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The Game Effect News

Site Update 01-28-2012: Design Changes, New Game Page, and Some Bad News

We've made some exciting updates to cover up a less fun note on International shipping...

By The Game Effect on 1/28/2012

Hey everybody!

Hope this update finds you doing well and enjoying a stellar 2012 thus far! As you may be able to tell, we've made a few design changes to the site, as of this article, in an effort to increase usability and functionality. These changes are listed in detail below, along with a note about Item Shop orders (sad face):

  • The biggest change in this update is definitely the restructured Game, Movie, and TV Show profile page. We've taken most all of the interesting information about a Game and placed it in a new section at the top, detailing the number of Followers, Favorites, etc. You can add the item to any of your lists, as well as review it from this new section by hovering over the relevant box. (We plan to start adding profile images to all items that are without them in the near future).
  • We also added a new footer that includes contact information and links to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.  
  • We've updated the design on most all of our lists to give each list item a bit more depth. This includes article lists and lists of Games, Movies, and TV Shows.
  • The "Featured Articles" slider on the main page has been updated to make the title of each article easier to see and read.
  • Most all of our link colors have changed from blue to a dark gray/black color. This was done to create a greater level of consistency across the site.
  • The platform icons have all been standardized to a light gray color to again increase consistency.
  • The section headings have been changed from blue to a darker gray/black color. This was done to make the text in the header a bit easier to read.
  • Comment ratings should now be easier to see and identify.
  • Also, we published our picks for the Best and Worst of TV in 2011. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think.
We don't imagine everyone will be thrilled with all of these changes, but hopefully the overall reaction is positive :) As always, please leave your impressions and suggestions in the comments below.

International Item Shop Orders

Now, on to the less savory part of this update. Let me begin by apologizing for the woeful delay in delivering Item Shop purchases this past month; there were a number of reasons for this, with the primary being purely financial. Basically, we discovered that we will not likely be able to afford to ship any more items internationally in the near future. You can certainly continue to purchase items, but we can't guarantee they will be shipped (we'll have to evaluate the cost of each item - any items not shipped will of course result in a full GEP refund).

For some context, the last shipment, which was sent out on Tuesday, cost us $127 for five packages. And these were small, light weight art prints. On average, the shipping charges were roughly 2.5 times the cost of the item. We would absolutely love to ship world wide, but as we're offering these items at effectively no cost, our deficit is rapidly rising. Couple that with the fact that Google has unscrupulously disabled our AdSense account (which was our only source of income), and the situation becomes a bit more dire. Sorry for venting here, but it's just an unfortunate confluence of events that has brought us to this point.

We're currently looking for cheaper shipping methods and re-evaluating how we ship items in general. One potential option is to have prints sent directly to you from our supplier, but they are limited to US and Canada. The other option is to allow you to pay for the shipping, which we hate to do, as offering these items for GEP is a staple of our system... But we're not sure how sustainable it will be going forward. If we can get our AdSense account back (or find another quality source for ad revenue), we'll be much better equipped to handle shipping charges.

There is a Beacon of Light

So, amidst the morose tone of the last section, there is some good that will hopefully come of this. For starters, we're going to be introducing Limited Edition Virtual Items in the next month or so. These will be available for purchase in the Item Shop and will be in limited supply. The idea is to create more exclusivity for certain items, and to create a real economy around the Virtual Item section of the store.

As well, we soon plan to implement an actual sub-game for everyone, effectively allowing you to actually use your Virtual Items in a "Battle" against other users. This is something we've been thinking about for a very long time, and can't wait to implement. We also want to give a shout-out to Merfyz for offering some great suggestions for this system. We hope to have this implemented by the end of April as it will definitely take some time.

