Things to keep in mind when developing a petsite.
by, 06-21-2012 at 12:41 PM (826 Views)
Lately it seems like a lot of people are posting about their new sites they want to develop, or are already developing, and I see a lot of flaws that definitely turn me off from their site before it's even close to being done. So I feel like I needed to make a post trying to help people the best I can. If something here offends you, please understand that I'm really only trying to help.
Before you even gets started: Have either a skill or MONEY. This, for some reason, seems to be a big reoccurring event when it comes to "new site ideas". People seem to think just because they have an idea for a petsite, that they deserve people to come and do the coding/art for free and they "own" it. Or maybe "own and do writing.". This is usually pretty terrible.
Artists and coders are amazing people who have usually worked really hard to get to the skill level. Thinking that you deserve them to work for free (promising them payment after the site is up counts here, since there's no real guarantee that the site will ever be up) is very selfish. There are a million people out there with "ideas" and if you want your "idea" to succeed, you have to pay for it to do so. Not expect people to work for nothing.
Don't start advertising things until you have enough to actually... advertise. This might seem like a pretty basic concept, but there are a lot of threads that are made that don't follow this. People seem to like "revealing" their site way too early, when the art isn't even done and there's not even a tiny hint of a release date. Just describing an idea or having a couple pieces of art isn't enough usually.
Get a good artist for your pets and have them do all of them. Another thing that definitely keeps me from wanting to join a site is when the art doesn't match up or if it's poor quality. Don't settle for anything that's sub-par if you want your petsite to be serious. A lot of the time, the art is what makes or breaks a petsite. Having unprofessional looking pets, or having art that's all over the place, makes your site look bad as soon as someone looks at it. A lot of people probably won't even join if it's bad enough.
Other art around the site should match at least a little bit too. Items should at least be done in a general matching style (no "shiny" items somewhere and "flat" items somewhere else.) NPCs should be done by the same artist if possible, or at least have the artists trying to work towards a certain look to keep them matching.
Take critique and use it to improve. Don't ignore it or throw a fit when it's given. This seems to happen a lot to me when I point out something doesn't look right to a site owner. I get them freaking out on me without even trying to see my point. I am almost always just trying to help the site improve, even if it's not one I'd be interested in joining. I will admit that I'm not a huge expert or anything, but I've spent my life joining pretty much every petsite that I see and I try to use my experiences to decide if something will succeed or not.
Don't set dates unless you are 100% sure you can follow them. This is maybe one of the most annoying things about petsites in development. I understand that accidents happen or things get pushed back, but I don't know how many sites I've seen that set a date for opening/testing and then it doesn't happen. It continues to get pushed back and pushed back and pushed back until everyone stops caring so much and things die down. When the site finally opens up, the hype is barely there and people are just disappointed.
Anyway, I think that's all for now. I hope I can at least help someone out when developing their site with this.
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