Cubed3 Site Suggestions Thread

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This thread is for all members of Cubed3 to post suggestions on how you think we can make the site and forum a better place to be. Anything that comes to mind, such as adding new features or improving the layout of a webpage, etc - please post them here and our site admin, jb, can decide if the suggestion is worth pursuing.

Many thanks for your suggestions and ideas for how to keep Cubed3 the great site it is!

I asked jb about this and he's OK'd me doing this site suggestion thread for everyone to post any suggestions/ideas that you think would make Cubed3 a better place for everyone. Anything that you think would be beneficial to the site, or something that you think should be removed or changed. Don't be worried if you think people will think it's a poor idea - the whole point is that it's a suggestion and can be considered. Please also give feedback on other people's suggestions too. If enough people agree on something, it might stand a better chance of happening.

Spreading the word
I have a couple of things on my mind. Not to be so critical, because I love this site, it's been my source of Nintendo news for years and years, and the community here is great, but it does seem there has been a steady decline of members the last one or two years. It was almost a year ago that we had the same discussion, and I used my successful video game music YouTube channel to bring in a ton of new faces, but not too many managed to stick around. I've just started to try to advertise again by visiting one or two other sites I go to and spreading the word, and passing it on to some Facebook friends that I think might be interested. I was hoping that more members could do the same, and just try to advertise C3 a little. I know that as we all get older, we move on and have less time to post, but for me, this has been my main community site for a while now, and I would love to see it looking a lot more active.

User contribution
Now, I hate to use other websites as examples of how to do things, and obviously jb has his own philosophy on what Cubed3 should be all about, and how it should work, but one of the other main websites I visit often is GameFAQs. I'm sure you're all familiar with it as it's one of the biggest gaming communities online. Its one extremely successful and popular feature that the site relies upon is user contribution. I'm not talking about forum posts (although that obviously includes that); I'm talking about contributing game data, screenshots, boxarts.

I'm not saying Cubed3 should completely adopt what GameFAQs does, but after taking the time to have a good search through games listed on Cubed3, it seems things could be improved a lot. Many games, mostly older ones, don't have any screenshots for them, no boxarts, title errors. Some games are listed twice in the database, some are non-existent. Some don't have reviews.

My suggestion is to put into place some sort of user contribution thing whereby members can submit game data to the site like they can do reviews. So if a game has wrong information/new information (i.e. exact release date, spelling errors, boxart), a user would be able to submit the data for that game to the website, and it could go into a queue that jb could look at and then edit onto the site. Also, a user should be able to submit their own screenshots for any game on the site. This would be ideal for games that don't have any images. They could simply go to the game's screenshots page and click to submit their own. To stop any old image going up, again this could be put into a queue and activated by jb, so they won't go up automatically until jb confirms it.

Likewise, if a game is not listed on the site, there should be a way to submit new game data.

Encouraging user reviews
One thing I haven't properly studied is whether we have reviews for most games on the site. Reviews are a core feature of user-submitted content at GFAQs, and it would be great to get more members submitting their own reviews for games here too. If a game like Ocarina of Time ends up having 10 different reviews from members, then that's perfect. It gives people looking at the game the chance to read more reviews and form a better opinion. It's not about disregarding the main Cubed3 review - it's just about giving more opinions and encouraging users to give their take on the game. It will make people feel more involved on the site if what they submit gets noticed.

I know I'm one to talk because I haven't submitted any user reviews (I did a ton for GFAQs years ago though), but it would be great if we could try to get more people contributing to the site in some shape of form.

That kind of leads me into whether we have Cubed3 site reviews for every game out there. I don't think we do. At GameFAQs the members often do a sort of challenge whereby they work together to make sure every single NES game has at least one game guide submitted. If we could do something similar and try to make sure every single game on the site has a site review, or if not that then a user review, that would be one step into making the site 'complete'. In the same fashion, what if we could do a challenge to make sure every single game on the site has at least one screenshot for the game? Tons of older games have no screenshots, or completely unrelated images, so it would be great if we could get users to contribute to the site by submitting their own to help make the site more complete and not look so unorganised (the unrelated screenshots problem has been raised with jb).

