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Aro_
06-09-2009, 01:42 AM
I'm aware some of you are diehard fans, so bear with me here. My beef is with Reverie's poor website design skills, and I made this post as constructive as possible. This website hurts my eyes, and if it hurts *my* eyes, you can bet I'm not the only one with issues. There's a fanbase out there that Reverie is scaring away.

Flash. It's stupid. It makes the site load slower. It prevents a website from being properly indexed by search engines. And what's the most upsetting is that it puts limitations on me, the viewer and I can't increase the font size, I can't press the back button. Some people can't even view flash, which further reduces a potential audience.

Recommendations: Hire a web designer. If you're trying to attract a new audience, you should embrace usability. Do away with the flash and go for pure HTML/CSS. People will respect you more because not only will they be able to find you easier on a search engine, they can actually view the website without the loading time. Increase Reverie World's font size too. If a vibrant young go-getter like myself has to squint to read text, it's TOO SMALL.

The navigation is awful. On the Reverie World website, the navigation is far too bright, and on the DoF site, the navigation is dark and hard to read. It blends so well with the background that I couldn't find it at first; this hidden navbar feature is certainly impressive, but viewers are notoriously bad at scavenger hunts. DoF also features authentic "page flipping", letting viewers recreate one of the most irritating features of books; it looks neat, but I want to view the page NOW, not after three screens that I didn't want to look at.

Recommendations: Darken the font color on Reverie World's navigation. On DoF, move the navbar to the top of the site, and brighten the font color. When people go to a website, they look for navigation; don't make them search at the bottom of the screen. If you're trying to find fans outside of HG, they won't be loyal or patient enough on their first visit to figure out an annoying navigation system. On that note, take out the flipping page feature. One of the few advantages of flash is the speed of clicking on links, and this kills it.

The forums are ugly. An ugly dark brown with black text. There's no contrast. The links are too dark, and when I hover my mouse over them, they're too bright. Everything's dark enough to make the smileys and icons annoying and distracting. It's a chore to read. The Post Reply and New Topic buttons are also incredibly small and hard to read; these are important buttons, so I wouldn't see how itty bitty buttons with ugly scribble font encourage more posting.

Recommendations: Brighten the background color of the posting areas so text is visible, and make the hover color of the links darker. Make the post buttons larger, increase the font size, and make the font style something basic, something that I can read. Verdana, perhaps, or Georgia.

Hidden keyword bomb. Go to the Reverie World website (http://www.reverieworld.com/). Click on the View button on your browser, click Source, and then scroll to the bottom. Among the HTML coding lies what looks like dozens of hidden keywords, that were designed for a Google bomb of some sort: trinidadian girls, big butt latinas, intravenous infusion drug handbook, contest free car, chick hydroslide, cross dressers forum, ***** restraints. Why are these on here? What professional game studio has links like this hidden in their code?

Recommendations: Remove it! I can understand why they're hidden; "people wouldn't want to scroll down to see dozens of inappropriate keywords unrelated to Reverie!" But a better way to hide irrelevant keywords is to *delete them*. All of them. I know it's tempting to keep "chick hydroslide" in there, but darn it, do it anyway.

Anyway, that's pretty much all I have to vent about. Now, I'll click this small "Submit New Thread" button, and try to read these very small-texted options... by the way, increase the font sizes of these too.

Kire
06-09-2009, 03:39 AM
I dont mind at webside... just too few info atm there but hopefully will be soon changed that, and i didnt have any troubles you stated there except waiting when i first come there (but i dont mind that) and i love how does the forum look (its just like one from dreams =)). I like the navigation tho and stile of a book (but agree that this last could be argued).

Jean=A=Luc
06-09-2009, 03:40 AM
Well, there's a new website for DoF in the works and as for Reverie's developer site I don't think anyone goes there much.

Yeah, the forum's a bit iffy in some places but I've never had trouble reading peoples' posts.

As for pole-dancing-exercise-class and other stuff in the code, well I've no answer for that. :p

Dylan Bales
06-09-2009, 06:21 AM
Hidden keyword bomb. Go to the Reverie World website (http://www.reverieworld.com/). Click on the View button on your browser, click Source, and then scroll to the bottom. Among the HTML coding lies what looks like dozens of hidden keywords, that were designed for a Google bomb of some sort: trinidadian girls, big butt latinas, intravenous infusion drug handbook, contest free car, chick hydroslide, cross dressers forum, ***** restraints. Why are these on here? What professional game studio has links like this hidden in their code?

Recommendations: Remove it! I can understand why they're hidden; "people wouldn't want to scroll down to see dozens of inappropriate keywords unrelated to Reverie!" But a better way to hide irrelevant keywords is to *delete them*. All of them. I know it's tempting to keep "chick hydroslide" in there, but darn it, do it anyway.

That's the weirdest thing I've ever seen, on anything... ever.. maybe they're there so search engines will find our site when you search for anything? :p

There isn't anything I can do about the Reverie site, because I have no access to edit it. Joseph V., do you have any idea why those are hidden in there?




Flash. It's stupid. It makes the site load slower. It prevents a website from being properly indexed by search engines. And what's the most upsetting is that it puts limitations on me, the viewer and I can't increase the font size, I can't press the back button. Some people can't even view flash, which further reduces a potential audience.

Recommendations: Hire a web designer. If you're trying to attract a new audience, you should embrace usability. Do away with the flash and go for pure HTML/CSS. People will respect you more because not only will they be able to find you easier on a search engine, they can actually view the website without the loading time. Increase Reverie World's font size too. If a vibrant young go-getter like myself has to squint to read text, it's TOO SMALL.

We are getting a new website soon, however, the flash is staying, I believe. People who can't view flash simply haven't downloaded flash. Many companies are using flash these days, most of the sites for new games use flash, like Mass Effect 2 and Assassin's Creed 2.

http://masseffect.bioware.com/

http://assassinscreed.uk.ubi.com/assassins-creed-2/#/home

The navigation is awful. On the Reverie World website, the navigation is far too bright, and on the DoF site, the navigation is dark and hard to read. It blends so well with the background that I couldn't find it at first; this hidden navbar feature is certainly impressive, but viewers are notoriously bad at scavenger hunts. DoF also features authentic "page flipping", letting viewers recreate one of the most irritating features of books; it looks neat, but I want to view the page NOW, not after three screens that I didn't want to look at.

