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SoCoder -> Blogs Home -> Blogs

Created : 06 January 2023
Edited : 06 January 2023

AGameAWeek Redesign

Oh no...

So, off to Salford I went for a chat with the neurosurgeon. It's been 2 years since my last scan, and .. although he agreed that given how horrifically the last shunt went, I should probably get frequent scans, we also agreed that, under current NHS conditions, a "none emergency" scan would probably take about half a year.
So, instead we agreed to wait it out, and I'll head back in half a year, and we can go from there.

Then he started talking about his LinkedIN mishap, and we got onto computer skills. "James makes games" chimed in Mum, and .. with about 6 laptops strewn around, we ended up at AGameAWeek, and..
Maaan, that site's layout is bloody awful for the uninitiated.
"Is that a game?" ... um, no it's my daily pixelart..
And on and on and so-forth.

But he eventually had a game of Arc Annihilation, and I explained that I'd written the game, but also wrote the language it's written in, so it works in your browser.
He seemed impressed, and enjoyed the experience. Sometimes doctors just need a little retro shooting in their day.

Anyhoo, I now realise that having the happy little Platdude pixelart/poetry/musicAL stuff be intermingled like it is, is somewhat distracting from the whole AGameAWeek vibe.

I think it all needs a rethink.



Friday, 06 January 2023, 16:30
I am kinda the same way, I have so many interests and I do so many different things to share, it is incredibly difficult to organize it on a site so it is intuitive and not chaotic.
Saturday, 07 January 2023, 02:45
I think the only way of organising multiple things is to have multiple designated sites (maybe all accessed from a central hub, but completely independent).
Saturday, 07 January 2023, 04:30
Yeah, that's my thinking, too.
Having everything clumped together on the landing page is getting out of hand.
Instead, I'm thinking the landing page should be just the games, and wherever possible have either "FUCKING GINORMOUS PLAY BUTTON" or "INSANELY OBVIOUS DOWNLOAD BUTTON"!!
Then have a separate button for getting to the daily blogs, pixelarts, poetries, music and maybe add a new MiniBlog area for Tweet-like things.

Currently if you go to https://AGameAWeek.com/Games it takes you to "Here be just games", and I think that should be the first thing people see.. Right?!
Even still, that's BOX CITY!! And I need to reduce that a bit.
Boxes are getting annoying, lately.

So, yeah, I think I'll juggle things around a bit, section things off a little better, and hopefully can come up with a more user-friendly version of the site.

Meanwhile, if I'm going to reduce the insanity of all those "Game Title : Screenshot : Screenshot : Text Description : Download Button" elements, one thing I can do is reduce the Game Title and first Screenshot down to a series of "Screenshot with logo overlaid" style icon.
I started going through all the games a while ago, but SO many of the games need logo images.
Today, I think that'll be a job for me.
Sitting here, and one by one making logos for all the old games that don't have any.

... So, 330+ Logos, today.
Oh joy.
Saturday, 07 January 2023, 04:58
"James makes games" Does sound like a good title for that 'microphone' project of yours
Saturday, 07 January 2023, 05:10
I've been avoiding that since I was about 10 years old.
Saturday, 07 January 2023, 09:00
Taken me about 2 hours to do 12 games..
... only another 458 games without logos to go.
Saturday, 07 January 2023, 09:59
Saturday, 07 January 2023, 10:23
Yeah, turns out I had a ton of temporary "I'll fix these later" logos, all over the place.
Practically everything up to when I was doing OUYA games, and Team OUYA made me make those game coverart things.
Monday, 09 January 2023, 02:45

Started work on redrawing ALL of the icons for the site.
They more or less look the same, but they're bigger and chunkier, and should make it really bloody obvious what does what.
Fewer icons, more labels.

The homepage will be "GAMES!", and the Blog/Pixelart/etc are via the new buttons, along with a new "Mixed" button to get everything all in one big chaotic mess like it used to be, with the blog entries, daily poetry and pixelart, music, and the games, all smushed together into one giant feed.

Not sure on the word "Mixed", though.
Any suggestions for that button's name?
Monday, 09 January 2023, 02:51
I see what you mean about the front page but it all looks good here on my phone, so the layout is working ... its just the organisation and structure that can be a little confusing as you have so much to look at.

If you'd like any feedback, my two key suggestions for that front page would be headings can help with context and putting focus on a limited list if games first and other content later could help.

The front page is a good place to invite people into your world, a bit of text about you or why your site exists, ie: what they'll find here (beyond the assumptions of the domain name alone), a focus onto a small selection of games with obvious links/buttons to lead onto your huge library. And white space can be an effective way to create boxes, structures etc rather than needing to create physical boxes.
Monday, 09 January 2023, 02:55
Ah, just read your recent post which appeared while I was replying above

Those icons are clear.

Mixed button ... how about summary, or everything, or latest, or full feed ...?
Monday, 09 January 2023, 08:57

AGameAWeek 2017 vs AGameAWeek 2023 (WIP)

I need to rearrange the layout of a couple of the post types, one you click through into them, but .. For the most part..

Is that Better, or Worse?!
Monday, 09 January 2023, 09:12
I do prefer the consistency of having all the games shown under games (as per 2023), rather than the mix of everything (2017).

There's still a lot on the page though that perhaps isn't necessary - eg the system formats. Most people won't have heard of half of those. Could they be tucked away in a separate "Downloads" menu.

Is the chatbox necessary? With just a couple of names on there it looks like ony a few people actually use it.
Monday, 09 January 2023, 10:15
2023 definitely looks better, but all the white is pretty glaring for me, but I am uber sensitive to bright lights, bright white sites, etc.
Monday, 09 January 2023, 10:58
Yeah, the All White, is getting to me after staring at it for... *checks time*
Good grief.. 8 hours of this!!

The sidebar's been kinda lacklustre for .. a LONG time.
The systems menu is there because .. if you come looking for games, it's a good idea to be able to select systems.
And, whilst it's true that I could probably get rid of that J2ME option, I do still have an alarming number of visitors popping over from Reddit for the Android/Ouya games, and from GbaTemp for the 2DS/3DS games.
I can't just ignore those, and it's a bit of a pain in the arse to find those without having the system links easily visible.

I *could* reduce them so they only show up when you're viewing the Games specifically.
.. But I've changed the whole site to make "first visit = Games specifically", so they'd end up being right back there again anyway.

The "shoutbox" isn't a shout box. It's a list of previous comments on the site. And .. you're right, there's barely any.
.But I dan't remove that! There's little/no interactivity opportunities on the site, as it is!!
Tuesday, 10 January 2023, 10:52
I would advice on a infinite scroll feature. Or maybe categories. This to make it easy to scroll through every game. Having to go and press through dozens of tiny buttons might be a bit to much of a hassle.

It is more clear at the moment.

Edit: maybe a note on the download button if it is pc or mac?