friendly main page-proposal

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destiny
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friendly main page-proposal

Post by destiny »

Ok, I know somewhere I saw a thread talking about the need to improve the main page to make it more user friendly and easier for new ppl to get into the game. If it is OK, I would like to put together a team for this purpose. It's a great idea, and I think a lot of ppl have ideas, but without someone taking this project on as a whole and steering it, it won't ever happen. I have time right now because I'm off work for the summer. I have experience in building a community and I'd like to bring that into this arena to build the entire tron community.

As a teacher, I have shown my students the game and they really like it, but as far as them being able to get it to work at home, not so successful. The main site is great for people with a lot of experience with computers/forums/websites but for new people getting involved its a little overwhelming. For those of us who have been around and learned how this works in incriments its easy to understand, but for a new person coming in, its not easy to understand. I know there is a desire to grow this game, and to grow the competitions, but in order to do this we need to improve our infrastructure. I want to do this, but only with the full blessing of the developers and community. The really cool thing about tron isn't just the game, but its the community behind it. I want to bring all of the neat things about our community out, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or step on any toes.

Here is my idea. Make an entirely new webpage for the armagetronad.net main page. The one we have now isn't new user friendly. Zurd is willing to work with me to design the page. All we would need (in the end) is for the webpage we make to be uploaded to replace the one that is up now. This new webpage would have all the features of the one now, but in a new user friendly layout. We also would like to include tutorials for everything from setting your keybinds to installing a new skin to how to write in color. We would have explainations for everything to guide the new players along, and links to the wiki for the pertinant info. It would have the whose playing on the servers and even a time zone clock to help with the conversions. We would like to put a news area that would have development news and competition news (which would list scheduled events), we would also like to put a hall of fame there and a tron history section.

It will be a lot of work. I would like to be the one to steer it. I would put together a whole team of whoever wants to be involved and they would submit their work to me and I would compile it all into the final product. I would need peole to make movie packs, demo videos, submit how to articles, submit history items, stuff like that.

So I guess what I'm asking is, do I have everyone's blessing, and if so, who wants to be on board and in what aspect to you want to be involved?


~Destiny
:pacman: :sdot: :sdot: :sdot: :blank: :sdot: :ghost: :sdot:

ZURD101
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by ZURD101 »

I'm on board!
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pike
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by pike »

Nice start :D
I don't have much time to spend on arma lately, but will try to help as much as I can.
I think we should use the layout made by Lack for forums and wiki - it's very clean and simple, and that's exactly what we want.

/me wishes us gl :)

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sinewav
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by sinewav »

pike wrote:I think we should use the layout made by Lack for forums and wiki - it's very clean and simple...
It's totally rad.

One of things that might change is the way some of the content is presented, verbally. All the information is there, but perhaps some of it could be rewritten in a hyper-simplified, condensed way for the sake of new players with no attention span (which is a huge part of the population I think).


Just for the record, I've never had a problem finding what I need on any of the three sites, and I always thought they looks good as is.

destiny
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by destiny »

where do i find the layout by lack?

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Lackadaisical
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by Lackadaisical »

Well it's all very preliminary, but you can change the forum skin in your preferences. The discussion about it is in this topic: http://forums3.armagetronad.net/viewtop ... =5&t=19145

I've got some free time the upcoming weeks so I could definitely help setting up the basic skin/layout for the main site, but I'm still very undecided about the whole font-size debacle.

Also, I believe tank is still the only one who is really able to change anything on any part of the site, so you'd probably have to convince him.

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Mecca
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by Mecca »

I think this is a great idea :)

The main page really could use a new layout
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Robot Chicken
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by Robot Chicken »

I love the idea... I will help with any music adding/editing,etc...
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destiny
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by destiny »

zurd and i have the design for the main page all worked out, right now what i need is people to submit stuff for it. i made a spot on ww forum so that i can organize what comes in. lack if you could work on the wiki that would be awesome, i really liked your darker theme for it.

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DDMJ
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by DDMJ »

destiny wrote:i really liked your darker theme for it.
ah, but Luci hates dark themes! :twisted:

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kyle
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by kyle »

yes it does need some updating, but try to avoid using those plug-ins epsy and i think most of the developers hate (flash, shockwave, java, silverlight) i think that is correct. if it's not i still hate the latter 3 of them.
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Lucifer
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by Lucifer »

Also, in any proposal you make, make sure to also include how we're going to maintain the site, add news items, new content, etc. :)
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destiny
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by destiny »

Well I figured however you maintain the current site would be the same way this one would be maintained. The only things that would need to be updated are the news items and the scheduled events for competitions. Those can be on a calender and scheduled in advance, like for 3-6 months at a time. I'm thinking as little maintenance as possible is the best thing.

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Tank Program
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by Tank Program »

Here's how the system works currently. The forums and wiki are powered by their databases, but the themes come off of BZR. The theme for the main site is there too, but the site is currently almost entirely static html, kept in SVN. Tiny bits are dynamic for the server list stuff. Changes are made on a checkout, comitted, and then checked out on the webserver. The wiki folder on SVN is abandoned, and I'm not sure how beta works, but that's more or less outside what I take care of. I transfer all the updates to the themes and site to the webserver manually. (I was just looking into giving lack access to do the theme stuff.)

A new main website could either work the same way out of SVN, be moved to a new branch for it in BZR or be based on a database with only the theme in BZR. I'm personally not very found of CMSes and think that one would be overkill for us. We've discussed blogs a bit before, and I'm not sure if that's a good idea for the root domain, but blog.armagetronad.net is available for that as well.

I think translating lack's design will be the easy bit. Finding out exactly how you're going to manage the content and change the site is the hard part.
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Lucifer
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Re: friendly main page-proposal

Post by Lucifer »

It's managing the content that I was thinking of. :) Nothing annoys me more than raw html (besides my ex-wife, of course, having recently talked to her :( ). Then it has to be tested....

On my own site, I do all the real work in plain text, then run it through a text processor that generates the html, but even that, for navigation pages, is a pain. Of course, our main website doesn't need the sorts of navigation pages my website needs. But the theme, such as there is, is handled entirely in css (the way it's supposed to be done :) ). But even still, I tried to put a news feed on the front page of my website and it was a pain to manage.

Anyway, all's I'm saying is to give some thought to how it will be maintained. How, exactly, will new news items be added? Is there a way to do this without getting a full-blown CMS and still free up Tank from having to manually upload crap onto the webserver?

It's these sorts of technical things that I get cynical over. :) I've seen too many good-intentioned efforts go down the drain when the rubber met the road. So, what deliverables are you intending to offer? Are you going to give us (yuck) html templates to make new pages? Are you planning on digging up somebody else's news engine and doing the embedding work? What tools will someone who wants to edit the website need? (Hint: letting us use any text editor is good, but raw html is not :) )

At the end of the day, almost anybody can theme and design a website. Really. I've seen lots of people do it who couldn't tell you the difference between <b> and <strong>. But I've had to support websites through a couple of w3c standard updates, and many browser updates, and if there's one thing I've learned: don't put your website in raw html.

It's not my decision, since the real work is going to land on somebody else's shoulders. Just my two cents. ;)
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