Recommendations: Darken the font color on Reverie World's navigation. On DoF, move the navbar to the top of the site, and brighten the font color. When people go to a website, they look for navigation; don't make them search at the bottom of the screen. If you're trying to find fans outside of HG, they won't be loyal or patient enough on their first visit to figure out an annoying navigation system. On that note, take out the flipping page feature. One of the few advantages of flash is the speed of clicking on links, and this kills it.

On the new DoF site, there will be buttons at the top, that allow you to go straight to screenshots or videos, etc. This will make navigation much quicker.


The forums are ugly. An ugly dark brown with black text. There's no contrast. The links are too dark, and when I hover my mouse over them, they're too bright. Everything's dark enough to make the smileys and icons annoying and distracting. It's a chore to read. The Post Reply and New Topic buttons are also incredibly small and hard to read; these are important buttons, so I wouldn't see how itty bitty buttons with ugly scribble font encourage more posting.

Recommendations: Brighten the background color of the posting areas so text is visible, and make the hover color of the links darker. Make the post buttons larger, increase the font size, and make the font style something basic, something that I can read. Verdana, perhaps, or Georgia.

I think it would be good to have multiple options on how the forums should look. I don't think there currently are, though. On some forums, you can change the layout, colors and other things of the forums for your own personal preference.

However, if you use internet explorer or firefox, you can probably just zoom in on the webpage to see the text better.

In IE8, go to view, zoom, and select the zoom amount. Or you can just go to the bottom right of IE8, and find the zoom button, and select your zoom amount there.

Andy Joslin
06-09-2009, 08:07 AM
Hello Aro. (I am Impeached at AoKH if you don't know that yet)

Anyway, I kind of agree with your sentiments about the company website. I've always thought it's kind of lacking and really hard to navigate. Except I do not agree that flash is a bad medium.

We do have a website designer, a very good one IMO (Ryan Zelazny). Although I'm not sure if he designed the company's website, he is designing our new one. In fact, our previous publisher wants to hire him since they saw the WIP of the new DoF site.

The hidden keywords .. I have no idea why those are there, perhaps we downloaded some sort of base to use for our site's development and it came with those. I'll see to it they're removed.
EDIT: Removed the keywords..


I'll see if I can talk to Ryan about fixing up the Reverie World site a little bit (tone down brightness, font size up). Thanks for the suggetsions, Aro.

nickson104
06-09-2009, 09:15 AM
The Text is fine in size... It is not hard to see, and if you are experiencing troubles you could easily zoom in OR just above your post that you are typing there is a size and font buttons see? we could type them bigger if you like? ;) :p

Admittedly the site needed improving but it is irrelivent as the new one is currently being developed :)

The forum background isnt 'that' ugly... it may not be extremely appealing but it is easy to put up with, there isnt much wrong with it really... As for the links... I quite like the colour, I detest brightly coloured stuff and the links are not that bright thank god :) It isnt as if they are so dark you cant tell between text and links? exactly....

As for the links... what you think brought us here... ;) i joke!!! :p

The post was constructive, but I was surprised about some of the stuff you complained about...

szebus
06-09-2009, 10:09 AM
As far as I care as a client:

Flash. It's stupid.

Flash is not stupid, period.

Recommendations: Download and install flash (http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/) because if you don't, then youtube won't work either :p

The navigation is awful.

Maybe on the main site (http://www.reverieworld.com/), I don't comment that, but on game site (http://dawnoffantasy.com/) it is quiet great with that flash book.

Recommendations: Wait for the new game site and then comment it again.

The forums are ugly.

A forum's main purpose is not to entertain you with its visual effects but to inform you and help a community form and discus subjects like this.

Recommendations: Do as You wish.

Hidden keyword bomb.

Of course, if you search for fantasy p**n then you can find Dawn of Fantasy.

Recommendations: Do not search for p**n, search for Dawn of Fantasy.


But of course, I did not ment to offend anyone with my post. As it is a forum we expres our opinions on it. TNX.

Asatru
06-09-2009, 11:08 AM
Hmm well i'm also a web designer so here are some comment from me about this ;)

Flash. It's stupid.

I cant really agree with that statement.
Now a days you are pretty much expected to have a good flash website ( at least for a game company ) and DoF has if you ask me a pretty good 1 ( yes it has some issues )

The main issue with it is ,if you are on the overview menu and would like to go to say Race's it will do the following.

Overview - features - etc etc - till it come's to race's.
Instead on most site's it will just go right away to race's ( well in this example then! )

So thats kinda giving you extra loading time ( but who care's anyways :P its just a sec or 2!! )

The navigation is awful.

Navigation on both site's is pretty easy you just click on the things u want to know more about, nothing of a real challange there

I do agree that when you click for further information it loads into a new web-page, which is kinda weird if you ask me, you can just make a bigger text screen on the same page to do this.

the forums are ugly

Well about the forums, i just want to say thisl

Show me a forum thats really good looking! forums are there for tons of information and not to look shiny & pretty ( its a bonus ofc, but mwhe this is good enough )

I myself have not experience any problems with fonts or the size of them, but this might have to do with resolutions you are watching it in.


Hidden keyword bomb

Well to be honest i dont really care what they put in there to get more hits.
Most ppl don't check source code anyway( why where you :P! )

But i do agree with you its kinda weird for a game company to have such things as keywords.

Anyways that was just my 50 cents on this post.

By all means i'm not a hardcore fanboy ( i'm planning to be 1 though!! )
But i dont think the website & forums aren't all that bad.

Its not the best flash website out there, but certainly not the worst ( or even close to being called badly )

-Asatru

nickson104
06-09-2009, 01:20 PM
Of course, if you search for fantasy p**n then you can find Dawn of Fantasy.

Recommendations: Do not search for p**n, search for Dawn of Fantasy.


That made me lol so much lol :D

Ryan Zelazny
06-09-2009, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the feedback Aro_.

However you are mistaken on a couple things.

Flash. It's stupid.It makes the site load slower. It prevents a website from being properly indexed by search engines. And what's the most upsetting is that it puts limitations on me, the viewer and I can't increase the font size, I can't press the back button. Some people can't even view flash, which further reduces a potential audience..

