Clean up the Official Website

Getting the word out means needing clarity

By on June 30, 2010 10:05:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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Join Date 02/2008
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I just heard about Elemental two days ago, and already I've become entranced with the possibilities of this game.  It is obvious that a tremendous amount of excitement and work is going into it through the Beta.  The forums are humming and there are lots of great journal entries.

But that is only if you're willing to dig through the mounds and mounds of inconsistent updates, forum topics, and journal entries.  A less dedicated gamer would just look at the official website, see that its messy, slightly incoherent, and that it gives no firm feeling for the game and dismiss it.

This is very discouraging because it looks like this will be a fantastic game.  A little more polish and attention for the website would really help draw in new eyes.

Here are a few things I noticed:

a ) The 'home tab' brings you to a block of text with some art thrown on it.  It looks like the homepage of a talented mod group, not a professional game.

b ) The Lore tab has no design consistency.  Some buttons bring up text, some new windows, some more buttons that link to pictures.  Regularize this!  The buttons should also be in a sensible order to draw a player in: background first, then details.  The links provided are in no chronological or any-logical order.

c ) The gameplay tab is very nicely laid out until you click on the buttons, which then take you to content that looks like journal entries.  I understand that the game is still very much in flux, but to introduce people who aren't willing or able to dig into the forums, you need a lighter clearer touch.

d ) The whole cloth-map zooming to normal map zooming to detailed map with tactical map thrown in isn't highlighted strongly enough without digging in and reading.  This is a really fun concept, make a bigger deal of it!

Am I just crazy?  Does the website need more love, or can it wait until closer (or after) release?  I really like Stardock and want the best for their games and I think a little improvement on the website could pay off in the long run.  So what do you guys think?

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June 30, 2010 10:14:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I kinda of like the look of the home page.. its neat, crisp and lack unnecessary widgets that increase load times and set of antivirus/antispyware software. however some of your other suggestions seem fair to me .

 

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June 30, 2010 10:32:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Spot on Twohawks.  The site theme looks really nice, but the content needs a little more thought and consistency.

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June 30, 2010 10:35:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are some spelling errors and the like. I think it would be well worth the investment of time and resources to polish up the web-site -  so what looks like it will be a great game can be enjoyed by as many people as possible!   And perhaps as importantly, have access to more modders.

First impressions are very important, and perhaps the most "energy-efficient" way of beginning the process of gaining rapport, and starting any sort of professional/personal relationship.  And it is handy to not have to play catch-up.

Looking forward to a great game!

Best regards,

Steven.

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June 30, 2010 11:47:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

let me further add its a good site but, just  like any website it needs attention as things change..and as OP suggested since its getting closer and more and more folks are hearing about this game it can only help increase sales.

full disclosure: (I work at games stop as 3rd key (i.e. open / close when manager and assistant manager can't) I have been hyping this game. heck i have generated 2 reservation so far (1 at impulse gent wanted the beta) 2nd  guy took me at face value when i quoted it was like a turn based cross between civ 4 and baldur's gate heh heh)

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June 30, 2010 3:35:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A good analogy would be game-packaging.  Despite a certain amount of setback recently from online retailers, the packaging of a game has always been a pretty big project because it is the first glimpse a browsing shopper will see.  The packaging needs to present a clear, crisp, and engaging product that the shopper can immediately identify as being of interest or not.

Fantasy and sci-fi novel covers are like this.  A good cover will sell a book, and I've definitely bought books for their covers.

In a world of digital purchases and pre-orders, the equivalent of a game-package or a book cover is the website!  Making the best one you can is key because it has a huge impact on whether someone keeps looking into the game or just buys it outright.

From this perspective the "Join the Army" initiative is pretty cool: casual browsers will look into it because its shiny, and then learn about the game while trying to figure out how it works.  The rest of the website should be just as engrossing.

Honestly I wouldn't have spent much time thinking about this game if I hadn't clicked on the "Join the Army" button to see what it was about.  I'm glad I did.

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June 30, 2010 4:53:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I confess the homepage is gorgeus and atracted my attention to the game.

 

Although I agree that everything linking to forum posts doesn't look nice.

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January 17, 2012 11:53:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Your wish is granted!

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January 17, 2012 11:56:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lol, um...good job and all...but it's less impressive with 18 months passing in between post.  

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January 17, 2012 11:58:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I happen to run across this post with the update today, so I thought I'd spread the good news.

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January 17, 2012 12:04:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm always in the mood for good news!

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