I like the quake background.
I would recommend that you remove all the links that have nothing in them.
I personally feel that the links "Photos", and "Videos" should not be there. I would think that links like those would only be available when viewing a particular map, but not those links in general.
The link "Review Blog" sounds funny to me. I mean, I never seen a review site in the form of a blog. Doesn't seem right. I would remove that link.
I would remove the "Members" link, because it's really not that important. Same goes with Guestbook.
If you really want to keep those links, then they should be placed elsewhere. Placed in the footer, in a menu called "Extra" or something.
Your main menu should really only be something like: "Home", "Submit Map", and "Contact" for starters.
No need for a link for "Reviews", really, your homepage should be the reviews. Your homepage shouldn't be a blog. It should be the reviews.
I would move the homepage to a page called "About" and put "About" link in that footer menu I mentioned(above) "Extra"
The right column with "Signin | Register" should be removed completely. You want as much space as possible, and that column seems useless so far. I recommend that the "Signin" and "Register" links be placed somewhere in the top right corner of the website.
I only say this based on years of experience of doing websites myself.
Keep it in mind that the site was just being created and that everything on it is subject to change. All of those links and places that you mentioned were already there by default, and not because I added them.
You can be certain that the finished site will look considerably different.
That said, I fail to see what is wrong with having the reviews on a seperate page or even pages. It would make it easier to organize different things.
Also I forgot to add that I am currently using a free domain (hence the "webs" being in the name) but after a while there is a real chance that I might upgrade the site to go beyond this (meaning that it would simply be called www.quakeblast.com with there being no "webs" in-between"). This would give me more options and power over the site, but would also cost money. So before that I instead going to use the free version for now while I decide how I want to do things.
Still, you were right about the "review blog" thing sounding stupid so it has been changed right away.
Anyways, I am extremely tired right now so I am going to get some sleep. Expect me to work more on the site tomorrow.
what is wrong with having the reviews on a seperate page or even pages.
It's a common mistake that many people--including myself--make.
Many times a person will start a website, and have sections such as "News", and "Forums", etc. but eventually they realize that everyone is clicking the "Forums" only. So, eventually they make the Forums be the homepage. It's all about Web Usability, and reducing the amount of clicks a user needs to click.
If you feel the primary focus is to be a blog, then I suppose your homepage would be blog. But I have a feeling everyone will be going to the reviews page, therefore your homepage should actually be the reviews page, and everyone will love you for it.
I suppose a reviews website could be in the form of a blog. That would be a new and interesting approach. Perhaps your reviews website is unique in that sense, where each review is a blog post?
But you would still eventually have an archive of reviews, and I think people would be visiting that more often.
Also, you can display more reviews in the form of a gallery, and such.
Be careful with the domain name changing. Your domain gains reputation the longer it's alive, so, if you can somehow manage to get the correct domain for free, that'd be great.
To get started maybe review some maps you know are good or interesting - while you wait for those made with TB to get up to speed.
Is where they are, but there's a lot :)
So I humbly suggest these;
The Living End by Necros (Grim medieval map crawler)
Zerstorer Turtle Map pack (excellent map collection linked to a classic SP mod)
The Castle of KooHoo by Vondur (Legendary)
Concentric Devastation by Lunaran (epic, single level mod)
The above is a decent cross section that anyone new to Quake would want to know about, although maybe a bit on the epic end of the spectrum.
Of course, if you get bored / are very enthusiatic you could try doing some of the multiple map packs / mods as well;
Insomnia by CZG
Something Wicked this way Comes by Tronyn / PM
Operation Urth Magik
Contract Revoked by Kell
In The Shadows by Sock
This Is Good News Though, No?
New review site!
This is awesome news! Don't forget to advertise your site outside the Quake community. You are welcome to directly link to zip files at Quaddicted if you want, I do absolutely not consider that "evil deeplinking" like some people do.
is still around too. http://spmapcorner.blogspot.com/
never got the attention he deserves!
Ahh, well, there you go. :)
That taw.duke4.net looks nice, for being a blog-orientated reviews site.
Concentric Devastation by Lunaran (epic, single level mod)
too many enforcers, rubbish boss
Made up for by an awe-inspiring, extremely useful Vondur secret!
Boss was too complex but the layout was great and there were plenty of decent custom enemies to slaughter.