You are right, some people cannot view flash. However statistics show that 98% of all internet users have flash. Also to be competitive with other video games in our market having a flash site is pretty much your only option. Really if you don't want to have flash at this point in time you are really limiting your own browsing experience, many major sites require flash to browse.

The rest is all left up to the designer. The current website has a lot of limitations, however the current website is encoded to play with Flash Player 6, it's a pretty old format which did have quite a few limitations.

When your saying the site loads slower that's a hard comparison. It depends on if you are viewing the same design, will your CSS/HTML site include background music and sound effects, will your CSS/HTML site include embedded video. If not, of course your Flash site will take longer it has more content to load. If you are using just base graphics and text then your flash site may load a fraction of a second slower but nothing most people will notice.

The control of text size can be implemented by the flash designer if they want to control that option.

Flash websites can be properly indexed by search engines and a lot can be done for search engine optimization. Your statement is completely false. (note that even though Dawn of Fantasy's website is in flash we still are the first link in google, this is due to the domain name, and doesn't reflect the design of the site what so ever).

As for the hidden keywords on the RWS site, I have no clue with that. On my original copy on my hard drive I don't even have any meta tags added.

nickson104
06-09-2009, 02:08 PM
As for the hidden keywords on the RWS site, I have no clue with that. On my original copy on my hard drive I don't even have any meta tags added.

Perhaps someone thought it would be a good April Fools?

Aro_
06-09-2009, 04:20 PM
and i didnt have any troubles you stated there except waiting when i first come there
I'm viewing this through the perspective of a first-time viewer. No doubt you've had time to figure out and get used to this website; the casual visitor won't be as friendly or forgiving.

The Text is fine in size... It is not hard to see, and if you are experiencing troubles you could easily zoom in OR just above your post that you are typing there is a size and font buttons see? we could type them bigger if you like?
I'm not thinking about me here; I'm thinking about the folks who venture into Reverie and have no idea how to zoom, or those large groups who use IE5-7 and still have to deal with a "Text Size" option. A majority of net users, including the people who Reverie are trying to market their game towards (teens), don't know these things; they aren't experts, and you shouldn't expect them to be.

A web designer should understand that most people could care less about how to use or figure out the browser; they just want to look at the website without squinting or without having trouble getting to the next page. If they can't do that, they leave. Who's losing a customer? Reverie. Professional game studios should care about their *entire audience*; excluding people when you don't have to is careless and lazy.

however, the flash is staying, I believe. People who can't view flash simply haven't downloaded flash. Many companies are using flash these days, most of the sites for new games use flash, like Mass Effect 2 and Assassin's Creed 2.
If every game studio roster jumped off of a bridge because they thought it was cool, would you? That's the thing here; this isn't about who else is jumping the bandwagon *pretending* viewers or markets care about flash. It's not even about what *you* think; it's about your customer. You're hurting your website by making it entirely flash-driven; there's no link-colors to show users where they've clicked, no back button, poor site indexing (it can't properly index if there's only one page), no print option, and users with disabilities are screwed. You kill usability for what... goofy animations that nobody except you cares about? You'll find that *very few* willing to wait for the site to load to view a website that they don't need to view, while also trading in the fundamentals of their browser experience for it. This site takes more than it gives.

Regarding your examples: MassEffect is far more usable than the Reverie sites, because they use both flash and XHTML -- you don't even have to view their stupid, slow-loading video if you don't want to, because plenty of information is conveyed through text alone. (I still regard it as a usability nightmare, but less of one than the two Reverie sites I've listed.) Only design with flash if you know how to use it. Whoever designed these websites clearly has no idea how to design a website, much less a flash variation for a video game.

There are dozens of gaming sites that use flash sparingly, and prove to be more useable because of it, like 0AD (http://wildfiregames.com/0ad/), BigHugeGames (http://www.bighugegames.com/), the Age Community (http://www.agecommunity.com/), and heck, the entire HeavenGames network (http://www.heavengames.com). All of these sites are more usable *and* do a better job at conveying their message than Reverie, hands down.

On some forums, you can change the layout, colors and other things of the forums for your own personal preference.
With the default preference as something that's easier on the eyes, sure. If people enjoy small text, minimal visibility and low-contrast colors, they can switch it back to this theme if they like.

We do have a website designer, a very good one IMO (Ryan Zelazny).
I haven't seen his new site, but flash is a bad medium unless you can remedy the problems with a pure flash design; give users a way to increase the font size, give them the ability to use the back button, and provide an HTML alternative to the flash design. The goal of designers is to make websites accessible to the largest audience possible; if they fail that, it doesn't matter how pretty the images are or how advanced their site looks, because they aren't doing their jobs. Appearances *aren't* everything, and if you have yet to understand this, I'm a very sad panda. For a website like Reverie, which is petitioning for a Heaven at HG, I'd expect them to dedicate time towards accomodating the largest audience possible; or else, how could they expect HG staff to dedicate their time to a game that is being very, very poorly marketed?

A forum's main purpose is not to entertain you with its visual effects but to inform you and help a community form and discus subjects like this.
I understand the purpose of an internet forum; but pretending that new viewers will tolerate a visually-intolerant forum, just to get informed, is selfish and stupid.

If a design company is willing to lose a large percentage of their audience for a tedious, stupid reason like "using flash to stay competitive", what does that say about your company's development skills? How many user-friendly features *in the game* will you kill or what audiences will you alienate just so your game looks cool?

Andy Joslin
06-09-2009, 04:30 PM
Aro, you are assuming one thing: almost everyone agrees with you. Every person I've shown the Dawn of Fantasy site too (even non-techy people) love it. I thought it was great the first time too, it gave me a good impression and made me want the game.

We do care about the public, but we also care about making a lasting first impression. If we push away the 2% of non-flash users and the small amount of dialup users (most of which don't play online games anyway) but at the same time draw in many many people because of a really high-quality website, so be it.

Oh, and I had absolutely no problem with the colors on the Reverie forums when I first joined..In fact I liked them. So have other people I have forwarded to this site.


If a design company is willing to lose a large percentage of their audience for a tedious, stupid reason like "using flash to stay competitive", what does that say about your company's development skills? How many user-friendly features *in the game* will you kill or what audiences will you alienate just so your game looks cool?
We do not use flash to stay competitive. We use flash because we believe it is a very good medium.
Aro, you are getting heated up and starting to insult us because you want to prove your point. Calm down a bit. Also remember that not everyone agrees with you. You are trying to speak for the average user who visits this site when you are not the average user. You are a very internet-savvy user who has dialup, two huge differences with a majority of people who will visit our game's site.

