpMyDesktop|arcade is different; it works more like a logged real-life discussion. First it introduces a 2D field for the discussions, it's not like with Chat Rooms, Bulletin Boards or Tag Boards where the discussion is always from top to bottom or bottom to top, the discussion is two dimensional, left and right, top and bottom becomes a real meaning. This way it's possible to make a real branching inside of a discussion to take a different path without going off topic in the main discussion and it gives you a much better idea how the discussion flows.
So what about the game aspect of the tool? A 2D discussion is nice if anyone follows some basic rules, but on the web you just can't get anyone to follow rules, so you have to create a system to motivate people to follow those rules and make it as hard as possible to cheat the system and what is a better motivation then play for points and treasures to get people motivated. All game rules introduced by phpMyDesktop|arcade are there to motivate people to be nice to nice players and to be bad with bad players. Most of the rules are taken out of real life situations and simple to explain, but the real beauty is that you don't even have to explain them as you see the whole dynamic of the discussions/game right in front of you, you can see where a discussion has taken a new branch, two dimensionally, no endless link following.
Now all this fun is not only happening on your website, it's also happening directly on your desktop, so you can at all times see whet is going on with your friends, what they talk about and so on.
One last thing before you should try out the demo, have in mind that phpMyDesktop|arcade is not phpMyDesktop. See it as a phpMyDesktop side project, both share some of the same libs, like the smarty template system for example, but phpMyDesktop will be a whole different story, it will remove any limits of what the rules of a tool are ... think about a communication content management system, but more about this one later on this site when it's ready. ;-)