Behold! Fresh Website Splendor

By RPS on September 16th, 2009 at 3:41 pm.

Sorry about the current lack of forum integration. But look, the site loads!

Ooh, it changed. There may be bugs. Yes, we’ve updated the site. We’re going to be doing all kinds of new stuff, including more special VIP treatment for subscribers, more events, more interviews, more reviews, more cleverthinks, and so on. All the things that make RPS fun will be staying the same, but there will be more of it, and it will be prettier. This redesign is about making things tidier, cleaner, less broken, but also about introducing some more things that we couldn’t do before, like those site skin adverts you see around the web. Yes, boo hiss adverts. Making sure we don’t go bankrupt has become an issue, so we’re concentrating on making RPS a bit more of a business and a bit less of a charity, because after two years of working pretty hard on this we can safely say we love writing about PC games, and want to do more of this sort of thing.

More about the redesign, including an important message from our designer, below.

James Willock, designer in chief, says:

Greetings readers

I write to you now by licence of the Hivemind. I will keep this message brief as it may be largely boring to those of you only interested in electronic video games.

First off, why the change? There is a large contingent who bemoan any sort of change, but the old site had a good run. This incarnation has been in the pipeline for some time now with the primary goal of improving the overall browsing experience. A lot of time and effort has been expended researching the appropriate fonts, line heights and other text legibility factors. Upshot? Words should be easier on the eyes to read now.

The site is also a bit shinier and more colourful. What’s with the nebulae? Well, space is the most common fictional location for games, so it seemed fitting. Future RPS redesigns may take place in sewers or abandoned Miami warehouses.

We also have new technologies. The old forum is dead. It was a horrible Frankenstein’s monster of a beast, and no one will lament its loss. In its place we have new, shiny, actually working forum software which is cleverly synchronized with the main site. When an article is posted on the site, it gets automatically posted on the forum. Comments on the post and posts in the forum thread are synchronized to finally bridge the gap between the warring factions. [If you're mourning the loss of all your old posts, a read-only version of the old forum can be found here, incidentally.]

By popular request, threaded comments are now enabled. Okay, only to one depth, but now when your bulky totem is pulsing with rage you can at least point the verbal abuse in the right direction. Some time has also been spent re-imagining some of the old site pages. Check out the About page for a barbershop tribute.

As always your kind comments and bug-splatting is graciously appreciated.

Oh, and you might need to delete your RPS cookies to get into the forum, but you’ve already registered with the site, you’ll already be signed up. (In Firefox go to Tools, Options, Privacy, and click Show Cookies, then search for “rockpapershotgun” and delete any associated with this site. In IE, God knows. It seems you have to faff around inside Documents and Settings\”Administrator”\Cookies to find them. But seriously, isn’t it time to switch to Firefox or Chrome?)

Finally, in the spirit of newness, our lovely subscribers will be receiving a regular RPS Newsletter, which will contain all sorts of TOP SECRET INFORMATION. If you don’t subscribe, for example, you’ll have no idea about the awesome competition for free games we had this morning! Man! Join the cool kids here.

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452 Comments »

  1. Da'Jobat says:

    I quite like it so far. Not a massive change to the original, but still very nice. Aced it guys!

  2. Seniath says:

    Crap, that last comment totally lost my <Neo> tag.

  3. Ben Abraham says:

    I should have KNOWN seeing that website guy – James or whatever his name is. He only ever turns up in comments when RPS gets a facelift.

  4. Yargh says:

    it’s full of stars!

  5. LewieP says:

    It is not exactly the same as the previous site. Ergo, I dislike it.

    Jesting of course, initial impressions are that is is pretty, and good forums is a good thing.

  6. TheBlackBandit says:

    Yes, very yes. Thumbs up from me… glad we’ve not lost the tf2-esque grey and brown, which I always liked. Not sure about the Nebulae, but it’ll grow on me.

    And speaking from inside the shining subscriber camp, yeah, yeah, you don’t know what you’re missing.

  7. ChampionHyena says:

    I was just reading the Wot I Think on Champions Online when suddenly an alert popped up in Steam.

    I refreshed the page to look, when suddenly–

    THE REJIGGENING

    MY GOD

    IT’S FULL OF STARS

    Also loading kinda slow. But I bet that’s just shaking the cobwebs off for all the novelty, yeah?

  8. James says:

    Please try and break stuff. This has been shockingly smooth for an RPS change-over.

    • Clovus says:

      I’m trying to break stuff by using the reply feature!

      Hooray! I’m helping!

    • ysbreker says:

      Can you please fix the html errors? ( a few cases of a closing a-tag without opening a-tag, an un escaped & and some other misc stuff) Oh and moving the onchange events from the select to a seperate JS file would be awesome too. (And good practice!)

