Although I was having some health issues through a large portion of the summer and almost all of the spring, we have gotten a lot of things done on the site the past 6 months. It’s been pretty awesome to create this site and watch it come to life. But we’re not done yet. Our main focus during these fall months will be on cleaning up the user profile pages, adding more of the features we’ve been discussing the past 3 months(emblems, blog of the month, weekly recaps), and cleaning up the forums section a bit more. On top of these, we’ve finally come up with a look for the comments/forums/messaging system that we feel really fits our design, while still making it easy to see the flow of the conversation.
To kick things off, we have 4 mockups of the profile pages to share. We’ve been kicking around ideas for a while, but nothing really seemed to gel until now. On the right hand side you will see how we will handle the new friends page, with the new messages page below that, followed by the new messages single. At the bottom of the page you will find an example of the new profile landing page. The current Profile and Settings tabs will be combined and found by clicking the red gear icon in the top right corner. Your avatar image will be centered along with your name, xp, level, plus recent emblems(not pictured) and a unique sentence tied to your user level(also not pictured, also will eventually become your signature after it unlocks). You will also notice an example of emblems in your activity feed. I am planning to have well over 100 emblems that users can earn, not just the typical ones you see for posting 25 reviews or using other basic features on the site, but emblems that can be awarded by the community or by attending special events(i.e. watching us on Twitch, attending the Twitch E3 stream or other major video streams(PS Experience will probably be the next big one).
- Apply design changes to Profile landing page.
- Update Activity feed with new styles.
- Add Emblems Post Type and connect them to Users.
- Add Emblems to the activity feed.
- Combine Profile and Settings tabs into individual page.
- Add Patreon and PayPal Emblems to user profile pages so that readers can help support their favorite creators.
- Look into BuddyPress Groups for potential groundwork for future ‘Channels’ project.
- Design the leveling system, figure out what xp will be required for each level and what title the user will earn based on level.
- Create a brief description for each level that injects a bit of humor into the site, breath life into the idea.
- Current ideas for user levels…. 0-4 (Noob) 5-9 (Rook) 10-14 (Meat Bicycle – Borderlands ref) 90-99 (Dragonborn – Skyrim ref)
- Update comment system to use similar styles to the new messaging system single.
- Update comment system to show icons of users who vote and the direction they voted. Users will be held accountable for their choice. Basically means people can’t downvote anonymously, if you don’t like what someone has to say, own up to it.
- Add featured comment system, enable users to earn the ‘top comment’ emblem, maybe add multiple top comment emblems based on popularity of the feature.
- Build ‘balance’ system to keep users from abusing the downvote system. This will be a mathematical calculation based on the users last 20 votes, of which a limit of 10 can be downvotes. In addition the same calculation will be applied to the last 20 votes on articles posted by the same user UNLESS the author has had a minimum of 100 votes and their upvote to downvote ratio is lower than the ratio of votes from the user for that author. i.e. If the author has 30 upvotes and 70 downvotes, the user will be able to downvote up to 14 articles for every 6 upvoted from that author. – Need more traffic for this to become feasible.
- Further optimize comment auto-update by switching to long-polling method to reduce server load. – Delaying this, will use slow timer with a clickable button to load new comments on click, similar to IGN’s current comment system. Node JS version will be similar to gamespots old comment system from 2014.
- Update RTC to check for new comment every 30 seconds and display a button users can click to load all new comments at once, will need more users to test this.
- Start NodeJS demo to replace current comment polling system. – Delayed until 2017, new server needed.
- Update forums header to resemble profile page header.
- Update look to resemble the look of the new profile messaging system.
- Add update to forums to display top posters.
- Add a square in the forums that shows the latest -or- hottest topics.
- Update forum home page to display more information about latest posts – at least user name and thread title, total posts etc.
Custom Page Templates:
- Update Platform pages to display all game art if total connected games is less than 48. Use pages instead of alpha.
- Add min height to box art section of platform page so the page won’t jump as much when loading next page of art.
- Update Retro page to list all consoles by category with image and short description.
- Create games page that accepts console=’xbox’ to display a list of all games on that console.
- Add author name to article lists on home page and all 3 list types.
- Add ability to rate a game without having to submit a review, store scores as review w/out content so user can add a review later and scores are still the same.
- Add container to display information about the highlighted game on the Ajax loaded content including title, avg review score, esrb rating.
- Limit ‘Recent Reviews’ to 6 on platform page and 4 on game page with link to view all that redirects to the reviews page.
- Add ‘highlight text’ into the review/news template.
- Update AJAX on home page to use custom loop.
- Update trio of ‘list’ pages so that ajax only post-loads content from current month + 7 days.
- Create an Archive page for the 3 lists for news older than current month + 7 days
- Connect related games to each other (i.e. connect Call of Duty 2 to Call of Duty 3).
- Add ‘Related Games’ section to full news articles, reviews, and game pages.
- Update News and Review singles to display Patreon Emblem next to the names of any author who have their Patreon account linked with us. – In Test Phase.
