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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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cowsarenotevil

What Does Everyone Think About The New Site Layout?

487 posts in this topic

[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1294790153' post='4757445']
I maintain that the community should be able to indicate to someone that they are stepping outside of what the community wants.[/quote]Indeed. I realise that most of the discussion here is about the "reputation" value and the lack down-voting on that value (and I'm of the opinion that down-voting is a good thing), but it's worth mentioning that there is also a 5-star rating system on users - you could "down-vote" them a star (ok, it's not really down voting as such, but as long as it's fewer stars than they already have it'll negatively affect their average), over time this would stabilise, with unpopular users having few stars than more popular users.
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[quote name='MaulingMonkey' timestamp='1294848043' post='4757764']
[quote name='d000hg' timestamp='1294841264' post='4757723'][quote name='phantom' timestamp='1294750780' post='4757239']The biggest problem I have with the current system is that there is no negative feedback ability to either a) make people correct their attitude[/quote]How about, you know, [i]telling [/i]people you don't like what they've said rather than making a cowardly down-vote where they can't even see what they did wrong?[/quote]
Yeah, because that's totally effective on it's own, since everyone who even thinks about rating someone down is a coward that hasn't already voiced their distaste and gone blithely ignored.

Is there no place for a middle ground between simply ignored words and moderator action?

Being able to point out an erroneous post, at the very least, seems something worthwhile. You can hope everyone reads the thread in whole, but some threads drag long, and in my experience, not even in on the best of forums will everyone read every page. If protecting precious egos from scary negative signs is that big an issue, make it bloody opt in like help wanted.
[/quote]

So to be clear, taking time time to tell a user they're being offensive has no effect, but an anonymous down-rating does, when they can't even see what thread it was attached to? That says more about the community than the need for a rating system.

A middle ground from [i]reporting[/i] to mods is that mods should be [i]reading[/i] the forums and can let posters know when they are stepping over a line.

If you want a system where people simply ask questions, and answers given can be voted up/down by the community, that's called Stack Exchange. GD is more about discussion, not right/wrong answers, and should not try to encroach on SE... all these sites work best with big communities so let GD be the titan of [i]discussions[/i] and SE the titan of community-voted question answering.
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[quote name='superpig' timestamp='1294718107' post='4757044']
[url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/592617-gdnet-black-alpha/"]A (super-basic, really kinda ugly) dark theme is now available,[/url] and will be further developed. It'll get complex and pretty more quickly if anyone's willing to help me out with it.
[/quote]
my eyes thank you ! :)
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[quote name='davepermen' timestamp='1294853243' post='4757811']
And this is what matters, in the end. Bad behavior leads to bans, no matter what rating system. And yes, nes8bit deserved it.
[/quote]

Which still doesn't allow for the 'voting down' of posts which contain bad information; as already mentioned it's all very well being able to reply with correct information however unless the poster goes back and adjusts their post that bad information is still out there; not allowing the community to down vote a post to reflect this is a large oversight.
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How about just waiting and se if it really is that large of an oversight, phantom?

Good posts differentiate themselves from the bad ones, as the good ones get upvoted. Bad ones don't.

It's just a numerical difference. Nothing else.
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[quote name='MaulingMonkey' timestamp='1294848043' post='4757764']
And we know well what gdnet was like before the ratings system. Do you seriously believe introducing only the positive ratings would've improved the quality of posting? We could have the moderators issue more suspensions and bans at the expense of their time, but how is that an improvement?[/quote]

[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1294849774' post='4757775']
Except that in general the number WASNT ignored and the introduction of the rating system was a POSITIVE step for the overall post content of this site.
[/quote]


[quote name='Mike.Popoloski' timestamp='1294850858' post='4757789']
As said before, the number isn't really about YOU, it's about letting everyone else encode their opinion of you into some easily viewable format. If you didn't use them or even look at them, that's fine! But if someone else wants to, why stop them? In fact, if you completely ignored them, why are you even arguing about this at all? You shouldn't care one way or the other.

