Site Redesign

I had a few basic goals when I decided to improve the Warp Drive Active site design, and the primary ones should be covered off with this initial version.

Firstly, the new theme is a lot more contemporary in style, and is responsive to changes in screen width. The main page layout showcases more than just a single post now, and does so in an interesting card-style format that isn’t just a plain list of headlines.

Secondly, individual posts have a few improvements. I’ve added Disqus to replace the default comment system, and imported old comments so that nothing is lost.  Disqus has a lot of advantages for both a blog admin and a user, so I hope people like that addition.  Also, posts have the requisite social badges, letting you stuff with friends, family, the world, etc.

There’s a few things that aren’t done, namely the comic gallery and uploads of older podcasts to the current podcast feed. The latter is going to take a while, but at least they won’t be lost in the ether like my previous co-host. I’ll do my best to be quick about it.  The comic gallery will probably be a lot faster to get going, but for now the category view for it is a lot easier to navigate than before.

There’s a bunch of other things I want to get done, like add more EVE styling to the site. That’ll come soon, but for now I’m curious what folks think of the changes (suggestions are always welcome). In the meantime, please excuse the occasional glitchyness around here.

Also, since I’ve pretty much not kicked out a blog in a while, I’m curious what everyone thinks of the content presented at Fanfest this year. I have something in the works for my own thoughts, but in short I was pretty damn impressed with not only what’s coming for EVE, but also for DUST 514.

The Plan

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, but for whatever reason haven’t got around to it until now. Basically put, I wanted to outline my plan for the site and its content.  There are a lot of ideas I have to improve the experience here a bit, and hopefully to provide a better service overall to folks who visit both regularly and intermittently.  This may even be of interest to folks who might be interested in seeing what analytic tools can tell about site visitors. Lets get into it.

New Theme

Overall I’ve liked the layout of the site myself, but I recognize it has certain shortcomings. For some it might not be the easiest to read or navigate, so in the coming weeks I hope to roll out something better.  Something that’s not only beneficial for you as a visitor, but also me as the site’s manager and content creator.

I’ll touch on some more specifics as we go through the post since some topics are related to this.

Content, Content, Content

Expect more regular editorials on things that go on with EVE, its community, dev blogs, etc. This is more of a challenge than folks think, since not every bit of news is worth dwelling on. For instance, there’s no real reason to soapbox about a patch to the game that doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot. So it’s going to be a balance of providing something of interest to read, while doing so about topics that people give a shit about.

Comics have been the reason this site exists in the first place, and I’ve been getting back into the swing of that lately. Expect that to continue.  What some may or may not know is that I’ve been doing comics for EON since issue #1, but so far they’ve not appeared on this site at all. Soon they will be, with the latest appearing after a modest delay out of respect for folks who pay for the magazine.

Podcasts have been a LONG time coming, and for that I apologize. Rest assured I’ve not abandoned them, and I have a few tweaks to the hotdrop formula that I think folks will enjoy a lot. The only thing I can’t speak to right now is a timeline for when regular podcasty goodness will return.

Gallery Support

The way blogs handle multiple image posts leaves a lot to be desired. For example, there’s no one-stop-shop to view all the comics at a glance in some sort of awesome gallery and pick the one you want to eyeball.  Adding some sort of proper gallery for these would make life easier for a lot of folks who want to check out older comics at a glance.

Mobile Support

If there’s one thing that’s changed over the last couple of years it’s the types of visitors who frequent websites. Gone are the days when you only needed to support the desktop. With tools like Google Analytics, we can see the stats for visitors coming in from mobile browsers continuing to grow.

Instead doing some weird theme swap when a mobile browser’s detected, I figure the best thing to do is to keep this in mind when picking a new theme for the site. That means something that reconfigures content dynamically depending on the size of the browser. Lets face it, things shouldn’t look like this when you come here:

This has benefits for desktop users as well, since the site will still work just fine if you do something weird like tile your browser windows, or just prefer a smaller window size.