- Update News and Review singles to display top Emblems for the author(i.e. highest ranking post count emblem, or likes count emblem). – In Test Phase.
- Create the Ad pages. Create 3 different tiers for the 3 different types of ads we can make money off of and create a page for each. These pages will only have ads on them and are intended to be a way our users can help us pay the bills. Tier 1 would be for game related affiliate deals and banners. Tier 2 would be for game and technology related banners from other advertising partners. Tier 3 would be for Taboola and outlink generated garbage. These pages are optional to the user and will not be required for use here, they are only for those kind enough to help us pay the bills by lending us their eyes and a few clicks.
- Create a page for donating funds through PayPal or Patreon to help us pay the bills, the dedicated server we have picked out will be $90 per month, we hope to move to it between January 2017 and February 2017. – Add to Our Recommendations page at the bottom, and on the registration page/login.
- Integrate non-intrusive links to buy the connected game from our affiliated partners at Best Buy, Amazon, and GameStop(Pricing not available via API on GS). – Done, Added ‘Our Recommendations’ page with links to 15-18 games recently released or coming soon that we think will be enjoyable. Currently does not include price comparison, need Node JS(meaning new server) before we can use the NodeJS API’s to pull prices from retailers.
- Start writing Articles on Sunday(Amazon, Best Buy) and Tuesday(GameStop) that highlight current deals offered by our partners. – Unable to add this feature until Node JS(new server) is available, both companies have terms that prevent us from manually entering prices into an article to prevent them from being forced to honor typos. Any page with a price has to be pulling that price from their database, not ours.
Note: We have affiliate status with Amazon.com, Best Buy, and GameStop. We will have links posted that you can click on that will give us credit for any purchases made on those 3 online retailers websites. We make roughly 1-2% of the total sale, which is not much but it adds up.
- Connect boxart to game. – On Going… Xbox One and Playstation 4 are completed, WiiU and NX are next.
- Update database with complete list of modern games. – Xbox One and Playstation 4 up to date as of 9/21/2016.
- Update database with list of retro games.
- Create custom forms for adding news and reviews t0 provide users with a better, more intuitive GUI when posting new articles.
- Build ability for users to create ‘channels’ where multiple users can post under a single unified group. Channels will allow multiple users to post on a single article, and increase the chances of being featured on the main feed.- Coming Summer 2017 or earlier. Need more users for this feature to be feasible.
- Build collection features into Games Post type and allow users to track their collections through the site. – Collections built but not enabled, will be part of the user profile page update in the near future.
- Allow user-to-game post relation to also indicate games that user is currently playing. Display this on their profile page and in forum signature.
- Increase amount of user levels available to users who use the site frequently, these will be based on their overall score from posting news & reviews plus likes received.
- Add Emblems to the user profiles that are awarded for achieving various tasks(i.e. 100 posts, 1000 likes, 500 comments, 2500 forum posts, etc) plus custom Emblems to be awarded for specific events that we will hold in the future. Include Editor Emblem to be given as a special emblem for users who help us correct mistakes on our website(i.e. typos).
- Example Emblems… Founder(given to contributing members during our first year, 2016) Popped Your Cherry(posted first news article or review) Wat(wrote a confusing article or post that made zero sense at all)
Note: One of the special Emblems we will be giving out will be the Founder Emblem. In order to receive the Founder Emblem, users must create an account and be a contributing member of the community by January 1st 2017. This would include posting News Articles, Reviews, Blogs, Comments, and/or Posting in the Forums.
- mock up of the secondary informative pages(contact, privacy, terms & conditions), white bg with red boxes opposite of fallback image for BG behind text. – Done.
- mock in product placement on news review & game pages(for our users, this is not a traditional ad, more like a custom price grabber. we hope to keep advertising as minimal as possible, with no banners of any kind),
- mock up PSA 1920×1080 image for deal finder section on home page, this will replace the featured article with a post that lists on-going sales from our affiliates to be updated daily.
- mock up author pages.
- Mock up responsive stage(s) for articles, reviews, and games.
- Mock up Add Article/Review form page.
- Clean up new article mock(remove offensive wording).
- Mock up full ‘Start Here’ page(mentioned adding in small images before certain blocks of text?)
- Adjust CSS for responsive stages 2-6.
- Throwback Thursday gameplay sessions and write-up, possible user interaction where users decide what game we play.
- Week in review post on Sundays(maybe build the week in review post during the week in the forums and let users create & submit articles to be featured in that post, great way to build a following.
- MST3k style youtube series
- Get more writers for the site.
Comments do work, so if anyone thinks of something that can improve the site or has any questions please drop us a line. Feel free to also use the comments below as a place to report any bugs, glitches or annoyances you find while we build the site.
Did you know anyone can blog on gamelust? All of our members have the ability to blog about nearly everything(i.e. no porn or spam), as well as report news and review any game in our database! All you need to do is log in or register with us and add your voice today!
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