TGN Website Update!

By Polar_Bear
In News
Oct 22nd, 2014
72 Comments
2412 Views

Woo! Check out the new hotness!

Pictures Will Be Back Soon! We Promise!

This new update is something we’ve been looking to do for a while, but it’s finally time to roll it out!

Of course, with all website updates, there’s some tweaks and fixes we’re working on. So if the site’s layout changes a bit during the day, it’s not the ghosts and goblins of Halloween, it’s our web designers making things look awesome for you, the readers.

We’ll still have our regular updates coming today, so be sure to check back and see the new website as we roll it on out.

About "" Has 26139 Posts

I was born at a very young age. I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
  • BaconSlayer

    Not having images with the news posts is a mistake. Having a wall of text and ads isn’t exactly flattering.

    • Faultie

      This is the truth. Skimming a wall of text just means I’ll head over to TableTop Fix to see what things look like, and leave TGN alone henceforth. Seriously, if the only images are the ads, then you can have the site all to yourself.

      Also, get ride of the weird globe design in the background. IT makes reading the words more difficult.

      Otherwise, a decent enough review.

      • Faultie

        (sorry, posted prematurely)

        Otherwise, a decent enough renewal. The colors are fine, and it is pretty clean all around. It’s annoying that ~50% of the screen is ads, since everyone should have AdBlock so it really just looks like there is a lot of blank space on the page.

        • MadcapJake

          Two things:

          1) Adblock means you are NOT supporting this site’s ad revenue

          2) The ads on this site are cool relevant miniatures/board games, so what’s the big deal?

          Solution: All major adblock-like plugins (I recommend ยตBlock as it is fast) offer the ability to allow certain sites to show ads.

          I would recommend the site to include a placeholder image that adblock users will see stating “please allow ads for this site” or somesuch.

          Love the refresh and the logo is great! Runs a little slow on scrolling.

  • Al the Gamer

    Like the pictures up front on the old web page.

  • Myrthe

    Definitely … need pictures to break up the wall of text.

    This is a visual hobby … please show images (other than advertisements).

  • Rest assured, we will be bringing pictures back to the front page. This is just a small hiccup we’re working on fixing.

    • thetang22

      I apologize for fanning the flames, but I’m struggling to find any redeeming qualities about this new design (and the pics are already back at this point, from what I can tell). Everything about the site seems objectively worse at a glance. Sorry, but this new layout is a fail….which is a problem since you claimed that you guys are “excited about it”.

  • Horrible update. No pictures with the posts and it looks pretty bad. Please have the picture up and allow to go to the website without having to go onto the story on TGN. Like the old website. Pretty backward move. If you keep it I will not be using this for information.

  • Helljin

    The front page looks really bland except for the adds.

  • Big Al

    Sorry, but I don’t like it. I agree with the others about the lack of pictures and the colour scheme leaves me cold! It comes over as cold and unwelcoming, which is the exact opposite of what I have got used to with this site.

  • Craig Latta

    I will mirror those comments a wall of text is horrible. Look forward to more improvements and pictures similar to old look.

  • surprize

    I don’t mind it too much. Given that it’s rare for anything to change and people like it straight away. I’m guessing you are moving to a narrower display to optimise for tablets & phones?

    I like that TGN features have their own tab at the top, but I think the categories thing, whilst a good move, is telling you there needs to be less categories! Perhaps current categories can be more like tags or sub-categories and then you divide the news up into 6-8 (no more than 10) actually categories?

  • Casey

    I’ve never commented before but please bring back the pictures.

  • not Tony Reidy

    Pics please…

  • B B

    Bring back the pictures. The colors are fine.

  • blkdymnd

    Don’t like it. I understand pictures will be back, but I just don’t like the layout overall. The old style was much better. The text wasn’t miniscule, and it was a bit more bright and cheerful overall. This is very blah..

  • 4tonmantis

    It would appear our old accounts are gone too.
    I understand the picture thing is being worked on but this layout is horrid. 1/3 of the screen is the news strip we’re meant to read? Ugh.

  • John

    There is a bug in the Categories drop down due to column width with Fantasy Flight Games (Games is overlapping on the next item down – Fantasy Sports). First reaction as about images thumbnails in new articles but you mentioned that will be fixed. I like the polyhedron worlds in the background. Seems much faster to navigate. I like the changes in general.

  • Bad_Syntax

    Yuck, the new site interface blows, and will very soon make me a non-viewer.
    – No pictures
    – background wallpaper, really, is this geocities?
    – “advertise with us” link, wow, sell out much?

    I’ll give it a couple more days, then I’ll seek my news elsewhere. Tired of these successful sites feeling like they have to reinvent the wheel. What you had was good enough for your subscriber base, why change it just to change it?

