Hi everyone! Gutterfoot here. We got a LOT of questions from users through the Neopian Times, Neoboards, and Neomail. So many that we couldn't possibly answer all of them in one editorial. We've chosen 15 from a variety of categories and topics, but do want to mention that we're saving the Games related questions as well as additional Design related questions in the coming weeks' editorials. Also, if you asked multiple questions, we tried to be fair and pick ones for different people, especially if the questions were similar. Without any further ado, here are the answered questions!
Conversion is great and all, but it would be even better if these aspects of the site got some much needed content/improvements to go along with them even if they aren't core features like the inventory or neoboards. ~~rawbeee
We definitely have plans to make improvements to even smaller pages as we convert them, so we are taking in everyone's suggestions about those as well! ~~gutterfoot
Is there a way we could get a list of current active TNT staffers and their roles in the Neopets community? The Neo-community has traditionally had a pretty good relationship/line of communication with TNT Staff, but I know lots of changes have happened over the past few years and there are now names I just don't know (or know what they do). I, for one, would love to get to know more about y'all! ~~fullonparanoid
This is an excellent point. I know we did short intros around Altador Cup, but it would be awesome to have a permanent page with a who's who. We'll definitely discuss! ~~scrappy
If you're willing to take "fan designs" is there a way us non-staff can help with art? I miss the old days of avatars being released often and I like to make fake avatars, so if you want fan designs to use at all let me know! I know the Mara Lutari was based off a fan design. ~~__ninth_gate__
This is definitely something we have talked about and all the fanart we have used in the past has been amazing and something we definitely want to do more of, so keep an eye out for our next fan design contest! ~~scrappy
If users are talented enough to recode one of the flash games by themselves, would you host it on the site? If someone "de-flashed" "Attack of the Slorgs" voluntarily for free, would you take it? ~~1jediboy
If you have development experience and would like to help out with the site, shoot us an email to customer support and we can talk about it! ~~scrappy
Once the beta is over, can we still use the old version of the site by opting out of the new one on PC? I'd like to only use the mobile friendly site on my MOBILE, not PC. :) ~~thebananasaurus
Nope, sorry. Once the beta is ready for full release, this layout will exist site-wide. It's a responsive layout that changes depending on what device you're on. Several key navigation features aren't implemented yet, so we hope you'll warm up to it once it's fully complete. ~~van Doodle
Will installing the Neopets app make my mobile device heavier? ~~bori_bomber
A common misconception of Neopets mobile is frequently that it will be an app or that it's mobile only. What we mean with the Neopets Mobile-Friendly Beta is that the site will now be responsive, meaning that users can access the same site on their phone and desktop (with obvious changes to the layout between the two). But to answer your question, no, when we make Neopets an app, it will not make your device heavier. :) ~~gutterfoot
Can we please be able to ctrl + click and open navbar links in new pages? It's driving me crazy. ~~beagums
We've already updated the beta to allow you to right click to open up navbar links in a new tab (some links will open immediately, without the usual dropdown options). However, once we're far enough along in the conversion to remove the "Leaving Beta" warning popups, most nav links will act like normal again, with ctrl-click and everything. ~~van Doodle
Do you have plans to make Lutari Island accessible once again? ~~sleepyholler
I keep begging, but they won't let me do it yet. ~~van Doodle
Are there any more updates or fixes coming for Customisation? Beta Customisation has been buggy since the initial release and doesn't work properly or consistently for some of us. It also doesn't work reliably on Safari (default browser on iPhones and Macs) and this is especially frustrating since the latest version of Safari for desktop (Safari 14) has disabled Flash entirely so we can't even customise in Classic anymore unless we switch to a different browser. ~~stargirl089
We know how buggy the beta customisation app is, and we're bummed about it too. Right now we're looking for the right resources to tackle the problem, but it's definitely not something we can or will forget about. ~~van Doodle
I don't think that I've noticed any additional wearables be added to beta view since the initial release in April, though I assume that they are still actively being converted. Since they don't seem to be going live gradually over time, are there any plans to set them live in batches? Not all items convert correctly the first time, so it'd be nice to be able to give feedback on what is broken. ~~ziporen
We've actually been actively converting/testing items nonstop, but have fallen behind on specifically flagging the items as converted (as in ungreying them). It's something we definitely plan to address ASAP, so stay tuned. We'll also update roughly where we're at with wearables in a future NT editorial! ~~gutterfoot
