website front page

website front page

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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Jazcash
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website front page

Post by Jazcash » 15 Jun 2015, 13:57

Split from viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33579&p=570541#p570541 (Silentwings.)
Silentwings wrote: It seems a shame to me to have nothing at all on the page that shows the engines graphics/gameplay capability. Being a bit easier on the eyes is nice but subtlety showing off what Spring can do is what's likely to catch the attention of people who might play/develop. Material design (well, despite the huge amount of "pointless" text, over-complicated icons, etc) is functional and intuitive but it doesn't advertise on its own. I don't think this is a detail; integrating complex images is something any designer would agonize over.
You're right, and at the end of the day it comes back to the exact goals that the springrts.com site should be trying to achieve. Personally, I don't think this site gets anywhere even close to showing off what the engine can do as much as it should do.

Take a look at Unreal Engine and Unity. We need much more focus on how to show off our content imo. Anyway, I guess that's not really relevant to this thread, which is about the forum skin, where showing off content is not a priority. The nav bar could be an opportunity to show something off though, even if it's as simple as a small unit render.
Last edited by Jazcash on 15 Jun 2015, 16:32, edited 1 time in total.
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AF
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Re: Forum as material design

Post by AF » 15 Jun 2015, 15:12

Jazcash wrote:You're right, and at the end of the day it comes back to the exact goals that the springrts.com site should be trying to achieve. Personally, I don't think this site gets anywhere even close to showing off what the engine can do as much as it should do.

Take a look at Unreal Engine and Unity. We need much more focus on how to show off our content imo. Anyway, I guess that's not really relevant to this thread, which is about the forum skin, where showing off content is not a priority. The nav bar could be an opportunity to something off though, even if it's as simple as a small unit render.
Forum posts are forum posts, it's not the nav bars job to show off spring, a nav bar is a nav bar not an advert banner. If you want the forums to show off what spring can do, link people to threads like Smoths Junk or the dev forum, but unit renders in the header are an unnecessary distraction. Look at the sites you linked to, they have simple, no fuss headers with no fancy frills, the exact opposite of what you're advocating.

Instead, you should be advocating page design. There's several pages that require a major overhaul for exactly the reasons you gave, e.g. the media page, the games page, the download page, the homepage. Dressing up the nav bar to make up for the shortcomings of the content underneath it is a hack and kludge.
Put simply, the nav bar when inside phpbb/mediawiki/etc is meant to get out of the way and be minimal, low maintenance, simple, and let the content underneath do its job. A big nav bar takes attention, and gets in the way. On the homepage this isn't necessarily a bad idea, but when we take a larger version of the navbar and apply it to something like Mantis, the design starts to buckle and strain, and it looks terrible.

We could design an awesome looking navbar, with bells and whistles. I like to think that's what was in mind when the current header was created. Showcasing awesome content in the header, how could it be bad? Then we had the overlapping bits with Arghs plane, followed by the StarWars units legs creeping into the menu. But it gets in the way. We're not here to look at the menu, we're here to browse the forums, read the wiki, etc A big fancy header doesn't add anything to this site worth having, wether it's a complicated artistic header, or simply a large one.

Instead we need to whittle down to what's absolutely necessary and focus on the pages themselves. Right now it bothers me that we have wiki, development and help in there, when the latter 2 were meant to replace the first. Perhaps there should be "development" and "help", which link to different parts of 1 page called wiki rather than 2 separate pages? I'm sure there's an answer. Report a bug could go under Help or Development too, and the new navbar removes the home link in favor of the logo
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Nemo
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Re: Forum as material design

Post by Nemo » 15 Jun 2015, 15:21

Jazcash wrote: Take a look at Unreal Engine and Unity. We need much more focus on how to show off our content imo.
Well, those links are indeed instructive -- click on "community" or "forums" for those two and you see quite plain forum designs, without any flashy stuff. The distinction is that they both have modern "hero image" style front/landing pages.