I Figured Out The Boss Once
And then I forgot. Exciting huh?
The Site Has Been Updated!
Ok, I just worked on the site some more and it is now more or less finished with all unneeded sections removed and new sections/pages added!
People who want are now free to send me their maps/mods if they so desire.
While the site now has everything that it strictly needs, it is still very possible that some minor tweaks or changes might be made in the future.
Anyways, I hope people will send me their maps. I also included a link to TrenchBroom's homepage on the site.
I forgot, if anyone knows about any other sites that might be clever to link to on my own site then feel free to mention them.
Q: Do you use vanilla Quake to play maps?
A: No, I use the Epsilon engine for improved graphics and features.
First of all that is the Darkplaces engine with a collection of fan-made content replacement. The collection is called "Epsilon" something.
That is not good. You won't be playing Quake but some sort of absolutely moronic looking amateur-quality abomination. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sGQ98QAfJA
My eyes! Please switch to an engine such as QuakeSpasm and don't use the replacement textures and such. What you are playing is truly not Quake.
Apart from visual controversy, note that Darkplaces has some compatibility issues with certain maps; they may not play correctly or require a special setup beforehand. This has to be taken into consideration when reviewing them to avoid deathz0r-style judgement.
We're Conservative Snobs Here
To set it in perspective, think of it as jDoom with 3D models and other pseudo-modern stuff paired with some of the much argued-over ZDoom features. In the end, it's your decision of course.
I wasn't aware that you guys did not like the Darkplaces epsilon engine. I will update the FAQ to make mention that I will just play the maps in whatever engine will run them.
The site's FAQ has been updated.
My face is melting!!!!!
To echo what others have said - it's not a good idea to use some random engine to review maps - most modern maps have very specific engine requirements, as will be explained in the readme's.
This usually means: FitzQuake, or a FQ fork such as QuakeSpasm, or Mark V. Sometimes, it is a custom engine that ships with the map, but in all cases, a correct and bug-free experience can only be expected using the engines that the designer explicitly states have been tested and shown to play the map/mod correctly.
Re: Send In Maps
A little heads-up on the current situation. Sadly, unlike Doom, there are only very few releases each year, perhaps around 15-20 max. This year has seen only one Q1SP release so far. News about new levels is typically posted here at Func_Msgboard and at Quaddicted.
Of course people may well send you their older stuff, but it's probably unlikely to happen. Hence the suggestion to pick some levels from the Quaddicted archive and review them just to get started. For example, you can sort the list by date (year) or rating. Rather than recommending maps myself, I'd say you could go through the Excellent-rated maps (five stars) and pick some that look interesting to you from the description and screenshot. Using the Quake Injector can make this even easier.
I certainly hope TrenchBroom will make for some higher number of releases in the future, but it remains to be seen. If it doesn't, well, SleepwalkR will have to answer for that!
Specific Engine Requirements
I wouldn't put it this strongly. It's more like a matter of what works and what doesn't. Generally, you can say that pretty much every regular Q1SP can be played with Fitz/Quakespasm (unless clearly stated otherwise), wheras there' a fair chance to encounter problems with Darkplaces in certain cases.
Many authors didn't/don't test their levels on a wide range of engines, so often potential issues may not even be known and mentioned in the readmes.
About The Engine And Also How Maps Are Reviewed...
About what engine to use:
I have already written it into both the FAQ and the "how to send me your map/guide" that those who send me maps can tell me exactly what engine they would like me to use to review their maps/mods, so I don't get it why you are still complaining about this. Perhaps I should update the FAQ to make this even more clear?
About how maps are reviewed:
I have just added an entire new page where I explain it in detail how my review system works and how maps/mods are given scores. You guys might want to check it out.
And as for there not being enough new Quake projects: I am aware of the fact that new maps don't get released as often as for games such as Doom. This is ok, because I also intend to review maps/mods that have already been released in the past. Though I guess I should probably mention this in the FAQ now that I think about it. Yea I will am going to do that right after finishing this post.
First Review Is Up!
I just posted my first review on the site! Perhaps I will post some more reviews later this weekend :)
I like the honours system, it's fairly straight to the point. A couple more screenshots would be nice. Maybe one large screenshot at the top, and a couple of smaller ones in the text to help break it up. One on the left, and lower down one on the right, perhaps. With text wrapped around. Gives a break to the reader for line-length.