View who we have given stars to
I did suggest this in the fixes/problems thread, but definitely can be put here now. Basically, can you make it so that you can view who you have already given stars to for the current week and for which posts? I ask because I was going to give a star to someone the other day but couldn't remember if I'd already starred them for it. In the stars pop-up you could make it so that you can see which posts you've already awarded stars for in the current week.

Forum clean up
This is more about pickiness on my part but after looking through every forum category on the site, a lot of the sticky topics look completely unnecessary or not needed anymore. Is it right to have a stickied Wii Fit thread when we have a regular Skyward Sword thread? Do they even need to be stickied at all?

~~~
I think that's it for now. I bet there's things I forgot but these are perhaps the main ones on my mind at the moment. My main idea is that it would be great if we could give C3 a more user-orientated focus, whereby people are encouraged to submit things to the site. I know we already have blogs and reviews in place, but I think the addition of encouraging them, and submitting our own screenshots/game data will make people feel more 'a part' of the site. I know I get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to contribute my own screenshots and other things to games listed on GameFAQs.

I think one of the big things holding all of this back though is lack of members. GFAQs has the luxury of having thousands of members, whereas we only have a few. But while we might be few, we have dedicated members that would be able to do a good job. But it's also why I encourage people to try their hardest to advertise the site as well.

Shit, that was long. Please do give me feedback on those, and definitely submit your own suggestions too.

Cheers!

(PS: Notice and Suggestions forum is messed up - big blank space at the top and no buttons to make new topic; had to go into another thread and do a new topic from there)

( Edited 11.08.2014 01:22 by Azuardo )

Our member of the week

On the topic of reviews, Mike would be better suited to talk about it, but I'd like to point out a few things (that's just my own point of view, and not representative of the whole staff).

The staff already tries, to the best of its ability, to write reviews for every game out there. Keeping up with reviewing the games that come out nowadays is already a tough task, let alone writing reviews for all those games released several years ago. Several factors are to be considered :

1 We have to own the games to review them, and not every publisher send review copies. Games we don't get review copies of cost money... the reviewers' money.

2 Even if we might own one that doesn't have a review yet, we still need time to play it in order to review it. (Take for example my personal situation. In my game library, there's over 80 games which I barely played, some I haven't played at all despite me owning them. I have a social life outside my gaming life which is time consuming, as much as I'd like to be able to play games more)

3 Sometimes, our experience with one game can prevent us from reviewing it. For example, one game which is massively considered great turns out to be not so great for the taste of the person who played it. So this might not make for good editorial content in the end if that person was to write the C3 review for it, so one might decide that he wants to let someone else review it instead. Another example : Cubed3 doesn't have a review for Sam & Max season two on Wii. I own that game and played it to the end, but I declined reviewing it, because the copy I own is in French, so there are "some" aspects of the game that I am unable to judge like the English voice acting or the humour of the English version and the cultural references that were changed in the translation process.


I agree that reader reviews could help complete the library of reviews on C3 though, and deserve being put to the forefront a bit more, so that's a nice suggestion Smilie.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Indeed, hopefully Mike gets the chance to have a look then.

Certainly I understand everything you've pointed out there, which is where user reviews would be great, if we could get more people doing them. If we cannot get site reviews up for every game we have here, then a user review for every game.

Okay, likely it's not going to happen to get every single game reviewed, but it's something that could be attempted.

On your subject of bringing back old features (in the Cubed 3 problems thread), me and Mike discussed it the other day. We've already recorded a podcast special for E3, which will be going up likely over the weekend and we're going to think of some ideas for features.

I've already came up with an idea, which may come into fruition. I will discuss it with the staff though.

As for the game database stuff, I'm free a lot, so I wouldn't mind updating game pages sometime.

For sure, that's definitely something I forgot to mention here, but did in the fixes thread. It's like I said before, you can see that most of the features haven't been updated in years, and that doesn't leave a good impression for newcomers and outsiders.

