Matt Barton's blog

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Gameology.org -- Academic Gamers gets Facelift

Hi, guys. I thought you might want to check out the new gameology site. Zach moved the whole thing to Drupal and gave it a fantastic facelift. I'm rather envious of Zach's layout, I must admit. Do you guys like the little window boxes on the sides or the tabbed look to the main banner? Or do we want to follow a KISS method here?

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Adventure Classic Gaming

I've sent these guys a query about whether they'd be interested in publishing or republishing some of my GAG Reviews. Hopefully, they won't flake out and not acknowledge me like two other big adventure game sites I queried. I just completed Simon the Sorceror I and II, and am eager to get some reviews published where more people can see them. I especially like this site's non-exclusive publishing policy, which will allow me to also publish the reviews in other places.

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Construction

Note--I'm doing some work today on the website, so please bear with me if things look odd or don't function quite right for awhile.

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Game On Stuff

I thought you guys might find this interesting.

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scanning in geek history

I thought you guys might find this interesting. One of our fellow geeks has taken to scanning in stuff from his old magazines. You can see the collection here.

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Everyone okay?

I'm just checking up on folks. Seems awful quiet around here lately. Anyone have interesting projects going on? I went to see V on Sat. Good movie. I also read the graphic novel, which was different but also good.

I'm leaving Wed for a conference that'll last until Sat--I'll be in Chicago.

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Banner Ideas

Okay, guys. I'm trying to brainstorm here about some possible layouts for the banner (across the top of the site). This is obviously a very important part of a website, so it's not something we want to just "slap together." Elizabeth is eager to get started on some drafts, but needs basic direction. I have some ideas, but wanted to discuss them with you guys first.

Here's a very rough idea of what I had in mind. Legend is below:

XXXX ARMCHAIR ARCADE YYYYY ZZZZ
MENU 1 MENU 2 MENU 3 MENU 4

Key:
XXXX: Images of Matt & Bill (and others as desired?)
ARMCHAIR ARCADE: The logo

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Top Banner Discussion

In the blog below, we were talking about the best banner for neo. Bill suggested that we use a combination of photos of vintage hardware (which we gratefully have in abundance), and images of ourselves. I'm going to ask those of us with artistic talent to begin thinking about some possible designs and eventually start coming up with drafts. I think at this point, it might be best just to send a bunch of photos and images to our artists and let them play around for awhile.

Everyone, please send some good images and photos that you'd like to see on the banner to e.bartonopoulos aT gmail.com. I'm not sure yet if we'll want to use our actual photos (perhaps p-shopped) or drawings, but try to send some very nice representative photos as well.

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Brass Tasks of the Layout

Okay. I've been working too long on this, so let me share my thoughts now (even though they are still a bit muddled). I'm trying to get my slowly growing knowledge of theme development organized. The key theme issues that we need to settle seem to be these:

Top Banner. This is clearly the top priority in designing our layout. You can see what I'm talking about here. Clearly, we want something at least as distinctive as the banners we had at the old AA. I like the idea of having buttons on or below the banner, as in this example. If we wanted to be clever, we might have a console (like the one at the old site) whose buttons would actually be alternate navigation buttons for the site.

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Streamlining the Interface

We've been talking here about how to streamline the comment features. Part of this problem seems to stem from the nature of blogs vs. forums. We're accustomed to talking with each other in a forum environment, and this is a bit different. Forums are typically arranged in "threads," with a leading topic and a chain of responses. Blogs are a different creature. Instead of "threads," I find it more useful to think of "comments." What's the difference? Well, imagine hearing a speaker, then hearing people go up and making comments to him about his presentation. These comments may not be related to each other; they may be connected only in that they concern the same speech.

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