2016-11-25: Rebuild

“And on this site, I shall rebuild the church of the game, for all those who seek to worship at it’s altar may find comfort in the game. May it stand forever more.”

Hey there brothers and sisters, welcome back to the all new (and hopefully refined) Let Us Play on Badly.Network. It’s taken a lot longer than I wanted to get the site back into a condition where I felt it appropriate to relaunch. Several times I’ve said that I’d planned to have it finished, before now, but various things have cropped up to step in my way, and prevent me from making this big welcome back post.

So, what exactly happened?

oldsiteHonestly, I have no idea. I made a big post when things first happened, explaining what I thought may have been the case, but honestly, I still don’t know, and probably never will. All I know is, something went horribly wrong, and my backups may have also been compromised. WordPress became unstable, and I was unable to access the dashboard. At first it was only the actual Dashboard but in the space of a few hours it became a number of the various administration areas, and finally I was entirely unable to log in.

The night this went down, I had made no significant changes to the site, merely updating the CSS with some cosmetics. Nothing that could possibly cause such a catastrophic failure of the WordPress program. The last updates I had made in terms of mods and plugins was a month before, save for a Jetpack update that I had made just a week previous. My last major back up was from a month previous also, when I was preparing for some big changes. All the plugins that I was using previously have been added to this install, with no adverse effects. If it were some kind of malicious software, my hosting couldn’t find it, so my only real option were to pay to have the site rolled back a month or two, reinstall my backups from around the same time, both of which run the risk of whatever caused the degeneration to still be present, and waste my time trying to stay ahead of it. Or I could manually back up all the files, and rebuild the site.

As I was prepping for a minor reshuffle and some changes the the site layout, I figured the rebuild option would be for the best, that way I could make the edits to the new site more cleanly, more organised, and I could also implement the new features that I wanted to include without, simply tacking them on.

The new site is still based on the same Poseidon theme, which is a really cool theme with some really nice homepage display options, but I’ve added a bunch of other plugins to make it exactly what I’ve been looking for, such as the slider, the additional space to the right of the slider and the inspirational game quotes, just below. And I’ve got to say, this one quote in particular from Skies of Acadia’s Vyse has kept me going:

As long as you’re alive, you’ll always have another chance.

So many times I’ve been on the verge of giving up. Thinking to myself this was the last chance, if it’s still not going right, then clearly it just was never meant to be. However, I am still alive, and that which fails to kill me, makes me level up! So I kept pushing forward, even when I thought I was wasting my time, even when I was at my most despondent, and here we are.

Let Us Play is rebuilt. On this site. In this time. so I welcome you all back my brothers and sisters, to the Church of the Game!

What’s New?

newsiteThere have been a few changes to the site since it’s rebuild, and not just aesthetically. I had started a number of minor projects prior to the site crash, and the rebuild give me an opportunity to sit back and evaluate those projects, and how I want to present them. After I re-uploaded all of the articles, I went about reorganising them into their categories; separating the wheat from the chaff as it were, and simplifying the structure of the site as I went.

In the remainder of this article I’m going to be giving a very brief rundown of the various articles as they stand now, and pointing out the major changes that have occurred in the rebuild. In the coming week, we’ll also be reintroducing all of this sites major projects, with an introductory entry to the project.

State of the Church

As you can see here, State of the Church hasn’t really changed at all. This will always be a “what’s new” series related directly to the site. Whether that be future projects, collaborations, changes and updates, appearances of myself in an official Let Us Play or Badly.Network capacity at events etc.

News Commentary

I won’t be doing a separate article for the News commentary section, as I don’t really have much more to say other than this:

First off I should explain that I’ve not yet finished restoring all of the news commentary articles at the time of posting this. I wanted to get the site started up again, and so I’ve only gone back so far. This means that if you go far enough back through the archive, or via the Recommended Articles section, you will encounter articles that have no feature images, and possibly all the images in the article itself will be broken links. I will eventually fix these, but my priority right now it to get the bulk of the site live, and making up for lost time.

Just previous to the site crash, there were a few changes in this section, so just to catch people up, opinions and news now occupy the same section, that’s why it’s called News Commentary, and not just “News”. Something I want to stress is that I am not a journalist, and I will never call myself a journalist, at best I am a news commentator, but really I just see myself as an opinion slinger.

I am currently looking into rehashing the format of the News Commentary series, to be able to better divide the facts and news from the opinions, but to still keep them int he same article as the opinions I post will be stimulated by current events. That’s not to say there won’t be straight up news reports, as I do like to talk about new upcoming games that appeal to me personally.

