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Poll Results: Which are your favourite game genres?

Posted at 08:44 on April 2nd, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete | Delete Attachment
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This poll ran from March 21st to April 2nd. No use lamenting about low participation every time, so let's go straight to the results (in this case, a curve wouldn't make much sense, so it's a bar plot).

These are quite clear this time: There are three very popular genres (Adventure, RPG and Strategy), each receiving more than twice the amount of interest than each of the rest. Sports games are the obvious losers, with less than 10% of the votes.

Trying to map this to the site as it currently is, there are two discrepancies:
- Action is massive on the site, but not quite as popular
- RPGs, although this has improved drastically over the last years, are still one of the less-covered genres - in spite of being immensely popular

The next poll is about systems.
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Posted at 11:51 on April 2nd, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I didn't even know that there -was- any such poll. :-\
Even after seeing this thread I was hard pressed to find the thing. You should make it more prominent, maybe put the poll itself directly onto the main page instead of just a link to it.

As far as the discrepancies, I think a large part of that is due to the polar opposite natures of the genres in question. Action games might not be as well liked as RPGs, but because of their quick-playing nature, people can play a dozen action games in the same length of time it takes to play a single RPG. Thus, many more action games will get downloaded/purchased/whatever than RPGs, even though the action games aren't liked as much.


edit: I suggest doing something like this with the poll:
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Edited by Cypherswipe at 12:12 on April 2nd, 2008
Posted at 14:33 on April 2nd, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I didn't even know that there -was- any such poll. :-\

Even after seeing this thread I was hard pressed to find the thing. You should make it more prominent, maybe put the poll itself directly onto the main page instead of just a link to it.

Hmm... I somehow can't imagine anyone missing the only coloured spot hovering above the rest of the site (and changing its colour for every poll). Also, it's 'above the scroll' there. The left menu, on the other hand, can get quite big if the subcategories are opened - which would push the poll down further than anyone in their right mind would scroll.

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I think a large part of that is due to the polar opposite natures of the genres in question. Action games might not be as well liked as RPGs, but because of their quick-playing nature, people can play a dozen action games in the same length of time it takes to play a single RPG.

This also works the other way round: You just uncovered the very reason why there are so many action games on the site ;)

Edit: Quick & dirty try at a solution - I put it where you suggested, but it won't move down with the expanding menu. However, once someone has voted, the overlay disappears for him. That should motivate people ;)
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 15:40 on April 2nd, 2008
Posted at 20:27 on April 2nd, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Hmm... I somehow can't imagine anyone missing the only coloured spot hovering above the rest of the site (and changing its colour for every poll).

For me at least, a colored, plain text banner at the top like that just looks like a "welcome to my site, blah blah blah" kind of thing, and the mind tends to block it out as being irrelevant. If it were the actual poll it would be much more noticable.

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The left menu, on the other hand, can get quite big if the subcategories are opened - which would push the poll down further than anyone in their right mind would scroll.

..but you are overlooking a key factor, the subcategories are NOT opened by default, they don't open until someone clicks on them. By the time someone clicks on a subcategory, they'll have already seen the poll.
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Posted at 21:14 on April 2nd, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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..but you are overlooking a key factor, the subcategories are NOT opened by default

...but you're overlooking another key factor, and that's people coming from external links or even search engine results, many of which include opened menus... :P
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Posted at 10:50 on April 4th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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The poll could also be placed directly on the right-hand side of the main body (similar to the way it was in the years poll, except 1) it would be immediately to the right of the main body instead of way off on the right edge of the screen, and 2) it would be the actual poll instead of just a link). I suggested the left side because it would fit under the categories section, but I didn't think about the categories section expanding (and didn't even realize that it would be expanded if someone came from a search engine).
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Posted at 12:35 on April 4th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Placing things directly right of the main content isn't technically possible, because that's a fluid size (and it would mean scrolling horizontally for many people).

As for the links... you have to keep in mind you're probably one of the few visitors who come through the front page. By far the largest chunk do come through the odd search engine link. Since you probably never did this, it hasn't occured to you how the menus behave, sure. Making these opening and closing attributes permanent is what some of the cryptic numbers in the URL are for ;)

Anyway, I think it's well placed now. Not a huge improvement in participation so far, but it certainly can't hurt.
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Posted at 18:02 on April 4th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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It would be possible to do, although it probably isn't worth the effort required. You already have the column with the screenshot just to the right of the main content, while allowing the main portion to resize as needed, you could use a similar method to add the poll to the right of the screenshot column. Probably wouldn't be worth the effort required though, I doubt having it over there would make any significant difference.