Shouldn't dailies with full Flash components be higher priority than dailies without any Flash components or Flash components that are just cosmetic? such as the Wheels or Kiko Pop being higher priority than Coltzan's Shrine (no Flash) or Lottery and Apple Bobbing (has Flash on the page but serve no purpose/aren't integral) or are the dailies pages being converted over to HTML5 based on popularity? ~~perduco
We've tried a variety of methods for prioritizing dailies. Some have been converted because they were easy/fast to do (so that we can get you as much content as quickly as possible), some were used for training purposes. Flash component dailies are definitely higher priority at the moment. ~~van Doodle
What is the future of Neohomes?! Will you be attempting to convert the current systems (Classics or V2), or deleting them entirely to create a Neohomes 3.0? ~~melieworm
I'm personally a fan of features in both Neohomes V1 and V2. I think the plan right now is a hybrid rather than converting both as-is. ~~van Doodle
This is correct. It would be a huge undertaking for us to convert both Neohomes V1 and V2 when what we really want to do is bring the best from both, along with frequently asked for features that don't exist in either, into a brand new Neohomes V3. If you spent NC on previous Neohome items, we'll make sure they are compatible with V3. ~~gutterfoot
Why does there seem to be a push to redo artwork for the beta? I understand some things need a redraw but it feels like other things are being redrawn (and taking your resources) without a clear reason. Like the shop wizard or event notifications. ~~herdygerdy
Hey Herdy! I wanted to address a bit of the mentality on redrawing beta art assets. In general, while converting the site, some art assets that people know and are accustomed to, may need to change because the way it's now displayed is a bit different behind the scenes. One of our goals for conversion is to make the website as flexible as possible for people who have different sized displays, including mobile devices. Art can be largely affected by this flexibility. Some art is easy to adjust, other times the process is more involved. When things get more involved is usually when you see a change to the art. In those instances, we try to keep updated art within the same spirit, but sometimes it needs to be changed significantly at a fundamental level.
In regards to the Super Shop Wizard, this is an instance where at times we need to update Icon-type art that was originally created to be viewed in your desktop browser. Now we need that same art to read at desktop size, mobile size, icon size, you name it! Take every icon-type asset on the site and force them to display at a size that's 2 or 3 times smaller and you start to lose the clarity they once had at their native sizes. With Super Shop Wizard being such an important aspect of the site, we knew that we wanted his art to be readable in a variety of instances. Knowing this, we didn't want to redesign him or anything. We just intended to update his art to make him visually clearer at smaller sizes. He just happens to be my favorite Neopet character as well! I like his design alot, so when trying to make him a bit more mobile friendly, it was important not to change too much. I just want to be able to clearly see my favorite wizard as clearly as possible!
When we do have to make new art, believe me, we take it seriously given the resources and time we do have. We would never just want to change it for the sake of changing it. That means that usually when we know we have to change something out, we try not to take the opportunity for granted and really look at the assets involved and make sure they work the way they need to.
This leads me to notifications art. The old notification icons needed to be updated for the conversion for many reasons. We had duplicate icons filling in for missing ones. Small art that was now being displayed larger. Icons that didn't make sense based on the information it was representing. Basically many issues we wanted to address. Because the icons are tied to the site themes we knew we would have to update 12 icons for every theme. Logistically that would be almost 200 icons total. When we looked at the problem we noted that notifications aren't always present for every user. If you aren't trading you'll never see a trade icon, if you aren't adopting you'll never see the adoption art. The issue was that these icons were meant to be notifications to inform the player of something specific, they are never always present and we would be spending a large amount of time updating art that isn't always visible to the user.
The solution was to make one set of icons that served the purpose of notifications in a more direct way. This way we have a consistent notification system, with clear art and iconography. No longer tied to themes, this would free up our resources to tackle all the new art we wanted to add for the new site themes.
I want to make it clear that we're constantly trying behind the scenes to make the future of this site as cool as it can be. From a user's standpoint a site in flux can be frustrating, I completely understand. When things change it can be a bit scary and a system shock for those that call this site home. So it's important to communicate that these changes are not done haphazardly, we consider so many factors to ensure what we're doing makes the most sense. ~~clammyhand
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