The second-last paragraph - watch the spelling of length, and one instance of 'the level' should probably be replaced with 'it' or 'this map', the phrase is repeated one time too many.
Overall I think it's a good review.
I would give it a solid 7 :)
Interesting, keep up the good work. The more sites the better.
About the maps, i have some maps that i never released and about 200 DM maps i got somewhere back in 1997-1998. But more than see them reviewed, i want to get comments to improve them. I am currently bug-fixing them and adding some things, taking advantage of that WC 3.3 has vertex editor (yes, the last editor i used was WC 1.2 and a very old Quark, i came back to Quake 1-2 years ago).
And lastly don't ever say that epsilon is an engine :D. It's just a compilation of mods that someone choose to bundle and put on the net, put on Darkplaces engine. Ther's lots of people, in fact I am one of them even though i use Quakespasm mostly, with their own choose of mods for Darkplaces or other engines that support them, that compilation is one of many others you could do by yourself if you get modifications on your quake engine. By the way i am still perplexed when i see how weird some maps look when you use RTWorld in Darkplaces, for example, with marcher_kinn. What kind of lights are the ones that make so a weird effect on RTWorld? It would be nice if i could adapt my maps to work with RTWorld too.
bring down the console and enter:
I like low fov settings for screenshots. High fov can be fun too. (try anything from about 50 to 150 to experiment, you'll see what I mean).
Notarget stops the monsters from attacking you unless you hurt them first.
r_drawviewmodel 0 removes the player weapon from the view.
Also you can increase the size of the viewport to remove the HUD bar at the bottom.
It was a good review, but i think that the text is a bit homogeneous and big, maybe giving an space between the main text and the rest and reducing 1-2 points the font size of the main text would be better for readability.
Will you be fixing the mobile version? It's currently just some placeholder atm.
Thanks for your replies guys. I have corrected some spelling errors on the site, and also added a link to the map being reviewed (I was going to do so in the first place, but forgot).
I guys make some nice points about the screenshots, but I think the text is fine as it is for the most part. Also, I did as Cocerello suggested and replaced "Epsilon" with "Darkplaces".
Will look into that right now. Will get back at you soon...
I edited the site to make it look cooler on mobile devices.
Note that I don't personally own a mobile device so its hard for me to know just how good the site is on a mobile device.
Checked It Out On My Android Jellybean Phone
768p screen I think.
Looks OK now - you can see the pic and see all of the text in the article. Navigation works and is accessible. The style looks 'OK'.
The one thing I would change for mobile devices is the paragraphs of text. The main text for the review for example has the lighter orange colour, but there is a light grey background. This is not a good combo. Whilst I can read it, I have no colourblindness, and to me it's still a bit of a strain to read.
So - if possible - change the background to a darker colour, or change the font to a darker colour. I do web dev a bit, and this is achievable with CSS or JS, but I don't know how easy it would be to edit with your setup.
As it is though, it's passable :)
More Stuff About The Mobile Version
I have messed more with the mobile version.
The background is now black and the text yellow orange on most places. For some reason though I just can't seem to find a way to change the background color on the review pages. That's a shame. But at least the mobile version as far as I know looks mostly fine now.
I don't see much progress, as much as what's described in the posts (above). All I see is that the top menu has slightly been altered. So, I will comment on that:
I would recommend that you remove links "HOW REVIEW SCORES WORK" and "HOW TO SEND ME YOUR MOD/MAP", and move those to the FAQ page.
I would also recommend you rename "SITES TO CHECK OUT!" to "LINKS"
Remove "MORE", because no one knows what that means and it's probably not of interest to anyone anyways, so, just remove it.
Remove "MEMBERS" link, because no one will care about that either. Links like those should be in the footer of your website.
I am not sure on what grounds you claim that nobody will care about all of the stuff that you claim should be removed. I also don't see any reason to remove any of those pages. I like the setup the way it currently is.
I Looked At Members A Few Times Already
I set my logo to be a kodiak bear, real mean looking one with a fish in its mouth, then some guy set his to what looks like a cartoon fat bear with a thong on and its arse out. It's kinda curious to have a members area on something like this, because of the way the community is.
