A few weeks ago I was working at tweaking the existing theme for the site and making a few improvements. It turned into an unintentional overhaul, and then I got sidetracked and didn’t get time to complete it. I thought I’d make it available now and get some feedback and see if anyone spots any problems. It works in IE7, Firefox, and Safari. I haven’t tested it in IE6, but I’m sure it will look like a train wreck. The theme relies heavily on masked PNGs, and IE6 doesn’t go in for that sort of business.
To see the theme, just go to the front page and use the dropdown box on the right, select “Lawful Good”.
The goals I had for this theme:
- I liked the “glossy surface” thing going in the current theme, and I wanted to expand on that.
- The old sidebar is hopelessly over-cluttered, and I wanted to trim it down. The archives have grown and now take up a lot of screen real estate, so I’ve moved them and other lesser used items to the bottom of the page. The new sidebar is a lot lighter and hopefully more useful. (Search is now at the top.)
- I wanted to back off from the pure white background. The major problem with the old theme was that it was just too dang bright for some people. At the time I couldn’t just dim the background by a couple of shades, because all of the logos and dice images would have ugly white boxes around them. I’ve fixed this so the the images are now very tolerant of background color changes – pretty much any light color will work.
- I wanted to clean up the sprawling, hackish code of the old theme. Not that it matters to visitors, but this theme uses a lot less code to get the job done.
- I wanted to replace the current black / white themes with Chaotic Evil / Lawful Good, which would make for a nice meta-theme.
- I wanted more dice. I’m still working on this. I really like the handful of dice at the bottom of the page, though.
Yes, I know glossy silver doesn’t exactly match the purported content of this site. A proper RPG site theme would probably be cartography / papyrus / middle ages, and a proper videogame theme would probably just have iconic characters splashed around. But there are already a lot of sites along those lines. And besides – this really does it for me, visually. I guess I’d rather the site theme look sexy than make sense.
It’s not perfect, but it’s an interesting work in progress. If anyone wants to put up a shot of how it looks in IE6 I’d like to see it. Please let me know about any problems / errors you find. Or just let me know what you think of it.
EDIT: One further note is that the new theme assumes a desktop width of at least 1024. Up until now I’ve stuck with 800, but I noticed that people running in 800×600 has vanished to almost nothing over the last couple of years. Less than 1% right now according to my web stats.
ALSO: To get back to the old theme, return to the front page, look in the left sidebar. It’s right under “search”. It’s a list instead of a dropdown list.
The Next Day: I’ve made some minor changes to get rid of the h-scrolling everyone is getting. I haven’t really addressed the major gripes with the theme, but this quick fix should make it a little more useful. A fuller overhaul will have to wait until I have more time.
Artless in Alderaan
People were so worried about the boring gameplay of The Old Republic they overlooked just how boring and amateur the art is.
Dear Hollywood: Do a Mash Reboot
Since we're rebooting everything, MASH will probably come up eventually. Here are some casting suggestions.
Batman v. Superman Wasn't All Bad
It's not a good movie, but it was made with good intentions and if you look closely you can find a few interesting ideas.
The Death of Half-Life
Valve still hasn't admitted it, but the Half-Life franchise is dead. So what made these games so popular anyway?
Quakecon Keynote 2013 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.