New skins on Skins@HWT

Permalink 03:56:07 pm, Categories: Dawn of War, Web Design, 160 words  

After months (I think) of deliberation, trial and error, I've finally added the Winter Assault skin to Skins@HWT and made it the default!

OK, so I actually did it last week and only just posted about it, but never mind :D While I was at it, I also added the "Dark/Chaos" skin, which I quickly put together as something for those people who prefer their dark skins.

All three skins (the original and the two new ones) are selectable for each visiting session from the drop down on the left hand side. I will also, at some point, be adding the new skins to the HWT Forums. My latest project of making Dawn of War skins as playable cloned races in the form of Mods is taking priority, though.

All three skins are made with exactly the same HTML and structure, changing only the Style Sheet of the page for each different skin. Ahhhh, the power of CSS!

Trackback spam test

Permalink 12:22:09 pm, Categories: Programming, 52 words  

P&111;k&101;r poker has been showing up in trackbacks a lot recently, so test the new banning

Update: OK, so I tested the new filtering and then forgot to remove the test! This post can now remain, since Craig spotted it and commented on it before I deleted it.


New Winter Assault design (logo)

Permalink 12:44:33 pm, Categories: Dawn of War, Web Design, 134 words  

Using the colour scheme from the WA4 skin and the font from the normal Skins@HWT logo, combined with the style of the Winter Assault game logo (military stamp over the normal logo) I have now made a Winter Assault skin v4.

I'm quite happy with the skin now, and Winter Assault is due out in approximately 1 month (23rd September, so one month tomorrow) so I'll hopefully get the new design up tomorrow, as the default, for a month in advance :) The old skin will still be available, and you'll be able to choose it each time you visit the site.

If I don't get to do it tomorrow, I might do it on Friday, when it is four weeks until release.

So, as per usual (to anyone who reads this!), your comments please!


Third Skins@HWT site design release

Permalink 08:11:38 am, Categories: Dawn of War, Web Design, 81 words  

Following earlier comments from my brother, I've tried to make the repeat section of the header more subtle and less defined. The new third release is available at http://skins.hiveworldterra.co.uk/SkinsAtHWT_WA4.html

One final idea I might add to it is replacing the logo with "Skins@HWT" in Civic (the font on the original skin) and using the stencil font to stamp "Winter Assault" over the logo, like they're doing with the logo for Winter Assault itself.


Hive World Terra gets a .com

Permalink 11:25:07 am, Categories: Web Design, 220 words  

I've finally got round to doing it, over one month since it was suggested to me by my manager at my Industrial Experience placement - I've bought HiveWorldTerra.com.

The suggestion to buy the domain came because I mentioned I had IBBoard.co.uk and someone had recently bought the .com and was putting a CMS there (or they were, that page seems to have gone now to be replaced with an Apache test page). So since I had HiveWorldTerra.co.uk, why not buy the .com as well and make sure no-one steals that? At $7.99 per year from my host, Micfo.com, (that's about £4.50) it's not going to break the bank!

I've currently got it set up the proper way around so that www.hiveworldterra.com/anything redirects to www.hiveworldterra.co.uk/anything :) skins.hiveworldterra.com and forums.hiveworldterra.com have also been setup as redirects to the correct TLD, but I've yet to get the Skins subdomain to respond, even though they were both set up at the same time.

Update: the DNS settings seem to have propogated - skins.hiveworldterra.com now redirects to the same page in skins.hiveworldterra.co.uk. And remember, the .co.uk is the correct domain because I'm British and unlike some British companies I want to keep the website that way :D


Improved Winter Assault design

Permalink 09:32:20 am, Categories: Dawn of War, Web Design, 248 words  

Having received a tip from Mel_Danes at the Hive World Terra forums about using the official art work for my colour scheme (I would use the art work with the Guardsman as well, but GW probably has legal problems with that!) I've now come up with a new scheme that looks quite a bit better. I've also included a logo in this one.

Feel free to check out the new Winter Assault @ Hive World Terra skin and tell me what you think. Just before Winter Assault is released, this skin will become the default for a while, with the option to change it back to the standard skin. Once Winter Assault has been out for a while, I'll leave the skin available but revert to the current cream skin as the default skin.

Please note that I'm having a few known issues with the various backgrounds lining up properly, and I'll be fixing it at some point.

Update: for those of you wanting to see the original look (well, original release, not my first attempt), then it is still available at http://skins.hiveworldterra.co.uk/SkinsAtHWT_WA2.html. Note that I didn't have a logo made for this one, but it would be about the same as the new one.

Update 2: The images have now been replaced with better versions that align correctly (the repeat was taken from the saved JPG instead of from the original non-resized image that was then scaled down seperately as before)


Grots update

Permalink 03:24:04 pm, Categories: Programming, 321 words  

Grots (my custom CMS) has now been updated. The most obvious difference is the change from folder structure addresses to static-looking addresses. As with the previous incarnation, this is all done using Mod-Rewrite to make things easier on the end user, and hopefully make the URLs easier to remember. Other features using Mod-Rewrite (such as PermaLink style links where a download can be accessed at /Downloads/DownloadName.html) may be added later.

Most other changes are generally back-end and admin control panel related, but some of the smaller user-visible changes include decimal places on the file size of Downloads of 1-10KB or 1-10MB and more accurate counting (although still not perfect counting) of the words in the additional text of news reports. I can also now leave replies to people's comments on Downloads, which can be useful on occasion (especially when people use comments to ask questions!)

Finally, for some reason Google's Mediapartner spider keeps spidering my site recently - I don't have any ideas why, since it's supposed to spider for AdSense adverts and I don't use them. I've now updated my list of spiders to include it:

  //a simple attempt to identify if the 'user' is a real user or a spider
  function isSpider(){
    $haystack = strtolower($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']);
    //the following needles cover Googlebot, MSNbot, Yahoo's Slurp Cat and more, using the common names, plus special catching for the Polish Szukacz and Google AdSense's Mediapartners bots
    $needles = array("bot", "slurp", "grub", "crawl", "scan", "szukacz", "mediapartners");
    foreach($needles as $n)
        if (strpos($haystack, $n) !== FALSE )
	    return true;
    //if we got this far then we didn't find any of the substrings so we think it isn't a spider
    return false;

Please feel free to use it if you want in your PHP code (the original basis is taken from a php.net submission, I've just made it into a function and made it exit as soon as it has an answer).