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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  General Discussion  |  Topic: ANNOUNCEMENT: f13 Redesign. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: ANNOUNCEMENT: f13 Redesign.  (Read 32072 times)
schild
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on: May 13, 2013, 08:49:12 AM

Ten years later, I've finally decided to redesign f13 and with it will come a slight change of focus. Specifically, MMOGs and commentary about that particular industry are being put out to pasture. Simply put, there's nothing left to say about them. We've kicked our heels and yelled as much as I can personally handle and a decade later, with barely any innovation, I'm bringing that era of bullshit to a close. Instead, we're going to start doing something we should've done years ago. We're going to focus on using what little, valuable time we have on promoting good gaming experiences. The majority of content, post the redesign, will be short reviews of games we loved for one reason or another. In addition, periodically we'll do interviews when we have questions worth asking. Commentary will become rare, and only be posted when there's something of actual value we have to add. Our process for the bulk of the content will go as such:

1. We will request copies of games we are interested in from companies. If we're not interested, we're not even going to look at them.
2. If we like a game, we will post a short (200-400 word) review explaining why you should play it. Or why we think it is worth looking at. The studios that are lucky enough to have made a game we truly enjoyed will possibly receive a sort of certificate from us saying "Congratulations on making something entertaining. Keep doing that."
3. If we don't like a game, you will never hear that we even played it, at least not on the frontpage. I am considering getting some letterheads made on nice paper so I can handwrite a scathing letter to developers explaining to them that we are sorry their game didn't make it to the frontpage, but they should be creating fun experiences instead of crap.

The reasons for this change, as hinted above, is that we're a website of people older than the average gamer. The majority of us have careers, not just jobs. Lots of us are married and have little time left for actual gaming. That allotment of time should be spent playing the best games available. In addition, we all have to wade through an absolute mess of shitty games in order to find the good ones. We'd like to make that a little less painful. We'd also like to let some of the "hidden" gems bubble to the surface. In addition, the majority of news, commentary, and reviews on the web are just filler trash. Finally, I think developers and designers making good games deserve better than a mass-marketed metacritic number (even if that number helps sales).

Basically, curating a collection of "good" games is grip more appealing than yelling at dinosaur-shaped clouds that keep making the same shitty games. So we're going to do that. We will allow user submitted stories through the contact page.

Other things you should know before you ask questions:
1. The forums will not change in any meaningful way. The logo in the upper left will likely be the only noticeable change.
2. The frontpage will still feed into the appropriate forum.
3. Things like my RG/Ultima rant will still appear from time to time but I'll likely post them directly to the forum.
4. Staff will remain the same.
5. The old frontpage will still exist, so nothing will be lost. I won't be converting it all to the new CMS, but there will be a link in the archives or about us page to access it.
6. When I review games, I might actually start streaming. If I do this (hopefully others will do this as well), I will have a stickied thread in the PC Gaming forum giving an expected schedule as soon as I decide when I'm playing a thing.

Here are some rough mockups of what we'll be looking at for the frontpage and some of the supporting pages:



These are rough mockups, some things may change and it may look a little different, but it should give you an overall feel for what's going on.

FINALLY, there will not be a traditional donation drive this year. We don't have any server fees as last years paid for 2 years of the server. I am, however, going to be spending a whole mess of time on this, so I'm opening up the donation period starting now as I still have no job and some money to pay rent and such would be rad. Some of you may be thinking "well, dumbass, you just dumped a bunch of money into Hex" - I did (and didn't - despite previous commentary - sell cards to do so). It was a gift because some people want me to run the guild in it and know I'm super broke. Consider it an earmarked donation to f13 - of which we had a few last year and are ALWAYS allowed, obviously. Anyway, here are the levels (slightly increased from last year except the first one, because grief titling people was a joy... a painful joy). Oh, and there is no level above $150. Coloring peoples names is a pain in the ass and should be more unique than common.

$0-$49: You get nothing except the feeling that you just threw money into an endless sink.
$50: The staff at f13 will grief title you. No mulligans.
$100: SEND ME A PM FOR APPROVAL BEFORE YOU DONATE AT THIS LEVEL: You get to grief title yourself. Submit your grief title, I will get back to you shortly on approval.
$175: SEND ME A PM FOR APPROVAL BEFORE YOU DONATE AT THIS LEVEL: You get to grief title someone else. Submit your grief title, I will get back to you shortly on approval.

Thanks for your dollars. ^_^

I'm hoping to launch this with content some time in September. Questions?

EDIT: Here's the donation link, I'm a moron: DONATION LINK
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:53:23 AM by schild »
luckton
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Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 08:57:15 AM

So, if it gets your blessing, there's not going to be a "f13: All Hex, All the Time" subsite?   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Can we (the non-staff but somewhat long time lurkers) submit articles for publication?  If so, game-related only or other stuffs (political, etc.)?