Obviously, you did care about the number, but since the community held you in little regard, you aren't happy with the system. Since you guys are so keen on having everything out in the open instead of the supposedly "cowardly" use of ratings, here we go: I would rate you down for this thread alone due to your increasingly sarcastic comments, posts with little content other than mild attacks on other people, and no thought or rational arguments to back up your ideas. Apparently saying this out loud in its own post is far less disruptive than doing it quickly off to the side, so I'll try to call it out more often when I see it.
[/quote]

@MaulingMonkey - As I stated in a previous post, I do remember what GD was like before the rating system. Like many other sites of the day, it had a ranking based on post count. NES8Bit, Landfish, etc., would spam the site with multiple threads which contained one word, and to read the full sentence, you had to go through 8+ threads. But I think people misattribute the rating system fixing a portion of the community with another broken system (ranked by postcount) which was causing the problem.

Maybe the old rating system was positive. I personally didn't feel it was, and I know I'm not the only person who does. I'm willing to give the rest of the site a chance, after a major overhaul, and I think it's only fair to see if GDNet collapses back into the days of the old west, or stays as civil as it was during it's previous incarnation.

@Mike.Popoloski - I personally don't care about the ratings, despite what it may seem like in my previous posts (heck, half my posts are in political or religious discussions, which are guaranteed ratings killers). Unlike yourself, and other people, I don't contribute enough to the site to feel that I should be respected in one way or another. I can live with that. But I still never liked the system, as it caused a little too much bickering (as seen in this thread. Yes, I realize I'm part of the problem). Outside of a moderator issue, which has been resolved, my next clearest memory of why I don't like the system happens to deal with another user, and not myself. I respected this person, and they had a fairly decent rating before one post (It was in the mid 1300's). A post came up about World of Warcraft, and the general concensus in the thread was that WoW was for losers. This one person came on defending the game, and claimed it had some benefits. He didn't use vulgar language, he wasn't offensive in my opinion, and he tried to back up his opinion. He took over a 200 point reputation point hit.

The problem is, if you feel another person is being unjustly treated, you can either defend them, at which point, you'll take a similar ratings hit, or you can sit back and do nothing (outside of rating the person up in secret feeling they were treated wrongly). It lead to a system where one person who may have gotten rated down for one reason or another decided to take retribution and voted everyone else down who they thought voted them down. Now, you can say that maybe it wasn't them, but that's part of the problem. Several times the people admitted it with something similar to "I see you guys voted me down, so I'm going to vote X, Y, Z down because you're all *****). Other times, maybe they didn't admit it, but their vengeance in downvoting led to the same result. They may have voted down in spite people who didn't down vote them in the first place.

You stated in a previous thread that you typically would down vote people who started language debate threads. I know other people were voted down because they didn't use the search function. While this is your choice, often times you would see multiple people in the For Beginners section with sub 1000 ratings. Yes, they don't understand the general concensus of the community. But they're new! A person can't join a community with perfect knowledge of all the unspoken rules. Sure, there are FAQ's for some of them, but often times, they're not exactly in the most accessible location for people who are here for the first time. We all at one point or another made ignorant mistakes, be it in this forum, or elsewhere. There's a difference between ignorance and stupidity, and I personally don't feel it's fair to judge a person who is unaware.

While I would agree that there needs to be the ability to retract an upvote, but I don't think downvoting is helpful.
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[quote name='littlekid' timestamp='1294838651' post='4757702']
I really love the ability to now read on mobile devices. Kudos to it. I often read GameDev website on the go. The only nitpick that I would say is to have a faster way to get to the forums especially on a mobile device, because it does take awhile to load pages on the iphone4 :D But it is just a small issue
[/quote]
[url="http://www.gamedev.net/blog/23/entry-2249112-48-hours-later-moving-forward/"]Check out my latest blog post[/url] and you can learn more about the mobile aspects of the website.

[quote name='Krohm' timestamp='1294841667' post='4757727']
Yes, thank you very much but I also see 'external' blogs being replicated here. Such as Leadwerk's. Was it there before? Maybe I didn't pay attention and maybe it always have been there but... perhaps there should be some sort of separation? I don't know.
[/quote]
Submit that as a Feedback ticket so we don't forget this, it would be a good idea to differentiate group/company blogs until we can get them properly segregated as we plan to do to give companies their own portals here on the site.