    • Jad says:

      Here’s a test of RPS readers: does anyone read first-page threads if we’ve gone off to multiple pages of comments already? If you’re reading this, please reply to this post!

      Also! This will be a great test of the threading — how many replies can the threading system handle?

    • LewieP says:

      I like the sound of this test.

    • noggin says:

      @Jad – hello!

    • Premium User Badge

      Sagan says:

      Hey I read that!

  9. ysbreker says:

    the “Read the rest of this entry »”-link in the article doesn’t work :( (And I presume it isn’t needed anymore because of the fanvy read button).

    The error page for not filling in your email/website/nickname is deviod of any markup. Perhaps some fancy javascript form validation would help with this?

  10. Lu-Tze says:

    The forums appear to be empty, oh woe, our words have been destroyed ;_;

  11. Lambchops says:

    2 minutes ago it looked the old way and now it looks new. Ooh shiny.

    I actually quite like this redesign; it looks pretty sleek and is very easy on the eyes. Although pages seem to be taking some time to load at the moment – don’t know if anyone else is experiencing this.

    I also feel a warm glow for subscribing just before “more special treatment” was announced . . . .I’m not just in it for potential free stuff!

  12. ChampionHyena says:

    God dammit!

    I posted that “It’s full of stars” crack WAY before Yargh did! It just took an excruciatingly long time to go through.

    JAMES THE SITE IS TOO SLOW

    IT IS INJURIOUS TO MY FABULOUS WITTICISMS

    PLEASE ADVISE

  13. Andrew Dunn says:

    Yeah, I like this. I think font sizes are maybe slightly too large but the look is great.

  14. ChaosSmurf says:

    Pretty!

    Site is dodgy in Chrome/XP/1024*768 though. Leaves space at the left and right edges instead of fitting to the window.

    • Mets Fan says:

      Same res on XP Firefox 3.5.3 with the same gripe. Lots of wasted real-estate.

  15. irama says:

    Love it. Keep up the good work!

  16. Nero68 says:

    Oooh, well as always with something new it takes a while to adjust. A new forum sounds lovely.

  17. ChaosSmurf says:

    Also in Opera, same specs >.>

  18. nabeel says:

    Congrats! Looks spiffy.

  19. Mike says:

    It’s so beautiful! It’s even better than the All Aspect Warfare site!

  20. Schmung says:

    This seems nice. A properly synchronized forum is a good thing as well. Not entirely sure about the main header image thing – it needs more horizontal and less vertical.

  21. James says:

    Okay, you broke it by USING IT TOO MUCH. Please go read other sites while the server recovers. I hear IGN is good.

  22. gryffinp says:

    Eh… I don’t think I like this new layout as much as the old one. I feel like the smooth borders and rounded corners kind of clash with the feel of the site. The overall effect is to make it feel more open and airy- And as a PC gamer open and airy is not a comfortable environment for me. What would be nice is one of those dealies where you can click a button and change the site layout. That would be cool.

  23. brog says:

    Change is bad, etc.
    I don’t like how when I load the site, the first thing I see is not the latest post. It’s not even on the screen! I have to scroll down! What is this BATMAN rubbish I see instead?

    Apart from that.. ooh, shiny. If slow.

  24. Clovis says:

    I’m outraged! And when I’m outraged….

    So, it looks like my browser at RPS and then threw it up. My browser is forced to be IE6 at work though, so I don’t think you should actually try to remedy the situation.

    Here’s a real complaint though. I really liked not having “pages” in the comments. Otherwise, I can’t wait to get home and see what this looks like with a proper browser.

    And here’s a really long word, just to see how it gets handled (per request to break things):

    lkjal;vjc89vjn2i3j0c-v09cad90sd90fui03j2kj3-09d0ac0jaklj30r1jr0fj#@%#%$EJefos0-uf0sdlacjvopcnpqoj3r5@#$R#@$%#@%@#JdFDF)(FU)jr34%#@%RWJFDEJFJD)J)(D)TUI)#$JTOIJFD)G(UD*U#ONKJ#@;5j23%235345jt2309f8d0fioj23r023fjdslkgjdf-892opihtklgy0d897vhvowiru3-7g-sddhpaogkj0-we8urf-98uf92htf-89sdugf98u-2e90rufh-fh9-sdafh!!!!111!!!!!111!!!!

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      I agree with the comments on one page thing – that’s about the only thing I don’t really like about the redesign. Pretty minor though and comes down to scrolling the mouse wheel being oh so marginally quicker than pressing a button to move page.

