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Old 04-12-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
James Isaac
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Lightbulb Updating grim-fandango.com

Hi guys!

This is something I've been meaning to do for a while - putting out a new version of www.grim-fandango.com

Since I made that last version of the site (4 years ago), I've learned sooo much more in basically every aspect of web design. There isn't really a single part of the site I wouldn't improve upon, so it would involve rebuilding the site from scratch. I'd still reuse a lot of the old content I collected up, of course, but the way it's managed and presented would change a lot.

So, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or suggestions for stuff they'd like to see on a Grim Fandango fan site. Suggest whatever you'd like - I want to get as many ideas as I can before I dive in and start building something.

I'm planning on focusing mainly on areas like "history", "community", "where to buy" and "how to run on windows xp/vista/7", rather than [non-existent] "news" which is the current front page.

Also, a lot of the content on the site at the moment is written by me... which isn't ideal as content writing isn't really my strong point. So if you enjoy writing and want to contribute content that will be seen by thousands of fans or potential fans each month... this is a perfect opportunity

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Old 04-12-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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I think designing it as something that is more of a "landmark" is the best way to approach it. I really love GF but as you said, there isn't much "news" to speak of. I think dividing it into sections like: Downloads, Fan art (w/ user submissions and comments whenever), tech support (w/ things like FAQ and information like you said), fanfic, videos, screenshots, where to buy, relevant articles, etc. All of those things that you talked about and whatnot would be great.

I'd say just design it so that it's not a "constant update" kind of thing like you see at mixnmojo since there's not that much to talk about on the news front.

That's just how I see it, though. Hope that helps a little!



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Old 04-12-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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I'm always looking for an opportunity to write, but I'm not 100% sure what kind of writing that this would involve. Do you have an example of something that would be written?



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Old 04-13-2010, 12:36 AM   #4
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All good ideas fan art with comments is something we have now - but unfortunately the upload system is from the stone age, and I've had to disable comments recently after becoming flooded by spambots (even after adding reCAPTCHA!). But those are all issues I can fix with a fresh start.

Glad to hear you're interested in writing! There are a lot of opportunities really, as anything Grim Fandango related has its place. If you look down the menu of the current site, most of the content under the "The Game" block of the menu is stuff I wrote... the only reason being that no one else volunteered at the time. Any parts of that which you think you could do a better job of or expand on, be my guest. There's also a few parts which are unfinished, like the character profiles and hints section.

I'm not trying to be restrictive with those current sections though - like I said if you have something GF related you want to write, I'm sure I'll be able to fit it in with a part of the site.


Last edited by James Isaac; 04-13-2010 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:01 AM   #5
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Having an in-depth illustrated compatibility troubleshooting type thing is something I intended to do on the perpetually back burned GFN and it's sorely missing, with people often asking the same stuff in the Glottis' Garage forum and stuff. It'd be great if you could somehow do something with the ridiculous amount of fixes and hacks needed to get the same working properly.

Definitely keep an option for news though as with LucasArts' classic game fetish right now there may very well be a re-release in the future that fixes this stuff.


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Old 04-13-2010, 10:14 AM   #6
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Cool. I'll explore the site a little more and see if there's something I'll be interested in writing . Also, what ever happened with the GF Half Life 2 Mod?



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Old 04-13-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Having an in-depth illustrated compatibility troubleshooting type thing is something I intended to do on the perpetually back burned GFN and it's sorely missing, with people often asking the same stuff in the Glottis' Garage forum and stuff. It'd be great if you could somehow do something with the ridiculous amount of fixes and hacks needed to get the same working properly.
Yeah, it's a shame how many people must give up on trying to play the game because they can't get it to run, and even though there might an easy solution, it's not possible to find without a lot of searching through Glottis' Garage.

Quote:
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Definitely keep an option for news though as with LucasArts' classic game fetish right now there may very well be a re-release in the future that fixes this stuff.
Haha well that would be sweet. Something else I'm wondering is if news about other projects by Tim Schafer or adventure projects by LucasArts should be covered by the site's news and briefly mentioned in the content.

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Also, what ever happened with the GF Half Life 2 Mod?
Well, it's "on hold" for now. The main problem was that there was a lot of disagreement over the whole direction of the mod - with the two extremes being something identical to GF's style, and a FPS set in the GF universe. This was probably because there wasn't a solid story, so when people agreed to help they might have got the wrong idea.

Someone is working on a story/gameplay plan for the mod now. The idea being that anyone who wants to help can take a look and determine whether it's the type of project they're interested in, and we have something concrete to build content around. So basically the mod could still be restarted under the right circumstances, but don't hold your breath

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Old 04-13-2010, 01:13 PM   #8
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So basically the mod could still be restarted under the right circumstances, but don't hold your breath
'tis un-held.