Kire
06-09-2009, 05:22 PM
Whoever designed these websites clearly has no idea how to design a website, much less a flash variation for a video game.

Ok you gone little too far now here, you know other ppl out here are also humans just like you and have feelings (so it is not proper to insult everyone around if you feel so)..... how would you like/feel if someone who think just because he dont like you/your work comes on some forum or in real life, in front of ppl and starts to flame you, again just because he didnt like your idea and thought he can do better or have better ideas? like in school you have a presentation and teacher gives you good mark and your schoolmate points at ya and says it was crapy, you dont deserve the mark just because the same reasons as before? i bet you wouldnt feel good (well teacher/ppl would not change their opinion just because that nor the person who flame ya, but you would feel bad).

As for the point, where in your opinion he has no idea... well Reveire has their own choice who will create specific thing and if they like that than its ok... no you and me or anyone other have the right to insult or flame him that he suck if they like him (tho if he really dont have idea he would been fired or not hired at first place). As here me and MANY others think that, even now that we dont have new version of webside out, it is good one and the work of an talented person/s. And bdw noeone can do a thing that will make ppl like it 100%.

Here you just show as how much inmature you are in your own constructive post.....
And for the last i expect your apology to them and to take your words back.
(tho you can just say you would do it different and not insult if ppl arent doing as you want)

And some moral story of the day which doesnt stack to this post. Isnt nice if you smile to someone or just say he is good even if he didnt do something good and make than his whole day better ?=). if i remember i can recal if someone said how good i did somethin or how good i was in something it made that day 100% better or even for few days i was like sunflower. In these times there is too little meaning in relationships between ppl and knowing how little we can do to make one persons day better (even if you just smile to him when you are passing him on the road, you never know how much it would mean that to him or what kind of problems he have). And no money or our selfish thoughts should mean more than other ppl.
And isnt better if someone do something bad that than you help him that he will do it good instead just of flaming him and making this way yourself looking more important? Ppl nowdays just look how to be competitive, make money and make themselves more important than others or just showing how good they are and others bad.

And for the end i at least always before i am not sure if something will hurt others, i ask myself how would i feel if the same thing would do others to me (but even this can fail). And no hurting ppl for x reason is not good or acceptable.

The Witch King of Angmar
06-09-2009, 05:26 PM
Guys, lets not try and fight here. Obviously there can be a difference of opinion but don't turn it into an insulting thread, there is no need for it. As fans for this game, we should be conversing with each other in an intelligent and constructive manner, not fighting.

Aro_
06-09-2009, 06:10 PM
Aro, you are assuming one thing: almost everyone agrees with you.
Any web designer or e-marketing/usability guru would agree. They'd be crazy if they didn't. And please understand, this isn't a matter in which you would agree with me, because it's one-sided; but I'm saying outright, as a professional web designer, your site hardly meets the standards of a growing game development company. It's actually backtracking and scaring away customers, and that will affect how you operate in the long run.

but at the same time draw in many many people because of a really high-quality website, so be it.
You define high quality as a pretty site with good graphics. I define high quality as a website that's both pretty and everybody can use it. I am *not* insulting you guys or your company; it's not an insult if I think the Reverie web designer is inexperienced and the company itself is highly inexperienced at e-marketing. Rather, it's an unflattering observation. I would like you guys to understand how people use your website so you could become more effective on the online medium, which appears to be your *only* medium; the suggestions I gave and problems I listed are serious. I'm not goofing around or trolling you, and I wouldn't have posted here if that was my intention. As a first time visitor and somebody who strongly values website usability, I can accurately represent the sentiments of average users. (Sadly, they can't represent themselves; any average users are likely to have ran away after trying to navigate this dreadful website.)

Ok you gone little too far now here, you know other ppl out here are also humans just like you and have feelings
I apologize for my overly blunt statements, but I'm not going to fluff it up for decency's sake. I honestly view it as an awful website. I would think honesty along with constructive critique would be refreshing.

how would you like/feel if someone who think just because he dont like you/your work comes on some forum or in real life, in front of ppl and starts to flame you, again just because he didnt like your idea and thought he can do better or have better ideas?
I value it; it's called "constructive criticism", and it's hardly flaming. I know for a fact that people out there can design a better site than me, and whenever I design a website, I make sure to get criticism from various sources so I know what to improve upon. Reverie doesn't do that; thus, the designs are ineffective. I understand it's insulting for a designer to hear blunt comments like "you have an awful website"; but I say nothing that I don't back up with suggestions that *would* help.

Kire
06-09-2009, 07:53 PM
I value it; it's called "constructive criticism", and it's hardly flaming. I know for a fact that people out there can design a better site than me, and whenever I design a website, I make sure to get criticism from various sources so I know what to improve upon. Reverie doesn't do that; thus, the designs are ineffective. I understand it's insulting for a designer to hear blunt comments like "you have an awful website"; but I say nothing that I don't back up with suggestions that *would* help.

Constructive criticism can be done also without the part where you say to person who do that for a living or studied it or x reason that he is dumb, that he does not have an idea how to create websites.

Here for example ... i study archaeology and here can be many different opinions about specific stuff. And there is one person who did a theory about something but i think hes wrong and i have different. I wont go to him and flame him because my idea have more supporting facts, like he was wasting his time on studying or he is looser or things like that, but rather i will go too him and say my opinions, my argues and we would talk about it saying each other opinion and how we did get to that. but at end it is his choice to leave or keep his idea and i must respect that, because we do have our own different view over things and can be some things more important than others or many many other things.

I am not saying that constructive criticism-arguing about different ideas is bad just you started wrong way. First you must know every person has its own mind and can make decision on their own and we all have different things we like or dont like. in your post it is written like you force them to change that like they have no choice.
And it is very restricted to person about what you like or not. Reverie and some ppl think its good website, on other side you and few others who think different. I see here 2 different argues which are both thoughtful, reasonable and good and both have ups and downs, so it really doesnt matter so much about what to do, it is just matter what will the owner of this game choose and i think he did their idea. And about loosing ppl because of that ... few ppls gone and new few comes because of that so it isnt big deal.