"Those lights, combined with the polygamous Nazi mushrooms, will mess you up."

"Tuning me out doesn't magically change the design or implementation of said design. Though, that'd be neat if it did." -schild
schild
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Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 08:59:34 AM

So, if it gets your blessing, there's not going to be a "f13: All Hex, All the Time" subsite?   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Most of my hex content will actually be through my Magic testing site (drecktech). If the interview goes well today, the stream will be attached to that as it will completely replace MODO for my online card gaming. As in, I will liquidate my fucking MODO account. So, no, the Hex thing was AWKWARD coincidence and appeared out of nowhere. I was talking to staff about the redesign before I knew Hex existed.

Quote
Can we (the non-staff but somewhat long time lurkers) submit articles for publication?  If so, game-related only or other stuffs (political, etc.)?

We'd like to keep it to gaming stuff. But any long-standing member can submit whatever. We will, however, possibly follow up and play the game ourselves and decide whether or not you (or whoever) are right. We're just become more focused, not less elitist.
K9
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Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 09:01:50 AM

I think RK needs his own reviewing column.

My only question is what defines 'we', I'm assuming all forum denizens, not just staff although this raises some questions about how these games may be distributed.

I love the smell of facepalm in the morning
schild
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Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 09:03:25 AM

I think RK needs his own reviewing column.

My only question is what defines 'we', I'm assuming all forum denizens, not just staff although this raises some questions about how these games may be distributed.
I'm not sure what you're asking. Yes, I mean "we" as in the staff of f13. Actually disseminating a shitload of games to users would be a logistical nightmare.

In addition, random forum members (no offense intended here) don't really hold any cachet with most gaming companies. When I ask companies for games, they tend to think *I* will be reviewing the games.
schild
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Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 09:04:00 AM

ALSO, I NEED TO ADD THIS:

If a game is in playable form - whether it's called ALPHA or PREALPHA or BETA or whatever, it's fair game.

Developers need to stop putting games out there that aren't meant to be judged.
Paelos
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Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 09:10:25 AM

We can still do BIIFs in that section though right?

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schild
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Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 09:12:26 AM

But is it Fun might just get folded back into PC/Console gaming. The regular gaming forum is more responsive than that subforum and I'd like more discussion to happen in those topics. But I don't know yet. For most that would be a negligible change. That forum gets very little traffic.
Paelos
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Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 09:16:08 AM

My thought is that Steam makes thing very accessible and easy for the average forum wanker (like myself) to review. I'd like to see a place for that remain somewhere with a defined structure. BIIF may not have been the best place, but I still think it's important to give people a place to put their thoughts in a template of sorts. Discussion and speculation usually happens long before a game, and large threads can make the actual reviews or post-release opinions from people that actually played the game hard to navigate.

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schild
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Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 09:17:01 AM

That is reasonable. I will reconsider a structure for that as this progresses.
Signe
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Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 09:37:24 AM

If I were to paypal you $49 and then $1, could I avoid a greif tittle?

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
schild
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Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 09:38:32 AM

Anyone can paypal whatever they want and just PM me to not have anything done to them.
Reg
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Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 09:43:53 AM

If Signe sends you $49 and a few minutes later I send you a buck will you grief title her?
schild
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Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 09:44:21 AM

Deep down, I want to say I would do that.

But I wouldn't.

Also, that's weird.
K9
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Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 09:45:07 AM

I think RK needs his own reviewing column.

My only question is what defines 'we', I'm assuming all forum denizens, not just staff although this raises some questions about how these games may be distributed.
I'm not sure what you're asking. Yes, I mean "we" as in the staff of f13. Actually disseminating a shitload of games to users would be a logistical nightmare.

In addition, random forum members (no offense intended here) don't really hold any cachet with most gaming companies. When I ask companies for games, they tend to think *I* will be reviewing the games.

That covers it, it just wasn't clear whether we meant the wider forum community, or just the staff. Ta.

I love the smell of facepalm in the morning
schild
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Reply #15 on: May 13, 2013, 09:46:30 AM

I think RK needs his own reviewing column.

My only question is what defines 'we', I'm assuming all forum denizens, not just staff although this raises some questions about how these games may be distributed.
I'm not sure what you're asking. Yes, I mean "we" as in the staff of f13. Actually disseminating a shitload of games to users would be a logistical nightmare.

In addition, random forum members (no offense intended here) don't really hold any cachet with most gaming companies. When I ask companies for games, they tend to think *I* will be reviewing the games.
That covers it, it just wasn't clear whether we meant the wider forum community, or just the staff. Ta.
I wish I had a platform by which to easily acquire and give away games if it makes you feel any better. Though, for Steam-distributed indie stuff, I may poke companies for keys if I want more people playing a thing and do the normal POST IN THIS THREAD HUR HUR contest type thing.
K9
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Reply #16 on: May 13, 2013, 09:50:48 AM

That makes sense; like Paelos I was wondering how this would sit alongside BIIF and other discussions that are generated by non-staff forum members. I think the overarching theme of the redesign sounds good.

