Finally. We've released the major update of GameSquat.com we've been eating and breathing for the last couple of months.
It may look the same, but this is a complete re-write, taking GameSquat to the next level.
Since the sites launch we've bolted on bits and pieces of web2 functionality onto our framework. It worked well, the idea being incremental updates would eventually lead to the entire site being converted.
Not long after the Christmas break the plan was changed. An email went round outlining that the site was to be rewritten. Page refreshed were out, every last bit of functionality was to be offered in-page. An ambitious goal for a small team like ours.
A lengthy design phase was followed by a lot of hard graft with plenty of ups, downs and missed deadlines. Rewriting the comments system was a particularly gruelling experience for all. As time lingered and progress faltered the white flag was nearly raised. Late nights in the office with plenty of pizza helped get the job done.
So what does this mean for our lovely users? Back in spring when the first betas were made available, core functionality was missing but most preferred using the flakey beta than the version of GameSquat live at that time. The old version felt unresponsive and slow in comparison. The change was good, it didn't take long for anyone involved to appreciate that web2.0 was worth the pain of development.
Using the site is now more like using a desktop app, I guess that's the point. We've polished the new release as much as possible but it's by no means prefect, there's going to bugs we've missed and plenty more features yet to come, (expect a re-skin sometime real soon).
(When you see a cog click! GamSquat's new features metaphor)
Support for IE6 and IE7 has been dropped, hacks for antique browsers means lengthy and unnecessary diversions, (according to our traffic stats IE6 and 7 are used by less than 2% of our audience, a figure that's thankfully falling each month). Who the hell wants to write fudges for old versions of IE all day, folks could be adding cool new features instead!
We've been working flat out to the last min. With the launch party planned, (a couple of drinks at the local), and other projects suffering from the prolonged development cycle, it was time to finish up and release what we have.
We really, really hope you'll find something in the new build you'll like. We'll be updating and improving the help pages on this blog real soon to include details about all the new functionality.
Until then keep It Squat!