Temporary implementation of pop-up ads

I’d like to apologize right away for the pop-up ads. A friend of mine gave me a really good offer, and I REALLY need the money right now. Plus I’d like to be able to make enough to put towards the next batch of shirts since the demand @ MAGFest was so high (by the way, 1 large still availible if anyone wants it).

Anyway the ads’ll only be around for a few days or so. They’re by
no means permanant or even long term. So do me a favor and be sure to
navigate with the nav box on ThaSauce and move all around R:TS with the
top navigation :(.

Sauce Digest: Changing Leaves Edition

That time of year again.A noisy video, hard-to-see content, and a few bugs round up the reasons for this month’s list of planned changes. You’ll also finally get a chance to put your points to use. Plus, a new way to access ThaSauce is on its way!
Another layout change will top off this month once the new featured content module goes into place. This’ll include new sections for featured links, artists, and projects, which’ll be automatically featured based on age, popularity, and content type. Part of the plan is to move this farther up the page, somehow interspersing it with the news content.

Also part of this is an all-new video module, which will include a YouTube player and more options for viewing and saving videos.

A re-style of the forums is in order, we’re going to be bringing it in-line with the rest of the site, as well as wiki upgrades that should let us re-open public registration. We’d like to also update the wiki’s style, but there may not be enough time in the schedule for that.

Here comes a chance to spend some of those points you’ve been accumulating over the years. By the end of the month I’ll have the raffle module in place, where you can put up your points for a chance to win a ThaSauce T-Shirt in your choice of white or black. Shirts are also available for $10 + Shipping, email or PM Xerol for information or orders.

Finally, we’ve had a PSP version of ThaSauce up for a while (which also is due for an upgrade), but now we’ll be adding a Mobile version of the site! It’ll be accessible from any web-capable phone or PDA, and have mobile-friendly features for keeping up on the latest articles.

ThaSauce: 2.0

We’re finally live. It’s not as drastic a change as I would’ve liked, but only because we’ve slowly rolled in these features over the last 6 months or so. Drastically new are the Tags module, which lets you tag any story, and the new front page, which is more news-site-ish. As you can see below we’re still adding some dynamic multimedia content, and we’re also tweaking the theme to fit the new features.
Coming up soon we’ll have new userpages, finally finish the forums-based comments system, clean up the news submission process (the one thing I haven’t touched at ALL, because the existing code is the worst thing imaginable) and hopefully find a way to get Multiheadlines up again (which isn’t able to update due to a change in the server config made by the host, which we can’t override).

The Feedback forum is now open for news discussion as well, so you can put ideas and questions about news stories there. I’ve also put up some News Style Guidelines.

So, get out there and tag some articles.

Sauce Digest: July Duct Tape Edition

The new patching system.I’m certainly taking my good old time with it, but work on the new site is proceeding slowly. To be able to say it’s proceeding at all is a good thing in this case. Anyway, here’s a summary of the changes and other important things going on:

The first and most major change I’ve put in recently is creating forum topics for each story – this goes in with the new comment system that’s going to be in place in the next week/month/year/whenever I get around to it. Basically, rather than having to deal with the clunky phpNuke comment system, the comment form will just put a reply to the forum thread, and the comments shown in the article will just be read from the forums database. The old comments are going to remain in their current form, as it’s way too much of a hassle to convert all the HTML to bbCode, plus removing it altogether is bound to break some part of the site I didn’t know existed.
Advanced users of the site may notice that the Multiheadlines module isn’t working properly – this is due to something that changed in the host’s configuration that we have no control over, apparently a lot of hosts are making this change now because the functions involved are commonly used as part of domain kiting schemes. To skirt the technobabble, basically it means the module can’t open external files, and therefore can’t read feeds. Once a solution to this problem is found, rather than simply patching the old module a new one will be put in place, as the current one is rife with bugs and issues, especially on the administrative side.

Pretty soon we’ll have a few new layouts to be tested, and we’re looking for a few people to give feedback and suggestions on these ideas. If you want to participate in this, send me a PM and I’ll give out instructions when the time comes. We’re getting really close to bringing a lot of new features online, but just keep getting hung up on small things.

I certainly hope to be able to set up the hopper sometime in the next week, which will allow you to simply drop in links to things you want to see stories about, while we do all the hard work. We’d especially like to see more music and video links, since they’ll be playing a major role in the new areas of the site.

So that’s about it, until next month, keep your stick on the ice.

Sauce Digest: April Hovercraft

So as you might’ve noticed over the last month or so, we’ve been changing things (again). A lot of the changes came “out” today, including the navigation blocks on the left. To ensure that the new features get used to the fullest extent, I’m going to give a mini-tour of the changes.

First off, the navigation and forums blocks. If you hover over a line with a → on it, a pop-out will appear. We’re going to expand the lower part to have full site navigation. The biggest advantage of the location of these blocks is that the links are available from any page on ThaSauce, except for subsites like R:TS and the forums.

Now, these pop-outs may look a little ‘broken’. That’s because they’re meant for the new theme, which you can change to already (just go to your account options and pick the TwoPointOh theme). This new fixed-width layout works in 1024×768 resolution and still has room to breathe. If you look at an article in the new theme, you’ll notice it’s broken into columns. This is one of the features that isn’t complete yet. In addition to columns, longer articles will be broken into pages for easier reading.

Notice those last two sections under the News block? Music Links and Videos are two new “topics” that can be selected when submitting a story. However, they aren’t intended to be used in that way. Check the appropriate boxes in the “associated topics” section when submitting a music link or video and it will appear in the appropriate section. We’re also going to add a few more sections in the near future, for games, pictures, and links, as well as a multimedia portal where you can view this content in a convenient fashion.

