Site Suggestions?

I am essentially a self-taught novice web developer, so there are probably lots of cool things I can do and haven’t yet done. Any ideas? I’d particularly like feedback from people who have any limitations I might not have at the front of my mind, as I’d like to make Stately Play as welcoming as possible, but might not realize the best way to do that, out of ignorance.

Some things which are already on my radar:

  • RSS and social media links
  • Badges for Discourse to award to tournament winners (Discourse has some pretty neat features; I’m nothing like well-informed about them all, and would be happy to have others recommended to me)
  • Ads!

I know, ads are an irritant, but my current thinking is that I’m going to avoid using an ad service which might place ads which can install malware, as that’s been a problem elsewhere. I don’t know of another way to fund the site other than continuing to have it be my pet project; I don’t anticipate wanting a corporate patron any time soon, and affiliate links are fine, but I assume they’re relatively low-yield. I’m open to suggestions, though.

The other thing I could use some feedback on is how much do you all want to know about the background? I’m a pretty open person, so I’d be perfectly happy to do things like post the exact finances of the site. I don’t know whether that’s weird, though. I can imagine my writers not wanting to disclose how much they’re paid, for example, and there’s perhaps something fun about maintaining the mystique of the super-competent company. I mean, PR must be the way it is for a reason, right? But with the ethical elements of game journalism a source of substantial discomfort for a lot of people, I’m inclined to be as open as I reasonably can be. Especially since I and others have worked in a situation which made even us uncomfortable, I don’t blame anyone who might be a little chary about trusting us.

As you might be able to tell already, I like to explain. If there’s anything you want to know, ask! I’m planning on doing a little intro to me post with a sort of AMA-style forum thread after it at some point, but I want to work on my Red7 and Civ VI reviews first.

Openness and transparency are great. The ultimate downfall of That Other Place was its lack of transparency at the end. Oh, and the lying.

However … I can’t fathom a reason why any of us readers should be privy to your financials. That’s your business, not ours.

Other quick thoughts:

  1. Badges are fun;

  2. Do as much with social media as you can. Maybe assign one of the writers to also be a sort of social media manager?

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Any thoughts on how to use it best? Dave tweets as Stately Play, and we technically have a Facebook page, but I don’t really have much of a sense for what people do with Facebook these days other than argue politics and share photos of their kids, vacations, and food. I keep meaning to at least reserve an Instagram account, and some others have been suggested by writers more with it than me, but it’s obviously not my bailiwick.

Yea. Keep the financial stuff to yourself :slight_smile:
We don’t need to know and then next thing you know, people who don’t have any business telling you how you should spend it will be telling you just that.

Unless you are going to have an ipo amd go on the NYSE…


Badges for days. I want to be able to make an impenetrable suit of digital armour out of all the badges I’ll be collecting. That was one of my favourite parts of the original “other place” forums, and what got me engaging in the first place.

Review requests from the forums that could be voted on to cover officially by Stately Play. I know SP is more “write what we want to write about, when we want to write about it” but it might be a good way to source material otherwise unknown to you.

Reader scores for reviewed games (polled from the forums / including in the first post on the forum for visibility)?

I’d say keep the financials to yourself unless you’re getting significant funding from a specific place that could be considered a deciding factor in reviews or general coverage.

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So far, the only suggestion I would like to make is to indicate what system a game will be available on at the top of an article or somewhere on the front page. It’s a bit odd to have to get to the bottom of the review before knowing how we will be able to play a game.


Agreed. The clue could/should be extremely subtle mind you. P’raps using little red icons like those currently indicating date and author?

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Right now we’re using tags to categorize things by system. I don’t know the ins and outs of the Wordpress style we’re using, but it might be easy to show tags at the top of the post. I think we could also put in our “style guide” that we add a parenthetical with the platforms (links, too) at the first mention of the game.

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Would a thread for random updates reported by the users that aren’t covered in news articles be worthwhile?

Stuff like Solitairica getting released on Android today, or other games we might think fit the vibe of the games covered here?

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I think that’s a great idea, and calling you all Stately Citizens makes me happy.

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On the home page for each intro blurb, can you add another line in the header section for tags like format and game type?
maybe something like:

Article Title
Date Author
Formats (PC, iOS, Mac) - Game Type (TBS, RTS)

Just helpful to see that information at the top.


So, the right way to do that (from a semantic web perspective, which is an admittedly rather dated perspective) would be to program the backend to have every review have special fields defined as “platforms” and “type”, and then edit the site formatting so that these were displayed on the main page. That’s far enough beyond my current skill set that I fear that I’d break things worse before I got them working, and it would be hard. Another alternative would be to list our tags on the home page–that’s slightly easier, I think, but still beyond my current skills.

The easy way is just to start every review with that information. The bad news there is that the home page summaries don’t seem to respect line breaks, but I think, if we put that at the top of each review in bold type, it’ll be pretty visible. Does that sound like a reasonable method to you? I can try it on my next review (or just edit it into the Potion Explosion review) so you can see what I mean.

All of that said, I don’t know what TBS means. Tactical Battle Skirmish? Tabletop Boardgame Strategy? Topless Bar Simulator? More generally, we’re a little loose with tags. Do you have any idea what you’d like to see as types?

Ah–Googling “TBS” was no help at all, but “TBS game” helped me out–turn-based strategy. All is now clear.

Wait–almost. WeGo counts as turn-based, right?

Anyway you do it would be fine. I don’t even know if the game type is necessary, I am just so used to using Steam Tags for a reference point I thought of it for here.

I actually meant Turn Based Strategy, but perhaps acronyms are not clear, so things should be spelled out).

Thanks for listening :slight_smile:

Curses! The preview on the main page doesn’t respect bold type, either (or links, or italics), it’s not just line breaks. My current solution is to list the platforms at the beginning of the review, followed by space-bullet-space. That sets it off a little, anyway. I’d like it to be clearer, so I may poke at this some more, but that’s a start.

Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll talk over with the other staff to see if they have any ideas.

Wordpress usually strips out the HTML from posts to create a preview since it can’t guarantee that the closing tags will be included in the text preview that it takes.

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We need a search field on the front page so we can search the articles. I know you can get them through the forums but it would be nice to have the ability to search right from the website and to only search articles, not forum posts. Thanks.

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That turns out to have been way easier than I was expecting. Guess I needn’t have waited for a good opportunity!

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As this site is also looking into PC games, how about a little presence in Steam? I’d fancy a Stately Play Steam Group and would love to see a SP-Steam Curator. The last one not for me, but to raise interest in other potential readers, and maybe even for the profit of some Indie-Gems that SP approves of.

Is it worthwhile to use the site links to buy games? i.e. I want to support the site by buying games through your links if you get a benefit. Otherwise, I’ll just get myself to the app store any quick way I can.

What’s going on with your front page? I’m sure it is more frustrating for you than us. I don’t see new articles on the front page, but they are there in the forum. I also just saw a new article about a game coming in May but it disappeared. What that an oops?