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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,590
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Joined: Aug 2000
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UBBDev: All About Games are the runners-up of the December 2002 Member Spotlight competition. Their UBB.classic combines site integration with a clean layout throughout. Here we have Matt, the Webmaster/Main Editor of AAG, and Dave, the Deputy Editor at AAG and also an active member of UBBDev. Tell me about the history of your site and when you got started.

Matt: Well, I started the site back in 1999, after discovering Freenetname who were giving away free domains if you signed them up as your ISP. So I decided to start a gaming website, coming up with the name "allaboutgames.co.uk" because the site was, well, all about games smile After a year and a half of working alone, I decided to recruit some people to work on the site with me. However, in order to upload content to the site, Freenetname required that you dial them up and then log in via FTP. So, in order to allow other people to upload, I transfered the site on to a free webspace provider, and put a redirect on the freenetname webspace. After adavertising for positions on the Codejunkies Discussion Board I was joined by Dave (or "Dave2") and Darryl (or "dj013" - now "dj015") in mid-2001. After problems with various free webspace providers, I finally decided to purchase some webspace, which included the domain aagames.co.uk which we now run from, and the current site was born from there. I write a lot of the reviews (seeing as I receive most of the share of reviews copies smile ), and keep the entire site running as Main Editor.

Dave: As Matt said, I joined the team mid-2001, and since then I have mostly been doing the backend side of things. Matt made me Deputy Editor earlier this year.

UBBDev: When did you start using UBB.classic on your site?

Dave: I think we started with an old UBB5 back in late 2001; we went up to UBB 6 a few months later.

Matt: Moving to UBB5 after an ezboard and an ikonboard was very pleasing.

UBBDev: Which are the most-visited forums on your UBB.classic?

Dave: General Discussion seems to be one of the favourites - of course, that is probably because the other forums are split into individual sections. The next most popular forum is Cheating Devices - presumably for the same reason.

Matt: We seem to get quite a lot of vistors to cheating devices with people looking for Action Replay and Gameshark custom codes made by some of our members.

UBBDev: Besides your UBB.classic, what other things do you have on your site?

Dave: We have reviews and previews for all major formats, cheats via our cheat database, gaming news, and various articles - including the regular "Industry Spy" - the latter two are both powered by the UBB.classic.

UBBDev: What's your "Industry Spy" section all about?

Matt: The "Industry Spy" section is an article series by myself - it basically covers the events in gaming since the last edition. It used to be called "The Week In Gaming", but often not enough happens in the week, or I'm too busy to write the article. tipsy It's also published on Codejunkies.com (http://www.codejunkies.com).

UBBDev: Sounds like you have some really good content, then. AAG's own section on CodeJunkies, that must be quite pleasing... smile How do you keep your visitors coming back to AAG?

Dave: Obviously we have the UBB.classic - which helps! We regularly add new reviews and previews for people to read, and I'm considering making some "extra features" to make people prefer AAG - for example I'm currently working on a PDA section, and some sidebar tabs for Netscape.

Matt: Possibly even a WAP section if there's enough demand for one.

UBBDev: Which UBB.classic hack do you like the most?

Dave: Probably - for AAG - UBBNews, since without that "Industry Spy" and the news section would be hard, to say the least.

UBBDev: And which hack do your visitors prefer?

Dave: For visitors... It's hard to tell, but they probably like the Shoutbox most - if you count that as a hack. Guests also seem to like it, and show their appreciation by "shouting" random words. wink

Matt: The Shoutbox has led to a few bannings too...

UBBDev: I see... Always good to know that LK adds ban features to his hacks wink Is it just the UBBNews hack that's a necessity for AAG, or are there others that are just as important?

Dave: For news I wrote my own hack to add different variables to posts (for screenshots and suppliers) and so that's pretty important too (I haven't made it public since it's not exactly documented). Ely_M's Upload Hack is also required for our "save swapping" section of the forums. I don't think that anything else is actually required.

UBBDev: Are there any "tricks of the trade" you'd like to share with us that other UBB.classic users could use?

Dave: Not really - just try to make the right amount of forums and bring in members.

Matt: A UBB.classic will die without a good supply of frequently posting members.

UBBDev: Apart from the "extra features" you mentioned earlier, are you planning anything else for AAG's future?

Matt: We hope to have more regular articles like "Industry Spy", but that's nothing major.

Dave: Well, we are thinking of one major change; but unfortunately it's secret at the moment. Sorry about that.

UBBDev: That's okay, I'm sure many people will check back at AAG to find out what it is... laugh Thanks very much Matt and Dave, and congratulations once again. smile

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