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Subject: GMT Monthly Update - Updated for October 2016 | Four new P500 mounted mapboards and production news rss

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Phil C
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Now updated...

October 2016 Edition

www.gmtupdate.com

Past Editions

www.gmtupdate.com/2016/september
www.gmtupdate.com/2016/august
www.gmtupdate.com/2016/july

--

Original Post (July)

Hi all, hopefully this is ok to post here? I originally posted this over on Reddit but thought here might be better suited.

Anyone here who follows GMT Games might know they send out a popular monthly update newsletter and also link to it on their website.

Typically it covers latest company news, updates to projects, pre-orders (P500 system), previews of components, etc. And as fantastic as GMT Games are, the newsletter - like their website - is something out of the 1990s in terms of layout and function. The great content, useful links and imagery can be a bit lost or easily missed as a result. It also weighed in at a mammoth 18mb in July (!!!) which is a touch insane for a newsletter people might load on their mobiles etc.

So purely out of having a bit of free time and a love for all things GMT, last weekend I created a reskinned, responsive webpage version of July's newsletter. Today I got round to putting it online. I tried to present the information more coherently and more invitingly, while still keeping things simple, and attempted to retain as much of it on a single page as possible.

It's meant in the best possible spirit as a fan of GMT and it's clearly labelled as unofficial with a link to the original newsletter. I take no credit for any of the content, I simply want a wider audience to be able to get their GMT fix and discover news more easily.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Please take a look;

http://www.gmtupdate.com

And if you're curious, here's what the actual July newsletter looks like as linked on the official website;

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/GMT-Update--July-21--2016...

If this is well received - and GMT don't slap me on the wrists! - I'd love to update it with the release of each monthly newsletter and have proper monthly tracking/visual data relating to P500 numbers. Spreading the GMT love and all that.

TL;DR I've remade the GMT monthly update into a responsive, modern webpage - what do you think? Any suggestions? http://www.gmtupdate.com
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john guthrie
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Really nice. What's it built with?
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Phil C
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Thanks John!

It's custom built, so not WordPress or anything like that. My day job is web development so when I do these little hobby projects I like to do them from scratch for the fun of it.
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James
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
I like it! (Mostly)

I'd prefer the 'main' bit of text that Mr gmt tends to start with to be shown in its entirety. Read More for all the other stuff is fine.

It looks good though. Well done!
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Carl Paradis
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
VERY nice!
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Phil C
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
moujamou wrote:
I like it! (Mostly)

I'd prefer the 'main' bit of text that Mr gmt tends to start with to be shown in its entirety. Read More for all the other stuff is fine.

It looks good though. Well done!


That's a fair point James, I actually toyed with that concept initially but on mobile it's just so long that I ended up scrapping it. But I can understand the sentiment and if enough people prefer that (or indeed, GMT themselves!) then I'm happy to tweak the layout. Thanks for positive words and constructive comments!

licinius wrote:
VERY nice!


Thanks Carl!
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Andy
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
I like it!
Have you approached GMT regarding this? Who knows, they might be interested in working with you on this?
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Bart de Groot
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Although the look and feel is much better (modern), I don't think this format works well for a/the newsletter. I like that all the information of the newsletter is on a single page. I think your website works much better when information is posted in smaller bite-size postings/articles on a continuous basis, with for example the tentative outlook and production schedule being always kept up-to-date, rather than having big bulky monthly updates. I am not against GMT Games switching to a continuous news update model, but I speculate the extra amount of work that requires might put them off.

Edit: also, if I was GMT Games and decided this is what I wanted, then I'd probably want to integrate it into the main website (which would look out of place compared to this), which means a redesign of everything.
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Chris Brinker
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
bdegroot wrote:
Although the look and feel is much better (modern), I don't think this format works well for a/the newsletter. I like that all the information of the newsletter is on a single page.

I disagree. I think it's a great format for the newsletter.

Quote:
Edit: also, if I was GMT Games and decided this is what I wanted, then I'd probably want to integrate it into the main website (which would look out of place compared to this), which means a redesign of everything.

They could use a redesign of everything. Their website looks like 1995.
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
I like the look. It is very creative.

I would suggest a "read everything on one page" button at the top. I prefer to scroll around to get the whole thing, rather then clicking around to different subpages. This mode is my preferred way while others may like the your proposed way, so keep both options.

In fact since what I am after is information, a straight up text only reader mode (with nice text layout) and no pictures is probably my favorite option. Or the tiny thumbnails included.
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Bart de Groot
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
binkman wrote:
bdegroot wrote:
Edit: also, if I was GMT Games and decided this is what I wanted, then I'd probably want to integrate it into the main website (which would look out of place compared to this), which means a redesign of everything.

They could use a redesign of everything. Their website looks like 1995.


I don't think a redesign would be a bad thing, but it's a big investment, and I don't know if with the reorganisation this is the ideal time or the worst time to do that.
 
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
There are advantages to both. but yours looks nicer, for sure.

If it were a genuine newsletter, the mailer GMT puts out each month would be more direct and much less verbose in its writing. I like that all I have to do is scroll down through it to read interesting items as they come up. Once I reach the end, I generally discard it.

Your "newsletter" shows that GMT puts out enough content each month about their schedule of games and events to fill up a web site on its own. I have to do more navigating, which I may or may not do. Which means not everything gets read or even glanced at, other than the teaser. I would think that your version is more work overall, but perhaps not once you have the site set up and a content manager refills the buckets each month.
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Phil C
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
InappropriateAndy wrote:
I like it!
Have you approached GMT regarding this? Who knows, they might be interested in working with you on this?