A bit of a note: you’ll notice that embedded videos tend to be messed up in the two-column format; this is another thing we’re ironing out before officially rolling it out. While viewing the site over the next few weeks, bear in mind that things may look broken under the old skin since we aren’t designing the new parts of the site to work with it.

ThaSauce is still looking for writers! While the changes in the site will allow a wider range of media to be submitted, we still need good old-fashioned articles as the core of the site’s content. If you can’t think of anything to write about, visit #thasauce on irc.enterthegame.com, and we’ll give you ideas.

ThaSauce: We’re coders, not writers.

ThaSauce Forums: For Your Benefit

That’s right, the ThaSauce Forums are for your benefit. Not only can you scope out the songs currently being checked for quality for Remix:ThaSauce by the Arbiters, you can voice your opinions in the open Remixing forum. Also, you can let us know what you think about the site layout, content management, and other design issues on the Feedback forum.
The Remixing forum doubles as the Public QC Arena and the Musician’s Help Sauce, where one can ask questions pertaining to getting the best bang for their buck out of their weapons of choice. Exceptional threads will be condensed and their contents posted on ThaWiki, which will in the future work together with the VGMix Library so that there is no conflicting information between the two. The Dev forums is for developers, coders, and scripters who are looking for resources within the Video Game Music Arrangement community, for website owners looking for someone to assist them in building websites, and for game developers to show off their goods. Just made an original song? Swing on by the Pimpage forum! Here you can showcase your music that isn’t on R:TS for all to see. Of course there is also a R:TS Review section, where you can share your thoughts and offer criticisms of the music hosted on Remix:ThaSauce. There is also an open Projects forum in which you can offer up ideas and samples for community projects, not necessarily exclusive to video game music.

So! Check it out! 🙂

Sauce Digest: New stuff for February; writer$ wanted

Prepare for another rollercoaster of downtime, nonfunctionality, and slowness over the next few days as we add some new features. Most of these are designed to make submitting news and promoting ThaSauce easier.
First off, we’ve got Digg links on every story page, in the “Related Links” section. Soon we’ll add a button somewhere around the RSS feed button to make it easier to find.

The next new feature is going to take a few days to put in, but should really help towards making submissions easier. If you have a link or short tidbit of news that’s not quite a full story, you can drop it in our new news hopper where we collect these short bits and links, and once every few days will post a digest-style summary of what we’ve got. This will be placed on the left bar somewhere, for easy drop-and-go functionality. We’ll have more details once it’s implemented.

In addition, we’re working on a new sorting system for articles. In addition to being able to sort articles by date and category, soon you’ll be able to browse stories sorted by reads, rating, and a new system called SauceRank, which takes all of the pieces of a story and factors them into a single “score”, giving highlight to new, popular, highly linked, and highly rated articles.

Call to all writers

As you might’ve noticed, our recent push to have daily columns failed spectacularly. Obviously the reason for this was that we didn’t have enough people to keep up with the volume of writing required, so we’re putting out a new incentive: money. I’ll give out a portion of the advertising revenue for whoever can take over at least four columns a week. For more details, visit us on IRC at #thasauce on irc.enterthegame.com.

That’s all for this Sauce Digest, stay tuned for the aforementioned updates and another edition next month.

New daily columns

As you might have noticed, it’s been a little stale around here lately. Luckily, we’ve been working hard to get things rolling again, and you’re about to see the results of those efforts.

We’re setting up a schedule of daily columns to provide more current and useful content to you. Starting this week, we’ll have some of these columns filled, and hopefully have permanent status on them by next week. If you have any news that would fit into any of these categories, or into any of our categories, let us know.

  • Monday: New Games! Most new games usually come out on Tuesdays, so we’ll give you the scoop on this week’s releases a day early.
  • Tuesday: The Tech Report – Each week, we’ll cover one topic in depth. It could be a console, or a specific piece of PC hardware, or just something cool we found.
  • Wednesday: Sales & Releases: A listing of the best hardware and software
    deals found over the last week, and reports and updates on commercial
    projects within the community, because musicians need to eat too!
  • Thursday: WIPs Galore! We’ll go through and give some deserving WIPs some attention.
  • Friday: The Competition Report. Keep up-to-date on all the
    friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) competitive action on OCReMix and other places around the community.

Weekends will have some additional content. Not exactly news, but just something to keep you occupied:

  • Saturday: Featured Songs. Each week we’ll feature a remix or
    original that we feel merits featured status. We also accept
    submissions for Featured Song material; just remember we’re trying to spotlight some of the lesser-known material that deserves to be seen.
  • Sunday: Guest column day. An editorial by a guest on something
    not entirely community-related, but that still ties-in in some way.

These columns aren’t exclusive to one writer, and depend mostly on the legwork of our staff and guest staff, so if you’ve got any news relating to them, let us know and we’ll work it into the reports (and give credit where it’s due, of course).

Redecorating a bit

As you can probably see, we’ve done some redecorating around here. This is a new, more simplified design which puts more information at your fingertips and makes it easier to get around.
We’ve moved the old links box on the side to the top of the page, rearranged the navigation (a handy links bar at the top of the page, as well as quick search and topic jump navigation on the side), and cleaned up the blocks a lot. As always, we’re open to suggestions on improving the site, so leave some comments. (Note: Comments system is still kinda messed up, but we’ll work on that soon.)