Gamegrene 2nd Edition Released!
Gamegrene premiered August 1st, 2000, alongside the much-anticipated release of Dungeons & Dragons 3e. With GenCon 2004 a mere month away, including new releases of GURPS, the World of Darkness, and Paranoia, it was time to once again match the buzz with a new version of Gamegrene. I present Gamegrene 2nd Edition.
Gamegrene premiered August 1st, 2000, alongside the much-anticipated release of Dungeons & Dragons 3e. With GenCon 2004 a mere month away, including new releases of GURPS, the World of Darkness (preorder Vampire: The Requiem and World Of Darkness core books), and Paranoia, it was time to once again match the buzz with a new version of Gamegrene.
I, in dramatic one-liner fashion, present Gamegrene 2nd Edition.
There are a few things I want to clear up nearly immediately:
- There will be bugs. Help me find them.
- You don't have to register to leave comments.
- We're testing. We may revert to First Edition.
- If you've written for us, you already have an account.
Below, I'll go over each of the new features.
- Value-Added Accounts: The most obvious change is that you can now sign up for a Gamegrene account. This is entirely optional! If you're not logged in, you can still comment on articles and forums, as well as vote on polls. With an account, you'll be able to submit new articles, create new forum topics, and a few other benefits further described below.
- Forums: Yep, forums. Greatness could be promoted to the main page.
- News Aggregator: As alluded to in one of the later 1st Edition posts, we've collected some of your favorite gaming sites into one place, updated every hour on the hour. This aggregation is possible because of an XML format called RSS (naturally, sites that didn't provide these files weren't added). The collection is a mixture of game theory, game blogs, and electronic/tabletop fiddling. If you've further suggestions of sites to add, be certain to let us know!
- Threaded Comments and View Options: Even though you won't notice it from the imported comments of 1st Edition, Gamegrene 2nd Edition allows threaded comments. Instead of just replying to the whole post, you can now address a specific comment, creating a hierarchy of replies. While this can get silly (more then five or six levels of replies ultimately wreaks havoc with readability), the new per-user view options can be adjusted to remove the hierarchy (and tweaked back at a later date).
- Better "Recent Posts" Tracking: If you register for an account, you gain the ability to see what's changed since your last visit: new comments will have a red "new" badge, and the tracker will show dates relative to your last login ("15 minutes ago"). Visitors without accounts will see the relative dates, but not the "new" badges. For registered users, you'll also be able to specifically track posts you've been involved in.
- Shorter URLs: URLs are always a fight between what is understandable but brief enough to not cause problems with word-wrapping email clients. The revised Gamegrene opt'd for shorter URLs. We really want people to read our stuff, and we'd much rather have people ignore unknown URLs than click on a wrapped, but broken, URL that fails to work properly. Don't worry though - all 1st Edition URLs will continue to work for the rest of forever.
- And More: Daily and all-time read counts, polls (which'll probably range from remotely relevant to atrociously assisine), notification options (for registered users only, it'll allow you to get daily emails of the latest updates on Gamegrene, including articles, forums, or comments) and an upcoming and improved taxonomy (ie. articles will be categorized better). That sum's up just a few of the other changes you'll notice during your travels, and we've got more planned.
This isn't all, though. There's also a new underlying philosophy:
- More Play: One reason I originally created Gamegrene was to play more, upset that I had drifted away from the pastime I loved. By making a game site a "business", I reasoned, I'd be forced to play, and all would be roses, problem solved. While this has and hasn't worked as well as I expected, one thing that always bothered me was that we certainly talked a lot as a community, but we never actually joined together to play something. Some of the major features we're planning should help rectify this.
There's more to say, though. Besides looking for an intern to manage a new feature we've got planned in the coming months, we're also hoping for your comments on a few possible new features. For instance, would you rather receive email updates to specific articles or forums you're interested in (as opposed to all or nothing, like our current notify settings)? And what about comment moderation, similar to Slashdot (where you can rate a comment as "flamebait" and/or show comments only above a certain threshold)? Or is there some other addition that you can't believe we've missed? We want to hear about it in our Site News and Suggestions forum.
So, thoughts on the 2nd Edition? Show your side by voting on our first poll (it's over in the sidebar, or permanently here), wax poetic in our forums, and don't hesitate to drip visceral and scorn in the comments below. Finally, Gamegrene would like to thank the efforts of Rogue Githyanki and EaterOfTheDead42 for testing the site before things went live. They helped hunt down and test a number of things that would've slipped through my fingers.