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Update 3.0 Change Log

GO TO ADMIN PANEL > ADD-ONS AND INSTALL ABSTRACT SIDEBAR TO SEE FORUMS AND SIDEBAR

Xyphien

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With the new 3.0 update a lot has changed. Below are some of the things the forum has experienced over the new update.

Additions:
Slider -
All of our latest updates, events, etc. will be displayed there. This will allow us to pull away from having so many sticky messages.
Announcement under Slider - Same reasoning behind the slider (And I can't seem to remove it so it's kind of there)
Category Images - With the new update, there are now category updates as well as links back to every image we've used. This way people can get promoted, and the site looks better :) It's a win, win.
Like Ratings - Though we had something similar on the 2.0 version, this one is much like facebook. You can hover over the like button, and different emotes will show up. This way you can like posts in different ways. We're working on making custom emojis for this :)
Twitter Footer - We now have a twitter widget in the footer. This way whenever we sponsor someone's resource, game, etc. on twitter you all can see it as well!
Theme - We have a brand new theme, a brand new style, a brand new look. Whatever you'd like to call it, we have it brand new :) Which means a cleaner, and less boring theme than what we've been using for the past few years.
Small Updates - There are a lot of minor updates we haven't listed as there's so many of them with upgrading to Xenforo 2. Just try out the new site for yourself, and let us know how you like it!
Updated MV Versions - We've been seriously lacking in updating the MV versions. I went ahead and added all of the ones to update it :D

Removed:
Wiki - No one was using the wiki, and it was a waste of our resources, and funds to keep this up and updated.
Blogs - Same reasoning behind the wiki.
Moods - There is no current addon for this as of yet. We're continuously looking for an update or remade version of this.
Profile Completion - Same thing as Moods.
Best Answers - Coming Soon, this is out, however I personally do not have the funds to upgrade it to the XF2 version at this time.
 
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Xyphien

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Reserved.
 
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Azdak

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Looking good, thank you for all your hard work and for the website in general. It's very nice and awesome of you! :D
Thank you!
 

Xilefian

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I haven't been here for a while, just returned to check some posts, but the new layout is visually very, very busy and made it very difficult for me to identify where I needed to navigate to.

The top sticky bar is visually distracting: the fact that it is lighter (higher contrast) than the main forum body draw the eye upwards.
There's also a massive amount of dead-space with the giant RPG Maker MV animated diamond background thing (if we're on rpgmakermv.co we probably don't need a reminded of what game engine this forum is about at the very top) and the massive scrolling content showing contest news and stuff is additional dead space. The news snippet is large too (that can be changed to a small, single line at the top if needed).

Here's a very quick mock-up of what I'd change. In particular notice how the sticky bar at the top is less visually distracting as its contrast matches the forum body, so now when scrolling it doesn't feel like it's dragging the eye up the page.
7993

This next point is clearly one that was purposefully done, but it's not lending itself well to readability: The image backgrounds on these forum posts/topics (there's some sort of preview logic selecting them) - they risk clashing with the text big time, and indeed this made it far more difficult for me to navigate the forum compared to in the past.

The sheer amount of text makes this even worse: "FORUM Feedback, Suggestions and Help Have any ideas on how to improve the site, or don't like something on the site? Do you need help with anything on the site? Inform us in this section." that's a lot of text taking up a lot of space atop a visually noisy image.

It's obvious some tinting was applied to make the preview images less visually distracting, but I think it needs to be more extreme. I'd probably massively blur the images and make them much, much darker so the light text is easier to see.

The arrangement of these four Community Center categories can be tidied up to remove the dead space - which is obviously there for uniform aspect ratio/sizing - but it's dead space and increases clutter before reaching the important categories below. I'd probably remove the two column on all the forum categories, go back to 1 column (just like in tall mode) and I'd reduce the height of the Community Center categories to be as small as possible. Maybe even get rid of the description text for these. Would also be an opportunity to move "Ask Me Anything" into the Off Topic section.

"Completed Resources" is much harder to find compared to the other Resource sections (same deal with Complete Games and Demos & Testing) - these look like header titles now, rather than categories.

Also, with these large images the only way to enter a forum category is to click the title, the entire background image should be clickable - I have to spend additional time navigating my mouse cursor over the large space to get to the title, previously this would have been a quick vertical movement but with this new style it's a lengthy vertical and horizontal movement for the two columns.

The backgrounds moving when hovering with a mouse makes the text even more difficult to read as it adds motion to the high frequency background image with the small foreground text.


Removing the seldom used features is a good move and navigating once you're inside forum categories is fine (besides the high contrast sticky nav following the display and drawing attention).


On mobile this all actually looks very nice! Even the sticky nav bar is fine on mobile as phones are typically held in a portrait orientation, so the eyes are focusing on the bottom half and are less likely to get distracted. However, Completed Resources is still hard to notice on mobile and the text over the high frequency background images is still difficult to read. About 3 categories at a time fit on my phone screen, which feels fine, but with removing dead space it can probably be increased to 4. Generally things just need tightening vertically on mobile. Mobile is still a mess below the forum categories, but almost everyone will stop at the content above that area before they reach it anyway.

Landscape mobile inherits some issues from desktop view and the dead space in the categories means you can only see 1 on the screen at a time, which becomes a real issue. Perhaps two column mode in landscape on mobile would be justified here: almost half of the screen is dead space in landscape mobile. There's also some scrolling issues with landscape mobile (can scroll left/right a tiny bit when it shouldn't be possible).


EDIT: Single column can go back to having the latest post on the right side with the category on the left side, so it isn't as tall and the empty space on the right is used up.
 

Xyphien

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The top sticky bar is visually distracting: the fact that it is lighter (higher contrast) than the main forum body draw the eye upwards.
There's also a massive amount of dead-space with the giant RPG Maker MV animated diamond background thing (if we're on rpgmakermv.co we probably don't need a reminded of what game engine this forum is about at the very top) and the massive scrolling content showing contest news and stuff is additional dead space. The news snippet is large too (that can be changed to a small, single line at the top if needed).

Here's a very quick mock-up of what I'd change. In particular notice how the sticky bar at the top is less visually distracting as its contrast matches the forum body, so now when scrolling it doesn't feel like it's dragging the eye up the page.
I personally like the banner image and everything, however Amy had a problem with that as well. So I'll put up a vote on it here in a little bit and see how everyone else feels about it. It would make the current banner contest we're doing extremely useless though, so that's why.

This next point is clearly one that was purposefully done, but it's not lending itself well to readability: The image backgrounds on these forum posts/topics (there's some sort of preview logic selecting them) - they risk clashing with the text big time, and indeed this made it far more difficult for me to navigate the forum compared to in the past.
Adding a blur and darkening the image is really easy to do, and is something I think would help with. As for the text I can simplify it to make it less, but I feel having that explains everything better.

"Completed Resources" is much harder to find compared to the other Resource sections (same deal with Complete Games and Demos & Testing) - these look like header titles now, rather than categories.
Nothing I can do about these. It's ugly, clunky, and everything. There's a way to do it, but it will take me a while to manually do. So it will have to look clunky and ugly until then.


As for most of the rest of everything it is built into the current theme we have, most edits cannot be made with it at the moment. This might be a temporary theme anyway, as I'm looking at a more developed one that has a ton more option for editing and everything else like that.
 
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