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.

Congrats on the launch!

Site looks great (in my unbiased opinion).

Looks very clean. Excellent job!


Simply lurvely. Great way to handle article submission, also.

Site looks great, but... Where'd the Table of Contents go?

Lady - which Table of Contents? I've on my list that I need to build a better "Writer Articles" page (there's a sorta equivalent under the new software, but it takes a lot of effort), but I'm not exactly sure which "Table of Contents" you mean. If you mean a category index, that's in the works as well (new and improved).

Very nice indeed

I like the unique way you handled adding forums. Much better than the "tacked on" feeling you get with most sites and it gives people incentive to put some thought into any new posts they create.

-- Edit --

To add a bug report: I'm seeing lots of " � " instead of " ' " in some of the imported articles. It could be something that Mozilla 1.7's renderer isn't liking.

Yeah, I've seen the ?'s too - as you surmise, those are caused by the import, and a whole world of annoyances concerning character encoded, how articles were submitted, how the old CMS handled multiple encodings, and blah blah blah. I've fiddled with some half-hearted mass-fixes, but it looks like I'll have to manually go through things and hunt for them. This shouldn't be too too bad, as I've got to manually assign the new categories (coming soon) anyways, and the ?'s should occur only within the last year's worth of posts. It's on the list, but at this point, low prioritish.

Two minor things: Would it be possible to change the font/color/etc. of the "reply to this comment" line? It looks like a part of the comment itself, which irritates me, especially with one-liners.

Another thing: I just tried commenting without being logged in, but using my user-name. The system gave me a "You're using the name of an existing user" message. How about a) Adding a password field to the "Post new comment" section and b) Another one to that warning page? I dislike retyping and logging in _seperately_ when I just want to add a quick comment...

Doesn't look like the RSS feed is working properly or do I need to reset it on my end?

All the old URLs should automatically redirect you to the new URL. What sort of errors are you seeing? What URL are you using - maybe I've missed something in my redirects (or maybe your client doesn't follow redirs?) The new feed validates properly at, so it shouldn't be a parsing error of any kind.

Getting ignored feels great...

I'm not ignoring you - in fact, I was going to respond with something soon (you're #7 on my list of TODOs for tonight, labeled as "respond to the comment/login guy"). Nutshell: the login thing will be rather difficult to pull off (and is very low on my list), but the comment reply thingy sounds reasonable. It may happen tonight, it may not. Got a lot of other Gamegrene-related things to work on.

Software-wise, Gamegrene is running the CVS version of Drupal. Drupal is a content management system, and CVS ultimately means "unless you're a developer, you shouldn't be using this on a live site". Gamegrene is one of the larger testbeds for future versions of Drupal, and a lot of my time of late has been fixing/improving the code running Gamegrene, and then submitting it back to Drupal so that other people can benefit.

I actually noticed this too. I'm not being redirected from which is what my old bookmark was. I had to manually go back to the home page. This isn't a big issue for me and I didn't think anything of it untill I read this post. Just my two cents.

Hrm. Forgot that one (that's actually two redirects back, as that used to redirect to .shtml). I'll take care of it later today. (UPDATE: Actually, for various reasons related to webserver configurations, I can't easily redirect these to the proper location. Sigh.)

Ok, I take everything back and state the opposite :-)
(It was just that after a week and with newer comments answered within a day...)

My RSS doesn't update, and when I click on the link to the feed, I do get to the new site, but with a Page Not Found error.

In which case, your aggregator isn't respecting HTTP redirects. You'll have to manually modify your aggregator to load as opposed to whatever you have now. UPDATE: What URL are you actually using? Maybe I've forgotten a Redirect for that one.

I'm using MyYahoo's aggregator, and it shows this as the feed I was using:

The URL you listed seems to work. I'll write back if I have any other issues with it. Thanks!

Wow, I dunno where you got the /lair thing from - that was the secret test site for the new redesign. It existed for one week only, and was there just to sanity test things on the real server before releasing it publicly. I never put in any Redirects for it because people shouldn't have known about it in the first place. Irregardless, I'm glad you're operational again.

Dunno where the /lair came from either {shrug} Guess it'll still be a secret.

Things are indeed working properly now. Thanks!

I really like the new site. Looks like Drupal is working pretty well for you.

Congrats! This seems like a pretty mature (effective) site.