I’m also interested in renaming this section, so if you have any ideas, please comment below, or Tweet it to me.

Feature Articles

In future I’m hoping to put a lot more of a focus on the Feature Articles, to be able to get out at least one of these each week. There are four projects that are considered Feature articles, PixelEight, Lens of Truth, Gaming Relics and You’ve Got Mail.

PixelEight already has three updates out, and they will stay pretty much the exact same list format focused on gaming and gaming related topics.

Gaming Relics is a project I’ve been wanting to do for some time, and will be all about gaming hardware and peripherals, rather than games themselves. There will also be some opinion and hints and tips focused articles in this series, and already have so much I want to talk about! I had previously started to write about Amiibo as an unboxing series called “Amiibo Get”, but that never really sat well with me, even as I was writing my reasoning for it to be considered an unboxing.  That series is now being folded into Gaming Relics.

Lens of Truth is a series I already started some time ago. Technically you could call it a game theory series, but it’s so much more than just that. As a part of this series I want to delve into the in game origins, abilities, statistics, etc, of Pokémon, gods, monsters, weapons, items, artifacts, etc, as well as identify their real world inspirations, or just similar references. To live up to my moniker though, I want to narrow my focus to religious or magical based topics within games, or topics that are connected to religious or magical things in real life.

You’ve Got Mail is not going to be seeing any significant changes. This project is written by my wife, and has a pretty solid format. So this will continue on as it has done.

Blog Posts

Blog posts have now been renamed from the general “Blog”, to “The Book of Frog”. A couple of years ago, all the articles I wrote came under the header of “The Book of Frog” and I wanted to bring this back in some fashion, being the nostalgic person that I am. Seeing as simply calling the Blog section “The Blog’ or “The Frog Blog” was kinda boring, and I’m the only one who is intending to write blog posts for the site, it made sense that I made it more personal.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game project, “Random Receiver” has been ended, and it;s articles have now been folded into The Book of Frog as blog updates. I couldn’t come up with a way that I was satisfied with to write Pokémon TCG unboxing and pack cracking, so for now, I’ll be doing more blog like Pokémon TCG articles. You’ll be able to tell the difference between whether it’s a regular blog or a Pokémon TCG update by the inclusion of the Pokémon TCG logo in the top left of the title card.

And Finally…

Aside from that every thing else should be pretty much the same. I mean it all looks pretty different, but my content for the most part hasn’t changed. I was thinking about adding a “Not Gaming” section, probably right at the very bottom under the blog, because there are a few things that I want to talk about that isn’t just gaming. I like a lot of music, anime and movies too, but that’s an idea I’ve had for a long time and nothing has really come of it, I can’t imagine it would be updated particularly regularly either, not to mention there are other people in the Badly.Network who cover those topics, so I could always guest on one of their pages.

*shrug*

What do you think I should do? What do you think of the new site and the updates mentioned here? please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. What you have to say does matter to me, and it does make a difference, because I want this site to be user friendly and if something is out of place, there are any errors, or if something is just outright broken that I have missed, I want to be able to put it right for all my readers, as soon as possible.

Even the way you can contact me has changed! While I’m still using the same Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr (still not sure if I want to keep this) and Google Plus accounts, so that much hasn’t changed, but I do have two new accounts that I’d like you all to check out:

The first is on Based Gamer, which is an excellent platform for publishing your own game reviews and articles. Currently in the games journalism world, there is cause for alarm when those who are supposed to be the intermediaries between the games industry and the gaming public are acting in their own interests and against the interests of the everyday consumer. so this is a site by gamers, for games where we work together to produce the best possible content that the big names refuse to provide.

The second is ASK.fm. If you’ve never heard of ASK.fm, then I’m not really surprised, it’s a popular platform in some circles and less so in others. ASK.fm is essentially an Ask Me Anything website, with a similar design to Twitter, where you can follow people that you know or are fans of, and post questions to them, which when answered will show up in the user’s timeline. In an attempt to better open dialogue with my followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc, and on here of course, I thought this might be a great way of answering your queries. Some questions will be answered on ASK.fm directly others will be featured in The Book of Frog updates.

And of course, I can’t end this without shilling for shekels, and reminding you all that I do have a Patreon account. If you want to help support the enthusiast press and a gamer who writes about gaming because they love it, then please think about contributing. Every dollar is appreciated!

That’s all for this State of the Church update, I’m so glad to be back!

Peace and High Scores!