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Halo Diehards is looking for a new direction
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July 30, 2014
8:54 am
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CHa0s

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Hey guys  :hello:

As many of you know, I have been pondering a new direction to take Halo Diehards for quite some time, that expands beyond Halo and fulfills the website needs of a wider range of gamers. Today I am asking people to share what they think a site needs to be a successful gaming site, so that I can do my best to provide that for you.

Following are some of the main things I would like feedback on. If you have a brillliant name, please pm it to me! Otherwise someone else might snag it and we’ll be sol, lol. Feel free get straight to the point here. Lists are fine.

* What specific things do you feel make a successful gaming site?

* What unique needs are not being met by other gaming sites out there?

* What things do you not like about gaming sites?

* What would you like to see in your own gaming site?

* If you didn’t answer this one above, outside of gaming, what sorts of gaming-related activities do you partake in? (ie: podcasts, streams, gaming news, forums, etc)

* What would be the best gaming site name EVAR?!! (if someone comes up with this one, I will find some way to be indebted to you for the lifetime of the site, lol)

 

If you do choose to give feedback, thanks SO much in advance! Help me help you, and let’s make Halo Diehards a more successful site.

 

July 30, 2014
12:30 pm
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EdieKaye

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* What specific things do you feel make a successful gaming site?
Somewhere to go to find like minded gamers.
A calendar or something so game nights can be scheduled and signed up for.

* What things do you not like about gaming sites?
Assholes, but I don’t think there is much you can do about that.
Hard to navigate. Too many forum topics where there should be more sub-forums.

* What would you like to see in your own gaming site?
An event calendar.

* If you didn’t answer this one above, outside of gaming, what sorts of gaming-related activities do you partake in? (ie: podcasts, streams, gaming news, forums, etc)
I like gaming news, game reviews and forums. I dislike podcasts and streams but I’m sure they are important to other gamers.

I think the biggest problem with gaming websites is that once you build your friends list and are playing with a regular group you don’t have much of a reason to visit the site any more. I don’t know how to fix that.

July 30, 2014
2:22 pm
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CHa0s

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Thanks for responding, Edie.

53415 said:
I think the biggest problem with gaming websites is that once you build your friends list and are playing with a regular group you don’t have much of a reason to visit the site any more. I don’t know how to fix that.

I think this is definitely true for a lot of gamers, but I’m sure there are a ton that visit sites for other reasons. Hopefully we’ll get some of those reasons down and be able to build a site that can provide them. Also, it seems if a site is exciting enough, people would want to go there, even if their friend’s list is already full. I guess the challenge is trying to find out what would be exciting, because unless I can know that, I can’t make it so.

I don’t listen to podcasts, but I could surely run them with the right people joining in. We’ve got two ready to dedicate right now. Also, I’m now ready to stream, but again since I’m not a beast I think to make streams interesting I’ve got to be partied up with people who are having fun and being entertaining with me. I would love that. Sounds like a party to me!

July 31, 2014
5:22 am
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Darth Tabasco

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The most important thing for me is simply an active group. This is, of course, the most challenging aspect to running a site. As gamers we have so many different distractions and places to go for gaming news, tips, tricks, videos, etc, it’s hard to start something new and different.

I mean, we’ve seen successful sites close their doors either due to many factors such as inactivity, people just getting burned out on the site, the constant maintenance, etc.

I’m not a very creative person, so I don’t really know what kind of niche we could try and fill that hasn’t already been tried – or doesn’t already have a community.

Personally, I’m a part of probably a half dozen sites, but they are all struggling in some capacity. I expect most of us would fall into this category. I still enjoy forums and conversing with others about the games we play. I still think forums have a place in gaming, but the choice of groups can be overwhelming. If you have no clue where to start it can be hard to get plugged-in with a group.

Chaos, with streaming, it’s not all about the skill of your gameplay. I have streamers I watch that are self-described “scrubs”, but it’s just the entertainment factor that keeps me watching, not the skill of the individual. I do have people that are highly skilled gamers that I watch as well, but they are also very engaging with their chat.

If you are serious about wanting to be a successful streamer, just be yourself and interact with your chat. Also, you need a webcam so people can watch you as that just increases the entertainment factor. When I watch streamers, I rarely care about the people they play with because I’m there to watch the streamer and not other strangers play. Entertaining teammates can help, but it really should be all about you and your interaction with chat.

July 31, 2014
9:02 am
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Yukon46

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I would like to talk about this a little….. maybe on live or something….  just so many things to say, I just dont wanna type that much  :p !

Not that I am full of ideas or anything….  but it still involves alot of things and experiences.

