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Posted by snide (2413 posts) -

Seeing as it's a slow news day, since most game developers are wary of posting anything around April Fools, I thought I'd post some of the stuff the engineering team has been working on lately here at the office.


PM Upgrades


You can now attach new users onto an existing PM conversation if you want. The process is fairly straightforward, just go to the reply form at the bottom and add whoever you'd like to add in the "add recipients" box. The added user(s) will now be sent a copy of the entire conversation as well as have the ability to reply. Should you no longer wish to be part of a private conversation you can now click the "remove from conversation" button at the top of your PM to no longer receive replies from other users. We're aware of issues with actually finding certain users in the auto-complete drop-down and will have a solution to that out shortly. The new drop-down will search against your friends first before going into the general population results.

iPhone Application Coming Soon


Quickie preview of Giant Bomb on the iPhone
We are currently in the final stages of an iPhone version of Giant Bomb. It will be a full application and not just a web version of the site. Here's the deal: we're tossing around the idea of charging a small fee to access it. I know many of you guys are curious about just how Giant Bomb plans to bring in the loot to support our costs here. The honest answer is, we're trying to think up different ways for sites like ours to exist outside of pure advertising models. While ads will more than likely come onto the site more regularly in the near future, we'd love to find some better ways than the current IGN model of making the site half-ad, half-content. We'd like to at least try out this model with our mobile versions of the site as an experiment. I'll float out a preview in the next week or so with a defined feature list, but I thought it might be a good idea to see what you iPhone owners would like to see in our app. The first version will be read-only and not allow you to log into the site, view forums or access your profiles. Our final vision for the app is much grander, but first we want to make sure there's enough interest in the project and that you can have a simple way to view videos, reviews and news from the site easily on your iPhone. I'd also like to note that we in no way will try to influence or stop anyone from making free-to-use iPhone apps based on our API.

Comic Vine Redesigned, White Version of GB Still Planned


Not necessarily Giant Bomb-related but Comic Vine last week received a similar restyle to the one we had here a couple weeks ago. We've still got to give Anime Vice a similar paint job and then all three sites should be receiving alternate skin colors in the weeks following. If you're curious as to what Giant Bomb in white will look like, take a look over at Comic Vine to get an idea. I'll likely remove the greenish tint and make it a little more Giant Bomby but expect something very similar. In any case I just wanted to make fans of the white version of Giant Bomb aware that we haven't forgotten about you.

New Games Page Could Use Some Help


Lastly, I thought I'd do a short call out for some help with the New Games section of the site. If you weren't already aware, that page is generated by editing the dates of releases tied to games. It is not populated by the "Original Release Date" associated to the game itself. In theory this allows us to show release lists for each major region -- UK, US, Japan and Australia. In practice both the staff and the community haven't been doing a great job with it. If you have any time in the next week or so, I'd really appreciate if some enterprising users could take a look at keeping some of those release dates up to snuff. I'm considering appointing someone as a dedicated mod towards keeping that stuff up-to-date so if you're ever sent me a PM asking how you can help, you now know. Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested or run into any release specific bugs. Thanks.
#1 Posted by snide (2413 posts) -

Seeing as it's a slow news day, since most game developers are wary of posting anything around April Fools, I thought I'd post some of the stuff the engineering team has been working on lately here at the office.


PM Upgrades


You can now attach new users onto an existing PM conversation if you want. The process is fairly straightforward, just go to the reply form at the bottom and add whoever you'd like to add in the "add recipients" box. The added user(s) will now be sent a copy of the entire conversation as well as have the ability to reply. Should you no longer wish to be part of a private conversation you can now click the "remove from conversation" button at the top of your PM to no longer receive replies from other users. We're aware of issues with actually finding certain users in the auto-complete drop-down and will have a solution to that out shortly. The new drop-down will search against your friends first before going into the general population results.

iPhone Application Coming Soon


Quickie preview of Giant Bomb on the iPhone
We are currently in the final stages of an iPhone version of Giant Bomb. It will be a full application and not just a web version of the site. Here's the deal: we're tossing around the idea of charging a small fee to access it. I know many of you guys are curious about just how Giant Bomb plans to bring in the loot to support our costs here. The honest answer is, we're trying to think up different ways for sites like ours to exist outside of pure advertising models. While ads will more than likely come onto the site more regularly in the near future, we'd love to find some better ways than the current IGN model of making the site half-ad, half-content. We'd like to at least try out this model with our mobile versions of the site as an experiment. I'll float out a preview in the next week or so with a defined feature list, but I thought it might be a good idea to see what you iPhone owners would like to see in our app. The first version will be read-only and not allow you to log into the site, view forums or access your profiles. Our final vision for the app is much grander, but first we want to make sure there's enough interest in the project and that you can have a simple way to view videos, reviews and news from the site easily on your iPhone. I'd also like to note that we in no way will try to influence or stop anyone from making free-to-use iPhone apps based on our API.

