The latest goings on in the world of Wiiloveit, and updates and new features you can see across the website, all here in our "announcements" page.
The team at Wiiloveit.com would like to present to our readers the new Press Archive! We've been thinking about adding this new feature for a few weeks now, but today, we can finally unveil it to you. Whenever we get word of an official press release, such as the release date of an upcoming release or the announcement of a new project, we'll be sure to let you know! Be sure to keep your eyes clicked to our Twitter channel as well for regular updates on new PR's that we add to the site.
Today we're here to introduce a brand new feature to the site - the annual Best of Nintendo Awards. These awards, which kick off purposefully after the December holidays are well over, are designed to show a fair representation of our reader's opinions when it comes to 2009's gaming scene on Nintendo consoles.
Today we unveil the nominations process, which simply involves entering the name of any game you wish to hopefully reach the final stage of voting. The choices available range in their hundreds due to the vast number of games across the Wii and DS platforms, both in retail and as downloadable purchases, which is why we're allowing each and every game a fair chance at reaching the final stage (which will involve a much shorter list, customized to each individual award).
Enough chit-chat for now, though - if you wish to participate, simply fill in the boxes below with your choices, and let us know what we should include in the final lists. Each and every vote is considered, so the more categories you slap a game in, the better!
Best of Nintendo: 2009 - Nominate!
Hey guys, I'm gonna be reporting live from the Eurogamer Expo throughout Tuesday and Wednesday this week, via the means of tweeting what's happening (hopefully with pictures, if I can get a decent wi-fi / 3G signal).
Of course, we'll be bringing you features and hands on coverage with regards to the games on show, but if you'd rather get your gossip in rushed 140-character updates, follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/Wiiloveit (where we also tweet general site news and updates, as well as partaking in some general gaming banter).
If you don't have Twitter, then don't worry, because we've been thinking of you! Below you can see a stream of all our tweets featuring the #EurogamerExpo hashtag, and you should be able to find all related tweets to the event right here.
Our new design that we've been working on has continued it's implementation across the 'site in leaps and bounds recently, and today, the 17th of September, we can finally reveal to you our brand new home page. This design improves upon our previous design in several ways.
Our old home page design, moments before we switched the "on" switch to "off"...
First of all: everything's easier to see. The featured articles are displayed prominently at the top of the page, and the new window cycles around more of our best articles for you to check out, ensuring you never miss the cream of the crop! In addition to this, it's easier to find what you want. All the latest reviews, news and features (including blog posts and podcasts) are now listed in their own columns, meaning that you don't have to filter through the articles you don't care about to quickly find what you want.
Not only does this design mean that everything's easier to see, but it also means that we can organise everything more efficiently and make room for more content. In comparison to the previous design which showed three featured articles and five of the best recent articles, we now show and detail nine of the latest articles and also display fifteen further pages in small print towards the bottom of each column. We still show three featured articles, but they are now shown in more detail, and in addition to this we can also show as many as we want as part of our gadget that displays more featured articles on a cycle.
It doesn't stop there, either. This design is also much more efficient than the previous one, and allows more consistency over the articles displayed. Plus, on the occasion that a less-important blog post goes online, rather than display it as the latest feature, we can just slap it in the brief list of recent articles without a big flashy image - ensuring that you don't miss the article since it still appears on the front page, but also ensuring that the best non-featured articles still get the limelight they deserve over less-relevant posts.
Finally, the new page also has space for displaying articles that wouldn't fit into the other sections, and gives the chance to highlight certain other pages, such as the contact form, the podcast page and feed and the latest announcements page that you're reading right now, alongside links to our YouTube and Twitter accounts. We've not completely finished with the home page just yet, and there are still a few minor things we'd like to tweak, but the main design is set in stone and at the stage where we're happy to show it off to our readers and let them give it a try for themselves.
The home page isn't the only new design aspect we've recently unveiled though. Here's a complete list of all the changes that we've implemented recently:
And here's a short list of new features we should be implementing very soon:
If you have any more suggestions, don't hesitate to contact us via e-mail (billy at wiiloveit dot com) or our contact form, but for now, we hope you like the new features - after around 240 revisions and countless hours and hours working on our home page design over the past few weeks, it'd better be worth it.
