The Paraworld website launches

Well, it took us a bit to get it online, but there we go: we finally launched the new and sparkling Paraworld website. The game has been in the making for quite a while and we haven’t exactly released tons of information so far. I guess we’re past that now and am glad that the first step is done. :)

In case you haven’t read a lot about it yet: Paraworld happens to be an PC RTS (sorry, Midnight Son :/ ), set for a release next Spring. Featuring shiny graphics and a really neat interface among other things.

Also, looking forward to the impressions of those who get to play it in the near future. If you’ve got any questions, shoot!

-JD (SEK)

Well, the site is pretty, but if you’re on dialup it’s really really slow (I know, I know. But I’m in NZ and my speed is throttled back when I go over 10 gig a month, don’t get me started!). What follows is some feedback on the site… if you were looking for some?

SEARCHABILITY
Hmm, a search for ‘paraworld’ on google produces…
http://www.paraworld.info/

Not your site. You should probably try to fix that by putting some text on your pages. All pretty = no google rank. Time might fix this as sites link to your new site and google bots swing by. But it might not. Ideally, every page should have a unique title, a bit of H1, and 250 words of text. Being found in google is vital really, and it’s not hard.

USABILITY
When I started typing this I clicked on ‘story’. It’s still not loaded.

…I’ve still not managed to work out what exactly Paraworld is.

Clicking on ‘gameplay’ produced some quicktime movie loading?! Erk… clicked away.

Screenshots produced a single screenshot, not a gallery. I prefer galleries and I think most other users would agree. Erk, don’t click on next/back too many times. I think I confused it.

CONCLUSION
Ok… so I’m critical. But usability & design matter to me. I’m a bitch :)

The google thing is definitely most important…

Cal

ps. I still don’t know what Paraworld is. Is it a game? Where’s some text to read?

Peter, first of all, thanks for your feedback! :)

Not your site. You should probably try to fix that by putting some text on your pages. All pretty = no google rank. Time might fix this as sites link to your new site and google bots swing by. But it might not.

Well, I’m pretty sure it will. ;) As I said, there wasn’t exactly tons of information available on the game and the website had basically been a placeholder prior the actual launch. The only online news bits to be found were the occasional interview or preview or the regular news we post over at our own website.

When I started typing this I clicked on ‘story’. It’s still not loaded.

We (the developers) provided the information and the assets, but we didn’t implement the website code - just to point that out. That said, we’re aware of the problem. :| Expect a slim version to be made available, too, at some point.

Where’s some text to read?

On the main page (“Enter Paraworld” button, which should be available already while the story part is loading). What you get to see at first is a synopsis page, offering a brief take on what the game is and what it offers. Basically a ‘sit back and listen’ deal. The main page features in-depth information on gameplay, units, wallpapers, concept art and whatnot.

Ahhh sweet. I thought maybe ‘enter paraworld’ would start the game (didn’t know what it was remember)… so I didn’t click on it.

Anyway, game shots look pretty! :D

Best of luck with it all, Julian - the game looks interesting. :)

There seems to be a server problem. The rest of the website loads fine, but the Quicktime movie that shows up when you click “Gameplay” never appears. The Quicktime logo and movie player frame appears, and then I just get sporadic transmission requests on the network that apparently are not being replied to.

Looks pretty enough, but I couldn’t find ANY info about the game at all. :shock: Even the “Story” part was just a bunch of pictures, and don’t even get me started on QuickTime… bleh.

2/10 from me, needs more (any!) text and less Quicktime.

EDIT: Ok, now I noticed the above post about the “Enter Paraworld” button, so it gets better. Honestly wouldn’t have realized I need to click that if I hadn’t read it here.

It’s a nice enough website although the front page does take a while to load (and I’m at work on a PHAT PIPE!!!11!1), but I really do think that the interactive splash site followed by a site proper once you ENTER PARAWORLD is counter-intuitive. Why do I need to enter Paraworld when there’s content here? What is there to see? Why on paraworld should I bother?

As a user coming into with you saying HEY LOOK I was confused - if I’d have come into it blind I’d probably have seen the screenshots, thought they looked nice and then never seen or heard of your game or probably expensive website again until I either bought the game and wanted the day-1 patch or walked into the promotional stand.

This could just be me, and we’re on a forum so everything’s automatically a bazillion times worse, but I hate splash screens at the best of times. Splash screens that seem to be the core content of a website and then aren’t have just replaced that as my pet hate.