Comic Vine Redesigned, White Version of GB Still Planned


Not necessarily Giant Bomb-related but Comic Vine last week received a similar restyle to the one we had here a couple weeks ago. We've still got to give Anime Vice a similar paint job and then all three sites should be receiving alternate skin colors in the weeks following. If you're curious as to what Giant Bomb in white will look like, take a look over at Comic Vine to get an idea. I'll likely remove the greenish tint and make it a little more Giant Bomby but expect something very similar. In any case I just wanted to make fans of the white version of Giant Bomb aware that we haven't forgotten about you.

New Games Page Could Use Some Help


Lastly, I thought I'd do a short call out for some help with the New Games section of the site. If you weren't already aware, that page is generated by editing the dates of releases tied to games. It is not populated by the "Original Release Date" associated to the game itself. In theory this allows us to show release lists for each major region -- UK, US, Japan and Australia. In practice both the staff and the community haven't been doing a great job with it. If you have any time in the next week or so, I'd really appreciate if some enterprising users could take a look at keeping some of those release dates up to snuff. I'm considering appointing someone as a dedicated mod towards keeping that stuff up-to-date so if you're ever sent me a PM asking how you can help, you now know. Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested or run into any release specific bugs. Thanks.
#2 Posted by StarFoxA (5163 posts) -

Please never make the site a paid access one. Having a paid app on mobile phones is a good idea, though.

#3 Posted by Pie (7111 posts) -

Dude, thats hardcore.

Online
#4 Posted by coonce (1429 posts) -

pm upgrade..... sweet! gb rawks!

#5 Posted by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -

I'd totally be willing to pay a small fee for a GB iPhone app. And the PM upgrades are awesome. Keep up the good work duders!!!!

Moderator
#6 Posted by snide (2413 posts) -

The live website will always be free, no worries.

#7 Posted by TobyD81 (1231 posts) -

All sounds good. If the iPhone app version has enough features, it'll be worth a modest fee. Would it be out of the question to allow wiki updating through the app? Also, will the Wiki Pages That Need Help section be coming back soon? Thanks!

#8 Edited by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -
Moderator
#9 Posted by KiddSupreme (16 posts) -

I'd pay for the phone app....

for my Blackberry Bold ;)

#10 Edited by TheBeast (1931 posts) -

Great news all around Snide!

Some notes on the iPhone stuff:
  • I'd be willing to pay for the iPhone app if only to support the site - I can't see myself wanting to pay for it just for mobile access to the database though.
  • Why not just provide a mobile web app? Would the effort not be best spent in something that can be accessed on other smartphones (Android-based, Blackberry, WinMo etc.)?
  • Data plans ain't so great here in the UK - so the option to stream highly compressed/low quality video would be great for watching Endurance Runs on the train...
  • The most common reason I use GB on my iPhone is to check PMs and the forums - no doubt this would be a much bigger undertaking, but it would be nice to see a mobile version of the community side of things in the future.
  • If I'm out and about and want to look up a game it's usually because I want reviews on it - some review aggregator display/prominent average user score would be great to see on these pages.

The new games/browse games sections of the site feel rather useless and broken at the moment - partially down to the filtering problems but also as you say, because of the lack of release dates - I don't personally feel the 'releases' system for games in the wiki is particularly obvious/clear, so I'm not surprised they're not being filled in, but it will be great to see people take this task up!
#11 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

I would happily pay for premium access to this site.

#12 Edited by Rinkalicous (1340 posts) -

I'd pay upwards of 2 English Pounds for Giant Bomb on my phone. It'd be worth it for the icon alone. I'd have the most giant bomb iPhone in town!


Also, I have the next week off school, so I'll take a look at the new games stuff, if it hasn't been done by then (which I suspect it will have been- Giant Bombers are such a helpful bunch).
#13 Edited by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -
SpikeSpiegel said:
"I would happily pay for premium access to this site."
While I would happily pay for this, I think websites separating their user base like that is a bad idea overall. Perhaps paying to get no/less adverts would be acceptable, because that doesn't really affect the site that much, but paying for extra features and things would separate the userbase and would be a bad idea.
Moderator
#14 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

Not enough people make use of the Releases feature. Get on it, people!

