iDevGames v3

Moderator
Posts: 453
Joined: 2008.04
Post: #16
For what it's worth, the View New Posts has always worked for me, and it's the only way I browse the site. It seems like it works by showing you all the posts since your last visit... so if you don't click it on each visit to the forum, you won't see all the posts in the "New Posts" list.

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
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Moderator
Posts: 3,579
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #17
It is my primary way of visiting the site, bookmarked as
Code:
http://www.idevgames.com/forums/search.php?action=getnew

So at least for me, it is "clicked" every time I come here, except when jumping straight to a forum post like this one from an email link.
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Moderator
Posts: 702
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #18
You've likely already seen this yourself, but I'm just reporting what appears to be a minor cosmetic bug (at least in Safari 5.1.7):

[Image: 20120830.png]

Mark Bishop
--
Student and freelance OS X & iOS developer
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,261
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #19
Fixed. And as far as screen resolution goes, here's what it is based on width:

Code:
>= 1024 - 100%
>= 1280 - 97.3%
>= 1440 - 64.8%
>= 1600 - 49.5%
>= 1920 - 34.8%
>= 2560 - 5.7%


The current design is targeted for an 1100px wide window which is what mine tend to be even on my 1680. 1100 isn't too big for anyone, and I imagine 1200 would be fine as well, but I don't know how big visitors' windows are. Sadly Google Analytics doesn't track the width of the actual window, which would be far more useful than screen resolution. Apple's site is 1000 wide to fit nicely in 1100px too.

The forums squeezed into a 760-wide view (like the rest of the site) is just too narrow. I think at 860 it could work, but then the window is more like 1200 wide. The goal of this would be to get the right sidebar on the page as well. I can try it for a while.

At any rate — is 1200 too wide for any of you?
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Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #20
I like the side bars/tabs/layout in general but I'm finding the off-center content pane slightly distracting, particularly in the forum, and especially when the tabs are scrolled off screen. Though it might just be some sort of OCD kicking in Wacko ...

Also add me to the "view new posts works for me" list.
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #21
Safari's "Top Sites" breaks the "view new posts" thing if the new posts page is in your top sites, because it regularly fetches the URL, including your cookies, which then marks things as old. I had to stop using Top Sites.
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Moderator
Posts: 3,579
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #22
Hmm... I never make use of "top sites", but I don't know how it works and I ignore it, because I find it annoying and/or not useful. I wonder if that may be the poison pill for the view new posts problem? Is there any way to completely disable it, other than simply not using Safari?
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Member
Posts: 254
Joined: 2005.10
Post: #23
Sweet! I like the new look and feel at least at first glance. I'll let you know if I notice any bugs.
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Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #24
@OSC, I have top sites disabled as well in Safari. The issue occurred when I wasn't using Safari too.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,261
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #25
As you probably noticed, I made a few more tweaks. Most obviously the right sidebar shows up.
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #26
my screen is nearly wide enough to see most of both sidebars at once!
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Moderator
Posts: 771
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #27
How about making a "responsive design" (I hate that term Rasp ) that hides one or both sidebars depending on window width?
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,261
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #28
I ran a half marathon on the 2nd and then got sick so I've been useless the last week, and now I need to get back to real work. Wink

But, I made one other change. The right sidebar on the forums now has Recent News instead the recent threads.

Might I point out the very sexy link just above Recent News to Submit News. Use it! Also, if you're a moderator here I'd like to start giving some of you access to the backend so you can post news.


Members
Also, I might as well point out some of the other things hidden that I haven't turned on yet.

http://www.idevgames.com/members/SethWillits
http://www.idevgames.com/members/SethWillits/games/12

The entire user signup process, profile editing, adding games, and screenshots was all rewritten and is fully functional.

Some editors, which will look familiar to uDG participants:

http://sethwillits.com/temp/upshot/upshot_FWUSvUv5.png
http://sethwillits.com/temp/upshot/upshot_8nMtnZ1c.png


User games would show up on the front page, perhaps the sidebar in the forums, etc, but I'm still not 100% sure on what all should be in here.

