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    Post by karkooshy June 23rd 2014, 7:46 am

    Introduction:

    Summer is upon us! And I'll be completely free for three whole weeks- minimum  Bounce . Of course, that doesn't mean I won't be on after then, just means I have three weeks of complete dedication to devote towards something. If there are at least two other people interested in getting TSC back on its feet, I'd be willing to help. And we can dooo it. If a staff member(s) feels any of the material below is not suitable for public consumption, feel free to move it to the bin, or that Area 52 staff forum thingy.

    Forum Skin:

    Zezikins hasn't been answering on Skype for almost a week now, so lets try and make the most out of the time we have available. About a month from last week, I was subtly asked to start working on a concept for a new theme. Unfortunately, because of the subliminal nature of the message, I did not comprehend the urgency of the task at hand... and I had other IRL priorities. However... after seeing THIS I realized how dire the situation was (thanks Jmh!).

    Anyhooliganz, here's the concept that's under construction. Will update the following list as we move further towards a complete design. I wanted someone else to share their opinions on the design- as a concept- so that we don't have to get started coding it before it is finalized.
    Alpha1: https://i.servimg.com/u/f39/18/90/18/00/mockup10.jpg
    Alpha2: https://i.servimg.com/u/f39/18/90/18/00/mockup11.jpg
    Alpha3: https://i.servimg.com/u/f39/18/90/18/00/mockup13.jpg

    NOTICE: The above are mock-up designs. Not screen shots of fully fledged and coded websites. As I have explained earlier, I don't want to start coding any of it before a general consensus on the overall design. However, a basic skeleton of the skin has been coded. All wording can be treated as placeholder text for now.
    Spoiler:
    I'm not even sure if we can code all of it... or if it will look exactly identical to the mock-up after coding. Regardless, we will try to get it to resemble what we come up with as closely as possible.

    I envision a more permanent theme. Not something that changes every time a new game comes out... so that it doesn't get old fast. In short, we gotta get it right!

    Questions I'd like answered:

    1. Overall look and feel? What do you like about it? More importantly, what do you dislike about it? Don't feel bad for hating it. It can easilyheated ) be scrapped and re-made. Just provided more feedback so that we can work with something.

    2. How would you have preferred it to look like? What major/minor modifications would you make to perfect it? I would happily upload a PSD of the image... if I could... for anyone interested in helping further progression.

    3. Anyone got any ideas for that black space at the bottom of the image?

    4. You know what would be really cool? If we could have the skin completely designed by community members and copyrighted. Any artists/digital painters around here? I'm interested in images to replace the header background, and the four characters on the header (Amy, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles). If you are able to, and would like to contribute, please do let us know.

    Alpha 3 is out!

    Here are the changes:
    -Incorporated 2 dimensional character renders as suggested by Zezima.
    -Tried a skinnier, more cobalt look to the navigation bar, as suggested by Super Racer Z.
    -Changed the images on the navigation bar to fit the 2 dimensional renders better. Went for the glassy theme used in the logo.
    -Removed some of the shadows or otherwise made them less apparent to reduce the depth of some of the images. This was done to harmonize the theme with the 2 dimensional renders more.
    -Increased the contrasty and sharpness of the background image used in the header. Again, this was done to better fit the more vibrant colors of the 2 dimensional renders.

    What do you think? Highly appreciate any and all suggestions and feedback. Thanks for your help everyone.

    Spoiler:

    Structure (Solved):

    One of the things I needed set out before progressing any further with the skin, is the forum's structure. That is because the skin will have a fixed height on the main forum's page- assuming we're basing it on the design above.

    Feel free to correct me, but I feel the current structure for categories and forums is a little messy. Ultimately I would prefer a much shorter list of forums, and the deletion/merging of several of the current ones. Here's the current set up. What I perceive the forum to be about is in parenthesis, followed by my personal opinion on its existence:

    1. Central City (Announcements. Good.)
    2. Scrap Brain (Suggestions. Good.)

    3. Sky Sanctuary (General Sonic forum. Good.)
    4. DreamNEWS (Sonic News. Good. Can be turned into an official blog as well)
    5. Knothole (Sonic Characters. Don't feel there's enough to talk about just characters)
    6. Special Stage (Sonic Multimedia. So Sonic stuff, that's not part of the official game series? Good.)

    7. Green Hill (New member Introductions. Good)
    8. Casinopolis (Forum posting games? Good)

    9. Launch Base (General gaming. Good)
    10. Game Land (Gaming news. TSC isn't a general gaming board. It's specifically to do with Sonic. So I feel this is out of place, and should be merged with Launch Base.)
    11. Chrome Gadget (PC games. See 10. Game Land)
    12. South Island (SEGA specific gaming. Don't feel there's much more to talk about SEGA, after we've exhausted everything to do with Sonic elsewhere.)

    13. Station Square (General off-topics discussion? If so, good.)
    14. Crazy Gadget (Another general off-topics discussion forum? What's the difference between it and Station Square.)
    15. Carnival Night (Another Forum posting games? Difference between this and Casinopolis?)