#15 Posted by drewm135 (216 posts) -

I would definitely pay for the iphone app. Hands down. As long as I can watch endurance run on my iphone I will be A-OK

#16 Posted by TooWalrus (13256 posts) -

I'm definitely interested in the iPhone app. I would have no problem paying a one-time fee, but probably wouldn't sign on for a monthly fee. Yearly, maybe.

#17 Posted by snide (2413 posts) -

@Beast


  • We chose the iPhone for the simple reason that we all own them at the office and it would be something we ourselves would use. We're not ruling out a mobile version of the site in the future, but stuff on the iPhone sure is popular these days and we didn't want to miss the opportunity to be ahead of the curve on this one.
  • Full log in / profile options are being slated for version 2, which we'll likely move to next if there's enough reason to build it.
#18 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -

awesome, i will totally download the iphone app. can we listen to the podcast directly from the site that way?

#19 Posted by Kohe321 (3533 posts) -

Cool stuff.

#20 Posted by fearxloathing (35 posts) -

I like the idea of a paid iPhone app. I am curious if you guys have tossed around the ideas of slowly bringing some of the videos over to low-res mp4 so they might be viewable within the app on the iPhone.

#21 Posted by dogbox (464 posts) -

I would pay for an iPhone app in a heartbeat. The design looks great too! 

#22 Posted by C0V3RT (1380 posts) -

I'd pay for the iphone app.  Glad to help GB AND be able to access the site on my iPhone.

#23 Posted by Espiox (24 posts) -

I'd happily pay for an Android app, I can tell you that for sure.

#24 Posted by snide (2413 posts) -

@fearxloathing


That's built into v1.
#25 Posted by fearxloathing (35 posts) -

@snide

Thanks for answering my question and I can't wait for this app!

#26 Posted by Pkshields (811 posts) -

I'd also add myself to the paid iphone app. My ipod touch needs more GB. About the ads, I live how clean GB looks and feels, But I think the majority of us are completely fine with ads as long as it doesnt sacrifice the look and feel. Great Job!

#27 Posted by lordofultima (6282 posts) -

If the alternate color looks like ComicVine then it'll be awesome. Just not that WHITE OR DIE layout you had on the old Giant Bomb.

#28 Posted by Matt_H (29 posts) -

Definately would be happy to help support GB by purchasing the iphone app.  The design looks great and would be nice to be able to access that stuff while away from the pc/laptop.  Bring it on!

#29 Posted by Doublechops (25 posts) -

I would be more than happy to pay for an iPhone app, its a way we can help the site and keep all the videos and content coming.  Just my quick thought on this.

#30 Posted by megalowho (978 posts) -

Very much interested in an iPhone app for some monies. Lord knows I've paid for a bunch of crap I clicked on probably once and forgot about as it is. A quality GB app would be worth paying for no question.

#31 Posted by Knibbly (107 posts) -

I'd happily pay for a GiantBomb iPhone app.  Anything to help keep you guys afloat.

#32 Posted by Jensonb (1769 posts) -

I will happily pay for the Giant Bomb iPhone App, if I can support you guys doing what you're doing, I want to.

#33 Posted by iAmJohn (6134 posts) -

Here's my opinion: two Giant Bomb Apps.  A free one that lets you see news, reviews, and game pages, and a paid one that gives you editing and forum access, and maybe even lets you watch videos?  I'd pay $5 for that.

#34 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

I'll buy an iPhone and pay for an iPhone app for GiantBomb!

#35 Posted by TullyAckland (237 posts) -

Totally cool with paying for the iPhone app, looking forward to seeing more.

#36 Posted by mracoon (4978 posts) -

Wait, so is there a way to add a UK (or JP or AU) release date to a game now? Because the New Games page has nothing under the UK section.

Moderator
#37 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -
snide said:
"@Beast

  • We chose the iPhone for the simple reason that we all own them at the office and it would be something we ourselves would use. We're not ruling out a mobile version of the site in the future, but stuff on the iPhone sure is popular these days and we didn't want to miss the opportunity to be ahead of the curve on this one.
  • Full log in / profile options are being slated for version 2, which we'll likely move to next if there's enough reason to build it."
Fair enough - there's no doubt that the iPhone is a pretty damn popular platform (even judging by the interest for it in this topic so far) - it makes sense to get GB on to it, but at the same time, I can't see any benefits (apart from being able to charge) that a native app would have over an iPhone-tailored web app which could work on Android and so on.

I'm still all for paying for an iPhone app though!
#38 Posted by Death_Burnout (3800 posts) -

White Site!!!

Too late, it took that long that i am now comfortable on the Black Site.

