http://i.imgur.com/hDklG.png
I wanted to talk about some of the new things we are doing on the site as well as a bit about some of the technology we use to make Cheerful Ghost. I put the finishing touches on a new private message system this weekend and am pretty happy with the result. A week or so ago CapnCurry asked me how he could distribute Card Hunter beta keys to people on the site and I didn't have a good recommendation for him. He suggested a simple message system and the gears in my head turned a bit. I spent a week thinking about how to build things and spend a few days hacking on it.

how private messages work

If you want to send a private message to anyone on the site you can do that in a few ways. If you are in a comment chain and want to send someone a message there is a message icon you can click to send. If you are viewing someones profile there is also a message icon you can click to send a message. The message system is very simple and I borrowed heavily from how text messages work. To manage all the messages you have, in the drop down there is a private messages inbox with each private message thread available to read. Want to start a new thread? Send a new private message or continue where you left off.

the cheerful ghost roundtable

The Cheerful Ghost Roundtable is a new YouTube video cast by members of the Cheerful Ghost community about awesome stuff in gaming. We film each new episode of the Roundtable every two weeks live over Google Hangout. Right now the show is published to the main page but as we continue with it, you will be able to subscribe to it in iTunes and any other Podcast program you use. I will also put a link to each episode in a new "Roundtable" navigation area page in the next month or so.

We just finished up Episode 3 last night and I am very happy with how that turned out. I want the Cheerful Ghost Roundtable to be something really special and if you have any suggestions or ideas on how to do that, let me know. If you have a topic suggestion, let me know.

If you haven't watched them yet, why not start with episode one?

Episode 1 - "The Indie Revolution": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy_D1tdNXv4
Episode 2 - "The Internet Hate Factory": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-IwC9j1U8g
Episode 3 - "CONSOLES!": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjAcMDGJcHI

responsive design & why it matters

I started Cheerful Ghost with some pretty awesome goals. One of those goals was that the site had to work the same on mobile, tablets and desktop browsers. I set that as a goal because as a software engineer I have worked for many companies that don't do that and I wanted to be able to ship something that works the way I think it should. I decided from the starting code I wrote, the site would keep this in mind.

I started with a pretty basic "responsive design" framework when the site first launched. I was pretty new to design and the front end so the first design of Cheerful Ghost was pretty rough. The site worked the same on phones, tablets and desktops but it lacked polish and the shine the site has now.

Cheerful Ghost received a pretty awesome overhaul a year after launch and the fruits of that you see now. Since then the site has evolved but the core tenant of keeping the site working the same on phones, tablets and desktops hasn't changed.

In fact, one fun way to test how that works is by dragging the edge of your browser around. In most browsers you can see the site "respond" to its new width and adapt. Many sites on the Internet don't do that and this is one really cool feature of Cheerful Ghost I love. It responds to the browser it lives in.

One technology we use to make this happen is the Open Source responsive design framework, Bootstrap 2.3.2. Recently Bootstrap 3.0 was released and after PAX I am going to spend time to upgrade the site to Bootstrap 3.0. Bootstrap 3.0 is a great new release that was built from the ground up to consider mobile first. What this means is that certain elements it provides that were not awesome on mobile, will now be. It also changes a few elements visually and drops support for some older web browsers.

As Cheerful Ghost improves we can't keep compatibility with everything. As such we are going to drop support for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.6. I don't think this will impact too many people because according to our logs Internet Explorer is our 5th used browser and only one person came to the site last month in IE 7. That said over the next year we will drop support for IE 8 and that browser isn't widely used on the site either. I'd love to keep support for everything, but as as a lone developer I can only do so much. :D

http://getbootstrap.com/2.3.2/
http://blog.getbootstrap.com/2013/08/19/bootstrap-3-released/

Thanks for making Cheerful Ghost the coolest gaming community on the net and I hope to see you in the upcoming months!

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 08/30/2013 at 12:52am

Keep up the great work, Jon. You may not hear it every day, but the site is wonderful. It's a low-key place to talk about games without the pressure of proving you're the better gamer.

I've only posted a couple of items and commented on a few more than that, but I never doubt the reason I contribute to this site: It's about the games and the love that we all share for them.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/30/2013 at 04:25am

Awesome, thanks Bean!

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