Again, that brings up the debate for more user-driven content. If users could think of new ideas for features and whatnot, and maybe put their names forward for writing certain things, that would help.

Great suggestions, Azuardo! Smilie I suppose I'm one of those dedicated members you mentioned since I'm an awful lot here on C3 and I'm still rather "new" here compared to guys like you. Smilie

I'd gladly help out making C3 a better place for everyone, depending on how much time I have left. I'm starting my own review website with a friend in the near future and I'll be translating my in-depth German reviews into English at some point, so I could certainly post those here on C3.

A random idea here of which I don't know whether it's good or not but on the topic of reader reviews, how about a different user rating system than just the numerical one from 1-10 we have right now? You should be able to see the single ratings too, not just the average and people could add small reviews that consist of their general impressions on the game to encourage more activity in that part. One reason why people don't write user reviews could be because they see some really dedicated, in-depth reviews and think that all have to be that way when in fact more opinions on a certain game alone would go a long way towards improving that part of C3.

Hi guys,

Thanks for your suggestions so far Smilie Most of these I will likely save for the new C3, unless urgent or quick to fix/change.

I definitely like the idea of a more user-driven approach, and hope to better highlight user reviews in the new version, or even here.

One idea I was thinking recently was to bring back the "This week in C3". I don't know how many people remember it, but it was an automated email and a news post that went up every Sunday, it had the top read news for the week, latest blogs, reader reviews and I think reviews/previews too. Could be good to get that running again to highlight the features we do have.

I like the idea about submitting changes/additions to our games database, especially screens as we do lack a lot of material that's out there already. Screens are a tricky one, but submitting amendments is a fairly quick job to do.

Forum clean-up we shall definitely do - might be a case of doing so every month and us moderators can schedule this/make it a more regular thing.

Spreading the word is the biggest thing I hope to do - it's so hard as we slave over news, reviews and sometimes the lack of response/views can be off-putting. Activity does tend to fluctuate though, so during the exam periods and the end of the year it tends to go a but quieter I think. Definitely hope to encourage more sign-ups, and was partially through a "Login with Facebook" option, but that's been pushed to one side due to other priorities!

Shall definitely take these on-board, and hopefully get through the numerous fixes first Smilie

Muchos thanks for all the support though, it's great that we're still here and trying to evolve the site as a whole!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

I remember the weekly email from long ago. That's something that you could definitely bring back. It might bring people back to the site. I don't know if a strictly weekly email is always best - it could drive people away if they see it so often. Maybe every fortnight, or monthly? Weekly could still be fine if there is enough content to put in it though.

Glad you approve of the user-submitted content too. I'm definitely a fan of adding screenshots and other content for games, as a lot of people are, and it would help to make Cubed3 feel more complete. For sure it would be a great thing to build into the new C3.

The main thing concerning user reviews (provided people submit them enough) is that they should be easily accessible and not so much hidden away. If you get the chance jb, I suggest taking a look at GameFAQs and having a little flick through the site, just to see how things are done; it might give you ideas on how to implement it into C3. For example, the way user reviews are displayed with personal titles and a rating. If you register on the boards, you can see the ways you are able to submit your own content (new users might not be able to, so if that's the case, I can always let you use one of my accounts to have a look).

The Facebook thing could be a good thing. Personally, I would like to keep my Cubed3 and FB life separate, but if the option is there for people, it can do no harm Smilie

( Edited 10.06.2011 18:55 by Azuardo )

I would say Giant Bomb provides a far better example for user submitted content and it looks much cleaner and is more accessable in design than GameFAQ's.

( Edited 10.06.2011 19:05 by Marzy )

While it's a matter of opinion that Giant Bomb is more accessible (it could be), I'm more providing Gfaqs as an example as to how things are linked, and in terms of what and how things are submitted. I use one of the older site designs for Gfaqs, so it probably looks easier on the eye to me than the one they use by default. But I'm not so much going on how it looks, more how it works. And maybe others will think GB works better than Gfaqs. But for sure, check them both out for ideas on what might work best.