Also, special thanks go to Kevin (AKA @Froguinx on Twitter), NintenDaan (AKA NintenDaan1 on YouTube, and @NintenDaan on Twitter), Michael Ferguson of our new sponsor GamesBasement.co.uk and Nathan Whincup (AKA, ahem, @NathanWhincup on Twitter), as well as the rest of the Wiiloveit team for all your help and assistance at making this new design what it is today... it would've been a LOT worse without you!
King o' the Site
PS: If you are a developer, reader or other company of sorts that has contacted us recently, don't worry, we've read your messages, but we've been so busy that there's a slight possibility we haven't been able to reply straight away. Either send us a reminder if you think there's something we missed, or just play the "waiting game" until we remember you. Now that we've got this out of the way, hopefully we can get things done a lot quicker now - apologies again if our busy-ness has affected you in any way
All links open in a new window / tab, so don't be afraid to check out the links in this article whilst continuing to read on.
If you've been following our twitter, you'll no doubt have spotted that we've got a new design on the way, particularly covering the home page, however alongside this, we're also going to update the design of the whole site. We've been doing this over the past few months with things such as the new Games page, the Review Index and the news pages that list our ten most recent articles (rather than featuring all articles per month on one buggy page). Well, the first part of our new design is here, and comes in the form of our new review pages.
Our old review pages, such as this Snowboard Riot review, featured all the game's primary details that you could find on the back of the box at the top of the page, and then our in-depth ratings system along the bottom. In addition to this, you could also view all the Wiiloveit features of a particular game on a seperate page (like with this Niki Rock 'n' Ball page), with links to interviews, screenshots and videos, and the review itself. Since then, we've eradicated the need for these separate pages, and are now implementing all the games details and 'site-wide links in one small space at the bottom of each review. In future, we may expand this idea by adding the means of viewing screenshots and videos on the same page instead of seeing the need to expand into separate pages for these.
In addition to this new feature, we've also been implementing a new rating system design. The system itself is still going to stay the same, but the way it's set out has changed, which you may have noticed over the past few months. The design shows all the information in a more compact space that's still nice and easy to read and understand, and does the job a lot better than the old, chunky design.
Depending on the amount of text used, the look of the ratings description may sometimes fit into a smaller space, but this ultimately depends on the review in question and how much detail is required. You can also see that the "Bookmark" icon has gone, since this is visible in the sidebar of every page now anyway. EDIT: After the screenshots were taken, but before this article was uploaded, we implemented the bookmark feature back into the design. We have now also made the "How we rate games" icon smaller so it doesn't annoy users who use the 'site often, but so it is still visible and easy to find for newer readers.
In the new design, you can also see our first implementation of advertising, which we chose to position at the bottom of the page because we didn't want it to interfere with the article in any way.
The new design isn't over, though, with a new look homepage on the way. We'll open the page very soon for your opinions so you can let us know what you think about it, and what can be improved. As well as this, we've also got our new "Features" page to complete the design process, which now shows the latest features along the top of the page, and our classic features along the bottom.
Note: remember that we are constantly editing and morphing the design of the 'site to improve the quality of the pages, so all design features talked about in this article are subject to change.
Website highlights from the past month...
July has been quite the big month on the 'site, despite a rather larger amount of un-activity than usual when it comes to new content such as reviews. Don't worry, though, we've got loads to kick off August, but first, time to look back...
Bit Boy!! was released at the start of July, and I myself (Billy White) was lucky enough to appear in the credits, as shown in my blog. Shortly after, I revealed my review of the game which I considered to be quite the addictive little arcade / retro style action game, which I then awarded a 24/30 to. During this month, we also held our Bit Boy!! competition, which was won by "Jason Philips" from America.
My laptop sent off for repair
More of a lowlight, if anything, but my lappy was sent for repair earlier in the month for a couple of weeks, during which I tried to cross items off my list of fun over on my blog, and successfully failed at meeting my objectives.
Surveys and downloadable goodness
KS8's blog was packed full of different surveys that he filled in for Club Nintendo this month, as he reached over fifty posts in total! In addition to this, he also continued his predictions of upcoming WiiWare, DSiWare and Virtual Console releases for the weekly Nintendo Download. A more unique post, though, was in the form of his angry e-mail to Nintendo here, where he expressed his unhappiness with America not recieving Virtual Console downloads recently.
This month, Murat continued his top 25 Wii game countdown consisting of the most anticipated games due out in future. By the end of July, he had reached number five in his countdown (Super Mario Galaxy 2) - and only has the final four left... any guesses? Check out the current list here.
