By Cyclone Boom
Site Upgrade Announcement
I'm pleased to announce @Dirktator has confirmed that today, Simtropolis is scheduled to receive a significant site upgrade. In the process we'll be incrementing the site's version to ST9.0. The latest major update to the IPS Suite will be applied to bring a whole host of new and exciting features.
Reactions This will give more flexibility to describe why you like a content item.
It'll allow Reactions to be tailored to best suit our community, such as with custom sets & icons.
Recommended Replies A way for helpful, informative or useful replies to be highlighted inside a thread.
Will be a way of drawing attention to popular posts, including those providing answers to the OP's question.
Content Messages Allow announcements or important info to be seen within a content item.
Uses may include thread guidelines, reminders to follow, or even useful info for reference (e.g. links or images).
Promoting Content A range of possibilities to improve the accessibility of content. STEX files, CJs, forum posts, the whole lot.
Social media options can be explored, such as to connect with the site's Twitter as a content stream.
Fluid Forum View Optionally view the forum via a topic list or grid mode instead of traditional categories.
This is configurable for all users via a toggle, so it's possible to easily switch between the views.
Editor Uploading Improvements Simplified ability to attach images and files to a post.
Now possible to drag & drop into specific locations, without needing to insert manually.
Gallery Improvements A range of enhancements for uploading Gallery images.
Usability improvements also introduced for albums, and also the navigation with the image lightbox display.
City Journals Sidebar CJ authors can optionally add a sidebar with information about their entries.
This uses the post editor, so text or other media can be added. HTML access available on request.
Letter Profile Photos The default avatar replaced with a random coloured background, featuring the 1st character of a username.
This will only affect users who haven't changed their avatar from the anonymous grey silhouette.
There's also the Clubs feature, which will restore a similar functionality to the old Groups. The advantage here is it's integrated and built into the core software, whereas previously it was a 3rd party plugin that was made incompatible. We won't be rolling out the Clubs immediately, but we have some ideas on how they can be used more effectively this time around, since they'll allow more options.
Plus a visual overhaul and an assortment of other minor changes.
Along with a few other surprises in store coming soon, so watch out for those too...
Since this is a larger update than usual, the site may be unavailable for a slightly longer period. It's scheduled anytime from 12pm noon EDT / 4pm UTC onwards (view clock), and we anticipate this will be no more than 1 hour.
Should the downtime be prolonged, please check our Twitter feed for progress updates.
Bugs & Stability
The new version has been released in a client beta for several weeks, meaning stability has been tried & tested. However as is common with any new software product, there's a chance for undetected bugs to crop up when applied in unique environments. Please bear with us if there are any instabilities to start with, and report them below or in the bugs thread.
We'd love to hear ways the site and the above features can be improved or best implemented. If you've any ideas feel free to share them below. We'll also be opening threads specifically to gain feedback on specific aspects within the next several weeks.
Thanks everyone, and we hope you enjoy the new site!
By Cyclone Boom
General Feedback Thread -
To help pass the time until the Awards Ceremony, here's a place to share your experiences of the new Trixies format.
What went well, and how can they be improved for next year?
As you're likely aware, this Trixies introduced various changes. Not only being the first time multiple years (2015 & 2016) were combined, but notably nominations were accepted in a special forum, allowing you to post and edit them in private. Based on your ideas, the Default Awards List was also created, and intended to provide a suitable baseline to cover the wide range of site contributions.
In summary, here's a few possible possible topics of discussion:
Total available default awards: 101 Custom Content: 34 City Journals: 40 Community: 27
Too little? Just right? Too many? Spread between categories. Coverage of types/themes? Any confusion or conflicting awards? Did the descriptions help or hinder?
How did you find it compared to years gone by? Were the instructions clear and easy to follow? Was it helpful to edit and view your nominations? Any issues along the way?
Duration of nomination period: 23 days (including the 2 day extension). Too short? Just right? Too long?
Interviews To what extent were they helpful / enlightening? Types of questions asked? Format / presentation. More for next year?
Content lists (2015 / 2016) Did they help with your decision making? Were they a useful reference? Should all content have been included in the lists? Grouping per author or per category?
Community discussion How could this work better in future?
Anything else which could be done in build-up?
Too sparse? Just right? Too excessive? When did you first become aware of the Trixies this time? How useful was the info banner at the top? Should anything else have been included? Were the countdown timers helpful? Visibility of the Trixies forum. Should any other banners have been added? Homepage features -- were they useful or too repetitive?
We're always looking to improve the Trixies, and this was really a learning experience for everyone. Hopefully it worked well as a comeback after being absent for such a long time. But like anything, there's always room for improvement going forward.
So if you've any comments or suggestions (even not on the above list), big or small, please post below and we'll take them into consideration. Feel free to post multiple times in this thread to your heart's content.
And of course, you don't have to answer all the above questions -- they're just pointers.
