The DDay web site

Discussion about the game D-Day: Normandy.
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The DDay web site

Post by Night Rider » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:44 am

What happen to the web site http://www.ddaynormandy.com is it gone for good or just in limbo any one know?
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Dirk » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:02 am

It looks like the host changed IP addresses. I will have to have InFy look into it.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by InFerNo » Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:08 pm

I see, i wanted to contact you, I need to get in contact with those guys then...

It could be the end of the server though, I will try to get all data back (all the files + site etc) and see if I can host it somewhere else then, if you can't.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Mr. YOur no fun » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:58 pm

Infy I have all sorts of storage place if you need it, can set a page link that segregates it.

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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Dirk » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:59 pm

I probably have space to host it too.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by InFerNo » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:46 am

Webhost is permanently down. I will get the data back after the weekend, possibly next weekend.

Dirk, can you let the domain point to a page which says it'll be back soon?
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:26 pm

if you guys need some advice and ideas about using the website/forums to grow the fanbase be my guest. I'm a professional full time online strategist with an large agency and some of my skills can probably help (SEO, conversion, analytics, lead generation, member generation, etc).

only if the webmaster(s) wants help of course

I was triggered by the fact that it's hard to find the right place in the first try you use google.
even with keywords quake2 dday you end up ons some deeper topic. And if you find the right place you don't have a clue were to start.

The main site, http://www.ddaydev.com, isnt realy well indexed and only after ripping of the forum part of the url manually you end up there.

Btw: also think of target groups:
- people looking for WW2 games
- people looking for games for slow computers
- people looking for free games
- people looking for odd fps games
- people looking for a small but established fanbase
- etc

all need to be targeted in another way!
And the site mentioned in this topic, http://www.ddaynormandy.com, is down so i'm curious what it looks like. If I check http://www.archive.org for old versions i end up in 2007.

I have some ideas up my sleeve to drive more traffic to the site and to convert them into forum users, players, etc.
Perhaps I'm to enthousiastic again, as always ;)

edit: i did a quick scan on seo (search engine optimalisation) and there are some major easy improvements to make: think title, description, keyword metatags, and some more. Basic stuff.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Fafner » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:40 pm

I can't speak for ddaynormandy.com but I'd love to hear any idea you have about this site. I can't guarantee I'd implement them (mostly due to laziness and web design ineptitude), but I'm definitely open to suggestions and I know the website could be much better.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Dirk » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:43 pm

I'm used to green screens and terminals. So sure bring on the ideas. I own the domain to ddaynormandy.com
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:29 pm

ah nice! love that attitude!

ok, If you guys are willing let's make a game out of it. Let's see if we can monitor improvement. To learn, to adept and to get bigger.

I would suggest a 3 step plan.
And coolest thing is: it's all free (in terms of tooling, time, etc)
Don't get blown away with al the hyped words, it's jargon and we online marketeers love to use it but we don't mean it so harsh ;)

0. STATUS QUO ANALYSIS
[*] install free Google Analytics in main site template and in forum template (15 min)
[*] analyse data (1hr)
[*] do a research with online tools (backlinking, seo-tests, etc) (1hr)
[*] define SMART targets (can think of a lot in just 5 seconds ;)) (1hr)
[*] define target audience (30min)
[*] define the proposition/message (what do we want to say, what is so unique, etc) (30min)
[*] do competitor analysis (on a lot of axis as mentioned in my last post) (1hr)

I'd love to help or do it. Why? Because I have a lot of fun doing it and it's a nice exercise for me either.

1. WEBSITE TRAFFIC
OK, let's say we have a nice story to tell with our d-day game. How do we get peoples attention in the first place? That's getting traffic!
It consist of:
[*] free organic traffic (via search engines)
[*] direct traffic (typed in url)
[*] referring site[*]
[*] paid traffic like bannering or AdWords
[*] e-mailmarketing (why not start a newsletter or look for game newsletters out there and ask i we could write one alinea)

I'd put my energy in organic traffic by working on SEO and in trying to get more linked from other sites (referring). Both are SEO techniques.
More on SEO:
Search Engine Optimization consists of 3 parts:
[*] technique: there is a lot to improve on this site and mind you: we are talking about small efforts in means of time! No worries.
[*] content: google loves great content. And what do you know: we got a forum which is great content!
[*] linkbuilding: make sure others link to us. Get great content, do some promotion, do some active linkbuilding and done.