    16. Dust Hill (Fan fiction. Good.)
    17. Lost World (Fan art. Good.)
    18. Chao Garden (Role play. Good.)

    What do you think about the current forum structure? Do you feel we need less categories/forums? Or to find replacements for currents ones?
    Activity:

    No matter how neat, or pretty or original the forum is, if there's no activity, it's a dead forum.

    What ideas do you have in order to increase activity on TSC?


    Last edited by karkooshy on July 25th 2014, 10:19 am; edited 8 times in total
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    Post by NeoMetalSonic July 1st 2014, 1:48 am

    I feel the South Island should stay I mean SEGA is the company that created the Sonic Franchise and sometimes we can discuss other SEGA related products.

    The Casinopolis is something of a gambling place for the imagery ring system of the forum while Carnival Night is for General Forum games.

    I feel like the Fan Fiction section and Role Play should merge for they don't have enough activity by themselves to warrant a whole section.

    The rest you can do.
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    Post by 84 July 1st 2014, 2:11 am

    I agree with cutting back on a lot of the "games" forums, but maybe having sub-forums within General Gaming to designate between Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo would be nice (if forumotion even let's you do that... I can't remember).


    Also, Carlton Box... now.
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    Post by The Freedom Fighter July 1st 2014, 2:17 am

    I like alpha 2. If you want to merge some of the forums, sure, but I'd say stick to what NMS and 84 said.


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    Post by Jmh July 1st 2014, 3:17 am

    karkooshy wrote:However... after seeing THIS I realized how dire the situation was (thanks Jmh!).
    Always a pleasure.

    Anyways, I agree on Launch Base, Game Land and Chrome Gadget being merged, but I agree with Neo about South Island, Casinopolis, and Fan Fiction/Role Play.
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    Post by Super Racer Z July 1st 2014, 4:05 am

    I definitely like Alpha 2. I do think the buttons might be better with a slightly different design though. Maybe make them a little skinnier, and make the blue button more cobalt blue. Lowering the tile background just a little to leave more of the scenery at the top may also look nice. Also, the tiles could streak out into the bottom maybe, depending on how the box is integrated.

    I concur with Neo on his exceptions to the forum structure ideas. Otherwise, all good.


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    [13:34:28]  sykog : Alert the authorities!
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    Post by karkooshy July 2nd 2014, 7:41 am

    Glad this is recieving some feedback!

    NeoMetalSonic wrote:I feel the South Island should stay I mean SEGA is the company that created the Sonic Franchise and sometimes we can discuss other SEGA related products.
    The Casinopolis is something of a gambling place for the imagery ring system of the forum while Carnival Night is for General Forum games.
    I feel like the Fan Fiction section and Role Play should merge for they don't have enough activity by themselves to warrant a whole section.
    The rest you can do.

    I wasn't aware of any major SEGA projects outside of the Sonic franchise, but after some browsing around I can now confidently say that was just me. And yes, I was thinking the same about the fan fiction and role play forums... But felt it trivialized both of them when compared to the fan art forum... them being so dependent on user creativity I didn't want to do that... but if no one minds, then that would be great :P

    Thanks for sparking some interest into this thread as well!

    84 wrote:I agree with cutting back on a lot of the "games" forums, but maybe having sub-forums within General Gaming to designate between Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo would be nice (if forumotion even let's you do that... I can't remember).


    Also, Carlton Box... now.

    Absolutely. Sub forums are doable on Forumotion. TSC already heavily makes use of this. We could indeed separate the gaming forum into sub forums... since i'm only interested in a fixed height for the main forum page.

    Also I did not understand the Carlton Box reference  lulzfaec 

    The Freedom Fighter wrote:I like alpha 2. If you want to merge some of the forums, sure, but I'd say stick to what NMS and 84 said.

    Good to see an official response :) ... and that the content above isn't causing much controversy... not that controversy is not welcome.

    Jmh wrote:Always a pleasure.

    Anyways, I agree on Launch Base, Game Land and Chrome Gadget being merged, but I agree with Neo about South Island, Casinopolis, and Fan Fiction/Role Play.

    Thanks again Jmh. And once more, glad there is an overall unanimity with regards to the forum structure.

    Super Racer Z wrote:I definitely like Alpha 2. I do think the buttons might be better with a slightly different design though. Maybe make them a little skinnier, and make the blue button more cobalt blue. Lowering the tile background just a little to leave more of the scenery at the top may also look nice. Also, the tiles could streak out into the bottom maybe, depending on how the box is integrated.

    I concur with Neo on his exceptions to the forum structure ideas. Otherwise, all good.

    I will look into skinnier navigation buttons. Will definitely test that out for the next mock up. I've been having some trouble with that lower navigation bar for a while. Also could you please elaborate on: "the tiles could streak out into the bottom"? Because I'm genuinely stuck on that blank space below.

