Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

Hello, everyone! My name is Ash, and I just recently started a blog called ParagonGamer.com. It's a very modest site at the moment, since I just started it, don't have a lot of time, and am trying out some different ideas, but the main idea behind it is that I want to provide a blog that gamers who care about the big issues could go to to find an opinion or two on different issues in the gaming industry.

I'm posting here because I've been following Giant Bomb since late 2008, and you guys are the exact audience that I want to speak to and converse with, and I would like some ideas, suggestions, constructive criticism, or whatever else you'd like to say about the site. The current setup I have is that I post each weekday about something that's on my mind about the industry, usually a big issue, but sometimes something more lighthearted, like a personal love note to Mirror's Edge or something. On my home page, I have a featured article from somewhere else, which stays there during the whole week. I keep track of my past posts, but otherwise, I've got nothing else on the site than showing off other articles and videos during the weekends. I want to do a podcast, but I have no ideas for it, regarding content or format. I'm also working on a video series, which is what will be taking a lot of my time during the weekends, but that won't begin for a week or two at least.

So, please, check out the site, and tell me what you think! Nothing would make me happier than to hear from caring gamers how best I could try to attack big issues in games and discuss solutions to those problems with you guys. Thanks for reading!

#1 Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

Hello, everyone! My name is Ash, and I just recently started a blog called ParagonGamer.com. It's a very modest site at the moment, since I just started it, don't have a lot of time, and am trying out some different ideas, but the main idea behind it is that I want to provide a blog that gamers who care about the big issues could go to to find an opinion or two on different issues in the gaming industry.

I'm posting here because I've been following Giant Bomb since late 2008, and you guys are the exact audience that I want to speak to and converse with, and I would like some ideas, suggestions, constructive criticism, or whatever else you'd like to say about the site. The current setup I have is that I post each weekday about something that's on my mind about the industry, usually a big issue, but sometimes something more lighthearted, like a personal love note to Mirror's Edge or something. On my home page, I have a featured article from somewhere else, which stays there during the whole week. I keep track of my past posts, but otherwise, I've got nothing else on the site than showing off other articles and videos during the weekends. I want to do a podcast, but I have no ideas for it, regarding content or format. I'm also working on a video series, which is what will be taking a lot of my time during the weekends, but that won't begin for a week or two at least.

So, please, check out the site, and tell me what you think! Nothing would make me happier than to hear from caring gamers how best I could try to attack big issues in games and discuss solutions to those problems with you guys. Thanks for reading!

#2 Posted by Max_Antrax (107 posts) -

I always love people trying there own blog and opinion :). And i wish you the best of luck.

But if i can give you one advice look at wordpress or another CMS to make you website looking awesome :).

#3 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Very much overstylized visually, makes it very hard to read any text. And having a song automatically play is very unpleasant, I'm busy listening to my own music at the moment. The formatting isn't working quite right on my MacBook's screen, either; the Wii U story is expanding beyond its block and I'm losing the last word.

So, cut the music and go for a less stylized visual. It can just look simple; that's fine. I like the idea of a blog that is basically a constantly updating "Worth Reading" article, though. I didn't see any original content beyond the short editorials on the linked articles, though, and can't judge that very well.

#4 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

Does your site have Wii support, you should be more upfront about this stuff.

#5 Posted by Legxend (124 posts) -

I'll be honest...the design is terrible, go with something that is easy on the eyes and cut the music. Make it easy for people to browse through the blog, less is usually more so don't want to over do it with the design keep it nice and simple and let the content do the talking.

#6 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

As other people have already mentioned, go for a style that's easy on the eyes and to navigate.

Oh, and music that plays automatically is the worst!

#7 Posted by VierasTalo (645 posts) -

Oh, there's a song, that's why my PC froze for about two minutes to load the page.

So yeah, not digging that right off the bat. The formatting is also all over the place for me on Opera, making the whole thing completely unreadable.

#8 Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

Thank you guys so much for the feedback, will be updating later tonight. :) In regards to the over-stylized design, yeah, it's something I've been struggling with. The web editor I'm using specializes in the style bit, which is why I blindly started using it, but it has turned out to be very limited in multiple ways, and it does that weird thing where the words randomly get cut off, and it runs off or is zoomed out and all that. I'm going to try some better designs using the tools I have, but if it continues, I will have to consider that WordPress suggestion. The original content stuff usually goes up on the weekday. I keep backlogs of the days since past in the articles section, but the design is fucked there, too, so I'm going to continue to tinker with that. Again, thanks to everyone for the help!

And ...what?

#9 Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

And... ... ...poof! Paragon Gamer forgot music! And...Paragon Gamer learned Silence!

