Well I've set up the test board, but was awaiting some feedback from Slaughter. As he's not about, I'll post the link.
Be warned: the following link is STILL not how I envisage having the forums laid out, as I didn't want to spend hours on some graphics just for illustration purposes.
With that in mind, PLEASE read the descriptions of how I'd like certain parts to look and follow the instructions below after clicking on the link, or it'll just look rubbish and not make much sense
The test boards are at http://www.strategyc...co.uk/forumtest
This is a fully working copy of these boards made a few days ago.
The intention was to trim down on the amount of confusing stuff on the forum main page whilst still providing people who are only interested in certain gaming series' with links to the most popular non-gaming-series-related forums (namely the off topic section).
Now, on the forum main page at the link above, you'll see the game logos are above the forum links for X-COM, UFO and Silent Storm. You'll have to imagine a nice image for each stretching across the screen with pics from each series to easily identify each set of forums and minimise any confusion. This will add a little colour and better separate the series' for newcomers.
When you click on one of the three forum titles "The X-COM Series" "The UFO Series" etc, you'll be taken straight through to those forums relating to that series.
At the bottom of the forum listing once you're viewing the forums in a series, you'll see a redirect-forum which will take you through to the boards main Off Topic forum (which can be seen on the forum main page in the StrategyCore section).
If you follow that redirect, you are unavoidably taken out of your series section (X-COM, UFO etc) and are viewing the Off Topic forum in the StrategyCore section. The easiest way to get back will be provided at the top of the Off Topic forum in the form of buttons which will take you back to the game series of your choice. It'll take a little getting used to, but it makes more sense than having an Off Topic forum under each series for those people who wouldn't normally stray out of a particular series of forums. Also, please bear in mind these are just some rough mock-up graphics of buttons and not how I'd envisage the final buttons to look (as they don't stand out that well or look that good for one
Now, I'm hoping that all made sense
There are some other aims to this layout as well. It was always the intention, once we'd merged the sites and got the content back up again (still working on it, don't worry
), to add more games in the future.
The sample layout mentioned here allows for many more game forums to be added without making the forums messy as a result and cut down on the scrolling needed to find what you're after. I'm well aware that a few more clicks are needed to get where you're going, but hopefully the benefits are obvious to all.
A final note to anyone who may be concerned about hudreds of forums cropping up and thousand of posts and members slowing down the forums - this software will run with very little difference in speed with hundreds of thousands of members and millions of posts. A good example would be the Neowin forums
which have 106,407 members and 4,681,989 posts and runs as fast as these
As always, I'm open to suggestions for improvement. Doesn't always mean I'll be able to say yes, but I'm hoping the layout I've run through above will make more sense.
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.