Links being links is a bit of a no-brainer though, just for SEO purposes really.
I think that the HOW TO SEND ME YOUR MOD/MAP is OK, it lets viewers know instantly that if they send him a map he might review it. That's not such a bad thing.
How review scores work would actually go quite well near the top of the FAQs I guess.
The grey background on mobile devices is a bit of a pain still, but I dont know how this site is constructed. Is it a 'webs.com CMS'? Or other MVC/CMS? The mobile markup is actually quite good other than the background issue.
Well, I'm not going to click "Reviews" so that I can see reviews. Since your site is a reviews site, I would expect reviews to be right there, on the homepage.
Your homepage right now is pretty much an "About" page, and that should be in the "About" section, like I've already said.
So, if you aren't going listen to me, then I'm not going to bother with it anymore.
Good day, and good luck with that.
I think it does make sense to have reviews on the home page. Really.
But don't be so quick to throw your toys man.
It's Practically Flame-baiting
Look, I was going to ignore this thread entirely.
I only posted, because I felt bad that no one else did. But, I really didn't want to, nor did I care.
So, my patience is quite thin already, and I'm done now.
You can give someone advice but they aren't obligated to listen to you. Just FYI.
He listened, but that isn't the same as accepting what he said and actually doing it.
I really don't get it why deqer finds it so terrible having to spend 3 seconds clicking a whole button to access the reviews.
I also doubt he is someone who is worth listening to if he is the type of person who subscribes to the "do as I say or I am out of here" kind of reasoning.
As for reviews being on the front page, that isn't possible as far as I can tell. Because of limitations with the site's editing tools, the front page can pretty much only serve as a sort of a "about" page. I still fail to see how any of this is a problem though, seeing as making a single click on the review button isn't exactly difficult.
If people cannot stand the idea of having to press the review button every time they enter the site, they can always just bookmark the review section.
Ricky makes a fair point of how the "how review scores work" should be next to the FAQ though. I will change that.
About some peoples ideas about merging the FAQ with the "how review scores work": No.
I personally feel that putting all of the information from both pages on a single page would make the FAQ page too long. I think it is better to have 2 separate pages. 1 FAQ page for FAQ about the site in general, and 1 FAQ ("how review scores work") for how the scoring system works.
Also, I changed the "Sites to check out" to "Links to check out" to appease some of you who wanted that page re-named to just Links.
Just looked at the site for the first time. My first impression:
Very dark looking.
Lots of orange text on the front page, but no review.
Lots of links across the top.
If it is a review page, then a review should really be the first thing anyone sees.
"This is where cool Quake maps are reviewed!" Yeah, OK, but where's the actual reviews? Hidden among those multiple links at the top? Their grey colour makes them almost blend in with the background and thus hard to read. The word "Review" needs to jump out somewhere, it needs to be the first thing anyone sees. Besides that giant quake logo, that is. Put your content front and center. I visit web sites for content.
Hope that helps. Don't get me wrong, it's cool to see someone start a new game related website.
You might consider a free wordpress page as the blog format might work better? You get a fair amount of control even with the free version.
At the very least, the latest review needs to be boldly linked, preferably with a screen shot, on the main page.
I added a small extra bit of information on the front page that mentions the reviews being on the review page and that the button that takes you there is at the top of the site. That is as far as I will go to make sure people will get there.
I still don't get this complaint in the first place, mind you. Pressing a single button that can easily be seen at the top of the page takes no effort whatsoever.
You make a fair point about always mentioning the latest review on the front page. I will take that into consideration.
I Did As You Said
Ok, I fallowed your advice. The front page now has and always will have a link to the latest review.
They are not complaints, they are helpful suggestions (mostly). ;)
In this forum, no matter what you do, you will be criticised. Usually in a constructive way that can help you "improve" in any way.
I like the review style, it seems solid and honest!
A New Review Has Been Published!
Having the Latest Review link there on the front page is helpful.
Two Neil Manke Maps?
You aren't getting these from QuakeTerminus are you? (in my world of delusion people still visit my site) I was a big fan of Neil Manke when I popped those on the site 12 years ago. They are very early maps for him, and probably have not stood the test of time. On a sad note Neil Manke has pretty much dropped off the Internet. Some say he has died, but I couldn't find his obituary, so lets hope not.