Other Forthcoming Features

So, with all of that business out of the way, here is what we're planning to work on in the next month or so:
  • Ability to reference other users in Comments and Status updates with the @<username> syntax.
  • Ability to reference Games in Comments and Status updates with the @<GameName> syntax.
  • Updating the User Profile page to offer more summary information regarding your XP Ranking, Number of Followers, Articles Written, and more.
  • Add a notification for when someone comments on an article that you wrote.
Whew... We know that was a lot to take in, and if you made it to this point in the article, kudos to you. We'd love to get your feedback on any of the items above, and look forward to continuing to improve the site in as many ways as possible.
Have something to say about this article? Let us know about it!
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USER COMMENTS
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nidxxx on July 03, 2012
all this redesigning isnt good! 
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Bandido on May 23, 2012
Maybe the tv shows and movies can be too commercial for the more experiencd viewer.we all are allready forced to choose from a selective list, and those who really specialize in a genre, have to put up lots of money for it in the region of europe. this annoys me, so please do me wrong about this comment.
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Zhamza on March 02, 2012
good man
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quantifier on February 17, 2012
I guess one thing I've been wondering about recently is while we can rate user articles, we don't get to rate the site writers articles. Is there a reason behind this? It could possibly start a little 'friendly' competition betwixt you folks to give us even better articles.
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rainous on February 14, 2012
always good to innovate
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andrecruz29 on February 02, 2012
A partnership on YouTube it's a nice idea! You can make a nice profit with advertisements, and the partners may help out with money too...
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Forbidden404 on January 30, 2012
And you guys should find a way to gain for the ads directly from the customer, not with AdSense, dealing face-to-face with the customer who wants to put a ad in this website.

Selling spaces on the side or at the bottom of the site.
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TheGameEffect on February 08, 2012
We're looking into this at the moment. The challenge is finding advertiseres willing to purchase adspace from us, as in their eyes we're still a small site. The more people we can bring to the site, the more interest we can get from advertisers... and the more we can put back into the site. So tell your friends :)
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Forbidden404 on February 08, 2012
Well, I just brought a friend to the site, and I'm always talking about with my gamer friends.

I'm on the army of TGE and I shall find another minions, don't worry ~new level song~
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Forbidden404 on January 30, 2012
I love all the updates, but international shipping, of course, I live in Brazil, so I'm certainly screwed up, but I prefer to pay the cost of the ship for now, without problem, or maybe the items should cost more for who lives in other countries, just to balance the value of the shipping, don't you think?

Or maybe you guys open a factory in China, and ship it to the whole world like an evil corporation muahahahaha
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KrazyTaco1 on January 30, 2012
I love you guys!!!1
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Jahavsuna7 on January 28, 2012
Having a channel in youtube is a good idea. You can allow people to post video reviews and "gameplay + commentary" videos to this channel (from the website).
Good luck in getting new funding methods! :)
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TheGameEffect on February 08, 2012
We currently have a YouTube channel, and this could be an awesome idea! We'd love to have user submissions to our channel as it would be helpful for everyone we believe.

We'll be looking into this for sure. Thanks for the feedback!!
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MikeDeas879 on January 28, 2012
looking forward to the new updates!
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ThrawnOmega on January 28, 2012
I love the user mentioning and notifications when people comment on articles I write. Always annoyed to need to check articles daily for comments =P
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Jaafa1 on January 28, 2012
I'd be willing to pay for shipping in the short term, If I buy anything in the shop.

I understand if you can't answer this, but why would Google disable your adsense account?
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TheGameEffect on February 08, 2012
Thanks Jaafa1!!

We'd love to be able to say why Google disabled our account, but they refuse to provide any detail whatsoever on the issue, making it all the more frustrating for us. Our guess it that we're not as big as sites like IGN and Gamespot, and thus not generating enough revenue for advertisers, so naturally we get the axe... (we're not bitter at all ;)
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Merfyz on January 28, 2012
Another source of revenue is you could always consider doing what IGN does on Youtube, or some other thing related to your site. If you can generate views, apply for a youtube partnership and the could be the beginning of a constant paycheck.
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TheGameEffect on February 08, 2012
We currently have a YouTube channel, but it's extremely light on content... We're working on beefing that up early this year.

Thanks for the feedback!!
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Sumeet on January 28, 2012
The @username and @gamename would be a an awesome add to site, also sad about the intl shipping part. But looking forward to updates.
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