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Lex 10/20/2015 10:56 PM

The Future of TLS
 
Hey folks, we had a bit of a staff crunch session today to discuss moving forward. Here are the main points we covered:

Announcements

Shademp is stepping down as Compilation of FFVII Editor. He will retain his writing privileges as a Site Author to finish his series. We have decided not to replace his position as with the remake we feel that it's unnecessary (everyone wants in on the action kinda thing so it doesn't really matter).

Server Upgrade

Will happen some time in the next two weeks. Yop is handling it, there may be some down time (anywhere from 1 hour to 24 depending on how smooth it goes).

Forum Upgrade

We're upgrading to Xenforo. This will take place some time in January. Skinning and adjusting may take a bit of time. Yop is responsible for the backend and the graphic design is to be handled by those willing (Pixel/Flint).

Site Design

A new wordpress theme for the front page is to be chosen by December. The restrictions are that it must be malleable based on our needs, and must come with a separate companion mobile skin for mobile browsing. Lex is responsible. Desktop design to be wider at top.

When all is upgraded, the look and feel of the front page and forums will be more symbiotic. If need be, a floating menu bar could be integrated site-wide so that front page content is available everywhere.

Structure of Content

New design will feature content based on what attracts people (i.e. popular articles) and will be less news focused (items other than news will have "the top spot"). A section for the remake was discussed as well as a complete revamp of the menu bar, featuring more site-specific content like the compendium and possibly polls. Polls which we would like to integrate with the forum. The malleable WP theme will be ideal so that we can restructure as needed ("goal-oriented design").

Essentially, the content on the front page will undergo a comprehensive overhaul with the new theme and menu bar.

Content Discussion

TLS is going to write a remake walkthrough when the game releases. Yop pointed out that this will draw in a load of people. I suggested writing a guide for the original game as a community event which I'm happy to head up/ direct. Arguments in the past have been that "the best" guides exist elsewhere (think Absolute Steve), but this doesn't need to be an in-depth mechanics guide. It just has to be a walkthrough, it's fairly weird that we don't already have one. A poll will be created to determine whether this is minimalist/ missables by section or a full walkthrough. Writing this guide will be practice for the remake.

Various parties have been contacted for interview.

Community

New software costs money. The possibility of a donation drive was discussed.

Flint is running the music contest to begin shortly as well as another "The Seven" article series.

The Creativity section is being made public again.

END MEETING

Comment below if you have anything to add folks <3

Fangu 10/20/2015 11:50 PM

Well done guys :salute:

Channy 10/21/2015 12:40 AM

Sounds sweet guys. Should definitely open up donations again. We're all responsible, employed adults, not a bunch of 16 year olds where spending 20 bucks is the end of the world. We could have new licensing purchased in a jiffy. :)

Joe 10/21/2015 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruby Rose (Post 663998)
We're all responsible, employed adults

Quote:

responsible, employed adults
Quote:

employed adults
Quote:

adults
Umm...
http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/dsgstd-nrd.gif


:awesome:

'Twas a good meeting and I'm particularly interested in what forum members think of TLS coming together to write an FFVII Guide.

Kionae 10/21/2015 02:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruby Rose (Post 663998)
Sounds sweet guys. Should definitely open up donations again. We're all responsible, employed adults, not a bunch of 16 year olds where spending 20 bucks is the end of the world. We could have new licensing purchased in a jiffy. :)

Well... employed and adult, yeah. Given I recently spent $120+ on a Reno plushie when I was supposed to be using that to replace my old as hell tv, though, I'm not sure I can claim "responsible". :awesome:

But sure, let me know where I can chip in.

Channy 10/21/2015 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruby Rose (Post 663998)
We're all responsible, employed adults, not a bunch of 16 year olds where spending 20 bucks is the end of the world.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe (Post 664006)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kionae (Post 664011)
Well... employed and adult, yeah. Given I recently spent $120+ on a Reno plushie when I was supposed to be using that to replace my old as hell tv, though, I'm not sure I can claim "responsible". :awesome:

Okay well.... some of us, anyway. :monster:

Chloe Frazer 10/21/2015 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruby Rose (Post 663998)
We're all responsible, employed adults,

1/3 ain't bad.

Lex forgot to mention I'm running the TLS Awards this year.

Channy 10/21/2015 03:59 AM

Ooo awards, yay. People better vote for me otherwise I'm gonna throw a hissy bitch fit. :monster:

Flare 10/21/2015 04:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruby Rose (Post 663998)
We're all responsible, employed adults

Does working one day a week count as employed? :awesome: (not counting this one week where I'm filling in for all five days)

Anyway, nice job guys, this looks awesome. :joy:
I'm curious though, the Creativity section was open to the public once before? Why was it closed to the public?

Channy 10/21/2015 04:04 AM

By public, that usually means not open to people not logged in?

Claymore 10/21/2015 07:30 AM

Awesome to hear that stuff is being pushed forward in the next few months.

Lex 10/21/2015 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flare (Post 664020)
I'm curious though, the Creativity section was open to the public once before? Why was it closed to the public?

The creativity section was publicly viewable at one time, then people were creating threads that were essentially personal blogs about their life and it was made private along with general discussion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruby Rose (Post 664022)
By public, that usually means not open to people not logged in?

Public means available to the public, which it currently isn't. This is bad, because of the competitions etc. that we'd like people to get involved in. If it's behind a log-in wall (which it is currently) it means people have to join to view it so sharing links to competitions on say social media just brings people to a login page.

If anyone has any private threads in there they wouldn't like the general public to see, now would be the time to request to move them to a more private section.

Flintlock 10/21/2015 04:12 PM

I think it's important to talk a little bit about our motivations. These are not just changes for change's sake.

When the remake was announced back in June, it sparked a wave of enthusiasm to work on TLS projects. Some new people have come on board and published great articles, but we've also let other attempts to produce content fall through the cracks. As and when the release date approaches, we can't afford to let that happen. We need a modern site design that we can all be proud of, that makes us want to publish content and shout about it to everyone, saying "look at this awesome thing I'm part of". And, as I brought up in the meeting, we want to maximise our chances of Square Enix looking at our site (after we contact them about it) and think, yeah, they deserve a review copy - or multiple - before the remake comes out.

I understand if some people are concerned about the changes. I've gone from being a total optimist on TLS projects ("People will totally update the 'Happening Now' bar every day when they stream or whatever" - lol) to being much more cautious, and I don't want us to bite off more than we can chew. But we do need to do something. As much as we've grown attached (or not) to our current front page and forum designs, they're not going to hold up by the time the remake comes out, when we'll have new content coming out of our eyeballs. At the moment, the front page only properly highlights four articles - I doubt many people click on anything in the "more news" or "latest from the forums" sections - and so much is hidden behind the somewhat unintuitive menu system. Our content creators deserve better than that. And our forum software, as well as feeling outdated in desktop browsers, is unsuitable for the modern mobile world, where so many of our visits are from phones and tablets.

Howl 10/21/2015 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flintlock (Post 664064)
Square Enix looking at our site (after we contact them about it) and think, yeah, they deserve a review copy - or multiple - before the remake comes out.

I...I.....
I.....forgot how to spoke....:faint:

And I forgot that game developers do this.



In regards to the donation drive, I'm assuming that we're aiming to gather some funds pre-January?

Doom Bunneh 10/21/2015 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flintlock (Post 664064)
These are not just changes for change's sake.

I must apologise profusely for this as it is a completely off-topic comment, but:

Flint, I really appreciate your correct use of apostrophes. I mean that completely sincerely, that sentence gave me a contented feeling, in this world of people who just don't understand how it works.

Carry on! :monster:


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