[quote name='Cygnus_X' timestamp='1294843723' post='4757739']
The feedback tab on the right needs to go.... its pretty lame.

Also, I do not need to know how many post a user has (located under group). If I wanted to know this, I could look it up. I'd rather save the vertical space.
Can we move the 'vote this post up' botton to the 'footer' of the comment/post? Again, less white space in the vertical would be a good thing. Though, there is a chance if this is changed that it may not look as good as I think it would.

Edit: One more thing. With some people, the 'joined' date under their name in the forums doesn't have enough space and gets kicked down to the next line. You may need to abbreviate Months to make this fit correctly, or widen the right column/div and push everything left.
[/quote]
Feedback tab can't go yet - it needs to be visible and obvious for people to see and use. That said, it won't be there forever - once we clean up bugs and the submissions start to trickle down we will remove it. We also understand it can slightly overlap content in smaller resolutions and will be adjusting that as well.

I've been taking a little time to look into replacing post count with user rating but haven't found out how to do that - yet. We still have lots of style sheet tweaking to do but I agree if we can get info back up into the horizontal bars like the old site we will.

Let's just deal with the date thing for now as we'll have more space if we can get it up into the horizontal area.

[quote name='Mike.Popoloski' timestamp='1294846145' post='4757756']
Well, whatever my quota is for upvotes, it appears I'm [i]still[/i] maxed out, even though today is ostensibly a new day. As for how many it was, well, my best guess is around a dozen, but I'm entirely sure.
[/quote]
I still haven't located a setting that adjusts this quota. Will continue to hunt it down as I handle other things as well.

[quote name='Oluseyi' timestamp='1294850352' post='4757785']
I don't like that i have to click the drop-downs to activate them (Safari 5.0.3, OS X 10.6.6). Drop downs on the web should drop on hover, close on mouse-out.

I think the social tools were chosen a little indiscriminately (throw everything in). I think Twitter and Facebook were all that were needed; what use is a StumbleUpon badge on a GDNet forum thread?

I hate the quote boxes. They're hideous. :)

I dislike the new smiley tags. They complicate programmer-y stuff like enumerated lists or parenthetical expressions.

Formatting is problematic for me. Newlines in the edit box aren't properly converted into paragraphs plus vertical margin, so I have to append additional newlines.
[/quote]
Drop downs are broken in IE and hover-down menus are [i]severely [/i]broken in IE, so we need to wait for IPS to release a fix before we can go back to hover-down menus.

I'm not really interested in deciding what's useful to other people or not in regards to the social buttons. I know the fact that I see them everywhere else I go doesn't mean we have to have them too, but the fact is I see them everywhere else I go and I barely notice them anymore. But that's just me.

We can definitely modify the styles of the quote boxes at some point. At least make them match the skin better - that purple is indeed pretty hideous. Since you still have your staff status, might as well dig around in the ACP and help out if you have time.

As I mentioned in my journal post, we can't turn them off globally, and they will need to be disabled on a per-post basis. I'm not saying [i]every[/i] post you make obviously - if you notice a smiley that you didn't mean to make, you can edit the post to disable them. We'll have to put in a request for global control of this from IPS.

The newline thing is a known issue logged in our tracking system.

[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1294853759' post='4757817']
Silly question. Rating up a single post doesn't do anything does it? I read over the small little numbers in the bottom right corner. I recommend adding a glow filter. B) As a post is rated up higher and higher have it begin to glow and overshadow anyone else's post.
[/quote]
Actually there [i]is[/i] supposed to be some kind of content highlighting for highly-rated posts. I've just lowered the minimum to 5 up-votes so you should notice some things now - we'll no doubt need to keep adjusting this value upwards slightly every so often as more people start up-voting things to maintain quality

[s]Wow here's one[/s]. I liked your idea waaaaay better Sirisian :P Definitely some more work we need to do her.

