Saturday, 1 October 2011

Welcome to the new look Frontline Gamer Blog

 Look it's a new banner!!! Now stop whinging that my blog looks shit!!!

Yes I'm back with a snazzy, well snazzy for me, banner and a slightly revised look to the blog. Huzzah I say, Huzzah! Yeah so it is all still in garish purple and pink but it wouldn't be me if I wasn't offending your vision, or making your eyes bleed with the searing pinkness of it all! I've gone through all my old articles and tried my damn hardest to clear up any typos and mistakes. I've also cleaned up some layout issues on my reviews etc. I've done all of this because I know there are shop keepers out there who have been using my reviews of my board games in particular, to explain to customers why products might be for them... or indeed not. I've added 'Link Within' because all the cool kids blogs seem to have it nowadays and I want to be hip to their jive too! I've also started using 'jump breaks' so people aren't bombarded with a massive wall of text when they first load the page up. Obviously the moment you're foolish enough to click on the read more option, you'll be hit by a wall of text... you have been warned.

The biggest change though is my glorious new header or banner or whatever the hell its called, the pretty thing at the top of the page and this blog. What? I've got to milk it! I think its 'mint' (well its pink actually, but you know what I mean) and I did work bloody hard to make it as utterly awesome as it is, as did my other half Dr Brainiac with her Kung-Fu Photoshop skills. It was a collaborative effort and it's all our own work, well apart from the artwork in the background! Yeah, so it's not as super awesome as some people's headers and banners, and OK it is probably way too pink for most of you, but it's so now darling, and some of you need to get hip with the groove! You might have noticed however that there is a shocking amount of artwork in the background of the banner from a number of the games that I play, and I want to take this moment to acknowledge the awesome artwork and the artists who did them. I'll be doing a blog on all the individual pieces of artwork at a later date, because the artwork that accompanies the games we all play does so much to enrich our understanding of the universes we all play in, and sometimes we take it all for granted.

Now that's teamwork!!!
So what else have I been up to? Well I'm glad you asked, you see I've shrunk the size of the hexagons in the background of the blog and toned the brightness down just a tad, because the white apparently hurt people's eyes... some of you clearly spend way too much time indoors if white light burns your retinas! Clearly there is a high proportion of vampires amongst those who read my blog. Plus the smaller hexagons will also hypnotise you all far easier than the larger ones did, and fool you into thinking my blog is great! I've also fiddled with a few other visual bits and bobs, like darkening the background behind the text to an almost black grey so the white text is easier to see and you don't have to strain your eyes quite as much.

You might also have noticed the veritable truckload of gaming logos at the top of the blog. Believe it or not, all of those belong to game systems I actually play and have a fairly large stake in... in fact not everything I play is represented. Yeah I know, sometimes I'm not too sure myself how the hell I remember all the rules either... it's Line of Sight rules I seem to have the biggest trouble with remembering. However, that is a fair representation of the wargames that I am playing now. I also think it's fair to say that the list at the top of the page hasn't really been fairly or equally represented in my articles to date either. Now I'm not going to create articles just for the sake of it, because that wouldn't be me. I'd not enjoy writing for my blog if I forced myself down the path of having to write something. I have though been thinking a bit about those games systems, I haven't really covered that much, and I now know what I have to say about them and even in some cases what I want to write. So I'm currently working up some thoughts around other game systems that you aren't used to me covering, and I'll be chucking my thoughts up here as soon as I have something to show you.

Yeah I know not everyone will be happy I'm back

However the biggest change you are yet to see. Over these past 4 months I've been studiously collecting data on visits, and what stories and articles have proved popular. Unsurprisingly my reviews seem really popular as do my editorials and opinion pieces. However, what really took me aback just a little bit was how popular the very small number of hobbying blogs I've done have actually proved with you all. I guess my painting must be good for a laugh and provide light relief to you all. So I'm going to try and do some scenery guides and maybe even the odd painting guide as you seem to enjoy them. I've also had request to start doing some battle reports, and I have to say I'm actually quite keen to give it a bash. So yeah I'm going to be doing a wider range of content and things on my blog and I hope people enjoy it, but I'm not going to stray to far from what I've been doing already as you guys clearly like it! Well I think you do. I'd just like to say yet again thanks for all your support and helpful comments. So what do you think of the new layout then guys and gals? Do let me know. Peace out!