Kudos for not having a shitty takes-an-age to load Flash site, though.

Christoph, I’ve had the problem at home as well. Accessing the movie directly, however, worked quite well and the server seemed alright. (It’s also up and Gametrailers and the like now, btw.) What browser did you use?

The game looks sweet, though. Nice to see someone else picking up the banner of ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION from Warhammer - lovely little animations going on there.

Why do I need to enter Paraworld when there’s content here? What is there to see? Why on paraworld should I bother?

The idea behind this is to give people a brief overview over what the game is about and get them interested. Something that’s easy to consume and doesn’t require you to do any active search. (Afterall, the next sections loads automatically after the previous one finished.) Once that’s done you’re free to look up more information on the actual main site. Or go straight to the main site right from the start on.

I can see where you’re coming from, just wanted to elaborate on the concept.

I tried with plain Internet Explorer 6.0 and with Avant Browser 10.1.30. The direct download worked, thanks.

Love the dinosaurs and mammoths, but I don’t know about that backstory. If you have a game about tribal warriors riding on brontosaurs, is it really such a good idea to beam in protagonists from 19th century earth? Does that setting ever appear in the actual game, or matter in any way? If not you should consider scrapping it IMO, and just make up a story about the tribes in the dino world.

I’ve tried three times over two days to connect but the operation always times out.
Why do you hate Australia?

I’ve tried three times over two days to connect but the operation always times out.

No clue what was going on during your first attempts, but Sunflowers’ server got smoked yesterday and wasn’t accessible for a while. Should be working again now.

If you have a game about tribal warriors riding on brontosaurs, is it really such a good idea to beam in protagonists from 19th century earth?

Due to it being the central part of the story, it would be hard scrap it. It’s about them making their way through this world and, well, <Trailer Guy Voice>uncover a secret beyond your imagination</Trailer Guy Voice>. (Ahem.) The plot’s more on the weird side of things, if you will. But it seems to work. The people who got to see more of the game so far dig it.

Finally loads for me.

But the splash page really should just be html so people can load that and then decide. As it is, this site takes forever to load only to start screaming at me when its done, which sucked becausei had already moved on while waiting for it to load.

Might i suggest an html splash page and then a choice between the heavy site which I never, ever, ever wante to wade through, and a html site where i can get some info and see some pics?

The site should be about the game, not the site being about the site. Besides all the other negatives, the current site does not allow deep linking, which really kills the ability for someone to email a friend a deep link, showing some specific part of this really cool game…

Chet

What is this game other then an RTS game featuring dinosaurs? Can you summarize what will make it differant then other RTS games out there?

BTW make sure multi-player matchmaking works very well. One of RoN’s biggest problems was the horrid match making service they used. Even after all this time and nemerous improvements its still a bit flaky.

What is this game other then an RTS game featuring dinosaurs? Can you summarize what will make it differant then other RTS games out there?

Assuming you’re a rather experienced strategy player, the interface is going to be one of the aspects one could mention.

Being able to select, command or check the status of every unit any given moment seriously increases the accessibilty of what’s going on in the game and decreases the time it takes you to attack or respond. And yet have the interface as slim as possible and less salient compared to other titles.

It really took quite an amount of work to get it streamlined the way it was originally intended. Quite a number of revisions and refinements. At some point we probably should share a bunch of older screenshots in order to demonstrate how the concept evolved from the early attempts.

The shortcut system, too, reflects the ‘max control’ paradigm. By making almost every function accessible in way that works well together with the onscreen interface. To a certain extent that will not match the genre conventions. Which is a bit risky, but we’ll try to keep it as customizable as possible.

Of course, then there’s also a number of small gameplay and usability ideas that add up. Our office is open for external people to try out Paraworld these days, and the response has been very positive so far no matter if it’s been avid RTS fans or casual players to get their hands on it. And if one gets back to them some time later it’s statements like “Well, I got back to XYZ and, man, did I miss [insert Pw feature]” that help us see that we chose the right approach.

Let me get this straight, if you totally despise the RTS genre, Paraworld’s not going to be your cup of tea either. If you don’t mind the genre though … well, let’s say it brings more to the table than dinosaurs and nice graphics. A few things I can’t really elaborate on yet among them.

Again, thanks for the feedback to all of you!