I love the smell of facepalm in the morning
schild
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Reply #17 on: May 13, 2013, 10:08:16 AM

Two people asked how much my rent was, so I'm just posting it publicly. It's $1k a month. If someone pressed hard on what my personal goal was for the donation drive, it would be $3k which would cover 2 months rent and food/etc for those months.

I'm pretty open about shit like this, so feel free to ask.
Signe
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Reply #18 on: May 13, 2013, 10:17:00 AM

So I really like the ideas and the third spoiler is my favourite and I'd like to help as much as possible so I sent money.  Maybe I'll get Samprimary or Paelos write something awesome and sign my name to it and you can use it in your new webamagaformazine.   I already have a greif tittle and it's kind of sweet and I'm terrified of what a different might say.  I had onebefore, like a decade ago or so, and it wasn't awful either but some of the ones other people have now are just so fucking confusing.  I'll  bake bread and send it to you if you run out of food.  Don't forget that cactus, violets, nettles and other people's picnic baskets are edible.  I've been using this site so long, I can't imagine it not being here.  And although I fear change, I'm really excited to see what happens with this. 

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Paelos
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Reply #19 on: May 13, 2013, 10:23:40 AM

I think it's near impossible to emulate your writing style.   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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Samwise
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Reply #20 on: May 13, 2013, 10:27:37 AM

For a while I was playing a kender character in a D&D game that happened partly in person and partly online.  When speaking in character, and ESPECIALLY when writing in character, I would always try to channel Signe, because she is the most kenderish person I sort of know (and I mean that as a compliment).

I think it might have permanently warped me just a little bit.  

Heart

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schild
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Reply #21 on: May 13, 2013, 11:03:20 AM

The September release date, folks, is an estimate. I'm operating under the assumption I'll be able to take the time to do this properly because of donations. If those don't come then about 50 other things factor into the timeliness of this. I would like to get it done sooner rather than later.
Draegan
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Reply #22 on: May 13, 2013, 11:07:47 AM

Looks like a cool idea. I like the front page mock design.

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Malakili
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Reply #23 on: May 13, 2013, 11:09:47 AM

Looks good.
schild
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Reply #24 on: May 13, 2013, 11:17:17 AM

We are 3.3repeating% of the way to my soft goal.
schild
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Reply #25 on: May 13, 2013, 11:28:33 AM

Aaaaaaaaand 6.66666666666666666666666666666667% of the way there. Bravo. More pls.
Paelos
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Reply #26 on: May 13, 2013, 11:40:50 AM

If we send you the $50, what's our time frame on getting tittlified?  why so serious?

PS I sent you $50 from my D3 ill-gotten RMAH gains.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 11:43:24 AM by Paelos »

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schild
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Reply #27 on: May 13, 2013, 11:42:05 AM

I don't commit to time frames (on rewards). Sooner than last time though. That took too fucking long.
schild
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Reply #28 on: May 13, 2013, 11:55:47 AM

8.3333333334% of the way to the soft goal. =D
schild
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Reply #29 on: May 13, 2013, 12:37:42 PM

And.... 33.33333333333333334% of the way there.

Can't do math. We are precisely 25% of the way there.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 12:52:29 PM by schild »
schild
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Reply #30 on: May 13, 2013, 01:13:28 PM

Also, a couple people have asked - yes, the donation drive is normally in September. But I want to have this done by September. Sorry for having it early. I know that's awkward. There will not be another one this year.
ghost
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Reply #31 on: May 13, 2013, 01:23:48 PM

I would personally be interested in knowing (somehow) if a game was tested and not reviewed (because it was shitty).  That way I can easily avoid the mistake of buying something that didn't merit a review. 

Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.-  Isaac Asimov

This is why I'm a fan of Buddhists and Jews.  There is no such thing as a door-to-door Jew.  -Matthew Inman
schild
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Reply #32 on: May 13, 2013, 01:26:04 PM

I would personally be interested in knowing (somehow) if a game was tested and not reviewed (because it was shitty).  That way I can easily avoid the mistake of buying something that didn't merit a review. 
I am currently toying around with having a sort of hidden reject page that people can bookmark. Or having an invisible link. I would like to list it somewhere. I just don't want it to be easily found by people who visit us.
schild
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Reply #33 on: May 13, 2013, 01:27:35 PM

28.03333333334% to goal!  DRILLING AND MANLINESS
Signe
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Reply #34 on: May 13, 2013, 01:29:51 PM

I love invisible ink.  I can just never find any!

Can't we just call Paelos "So adorable you'll cry mommy tears"?  How did ghost become orange?  Is he off his sell by date?

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
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