The TSS Spring Clean

The TSS Spring Clean

springcleanFor the last couple of years, The Sonic Stadium has been romanced with this idea that the Sonic Community and SEGA could be much closer than it was back in, say, 2004. And that idea certainly had a happy ending – SEGA are more receptive to what people are saying than they were before.

But when I first approached SEGA Europe and opened those metaphorical doors, I figured (maybe as a selfish concept of ‘reward’ or something) that TSS could be the ‘vessel’ that helps cross the gap between official and unofficial. That was a notion that formed some sort of success throughout 2005 to 2008, but today it’s different.

Sonic City’s Blognik now speaks directly to the fans and holds the official competitions, while Sonic Wrecks picks up any off-cuts/unused material and puts that in its Depository, making TSS’ role in the ‘gap-crossing’ venture sort of pointless.

Instead, this website appears to have become less of a fansite by definition (with information and substance) into more of a disposable news blog, and while I’ve tried to shirk that by introducing new writers which have brought new regular features, it’s something that still sticks in my mind.

So as you may have noticed, the site’s changed. Again. We’re taking it back to the old school a little bit here – some of you oldies will recognise the majority of this design as TSS’ layout in 2007. I’ve taken that and upgraded its resolution while changing some bits about to keep it fresh. Hit the jump for a full explanation of what’s in the pipeline (as you can see, some bits are still a bit janky, like the header image repeating itself etc) and let me know what you think so far of these changes.

All of these modifications is an attempt to revert back to this place being an actual website than a blog. Sod “Web 2.0”, that never helped me get any information online (save for news posts). The sidebar is the biggest difference, as the whole ‘dynamic sidebar’ thing I kept banging on about never really took off. The only section that really happened to need it was the Games Archive, and even then it wasn’t necessary – what was really needed was a more effective use of the page (having said that, we have added the login form and a new ‘Online Users’ bit to the sidebar as a result – expect more additions of SSMB Post updates appearing there in the future too).

Speaking of the Games Archive, that is getting a huge re-organisation; all of the media links for each game will be moved into the sidebar under ‘Downloads’ now. If you’re looking for Sonic 1 Art, you’ll be able to click on ‘Artwork’, while Sonic Riders trailers will be found under ‘Videos’ etc. Screenshots will remain in the Games Archive, along with information on the titles. We will be updating a lot of these pages now on a regular basis – maybe Sonic Scansday will make a grand return?

The home page is changed to be a bit more homely – the latest ‘stop press’ thing will be highlighted next to a list of all the recent news, articles and community happenings above. I will be doing my bit to make regular updates to the site and announce things; which will happen here. This will also happen to be a little ‘DRED-blog’ where I spout my thoughts on recent news and tell you about Sonic-y things that have happened to me.

It’s no secret that I’ve been less than enthused with continuing the site as it was – hence the severe lack of updates on my part. It’s hard to write news on the latest games when they don’t interest you in the slightest, despite me still being one of the biggest Sonic fans there is. But with Brad, T-Bird, Shadz and Bolt all making sure you get the best news, community gossip and unique features, I will be happily adding new information, writing reviews and informing you all on cool stuff on the home page.

So hopefully you’ll find the new/2007 redux Sonic Stadium easier to navigate, with a lot more content than before (if you never checked the Games Archive to reach screens/art/scans that is) and a better use of space. Over the next week or so I will be working hard to bring back some of those old sections – you’ll probably see the Downloads section get the love first off.

As always, let us know about what you think of the site (what is good, what could be improved) using the comments section, and enjoy the start of a return to form for this creaky old dog!

P.S. The PSP skin has been removed, due to the fact that using a special Caching plugin (to make page-loading easier) was making it bork up. This is the only skin you got… for now.

Published by

Dreadknux

Sexy founder of The Sonic Stadium, and creator and co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic fan convention. By day, I'm a super-fantastic games journalist, el professionale. By night, I'm the mother-loving Sonical Batman. I keep the site ticking, look after the TSS Network, and get all excited about Sonic games so that you can too. May contain nuts.

24 Comments

  1. It looks really crapped up on my computer. (Using Microsoft IE, not the new one) Like loads of the images won’t load, and the side bar looks massive. And I have to scroll right across just to see the main articles.
    I am not liking this 🙁

  2. Loving the change Dread, don’t worry about not updating much. We’ve got your back 😉 Now Sonic Relief’s completely done with for now I can get back to newsing.