    • Mike says:

      I’ll see your attempt to break the forum, and I’ll raise you a reply with a long word in. lkjal;vjc89vjn2i3j0cv09cad90sd90fui03j2kj3-09d0ac0jaklj30r1jr0fj#@%#%$EJefos0uf0sdlacjvopcnpqoj3r5@#$R#@$%#@%@#JdFDF)(FU)jr3%#@%RWJFDEJFJD)J(D)TUI)#$JTOIJFD)G(UD*U#ONKJ#@;5j23%235345jt2309f8d0fioj23r023fjdslkgjdf-892opihtklgy0d897vhvowiru3-7g-sddhpaogkj0-we8urf-98uf92htf-89sdugf98u-2e90rufhfh9sdafh!!!!111!!!!!111!!!!

  25. LewieP says:

    Hold the phone!

    From the homepage “Batman: The Review”

    What blasphemy is this? Where am I, IGN?

  26. MrBejeebus says:

    hmm, writing is too big for my liking, i preffered the old way, aside from that looks noice

  27. Sporknight says:

    The site doesn’t fit when I’m browsing in 1024 x 768. (in Firefox, on Windows 7, if that proves relevant). There’s room to scroll to the left and right. I can read everything in the main column just fine, but not having it properly fit is kind of silly…

    • Yargh says:

      That said, on this 15″ 1920×1200 display it’s pretty nice being able to make out the text without having to zoom the page.

    • Jad says:

      It looks nice enough. Problem for me is that I tend to view the site in a narrow, shrunk-down browser window off to the side of my screen while working, which makes the new wideness annoying. Particularly on the left side of the screen. I’ll get used to it though … I always have to scroll right for basically every other site, anyway. It was nice that the old RPS always lined up completely on the left if you had a narrow browser size. Is this fixable? There’s nothing to the left anyway… its just space.

      I also throw in my desire for one-page comments.

      Other than those two complaints the site seems fine.

    • Jad says:

      I’m going to have to get used to the way threading works.

      I clicked on “Reply” to Sporknight’s comment, but then nothing seemed to happen. No “you are replying to Sporknight” or anything. So I scrolled down to the bottom, and wrote post that was a more general reply to the whole article. Click “Opinion, Away!”, get an error message (something about the database did not reply, probably due to the hammering your servers are getting), clicked submit again, seemed to go through, check the last page of the posts, didn’t see my comment, clicked submit a third time, and then it told me “Duplicate Post, you’ve already said that”. Then I went back to Sporknight’s post and saw my reply below.

      Not to hard, but you should make the reply-in-thread process a little clearer. Like center your post after you reply in thread. And when you click the “Reply” button next to someone’s post, immediately send the browser down to the bottom and note that you’re replying to a specific post.

    • Jad says:

      And now after all that, it seems like you already do what I mentioned, as my comment popped up in the middle of my browser. Maybe my browser is just crapping out, or its due to server problems or something. Anyway, good stuff.

  28. KikiJiki says:

    Excellent redesign, subtle yet clearly different.

    I actually got off my lazy arse and subbed now as well, $2 a month is pittance and well worth it for this site :)

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      Yep, here’s $2 a month for your wordy rappinghood. I’ve just cancelled my PCG subscription so…

  29. Clovis says:

    It looks like the forum/story crossover stuff isn’t working perfectly. In the story James made the comment, “Please try and break stuff. This has been shockingly smooth for an RPS change-over.” That doesn’t appear in the version of the comments in the forum. I tried out the reply feature with, “I’m trying to break things by replying…” That comment does appear in the forum, but it doesn’t look like a reply so it sounds sort of stupid.

  30. mujadaddy says:

    It’s verrrrrrrrrry slow to load here in ‘Merka. Taking like 60 seconds. Before the page loaded with “redesign Madness”, I thought the site was down.

  31. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Overall it’s better but spoilt by two major issues;

    1/ The only time a font this large should be used is when writing a children’s book for pre-school kids. I am neither blind nor retarded.

    2/ Splitting comments into pages is a very bad idea, good website layout should ensure you have the least amount of unnecessary clicks to read everything you want. This is taking a step backwards.

  32. Richard Beer says:

    I get loads of ‘WordPress error’ messages down the right hand column on the shiny new homepage, and my office’s Trend Micro Alert thing goes crazy about widgets or something. Possibly related?

    Otherwise, I largely concur with John Walker’s one-word review of the new design: ‘prettier’.

  33. Stoffig says:

    My Dear LORD!

    Scrolling down I find under the information tab THIS:
    Children eaten by DRM today: 9529

    No fake moustaches or stick-on moles can fix these wrong doings!

    Boycotted.

  34. Leeks! says:

    Anything that will eventually lead to my spending even more of my billable hours reading clever Englishmen go on about videogames is fine by me. I say “huzzah!” to the re-design, and “extra-huzzah!” to a greater focus on developing RPS’ revenue streams.

    Capitalism wins, friends. Even on the Internet, capitalism will always win.