Actually it was so useless I raised the threshold again to stave off more complaints from people until we get a better handle on highlighting highly up-voted posts. Here's a pic tho:
[attachment=975:popular.png]
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[quote name='Mike.Popoloski' timestamp='1294850858' post='4757789']
As said before, the number isn't really about YOU, it's about letting everyone else encode their opinion of you into some easily viewable format. If you didn't use them or even look at them, that's fine! But if someone else wants to, why stop them? In fact, if you completely ignored them, why are you even arguing about this at all? You shouldn't care one way or the other.
[/quote]

I am arguing about it because I think a useless feature is being replaced with a somewhat useful one and I don't want the more useful one to get cut before it's even been used. Though having my java advice's credibility questioned because I disagreed with passing the healthcare bill as it was does seem suspect to me.

There are so many different opinions of what the rating system was in this thread alone. So far it's a way to tell people how the community feels about them, but it's not about/for them(?), about telling other people, who should be able to form an opinion on your character by reading your posts, how the community feels about you, whether the community might agree or disagree with your political or religious opinions if you share them, about how helpful you are, and about how popular you are.

How am I the only person that sees a problem in defining all of those attributes by a single value? At least the new system serves as a maximal representation of those attributes rather than a sum total of each of them.

edit: I have also reached my up vote quota as far as bugtracking goes. I'll estimate similarly that I was around 10 but no more than 15.
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[quote name='Nytegard' timestamp='1294855776' post='4757842']
@MaulingMonkey - As I stated in a previous post, I do remember what GD was like before the rating system. Like many other sites of the day, it had a ranking based on post count. NES8Bit, Landfish, etc., would spam the site with multiple threads which contained one word, and to read the full sentence, you had to go through 8+ threads. But I think people misattribute the rating system fixing a portion of the community with another broken system (ranked by postcount) which was causing the problem.
[/quote]
I don't think your memory is all that good. The post count ranking was removed [i]years[/i] before last rating system was installed. For a good long stretch there was nothing available that was usable as a user ranking unless you count join date.
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1294855925' post='4757846']
I'm not saying [i]every[/i] post you make obviously - if you notice a smiley that you didn't mean to make, you can edit the post to disable them.
[/quote]
Unless you do something silly - like preview the post to see if the smiley is actually removed, which resets the post options checkbox so that when you actually do submit the post the damned smiley is still there.
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[quote name='SiCrane' timestamp='1294856446' post='4757857']
Unless you do something silly - like preview the post to see if the smiley is actually removed, which resets the post options checkbox so that when you actually do submit the post the damned smiley is still there.
[/quote]
[s]I'll add that note to my journal entry.[/s]

Wait a minute - I just tried to replicate this behavior and failed. I went to make a new post, put in some smilies, turned them off, hit preview and they were still off, hit post and the post didn't have them on. Then I went in and did a quick edit on the post and that still didn't reset the smilies to on.

So is this a real issue in some other browser?
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1294855925' post='4757846']
I'm not really interested in deciding what's useful to other people or not in regards to the social buttons. I know the fact that I see them everywhere else I go doesn't mean we have to have them too, but the fact is I see them everywhere else I go and I barely notice them anymore. But that's just me.[/quote]
Speaking of buttons, if find the [img]http://www.gamedev.net/public/style_extra/sharelinks/download.png[/img] button at the bottom of a thread a curious one. Apparently you can use it to download the raw HTML of the page?
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1294856795' post='4757862']
So is this a real issue in some other browser?
[/quote]
It's happening to me in Chrome. But, it's not for new posts, it's specifically for editing an existing post.

Test: :)

Edit: yup, still happening.
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[quote name='Wan' timestamp='1294857113' post='4757865']
[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1294855925' post='4757846']
I'm not really interested in deciding what's useful to other people or not in regards to the social buttons. I know the fact that I see them everywhere else I go doesn't mean we have to have them too, but the fact is I see them everywhere else I go and I barely notice them anymore. But that's just me.[/quote]
Speaking of buttons, if find the [img]http://www.gamedev.net/public/style_extra/sharelinks/download.png[/img] button at the bottom of a thread a curious one. Apparently you can use it to download the raw HTML of the page?
[/quote]

That it seems. Without CSS though.
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[quote name='SiCrane' timestamp='1294858675' post='4757875']
[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1294856795' post='4757862']
So is this a real issue in some other browser?
[/quote]
It's happening to me in Chrome. But, it's not for new posts, it's specifically for editing an existing post.