  3. I love the layout. It’s definitely for the better. Don’t worry and I still come to this site nearly everyday to get my Sonic news feed.

  4. Don’t worry Connor, one of the problems I have right now is that I don’t have a means of testing things out on an IE browser before I launch new skins. I’m looking into the IE side of things now, and will hopefully have things fixed very soon. Hold tight. 🙂

  5. Thinks are looking okay, just that the top bar is missing its image… Still, doesn’t look too bad. It was ticking me off a bit before. Especially a few months ago – all the articles were squished into the side bar on the right and you couldn’t open the other pages properly.

    (Oh, and about that Unleashed patch, it fixes a glitch called the ‘Quiz Lady Glitch’. Apparently this character disappears off the face of the planet at one point and you can’t get one-hundred percent completion of the game without her. She’s now fixed in place.)

    Are the tags on the blog posts ever really too serious?

  6. @Umiyuri: I’ve fixed the banners and am sorting out images for the sidebar. Glad you like the changes so far.

    The tags… well, they’re largely there as search tools, which we primarily use them for, but we do like to have a bit of fun with it. 🙂

  7. So, is it just me or you can’t register using the main page? Other than that, good job, Dread! Things are looking pretty sweet.

  8. @ Umiyuri
    After working hard on an article, grafitti’ing the tags up is our little bt of fun before we post away XD

  9. @KC: You can register using any page. Your login details now appear in the sidebar. If you’re logged out, a Username/Password field appears, and if you need to register you simply click on the ‘Register’ link below those fields. I’ve tried it (on Mac Firefox, Windows FF and IE), it works.

    @Connor: I’ve had a look using IE7/8, and I’m not seeing any real problems with the site design (save for the missing images in the sidebar, which I’ll fix soon). Are you sure you’re using an up-to-date monitor resolution? All acceptable monitors should be displaying at least 1024×768 resolution in this day and age. We stopped support for 800×600 monitors a long time ago, being that everyone should have switched up by now.

    A crappy resolution is the only thing I can think of in your case. If you fix that, the site will look much better for you. 🙂 I’ll still try using IE6 though, just in case.

  10. @AAUK: Not at all, we’ll happily take it! ;D

    @Connor: It was a problem with IE6, I’ve corrected it now. 🙂 Thanks for pointing it out! Although the fact that some of the images are a bit messy is something I can’t help with – transparent PNG image files cannot be handled by IE6, so you will need to upgrade your browser to see TSS in its fullest capacity.

    … Please, nobody ask me to fix things for IE5.5 >_>;

  11. Cool web page! The only thing I don’t like about it, though, is lack of consistency. How many times did the site change?

  12. OMGS. When I saw the layout, I got all sorts of warm fuzzies. Nostalgia trip anyone? I think this is better than the old layout anyways. I got sort of upset when you changed it to that last one. But who cares now! This is great. Keep up the great work Svend and crew!

  13. I’m really happy with the new-ish layout. I started coming to TSS in 2007, and this layout makes me feel at home again. g

  14. Really glad to see TSS back as a Sonic site. It was when it was like this that it was inspiring Sonic fans to make their own sites (TSS has always been a huge influence on my sites). I think this style of TSS is the one that people remember it for. Keep up the good work man and it’ll be great to watch all the new content get added to the menu 😀

  15. So…. It’s been a while, but this is the TSS I remember. Except I’m sure the sidebar USED to have a lot more buttons a couple of years ago, eh Svend? 😛

    Apart from that, I’m actually really happy. I’ve waited for this day *tear* for so long.

    Now that TSS is back, to the Fansite it was, I say we hold a party. Anyone OVER 18 want a beer? And anyone under 18 want a coke or irn bru or something?

    *party poppers*

  16. You know what? This design seems so much better than the one you had up a bit ago!
    This background was what influenced me to make my own Sonic site so it’s a great thing you’ve brought it back! Maybe you should keep this layout as the homepage layout for future generations?

    @ JJ4eva – I think we shall! Can I have a Sprite? 🙂

  17. Frick yeah! The TSS that inspired me so much has returned! *joins JJ4eva in the welcome back party*

  18. hmmm nnot so long here but this looks really more like a fanbase now.
    leave some beer left for me!!!

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