Podcast, complete with music, news, release lists, reviews and discussion. We're still trying to sort out the microphone issues and make it a more enjoyable listen, so don't forget to keep listening each episode as we improve it here and there. So far, we've got our first two episodes online, which you can listen to on the podcast page, or by subscribing to us on iTunes (just search for Wiiloveit). Also don't forget that our highlights are available on YouTube. In addition to this, don't forget to look out for our "Behind the podcast" series looking at how we produce each individual episode.
This month, we also had our greatest interview yet, this time with the WiiWare champs Hudson, developers of such titles as Bomberman Blast, Onslaught, Water Warfare and My Aquarium. We asked them all about their take on the WiiWare service and DSiWare, before questioning them on every single one of their WiiWare games currently available, whilst taking a look at Military Madness as well. Although they refused to comment when we asked them what "that's why you're still a kid" means, it's a darn good read. Here's part one, and part two.
And finally, how can we forget to mention the special Toki Tori design we've had done to show off the game as part of the Toki Tori promotion contest. We didn't win, but we still did a cracking good job in our eyes in what took me two solid days to put together. We're soon reverting back to the normal design, but below is a picture of how it looked at the time. In addition to the makeover, we also made the design for twitter, and made a special Wiiloveit.com exclusive Toki Tori wallpaper for you to download for yourselves. Basically, we really like the game and think it's not only well worth a purchase, but also worth spending hours of boredom and frustration trying to get the special designs to work how I wanted them to.
Anyways, it's been a good month, but hopefully August should be even better - don't forget to look out for some new features, reviews and much more, alongside some new video recording features which I tested out earlier this month with some footage of the Wii Shop Channel's most popular games, which you can see here on WiiloveitTV.
Here's to the next 31 days!
You may not realise this, but creating each podcast takes a lot of effort from everyone involved. This series of features takes a look at how we make each and every podcast, from some of the smaller details to some of our big secrets. Look out for new posts on a regular basis.
Part one: Getting everyone together
Because everyone that works on the podcast lives across the world, with me and Joe in Yorkshire, England, Murat in London, James in America and KS8 in Canada. Obviously, this creates quite the problem of exactly how we are going to record the show, since it's very unlikely we'll all be free at the same time to record together. Plus, having a five way conversation over the internet would be damn near impossible, so instead, we all work on our own seperate segments. Of course, for the discussion segment we need to have a conversation going, which is where Mr Skype comes in, as with other features that require an active conversation between two people.
So, everyone then records their part in their own spare time, as close to the deadline as possible. This still creates problems though, especially due to the difference in microphone quality and volume, which then has to be sorted out as well as possible later on. To sort this out, everyone then e-mails their clips to the person designated to editing the show up, and that's when the editing process begins...
Look out for future instalments looking at how the show is scripted and edited, where each episode's names originate from, how we started off the podcast and how each segment is created each episode.
You may have seen our recent competition to win Bit Boy!! on WiiWare. In order to win, you had to find three different variations of the main character hidden across the website, and it was surprising how many people managed to find all three so easily. Each one linked to a special page, requesting your details for entering the competition, and on Wednesday evening, we chose a winner from these entries at random.
Although we would've loved to give out the game to everyone who entered the competition, we only had one lucky winner, who goes by the name of Jason Philips. Congratulations Jason, we hope you enjoy your game! Mr Philips found the game's hero Kubi all three times across the website, and as soon as the title reaches the United States, we will send him the game.
For now though, don't forget to keep looking out for future competitions, and don't forget to enter our tournament for The Conduit this coming Saturday.
For those of you who didn't win the game, don't forget to read more about it in our review, and decide whether you think it's worth a purchase yourself.
Also, just in case you still want to find the characters yourself, the characters are going to stay hidden around the 'site for a little while longer. If you want to find out where they are, highlight the text below.
Murat's Blog: 25 Most Anticipated Wii Games
Bit Boy!! competition - full rules
You may have noticed that here at Wiiloveit, our biggest new reveal of recent is the brand new Wiiloveit.com Podcast! The podcast, which launched today, Friday 10th July 2009, isn't like your average gaming podcast, and features a unique mixture and enticing selection of features in the space of half an hour. The whole team takes part in the show, which features thoughts about the latest games, hot topics, news highlights, release lists and a selection of music from classic and modern games from Nintendo consoles. This combination of features is what makes our podcast so special, and whilst it has only just begun, we plan on making it even better in future.
