Behind the Scenes

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#1
I realized that a lot of things happen behind the scenes and the community doesn't usually find out about them until they go live on the site. So, to rectify that, I'm going to try to keep up a blog, keeping tabs on what's going on. The point is not for me to write eloquent essays or anything like that. It's just supposed to be brief, terse updates on the latest happenings behind-the-scenes.
I'm also going to keep the blog comment-free, so you only see my updates and no other replies.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#2
So for my first update, I'll share a few of the things happening behind the scenes:
- a redesign of the site- a redesign of the forums- a new games database on the site that will link to all related articles, news, review, and screenshots- a new proper review template- a media and screenshot gallery- a possibility of abolishing ads and instead working with premium content subscriptions

- for the Video Game Talent Agency, I'm currently reading a few business books and figuring out how I want my pricing model to be based
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#3
The banner is supposed to take up much less room on the site in the new redesign. Here are the current drafts we're working on with our artist, Nathalie Jacobsen:

 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#4
Here's a peek at what the new backend will look like. Big thanks to DD for his awesome coding voodoo!
http://i.imgur.com/XVSAF5Z.png
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#6
On the business side of things, in brief:
> the current goal is to get private advertising from companies about to release games on Wii U or 3DS, hopefully between $400-600 each month> $200 from that would be used to add extra revenue to staff's current (abysmally tiny) payment> the rest would be used for advertising on Google Ad Words in order to attract new traffic> the hope is that the targeted keywords in Google Search for Nintendo/Wii U/ 3DS news, reviews wouldn't be one time traffic but rather would catch some visitors who will continue returning, adding additional daily traffic and additional revenue> any extra revenue on top of that will go to Facebook targeted ads to those who "like" Wii U or 3DS which also gets returning visitors every day who see updates on their timeline
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#7
I'm just going to add a quick update about the plugin I've been working on. It's not too far off from completion, but the biggest hurdle for me lately has been finding a time to actually work on it! For a couple of weeks now we've been having a lot of lightning, and I'm just not happy about taking risks with my beautiful, shiny, PC. So, it's basically been unplugged for two weeks with small periods where I've been able to turn it on and get tiny bits of work done or some such thing before having to turn it off again. That's part of the story. The other part is that, as most of you will know, I'm going back to university this fall (two weeks!) so I've been running around trying to get prepared for that as well.All that being said. The weather has cleared up, I'm quite well prepared to go back to school (though I still have to shove some things in boxes), and the plugin is nearly finished! That means that completion is imminent. I don't want to give an exact date and time, because I tend not to meet them! However, barring any unforeseen problems, I'd guess it should be within the next few days.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you are a contributor to the site, it means that as soon as the plugin is made active, you will see some new things pop-up in your dashboard. Feel free to look around, however, please DON'T START ADDING CONTENT TO THE PLUGIN SYSTEMS!
This means, don't add any Publishers, Developers, Games, "News" "Reviews" "Interviews" "Articles" or "Previews". You can continue to write posts as you have always done. For the first little while that the plugin is active, though, I will be testing it out to make sure everything is functioning as expected. Soon thereafter, I think we will ask you to begin using the new systems, even though the front end stuff (the pages that the readers of the site will see) won't be accessible yet. Don't worry though, your content will still show up in the usual places!
I will want you to start adding content to the system so that (a) you can see how it's done and get familiar with it, but also (b) to ensure that you guys don't run into any bugs that I might have missed.
Once a bit of content is up, we will make the front end pages accessible and that, ideally, will be the end of this chapter in TNE development!
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#8
One more quick update. I realized that I had left out something that might be considered fairly important, so I spent some time putting that in which caused a little bit more of a delay. Before hand, all you could do was attach Posts to Games themselves. I realized though that, sometimes, you will have an article not talking about a specific game but relevant to a specific platform. So I added the ability to link a Post with a Platform as well as a Game. [strike]See, Games keep track of what Platform they are on, so if a Game is setup and the Game itself is linked to, for example, Wii U and 3DS, then the Article will automatically show up in the Wii U and 3DS sections. So, if you are linking a Post to a Game, you don`t need to also link it to a Platform. The Platform association is only needed when you don`t have a particular game to link a Post to.[/strike]
So, with that in mind, I`ll spend a little bit longer continuing to work on it!

Edit: See that text that I striked out? Don't listen to it, it's a lie! Adding in the second association complicates the Query to a level that I just don't want to think about :p In that case, I'm changing it so that you HAVE
to also specify the Platform for the Article and not just the Game. I realize that's a bit more cumbersome, but it'll mean getting this finished a lot sooner!
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#9
^ Very cool DD.
Next update on the design side of things. The design I'm aiming for is ridiculously ambitious, meaning it will cost a lot of money. The intention is to make a design that isn't just visually-pleasing but also 'revolutionary' in terms of UI/UX for online magazine and new sites. In order to do that I would like to hook up with one of the award-winning designers I've been in touch with. That costs oodles of money though, so I may be looking to create a fan-funding effort to raise the money for the design from our readers.
Since I know that might take some time before the final plan is realized, I'm working with a cheap but talented designer (from Indonesia, where you can find cheap talent) to freshen up our current theme. It won't be revolutionary in any way. The layout will probably look pretty much the way it is now but hopefully it will look nicer aesthetically. That should tide us over until we're ready for the big overhaul.
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#10
This is hopefully my final update before uploading the plugin. I have literally only one thing left to do and had fortune not turned against me, I should have finished it tonight. Unfortunately another bleepin thunderstorm brewed up and like I said before, when that happens my computer gets turned off.

So assuming tomorrow brings better weather, expect to see changes in the dashboard tomorrow. I want to say again, though, please don't use the plugin features until I give the all clear.

Red Leader, signing out.
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#11
Alright, an update on the situation.
The new plugin is in something of a trial period at the moment. It's running on the server and content is being added. Aces has been going to town on that! Anyways, there are still a few little things to iron out, which I can probably do most of tomorrow. In that case, we can probably start actually using it either late tomorrow or the next day!
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#13
It's official! The Plugin works =P Not only that, be we are already on Version 1.1.3!
It's probably a good time to start using it! We need to get some of the more current games in there for sure right away so it's less of a hassle when adding News and etc. I think we can probably also reorganize the menu soon to point to the new pages, like the game archive!
 
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