    Guess somebody is drinking the Microsoft Windows 8 juice.

  • tim

    I agree about the pics, looking forward to seeing them come back. The new layout is good though. One thing, on my phone, it’s got a nice responsive layout however right under the search bar you have to scroll way way way down through every single banner ad before you get to see any content. Maybe you could have advertisers supply you with a vertical banner for computers, and a smaller horizontal banner for phones, and then you can stack 1 banner in between each of the top 5 or 6 news items?

  • Thanks to everyone for the comments so far.

    We really are excited about the changes, but obviously there’ve been some bugs. We’re working on them.
    We’re also listening to the feedback, so feel free to post your thoughts.

    Our thanks for your time and patience as we get everything put into the places we’d like them to be in.

  • Bad_Syntax

    Wow Polar_bear, are you reading the fact that NOBODY is liking it?

    Guess you don’t care, and we all gotta just suck it up or leave.

    I’ll choose the latter, this interface is horrible.

  • massimo

    It’s horrible

  • Justacomment

    Umm, guys do you actually read the posts? The pictures are coming back? They already said this? Change is not something to be afraid of, if it was none of you would be using the internet and demand these updates still come to you via regular post..

    Let us attack them without remorse after they say all changes have been made! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dogier

    At last we will be able to click on the tgn logo to go to the home page. At last we will have revenge.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bad_Syntax

    Fine, I’ll pretend photos are there:

    – Text is too small and/or a poor font, hard to read
    – Less than 30% of my screen is being used now, so now I have to scroll through pages and pages of things made WAY too small for today’s typical wide screen monitor. Want a phone version? Sure, knock yourself out, but do a check to see if somebody is on a phone before you MAKE them use a phone interface.
    – Top menu sucks up too much of the screen
    – Background graphic is distracting and makes things harder to read
    – Looks like chrome looks worse than IE, that is *part* of the culprit. However, in IE the top menu is kinda transparent, making it even worse
    – turning off adblocker makes the page far worse
    – “Read More” is far too large of a graphic
    – The whole “infinite scrolling” thing is a nice gimmic sites love to use, but it makes linking to thinks a PITA, makes it easy to lose your place, hard to remember where you were, and its just not good for a blog kinda site IMO.
    – Colors exist for a reason, they could be used.
    – FAR too much emphasis given to sucking in advertisers, like they don’t know you have a website you are trying to make money on.
    – Latest ticker thing is absolutely worthless, why sit there and watch when you can scroll?

    But yeah, the pictures would be nice too… just not seeing how these changes made a better site, they reduced the quality of it to me and apparently others. Would have been better to advertise a link to a beta site, put it up in parallel, and get feedback and get things fixed before pushing it out over other users that will quickly just move to another website instead of putting up with being a beta tester on this one.

    • blkdymnd

      Phone formatting is even worse. It’s formats it so that you have to scroll past the side ads to get to the actual updates

      • thetang22

        Good lord – yes. I tried viewing this on my phone (which accounts for probably more than 50% of my viewing), and it was basically unusable.

        I had to swipe down probably 10-20 times before I got past all the ads to the actual content….which used to be viewable right at the very top of the page. If it stays that way, I won’t be inclined to continue using the site.

        • BaconSlayer

          On my phone, the only thing that loads correctly is ads. It looks like it wants to load a footer, but everything is overlapped.

    • Brian Juge

      I agree with Bad_Syntax. I realize that pictures are forthcoming and I hope they will be applied to all posts. I use this site a lot for older post and use the pictures from past post to help me search. With only using 33% of the screen this makes it not appealing for me to use on other devices. In addition the adds get in the way of the pull down menus.
      Separate pages was easier to manage as a user.

      • Brian Juge

        I do like the attempt and think the colors to be a little warmer in the green tones. It’s a step in the right direction if we could resolve some of the mentioned issues.

    • Valander

      Yeah, can’t disagree with any of these points. Even on my Macbook Air, I need to zoom in to at least 125% to see the tiny text ,and still have only 1/3 of the window useful for anything. And I even use Chrome in full screen mode. Lack of contrast (it’s all, you know, grey…) also makes reading more difficult.

      I understand pics are a glitch, but honestly think they only will make it worse, when the text itself is so damn small.

  • schnorriborri

    From a professional (front end) web developer’s view I can understand the need for change and kinda like it. But the branding is too grey: TGN was all about green, the brand color should be more prominent, not just in the buttons. Favicon still old.

    Images are vital but as already said by TGN: They’ll be back.