Having like 10+ years of being involved on some kind of forums/groups, can say I have probably experienced almost everything.

July 31, 2014
10:03 am
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CHa0s

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Cool beans, guys, thanks for your input.

53418 said:
I would like to talk about this a little….. maybe on live or something…. just so many things to say, I just dont wanna type that much :p !

I will certainly take you up on that offer! I am going to be joining in on the Thursday Night Casuals, and probably streaming it if the party is open to it (already talked about this w/ DEEP last week, he’s interested in expanding) but I may be on early or we can try for tomorrow?

July 31, 2014
5:29 pm
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I don’t know what the answer is to help maintain a healthy forum. It helps when people don’t split immediately after filling their friends list.

I like forums, though. I enjoy reading conversation primarily focused on video games and occasionally care to join the conversation.

These days, being mobile friendly is a HUGE deal.

July 31, 2014
8:49 pm
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CHa0s

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53426 said:
These days, being mobile friendly is a HUGE deal.

Is the site now mobile friendly? It’s supposed to be, then I go and load up these huge image files, because I’m a visual person and I like teh visualz. Like I totally simplified, then I put high def headers on every page  :wuh?:

I can check out the site on my android, but I have a low-level one that I never use to get online because I’m often by a computer.

July 31, 2014
8:56 pm
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CHa0s

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On another track, it seems to me a lot of sites are successful that have some sort of “thing” that a large audience is a fan of. This means more people hear about the site, and then more people come to the site. It’s one of the reasons I’ve tried news and videos, but other people are already doing that.

I think I’ve had a major creative block going on a long time, and it makes it hard to come up with interesting stuff to entertain the masses. I just got a big, fat blank. I’m so freaking bored and I have all this energy and all this talent, it sucks I can’t find a direction to put it! I’d love to be a part of a team, but I can’t find anyone else out there that’s on the same wavelength, either. Gotta be on the same wavelength to build up something like that.

And it’s like, making videos or running a podcast could be really fun, but the goal is the “party”, which is the active website and social gaming experiences. She just wants to party all the time  :durhurr:

July 31, 2014
8:58 pm
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DON”T YOU DARE DO IT, W0RM!!!

July 31, 2014
9:39 pm
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53430 said:
DON”T YOU DARE DO IT, W0RM!!!

I’m trying to think of a song, but it’s not coming to me. Help me out here.

July 31, 2014
11:36 pm
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Kkrull

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I use Photo Shop Elements to edit my photos (there are other options of course) and it allows me to “save image for web” which drastically cuts the image memory capacity w/o compromising the image quality on a computer/mobile device. This has helped improve my load times for some pages.

Another alternative is to create two images, one small one w/ a low capacity and then include a link to the high quality photo to open in a new window. This makes for a faster load speed but still allows readers to see the larger full image by clicking on the small image.

July 31, 2014
11:44 pm
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Kkrull

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I don’t use gamer sites very often, but when I do, I’m usually looking for usable knowledge such as:

  • standard map call-outs
  • is it a 4-shot or a 5-shot kill to the head?
  • strategic map control…standard set-ups and map control points
  • re-spawn times for power weapons and vehicles
  • etc
August 1, 2014
3:21 pm
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53434 said:
I don’t use gamer sites very often, but when I do, I’m usually looking for usable knowledge such as:

  • standard map call-outs
  • is it a 4-shot or a 5-shot kill to the head?
  • strategic map control…standard set-ups and map control points
  • re-spawn times for power weapons and vehicles
  • etc

Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of stuff I wanted to build the site around when I first set it up, but I didn’t have time to do all the research myself, and I couldn’t find people who were interested/had the time to commit to doing it with me. If you look in our War Room forum, you’ll see quite a bit that I started on, and there is a page with content relevant to competitive gaming, as well as a variety of articles on strategy here.

I’ve spent hours and hours posting that stuff! Yet it just sits there and no one sees it.

I’d forgotten about the smaller images loading faster, and had slipped into using the larger, letting the page minimize them, since switching to this new theme a couple weeks ago, because it looks nicer. I will change the default sizes instead and that will accomplish the same purpose – thanks for the reminder! On another note, my cheapass android seems to load the images just fine, so maybe there is a mobile version that doesn’t use the full-size anyway.

Is anyone having trouble loading pages on any devices?

August 1, 2014
3:22 pm
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53431 said:

DON”T YOU DARE DO IT, W0RM!!!

I’m trying to think of a song, but it’s not coming to me. Help me out here.

Me thinks he lies.

