I'm in the process of making a simulation and mockup version of what I would think an Auction House should look like. This is going to be web-based for the purpose of being able to showcase it. It will have all of the functionality that the current market wards do (item seek, repairs, etc.), but with the added benefit of free-form search, drop down menus, sorting, etc.
To open people's eyes, to promote discussion, to toot my own horn, whatever. I'm not doing anything important at the moment, and I thought I'd devote my free time to doing whatever I can to improve a game I like, instead of wasting it on whatever else.
What are your qualifications?
I'm a software developer for a large pharmaceutical company. I'm still an undergraduate focusing on embedded systems design and artificial intelligence. For work, mos of what I do is back-end work with infrastructure and databases, low level programming (i.e. C/C++), scripting, and providing web services that use the infrastructure I set up. UI and web development is not my strong suit, but I have enough experience to be comfortable with this project.
What technologies are you using for this?
LAMP server that I set up at home, paired up with jQuery and jQuery UI.
Items will be stored in a database with tables for items available for sale, and a few tables set up as "inventory" stores for the "users" that will be available for performing AH operations.
What will be a comprehensive list of its functionality?
Current design is for 6 panels to handle all 6 possible transactions with a retainer: buy item, sell item, post item for sale, post request for item purchase, repair item, post request for item repair.
Buy item panel will have: free form search, drop down tree search, sorting by price, seller, name, etc.
Sell item panel will have: free form search, drop down tree search, sorting
Post item for sale panel will have: current items for sale, quick price check (high, low, average)
Post item request panel will have: current requests, quick price check (high, low, average)
Repair items panel will have: free form search, drop down tree search, sorting, materials required AND materials available
Seek repair panel will have: current requests, quick price check (high, low, average)
I'll also work on getting a suggested price functionality in for all sales/requests, which factors in costs of materials if available on the auction house.
I CAN'T SEE ****/NOTHING WORKS
You're probably using an unsupported browser. Time to upgrade from IE6.
When will you be done?
I don't know. I work on this during my spare time. v0.01, which is setting up the most basic UI and descriptions, took about 30 minutes to make. I suspect I won't be done until I've put at least 100 hours into this.
What is my vision for the Market Wards/AH?
No more NPCs doing transactions for you. It is a concept with problems that cannot be feasibly fixed. A simple, yet flexible window interface is the best choice.