A moment of silence…for the GarageGames website.

Well, the new website is up, and GarageGames is being BLASTED TO SMITHEREENS by their community. And rightly so, I believe.

Basically, they took the old site, dismantled or damaged every community-friendly feature they had in place, ripped out the old (yellow = friendly, warm, open) color scheme and plopped in a slick, black and white corporate color pattern.

Great for a sales site. Horrible for a community site.

I think we’re seeing a serious change in direction for GG exemplified by this new site. I have to assume that they understood color theory enough to know what the difference in feel between yellow and black is. Plopping the GG employee blogs on the “What’s New” page – and a handful of community blogs only visible if you scroll at the bottom – and removing EVERYTHING else that made clicking the old Community button such a one-stop-shop, was a horrible move.

But this seems to fit with the new GG mindset. They’re not interested in supporting hobby devs anymore. They’re not really interested in being a friendly community site anymore. They want the slick black corporate look, and just enough “community” features to throw a bone at the thousands of longstanding GG supporters who they are basically kicking to the curb.

Yeah, I’m getting angry about this. The more I post, the more I am, so I’m going to wrap it up here. Crying shame, when a bunch of clueless idiots step into what has been a wonderful, long-standing community and screw it up for everyone.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “A moment of silence…for the GarageGames website.

  1. Jeremy

    Hey Kevin,

    You may be interested in this thread:
    http://talk.christiandevs.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1567

    Matt Langley, Lead Tool Development Engineer with GG posted the following:

    Pretty much any time you have a big community and you change something you always get a combination of responses:

    1) People who hate it, period
    2) People who hate it but understand the change
    3) People who like it but have some valid criticisms
    4) People who love it

    This is also the case whenever you announce what features you are focusing on and just about any other announcement, so we’re definitely used to responding to the wide array of response and something as huge as a website re-design and launch will just in it’s nature get a huge response from each category.

    Basically we expected this response Everyone at GG, including from other divisions, absolutely loves the site. It’s cleaner, easier to find what you are looking for, the presentation for the products is much (much) nicer. It’s also less imposing in some ways (I personally always hated the yellow color scheme we had).

    Unfortunately the biggest drawback right now is the community features still need some more work. Though with a website it’s all about live development and changing it based on feedback, especially when it comes to community features. So in the end we had to choose a point to switch over to the new site and work on it and evolve it live. Right now all of the product pages are outstanding in my opinion, and the overall presentation is better. The community features will be worked on and evolved. We also have plans for some pretty awesome new features too, but our first focus will be getting the existing ones solid.

    Basically any site launch and re-design will have issues. Overall we’ve gotten rather positive feedback from most people with some very strong valid criticisms. The site works though, everything on there pretty much works (besides search I think which is known and our first priority I believe), so overall that’s a good site re-launch in my book (something like this is always scary and we’ve been testing it on other servers for a couple weeks now).

    So lots to work on, lots to tweak, mostly centered around community features, but we had to launch it sometime and start working in that direction.

  2. Kevin McLaughlin

    Jeremy, thanks for the comment. I do see various GG staff out trying to quench flames around the internet. But honestly, as much as I appreciate their efforts, I have some major issues with what they’re saying.

    In the post, Matt claims most of the feedback is positive. If that’s the case, then they have some secret source of positive feedback that’s not being published on their website. 😉

    In his post, Matt talks about how nice the product pages are, and he’s right. They do look nice, and not having to hunt for EULAs and such is a big plus. But here’s the problem: the core part of the GG site, the part members use daily, is the community part, not the sales part.

    And the community part is the most fragile, too.

    So to me, it seems like they went in the opposite direction from the way they should have. They took a strong community site that did sales away, and brought back a nominally stronger sales site with almost all of the community features either removed or broken.

    One of the biggest GG assets has always been their community. Take that away, and they are just another rather mediocre engine. It’s worth pointing out, for instance, that GG won the Engine of the Year award for TGEA because it was a popularity contest – and their community went in and voted for them. No community – no award.

  3. Jeremy

    Oh, I completely agree with you and didn’t intend for the comment to sound like I was sticking up for GG. They made their bed and now they get to lay in it.

    I never got into the community side and have only looked at the TGE trial about a year ago, but I could tell the community is what made it a success. And eventhough Matt said “So lots to work on, lots to tweak, mostly centered around community features, but we had to launch it sometime and start working in that direction.” They should have at least matched the features of the old site before launching the new and time will tell what they’ll end up (re)creating for the community.

  4. Matt

    Agreed.They’ve got the “bighead” goin’ on over there now.But here’s the thing….here’s what happened. there’s a few newer engines with better tech out there,these guys websites look more” modern”, and GG is trying to keep up with them.

  5. Mike

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

    _________________________________
    Making Money

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