August 1, 2014
9:47 pm
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Just cut down the front page background, social media logos and banner header image sizes to a third of what they were…

August 1, 2014
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You don’t necessarily need to reduce the size in the terms of measurement. There are tools which will keep the same dimensions but reduce the memory size of an image substantially. It is the memory “size” measured in kb or mb which can slow a load time. Most of these tools I think simply reduce the number of color options from unlimited to 250 standard web colors, and while it reduces the file size of the image the picture quality is often nearly the same. Here is a perfect example: http://www.webresizer.com/

August 2, 2014
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Oh  yeah, sorry for the misunderstanding. The total was approx 2.9 MB, and taking the time to save them for web (which I don’t usually do because of time constraints) I was able to knock the header, background and social buttons from 2.9 MB to around  1.03 MB.

Of course, that doesn’t count all the other images on the front page ;) But I just got done making all of the screenshot gallery post’s images, currently on the front page,  “large” (631px) w/ link to full image, instead of full-size. I’m going to try to be more diligent about saving images for web before I upload them, too.

Thanks again for all the tips and reminders!

August 7, 2014
10:35 am
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I found HD last year as a result of a long search for mature/older Halo players.   I know from experience that it’s hard to find mature/older active gamers.

A suggestion…. Add wording to your “About us” statement that search engines can use to point mature/older gamers in your direction. That, and other pages/topics that discuss the same theme would keep it fresh for the search engines, and would allow a mature/older gamer an easy click to read more about you/yours.

If Bungie and 343 allow outside web sites to form clans or hubs for like minded players, it would be a good way to grow/maintain a community.

Map tips and strategies are a good read.  To that I’d suggest training days for the inexperienced, where players are invited into a custom game to learn map strategies, tips and tricks from the masters.  Thx…

 

August 7, 2014
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53502 said:
I found HD last year as a result of a long search for mature/older Halo players. I know from experience that it’s hard to find mature/older active gamers. A suggestion…. Add wording to your “About us” statement that search engines can use to point mature/older gamers in your direction. That, and other pages/topics that discuss the same theme would keep it fresh for the search engines, and would allow a mature/older gamer an easy click to read more about you/yours. If Bungie and 343 allow outside web sites to form clans or hubs for like minded players, it would be a good way to grow/maintain a community. Map tips and strategies are a good read. To that I’d suggest training days for the inexperienced, where players are invited into a custom game to learn map strategies, tips and tricks from the masters. Thx…

I love your ideas, Minotaur, so much that I’ve actually tried them! Bungie does have a groups function, and at the height of Halo 3, Halo: REACH, and Halo 4 I was a massive forum whore (ahem, excuse the expression  :wuh?: ) and diligently visited most of the most active Halo websites in the internetsverse, posting up “ads” for strat nights, custom game nights, etc etc. and interacting with the members. I only just stopped a few months ago.

I spent hours and hours and hours and hours – – I could keep going but I won’t, lol – – doing that and I’m not sure it brought in one single person. Most of the people I know and game with I met through other people I know and game with.

I have ran strategy nights, map walkthroughs and such in the past 7 years. When the game is highly active, they’re very successful. When it’s not, you can’t pay people to show up. The last time I ran them in Halo 4 I did it for about 5 weeks, with 2-3 people showing up before I quit.

But while I’m thinking about what you wrote there, and taking into account what Krull wrote about strat vids, and also remembering that originally I wanted Halo Diehards to be a site about how people can become a better gamer, it is definitely inspiring me to do some strategizing of a different kind, and that would be really digging deep into development of a strategy video series.

It’s just that… I’ve tried to do that too, and you can’t do that alone, because it takes a team to develop strats, so now I’m already back to square one  :losingit:

Isn’t there something one person can do alone to make a gaming site awesome? lol

I really, REALLY appreciate your guys’ feedback. I’m really just “thinking out loud”, allowing others to help brainstorm my roadblocks if they wish. I’m not shutting any ideas down, but sort of compiling it all and mulling on it, seeing if anything congeals that says, “HEY, LISTEN, TRY IT LIKE THIS AND IT MIGHT WORK!” .

I can’t tell if I’m an optimist or a glutton for punishment ;)

I think the question I have to ask myself is: Why did I give up on map tips and strategies? I think the answer to that is a two-parter. 1. the pros were putting out videos that were going to be taken far more seriously than anything I could put out 2. nobody was watching or reading my stuff, so why continue working my ass off to create content?

With Krull bringing to my attention my failz with the SEO of the site, it’s possible that this is one of those “HEY, LISTEN, TRY IT LIKE THIS AND IT MIGHT WORK!” situations, and if I try it again there could be a different result.

Whew, sry. So. Many. Words…

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