The rest will come when I'm not at work. :)

#10 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -
@RadleyDuder @RadleyDuder
#11 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -
@RadleyDuder #Joke.
But honestly looks nice.
#12 Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

Haha okay, I thought it was a joke, but it's hard for me to detect sarcasm in internetese, and I didn't want to dismiss someone's serious criticism as a joke, no matter how ridiculous it sounded.

And thanks!

#13 Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

Okay, so I did a little bit of editing to see if it helps any. I will certainly do more, but I stayed up all last night and this morning working on the site, and after going to work as well, I am dying for some sleep.

Right now, I am aware that the way this website editor lays out all my shit is pretty broken. Or I'm just doing it wrong. The best way to help me with this is if one or two people could send me screenshots of what the site looks like on their screen, because every bit of content shifts in different directions, and it would be helpful to know where it goes on different sized screens so that I can minimize the chances of a word or a whole article getting cut off from view, or whatever other problems it could cause.

Music is gone! Thought it would be fun, but people have other things they listen to, and that's fine. :)

Trying out different fonts and different ways of setting up content. The whole editor was designed around making the site look good, so as for making a straight forward, wordpress-like site, that's going to be a little difficult. (Unless I can just link a wordpress site to this domain, 'cause I just started and have little content, which would make it easy to transfer everything over.) But I'm trying what I can to make it work.

Note that this is the weekend, so I'm working on a video series for the site today and tomorrow, and editing the site according to certain suggestions I get via here and email, and then I'll be getting back to writing my own articles for the site when the weekdays arrive.

Finally, thank you all so much for the help! Please keep sending me your thoughts! It means a lot to me.

#14 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

95% of web design is Typography

#15 Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

@Dagbiker: So I have learned, my good friend. And god, it isn't easy. Ever since the font issue was pointed out, even during work, I'd open up my laptop and look at the site and move a paragraph, align it somewhere else, choose a different font, adjust the borders, and on and on. It'll pay off once I find something that works...if I find something that works.

#16 Edited by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

@RadleyDuder said:

@Dagbiker: So I have learned, my good friend. And god, it isn't easy. Ever since the font issue was pointed out, even during work, I'd open up my laptop and look at the site and move a paragraph, align it somewhere else, choose a different font, adjust the borders, and on and on. It'll pay off once I find something that works...if I find something that works.

I am a graphics guy, not a Web guy, but what I do is choose a font first, then size it up accordingly. Sometimes I need to change it, but usually that's the exception. I don't know if that helps you or not. You also need to remember that the people viewing your site need to have the font installed, so don't use a font that they probably wont have.

#17 Posted by ZimboDK (848 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

@RadleyDuder said:

You also need to remember that the people viewing your site need to have the font installed, so don't use a font that they probably wont have.

Fonts are embedded on his site, so that's not a problem.

@RadleyDuder:

As others have said, you need to do something about the fonts. Using that Hattori Hanzo Light font is fine for headlines (though I think it's way too large), but I don't think it works for reading longer pieces of text. Verdana is so widely used on the web because it's easy on the eyes.

And all caps? Please change that. It seems like the entire site is shouting at me.

You should probably consider putting in some sort of seperator between blog posts. With text sizes the way they are now, all the text seems to merge together.

And some general advice:

Try to be consistent with typography. I saw 4 different pages with 4 different fonts. You should really try to keep the number of fonts down to a minimum. It's confusing when they keep changing.

Be careful when putting graphics behind text. It doesn't take a lot to confuse the eyes.

#18 Posted by Daneian (1202 posts) -

I would like to mention something about the content.

I've always gotten the impression that editorials, like the ones it seems you're talking about doing, are very fleeting and quickly forgotten. If they are the only kinds that you plan on doing, that means that all but your most current articles will be completely irrelevant and wont ever be looked at again. If you switch it up to include other more lasting articles (game analysis, interviews) you will have the kind of backlog people can sift through.

#19 Posted by RadleyDuder (72 posts) -

Hey guys, sorry I haven't replied in a while, I went into a mini-hibernation, among other issues. Thank you guys again for all the great feedback, I will be using it all as I continue forward with this site. After trying to work with this stupid editor, I've concluded that I can't get around its limitations, so I'm trying to transfer the domain to another site, like WordPress or something similar. As far as content, my whole strategy concerning that has changed because, as I started this site, my views on games in general began changing. I'm still in this weird middle ground where I don't know how I feel about certain games, or their marketing strategies, or whatever, which is making it tough just to get a few paragraphs out. Anyway, while I'm going through that, I'm also working on a couple video series and a couple comic strips. One of each will be featured on my site as well as TheGamerAccess.com, and if the second of each are made, they'll be on my site. As for the direction I'm going to take Paragon Gamer, I don't know. I'm going to continue working on it and see where it takes me. I hope you guys continue to check in every now and then to see if you like what you see. And if you don't, let me know via email. Again, thank you guys for all the help. Okay, back to the site