And their site is atm my number 1 of what i seen in my life and many ppl as i see also think it is very good and ppl who would come first time it will be soo good the thing they see/saw they will want to know more despite any troubles you stated there. The ppl who refuse to look on this website because of that are the ones who wont really also play /like it. And as i saw new shots of new website it is just even more shockingly beautiful 10/10 or 5 stars whatever you want =).

Ok and here little help how you can do that "constructive criticism":
i have seen your website and there are few things that bothers me and would do it differently ...... (and you stated them here without any insults or attacks or things like you force them to change).
So here you dont loose your honesty or constructive criticism and make it better to read without hurting also anyone.....

Dylan Bales
06-09-2009, 08:01 PM
Any web designer or e-marketing/usability guru would agree. They'd be crazy if they didn't. And please understand, this isn't a matter in which you would agree with me, because it's one-sided; but I'm saying outright, as a professional web designer, your site hardly meets the standards of a growing game development company. It's actually backtracking and scaring away customers, and that will affect how you operate in the long run.


You define high quality as a pretty site with good graphics. I define high quality as a website that's both pretty and everybody can use it. I am *not* insulting you guys or your company; it's not an insult if I think the Reverie web designer is inexperienced and the company itself is highly inexperienced at e-marketing. Rather, it's an unflattering observation. I would like you guys to understand how people use your website so you could become more effective on the online medium, which appears to be your *only* medium; the suggestions I gave and problems I listed are serious. I'm not goofing around or trolling you, and I wouldn't have posted here if that was my intention. As a first time visitor and somebody who strongly values website usability, I can accurately represent the sentiments of average users. (Sadly, they can't represent themselves; any average users are likely to have ran away after trying to navigate this dreadful website.)


I apologize for my overly blunt statements, but I'm not going to fluff it up for decency's sake. I honestly view it as an awful website. I would think honesty along with constructive critique would be refreshing.


I value it; it's called "constructive criticism", and it's hardly flaming. I know for a fact that people out there can design a better site than me, and whenever I design a website, I make sure to get criticism from various sources so I know what to improve upon. Reverie doesn't do that; thus, the designs are ineffective. I understand it's insulting for a designer to hear blunt comments like "you have an awful website"; but I say nothing that I don't back up with suggestions that *would* help.

So far, most people that I have heard from like the website, mostly the idea of being able to flip the pages. You are right, that having an html version of a website is a great idea as well. It's always great to get criticism from people, it took me a long time to ever want to take criticism; whenever I was making campaigns for AoM for fun, people used to call them crappy, telling me what to change, and say bad things about them, and I hated them for it, and almost gave up; I realize now that they were just trying to help, but I never really listened back then.

I doubt this company hired someone inexperience to design the website; the web designer was probably given instructions on what to make, and didn't design it alone, so it wasn't because of the web designer.

Also the website is old, and so is the flash version used on it, so the new website will update all of that.

I only wanted to work for Reverie because I saw the website of Dawn of Fantasy, and I thought the site was amazing; I saw screenshots of the game; I clicked a link I found in someone's signature on Heavengames to come to the website. I thought the game looked impressive, and I wanted to work for Reverie.

When I first went to the website, I was impressed by the page flipping feature of it, and the screenshots, and everything I saw there. Most people who have come here were impressed by something about the website, otherwise they wouldn't be here, other than the spammers and bots, but bots aren't people, so they don't count.

I think the forums are perfectly readable, but I guess you might have an older monitor, mine is flat screen. I still do think that it would be a great idea to allow changing of the forum theme, fonts, font size, etc.

Joseph Visscher
06-09-2009, 08:07 PM
If i remember i can recal if someone said how good i did somethin or how good i was in something it made that day 100% better or even for few days i was like sunflower.

Can I buy some of that 'Sunflower' you have? I'd like to feel really happy for a few days too.



I value it; it's called "constructive criticism", and it's hardly flaming. I know for a fact that people out there can design a better site than me, and whenever I design a website, I make sure to get criticism from various sources so I know what to improve upon. Reverie doesn't do that; thus, the designs are ineffective. I understand it's insulting for a designer to hear blunt comments like "you have an awful website"; but I say nothing that I don't back up with suggestions that *would* help.

Reverie has 1 webmaster, Ryan, who has been pretty much inactive for the last few years until recently. Therefore Relating Dof's Quality with comparison to our old outdated Sh*tty websites is quite an unjust opinionitive judgment. Regardless, I agree with you and I've suggested abolishing most of our Flash for Textbased-Infomationitive design before in the past which failed. Our forum does need a changing as text is hard to see if your monitor's contrast is high.

I'm beginning to realize why 99% of core game developers do not relate with the public anymore, distractions, criticism, and looping answers answered before defiantly does not help production times.

Anyways
Aro_, can I see some of your site designs?

crex719
06-09-2009, 11:12 PM
I thought the whole book thing was fine.... Oh well I could care less flash or not its really the info that matters. You can get to the forums pretty easily if you have any questions too. Not to offend you but if you don't have broadband by now your living with an obselete technology. Broadband is generally cheaper if you are on your computer a lot and is so much faster than dialup. How can you be so tech savvy and still use dialup?
Anyway I really don't want to start an arguement I'm just trying to help you understand. One person complaining on behalf relatively few people for such a trivial matter will not work with a company that plans to reach many gamers. Most games require broadband to play.

Asatru
06-10-2009, 05:02 AM
Can I buy some of that 'Sunflower' you have? I'd like to feel really happy for a few days too.



Reverie has 1 webmaster, Ryan, who has been pretty much inactive for the last few years until recently. Therefore Relating Dof's Quality with comparison to our old outdated Sh*tty websites is quite an unjust opinionitive judgment. Regardless, I agree with you and I've suggested abolishing most of our Flash for Textbased-Infomationitive design before in the past which failed. Our forum does need a changing as text is hard to see if your monitor's contrast is high.

I'm beginning to realize why 99% of core game developers do not relate with the public anymore, distractions, criticism, and looping answers answered before defiantly does not help production times.

Anyways
Aro_, can I see some of your site designs?

Hmm that makes me kinda sad Joseph.

1 of the major things i like here is that the company also take's time to post on there forums and answer quistions, like you already said, about 99% doesnt bother with that anymore, so you guys are that 1% that does it and its great !!
Fact is if you read this threat only Aro_ has real issue's here but what i dont get is.