    One really stupid thing is the footer ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously, it is kinda stupid to have a footer with imprint, links and such when you can’t reach it at the front page because older posts are loaded via AJAX and keep pushing the footer below. Just get rid of that auto-load and make a clickable load-more button. Or do pagination, which is better for SEO anyways.

    Apart from that: Nerds, gamers, etc. don’t like changes – It’s in the hobby ๐Ÿ˜‰ But websites need changes, so this is a brave move and one that just has to be made from time to time.

    • Bad_Syntax

      No, websites don’t *need* changes, and sure as heck not complete redesigns.

      Web developers like to push that though, it keeps them employed ๐Ÿ™‚

      It isn’t like “yeah, I used to go TGN, but the site was still web 1.0 and I really wanted a more dynamic ajax based website”.

      Say its gamers, or nerds, or whatever that don’t like changes. Facts are 99% of the country don’t want these stupid features websites keep pushing out.

      Source – Me, a Director of Technology, web developer, infrastructure engineer, etc, who spends 12+ hours a day online dealing with changing sites/applications/etc all the time. If you make something that works, is popular, changing it just for the desire of “new” is just silly.

      • schnorriborri

        They do: Computers and mobile devices are constantly updated, operating systems and browsers are. In order to have a good user experience, usability and functionality, websites need updates below the surface and in the code (for security reasons as well) and in case of changing taste / design asthetics also visual updates. It’s just a matter of common sense. Web 1.0, 2.0 or whatever doesn’t matter: Keeping sites “old” ist just bad for visitors and lazy for developers. Website owners want to share their content to as most users as possible. They actually need to – And this is why websites need changes from time to time. To keep track with a growing user base. Or to get more of them. Otherwise, you can do a personal blog of course and keep baking your own bread.

        • schnorriborri

          P. S.: “Baking YOUR own bread” is not meant personal but general. Sorry for my bad english here ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Marc

    BRING BACK PICTURES.

  • Emphatic Squeak

    This is a terrible design, the news items desperately need photos and viewing this on an ipad like lots of your readers the advertising space takes up almost a 3rd of the viewable area (viewed from left to right). Please consider tinkering further with the design!

  • Cam

    Hmm generally with websites, specifically wordpress themes, the blank area on the left and right are there to scale the website based on device and the content should resize and fix itself to it.

    I think generally that’s the big issue that’s making everything else seem off.

    No one likes change in general but this could be really nice if you take in some of the reader’s comments. I personally think it just needs proper scaling and switching the gray color to beige shades. Beige seems fitting for tabletop gaming and could compliment the green.

  • Faustulus

    i don’t hate it, like some have commented, but I will echo a few problems Bad_Syntax outlined.

    Using only a third of the screen for news seems funny. As mentioned our ad blockers just turn the rest to the grey background.

    Speaking of the background, maybe back off a touch. It is kind of aggressive and distracting now.

    The flashing “latest news” is useless.

  • 4tonmantis

    Yeah, if the format stays with a narrow 33% endless scroll of micro-text I’m out. I’ve been a member and even a supporter (thanks for ditching my fundraiser tags) for a long while but this is a bridge too far.

  • Cam

    I was bored so I played around with the style css to show you how much difference giving it a warmer color can make as well as scaling it up a bit.

    http://i.imgur.com/27lyO5k.jpg

  • Grindar

    The new layout is craptastic. Uses a fraction of my screen, infinite scrolling is awful. Grey is a crappy color to make 2/3rds of my widescreen into, you know, the whole color-moods thing?
    Also, that new logo isn’t doing it for me, but it’s nothing I can specifically point to.

    • Nightbee

      The issue with the logo is that the die doesn’t “match.” I would mess with the sizing and maybe add a secondary color to the logo text.

  • bouncergriim

    No sir, I don’t like it.

  • Nightbee

    There aren’t nearly enough recent comments displayed, and I don’t see a way to access a larger list/archive of them.

  • I like it. I’m more partial to a d10 but I can live within a d20 world. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • James

    What a bunch of bitches are on here.

    Where are all these comments when some news item is posted?

    A post averages 1-2 comments, but this brought out a whole bunch of people I’ve never even seen before.

    Go back in the cave, trolls. You weren’t contributing anyways.

    • 4tonmantis

      Wait.. who are you? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a “James” post on TGN.. which would be hilarious.

  • odinsgrandson

    I’m going to chime in here and agree that the background graphic is pretty distracting.

    I’m not super fond of the over all new look, but I’m not totally sure why. I think it feels flashy for the sake of flashiness, which makes the overall feel less professional.

    • odinsgrandson

      Oh, and I absolutely hate the little bio on Polar Bear on every post at the beginning of the comments. Not that I mind the bio, just the fact that it shows up there (since the news is never about him).