Many thanks, Andy. I tweeted the site to them but no official thumbs up or down as to whether they like it just yet.

bdegroot wrote:
Although the look and feel is much better (modern), I don't think this format works well for a/the newsletter. I like that all the information of the newsletter is on a single page.


Hi Bart, really appreciate the constructive feedback - thank you! If this layout were being sent out by email then I agree everything on a single page is probably the way to go. As a webpage version only three of the "stories" are abstracted, everything else is on the page as it is in the newsletter, but I'm definitely open to ideas if the general consensus is single-page for everything.

d2necro wrote:
I like the look. It is very creative.

I would suggest a "read everything on one page" button at the top. I prefer to scroll around to get the whole thing, rather then clicking around to different subpages. This mode is my preferred way while others may like the your proposed way, so keep both options.

In fact since what I am after is information, a straight up text only reader mode (with nice text layout) and no pictures is probably my favorite option. Or the tiny thumbnails included.


Thanks Peter! It's definitely an interesting idea to have an alternative "text only" or "all content" toggle/switch for users - will explore it.
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Sylvain Martel
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Well, I got surprised there(in a good way). Upon reading the post I was expecting the same newsletter but with some responsive CSS added. So big surprise when it loaded!

Great job! Only thing I would change is the Open Sans font. It's a bit too thin in the white areas.
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
bdegroot wrote:
I don't think a redesign would be a bad thing, but it's a big investment, and I don't know if with the reorganisation this is the ideal time or the worst time to do that.

Seems like the perfect opportunity to me.
 
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Phil C
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
BradyLS wrote:
There are advantages to both. but yours looks nicer, for sure.


Thank you, I appreciate the comments.

There's only three teasers (the three features), everything else is as it is the newsletter. But it does add a couple more clicks required if the features are of interest, I agree.
 
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Kinwolf wrote:
Well, I got surprised there(in a good way). Upon reading the post I was expecting the same newsletter but with some responsive CSS added. So big surprise when it loaded!

Great job! Only thing I would change is the Open Sans font. It's a bit too thin in the white areas.


Thank you Sylvain!

Kudos for knowing the font, I've been in web dev for years and I'm still useless at discerning even the most common of fonts. Will see if anyone else raises the font thickness issue, easy enough to change.
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Neat. Much better looking than the official site.

Rounded corners and some other visual tweaks would be nice. Making it an SPA (for instance instead of a redirect, open a hidden div on top of the page and gray out the background when the user clicks on more). Making a script that scrapes the official site in real-time and parses that into your page, rather than hardpasting the text, would be super fun (and totally unnecessary, but whee!).

For me, the biggest win would be no redirecting.

The FA stuff looks really nice, for sure. Have you checked out https://fortawesome.com/?utm_source=font_awesome_navbar&utm_... yet, and if so what did you think?
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
This is really great. I love it.

bdegroot wrote:
Although the look and feel is much better (modern), I don't think this format works well for a/the newsletter.


Totally disagree. The newsletter should be brief and to the point, with lots of opportunities for people to click through to the site as much as possible. Give them a lot to entice them, but ultimately, you're wanting to entice them onto the site where they can find a lot more content. If you put too much into the newsletter, people don't have to click, and if they aren't on your site already, it's that much harder for you to entice them to place that preorder.

I also find the current format to be a bore to scroll endless through. It's much better to just have to scroll past a few headlines to find, for example, the current production schedule. And as a Gmail user, often the latter parts are cut off by Gmail for size, and you have to select 'View entire message'. (The last one was so bloated, in fact, that none of the actual content appeared at first.)
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
A+ Would read again.


EDIT: To elaborate, I like this format quite a bit. I don't usually want to read every single item in the newsletter. This web page format lets me quickly skim through the different topics and then just click on the ones I'm interested in. I don't mind an extra click here or there to do that.
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Nice job
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Always glad to give an up-thumb to who deserve it.
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Looks good. Just one thing I noticed. On the Tentative Production Schedule page, the game images don't disappear as they scroll under the header, whereas the text does.

Thanks,

Colin
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
silverbowen wrote:
Neat. Much better looking than the official site.

Rounded corners and some other visual tweaks would be nice. Making it an SPA (for instance instead of a redirect, open a hidden div on top of the page and gray out the background when the user clicks on more). Making a script that scrapes the official site in real-time and parses that into your page, rather than hardpasting the text, would be super fun (and totally unnecessary, but whee!).

For me, the biggest win would be no redirecting.

The FA stuff looks really nice, for sure. Have you checked out https://fortawesome.com/?utm_source=font_awesome_navbar&utm_... yet, and if so what did you think?


Thanks Silver, some good thoughts. The SPA concept could work nicely, keeping a fallback of redirect for non-javscripters or "open in new tab" folks. Will play around with it.

Not used Fort Awesome, but certainly seems better than loading all 400 or so icons into the page!

patton1138 wrote:
This is really great. I love it.


SiddGames wrote:
A+ Would read again.


turks1966 wrote:
Nice job


BlackSheeper wrote:
Always glad to give an up-thumb to who deserve it.


Thanks guys!

ColintheFlea wrote:
Looks good. Just one thing I noticed. On the Tentative Production Schedule page, the game images don't disappear as they scroll under the header, whereas the text does.


Nice spot, Colin. Will fix shortly. Thank you!
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Re: I remade the GMT Games monthly update newsletter as a responsive, "modern" website - anyone care to feedback?
Thanks a lot Phil the newsletter looks great.
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