If you dont like what you see what are you still doing here ?

I think its okey to make a threat that says to this company ' hey this could be improved ' but your getting on a fine line here with insults about things here.

So lets keep it nice and simple.

-Asatru

fyro11
06-10-2009, 05:50 AM
Aro_, your not offering your own services, are you?

nickson104
06-10-2009, 08:56 AM
Aro_, your not offering your own services, are you?

Sounds like it is a round-about way for doing so... but perhaps... :p Maybe he is being competitive with the 'I'm a better web-designer than you' :p

Web-designing is not a particularly competitive market and they it is needed very often so many companies take what they get without complaining (especially small/local companies) add that to the fact that human nature is that we have pride in what we do and see it in a better light (usually better than what it really is) you can use the case Dylan Bales provided as evidence of that...

I agree that we shouldnt argue over this however I do personally like Reverie's site and yes I do respect his opinion however that he deludes himself that he is a majority and can insult the webdesigner for it... That I do not believe in...

Aro... may we see some webdesigns you have produced? and for which companies?

Dylan Bales
06-10-2009, 09:40 AM
the case Dylan Bates provided as evidence of that...

My name is spelled wrong :(. :p

But yeah, I used to sit there, calling myself the best scenario designer ever; I was so young and naive :p. I never listened to anyone, even though everyone said I was bad at it :p.

But I quit designing for a few months, and went back to play them, and I realized they were crap. I didn't realize fully how to take critisicm, until I started making campaigns for aoe3 for fun, and I started working a lot harder at making my campaigns, and making them quality campaigns, instead of quantity campaigns, and started listening to all criticism, except for the kind where people don't even try to help me, and just sit there and call me stupid :p.

Puppeteer
06-10-2009, 10:39 AM
Opinions: you've got to love 'em.
As a first-time view of the website, I loved it. I had no problems with navigation, visibility or load-times. I loved the ingenuity of the format and layout. The forums are fine for me: not too dark, not too bland, not too contrasting and not too small text. I would say that from the abundance of appraisal that the website has had, and the minimum amount of issues (disregarding the un-updated content) made apparent, that overall people like the website. Don't present your assumptions and opinions as facts, it won't convince anyone.

nickson104
06-10-2009, 11:29 AM
My name is spelled wrong :(. :p

Omg sorry mate, im so sorry...
Okay i take it back... your right, bigger text necessary!!! ;) :p

Dylan Bales
06-10-2009, 10:26 PM
Omg sorry mate, im so sorry...
Okay i take it back... your right, bigger text necessary!!! ;) :p

It's fine, lol, I was just kidding, because I saw "Dylan Bates", and it looked and sounded funny :p.

But yeah, if we can't even read eachother's names, we need bigger text :p

The_Biz
06-11-2009, 01:24 AM
lol @ complaints

this is what happens - people might stumble upon the site. they see some news from 2007. they leave the site. end of story

also, flash is standard now whether you like it or not.

Aro_
06-11-2009, 07:40 AM
Therefore Relating Dof's Quality with comparison to our old outdated Sh*tty websites is quite an unjust opinionitive judgment.
I'm not claiming the new site designer is responsible for the outdated websites, and I'm looking forward to his future designs, even if they use flash. But I'm very glad you agree that the websites are sh*tty; that makes me optimistic on the high standards you will hold for future designs.

And I think the way a company handles themselves on trivial manners is very much related to how they handle themselves in the industry itself.

I'm beginning to realize why 99% of core game developers do not relate with the public anymore, distractions, criticism, and looping answers answered before defiantly does not help production times.
I've seen no looping answers. From the looks of your comments, you agree with me on the website's poor quality. If criticism is distracting you, ignore it; but keep in mind that I have good intentions, and keep in mind that this is a very small criticism compared to the critique you'll face when you have a finished product.

Aro_, can I see some of your site designs?
Here are the only three I'm willing to show any person who does not know me personally; for privacy reasons.

http://aok.heavengames.com/
http://medieval2.heavengames.com/
http://aoe3.heavengames.com/

Aro_, your not offering your own services, are you?
No, it is *very* safe to say that I am not. I'm far too busy, although I love discussing web design. (And critiquing! But you guys probably aren't fans.)

Web-designing is not a particularly competitive market and they it is needed very often so many companies take what they get without complaining
That's not true at all. If a company can't reach a customer because of an awful web designer, they are paying for nothing. That's the key to telling the difference between a real web designer and a fraud; one uses the web medium to let the business reach a much wider audience, and the other doesn't care about the business or the audience.

How can you be so tech savvy and still use dialup?
Location, location, location. The websites still bite the big one on my work's hyper-fast connection.

Anyway I really don't want to start an arguement I'm just trying to help you understand. One person complaining on behalf relatively few people for such a trivial matter will not work with a company that plans to reach many gamers. Most games require broadband to play.
My argument is that, by presenting the design in such a manner, a company will not reach nearly as many gamers/customers. People don't care about flash or graphics; while design plays a part, they care far more about content. Here's an article (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html) you may find interesting.

Don't present your assumptions and opinions as facts, it won't convince anyone.
As a professional web designer, I present experience, not fact.

I think Reverie's web designer could salvage a lot of info (http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/flash/best_practices.html) from this page for the next flash-based design. Check out this article (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html) too.

also, flash is standard now whether you like it or not.
Flash never *was* the standard, and never will be. Any reasonable business uses flash sparingly, and any reasonable designer avoids flash like the devil. For instance, look up the W3C guidelines for flash. If you're having trouble, that's because there are none.

Really, I think this is a healthy argument.

Andy Joslin
06-11-2009, 08:24 AM
My argument is that, by presenting the design in such a manner, a company will not reach nearly as many gamers/customers. People don't care about flash or graphics; while design plays a part, they care far more about content. Here's an article you may find interesting.
According to my experience, every person (which is a lot of people..) I've referred to http://dawnoffantasy.com has loved it. Even my sister and my mom, quite non tech-savvy, had an easy time with the website.

Design seems to play a large part in why they like the site too (unlike you say). Everyone says they love going through the book.

I definitely agree with you, though, that functionality and ease of access to a site's content should be put much higher on the priority list than coolness and features.

Ryan Zelazny
06-11-2009, 09:00 AM
Once again Aro, as I said earlier thank you for your comments.