Additional for just $50 or $100 you can buy a lot of specific adwords. I get a lot of free coupons of $50 so you can have them. More on Adwords when the time is there.

We want the website to rank high on specific queries like: "ww2 free game" or WW2 shooter or quake ww2, etc. We want specific topics to rank high when people search for specific issues: "dday config" etc.
Now for some strange reason this topic is very dominant: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7182
While the main homepage of the home of the forums isn't anywhere in the google results.

So with some tweaking and some help from others we could drive the initial traffic up!


2. CONVERSION OPTIMALISATION
Alright, now the rookie lands on the site... oh boy. Just one change to hit him! We should look to the defined targets in the status quo and make the navigation and call 2 actions regarding to them.
We are talking about user interface design, etc. I have some ideas about this part either but first let us do some technical improvements.


Let's do it :)
No, not THAT guerrilla ;)

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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Fafner » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:21 pm

well, I just did this:
"install free Google Analytics in main site template and in forum template (15 min)"

looks like it's not detecting it on the site, although it says to wait 24 hours.

edit: nm, it's working now
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:31 pm

great! give it some time. When in doubt: it's better to place the script near the end </body> tag (just before). Now it's in the HEAD section.

While you are at it and logged in perhaps you could do something else:
go to Google Webmaster Tools: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
Add site
choose html verification and download the google57c95ccdd0b6b1aa.html (example) html and place it in the root of the site. Now we can check extensively how the site is indexed.

edit: hey you edited it ;)

now wait and let's see. There is a lag of several hours between visits and logging. For me that is okay: I'm more curious about trends than real time visits.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Fafner » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:42 pm

Did that.

I don't know if there will be much data to look at. I don't think there's too many visitors from Google. I could be wrong though.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:47 am

visitors from google?
- do you mean visitors via Google (organich search traffic) or
- do you mean visits by the Google Bot

the first i am curious too but there should be a GA counter in the forum template too to answer that question.

the second depends. One of my clients is a huge supermarket chain and google spiderbots visit that site every 10 minutes or so. Even my small weblog is visited very very often. But if you are unlucky it can cost weeks until the next google visit of their bots. But, big news: Just over a week ago Google released its new search indexing. They will visit websites more frequently. For the interested: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. ... feine.html

Anyhow, could you also put the GA code in the forum template? Or if there are more templates in use (subsilver, this green one, etc) for each template. It's not that hard. Here is a great explanation:
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 6&t=729785

something to look at in a later stadium is this seo optimization for PHPbb forums: http://www.phpbb-seo.com/

great experiment!

edit: cool, the forum seams to be measured to now!
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by InFerNo » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:45 am

Once I have my website data back, I could give you access.

I see the waybackmachine gives a pretty good impression of how the site was lol, I just posted news on there..
There was a devblog installed for gypsy but he only used it once I think.
There was also a tutorial section, but again, never used because Fafner now has a better one on this site.

There also is the SquadBase, now it would be great if that would be put to use :p
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:00 pm

and what was the original idea behind 2 sites?

i have seen it with another free mod: True Combat Elite, a shooter based on Wolfenstein Enemy Territory.
There were two semi official sites, a .net and a.com
in that case its diffusing for newcomers or even the own community. But i dont know what the original use was of both sites

if i could have (read-only is enough) access to the analytics account by adding my gmail I could look for you guys what the status is.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by InFerNo » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:16 pm

Actually, the original dday site died and ddaydev was mainly just a forum. It had a frontpage but it was mainly focused at developing DDay. DDaynormandy.com was meant to be a portal to the dev site and an informational/promotional site. It also had a link to the Chilean community, which is also an active, non-English community with their own set of rules.

Fafner has done an excellent job in past years to make this site more up to date and more updated frequently.

The forum link on the ddaynormandy.com site goes to this forum anyways...

If it's better to 'remove' 1 site, then we should think about that option, my webspace just went dead so it's a valid option right now. You're the expert.