#39 Posted by Aaron_G (1617 posts) -

I would pay for a GiantBomb iPhone app. 

#40 Posted by Miniman (59 posts) -
mracoon said:
"Wait, so is there a way to add a UK (or JP or AU) release date to a game now? Because the New Games page has nothing under the UK section."
There always has been, under the releases page.

And ya, I would pay for an iPhone app...if I had an iPhone that is : /
#41 Posted by Fnord (32 posts) -

I would say that the iPhone or Android version should be free to just access the site.  Basically the same thing that could be accessed by loading the site in with a web browser and not logging on.

The paid app should be to actually log into your account, edit the database, etc.  Giant Bomb Mobile (free) should be the IMDB of video games, and, we all know, it all comes down to IMDB when you're with your friends at a bar or restaurant.

#42 Posted by TaintedSun (154 posts) -

$5 is as much as I would want to pay for an iPhone app for GiantBomb. Right now I visit the site via Safari, but it's not really that great. Instead of listing what I can't do, I'll tell you what I can do: read articles. That's it. That's also, in most cases, plenty for the time being. However, the idea of watching Quick Looks and Endurance Runs sounds appealing. $5 though, guys. You can go less, but any more and you're pushing it.

@ fearxloathing

I assume by them creating an iPhone application they are altering their player to allow us to watch videos. Otherwise, there is little to no reason to create an app.

#43 Posted by mracoon (4978 posts) -
Miniman said:
"mracoon said:
"Wait, so is there a way to add a UK (or JP or AU) release date to a game now? Because the New Games page has nothing under the UK section."
There always has been, under the releases page.And ya, I would pay for an iPhone app...if I had an iPhone that is : /"
I can't believe I've never seen that page before. This will help a lot in editing wikis. Thanks.
Moderator
#44 Posted by MeierTheRed (4941 posts) -

Happy that the white design is still coming. I actually do prefer the look of the black design, but my eyes hurt when reading the white text on the black background, witch fucking sucks.

#45 Posted by lightwarrior179 (383 posts) -

You guys are doing a good job. Keep up at it!

#46 Posted by Orgun (2 posts) -

Yeah i'd pay for the iPhone app, as long as its not too expensive. About £1 seems good to me.

#47 Posted by MCXCI (140 posts) -

Haha!

   If you want to charge for the iPhone app, you're gonna have to do much better then that preview. I'm all for supporting the site. But if you're gonna put out some half-assed "read-only" app, then just put up a donate link so I can contribute without ever feeling like you guys have failed me. The editorial and tech team of Giant Bomb has and continues to prove themselves to be capable of much more then that sorry preview pic. The Facebook app is still free and without a doubt one of the best designed apps on iTunes. If you can't design an app of that calibre, don't charge.
   I'd rather GIVE you my money then pay for another half-assed iPhone app under the guise that I'm supporting Giant Bomb. I'm not kidding. I'm tired of people on the web constantly blabbing about the iPhone's potential but doing jack shit on their end (Gizmodo). If you're gonna do it. Do It right.
#48 Posted by Meltbrain (2976 posts) -

Sweet. I don't have an iPhone so I guess I'll be missing out on that stuff, but the rest is cool. I'll see what I can do about adding release date information for UK releases in future. Cheers, Snide.

#49 Posted by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -
Pato said:
"Haha!
   If you want to charge for the iPhone app, you're gonna have to do much better then that preview. I'm all for supporting the site. But if you're gonna put out some half-assed "read-only" app, then just put up a donate link so I can contribute without ever feeling like you guys have failed me. The editorial and tech team of Giant Bomb has and continues to prove themselves to be capable of much more then that sorry preview pic. The Facebook app is still free and without a doubt one of the best designed apps on iTunes. If you can't design an app of that calibre, don't charge.
   I'd rather GIVE you my money then pay for another half-assed iPhone app under the guise that I'm supporting Giant Bomb. I'm not kidding. I'm tired of people on the web constantly blabbing about the iPhone's potential but doing jack shit on their end (Gizmodo). If you're gonna do it. Do It right.
"
There will be legal problems with a business accepting donations. Not to mention that it doesn't look good for the site.

Also, snide said the read only app would be the first version, and a full app with login and community features would be the second version. The read only version is only temporary while they work on the full version.
Moderator
#50 Posted by MichaelBach (890 posts) -

I would rather just pay a monthly GB members fee all included. Maby give members stuff like downloadable vids and other extra goodies. I would even pay for the site as is. I look at it like this, I save a ton of money every month on buying magazines, and I get tons more out of the site, so paying 5-10 bucks a month is ok by mee.