I'm just going to touch base on a few of the comments said in this thread.

As a professional web designer you should know that the party that has the most input on a website isn't the designer, it's the client. In this case my client is our publisher as well as our executive producer, Konstantin Fomenko. This is one of the first lessons of being a true professional, this is what separates a hobby designer from a professional. I've personally worked for 3 web design firms in my career, produced many sites for many different types of businesses and this is generally always the case. If the customer lets you do everything, they aren't getting what they paid for, they should be going to a template site for that and saving a hell of a lot of money rather than paying me 3 figures an hour.

First off, I designed Reverie World's current website, I've had very little complaint as to the design of it, your saying the navigation is too bright may be due to the display you are using, as I've not had a complaint so far and have had numerous people look at it, including industry veterans. However, thank you for expressing your concern on the matter. The load time on it is actually surprisingly fast, a 510Kb total site load is very small, considering I have about 3MB worth of content on the front page alone (2 non-streaming videos alone are 2MB). This great compression is due to flash, one of my favourite aspects of working within the medium is that you can put a ton of pretty content and still come out with a reasonable finish. If you also notice you can zoom on the text using your browser's zoom function, the text is not pre-rendered so it scales properly.

The current Dawn of Fantasy website was designed by one of our 3d artists, at the time we needed a marketing tool to be able to throw on a CD with the tech demo of Dawn of Fantasy to give to publishers (one of the other benefits of Flash is you can publish it as an executable file that doesn't require a browser). This design was then adapted for the website with the content slightly changed but the same overall presentation. I had no part in designing this and also have some problems with it. Mine however are more artistic in nature rather than functionality. My concerns are the texture quality, and I personally do not like the menu, I had to fight with Konstantin on the new website to go with a regular menu bar. The load time is very considerable, even on a fast connection this site takes approx. 10 - 20 seconds to load. This is due to it being done on Flash 6 a very outdated version of flash (and the actionscript used in it forbids me from making a quick change to exporting it in later flash version).

The new Dawn of Fantasy website is designed in purpose. This purpose is not what I had wanted when I first got the task to design the site. I personally wanted to do something that would cover a large array of info, and I had originally wanted to go with a Hybrid flash design, using flash for particular animations and for the menu. However as I stated above, I'm not the one who makes the decisions, I'm the one who makes the decisions of my clients come to fruition. So the new Dawn of Fantasy website is designed to look good, provide access to media such as screenshots and video, display news on the project and lastly give information on the game itself. This is a publisher's view of how to do this, you or I or the fans here at the forums may think this isn't the way to go, really it's out of our control as they call the shots on this type of matter. Konstantin and I do battle with every page of content (one of the few luxuries you have as a designer when you are on the company's payroll), changes that he wants to see, things that I want to keep, and we both state our reasons and a winner emerges in the end, sometimes it's me and sometimes it's him for better or for worse. So yeah, you may say there are functionality issues on it -don't think I'm an incompetent designer because of this- I may have already had such a system in place and either Konstantin or the publisher wanted it changed, really it's their site, not mine so that's up to them. I just educate them on the decision they're making but it's theirs to make.

The new site is pretty, that's the reaction we get whenever we show it. It has a greatly improved screenshot section, on-page video and a larger HD video portion. All the links and buttons are clearly defined and the contrast from content to background is high to increase readability. These things I can say are big improvements over the old version. You wont have scalable text on page -sorry if you need 18pt font to read- you're going to have to suffer. If you work in a resolution under 1024x768 you will have a hard time viewing the site (it's actually optimized for 1280x1024), and the new site is huge in file size a 1MB file size just for the framework, that doesn't include content (however due to a greatly improved way of loading content the site loads on average for a highspeed connection in 5 seconds).

Really when I design for Reverie, I design with certain customer types in mind. I design for high resolutions, highspeed connections, and for people who are impressed by art not by how quick google can find the page. I don't follow W3C "guidelines" by the book and really as a designer you shouldn't have to. They are guidelines for a reason, to guide you, it's not a rulebook. If you use them as a designer that's your business and all the better to you. I don't design for out of date technologies, I don't make sure people running Windows 98 using a 800x600 resolution in IE 4 running on dial-up will be able to view the site, they aren't in our customer base and for the small percentage of people who actually run systems like this it's not fair to deprive our target customers of a beautiful site.

I hope that you do like the new website Aro, but if you don't, that's your opinion. I'm not going to go out of my way to impress you, and I don't expect you guys to jump up and do what I tell you to do on the DoF Heaven site if I make any suggestions. I let designers design however they wish, if I don't think it's well done, oh well, that's my opinion, i'm sure a lot of people find it beautiful that's the whole point of using web design as a artistic medium.

Jean=A=Luc
06-11-2009, 09:10 AM
I used to find flash very annoying while I was on dial-up and I still get frustrated sometimes if there's too much movies/animations on one page. One thing I do hate about flash links is that I can't r-click them to open that page in a new tab.

So while I'm mostly ok with it today I do believe there is such a thing as "going to far" when it comes to flash.

The old DoF website is mostly ok because once it loads (which happens pretty quickly unless you're on dial-up) you can sift through the pages quickly and easily access specific sections via links below which are always accessible so there really is no need to open new tabs.

'No tab opening' still bothers me a little when looking at screenshots and such because you have to open a new window and you can't open more than 1 screenshot at a time but it's not too big of a deal.

So that is this average user's input. :)

Kire
06-11-2009, 09:21 AM
Design seems to play a large part in why they like the site too (unlike you say). Everyone says they love going through the book.

I definitely agree with you, though, that functionality and ease of access to a site's content should be put much higher on the priority list than coolness and features.

As long as i can kill also some orcs on that site i dont even care about the content, just coolness =P.
....you know, for the better tomorrow.....

nickson104
06-11-2009, 09:51 AM
As long as i can kill also some orcs on that site i dont even care about the content, just coolness =P.
....you know, for the better tomorrow.....

*imagines little sidebar flash game* Orc-Slayer!!! Lop the heads off as many orcs as you can in 60 seconds! watch out for humans though as if you kill one of these you lose!!!

Kire
06-11-2009, 10:03 AM
i was more thinking more about orcs jumping around on your whole screen and if you are lucky and clickhit him he die (different animations) and maybe also flush out lots of blooood and an eeek of the dieing orc =P.

edit: i am not fan for gore effect but at orcs i do exception =), oh and yea Nickson104 i am looking to you and your filthy kin !!

