This site has been up for three years.
But it’s not the gradual slacking off we’ve done that surprises me, the fact it’s been up this long does. That’s a remarkable amount of time on the internet, especially for a game site that makes no money and hasn’t been repeatedly folded into a number of conglomerates.
So, after three years of next to nothing significant, it’s about time for a refresher. The “let’s just make a site for us really and not care too much about how it looks” attitude has faded slightly. We’ve grown up, we’ve learned some things, and it’s a good time to prove it.
When Crunk Games went up, Alex and myself were fresh from the disassembling of the GIA and shortly thereafter sprinting the fuck away from the embarrassing hellmouth of Gameforms. It was then we decided to keep busy with our own little site. Due to a “creative spark” which may have just been a hormonal jolt from the last of my teen years, my initial design went from concept to final in about 50 combined hours, and thanks to my unnaturally dark monitor it had the worst color balance known to man — and from the lack of questioning, apparently everyone thought I was aware of it. For two years. I guess that sort of unconsciously reinforced that we weren’t in this for the fame.
A second design went up in the middle of 2004 replete with better colors, sizing and CSS (WOW), but the challenge in converting every single page to the new style was simply too daunting (read: idiotic) for us to follow through with, so only a handful of old articles were changed.
But now! Crunk Games looks less like a proletarian rip-off of the GIA and instead… like a rip-off of everything else. Virtually all of our writing has moved over, with the dead weight dumped and the lighting improved. And so we can breathe again.
As for the editorial content, it’ll be largely unchanged. We’ve significantly pared down our screenshot threshold, because man, sorting 1,000 shots of Liquid Snake’s forehead is just not the way to spend a Saturday evening. We also decided to dump our review rating icons, unless we notice a lot of people clamoring for them to come back.
That’s another thing: we’ll actually be more open to your suggestions, provided they’re not snarky and regarding any part of the site other than the overall look (once again that’s laziness, not selfishness). Even though our audience has dwindled down to little but Joel and myself in the past months, you never know when someone with a good idea might come along! But you still can’t write for us.
Admittedly, this design comes closer to what I wanted my dream game site to look like — too bad the fact that I have a “dream game site” in mind already cements me as a loon. But I always wanted something that was very closely presented as a common magazine. Observance over the years has shown me it can be done, but not without a full-time paid staff in a centralized location. So until I become famous and/or run a media company, the dream will be approached in half steps.
True, there’s not much point in trying to pump you up over a redesign that’s still pretty amateur, but for Crunk Games, our original goals of simplicity and ease remain. Yet even though we’ve learned things, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will see updates any faster (although I wrote some things to go with today’s relaunch), but dammit, they’ll look better! And look, RSS!
You might say it’s all part of growing up. –Ray Barnholt