All of this, along with general improvements to the art assets used throughout the site, should make things a lot more livable and interesting around here for both myself and those of you who frequent the site.

As this is a site which is for the EVE community, I have always welcomed feedback from people who wish to suggest improvements to things.  As the site’s consumers, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

Farewell 2010!

Well now that the main holiday festivities are largely over, it’s time to ring in the new year!

Tonight’s celebration was, in a word, awesome. Inspired by a late fall mountain road trip and an awesome restaurant which specialized in fondues, we did a special new year’s fondue dinner at Chez Winterblink. Seafood in vegetable broth was followed up by a dessert fondue which would inspire New Year’s resolutions even if I just described it.

I can only hope, whether you’re spending your time in EVE or out, that you’re enjoying yourself in a safe and responsible, yet really fun manner.

It’s been a pretty busy time for me here the last few months with work (it’s seems like a seasonal thing or something), but things should be looking up for more comics and podcasts very very soon. I also totally forgot to mention, all of the comics are back online now, so browsing through the comics category will be a rewarding experience once more.

Fly safe, and we’ll speak soon!

Status of Stuffs

Hey all, long time  :)

First lets get the podcast status out of the way.  No we’re not dead, Urban is just nursing a hell of a cold.  Most people have probably been hit or known someone to be hit by whatever bug is floating around, Urban just took a lot longer.  Most likely that’s due to him working so much he’s barely had any human contact.

So as soon as possible you’ll probably be getting some ridiculously long show (like last one) when we catch up on all the stuff we missed because one of us got sick or busy (like last one).

Comic’s going great, thanks for asking.

Other stuff, like Weekly Tinfoil and Frontline Dispatches.  In both cases, the authors who wanted to try doing this have found other things to focus their time on.  No hard feelings of course, it’s just unfortunate.  I don’t want to retire the content, what’s there is great and at some point someone (maybe me?) will step up and start filling in.

I’ve done a bit of tweaking on the site, just tightening up the layout a bit so things aren’t totally spread out.  I’m still doing more there, so expect some improvements as I start ticking off items on my to-do list.

That’s it for the quick update.  Feel free to post any questions or comments about any of this of course, and you’ll be hearing more podcast goodness as soon as Urban’s weak English immune system starts doing its job.

What the Hell is Taking So Long

Yeah, I know, both the comic and podcast are laggy right now.  This weekend was a long weekend so several things got accomplished though.

First, we managed to get a podcast recorded, it’s probably in its latter stages of being edited and should be online soon.  Yay!

Second, was busy playing EVE and didn’t get a chance to do a comic this week.  There’s one partly complete though, so will probably get that out as soon as I can.

I appreciate the patience of everyone.  Summer time tends to dig into everyone’s time with lots of out-of-game activities.  I hope everyone else is enjoying it too. :)

EVE: Empyrean Age

The four major Empires of EVE have broken their long-standing peace and are marshalling their forces for war.

The website for the new expansion for EVE called Empyrean Age is now available at the link above. There’s a new trailer, some wallpapers, a list of features, information about the Tony Gonzales novel The Empyrean Age, and much more.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think this is going to be one amazing event for EVE. It looks to be finally making the compelling combat of the game accessible to those who might have otherwise avoided it, without watering the experience down for anyone. I can’t wait.

Hello, Industry

The wonderful duo of Benilopax and LaVista Vista have been doing the WDA Industry podcast for four episodes now, and I figured now that the site was live that it was about time to hit the guys up to have their show notes given exposure here as well.

Thankfully they’ve agreed, so you’ll notice a new category of “industry podcast”. That’ll show you all of their episodes thus far.

Just a quick note about the RSS feed here, if you subscribe to it you’ll get everything: the general blogs and news, the comic, and both podcasts. That might be a bit meaty for some who may prefer to subscribe to specific content, so I’ll be adding a nice RSS feed list for anyone to pick and choose how they’d like to receive their content.

Hope that helps, enjoy the new addition to the site, and keep the feedback coming! Also don’t forget about the live dev blog tomorrow, and the Faction Warfare testing happening this Saturday.