Asatru
06-11-2009, 03:32 PM
I just wanted to say nice post Ryan Zelazny!

Also i think we are giving this threat way more attention that it needs.

If you ask me, when you go on to somebody else his place, and start shouting its not good enough, and then show them your own work ( the 3 links he posted ) then you better damn well make sure its awesome work.

But this isn't really the cause, 3 the same sites, with the same ( or extremely similar set-up ) and the art work well its also not something to write home about.

My point here is don't diss somebody else his work when your own work isnt much to back it up.

Anyways like i said this threat is getting way more attention then it should, Aro opinion has been heared, time to move on :)

-Asatru

Dylan Bales
06-11-2009, 05:41 PM
My point here is don't diss somebody else his work when your own work isnt much to back it up.

Aro_ is an amazing web designer, the HG sites are designed well. However, I have to say aoe3.heavengames.com loads slower than the DoF website :p - that's probably not his fault, though, it's all the things HG puts on their homepages :p (too many images.)

Not everyone is going to agree with that opinion of mine, however (like Asatru doesn't seem to agree). One problem I have with the HG sites is that I sometimes (when I first enter the sites) can't find the button to go to the forums or download section (because they're on the sides, where I never look) :p . Other than that, though, the sites look nice, and are great to go to.

We seem to be able to conclude that all web designers have their styles, and rules they abide by. These are what shape the websites, not usually their skill level. No one would hire someone that is inexperienced to design their website, otherwise they're wasting money; the company would most likely ask for previous experience before hiring someone, and would need to be impressed before hiring the person.

This entire argument has become a mere battle of opinions and taste over the way the sites look and feel when they're visited. Aro_ has proven he is trying to help, otherwise he wouldn't have commented at all. However, everyone needs to stop insulting each other over these things; everyone seems to be taking their sides in this, which is good, but insults are not. Calling another person "inexperienced" can definitely be an insult, definitely when they've already been hired by a company, and have proven they are not inexperienced to do so.

So, pretty much, we know Aro_ is trying to help, but most of the people here don't want to listen, because they've taken their own side, and are going to remain biased towards it, and won't even listen to some suggestions of Aro_. The web designers here have their own opinions on what a website should be like, and all will stick to their own styles; it would be good for them to listen to each other for advice, but that probably won't happen. As Asatru said, it's time to move on, that is unless someone has something to add to this; Aro_, thank you for posting your comments on what you think is best for Reverie, I know you're a great web designer; I'm sure everyone with Reverie appreciates any kind of help and ideas, even if they don't agree with them.

Mrdash
06-11-2009, 05:42 PM
One thing I've noticed Aro is since you got here your 4 whole posts have done nothing but rip on the work of others. If every post you make is gonna be like this then you should leave, cause none of us wanna put up with your crap.

I don't know how other people feel but when I see someone generaly new to a forum, and they sit there and talk "All knowingly"(Is that a word lol?) about the the forums subject or anything else I get a little annoyed of the person. Ok quite a bit annoyed.

Now give it time and it might be different. Because of that time I value what people like Andy, Ryan, and Dylan and other Reverie peeps and also other Forums goers like Witchking say here.

How would you like for a total stranger to walk up to you and start calling everything you do complete BS.

The_Biz
06-11-2009, 10:00 PM
so it's ok to use flash for advertisements but not to actually display the content that's important?

because that's what I see at this expert web designers aok.heavengames.com

and I guess yahoo.com must have terrible web designers too?

Dylan Bales
06-11-2009, 10:57 PM
One thing I've noticed Aro is since you got here your 4 whole posts have done nothing but rip on the work of others. If every post you make is gonna be like this then you should leave, cause none of us wanna put up with your crap.

Mrdash, please stop being mean like that; he is really trying to help.

Did anyone read my last (ten million paragraph) post? :p I explained how Aro_ is just trying to help, even though he does it in a way many seem not to like, everyone should stop being mean to each other. Saying things like "none of us wanna put up with your crap." is very mean, please just stop that kind of thing.

It's alright to debate with him, but not in that kind of way.

Kire
06-12-2009, 04:33 AM
So, pretty much, we know Aro_ is trying to help, but most of the people here don't want to listen, because they've taken their own side, and are going to remain biased towards it, and won't even listen to some suggestions of Aro_. The web designers here have their own opinions on what a website should be like, and all will stick to their own styles; it would be good for them to listen to each other for advice, but that probably won't happen. As Asatru said, it's time to move on, that is unless someone has something to add to this; Aro_, thank you for posting your comments on what you think is best for Reverie, I know you're a great web designer; I'm sure everyone with Reverie appreciates any kind of help and ideas, even if they don't agree with them.

Not that we taken our own side already...., i see he is trying to help and he has nice ideas and suggestion, but his attitude is wrong and it ruins his post. So it is also kinda his fault to get that kind of responses.
And Dylan ... i thought that i have long posts o.O, looking to yours... =P (dont worry i read all =))

Dylan Bales
06-12-2009, 05:43 AM
And Dylan ... i thought that i have long posts o.O, looking to yours... =P (dont worry i read all =))

:) Thanks for reading something I posted, unlike some people probably did. :p


@ Aro_ , do you have anything else to add to this thread?

Asatru
06-12-2009, 09:16 AM
Did anyone read my last (ten million paragraph) post? :p

It's alright to debate with him, but not in that kind of way.

I did :P

So maybe its a good idea to lock this threat as you said everybody has his own opinion and that's good, but now it has come to a point where it is getting insulting and that's not good !

-Asatru

Mrdash
06-12-2009, 12:16 PM
Mrdash, please stop being mean like that; he is really trying to help.

Did anyone read my last (ten million paragraph) post? :p I explained how Aro_ is just trying to help, even though he does it in a way many seem not to like, everyone should stop being mean to each other. Saying things like "none of us wanna put up with your crap." is very mean, please just stop that kind of thing.

It's alright to debate with him, but not in that kind of way.

Would you like it if I replaced "crap" with "attitude"? Cause thats really what "crap" stood for. And yes I did read your post. But like Kire said his attitude is wrong.

I'm not trying to be insulting Asatru, I just don't want to sugar coat what I'm trying to tell Aro.