      But that looks like a small oversight (some part of this skin you didn’t fix yet) that you can likely fix pretty easily.

  • sataniel

    categories don’t scroll totally to the last entry and there is a display issue on alternative history entry (firefox)

  • asperon

    Really like the new look, well done!

  • maestro

    the new dice/map logo misses half the world ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lord Abaddon of Wormwood

    I am happy for a change and a grey is a cooler colour over the bright green and white.

    I have to agree that on a desktop/laptop screen this layout is annoying.

    The truncation of the news posts does not drive me to click the article as I am usually just wanting a one level interface – which for the most part the old version offered.

    The map logo is meh and annoying plus it’s missing the better side.
    *Edit* I have just realised that the pattern is not a pattern – random which is showing gaps; which just looks shoddy

    I hope this is a work in progress and not the final result.

  • Dave

    Looks ok but the graphics are too large which means more scrolling to view all the news, pics only need to be 1/4 of the size really and enlarged when you click the link to read the full article.

  • I like the old design better, though with time I might get used to this. It feels a bit cold and impersonal, all grey as it is atm.

  • Daniel

    Yesterday everything was garbled up and I freaked out (as I am wont to do) but now everything looks good. I think I still prefer the old lay-out but whatevz… I can get used to this.

  • Modhail

    In my eyes this is definately NOT an upgrade. I found the green on green of the old version very pleasant to read. This less inviting to visit by far.

    My points of critique:
    -Background image is too “noisy”, it is distracting and unpleasant.
    -Text: The font is too small/unclear, which is further compounded by being on a grey band with the (too busy) background image shining through that.
    -The area actually given over to content is WAY too small. On my monitor it amounts to roughly 25% of the screen area actually being the content I come here for. The rest is just filler that by it’s distracting/unpleasant nature devalues the content that is present.
    -Colour: 50 shades of grey does neither a good novel, nor a good website make…
    -The footer is superfluous, if we’ve scrolled far enough down to see it, we already know what this site is, and what it does.

    Finally, if you want to be all “modern and hip”, at least give us a couple of themes to select from (preferably including the old look!), so we can at least opt out of this one.

  • Dr.Falkenhayn

    Wondering what that Grey Background,which takes 2/3 of my Screen is supposed to be? a 5 Dimensional View of our Planet perhaps?

    • odinsgrandson

      I think it is the earth as a d12

      Because the earth is also only used by barbarians.

  • Concerned Reader

    You brought back some of the pictures, but after you scroll down some they disappear, is that the end design or is there still a bug? If it is the end design I would say change it, that is awful. If a bug I understand and can wait for the fix. background is a bit noisy.

  • Etnas_Vassal

    It is new and different! This makes me scared and angry!

    In all seriousness, I understand that things change. The only thing that I would criticize is the text boxes. The grey on black could be a bit tough to read, The boxes and the text within could stand to be bigger as well.

  • Joe

    All the grey on grey is horrible and the text is impossible to read.

  • mathieu

    Not keen on the new colors, but of well.

    A number of small bugs here and there:
    – a couple of items in the “Categories” tab are too wide for the drop-down menu and overlap with the item underneath (e.g. “and Tokens” in “Markers, Templates, and Tokens” goes over “Alternate History”; same with the “Games” of “Fantasy Flight Games”)
    – The image in the Spellcrow Gyniaq news links to a Genestorm RPG indiegogo campaign.

    The big thing to me is having the actual content using even less screen real estate than the old TGN site (which was already rather narrow). That’s a huge step backwards in my opinion.

  • J

    Doesn’t work on my phone. Just a big long ad and stories beneath w/no pics ๐Ÿ™

    The point of the big long ad is to keep it on THE SIDE so I’ve gotta see it as I scroll…

    Pretty elementary and fundamental botch job here.

  • pbeccas

    All I can say is Yuck.

  • surprize

    I only came to this site for the colours and the pointless rage against GW. Please tell me we can still say GW minis are overpriced on every news item or there is nothing here for me now.

  • Restore the previous version please, it was much better

  • Zac

    I think that the colours used really don’t have a lot of contrast so it makes the site like a little flat. A change from the green is probably a good thing and it marks the new ownership.

    One thing that I don’t like and will kill the site for me is that every article has a “Read More” link and there are no links in the excerpts. I don’t want to have to click into an article to just get a link to an external site. I don’t really understand this change as it fundamentally changes how a reader can use the site.

  • Zac

    I also don’t understand why the theme doesn’t make use of WordPress features like Feature Images. Especially important for articles like the TGN Features which really would benefit from it.