Good luck with your review site by the way
Grab stuff off the terminus now and again, it remains a useful resource.
Grab stuff off the terminus now and again, it remains a useful resource.
Chrome's fault that time.
But... Orange text on a grey background isn't very easy on the eyes. I'm on the mobile version, I guess.
I like how you've written and structured things. Keep up the good work.
The Mobile Version
sadly I can't help you when it comes to the mobile version and the orange text and the grey background on the reviews. I have tried changing that but I can't without also changing the way things look on the original site. Your just going to have to live with it or else read the reviews on a PC.
And here I thought anyone tech-savy would switch their phone browser to identify as a desktop browser.
I rarely run into websites that are awkward to read, I can highly recommend it.
Of course it is trivial to request the desktop version, but if you aren't going to officially support it, then don't even have it at all.
Your snide comments to yourself Spirit.
With what you suggest I'd have to change my browser settings back and forth, because other sites do have a working mobile version, easier to read on a mobile device, not more difficult.
Sorry, I did not meant it as snide at all. Honestly! I got mad when sites pushed some annoying dumbed down versions of websites in my face.
It Was Fairly Offtopic Though, Sorry
No website on earth should have orange bulk text. Reserve that colour for headings at the most.
To be honest if you've got no web experience, I'd highly recommend starting with a wordpress style blog rather than fumbling around with webs and wix and the other free website builders. Those other 2 sites someone posted http://taw.duke4.net/
both of which use blogs, are far easier to navigate that this new site. I had to click to get to reviews, then all I got was 2 giant pictures which I had to click into again. Getting too time consuming.
Deqer might have been a bit arrogant, but he was actually right with his suggestions.
Reviews Will Now Be Published During The Weekends
I have updated the FAQ. From now on the general goal is to review 1 map each weekend. The "1 review a month as a complete minimum" rule still applies, but expect to see 1 review at least during most weekends. There is a new one coming probably some time today/tonight by the way. Or in a worst case scenario, tomorrow. But probably tonight.
Reviewing some of Tronyns maps, since he can*t do it on Quakedicted.?
That would be nice!
yeah, review those monstrous beasts!
Where are they found?
pretty good for finding most maps..
The New Review Of MFXs Map Is Good
Very straight to the point.
There are some maps that you should probably play if you haven't already:
(In no particular order)
Kinn 'The Marcher Fortress'
Than 'The Final Threat'
Negke 'Red Slammer'
Distrans 'Ruined Nation'
Hrimfaxi 'Breakfast at Twilight'
Necros 'The Living End'
czg & vondur 'The Slipgate Duplex'
digs 'The Parallel Worlds'
I mean there are loads of maps you could review, but these are some of the maps that I think really make a statement in Quake 1 mapping, and are the sort of maps that would be good to know about when reviewing maps, you can refer to these maps. I mean I'm sure you have a good idea of how you want to review your maps, but this stuff is good to know about. Some mappers have a very distinctive style, which will have influenced others.
Other stuff you should probably play if you haven't already:
czg - Insomnia, Terra
ijed - WARPSPASM
Some of Tronyns maps (he has a very strong style)
Guys, what else? I just mean as real hallmark maps, good examples of distinctive artistic stylisation. The stuff that is hard to forget, and just sticks in your mind.
RickyT23's maps are quite good too, especially that incredibly e4m1rmx.
that 768*768 contest entries from negke and necros (Moldy Tower!!)
Fort Driant by JPL
Rubicon 1 and 2
Stark Monstrosity also a burner from RickyT23
..and my fav Apsp3 from Than!!
1 review a month minimum? Crikey, don't overwork yourself there hakkarin ;)
Review some of [Kona]s maps. He also has a very strong style, and some of the best maps out there IMO.
Your writing style. It'd be nice to hear what you think of some of the classics.
Warp, by the way, was designed to crack the players head in two. Apparently people still enjoy playing it.
As ricky says, try insomnia. For many, I think, the standout third party map pack.
To Sum Up All The Map Suggestions:
Go review EVERYTHING!
(Like I said earlier, it may not be beneficial to flood suggestions as only creates bias)
Fuck Otp I Found It. I Found It.
Too Late Czg!
OTP: that'll do pig, that'll do.
We need a monacle smiley...
No we don't, because that's not how you spell monocle :(