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Old 04-13-2010, 01:19 PM   #9
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I totally just realized that I actually need some help getting GF workin on Win7...*sigh* newer technology has a price I guess...



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Old 04-13-2010, 01:22 PM   #10
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Oh, also, I was looking through the site...I think that there should be a direct link to these forums somewhere on there (where it's easy to find).



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Old 04-13-2010, 08:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I'm not trying to be restrictive with those current sections though - like I said if you have something GF related you want to write, I'm sure I'll be able to fit it in with a part of the site.
I'm certainly up for some writing. I think, at least, that the stuff under 'Game World' could use some rewriting. There's nothing exactly wrong, much, with what's there but those are topics that could use a little creativity. I could give that a go if you like.

Where you talk about 'something GF related', is there any general types of something you're after? Or maybe, if you haven't, the 'Fan Content' section could have a nonfiction section.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:28 AM   #12
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Oh, also, I was looking through the site...I think that there should be a direct link to these forums somewhere on there (where it's easy to find).
I guess the reason there isn't an obvious link at the moment is because there's no continuity between the sites (need to register for each), and once here there's no link back to gf.com. But I agree they serve different purposes (LF -> place to talk, not necessarily on-topic / gf.com -> archive of information and place to share fan content) so I'll think of somewhere more obvious to slot a link in

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I'm certainly up for some writing. I think, at least, that the stuff under 'Game World' could use some rewriting. There's nothing exactly wrong, much, with what's there but those are topics that could use a little creativity. I could give that a go if you like.
Great! Yep, that's definitely an area which would benefit from being more creative. I'd be more than happy for you to rewrite those

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Where you talk about 'something GF related', is there any general types of something you're after? Or maybe, if you haven't, the 'Fan Content' section could have a nonfiction section.
Content-wise I don't have anything specific in mind apart from improved versions of the current sections.

What I'm trying to get at is, if someone else went about making a GF site, it would probably have quite different content. I know web-design so I was able to get something up, but that doesn't mean the choices I made for content pages were the best. If someone has an idea for content which visitors would find useful or enjoyable, the site is a good medium for it to be published on. So any ideas that people have that don't fit anywhere in the current sections are fine and I'd definitely consider them.

Attempting to give an example, here there's some info someone emailed me on how to set your controller to a WiiMote. Is that useful? Yep. Are there more similar tricks that people with adequate knowledge could write about? Probably. Was I able to write anything more on the subject or think of a menu category to put it under? Nope.

Not quite sure what you're thinking of with a nonfiction section for fan content..?

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Old 04-14-2010, 01:01 AM   #13
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I think the "other" section of the site could be gotten rid of by just moving those pieces into different sections. For example, the poems could be moved under the character profile. The via Wiimote could go in the technical support. And the cat names could be put into a new page titled "fun facts/trivia" (like you'd see on imdb.com).

Just throwin' it out there.



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Old 04-14-2010, 01:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Not quite sure what you're thinking of with a nonfiction section for fan content..?
How can fan content be non-fiction? Even the novel is still technically fan-fiction.



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Old 04-14-2010, 07:56 PM   #15
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Well, I had to admit that my nonfiction section idea was sort of just thrown out there. 'Nonficiton' might be a very bad name for it, but the general and unfocused idea I think I had was of a section that was for anything not strictly speaking fan fiction. This is just me making up examples on the spot, but suppose someone got the idea into their head that, since the game has roots in Aztec mythology, they decided to do a little research and wanted to share what they learned. Or not. I didn't put much thought into it when I threw out 'nonfiction' except for having a vague notion of a catch-all section for things a person might want to contribute but doesn't fit any the current sections. Eh. Might be a totally crap idea since it isn't getting any clearer what I really meant.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #16
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@urluckyday

Ok yeah. I guess the reason I didn't have the poems under character profiles is because they're quite short at the moment, but if they were a little more in-depth, they'd fit in nicely there. "fun facts/trivia" is basically what the easter eggs/in-jokes section is, but I think that list of cat names would fit better under the landmarks section for the race track (currently non-existent).

@MeddlingMonk

Ahh I think I see what you're getting at... and it raises a point about whether stuff like your example should be bundled into a subsection, or featured on the menu like the other main content.

Hmm - fan fiction is built from people's creativity and imagination, with GF as a context. Also there's a large quantity of it. So it only makes sense to have it in a subsection. But by definition, anything 'nonfiction' is based around facts and research, so surely that's informative and should be treated like any other main site content. Then again, now that I'm giving the option of writing content, there might be a lot of the type of stuff you're talking about, which would fill up the menu.

Not sure about that really... if you think of any more examples let me know. Aztec mythology would actually make quite a nice 'Background' section IMO

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Old 04-15-2010, 01:56 PM   #17
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I would totally love a new deco web design for your site :P
Keep up the good work!