Cubed3's articles consist of mostly news, previews, and reviews. Other sites that I've seen have these plus more. For example, gametrailers has loads of video stuff (avgn, screwattack, top tens, analysis, etc), gamesradar has tons of funny articles (I'm pretty sure they advertised quite a bit through Nintendo Power too), kotaku covers a wide variety of topics, much more than just video games, and ign is pretty much a mix of everything. This is what I've observed, and if cubed3 wants to get bigger, idk if that's their goal or not, I think that they need to expand and diversify what's on the site.

I somewhat agree there. It would be good if we had some more unique articles at C3. For example, a Zelda timeline article would be a good idea. It doesn't have to be stupidly in-depth, like others on the internet. Just a more basic one which details which games take place in which order. We know where most go; it's just some of the older ones we aren't 100% on. But that's one idea.

Another idea is for certain members to write an article on their beliefs for the future of certain games or consoles. For example, I recently made that one Smash Bros topic asking everyone what they wanted from the next game. Stu linked to an IGN article that pretty much included everything I'd said, and I thought maybe we could do that too. Or kind of make it a "Cubed3's hopes and predictions for Smash 4" article, based on what was said in the thread.

I also think Star Fox needs a bit of a reboot, so an article on that too. But those are just some ideas anyway.

Also just wanted to say I'm going to attempt to bring in some new members by advertising the site on my old music channel on YouTube. I did this last year and we got a huge influx of new members, but I don't know how many stuck around afterwards. Hopefully we won't get too many kids; I'd like some more mature members that can actually write well, so apologies in advance if we get lots of 13 year olds noob-posting :/ But I'll give it a shot.

( Edited 12.06.2011 12:44 by Azuardo )

Our member of the week

I used to make that sort of huge article. I made a complete written retrospective of the Castlevania series in 2005 (that was in French, and though some parts are still accessible through the internet archive, most of it is lost cuz' the website went down a few years ago), talking about everything related to the series at that point, and writing short reviews for every single episode.

That kind of stuff is hard to maintain and keep up-to-date because facts always need to be revised, because such series always get new episodes announced or stuff related to them comes out, so that's a lot of work, that could be put into writing proper reviews for games instead. But that's just my own idea, based on past experience doing this.

Plus, on the topic of Zelda, there's no real Zelda timeline, and that's subject to a lot of debates so it's hard to justify the way we would write one.

On the topic of articles talking about personal stuff, the blogs are there and they fulfil that purpose. But just like reader reviews, they ought to be put on the forefront a bit more.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

The blogs crossed my mind too for the more personal opinionated entries, so yeah I agree that they should be brought to the front a bit more, encouraged etc.

No Zelda timeline? I won't get into that here, heh.

Oh, another idea that popped into my head whilst making a topic just now... we should put polls on the frontpage. I'm sure we used to have polls on C3 at one point. Bring them back Smilie I don't think we quite get the activity to have a Poll of the Day, but changing it weekly/fortnightly should be good. And of course allow users to submit their ideas for polls through a system of sorts.

Again, just gonna quote MiiWiiKing's and my post in the fixes thread, seeing as they're suggestions (I know you acknowledged them already, but just in case you forget and use this thread for looking back on the suggestions for new C3).

MiiWiiKing said:
ooo in the new c3 can there be a section where we have c3 and its members recommended top 5 games to be playing for the week and have it change depending on what games are trending, kinda like trending topics on twitter

Azuardo said:
Likewise, perhaps have a section which shows Cubed3's members' highest rated games: a list of the top 50, or 100, games rated on C3 through the voting system.

Again, it just encourages user participation and gets people involved, having an effect on the website.

A poll's a great idea. One of the main reasons I go to gamefaqs every day is because of their daily polls.

Was wondering if it's at all possible to have a section in a user's profile so that you can see the reviews/previews/articles they've written for the site. I know you can view your own reader reviews from another person's profile, but seeing as I'm contributing to the site now, I had the urge to look at the stuff I've submitted to the site. Would be handy for myself to be able to view a list of the reviews/previews I've submitted, and for others wanting to read a certain member's site reviews/previews too.

I'm personally a big fan of videos. Would it be possible to do some video reviews? It couldn't be something awkward like someone reading a text review into a webcam. At least it should show gameplay footage with a review narrated over it. When mentioning a specific part, the gameplay video could be related to the review (i.e. You mention a glitch when you spin jump through a ceiling or something and show a video of the glitch). The reviewer would need a TV capture card and some basic video editing skills. Maybe a small team could work together on reviews. A creative video format could give C3 video reviews it's own unique character (see Zero Punctuation or Spill.com movie reviews).