DDaynormandy.com did have the map archive containing all the maps (I think I had 'm all :p ) and other dday related files.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Fafner » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:51 pm

Guerilla wrote: if i could have (read-only is enough) access to the analytics account by adding my gmail I could look for you guys what the status is.
did this. So far there's just a bit of data from last night.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:03 pm

cool, thx! just arrived from a party
gonna check tommorrow

most interesting key word one person came to the site with:
"d-day h4x "

who was it!? ;)
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:04 am

did a lot of thinking the last 12 hours before i fell to sleep and the soon i was awake. Lots of ideas but i keep them for now (step by step ;)).

could you put the GA code in the other themes also? i'm now on subsilver and there is no code in it so I'm not tracked now. I dont know how many people are on other forum themes too. Or just disable other themes so everyone is forced to dday theme.

I did some further research this morning on the issue of multiple community sites. For a huge free game like Enemy Territory there is place for large national communities I'd say. But what we face here is a scattered community of the last of the mohicans ;)

Why there is let's say 50 chilians, 50 france, 50 polish and 100 international players spread over multiple sites? If you would join all efforts on one site and support multiple languages and local events the whole sum would be much bigger! more news, more postings, more concentrated players!

Another insight I was thinkning of was the fact this mod is mentioned on a lot highly ranking sites. Problem is: there is a huge amount of dated information out there! Links to old all-in-one-installers, links to old sites, etc etc. A cleanup action would be a good one. When someone is looking for dday he should en up in one place instead of having some bad experiences first (wrong places, wrong versions, etc)

Another early insight is the fact the full install download page is visited so well. That means that the site not only consists of idling oldtimers but also with (new) people installing the game.

And the last insight for now is the fact the amount of visitors via search engines is pretty low. Only 20% or so. For such a rich site this should be way higher. The reason it is so low is the bad SEO conditions for the site and it's forum. At the moment things arent really optimised for Google.

edit:
2 more insights:
- reason to play: the quake2 engine is ported to a lot of platforms. We should really advertize with it. Especially the apple users (me!) can be targetted because they lack a lot of games. If you look at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ for example (great player btw) you see how much ports there are. Throw in some icons (windows logo, apple logo and a stupid penguin and more conversion to players!)
- the ddc2 theme has a link just below the heard to the homepage (ddaydev.com) this is good. The ddc theme lacks this. Perhaps good idea to bring it back?

edit2: ok, in 2008 the wikipedia page was deleted. We need to improve it and ask to undelete it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia: ... :_Normandy
cool some site backupped it before deletion: D-Day Normandy wikipedia
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by InFerNo » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:10 am

The Chileans don't speak English, and the EU/NA don't speak Spanish.
There's also a gap between the French, who use translators to ask things on this site, which is often horrific.

About that stupid penguin: I'm using Linux.. Image
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Fafner » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:27 am

What do you use to play on a Mac? I'd like to add the files for the main installer or a link somewhere but I can't test it myself. Same for linux.

all but 2 people use ddc2 theme last I checked. Not worth adding them in there.
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:42 pm

@inf: of course language en local competition is a main reason for the seperated communities. But sometimes you see multilingual game sites and forums with subforums in different languages. If integration is not an option (and i guess thats true) we should look for better integration with subtle links, flags, pull down menu (choose country), news exchange, etc
And I said stupid pinguin, not stupid OS ;)
Nothing wrong with linux. I started my study on a HP-UX 10 mainframe.

@faf: i dont have clue how to get it to work on the mac. I play it on my desktop pc ;)
But I'm wanting it on my macbook! If I can get directions i can write a tutorial
And point taken with the theme!
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by InFerNo » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:55 pm

I believe R1Q2 is compilable on Mac.
I have compiled it 2 weeks ago for Linux x64 and with a bit of looking around I got everything to work.
I have to admit that since yesterday I'm having strange problems, it gives me errors about wrong map version, even when starting the maps locally...

Also, my keyboard is a complete hell in Linux.
I can't write any numbers and the console key is my §6^ key..


edit:
"VirtualBox 3.2 supports Mac OS X guests out-of-the-box."
Oh, goody!
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Re: The DDay web site

Post by Guerilla » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:53 pm

never compiled anything on a mac (i did on unix with make as i remember ;))

the mac user base is a nice target group for us btw! So IF we manage to get a 3 click and you are up and running instruction than that is a bonus
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