I've been working at a role playing site for many years (Dragonmount). I've had various different positions and various different jobs from it. But right now the biggest thing that it's missing is a role playing character database linked into their message boards.
Once upon a time Dragonmount had a message board system tailored to the idea of multiple characters. It was a custom built message board using asp. It got old quickly and the server we were on floundered under the load, so after many changes Dragonmount had some issues and abandoned the message boards.
Dragonmount doesn't have any different character logins and the chances of it happening again are pretty slim, as the format of Dragonmount has changed dramatically over the 11 years of its existence. But in the general vein that a character database linked into the message board system I've started working on a plugin for MyBB.
Unlike many of the other message board systems out there, MyBB has a plugin system. What this means in layman terms? Basically I can add function and features to the message board with out having to rewrite the core files. So you say? Well when you change core files you have to manually update when there is a patch to the system. And as all web software there is almost a gaurantee that there will be a patch you would have to do that to. With MyBB you don't have to worry about it. All the modifications are contained in new files and thus will not be overwritten unless the changes to the core files happen to add the exact same file name to the new system. So all in all I can make a pretty massive change to the message board system and not have to worry about losing or having to majorly work around them when there are security fixes and the like.
I love MyBB for this very reason. But back to the project.
Back in the day when there were different character logins at Dragonmount each post you made you had the choice to use which ever character you wanted. This is one of the main features of the plugin I am working on. In addition to this is the ability to create a character biography that is linked to the character. Thusly maintaining a character database.
This is a pretty massive project and I'm learning a lot about how to make a plugin for MyBB. Currently I have working on my local copy the Create a Character function and the Public Character Listing. There is still a massive amount of things to do. I'm currently working on trying to get the approval link on the Public Character Listing to only show up for those people who are in the right user groups. Not really an issue, just currently were I stopped before writing this post.
I could really make this an elaborate project, but this is a simplified version of my "perfect" play by post message board system. My way is not the "perfect" way for everyone it's just my vision of what I think is needed for a role playing game like this. Its not even a plugin yet, right now I'm just modifying the system manually, I'll make a plugin later after all the functions are working so I'm not troubleshooting the functionality with the plugin issues of setting up the files appropriately.
It's fun and I enjoy the time I spend on it. It's a good programming project for me and it helps me understand MyBB's underlying system.