This post originally appeared on my old blog on 2/8/2012. I feel it worthy of reproducing here.
I don’t usually review websites or services, but yesterday a Twitter friend of mine who runs a mighty interesting project recently overhauled the website that is pretty key to it, and I’m really impressed.
First, what is Tweet RPG? A full review an analysis of Sam’s idea is beyond the scope of this little ditty, but it’s a rather cool idea that harks back to the dark old days of text-based multi-user dungeons but with a twenty-first century twist in that it’s all facilitated not through MS-DOS and Telnet, but through Twitter.
I like to feel I’ve helped Sam over the course of the last few Tweet RPG yarns, and I’m pleased to have done that. So, what do I think of his new website, and how does it compare to his old one (still accessible in a sort-of retirement mode here) and, more importantly, how do I think it will help him out in running Tweet RPG?
Let’s start with his original site, which he hosted via Blogger. It was effective, yes, but Sam definitely saw the limitations – Blogger is designed pretty much primarily for chronological entries, and has pretty rudimentary functions for static pages – for a project like Tweet RPG, it’s important to have timely updates but also important to have pertinent information anchored and accessible. With only ten “pages” available, space was running a bit thin. From a design perspective, too, the top-level menu was starting to look quite cluttered, with text running off buttons and such like. But this was all due to the limitations of Blogger and the template (which, despite gallant efforts, really did look template-y) and not Sam’s fault.
His new site is, by stark contrast, lovely. It certainly doesn’t look like a template, and that’s a plus, as I know Sam wants Tweet RPG to grow and the “bedroom” look of the Blogger site maybe would be hindering the project as it reaches a wider audience. With a bespoke layout, with an attractive theme and also the ability to segment crucial static pages for easy access alongside a hopefully-updated blog page with a robust comment system, I think Tweet RPG’s new home will give it plenty of room to grow and definitely facilitate more players taking part in this quirky little timewaster that I’m certainly a fan of!
So good work Sam, I look forward to seeing how the site performs when an adventure is “live”!
Disclosure: Sam is very nicely beta-reading my book Colonisation, and heck, if this doesn’t get me onto the “Friends of Tweet RPG” page, what will? Update: It did.