Hello! Why yes, something has changed - thank you for noticing. We're so excited to finally show you our new-look website.
RPS's design hasn't changed much over the past five years, and in the five years before that it never received much more than an occasional nip and tuck. The result was a website design that we loved like an old friend, but which didn't reflect all that RPS - and PC games - have become. We needed a fresh start, so we made a list of all the things that mattered to us and went to work. We hope you like what we've made for you.
When we sat down to think about what mattered to us about RPS, we had three main ideas.
The first was that there was lots we liked about the existing design. RPS is a blog and that means our homepage should be a chronological list of posts showing images and text with as little fuss as possible. That hasn't changed, but we are now showing more posts on the homepage and giving those posts larger images and more space for the text to breathe.
Next was the most obvious: we needed a faster, more readable site which looks equally great on desktop and mobile and which supports all the cool things we now do. That includes more choices for how we present news and features, a better archive for browsing and searching our reviews, and tailored landing pages for guides, video and hardware.
Our final design goal was the most important: we've opened the curtains to let the light in. At RPS we believe that videogames are for everybody and we wanted a brighter and friendlier website to reflect that. The grubbiness has gone from the logo, the slogan celebrating our storied 145-year history has returned, and we now look more like the vibrant games that make the PC such an exciting place to play games.
Those were our top-level goals, but I could spend an age talking about all the actual changes and features of the new design.
I'll mention a handful. We've re-built our tag database so that game pages can be filtered by the types of article you're looking for. Comments threads can now be collapsed and expanded, and the wider site design makes those threads easier to read. We've finally caught up with the rest of the internet circa ten years ago and introduced full author profiles to the bottom of every post, to highlight our wonderful team.
We now have a system for recommending posts related to what you're currently reading and it actually works. Our site search is faster and functional for the first time ever. The site loads faster overall, and in some instances is almost twice the speed it once was.
Hopefully you find many more improvements while exploring the new site. (I could keep going: check out the Have You Played randomiser at the bottom of the homepage!). I am tremendously grateful to the talented Gamer Network design team, who have worked tirelessly to accommodate our often contradictory requests and to understand the great and unknowable Horace.
Undoubtedly while browsing you'll also find things that aren't quite right. If so, let us know in the comments below or email me directly and we'll get it fixed quick-sharp. There's some minor work still to be done over the next couple of weeks as well, starting with giving our forum some much needed TLC.
I won't keep you much longer as I'm sure you're keen to explore, but one last thing.
As part of the redesign, we've relaunched the RPS Supporter Program with a major new addition: sign up and you now get access to an ad-free version of the site. You'll still also get three exclusive weekly articles and we've got a set of great new free gifts to announce later today, but an ad-free site has been the most requested feature since the program launched four years ago. Now we have one.
That's it! Go, click, enjoy. Try to resist the panic of your previously familiar world being flipped-turned upside down. And do share your comments below.