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Old 04-15-2010, 07:09 PM   #18
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A little off-topic...but do you know what's gonna happen with the current grimfandango.net???



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Old 04-15-2010, 07:55 PM   #19
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Nothing is on the agenda.


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Old 04-16-2010, 09:28 PM   #20
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Any chance that the two sites get combined, or is the D.O.D. technically not part of the LFN?



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Old 04-17-2010, 10:34 AM   #21
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I'm really not sure. I definitely wouldn't want to sacrifice its name or domain, but I'd be open to the idea of a merger. I guess if James is interested we can talk about it. ;

The original plan a few years ago was to turn the GFN into a museum/repository type site, and I made significant progress on doing things like digging out ancient lost Grim Fandango sites from the GFN's archives and restoring their broken code, mapping out ridiculously in-depth character guides, having automated submission archives for fan content, etc. I generally had a pretty solid structure for a definitive GF site that could potentially sit around forever.

Unfortunately it got back burned forever as things like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend came out, and I got a job. :~


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Old 04-17-2010, 11:48 AM   #22
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^Hey no worries. I was just throwin' it out there. It just seems like both sites are capable of providing the same information, and I think that they both do a good job at what they're trying to cover, and I think it'll be updated a lot more if they are merged. Like I said though, just an idea.



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Old 04-21-2010, 09:30 PM   #23
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I've made a start on new character & etc. info text. Here's a sample of the direction I'm going:
Clown
(Joe Nipote)

Everone loves a clown, especially one with the personality of a surly NYC cabbie (except this one can speak English). The Clown twists up balloon animals and poets for the kiddies at El Marrow’s Day of the Dead festivities. He’s so dedicated he can keep his carpal-tunnel syndrome going despite a complete lack of tendons. And he can also provide Manny with a limitless supply of ‘dead worms’ (unless Manny has five already, then there’s a limit).
And:
Eva
(Rachel Reenstra)

Secretary to Don Copal. Oh, sorry. ‘Administrative assistant’ to Don Copal. (How is that any better?) Eva is one sharp cookie who keeps her edge by verbally fencing with Manny. But don’t be fooled by her administratively-assistantarial looks. Eva has far more on her mind than filing her...distal phalanges? Eva is recruited by Salvador to spy on the DOD and tips him off about Manny’s activities. Eva ditches the DOD in favor of working with the LSA full time and eventually takes charge of the LSA’s communication system and small appliance repair business.
I'm assuming that the picture links will remain and it's only the text I'm bothering with. And obviously I'm trying for a somewhat comical tone. Good idea or bad idea?
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:02 AM   #24
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^I like it. Not that I'm callin' the shots, but I like the goofiness.



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Old 04-22-2010, 11:53 AM   #25
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Sorry for lack of replies recently. My hard disk died... didn't lose anything, but don't have a permanent computer to work from at the moment.

Merging the sites is a possibility, but I'll have to think about/discuss it more later (exams starting next week). I'd like to think the DOD has built up quite a lot of, ermm, 'reputation' though - a few hundred registered members for example - so I wouldn't really be that keen on just dropping the name/domain (if that's what you're suggesting).

@MeddlingMonk
Yes! Really like the style. I think the intro paragraph is the most important part to make interesting, and the pictures and "extra information" (rename to "trivia"?) could stay the same in most cases, unless you have something to add of course.

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Old 04-22-2010, 01:35 PM   #26
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Idk how it would be done, but I was just suggesting a merge of some sort because having the two sites that now seem to serve the same purpose just seems a little redundant to me, that's all.



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Old 04-22-2010, 08:18 PM   #27
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the pictures and "extra information" (rename to "trivia"?) could stay the same in most cases, unless you have something to add of course.
About the only thing so far I can think to add that's not text relates to what I have in mind for the Petrified Forest. I plan to start out by describing the movie and then 'catch' myself and get it right. So in addition to that, a screengrab from the movie--maybe of Bogart's entrance--would be a cute idea. I intend to supply the grab.

And on kind of the same topic, I thought it would be a good a idea to add the photos of the real 'DOD' building to the screenshots from the game. You know: here's the building from the game, here's the building from real life.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:56 AM   #28
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How about finding someone in SF to do a walkthrough photo style tour of the building that inspired year one's architecture? Stuff like that would be new and fresh, considering there is no new "news" of Grim Fandango to really talk about
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:18 PM   #29
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I've sent to James what I've written so far for the updated grim-fandango.com. I also sent him stuff relating to 450 Sutter Street in San Francisco, the building that was the inspiration for the Bureau of Acquisitions building. One thing was a KMZ file which marks the location of the building and has a short description plus links to photos and some information about the building. I've linked the file above so people can look at it now and maybe someone more inventive with Google Earth can improve it because as it is, it's kind of lame.
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