Procrastination and Site Improvements
April 16, 2016

Right now, I should be studying for my Geology 203 class. The semester's first test is coming up on Monday, and I expect to do horribly. So of course, I'm finding it difficult to buckle down and study. Instead, I made some overdue improvements to areas of the site that a lot of folks won't even notice. So I decided to make a post about them.

The first improvement is the most significant. I've updated the site's interface for browsing game listings. The series of slight tweaks is as follows:

  • I updated the '#' listings so that when you browse by region and select 'North America,' only game listings from that region will display. This already worked for the three other regions we cover--Europe, Australia, and Japan--but the North America option was incorrectly displaying games from all regions. Letter listings have always properly limited game releases by region, when instructed to do so.

  • I adjusted listings by region so that they display the game title from that particular region. For example, if you are browsing 'F' games in Europe, you will see Fahrenheit listed and properly alphabetized. Previously, if you viewed the 'F' listings for Europe, you would see it listed as 'Indigo Prophecy' and shunted to the bottom of the page. This change should make it a lot easier to browse by region and find the expected games.

  • Games listed under a separate region now link to a page with the dominant URL (usually meaning that the game's North American title is referenced). This isn't important to the user, but it impacts search, since previously there could have been cases where Google listed two separate versions of what was essentially the same game profile page. That could hurt our ranking.

I'm happy with these changes. I wasn't even aware that the bulk of them needed to be made until today, though I had been aware of the '#' issue because someone brought it to my attention. I just forgot about it until I was recently assembling my list of NES and SNES games I mean to purchase.

Today's other big improvements relate to image assets, meaning it will directly impact only a limited number of the site's audience. After all, not every account even has image submission privileges. I made a few changes:
  • Previously, it was possible to specify a caption to accompany your image. Captions aren't generally being used, and don't seem to be a useful feature, so I eliminated the option to contribute captions.

  • I have changed the form so that you can now submit eight images at a time from the same page. This should be a slight time saver for those contributing multiple images.

  • I slightly tweaked the form so that it includes a link to the Irfanview site, where you can download free software that makes it considerably easier to resize and crop images. I use it all the time instead of Photoshop, even though I own Photoshop.

I hope that some of you will find those adjustments worthwhile. There are still slight improvements I would like to make here and there around the site, and I'll continue to make them as inspiration, time, and motivation strike, but overall I would say the design is about where I want it in terms of functionality. I hope you'll all continue to enjoy using the resources available as we review and discuss more games in the months and years to follow.

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Feedback
pickhut pickhut - April 17, 2016 (07:05 AM)
Love the multiple image submission addition. Every time I submitted images, I always had to keep a mental count in fear of accidentally putting up the same image twice. xP
Nightfire Nightfire - April 30, 2016 (12:08 AM)
Great work, Jason :)

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