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The Polycount Update

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We are proud to finally get to say this: Welcome to the Polycount Update!

It's been a long time coming and its finally here. Click on through to find out more about the update!

The two biggest questions you're likely asking yourself is 'Why did you update Polycount?' and 'Why did it take so long!?' Both are very good questions so I'll get right to it and then some. I have personally been waiting for this moment for the past 3 years so please read on and find out just what the heck is going on here!

[caption id="attachment_173" align="alignright" width="180" caption="One of our earliest designs for Polycount News"][/caption]

Why the update?

Polycount has always been about one thing - Sharing knowledge about videogame art; The creation, the theory, the issues and the triumphs. And as a message board - one that turned 13 on April 1st of this year - it was doing just that. However, we think that these different aspects of Polycount could be pushed further, much further. And with our growing industry and the way our passion is going we thought this update was crucial to the way information is presented to you. T

On our end, the easiest solution to this was introducing Polycount News, a blog that is unlike other blogs in your rotation: It's focus is 100% videogame art related content. Interviews, Tutorials, Articles, and other such news we think our fellow game artists will enjoy reading and learning about. However, from that - and what excites us the most - is the discussions we'll get from it. As videogame artists - both professional and aspiring - we know you'll find the news we bring to you guys to be informative, insightful, fun and creative. Just like our passion, creating videogame art.

At first glance, this update will seem like nothing more than a blog on the front-end and some aesthetic updates to the Polycount Forum. However, this update is about much more than that - we now have a proper framework to introduce new things to the community that we think you'll find to be handy when it comes to presenting your art, how you receive your information and how you share your thoughts on the craft. So, while the assumption is correct on the surface, this update is much bigger than what we see here now. Some of the things we're looking to bring to you, now that we have this framework, are:

  • Optional 3D views of your models, directly in your thread
  • A header system that works like we always wanted it to - proper hot-linking directly to the thread the header was found, showcasing the amazing talent you guys have.
  • Unique thread previewing that does not utilize gross thumbnails
  • A more stream-lined experience in the What-Are-You-Working-On thread in the Polycount Forum
  • Mass audience of your tutorials or articles/theory on videogame art
  • A proper system for companies to submit their job postings, both full-time & freelance
  • A single, simple banner ad system. From this, any and all revenue earned goes directly back in to the site. Starting with the services listed above.
  • And more..
Read on to the next page to find out why it had taken so long to get this update done!

[caption id="attachment_179" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Private testing began Back in February of 2010. Seen here is the site running on one of those testers' computer."][/caption]

So why'd it take you song long to do this update?

Polycount is not a full-time paid job for anyone involved. In fact, its not a paid job for anyone involved. We all do this in our spare time and remotely. This is a global effort, to say the least. Those who've helped with the development of the site live in Canada, US, Europe, Australia and Japan. Because of this, scheduling such a thing can be very time consuming and the goal is to not rush a single element of this update. Things that would normally take a day or 2 if we were all in the same building together can take weeks to come to fruition.

One of the side-effects of working remotely is that people can disappear without warning, which hit us hard a couple of times until we teamed up a professional web development firm. Throughout its development, this update has gone through the hands of two separate, independent, web developers until we finally found a development home with the talented folks over at BWM Media.

So, the short answer is it takes time to do things when everyone's working remotely. It's been a hell of a journey from the beginning some 3 years ago to now - but I wouldn't trade that time back for anything.

Continue on to the next page to find out our thoughts behind the new design and what to expect.

What can you tell us on the look of the new Polycount?

The question we asked ourselves with each idea we had for the design of Polycount was, "Will this take anything away from the art found on the website?" If the answer was 'Yes', then the design was changed or not used.

Polycount's new look is that of a minimal one - we want everything thats visually pleasing about this site to come from stellar videogame art or related imagery found within. Besides, there is so much amazing talent here that whatever we put up here wouldn't compare, so why not let it come from you guys! While a few things might take you a little bit to get use to (the News & Forums menu at the top for switching between different parts of the site, for instance) we think that in the end the experience will be a positive one.

Second to this was accessibility and readability. The Polycount Forum received a bit of a face lift so that thread content was more streamlined and easier to read. We also wanted it to be easier for everyone to share so we now support image attachments (you read that right). You are now able to upload your work directly to your forum thread if you are unable to host it somewhere yourself.

You should also find Polycount News' design to be one that supports quick information and viewing. The comments are streamlined so that there is emphasis on discussion (no image embedding, etc.) and not sharing of art, which is what the Polycount Forum is for.

..but things are different now. How do I even get to the forum? Actually I found the Forum, how do I get to the News?

One of the major changes to such an update like this one are the changes in website habits. You're use to clicking in certain spots to access areas of the website. Fundamentally, those habits should still be here. The forums act as they do, but the website as a whole has one major new update, and that is the Navigation menu at the top right. This is where you'll hop between the News, the Forum, the Wiki, and so on. We've found that it only takes a couple of hours of clicking around to get use to things, so we think you will too!

Continue on for some final thoughts on the Polycount Update.

And finally..

So there you have it. The update to Polycount that has taken myself and the rest of the Polycount crew considerable time to get out to you guys. We hope you find Polycount to be more fun, unique and informative to your passion: Videogame art.

Thank you everyone for your patience. We hope you guys love the update to Polycount as much as we've loved making it.

If you guys find any bugs with the site please e-mail me personally so I can see to it that they're addressed. My email is adambromell(at)gmail.com. Otherwise, we can't wait to see what you guys think so drop us a comment below before you head on in to the Polycount Forum and show everyone what you're working on.



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