There are a couple of issues with everyone living in different parts of the world though, and Joe was a bit ill this week, so the Hot Topic with him was actually done over the telephone, but after listening back on the first show, this has allowed us to address any particular problems we may have had, and improve on them for our next show (a promise that I intend to keep). A lot of work has gone into giving this show the go-ahead and putting the first show together though, which is one reason the website hasn't been updated quite as often recently, and whilst we could've spent a long while longer editing it all up to make it better, we decided to unleash it on the internet instead, and focus our work on the website and the next episode, rather than staying around with the current one.
Another problem we're having is with the hosting website. At the moment, paying for a dedicated podcast hosting website isn't possible, and as you can tell, Wiiloveit features absolutely no advertising whatsoever that we gain revenue from, and rather than spam our readers with animated pictures inviting people to lose fat, get a girlfriend and have their teeth whitened, we're looking for a sponsor for the show who'll pay our $12 a month for the service. Not every month if you can't, but if you're reading this and want to help out, it would be more than appreciated.
Things to look forward to in our first show include a look at our game of the show Water Warfare, a discussion about how retro styles are making a comeback in games, and contributions from special guests Alex Neuse from Gaijin Games and Bernd Geiblinger from Bplus. We hope you enjoy the show, titled "Descent" (a reference both to the opening level of the Bit.Trip series, which we talk about in the show, and our own descent into the world of podcasting) and if there's anything you do or don't like, PLEASE get in touch with us, whether you're being nice, constructive, or just plain mean, by e-mailing email@example.com or using the online contact form. We'd also love to hear your questions for the team, which we'd like to answer alongside our "what we've been playing" part of the introduction.
Well, until the next time, we hope you enjoy the podcast, and can't wait to hear your thoughts! We're hoping the show will be out every two weeks on a Friday, but if it's any later, then that's us still ironing out the kinks!
PS: In the show, it mentions that you can check out reviews of Bit Boy!! and Water Warfare, but due to time restrictions, these have been postponed. Apologies to Bplus and Hudson.
If you're reading this, you have probably seen our special design recognizing the great Toki Tori for WiiWare. The game, which we reviewed last year and gave a stunning 27/30 to, has recently celebrated it's WiiWare anniversary and iPhone releases, and we felt it was only necessary that we did the best we possibly could do to recognise the game itself. That is why we went all out to jazz up the site and give readers a Toki Tori overload, hopefully getting the message across about the great title.
The background was designed by myself, and so were all the little details such as the grass technique from the game's first set of levels entitled Forest Falls, to the dazzling explosion of eggs in the bottom right corner of the screen, and the twist on our slogan to say "Dairy" instead of "Daily" Nintendo Goodness. We've also changed our logo to include the chicken instead of the "Home" icon you'd normally expect, and completely changed from our traditional blue colour scheme to a dazzling orange and yellow style, changing links, the background design and so on...
If you can't see the design properly however, or are reading this in a few weeks time when the design should've reverted back to normal, below is a screenshot of the home page for your delight, which, as you can see, also looks at our review of the game, and our similarly designed twitter page.
If you can't remember what our designs looked like in the past, compared to now, here's a little background comparison...
Original background design
And it doesn't stop there, we've also gone and updated our twitter page to fit with the design as well! Our design used to include the same background as the website, but we've changed everything again so that it looks like this:
As you can see, the design there also incorporates a similar colour scheme and design. Little things were tweaked for the version of the background here on the 'site, such as the background colours to make it more yellow and fit in with a few problems we were having with image transparency, and the removal of some eggs for the same reason. We also changed the logo's to fit nicely between the sidebar and the side of the screen as well, which wouldn't have worked correctly if we just stuck with the exact same design.
Since the original background design was designed to fit on a 1280x800 size screen, we thought it would only be fair if we designed a couple of special wallpapers for you guys to try out yourselves, both of which are available to download below in their original resolution.
And with that, we leave you to revel in our new design for a little while longer, and don't forget to try out the new wallpaper designs for yourself as well, and don't forget to see that all-important review!
Toki Tori is now available for download on both WiiWare (via the Wii Shop Channel) and the App Store.
Billy White - Wiiloveit.com
This was our entry for the Toki Tori Promotion Contest
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