    1. Central City (Announcements)
    2. Scrap Brain (Suggestions)

    3. Sky Sanctuary (General Sonic forum)
    4. DreamNEWS (Sonic News)
    5. Knothole (Sonic Characters)
    6. Special Stage (Sonic Multimedia)

    7. Green Hill (New member introductions)
    8. Casinopolis (Forum games for Rings)

    9. Launch Base (General Gaming [with sub forums to the former gaming boards])
    10. South Island (SEGA products)

    11. Station Square (General Discussion)
    12. Crazy Gadget (Still not sure what to do with this?)
    13. Carnival Night (Forum games, no Rings involved)

    14. Dust Hill (With fan fiction and role play as sub forums maybe?)
    15. Lost World (Fan Art)
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    Post by Auflodern July 2nd 2014, 11:18 am

    Downsizing's good, better to have a few boards that have a lot of posts rather than a lot of boards with very few posts.
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    Post by Zezima July 2nd 2014, 5:11 pm

    Categories and forums updated.


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    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

    Nothing beside remains. 'Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.
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    Post by NeoMetalSonic July 3rd 2014, 10:35 am

    Zezima wrote:Categories and forums updated.
    10/10
    Never Change
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    Post by sykog July 5th 2014, 5:33 am

    The new skin... oh my goodness it's unbeatable@_@
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    Post by 84 July 6th 2014, 1:26 am

    sykog wrote:The new skin... oh my goodness it's unbeatable@_@

    Pretty sure this is a typo but thank you.
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    Post by sykog July 6th 2014, 2:23 am

    No typos this time. I'm amazed by its sheer excellence
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    Post by Schnickelfritz July 6th 2014, 1:47 pm

    We need a shatbox, and to generally stop being assholes to each other. Power struggles, ho!
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    Post by Jmh July 6th 2014, 4:09 pm

    Schnickelfritz wrote:We need a shatbox, and to generally stop being assholes to each other. Power struggles, ho!
    We do have a catbox. Does that count?
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    Post by Zez July 6th 2014, 5:17 pm

    Jmh wrote:
    Schnickelfritz wrote:We need a shatbox, and to generally stop being assholes to each other. Power struggles, ho!
    We do have a catbox. Does that count?

    It damn well should. It's the cat's meow.
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    Post by Jmh July 6th 2014, 5:49 pm

    Is a catbox the same thing as a litter box?
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    Post by Zez July 6th 2014, 6:10 pm

    The key difference is one is considerably less full of shit.
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    Post by Schnickelfritz July 6th 2014, 9:00 pm

    A catbox is like a much, much less cooler version of a shatbox. Which I guess explains why it's the only thing Zezima could come up with.
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    Post by karkooshy July 6th 2014, 9:14 pm

    Alpha3: https://i.servimg.com/u/f39/18/90/18/00/mockup13.jpg

    Alpha 3 is out! Changed the banner to incorporate 2-dimensional versions of the renders. Changed the shading and some of the images to better suit the new banner. What do you think? Highly appreciate any and all suggestions and feedback.

    Thanks for your help everyone.

    *Original post updated.


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    Post by Jmh July 6th 2014, 11:03 pm

    Looks great, Kar!
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    Post by sykog July 7th 2014, 3:45 am

    Zez wrote:The key difference is one is considerably less full of shit.
    Yes, the litterbox

    I like alpha 2 better. And maybe try adding different colors to the little boxes than just blue?
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    Post by karkooshy July 7th 2014, 6:51 am

    Jmh wrote:Looks great, Kar!

    Thanks Jmh.

    sykog wrote:I like alpha 2 better. And maybe try adding different colors to the little boxes than just blue?

    What aspect(s) of alpha 2 did you find better, and why?

    By little boxes I'm assuming you're referring to the tiles in the background... And while I do understand the concern of "over-blueness", I do not feel adding any different colors to the tiled background would accomplish anything. I fear it may make the theme look very messy. What's the color scheme you had in mind?

    And regarding the over-blueness; we're working on ways to combat this. Specifically looking into the possibility of adding icons to each individual forum or category. Alas, no digital artists to develop icons for us are around here... but if anyone doesn't mind, we could use some help :)


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    Post by sykog July 7th 2014, 12:59 pm

    karkooshy wrote:
    Jmh wrote:Looks great, Kar!

    Thanks Jmh.

    sykog wrote:I like alpha 2 better. And maybe try adding different colors to the little boxes than just blue?

    What aspect(s) of alpha 2 did you find better, and why?

    By little boxes I'm assuming you're referring to the tiles in the background... And while I do understand the concern of "over-blueness", I do not feel adding any different colors to the tiled background would accomplish anything. I fear it may make the theme look very messy. What's the color scheme you had in mind?

    And regarding the over-blueness; we're working on ways to combat this. Specifically looking into the possibility of adding icons to each individual forum or category. Alas, no digital artists to develop icons for us are around here... but if anyone doesn't mind, we could use some help :)
    I think the characters look better in that one, and the background looks... warmer. And I was thinking adding some grey and green/teal hues. Something like this: https://i.servimg.com/u/f39/13/26/04/18/frum_s10.jpg

    Or make it look like the green hill zone checker pattern with the grass. I know you've already done that with the Generations theme, but it just looks so good!
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    Post by The Freedom Fighter July 17th 2014, 12:49 am

    So, Zezima is gone again. At least only temporarily. Probably.


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