That said, I'm a backend dev, not a designer, so I'll back away slowly from the rest of the discussion: wielding bootstrap like an axe is about the extent of my CSS chops.
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AF
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Re: Forum as material design

Post by AF » 15 Jun 2015, 16:03

That main page needs a lot of work, and I think we need a 'development' entry point, but I think the current development page should be killed and redirect to the main page, were it's replaced with a development section. Possibly even to go so far as to rename "Wiki" to "Development Wiki" :arrow: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33588


I'm currently thinking of homepage designs, and a big image at the front is one of my main goals, but if we wanted to have a looping video in the background the way that Unity does, are there any good candidates?

I'm thinking something that:

- Show joining a game in a lobby
- A code editor like Sublime with lua files ( maybe 5-6 seconds )
- Setting up widgets ingame, or using Chilli, some of Smoths videos may work well for this
- Some basic gameplay aimed at showing off commands, e.g. select a commander queue up several structures, select some transports and create dropzones
- A scene demonstrating lots of different kinds of weapons at once, showing they're 3D
- No fades to black or fancy transitions
- High resolution so it can be scaled down to any appropriate size
- No longer than 1-1:30
- No music/sound
- No game logos, the video should demonstrate features using games, it shouldn't show off games so directly, e.g. the video for BAR selection and command effects
Last edited by Silentwings on 15 Jun 2015, 16:52, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added link to split thread
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Jazcash
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Re: Forum as material design

Post by Jazcash » 15 Jun 2015, 18:14

AF wrote: Forum posts are forum posts, it's not the nav bars job to show off spring, a nav bar is a nav bar not an advert banner. If you want the forums to show off what spring can do, link people to threads like Smoths Junk or the dev forum, but unit renders in the header are an unnecessary distraction. Look at the sites you linked to, they have simple, no fuss headers with no fancy frills, the exact opposite of what you're advocating.

Instead, you should be advocating page design. There's several pages that require a major overhaul for exactly the reasons you gave, e.g. the media page, the games page, the download page, the homepage. Dressing up the nav bar to make up for the shortcomings of the content underneath it is a hack and kludge.
Actually yes, I agree. I just wanted to take Silent's opinion into account, and I could still see there being place for a small image of some description, but you're right, it would add nothing of great value to the navigation bar's purpose. But if it adds some aesthetically pleasing content, without taking away from any functionality, what would be a big reason not to add it?

E.g:

Image

Edit: On second thoughts, I think I do actually prefer it without the unit render :oops: ...
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FLOZi
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Re: website front page

Post by FLOZi » 15 Jun 2015, 18:26

Jazcash wrote:
Take a look at Unreal Engine and Unity. We need much more focus on how to show off our content imo.

Code: Select all

this * math.huge
The 'Games' page on the wiki should link to articles about each project from the point of view of prospective developers, not players. It should also highlight non-conventional projects like MCL and Gravitas. Each article then has a similar structure with a 'Key Concepts' and 'Spring Functionality Showcase' illustrating the power and versatility of Spring through what has been achieved.
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AF
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Re: website front page

Post by AF » 16 Jun 2015, 02:08

FLOZi wrote:
Jazcash wrote:
Take a look at Unreal Engine and Unity. We need much more focus on how to show off our content imo.

Code: Select all

this * math.huge
The 'Games' page on the wiki should link to articles about each project from the point of view of prospective developers, not players. It should also highlight non-conventional projects like MCL and Gravitas. Each article then has a similar structure with a 'Key Concepts' and 'Spring Functionality Showcase' illustrating the power and versatility of Spring through what has been achieved.
doubleplus++ there's too much emphasis at the moment on showing off the games that have been built, and almost nothing about how they were built, or what the building pieces and technical features you can look forward for what you're going to build
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Forboding Angel
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Re: website front page

Post by Forboding Angel » 16 Jun 2015, 02:20

Pretty much I'm with AF on all this and don't feel like writing a huge post, so I'll go with a fat whopping "Yeah, what he said".
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Jazcash
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Re: website front page

Post by Jazcash » 16 Jun 2015, 11:02

Just want to note that that was what I was getting at. By content, I meant just content in general, not necessarily game content. Just too much wasted space that could be filled with stuff developers actually want to see.
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