All About The Views


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DMorgan
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Hi guys,

Recently started submitting stuff to the site and I was wondering if there was anything in particular you'd like to see more of - reviews, retrospectives, news etc.

I hope to be doing quite a bit of writing over the next weeks and months, so do let me know!

And if there's any particular games or genres you'd like to see covered more, feel free to mention that too :)
#1 at 12:30:14 - 27/10/2013
NewYork
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Speaking as someone who reads the front page, I don't think news is of much use on this site, unless framed as an opinion piece.

Anyways, good work so far. :)
#2 at 14:41:48 - 27/10/2013
Syrok
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Yes, good work! It's nice to see some activity on the front page.
#3 at 18:44:36 - 27/10/2013
DMorgan
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Cheers :)

My main reason for the news articles is because I want to have a good body of work across the whole spectrum rather than simply sticking to reviews and retrospectives and things (which are, most definitely the most fun to write!). It's unlikely you'd see a sudden glut of news pieces though, unless it's particularly something that interests me. I don't spend all my time trawling RSS feeds, twitter or reading newsletters, or I'd never get anything done!

They are, however, the easiest articles to write (and certainly the fastest).
#4 at 20:06:58 - 27/10/2013
Flying_Pig
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More activity on the front page would be great.

News is pretty tough - I mean, you can't cover everything (can you?), so what do you focus on?

Opinion pieces tend to be good ( I liked your next gen one).

On the basis of what you've done over the last few days, I'd just say go with whatever takes your fancy :)
#5 at 00:00:36 - 28/10/2013
evilashchris
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I usually throw a news up if it's funny and/or something I like the look of :D

But yeah, just do anything you feel like, that's the beauty of this place!
#6 at 00:15:07 - 28/10/2013
nekotcha
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I think well-written opinion pieces are always a good thing to have on the site as they're unique content that aren't going to pop up on dozens of other websites at the same time (unlike news or review pieces).

That said, one way to put a unique spin on news or reviews is to do an aggregation article - gathering together all the notable coverage of a particular game or news story in one place, summarising it and linking back to the original coverage if the reader wants to read about it in more detail. By way of example, GamesIndustry.biz occasionally runs a 'Critical Consensus' series where they summarise several reviews of a major title (I see there's one up today about the new Batman title). One possible twist on this would be to run a weekly or monthly news summary series where you summarise all the major news stories from the games industry during that period - personally I'd love to read something like this as it's easy to miss interesting stories when there's so much going on.
#7 at 10:24:35 - 28/10/2013
DMorgan
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Sounds like a neat idea actually.

RockPaperShotgun do something similar called The Sunday Papers, which is a weekly news roundup of little tidbits.
#8 at 10:54:00 - 28/10/2013
DMorgan
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Ok, so I've spoken to HairyArse and we both think it might be an idea to make coverage of Steam sales (like their weeklong deals), indie bundles etc a regular weekly thing.

With that in mind, we're after a title for the weekly column (and, if one of you chaps is feeling a bit enterpristing, a banner image, with the only requirements that it needs to be 400x150-200 pixels) and, it goes without saying, clean!).

If any of you lovely lot would like to offer suggestions, feel free to do so here. We'll take the best ideas and/or images, and if one of them gets used then obviously the contributor will be given full credit in the first column and maybe a virtual cookie*, so get your thinking caps on guys!



*DISCLAIMER: Cookies may or may not contain pixels. Virtual cookies may not be exchanged for real cookies. Enjoy cookies as part of a healthy balanced diet.
#9 at 12:50:53 - 31/10/2013
nekotcha
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Sounds like a good plan - the Humble Bundles in particular are worthy of as much coverage as possible in my opinion.

People quite regularly post really quite good deals in the bargains thread too - mentioning the most notable of those deals might not be a bad idea either.
#10 at 15:21:08 - 31/10/2013
DMorgan
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Yep, I keep an eye on that and I'm also signed up to the newsletters of a few bundle sites as it is.

A review of Batman: Arkham Origins should be up a bit later this evening btw - just finishing it off now before I do a little bit of tweaking.
#11 at 17:19:29 - 31/10/2013
DMorgan
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My single-player review of Origins review is up.

Whether it's down to few people playing multiplayer on the 360 or issues with the matchmaking, I wasn't able in the end to cover the online side of things, so if anyone wants to cover that in a separate review then knock yourselves out! I'm not a big player of multiplayer modes in games anyway, so I'm unlikely to come back to it as I'm now already working through AC4 which I wouldn't mind reviewing unless someone else would like to get there first.

I was originally going to give Origins 3 stars (the equivalent of a 6/10), but ultimately decided that the technical problems I experienced warranted a penalty as I feel such things aren't mentioned or taken into account anywhere near enough in professional reviews for whatever reason. Given the widespread nature of the issues, it's safe to conclude that the problems I had weren't isolated to my experience alone.
#12 at 04:09:52 - 01/11/2013
HairyArse
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Dale - I removed your paragraph indents. We don't do that around here.

;)
#13 at 11:16:37 - 01/11/2013
DMorgan
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No worries, I'll keep it in mind. It's just a personal style point, so I'll bear it in mind for future articles.

Cheers :)

Hope you're all enjoying the more regular site content btw!
#14 at 11:28:50 - 01/11/2013
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The front page... IT'S ALIVE
#15 at 21:32:11 - 01/11/2013
DMorgan
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Nice, isn't it? ;)

If it sparks more activity that can only be a good thing - bringing more awareness, more contributions, more activity and overall making the site more cost-efficient for poor old HairyArse!

You could always join in! News articles only take about 10 minutes to write due to their low word counts (I'm actually trying to flex my muscles with regards to getting a feel for shorter content, as well as playing around a little with stylistic tone a touch).

