Here's the one before:
I've always been thinking about updating the whole site and throw a new coat of paint on it, but it was hard. It took maybe two years or more until I was confident enough to blow the old page up and replace it with the current one.
I'll tell you a little secret: I'm still not happy about it. It's hard.
Here are three attempts which I were pretty confident about back in 2010 or 2011... for a few weeks:
As you can probably see, they weren't much different than the old website. It's the same conundrum I faced when making Halfquake Sunrise, basically. Why create something new if it's just the same?
So, I decided to go all out and come up with very abstract ideas (excuse the blurry images; they also aren't in any particular order):
- Idea #1
- Idea #2
- Idea #3
- Idea #4 (I think this is where the playable piano idea started)
- Idea #5 (I'm glad I didn't make a onepage, those are a headache)
- Idea #6
- Idea #7 (a horizontal clothes line! why not?)
- Idea #8 (a browser game, PHQ users could change the site)
Here's the problem, though. Yes, you could make absolutely awesome stuff on your website. But then you have certain things to consider:
- The website should be responsive and not kill laptops and mobile phones.
- The website should be search engine friendly.
- The website should be super fast and not have a ton of images or flash objects.
- Information (news, projects) needs to be available fast and easily accessible without having to figure out navigation or how the website functions in general.
So, I dialed down my expectations and tried to play it safe, but throw in at least some little ideas that would make it stand out a bit.
- Idea #9 (The website is displayed on monoliths on a grass field, sure! Like the chapter selection in Heavenly Sword.)
- Idea #9b (Navigation could be little arrows!)
I went with that idea, and tried to fulfill the requirements above along the way. The website uses ajax requests, but all links are directly accessible for search engines. I added a responsive CSS, so it works on mobile devices (although ... sometimes it doesn't work on tablets, which I still have to look into). And I added a background effect, that still makes my laptop's fan turn up, but believe me - IT'S NECESSARY!
The way I saw it was, the website is there for information and if you dig deeper into the individual projects, you get all the stuff that (finally) confuses you. The website should simply show you the way.
But... on some days, I want my website to be freaking confusing and dark and...
Yeah. I'll just leave that for my other stuff.