Welcome to the Adventure Game Hotspot 2.0!
Wait, stop! You’re not in the wrong place!! This is indeed the Adventure Game Hotspot, just with our shiny new site redesign!
When we first launched the site back in October 2022, we’d had very little time to build a website from scratch, so we stuck with what we knew just to get ourselves up and running. We are still proud of what we managed to accomplish in a very short period of time, and it will always hold a nostalgic place in our hearts, but that version was never meant to be the final one, just a stepping stone towards something bigger and better.
It may have seemed like nothing was happening, but for months now we’ve been planning and working furiously behind the scenes to make it happen. And at last that time has come, primarily thanks to the efforts of two talented gentlemen: Tom Hardwidge of Considered Creative designed our lovely new layout and look, and Jonas Jelli has built us a whole new internal proprietary infrastructure from the ground up that allows us to leave WordPress behind and implement many new features.
Jonas was also responsible for building the system behind Adventure Corner, which of course offers many of the same features as the Hotspot for its German audience. Adventure game fans will know Tom as the independent developer of Lucy Dreaming and the upcoming Heir of the Dog. (Please note: Our coverage of Lucy Dreaming long preceded this partnership and was in no way influenced by it. It was that game that convinced us Tom was right for the job!)
So what’s changed in the Hotspot 2.0?
Let’s start first with what isn’t new. As different as everything looks, for the most part it’s business as usual in providing all the same coverage you’ve come to expect: regular reviews, new game announcements, interviews, opinion features, trailers, podcasts and more. We’ve mainly just changed the presentation and added some extra goodies.
We’ll go out on a limb and guess you noticed the colour scheme is new! Yes, the change is a bit shocking at first, but we wanted something sleeker, more modern. The palette is drawn from our new(ish) logo, introduced several months ago and designed by another amazing indie developer, Šarūnas Ledas from Tag of Joy. (Similar disclaimer: our review of the studio’s Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit came long before the concept of a logo redesign was raised and had no bearing on our assessment.)
We’ve also switched to more of a feed style for displaying content, rather than sectioning things off into their own individual areas. (With some exceptions.) The three most prominent recent articles will be pinned to a rotator at the top of the page, but everything below that will be updated daily! With social media so prevalent these days, scrolling is a way of life now, so you can easily track everything new since you visited last.
(Note: The rotator will soon be adjusted to better accommodate larger monitors with higher resolution than 1920x1080.)
We do have permanent places for our latest podcast, and a few more for the most recent contributions from our partner content creators in the Adventure Game Hotspot Network, which don’t update quite as regularly.
The reworded headers at the top of the page (to either side of the logo) are clearer and provide handy drop-down menu access to anything and everything available on the site, while the “Search” tool is much more convenient for finding anything you’re specifically interested in.
What’s new that we didn’t offer before?
As an added bonus to our usual ongoing coverage, we’ll be introducing a new “blog” article type that we’ll use periodically to share less formal, more personal thoughts or muse about topics that fall a little outside the usual lines. Expect the first one soon!
The BIG new addition, however, is a full and functional games database! Each game will have its own dedicated page, complete with informative details, screenshots, trailers, and any coverage we’ve given it.
The downside is, we’re starting pretty much from scratch, nearly 50 years after the genre began, so we’ve got a LOOOOOOOOOOT of catching up to do. But we’ll start with upcoming games and recent releases and keep moving backwards until we hit Colossal Cave (the original).
What’s planned but not yet implemented?
Though we’re much closer now than ever to having the Hotspot just the way we want, it’s still not a finished product. Certain features have yet to be fine-tuned, and as new game details are entered over time, expect to see incremental improvements to the information provided.
As part of our games database, we’ll be implementing sorting filters for you to narrow down your areas of interest, according to graphics, controls, themes, you name it. Just looking for comedy Switch games with 2.5D graphics, or PC point-and-click games with FMV? Just set your filters and voilà!
Our reviews will remain much the same, but our plan is to start incorporating a new insert that highlights a game’s length and difficulty, among other pertinent details. That information is always included in the review text, but having a handy data box to display those at a glance has been a highly requested feature. (Opinions may differ on how we categorize those, but that’s part of the fun!)
It’s also still our goal to introduce a discussion forum for those who prefer the old-school way of online communication. (And hey, we’re adventure game fans! “Old school” is in our blood.) So that’s coming but still on the back burner.
In the meantime, there’s always our Discord and we’ve opened up our article comments to anyone, with no need to register. In fact, we currently have no registration option anymore. (It will need to be re-implemented for a forum, but that’s for another time.) We’d love to hear from people, so don’t be shy! (Comments will of course be loosely moderated to ensure no trolling or abuse, but all respectful, relevant opinions are welcome.)
How do I let you know that [Feature X] is currently borked?
We hope this doesn’t occur often, but see “work in progress” above. We’re still tinkering to get things just right, so hopefully any minor issues will be resolved soon. But it’s also possible we aren’t aware of a problem, so we encourage you to let us know if there are any elements not working properly. You can reach either Jack Allin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joshua Cleveland (email@example.com) by email, or drop us a line through our online contact page.
What’s this about an “AG Fan Fair?”
If you missed out on all the early buzz, we’re organizing the first-ever convention in the United States dedicated to adventure gaming! The Adventure Game Fan Fair will be held July 27-28, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington. It’ll be a fun time with lots of games, developers, and camaraderie with fellow genre fans, highlighted by the appearance of many Sierra legends as they celebrate a reunion together the same weekend! Our dedicated AGFF page will fill in additional details, and a Kickstarter campaign will be starting soon, giving you first dibs on tickets and other cool adventure game swag.
The site’s looking awesome. How can I help?
That’s a great question that most of you probably aren’t asking, but we’ll pretend you did anyway.
We’re always on the lookout for great writers and other creative talents interested in joining our team, so if you’re one of those, we want to hear from you!
But thanks to the new games database, now more than ever we have other needs as well. Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, helping us update game details for literally thousands of games is one way you can be a big help! (We’ll supply the details.) It ain’t sexy work and it’s strictly volunteer, but it’s important, so the more the merrier.
I don’t like it! Change sucks!
We hope this is an even smaller group than the one asking about volunteering, but for those two or three people out there, we hear you, really. But all change takes time to get used to, so give it a chance we’re betting it’ll grow on you, especially once you fully come to embrace the neat few features!
So welcome, everyone. Make yourselves at home, because we plan to be here a long time.
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