  1. I think the banner looks excellent, very sharp, and it ties in well with the backdrop. And no surprise I think there's nothing wrong with pink.

  2. Of course Porky!!! Everyone knows the best blogs on the internet are pink based. Its how you tell the quality blogs from the duffers!!! ;) Read your articles of walls and cover saves and have to say I agree. There have been a few games that have worked the 'temporary' cover thing for characters pressed against walls.

  3. Added, look forward for some posts!

  4. The one criticism I'd have is that the banner takes up a lot of screen space, meaning that (when combined with the rest of the layout at the top) visitors to your blog can't necessarily see any content. We all know that first impressions are important. I would probably shrink the circular element a tad and reduce the space around the banner. Just my two cents :) Other than that, it's looking nice.

  5. @Kemp, its good to get feedback, its wierd because I've looked at it on fairly low res screens and its fine and on my desktop it looks perfectly ok and doesn't take up anymore than 15% of the page. But then again my screen is stupidly Hi-res.

    Did you manage to get any games of Infinity in eventually? I know that SorrowShard over at Rant in E Minor is now getting into Infinity and he runs the Solihull club which will be closer to you, because you were in Cov weren't you?

  6. That's odd, it's taking about 65% of the page space for me (counting down to the start of the dark grey, i.e. the start of the content). I'm on 1680x1050, which is admittedly not a huge vertical resolution.

    I still haven't got around to Infinity yet. Whenever it looks like I'm going to get some free time and I think "ok, let's talk to people", something comes up. Solihul is about halfway between Coventry and Birmingham, so that would be closer in theory. On the other hand, I suspect that something in Birmingham itself might be easier to get to (even though it's further away) given that I'll be on the train.

  7. hmm, that is bizarre, because I tested it on lots of computers and at that resolution which I've just tested it looked fine on Safari, IE and Firefox, which are the 3 browsers people use most. Haven't tried it only google chrome though...

    As for Solihull you could get a train to Leamington and then travel to Solihull. There aren't many clubs actually in the center of Brum because the cost of hiring rooms is a bit steep so most tend to be in the suburbs.

  8. It occurred to me that we could be talking about different things here. Check out this screenie to see what I'm measuring:

  9. @Kemp, it doesn't take up that much of the screen on any of the tests I've run and I've asked a fair few people I know to look at it and they've all said its fine for them. I also don't think it looks to bad in your photo either. The header area of most of the blogs I like are filled with header and buttons to linked pages. If you wanna read their stories you scroll down the page. I've had a few PMs threatening bodily harm from people I know if I change my logo from what it is now... and as some of these people know where I live, I've decided against it. Sorry!!! I like my limbs where they are and I'm not sure I'd like been beaten to death with the 'wet end' of one of my own arms!!!

  10. No problem, it is your blog after all. As I said, it was just my two cents. I can't say there's anything wrong with how the banner itself looks because I do quite like it :) My own blog doesn't have a fancy banner or anything as I'm pretty uncreative when it comes down to it.

    I wonder how much of a flame war would result if I mentioned the pink... Lol, I joke, I joke.

  11. Still trippin' out on the background....
    That header is really sexy, though...

  12. @Kemp... you leave the pink out of it you!!! lol. It was originally a mistake... but you know what I quite like it now. Gives my bog a bit of a unique feel. Besides I've seen people refer to the 'pink blog' and other people know instantly which blog they were on about, so I guess I've lucked onto a pretty strong 'brand identity'. lol.

    @SinSynn... don't look at the hexes, they're only there to hypnotise the humans!!! And cheers for the compliment on the header.