Test: :)

Edit: yup, still happening.
[/quote]

Which version? I'm using 8.0.552.224 and I haven't experienced any sort of trouble...
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Same version. Again, it happens if you have the smiley in the original post. Edit that post, uncheck the emoticon check box and then preview. The emoticon check box then gets reset to on.
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[quote name='SiCrane' timestamp='1294858675' post='4757875']
It's happening to me in Chrome. But, it's not for new posts, it's specifically for editing an existing post.
[/quote]
I see it now, it's when you edit an existing post where smilies were enabled when you first made that post. Okay, logging that as a bug and updating the journal
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1294860049' post='4757893']
[quote name='SiCrane' timestamp='1294858675' post='4757875']
It's happening to me in Chrome. But, it's not for new posts, it's specifically for editing an existing post.
[/quote]
I see it now, it's when you edit an existing post where smilies were enabled when you first made that post. Okay, logging that as a bug and updating the journal
[/quote]

That type of stuff should probably be submitted to invisionpower.com in their tracker, not ours. That's a core software bug.
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1294860049' post='4757893']
Okay, logging that as a bug and updating the journal
[/quote]
I already [url=http://www.gamedev.net/tracker/issue-625-hitting-the-preview-button-resets-the-post-options-check-boxes/]submitted it as a bug[/url].
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Ref the ratings, I think we have two separate issues here - ratings system as it applied to the technical posts and ratings system as it applied to the lounge posts.

The lounge culture and the technical forums were really two different things in my view, almost two different communities really. I'd argue the old system worked very well on the technical forums and I guess very badly in the lounge, although I wasn't in the habit of posting or even reading that much personally.

So my view is that it is a shame that the failure in the lounge (which is also, I feel, the source of the vast majority of complaints about the old system) has led to the removal of what I and others feel was a very effective system for the technical forums. But then as a largely non-lounge user who comes to the site for technical content rather than chatter, I suppose I would think that. I fully respect that the lounge is an important part of the community for many and the two sides need to co-exist.

Aside from the above, I'm adjusting to the new site, I'm actually pleased I no longer have to pay for an avatar and a journal and I look forward to seeing the future improvements. That certainly wasn't my initial attitude but I've apologised enough about that :).
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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1294860210' post='4757894']
That type of stuff should probably be submitted to invisionpower.com in their tracker, not ours. That's a core software bug.
[/quote]
Right but I want it in ours too since members can't see the ones we send in to IPS right?
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Is it just me, or do the forum list no longer tell you if a new message has been left in the forum since your last visit (ie, all the icons are the same, unless the topic is closed)? This is quite annoying.
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[quote name='Cygnus_X' timestamp='1294865923' post='4757957']
Is it just me, or do the forum list no longer tell you if a new message has been left in the forum since your last visit (ie, all the icons are the same, unless the topic is closed)? This is quite annoying.
[/quote]
This was mentioned in Gaiden's blog post: there's a link at the bottom of forum pages to mark the board as read. Click that to get the icons to change.
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Here's another issue. I'm not submitting this as a "bug" per se, but something that just needs to be on the general radar:

I grabbed the HTML for the forum index page... 213k! back in the "old days" anything more than 50k was getting very heavy. My computer is a bit older and it definitely suffers in redraw and scrolling speeds, just beacuse there is so much markup. Download speeds will also take a noticeable hit.

You might say, "well everybody has broadband now." But if people really do want to view the site on a mobile device or iThing, then it's going to crawl.

As a longterm project, we might look into removing some of the extraneous markup from the forum. Especially if server bandwidth is a pricey issue. 200k per hit adds up really fast!
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[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1294598053' post='4756110']
...I don't like the placement of the name. I feel like it should be over the avatar picture...
[/quote]

Seconded. I think this would bundle the user info more to the left box.
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