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General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: Prunella Frump on February 14, 2011, 03:46:54 PM



Title: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Prunella Frump on February 14, 2011, 03:46:54 PM
I have recently launched a new web site for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century. I am looking for some feedback on the new site. Send anything you have to me: athies@ssdc.com

Here is the site:
http://www.ssdc.com

Thanks.


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Devon Oratz on February 15, 2011, 11:24:21 AM
Nice art assets. What are you paying for them?


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Devon Oratz on February 15, 2011, 11:25:18 AM
I rescind my previous post.


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Prunella Frump on February 15, 2011, 11:29:10 AM
Thank you. Two of us run SSDC, and my partner creates most of the game art. And luckily for me, my wife does web design work, so she did most of the web site graphics.


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Devon Oratz on February 15, 2011, 11:42:55 AM
My girlfriend (of many years) is also an artist, which has constantly and awesomely been my greatest asset. .

I have to say, your presentation is looking very very pro. My gut-reaction was "this isn't an indie game, what is this doing on the Forge, hisssssssss".

I have a game (don't worry, you haven't heard of it which should indicate how far ahead you are) aiming to be the exact same thing, in relation to science fiction, that you are, so... *puts up dukes*. : P

You say two of you run SSDC. How many employees do you guys have?


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Prunella Frump on February 15, 2011, 11:52:34 AM
I'm very glad to hear that impression. We were going for a professional look, and a feel of sci-fi. Our biggest asset is that I do web programming for my day job, and my wife does web design for a living, along with my business partner being a quality artist. This saves us a LOT of money.

We have zero employees. My partner and I do all the editing, shipping, layout, operations, etc. for the game. We use some freelance writers and artists where we can find some that will work for what we can afford to pay. Neither myself or my partner are paid employees, we both have day jobs.

*dukes up* :)


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on February 15, 2011, 12:17:22 PM
That is a very nice-looking website, indeed! I appreciate how it's not Flash-based despite having that glossy professional feel, too - very genuinely professional work instead of just "we paid a web designer a lot of money to make an ass website because we don't know better".

One thing that occurs to me as I zoom around the site is that were I designing this, I'd try to put the core products and their sales points more on the forefront. The home page is pretty good about bringing me to a well-written description of the game itself, but when I go to the store page, I get a category filter page with essentially random, alphabetized products. It would probably be better to make the store entrance page by hand to emphasize the core products - basically, point a finger at the thing you want the new and oblivious person to buy, and put up the price in a large font, too. You have a lot of stuff in that store, and you shouldn't want to push something inconsequential like paper minis at somebody who's just about considering buying into the game. Put all those secondary products behind another link and dedicate the primary store page to introducing the main products, their features and pricepoints. The dedicated customer who already has the game will surely find the T-shirt section with a bit of browsing even if it's not pushed so visibly. This is a pretty common problem with modern webstores, as they're often built on top of a general purpose store management system that encourages random access filtering instead of structured product offers, so this bears thinking about for a publisher webstore - even if you do have a hundred different products, they're not all equal from your viewpoint as a publisher the same way a retailer might think.


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Prunella Frump on February 15, 2011, 12:27:41 PM
Excellent point. I will think on how to change the store landing page with your comments in mind. Once I make a change I'll post and any to hear your thoughts. Good thing I do the programming, so I can implement something like this pretty quickly once I figure out what to do.
Thanks.


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Ron Edwards on February 15, 2011, 12:43:55 PM
Hiya,

I'd like to know a little bit more about the ownership issues of the game. Has it been passed over to you and your partner from Larry Sims, in total? Or is there some kind of dual ownership, or what?

You may not be comfortable disclosing this publicly, but it's important regarding the Forge's whole purpose, to promote independent RPGs according to a very strict and economic definition. Feel free to get in touch by email (ron@adept-press.com) if you prefer.

To forestall any anxiety, there's nothing about independent publishing as defined here at the Forge that precludes transfer of ownership. It's the nature of that ownership that matters, and what I'm seeing so far inclines me toward including your company as a valid topic here. I'm simply seeking to be sure.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Prunella Frump on February 15, 2011, 12:48:32 PM
Not a problem. Larry created the game back in 1990. Mike and I got involved in helping him in the early 90's. In 1999 Larry could no longer manage Battlelords due to a number of personal factors. Not wanting the game to die Mike and I purchased Battlelords and Blood Dawn from Larry entirely. Larry's only involvement since then is occasionally writing.


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Ron Edwards on February 15, 2011, 01:22:37 PM
OK - I see creator ownership under Larry, and now that it's yours, I see your own creative work under your own ownership. That works for me. Thanks!

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: David Berg on February 16, 2011, 06:56:04 PM
Love the art, love the starry background, love the rollover effects.

Hate the type treatment for "Battlelords of the twenty-third century: roleplaying in a dangerous future".

The top nav text jumps off the page nicely, but (a) stencil doesn't say sci-fi to me, and (b) bright blue on black gives a cartoonier vibe than the (relatively) gritty artwork.  Replacing the black BG with a textured dark grey, warship hull style, might be worth a shot.

Not sure if art/design criticism is valid for this forum or this thread, but it seemed to be in progress, so I figured I'd jump on...


Title: Re: Need New Web Site Feedback
Post by: Prunella Frump on March 12, 2011, 02:25:27 PM
Taking in the feedback, here is what we have worked up for a new store landing page:

http://ssdc.com/store/tabs

Better?