Well, this is finally happening. Welcome to Abyssal Chronicles version 3! Well, its beta release, anyway. Here's a little summary of all the things new with this updated layout!
Version 3 features a somewhat spruced up layout that follows conventional designs from current-gen websites, as well as adds the usual "fansite" flair (as well as my own personal flair of pink and blue. Shhhh.).
The website is currently running on the latest version of WordPress, and features a child theme by me based on the MH Magazine theme. I did a bit of editing to make it look like our preliminary layout.
First off, why a "Beta Release?" This is to test all the kinks with the website, to see if everything we planned on implementing will go off without a hitch. If you'll look around the website, some pages (specifically the Tales pages and whatnot) still aren't completely functional. It is unfortunately taking us a bit of time to transfer everything in, but we will eventually get them done. Currently, pages for the 2 latest mothership titles are available (Zestiria and Berseria). We will work our way up to Phantasia gradually, but the priority is the more recently released titles. By the end of this month, the entire website will be completely functional. You can find a progress bar over at the sidebar to the right.
That said, the transfer to a new layout does have its ups and downs. Please read below on what we had to give up in order to do the transfer:
- News post links changed - we're currently in the process of redirecting all the old links to the new ones, but it will take us some time. Just like how it took us a lot of time to transfer all 1500 (!!!) news posts to the WordPress module, it'll also take us time to redirect everything. Also, the new redirections will make our search engine visibility suffer immensely until Google crawls in and picks us up again, so you might not find us in Google or other search engines for the next weeks or month or so.
- The new layout uses a new interface, WordPress, meaning we had to give up all the comments in the old system posts. Sorry about that.
- There were some things that we abandoned from the old layout. These include some media downloads for obvious copyright reasons.
But let's not dwell too much on the sad stuff. Below's a list of features the new layout offers:
- Tales game info pages, divided initially into Mothership or Escort Titles. There will also be a section for Anime Tales.
- Ability to now view news based on game, or tag. Most tags we include are the game's name, what platform it's for and whether the news is from the Japan side or the USA/EU side. Special tags for videos such as trailers and gameplay are tagged with the game's acronym dash the word "video." For example, to view posts that have Tales of Berseria related videos only, visit the "TOB-video" tag. (This is not yet implemented in all posts with video)
- Search function (finally).
- Columns - under AC. Old ones (which we may or may not revive) include Tales Merch Monthly and Tales Fans Around the World. We're open to suggestions currently!
- Improved commenting system by Disqus. Feel free to comment using the system, by the way! We're still checking if the whole Disqus thing is working properly.
- Tablet and Mobile Support - the layout is also optimized for tablet and smartphone view! For smartphone users, the second banner that represents a Tales character will not be visible.
So the main page overhaul is done! That said though, it's not yet "complete." For instance, there's the matter of the gallery and the forums.
- Gallery - we're working on a new layout for this to match the current WordPress layout. We'll get there eventually.
- Forums - Same with this. Priority-wise, we're also working on the new layout.
That said though, all other things with the main page are 100% up and running! We're actually welcome right now for some entries for our Tales Fans Around the World column, as well as guides, fanfiction, etc. They're all very much welcome! So please, feel free to drop us a line over at the contact form and send us your stuff! We'll take a bit to integrate them into the website, but we'll always reply once they're in place.
Affiliation requests are also very welcome! I realize I've turned down affiliates in the past, not because we didn't want to, but because we were still in the process of overhauling this entire website. So now that it's all done, please feel free to send in your affiliation requests!
And that's it! Welcome to AC version 3's beta release, and keep an eye out for our weekly updates on how the overhaul is going until the end of this month!