Only peoiple with screen widths smaller than 800px would have to scroll (the content maxes out at around 720px, which leaves 80px (not counting scrollbars) for a poll or whatever), and I don't think there are many people out there any more who use 800x600 or less. ...Although I suppose people with larger screens who don't maximize their browsers might have to scroll...

I didn't even realize the content was dynamic. I use 1280x1024 (and never use smaller that 1024x768), with my browser maximized. Since the content of the main page only takes up about half the width of my screen, I always thought it was set to a specific width.


I originally found this site looking for heman comics ages & ages ago, I don't even remember n ow if a search took me to the comics pages, to a post about comics on the forum, or if someone told me "hey, there's heman comics on goodolddays.net/org". Since that time, I come here mostly for the forum, sometimes check to see if new comics have been added, sometimes I check something on the site in response to a forum post (as was the case with the polls, which I wasn't even aware of until I saw the post about thegenre poll), and rarely to check out some game or other. When I do go to the main site, I come to tyhe forum first, then click the "back to" link at the top.
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Posted at 18:38 on April 4th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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You already have the column with the screenshot just to the right of the main content, while allowing the main portion to resize as needed

Yes, but that's done by measuring the actual window size client-side with JavaScript. In any case, it only comes into effect if there is enough space available. Try resizing your browser to a width of less than 1000 pixels, and go to a game page. You'll notice the right boxes aren't there at all. They're just 'sugar on top' for people using high resolutions, which is alright since they just replicate information available elsewhere. I'd never put crucial pieces of information on the site using this method, because it won't work with some clients.

The main content expands and shrinks in a way so that it accomodates to window widths of at least 620 pixels and at most 800 pixels. The lower bound is obvious, I guess. The upper bound is a concession towards readability. Personally, I find it very hard to read very long lines which never seem to break. Most people seem to agree. So it stops expanding horizontally at some point.

As for 'common' resolutions, never underestimate the number of people using PDAs or cell phones to access the Internet these days...

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I originally found this site looking for heman comics ages & ages ago

Yes, but that menu system wasn't in place on the site then. Depending on how many ages ago it was, it was either still the framed site or the wooden themed one. The current URL scheme (accompanied by the ability to fold / unfold menus and link to this state permanently) was only launched in 2004. So as I said, I can't blame you for not noticing this great technical accomplishment ;)
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Posted at 20:37 on April 4th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Looking at my forum profile, I signed up in sept, 2002.

I see the screenshot column on a game page disappears from view when you shrink the window too much, although if you watch closely it is still there, it just gets left off the screen.
That's not what I was referring to though. I meant on the main page, the column with "recommended game", "latest forum topics", "wanted", etc. The "news" section of the main page resizes with the window (down to a certain limit), but that column on the right doesn't.
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Posted at 22:20 on April 4th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I see the screenshot column on a game page disappears from view when you shrink the window too much, although if you watch closely it is still there, it just gets left off the screen.

No, that's not what I meant. If you go to the page and then resize the window, what you describe happens, of course. If you first resize the window and then load the page (as to 'emulate' a smaller resolution), the boxes aren't shown in the first place.

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I meant on the main page, the column with "recommended game", "latest forum topics", "wanted", etc.

Ouch - you got me there. I had actually tried banishing the struggle to get this working from my mind ;) I think it still fails in Internet Exploder.
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 22:35 on April 4th, 2008
Posted at 06:26 on April 5th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I was just looking on archive.org, and it was during the wood themed days that I first arrived here. Man, did the site ever look different back then...

I see that first version of the site that archive.org has is from june 2002, is that about when you first created the site, or did archive.org just somehow miss everything earlier than that?
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Posted at 08:09 on April 5th, 2008 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Design-wise, I must say I'm still very fond of the wood theme. It just wasn't flexible enough, and with the rising number of sub-sections, it became inmaintainable as each section had been coded completely independently of each other. At some point, I wanted to introduce these 'similar games' listings. I programmed it for the Amiga section, and then I realized I didn't really want to 'port' this feature to all the other sections as well.

What you see on archive.org is just the time when the site used goodolddays.net as its main URL. You'll find additional snippets (archive.org in their broken best) here: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://gooddays.org. Before that, I used even different URLs, but having checked those, none seems to be listed on archive.org.

Anyway, the site's news archive dates back pretty far. Add a few months to that, and you have the actual first launch of the site. In addition, you can just do the math. The last site anniversary hasn't been that long ago ;)

Oh, and I just remembered I uploaded two old front pages for the fifth anniversary (they're still online): http://www.goodolddays.net/5th-anniversary/ and http://www.goodolddays.net/5th-anniversary/2/. Speakers on for the second one ;)

Edit: Another 'just remembered' - you can see the oldest backup of the site I still have here: http://abware.net/memories/tgod/04-2000/ (April 2000).
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 08:22 on April 5th, 2008
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