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Hylian Avatars

Here's a unique project that I've been working on. There's a pinned topic on the forums asking feedback on the concept of Hylian Avatars, but I figured it'd be nice to bring this project to a larger audience by having it on the main site.

Progress:
  • Rupee System:
    Hylian Avatars - Rupee system progress: 70%
    Mostly finished; works correctly, but changes have to be made to its placement, and with the different Rupee variations.

  • Dynamically adding layers to images:
    Hylian Avatars - merged image layers progress: 10%
    The basics work and blend nicely, but this hasn't been hard-coded into our system, yet.

  • Drawing the main avatar characters:
    Hylian Avatars - Main avatar image progress: 0%
    Hasn't been started yet. >_>

  • Drawing the items, shops, etc.:
    Hylian Avatars - Additional items, shops, etc. progress: 0%
    Hasn't been started yet, either.

  • Creating the overworld map (Map of Hyrule):
    Hylian Avatars - Map of Hyrule progress: 20%
    The main map has been sketched, and thought-out. Lules is touching up and coloring it.

  • Registration/confirm registration system:
    Hylian Avatars - Registration system progress: 100%
    Completed, and should work perfectly.

  • Login system:
    Hylian Avatars - Login system progress: 100%
    The login system successfully logs users in and authenticates their account.

Hylian Avatars: Overall Progress: 20%


A bit of Hylian Avatar info


Map of Hyrule: Castle Sketch Map of Hyrule: Death Mountain Map of Hyrule: Fairy Fountain

...What are Hylian Avatars, exactly?

Hylian Avatars: The current login page Hylian Avatars are images that you can view on our forums, as well as other sites and forums. What makes them so unique and interesting is that they're customizable. What do I mean by that? Well, with the use of Rupees (which is, of course, the currency used throughout Zelda games), you can purchase items for your avatar. You may have seen this feature on other sites, but no Zelda fan-site has succeeded in creating this. Most of the clothing, backgrounds, weapons, pets, etc., will be based around Zelda, but we also plan to include other Nintendo related items, and random other unrelated things.

Requirements to use this system

To click on the randomly placed Rupees, you'll probably need JavaScript enabled. I may try to use CSS instead, but I'm not sure if it'll work. Nonetheless, JavaScript will be needed for trying on the clothing, items, etc (so you can see how your avatar would look with the items without needing to purchase them). By enabling cookies, you'll probably be able to disable the Rupees from appearing, if you don't want to use Hylian Avatars. Plus, as stated below, I may create an "Add to Rupee Que" so there's not so much un-needed repetition when claiming the Rupees.

Obtaining the Rupees

Early Rupee System The Rupee system is another completely custom script that I've been working on. Originally, every page on the site and forums would have a chance to show a Rupee embedded somewhere between two words, but that had its issues - the main one being that Lanayru didn't like the idea (lol). Although this still has to be changed, I plan to make it so that the Rupees will instead be placed randomly in any location on the site - not just between words. If all goes according to plan, this will also be on the forums.

If you happen to find a Rupee on a page (there will be different types of Rupees, just like in the Zelda games), clicking on it will show you a code. You can either use this code, ignore it, or give it to a friend to redeem the Rupees. If you choose to redeem them for yourself, you'll have to log into the main Hylian Avatar system and "claim" them. Since this may get annoying after a while, it may be best to write down the codes in a Notepad file and claim them all at once later in the day. While typing this paragraph up, I thought of a better idea, though: perhaps I'll make it so you can click something that says, "Add to Rupee Que (cookies must be enabled)", which will automatically save the codes until you choose to claim them later.

However, I may end up having Rupee codes be removed after a given time (maybe 48 hours or so), so that un-used codes aren't saved in the database. Also, to prevent cheating, there will most likely be a cap for the Rupees you can find throughout the day and/or several hours. I haven't decided what the limit should be yet - it's something that'll take some trial-and-error to figure out later down the road.

Where will you see these avatars?

For the time being, we'll probably disable hot-linking, which means that you'll have to physically save your Hylian Avatar and upload it to another site if you want to use it on anything other than Destination Zelda. I don't really want to do it this way, but otherwise the bandwidth is going to kill us, and we just don't have that kind of money.

On our forums, you'll see the Hylian Avatars under the text that shows up under everyone's avatars within posts. That is, if I can fit it in there nicely. I may need to try putting it in different areas until a spot makes sense and looks good - I don't want to clutter people's posts with too much stuff.

What's the point of the "Map of Hyrule"?

Map of Hyrule: Kokiri Forest The Map of Hyrule is what you'll see after logging into the Hylian Avatar area. You'll be taken to a large image of Hyrule (or at least, our version of Hyrule). Different towns and areas will be highlighted when you hover your mouse over them. Clicking on one of the areas will take you to a page related to that area. For example, if you want to change your outfit, you'd click on Link's house, in the Kokiri Forest area.

The future of our Hylian Avatars

If enough people use this feature (I'm hoping that people will enjoy and use the avatars), there are many ideas I have in store for future updates. Here are some ideas that we have so far:
  • Randomly placed keys that open treasure chests (and Boss Keys that open chests that contain rarer items)

  • The ability to trade Rupees and certain items

  • Unique items that are given to people who log in on holidays.

  • Contests with rewards related to the avatars, including possibly naming items after winners (Random example: "Lanayru's Snowcones of Doom")

  • ...Other things that I'll mention when we get more work done


The hardest part of this whole thing

Well, first off, I'm writing all of these scripts by myself, which is both a good and bad thing. It's good because I understand the things I've done, and why they're done in that way, but it's bad because it's very time-consuming. However, the biggest hurdle to overcome is trying to prevent cheating and hacking. I've taken every precaution to make database queries, input, etc. as secured as possible, and have been thinking in a cheater's perspective to try and block any misuse of our system. Of course, this adds extra time and thought to do, and I can't prevent every possible cheat, so it'll be an on-going process.

Since we don't want to be sued...

I really don't want to get a cease-and-desist from Nintendo, so I'm taking every precaution I can. We won't be selling any Zelda, nor Nintendo related items for your characters to use with real life currency. We should be fine with this Zelda based avatar system as it's not much different than "fan art", which is granted under "fair use".

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