Creating Gamers With Jobs: Pt. 2
When last we left our intrepid heroes, they had concocted the hair brained scheme of starting a new "gaming culture" site. But, unbeknownst to them, such a task was a far more difficult proposition than they might have imagined, and the slightest bump in the road brought much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Proceeding with all the subtle finesse of a WWE operatic ballet, our unlikely webmasters pushed on toward their dream.Or, more specifically, welcome to the conclusion of Creating Gamers With Jobs. For those of you who might have missed the first part of the article, you can find Part 1 here. Or just read it again, commit it to memory, and then tell it at social gatherings to be the life of the party. Without further ado, read more for the rest of the story! It can probably be said that neither Shawn or I are gifted artists. It can also be said that Shawn and I are not astronauts, or forming our own real-life A-team, or even that we're ferrets. These statements can all be said because they are unquestionably true. I would imagine that there is a subtle art to crafting and coordinating colors, as magical and mystical to me as understanding when best to implement a Phrygian Major progression into a symphony adagio or how to use call-waiting without hanging up on one or both callers.
Having no truly artistically inclined friends, and unwilling to hire an artist, though I hear they work for table scraps and a new pair of socks, we set about putting together the look of Gamers With Jobs ourselves. We started with the basic dark blue that now highlights our Main Menu as a foundation, and then we began hurling random RGB numbers at the HTML until the resulting color scheme didn't make us tear out our eyes. For several days, Shawn could talk about nothing but colors, though he never seemed to have a firm handle on what to call them. He would describe the different colors more or less in conjunction with how they made him feel, asking if we should get rid of the darker blue that makes him want to cry, or add a red like the red he sees when he wishes people dead. At times like this, I was happy to have him living far away across a border in an entirely different country.
The result that you admirably suffer through each day doesn't quite live up to either of our expectations, and we plan to continue tweaking the look of the site in days to come. However, we were resolved from the start not to let our complete incompetence stand as a hurdle to creating our vision. After all, we've never let ignorance stand in the way of our trying things like automotive repair and out patient surgery in the past, so why should we start now? We moved on.
As we were tackling the issues of color, it fell upon me to devise a logo. That is to say, possibly through some form of duty osmosis, that it fell upon my wife to devise a logo. Considering her rousing success at having chosen a name for the site that did not combine two words into one - really, Shawn ... Entergament? - and her profession as a successful graphic designer, there was no other candidate for the job. Once I informed her that this laudable obligation had fallen on her shoulders, I was in turn elected to wash the dishes and clean the bathroom. Despite my pleadings that these were also tasks I was not well equipped to tackle, she ultimately put her design acumen to the site logo, and I, in turn, put scrubby pad to food encrusted plate.
It was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
The result of her effort is Stan, who you can see happily wiling away the hours dreaming of his Dual Shock controller at the top of our page. There were several logo designs she offered, most of them very impressive, though one that involved pastel colored flowers was summarily dismissed and hopefully expunged from all digital records, but it was the pleasant faced Stan who best personified our identity. I like to imagine Stan as some happy system administrator, who manages to deal with a steady flow of mind-numbingly stupid questions levied by people best described as mentally torpid, squid-faced, ninnies. Stan, in his cozy eight by nine cubicle gives brief lip-service to his clients as he considers new strategies for building greater high tech industrial need in his Sim City, or living up to his name "˜Da_Tank_Mastah' in Battlefield 1942. Stan has no favorite console, he loves them all equally. He likes movies, and can quote extensively from Fight Club, Army of Darkness, or Pulp Fiction as the situation demands. It is my opinion, that Stan represents many of today's fine IT personnel. Stan is the postmodern Everyman, without all that morality play nonsense.
At this point, Shawn was still piddling around with the color scheme. Occasionally I would offer constructive criticism about placing burgundy on a jaundiced yellow background, and Shawn would lovingly suggest that I die.
Development now in full swing, Shawn had finally begun to organize a site that finally did not remind me of a free porn site. I say remind me. What I mean to say is Ã‚"˜represent what I've read that free porn sites look like. I have no first hand experience. Increasingly impressed at how quickly Shawn was coming to grips with our site design tools, he began to use words that no longer held significant meaning for me. Often as he described how a new integrated module could do such and such nonsense, I started to simply pretend to understand what he was saying.
"Look, now we can track a static IP through our bandwith router using SQL firewall hosting!" he would say.
"Yes, let's do that!"
"Do you have DLL ping instantiation software?"
"Absolutely. I have some here in my pocket!"
I think he was none the wiser, though I eventually hinted at my ignorance:
Largely this steered him away from inundating my fragile intellectual ego with words that might just as well be poorly articulated Swahili as having some English definition. When he persisted in boring me with details, I would simply point out that the site still couldn't tell proper time. This would quiet him for several minutes, time during which I suspect he wept openly. I should point out, as of the posting of this article, the time still does not work! He probably blames the PHP (whatever that is). Like I said, it's his excuse for everything.
Between working on the site, and sleeping, we occasionally took small breaks. Often those breaks involved connecting for Tiger Woods 2003 grudge matches. I only bring this up as a vehicle to point out that I'm much better at putting than Shawn. That is all.
I shouldn't hound Shawn for all his idiosyncracies, though I'm certain I will continue to do so in the future, regardless. I had my own hang-ups through the process as well. For example, I find myself beguiled by statistics, the more obscure, and thus irrelevant, the statistic the more willing I am to ascribe senseless value to it. I think this could explain the hidden shame of my fascination with games like Rollercoaster Tycoon, and Sim City. Within these games I affect a brief change and then spend the next fifteen minutes mentally graphing complex theories through the budget window. Mostly I think I just like watching the little numbers get bigger.
As such I was adamant that we have some kind of stat tracking software, the more in depth the better. Shawn tried to convince me that such tracking would only draw me into a self-hating funk from which I would despair while obsessively refreshing stats in the futile hope that at least my brother might give us a cursory glance. What Shawn was not aware of was that rejecting my idea also might send me into a self-hating funk from which I would despair while obsessively whining to Shawn that I still wanted my stat tracking software. Eventually Shawn relented and despite the obvious fact that, much like the time, the stats do not actually function properly, I find that I'm sated. I am quite possibly refreshing those stats even as you read this, on the off chance they may work. I'm probably also despairing!
Eventually we began to realize that GamersWithJobs was, for all intents and purposes, functional and ready for visitors, and you're reading the results of that work now. While we look forward to fine tuning the look and functionality of the site over the next few months, we were anxious to open the doors to our adoring public. Look for us to integrate the forums more concretely with the site very soon, once Shawn has properly intoned the magical incantation to make that sort of thing happen. Also, we plan to have proper time at some point, possibly in a far distant future where humanity is so spread across the galaxy that time itself becomes so relative as to be useless. Either way, I think I speak for both of us when I say, thank you for taking a look at GamersWithJobs.com. We hope you'll come back!