Classifieds
The goal I originally was trying to reach was getting some of the content posted in forum threads (new games announced, classifieds, etc) to have real pages on the site. Instead of an unorganized classifieds forum, I (as someone looking for an artist or musician) would rather have a Classifieds section where I can look at organized listings of artists or musicians. The question is, what content should be on the page and how should that be handled. I've been waffling on how it should work, so I haven't done anything on that topic specifically.

Moderators
Forums moderators will become site moderators. Right now they can add Books, respond to submitted News Tips, and post News, but they will be able to add and edit articles too. (I haven't worked on the articles editor on the backend, so it's not turned on yet for moderators.)

I really would like to get control in the mods' hands to be able to add things to the site, so this starts (finally) becoming more than Forums again. I put this off for too long, so it's time to start really getting this working.


Content
One important thing I would like to do is aggregate content from other sites. There are so many random blogs on the internet on iOS and game programming from authors nobody has ever heard of. A first step would be to have all of that content "catalogued" here on iDG; I'm thinking a simple short summary of what the thing is, a link to it, keywords, originating source, and add the ability to rate it. You guys come across neat stuff every day, and I want to make it quick and painless as possible for you to add that to iDG, so others can see it too.

A second step from there would be to get some of those authors to allow reposting full articles, and better yet, first posting on iDG. Talking with some writers, they'd love to have their stuff "in print", here.



Lend me your ideas
I have several other ideas of my own for different sections, but I can't make up my own mind on how to prioritize them. I think about it, and then question their relevancy/usefulness. It really depends on many factors.

I'm really really wanting to hear all of your ideas. I can throw some of mine out there too. I'm interested in as detailed of comments and suggestions as you're willing to give me. Talk about layout, features, purpose… anything. For example, I have this member profile page: What is it missing? What might be something that makes it that little bit more useful for you? Right now only game-related screenshots are enabled. Showing off screenshots from random projects without having to create a "game" to link it to is useful, right? And everybody loves videos, but I have no way to add them now. Perhaps we should require all videos be on youtube and use embeds? Should they be collated with screenshots, or separate? Where should they show on the profile? Should everything (games, screenshots, etc) all be listed on the member profile page, or should they have separate landing pages? (Games has its own page at the moment if you go to .../SethWillits/games you can see that page.)

What should show up on the front page? Recent games are shown on the front page (hidden from you guys), but what about screenshots?

Devblogs on here, or is that never going to be used because you all want to blog on your own sites? How do we let you blog on your own, but let the blog posts show up here?

Should *everything* be commentable? Screenshots, games, game screenshots, articles, profiles…

How should content be browsable to other people? Just a big member directory? Should there be some member spotlight? Should the most recent stuff just show up on the homepage or a "community" page?

What about sharing assets?

etc etc



I'm not sure how many of you have participated at Garage Games, but their website was (maybe still is, I haven't been around in a long while) pretty good at fostering community involvement. It made it easy for anyone to share anything and there was a lot of activity. I'd like to infuse some of that into iDG so this becomes more of a hub again, rather than remaining a niche.
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Moderator
Posts: 623
Joined: 2007.09
Post: #29
Random thoughts in no particular order:

1. A more public classified section would be awesome. Currently it seems kind of tucked away in the forum - moving it to a more prominent position or even possibly moving it outside the forum would be a great move. As someone looking to contract some artists in the near future, it'd be awesome if iDG had a kickass classified section.
I think separating it from the forum would also be a good move for polish purposes - something with more of a focus on content presentation (i.e with a goal of presenting portfolios) would be fantastic.
Lastly, I think it would help with searchability. The Unity classified section is a nightmare for this reason - everything is thrown into one forum, so it's essentially a hodge-podge of concept artists, 3D artists, coders, and audio guys looking for work, along with all the people looking to hire. Want to find an artist to hire? Try digging through a ton of coders advertising their skills and clients who are also trying to hire an artist.
As far as content is concerned, at the very least what I look for when I want to hire is:
a) Examples of their work - could be embedded or could be a link to their portfolio (I think embedding would be a good option to have). Off the top of my head, embeds would include images, audio, and video -- it would be a bit more difficult to include coder specific stuff unless the coders were flash/Unity/WebGL developers.
b) Contact info
When I'm looking for work, I look for:
a) Project summary
b) Relevant platforms
c) Desired engine/API/language/whatever
d) Paid or unpaid
I wonder if it would also be feasible to have some kind of 'availability' tag that the contractor/client could set to let people know when/if they're available?

