Two points that came up at PAX East were the need to better use the tools we have already, and the fog of war around extensions. Extension authors don’t get much feedback about whether or how often their extensions are being used, and game authors don’t often realize there are extensions available to do exactly the thing they’re having trouble with. This is a problem because extension authors don’t get much positive feedback, and game authors spend time reimplementing the wheel that could be spent on more interesting parts of their game.
I have an idea for a sort of “Extension Census,” that would let people associate games and extensions in a way that archives this information from either side-- so you can see what extensions a certain game uses, and also what games use a certain extension. The idea would be to shine a spotlight on all the great extensions that exist for Inform 7 (and any other language with extensions).
To incentivize, I might offer goofy prizes to the person who tags the most within the run of the census (maybe 2-4 weeks), or the extension author whose extensions turn out to be most popular (probably excluding extensions distributed with a language). I would also encourage people to blog about favorite extensions during the run of the project. I envision the website staying active after the “Census” ends, so people can continue tagging with new games/extensions.
At the moment, it seems like the best idea is to set up the tagging mechanism on its own website, then make the data available in a portable format for anyone who wants to import it into something else. If people wanted IFWiki, Baf’s guide, or Inform7.com to have extension info on their game pages, the data would be there for the taking. Before I get started on any of this, though, I wanted to see if people see any flaws with this plan or have any better ideas-- maybe working with one of the aforementioned sites directly would be more effective.
Anyone have any thoughts?