By Cyclone Boom
Award Category Ideas -
Much like the Oscars, the Trixies just wouldn't be complete without The Awards themselves!
Here is a thread where you can suggest what default categories you'd like to see...
The Trixie Awards traditionally feature a selection of categories which can be used to submit nominations for. These have ranged from content on the STEX, creativity in the CJs, to wide-ranging contributions in the forums. With the previous 12 editions of the Trixies, the categories have been pre-defined by the admins, and the only method of suggesting different awards was by submitting a custom nomination.
So starting for the 2015-2016 Trixies, prior to the start of nominations, we're opening up the suggestions to the community!
Last time the Trixies were held, the categories were simplified in an attempt to make the process less overwhelming. When in actual fact, all this did was the precise opposite. There were fewer nominations per category, and less variations of each type of award. For instance with custom content and CJs, there were only more general themes, which encompassed the more niche categories.
This time, by allowing you all to choose what you'd be interested in submitting nominations for, hopefully it can provide a much broader selection to choose from. This should also help with searching for possible candidates, as it will give a clearer perspective.
In other words, we're asking you to nominate awards, to be used as the awards!
Post Your Ideas Below
You may add multiple posts with multiple ideas, or single posts with single ideas -- it's completely your choice...
Just remember we're looking for the title here, for example:
Best Llama Impression
Most Likely to outrun a Llama
Llama Dedication Award
And feel free to discuss and hit the button for ideas you, hmm, well... Like.
They will then be populated into the below index lists for final consideration by the Llama Crew.
Similar with how it worked in 2014, there will be at least 3 types of general awards:
(There could be more yet, we'll see...)
Buildings, lots, mods, maps, and their many variations.
Types, styles, genres, themes, countries, presentation, etc.
Forum awards, site contributions, members, staff, special mentions & moments, etc.
At this stage, ideas don't need to be specific for a particular game or year (2015 or 2016), as most awards can be doubled up for that purpose.
Also don't worry about duplicating someone's idea. That just proves it's a good one!
Whether big or small, we look forward to hearing your ideas!
By Cyclone Boom
Community Build-up Discussion -
465 days and counting... It's been a long time since the previous Trixies
So this is the perfect time to share and discuss notable contributions...
Make no mistake, so much has happened between the ceremony of the previous Trixies. On the STEX, in CJs and throughout the forums, there have been many memorable moments. Although unless anyone regularly visits all areas of the site, keeping detailed running notes over the last 2 years, we realise it would be very tricky to remember more than a handful of items or events. With so many outstanding widespread contributions, it's so easy to lose track. Maybe even forget items which we thought were truly remarkable at the time.
That's why we're starting this Community Discussion, so we can together help each other recall the various noteworthy and significant contributions.
Just to clarify, the goal here is not to develop a ballot paper or set list of candidates, but instead, spread greater awareness before people go to the polls. The Trixies are never intended to be a popularity contest or a campaign of who made the 'better' content. That's not in line with the sense of community spirit in which they're run. Nominations will always be conducted anonymously and made at the discretion of each individual. In no way should the items/authors discussed here be the sole options to nominate.
The thing is, by us all pitching in with notable memories from 2015-2016, it then aims to help with making your own measured judgements. Encouraging you to investigate the items discussed, and perhaps discover things you may have not otherwise known about, or have possibly overlooked.
Also for newcomers who may not have been around since the start of 2015, this aims to inform and give everyone a greater understanding. Remember, all community members are eligible to receive a Trixie, so the power is still in your hands to make the pivotal choice.
In short, this discussion simply intends to put ideas out there for everyone to decide on their own, with a broader perspective.
To help ensure this is conducted fairly and follows the above principles, here are a set of guidelines to follow when posting:
All Examples mentioned...
E.g. STEX files, CJs or other site contribution:
a) Must be submitted or occurred in the eligible period (2015 or 2016).
b) Was created by or relates to someone in the Simtropolis community.
c) Does not concern yourself.
d) Are linked in your post, so others can check it out for themselves. (Feel free to use the auto-embed previews which resolve for links.)
Provide a few details about the Example, aiming to use a non-persuasive informational tone:
For instance, where applicable: What is it? Who created it? What does it do or show? How was this a highlight for you? In what ways did you find it useful or interesting?
For each Category, please provide at least 2 applicable Examples, from 2 different Authors.
E.g. Custom Content
Created this rustic commercial BAT that functions as a growable CS$ and a ploppable Landmark.
Created a set of filler Lots, which can be used to construct a custom park.
Along with each Example, ONE image may be included, to help with the objective of informing.
E.g. Custom Content
This may show a way you've used the item in the applicable game.
This could be an image embedded or linked from the author's CJ. (Please don't re-upload!)
Might not be applicable, but if you can depict a notable other community contribution using a picture, go for it!
Thanks to @T Wrecks for thinking of the concept for a Trixies discussion thread in the first place!
So without further ado...
Post away with what you found memorable...
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