The "hardest" thing is faffing around getting the banners to the right resolution :)

I'm looking over my notes for feature article ideas at the moment and trying to decide what to keep for pro work and what to do for the site (and what to scrap, i must have been drunk for a couple of these...). Decisions, decisions...



#16 at 03:34:34 - 02/11/2013
Flying_Pig
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NewYork said:The front page... IT'S ALIVE


QFT.

Loving it.
#17 at 09:04:46 - 02/11/2013
Bremenacht
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Good Arkham Origins review.
#18 at 23:50:05 - 03/11/2013
DMorgan
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I think I just got our very first scoop!

(check the KI article on the front page).

Not seen this anywhere on other sites yet. GO US!
#19 at 16:17:03 - 06/11/2013
nekotcha
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To be honest I was most impressed to see that the article header images don't have to all be the same height, but the exclusive is quite nice too (although Eurogamer has the story now, too).
#20 at 17:21:41 - 06/11/2013
DMorgan
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nekotcha said:To be honest I was most impressed to see that the article header images don't have to all be the same height, but the exclusive is quite nice too (although Eurogamer has the story now, too).


Yes I know... after I politely gave Wes a heads up in the interests of cooperation :(

No credit for AATG though, but he could have already been aware of it.
#21 at 17:29:51 - 06/11/2013
DMorgan
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Related to the header thing, I'm toying with the idea of setting up a dropbox account for contributors to use as a shared resource for headers and things, divided into subfolders according to franchises, publishers, etc etc.

My thinking is for news items to have smaller banners, with larger ones for features and reviews to make them stand out a bit more on the front page.

What do you think?
#22 at 17:32:19 - 06/11/2013
nekotcha
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Having a stock set of images would be useful, definitely, and whilst we're talking about making it a bit easier to submit articles I was wondering if someone who has worked with the CMS a lot would be able to write down somewhere - preferably accessible from within the CMS when you actually need it - exactly what all of the different fields do. I don't post articles all that often but when I do (as with today's Blackbar review) I always find myself trying to work out what the difference between the heading and the introduction are, and whether some of the other fields are applicable to reviews or not.
#23 at 11:16:27 - 07/11/2013
DMorgan
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Coming up for your weekend reading:

Well, we'll finally have the Assassin's Creed 4 review up for you (promise!). Why the delay? Well, the game is absolutely huge, and I wanted to experience every aspect of it thoroughly so you could be assured that the final verdict is comprehensive and not some rush-job pushed to publication prematurely.

What else? Well, there's this small thing called Blizzcon taking place over the weekend and I have access to that, so you can expect the biggest news from the event to be relayed to you first-hand (watch this space for potential good news regarding Blizzard stuff in the near future, btw).

I have other stuff in the pipeline too - a certain lovely contributor has wrangled preview copies of turn-based strategy Blackguard as well as Dragon Eternity, and I'm looking at doing a piece on Hearthstone too.

I may also have a couple of developer interviews coming up, but this isn't set in stone right now - the t's still need to be crossed and the i's dotted. I won't say who with right now, but the games they're working on have been receiving plenty of attention and both made an appearance at this year's Eurogamer Expo.

What else? Hmmm. Well I have access to a closed Beta, and I'm currently trying to wrangle a bit of reporting freedom from the publisher to allow me to cover it. So that could be something. But I won't allow them to use me as a marketing mouthpiece, so if it starts to look that way then I'll cut my losses; I became a journalist to write what I want about games, not to simply parrot press releases and marketing reps.

I also have a couple of opinion pieces I'm currently thinking of, so those could crop up soon.

Hmmm, ok. I started talking about this weekend and moved into the near future!
#24 at 22:19:44 - 07/11/2013
evilashchris
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Nice work!
#25 at 22:29:47 - 07/11/2013
DMorgan
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The reason I've been a little quiet over the last couple of days in terms of site content is because I've been working like a demon building up contacts and doing behind-the-scenes stuff. It's been utterly exhausting, and has required a lot of pinging of emails, but progress is being made (another partial reason for the AC4 review delay - been cramming in playtime in between emails and phone calls and in the wee hours).

My poor sleep cycle doesn't know what's hit it! And Blizzcon obviously takes place in US time, so that's going to be interesting 0_o
#26 at 22:45:10 - 07/11/2013
Bremenacht
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Nice, busy front page.
#27 at 23:05:18 - 07/11/2013
DMorgan
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Bremenacht said:Nice, busy front page.


It seems to be catching! There's definitely more a hum of activity round here, which is great for everyone. We've had a couple of new signups too I believe.
#28 at 23:08:33 - 07/11/2013
DMorgan
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nekotcha said:Having a stock set of images would be useful, definitely


As an example of how I came up with a few of my headers:

1) Find an image with a good central focus (logo, etc) via google at 1080p. Save.

2) Open and edit (I'm cheap, so just use default windows tools atm), resizing dimensions to 460 width. Save, quit out.

3) Load the new image, click the crop button. Expand the width to fill the full pic. Don't adjust height. Save.

4) Repeat step 3 again.

5) You should now have a header image for a news story at 460 width and something like 119 height. Rename the file to delete the crap in brackets, the upload.

If the image isn't really centered well, then you need to get manual. That's where it gets fiddly using the built-in windows tools. But that should be a good start.

I can only speak for myself here obviously, but my personal thinking is to give feature header images greater height so they stick out more compared to news pieces. Those are 100% my take though, and by no means set in stone, and at the end of the day this sort of stuff is down to Rich and could be redundant anyway depending on what he has planned for the design of the site.
#29 at 01:48:12 - 08/11/2013
DMorgan
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It's great seeing so much activity on the front page :D
#30 at 14:24:01 - 08/11/2013

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