General Comments - ALL Please Read and Comment on Each of the 11 Points as Applicable

Bill Loguidice's picture

Please, let's all discuss these and act on them where appropriate, or disagree or offer a different suggestion, as appropriate.

1 - I like "The Gurus of Gaming" that shows up after Armchair Arcade on top of browser windows. Good job thinking of that. The only criticism I can possibly make against the top logo banner as it is now with the logo and the arcade controls image is that it's perhaps a bit too long from top to bottom, but I'm not sure if that's adjustable. I'd like to see it about 15% shorter top-down, as right now it takes up a bit too much real estate for optimal reading purposes in my opinion.

2a - I love the current Armchair Arcade logo that Seb did, but I really think before soft launch one of us should do it over from scratch. I want everything "invented" by us, those here now. Seb generously gave it to us for all perpetuity, but as we move into other ventures, we're better off doing everything in-house as it were. I would love to take some time to do it, but doubt I'll have the time. Perhaps Elizabeth can do it? The only requirement would be to have it as an infinitely scalable vector image.

2b - Is Elizabeth working on any graphics, Matt? You had mentioned she was dabbling with some stuff, but I'm not sure what the current status is or where we'd be able to use them. I love the idea of making the new AA as visually interesting as possible.

3 - I think under the Armchair Arcade logo - or preferably incorporated into the new one - we really must have our sub-heading of "Videogames and Computers". That's the only way to really stress what we encompass.

4 - Go to "Administer" and "categories": http://armchairarcade.com/neo/admin/taxonomy and "add term" and start adding terms you think should be included that are not already there. We can schedule a few days in the coming weeks to weed out the bad ones or decide on a structure we prefer. Of course we can always add at a later date, but planning ahead will make things easier.

5 - I went through the site and tweaked a few things here and there. Nothing major. I'm not skilled enough to do much more, but then much more doesn't need doing. Great work, Matt.

6 - We need to decide what to do with our online store that sells shirts and mugs and what-not. It's a sales failure, but that could be due to lack of new stuff at Armchair Arcade. I'd love to see us re-vamp the product line and use new images in new ways. I personally think we should keep it going, but I'd be all for leaving it simply linked back at the old site. By the way, DreamAuthentics was interested in giving their customers a free merchandise voucher for our store, they liked the products so much. So there's probably SOME value there.

7 - We need to decide which advertisements to continue with, if any. Google Ads, since inception, has brought in well over $100. The RGT Light Gun ad has brought in over $50. PlayFirst is worthless and should be discontinued. In any case, like the online store, the relationships need some tweaking regardless.

8 - We need to implement the current game offerings on Neo, or put on new ones. The only requirement is that it's free for us, little to no advertisement-driven, and MUST retain a high score (it's what keeps people coming back). I was surprised at how much the games have meant to people and it's part of what got us the "Best Site of 2005" award from PC Magazine.

9 - We need to retain some of our existing links in some form. We have several key relationships that I feel we need to maintain with reciprocal links, like with Grrlgamer, AtariAge, ClassicGaming, Digital Press, etc. They always give us good press/referalls and we need to maintain that going forward. We can definitely cull quite a bit out though.

10 - System Matrix - I don't care about this right now. My book is another six to eigth months away from completion. When I get closer, we'll figure out how to create a full-featured museum quality showcase for US-based systems.

11 - I will follow this with a suggested timeline.

Comments

Cecil Casey
Cecil Casey's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Store

I agree that the store is an idea worth keeping. What I think we should do is get rid of the design side that is currently public. Some things are better off hidden.

This brings us to design... One good buzzwothy shirt will sell more than all of our designs so far have. To that point one good go out and grab them article with a catchy one liner quote that will fit on a shirt would kick ass. Make something that the /. crowd would want to buy and we would be able to pay for the server for years.

In that same vein it seems that a redesign of our logo would be even more of a priority, since it seems that Bill and Mark are the only ones that seem to want to wear it. The metallic shaded AA logo is ok, but I could do it on (and the font may have came) from an Amiga. That is ok if we want to stay retro only, but that is not the feel that I get from the editorial staff.

We want to comment on gamming as a whole, with a historical and informed background. We need something to reflect that, and I am guessing that an aardvark on a t-shirt is not going to do that unless we create an underground cult classic. So we need something that a high school punk would feel cool wearing to school. Not saying that it has to have SEX, but it does have to have some sort of appeal, and that has to go beyond a old 80's looking retro font.

This is turning into a bit of a ramble, so I am open to ideas on how we can make a overall AA product that is (god help me) neo-reto-sheek. We all know that content will bring them, now we need a hook to sell them.

Or we could just forget it :)
-Cecil

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Definitely!

I strongly agree with what Cecil is saying here. Why have 100 different shirt designs? That's just confusing. All we really need is a single kick-butt t-shirt that would be so cool, first off, ALL of us would want to own it and wear it all the time. The key is that it's not just cool for the AA connection--it's just a cool shirt, period. Cecil's mentioning of a good slogan makes sense. What is AA? Not many people know. Some funny or satirical logo, though, might help make it more generally pleasing. I know we've done the slogan thing to death, but here are some fresh possibilities:

8-bit, 64-bit...We love every bit.

Gaming--It's in the hands, not the cards.

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Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Store and Logo - Discussion

Hmm, it's cool to pile on the store and all, guys, but again, why? I thought it was agreed we'd tweak it to however we wanted, already? If we don't want the "design your own" store, fine. If we want just a half dozen products on there, let's just put a half dozen products on there. Definitely one polo shirt, one t-shirt, one mug, etc. Just the basics. Definitely make it cool. It's OUR store to do with as we please, so let's go for it. I posted the login info on here, so go there and poke around.

Now, just to clarify here, there seems to be some criticism of the logo, as well. To me, it's a very nice logo. I realize it's not "sexy", but it fit the magazine profile well. Perhaps we should separate product from the logo. I mean, how many people really want "Armchair Arcade" on their shirts, no matter how cool it was designed? Probably just us. We can definitely do maybe one or two logo-based products and then maybe just stick with snappy slogans. In any case, it won't be made on its own, so get to designing!

As for the logo, I think we ALL should be whipping some up to meet the deadline. Hopefully we'll all have three or four designs ready to go by the date in the timeline. We can then vote on what, if any, will be used to replace the current logo. If we don't come up with anything by the "deadline", then there's nothing lost with sticking with the current functional logo. In any case, keep in mind that whatever you design, it MUST be done in a scalable VECTOR format FIRST, so it can be used in any application. No reason to design a bitmap logo that's useless scaled big.

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Vector

What exactly is a vector format, and how do you create one? I'm a bit confused. Is this some format available in photoshop?

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Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Vector Graphics

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/V/vector_graphics.html - It's really the only way to make something infinitely scalable. It IS viable to use bitmap graphics, but the source file has to be an ultra high resolution that can scale down. A ultra hi-res BMP or TIF source would be fine by me though. Illustrator and Corel Draw are both good at that. I'm sure there's some newer stuff out there too.

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