Just throwing ideas out there.

( Edited 09.08.2011 06:13 by TAG )

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Azuardo said:
Was wondering if it's at all possible to have a section in a user's profile so that you can see the reviews/previews/articles they've written for the site. I know you can view your own reader reviews from another person's profile, but seeing as I'm contributing to the site now, I had the urge to look at the stuff I've submitted to the site. Would be handy for myself to be able to view a list of the reviews/previews I've submitted, and for others wanting to read a certain member's site
reviews/previews too.

Ya, something I wanted to include myself! It certainly is possible and will include at somepoint.

TAG said:
I'm personally a big fan of videos. Would it be possible to do some video reviews? It couldn't be something awkward like someone reading a text review into a webcam. At least it should show gameplay footage with a review narrated over it. When mentioning a specific part, the gameplay video could be related to the review (i.e. You mention a glitch when you spin jump through a ceiling or something and show a video of the glitch). The reviewer would need a TV capture card and some basic video editing skills. Maybe a small team could work together on reviews. A creative video format could give C3 video reviews it's own unique character (see Zero Punctuation or Spill.com movie reviews).

Just throwing ideas out there.

Difficult as not all of us have video recording software and the same setup, however something definitely worth including! Maybe for now trailers/footage within the review text to break things up a little.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Would it be possible to get some form of chat functionality up again?

Can you make it so that when you want to bold/italic something, you can just highlight the text and then click the button? As it is, every time you click the button, the tags automatically go to the end of the post. Not a massive problem, but something that would save time and make things slightly easier when editing long posts.

To kind of expand on that, would also be good to click on a spot you want to insert tags, then click the button, and they'll appear there. Rather than them going straight to the end of the post and your message automatically scrolling up. If that makes sense. If you mess around you'll see what I mean.

( Edited 12.08.2011 01:28 by Azuardo )

Azuardo said:
Can you make it so that when you want to bold/italic something, you can just highlight the text and then click the button...

Plan to have a WYSIWYG editor (possibly for the new C3 instead), so it would make things like formatting easier. Only problem really is getting quoting (from an existing post), draft saving and smilies to work with it though. Will certainly give it a shot!

Echoes221 said:
Would it be possible to get some form of chat functionality up again?

Eventually yep!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Game Videos
Was just thinking, do you think it would be a good idea to add a Videos section to a game's Game Page, like you have tabs for Preview, Review, Images, etc? Mainly to show off trailers and any other official vids released. To save from videos going down, have links to videos only uploaded on the official Cubed3 YouTube channel, or official game/company channels.

Brings me to another idea though. You know how I suggest a more user-driven focus for the site, how about if users could also submit their own videos for a game, just like they could do with screenshots? People could like that the site links to their gameplay videos, showing their skills or difficult parts of games etc.

Viewing Images
Just noticed how painful it is to view images sometimes. Was hoping you would be able to implement Lightbox or something similar, so that you don't have to close an open image to move on to the next one? It also looks neater and flows smoothly. This also looks pretty good, with images appearing at the bottom to choose from too.

Food for thought for the new C3 I guess.

( Edited 17.08.2011 23:02 by Azuardo )

Ya I use a different lightbox script on the new C3 - we used to have it viewable as a gallery but the script I think messed up and we had to revert to single view.

Definitely like the idea about submitting videos. The easiest way *I think* would be if a user would submit a YouTube link and it would display accordingly per game.

Screens would be a bit trickier though - I worry as uploading content to C3, even when filtered by image only, in the past has caused hacking and all sorts.

( Edited 17.08.2011 23:43 by jb )

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Once Mario Kart 7 is out, I wouldn't mind seeing C3Bot back with his weekly "Free-For-All Wi-Fi" threads that encouraged online play.

Might not work so well these days though, since the online isn't such a big deal as it was on the DS, back when it was relatively new.

( Edited 19.08.2011 20:28 by Marzy )

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