  35. jsutcliffe says:

    Nice work. There are things I dislike, but I won’t bother detailing them because nobody likes a whining bastard other than to ask one thing: is there a way to increase the number of comments displayed on a page? I quite liked having everything in one long page to scroll through.

    I like the new text weighting very much, the footer area is swell with the RPS four’s various websites and whatnot easily available. I love Myriad as a typeface, and I’m glad you’re using CSS3 for the corners rather than faffing about with images. Leave those ‘orrible IE folks out in the cold with their spiky edges, I say.

    Not sure how I feel about the nebula yet. I don’t like it, but it’s probably just because it’s different and unfamiliar.

    Nicely done, Mr. Willock. All hail RPS.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      Yep, type and font sizeare just dandy. This newfangled ‘replying’ business is nice too.

  36. jsutcliffe says:

    Nice work. There are things I dislike, but I won’t bother detailing them because nobody likes a whining bastard other than to ask one thing: is there a way to increase the number of comments displayed on a page? I quite liked having everything in one long page to scroll through.

    I like the new text weighting very much, the footer area is swell with the RPS four’s various websites and whatnot easily available. I love Myriad as a typeface, and I’m glad you’re using CSS3 for the corners rather than faffing about with images. Leave those ‘orrible IE folks out in the cold with their spiky edges, I say.

    Not sure how I feel about the nebula yet. I don’t like it, but it’s probably just because it’s different and unfamiliar.

    Nicely done, Mr. Willock. All hail RPS.

    [after my praise, the comments system on the new post keeps eating my comment or timing out, so I'll try it here]

  37. Javier-de-Ass says:

    Well this looks a lot worse. Apart from the lovely bugs. Keep up the great work.

  38. Ginger Yellow says:

    Not a fan of the new comments style (please have a single page version), but at least I can use the forum from work now. It used to be that as soon as I clicked on a thread it would forget I was logged in.

  39. Tei says:

    Very nice work. It work ok in Linux, with epiphany.

    I like the round corners, the love for good fonts, the style and attidude. Congratulations!.

    Also, I am happy that the new version continue the traditions…

    # Children eaten by DRM today: 9529
    # Statistical chance of typo-free post: 1.289%

  40. Lewis says:

    Oi, Willock. Hello, old chum. Nice redesign.

    Quick nitpicky problem: the icons next to the Hivemind’s names aren’t aligned properly in the footer.

    Splendid, though!

    • Stuk says:

      I love the new look. Glad it doesn’t have the bloat of all those other game sites.

      But I second this problem with the name icons not lining up. I’m using FF3.0 on Ubuntu. A quick experiment says that the names should be float:left, and the li’s float:left’ed and width set.

      Also, shouldn’t it be “Rock, Paper, Shotgun is”, rather than “Rock, Paper, Shotgun was”. Unless…. the hivemind has been created from the souls of our hosts!

      (Also it would be nice to have some Javascript magic make the reply button instant)

      Keep up the good work though! To the future!

    • James says:

      Site is tested across IE6, IE8, FF 3.5, Chrome, Safari, etc. It’s probably a rendering error in FF 3.0, but I’ll check it out.

  41. Surgeon says:

    I really like the redesign overall.
    It is a lot cleaner and easier to look at now.

    But I too prefer the one page of comments approach.
    I reckon the comments would also look better with alternating colours.

  42. Golden says:

    Nice, I’ve often said to the wife that RPS needs a touch of class.
    Generally she igniores me, but you don’t.
    Thank you. Looks Fab

  43. Vanguard says:

    Extremely slow for me (in Opera and FF), it took me 2 minutes to load this article and 4 min for the complete page (stuff on the right side).

    Besides I also prefer the one page comments.

  44. jokermatt999 says:

    Looks pretty good overall, but I dislike the lack of images in the RSS feed, and the breaking up of comments into multiple pages. It also seems slower than before. I do like the overall look of it though.

  45. Schaulustiger says:

    I think I’ll get used to it, though i generally like websites with a smaller font.

    But +1 for comments on a single page. Or at least an option to make it that way.

  46. yummy says:

    Look much better very clean and modern! Jolly good show!

  47. SAeN says:

    Love the new look, not too different, not too unfamiliar. Only issues I am suffering are occasional failures to load the site, and when I manage to it takes far too long. (I’m used to it being up instantly)

    Also, hugs will be sent if all comments are allowed onto the one page.

  48. harbour master says:

    Much easier to read on the crackberry.

    Thank you fine peoples.

  49. dbdkmezz says:

    Ooooh, RPS is all shiny and new! Nice clean, modern look, I like it :)
    Also it now loads on Linux browser Konqueror (it didn’t at all before), so that’s good.

    However, like many others, I’m really not a fan of multi-page comments, if my wireless is in a bad mood then going through each page of comments will get annoying very quickly :(. Having a little threadedness is for comments is good though :)