2. How about a public 'hit list' of requested content? I think there are likely people (*cough*me*cough*) willing to write if they think it will be read rather than drown in a sea of internet noise. Just a simple system to request an article on a topic, and a simple system to write an article on a topic. (I use the term 'simple' loosely)

3. Devblogs on here would be cool IMHO. It's a matter of audience - if there are people on the forum actually reading a devblog, there would be more motivation to write one methinks.

4. Have you considered Vimeo for video embeds? I only ask because YouTube seems to randomly throw non-flash users under the bus (you can watch videos on your iPad but you can't watch them on your Mac if you don't have flash installed? WTF?) Would Vimeo's comparative lack of publicity be an issue?

5. Completely unrelated to anything you've said - perhaps a sexier login page would be in order? Nothing makes me want to run screaming from a forum like an unpolished login page...

6. FB/Twitter share buttons instead of email for thread/article sharing? Heart-rending as it may be, social does seem to be the way of the near future...

7. Comments are fun when a lot of people are doing it - not so fun when you're the only one.

8. How hard would it be to have an Instapaper-style bookmarklet that lets you send any article summary to iDG?

9. Assuming that the vast majority of indie game dev these days is done with a specific engine (Unity, CryEngine, UDK, Cocos2D, what have you), what can iDG offer that engine-specific forums don't? Contests are the obvious thing, but what can we do to keep people around after the contests are over? The vast majority of my game dev is in Unity these days - there's no point in asking a question here rather than on a forum with fellow Unity users, so the only post that's semi-appropriate for me to make here would be general interesting game related news or to get gameplay feedback on a game I'm working on (which I do plan to do, but that's also the sort of thing that would go on the Unity forum by default). Is that a good goal for iDG or do you have a different one in mind?

Overall, the site's looking really sweet and it's exciting to see iDG moving again. Bravo. Smile

- Lincoln Green
http://www.binkworks.com/
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,261
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #30
Why is it that no one has opinions when they are needed? Wink


Quote:1. A more public classified section would be awesome...

I agree with all of your thoughts.

One thing I noticed the other day… The Designer's Studio forum is actually full of Classifieds. Apparently we haven't noticed this happening.


Quote:As far as content is concerned, at the very least what I look for when I want to hire is:
a) Examples of their work - could be embedded or could be a link to their portfolio (I think embedding would be a good option to have).

Yeah, this is the hard part. You know they're going to have a portfolio on their site, but as an iDG visitor you also want to see at least some of their portfolio on this site.

As for the content of the classifieds, I'm with everything you said. Though one question is, do I create different types of Classifieds with specific fields to fill in, or do I just create a generic page with a big chunk of Textile-able text, and allow attaching images, video, and audio (which is more annoying) to it? I think the field for the page content would have a default chunk of template text in it prompting the poster on what kind of info to post. That seems better than discrete fields.


Quote:3. Devblogs on here would be cool IMHO. It's a matter of audience - if there are people on the forum actually reading a devblog, there would be more motivation to write one methinks.

Yep. Like Devblogs during uDG in 2008 — everybody had one because it was part of the site. In 2011, not as many people had one because it wasn't on the site; they either had to use the iDG forums or host their own. I would think more small-time game developers would write them and post screenshots more often if they could do so on iDG in a purpose-built system for that, because they'd know people are visiting the site and would read it. The challenging part here is providing good enough features as far as editing, and uploading images etc, that it's not ridiculous.


Quote:4. Have you considered Vimeo for video embeds?

YouTube or Vimeo is the same thing on this end, so that's fine.



Quote:5. Completely unrelated to anything you've said - perhaps a sexier login page would be in order?

Yes, it could be prettier. (Lots of things could be.)



Quote:8. How hard would it be to have an Instapaper-style bookmarklet that lets you send any article summary to iDG?

Is it sad that I've never even heard of such a thing?



Quote:9. Assuming that the vast majority of indie game dev these days is done with a specific engine (Unity, CryEngine, UDK, Cocos2D, what have you), what can iDG offer that engine-specific forums don't?

Not much, which is the sad realization. Rasp


Quote:Is that a good goal for iDG or do you have a different one in mind?

What goal? I didn't see anything…
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