New Forums Are Coming!

Posted by Big Fish Games on June 13, 2013 in Big Fish News -- Share:

UPDATE: June 20, 4:30pm PDT

While making the big move over to the New Forums, we ran into a few issues that are taking a bit longer to resolve than we had originally anticipated. Don’t worry, we’re still hard at work!

Rather than leave the Forums down indefinitely until everything is resolved though, we wanted to make sure you still had a place to go for game help and to chat with other gamers, and so until we’ve finished working out all the kinks, please feel free to resume using our current Forums.

We apologize for the prolonged downtime we experienced, and thank you all for your continued patience and understanding!

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That’s right folks, we are excited to announce that on Wednesday, June 19th (TBD) we will be re-launching the Big Fish Forums!

Of all our online communities, “The Pond” is our largest and most active community, boasting 637,811 members and 5,206,232 posts at the time of this post. We’re proud of this community, and as your Community Manager, it’s literally my job to help provide the best possible experience for both new and returning visitors.

The truth of the matter though, is that we haven’t updated our forums since they were first released in 2007. While 6 years might not seem like that long ago, keep in mind that technology years are kind of like dog years. Do you know what else came out in 2007? The very first iPhone. As amazing as the first iPhone was when it was released, can you imagine what it would be like if Apple was still relying on a 6-year-old phone to keep their users happy?

Needless to say, updating our forums has been something we’ve wanted to do for a while now. But it wasn’t until last year that we really turned up the heat on this pressing need. As some of you may recall, we sent out a survey last summer, asking you how often you visited our forums, your reasons for visiting (or not visiting), and what features you’d like to see added to the forums.

Your responses were fantastic, and gave us a lot to think about when weighing our options. After reviewing a couple of different forum platforms, we went with the one we felt would meet as many of our needs and your requests as possible. Ever since then, we’ve been taking care of all the technical details that will make the transition from the old forums to the new forums as smooth as possible.

Details, details, details

At this point, you may have a million questions, most notably: What’s changing? While many of the details will be kept under wraps for now, here’s a peek at what’s to come:

It doesn’t really look like much has changed, does it? This was by design!

You see, once you’re able to get in and start digging around, you’ll begin to notice many of the changes. Some are subtle, some are not so subtle. But overall, we really like the look and feel of our current forums, and so we didn’t feel the need to do a major overhaul on the exterior. Instead, you’ll find most of the changes on the interior.

Some of these changes include:

  • NEW features that take advantage of the latest in forum technologies!
  • NEW profile settings that will allow you to experience our forums just the way that you want to!
  • NEW search tools, making it easier to find answers to your questions!
  • NEW moderation tools, making it easier for us to keep our community healthy and active!
  • And heck, we’ve even added some NEW forums!

What you need to do to prepare

In short, not much! While other companies might’ve used this as an opportunity to start over with a fresh slate, we did everything in our power to move over all of the content you’ve created to the new forums. The good news is that we will be bringing all of your public content, like posts and threads. The less-than-perfect news is that we aren’t able to bring your private content over with us.

This leaves you with two tasks to complete before we make the move:

  1. Create a backup of all the names in your address book.
  2. Print out (or save into a Word doc) any private messages that you don’t want to lose.

The other thing you’ll need to know is that the current forums will temporarily be put into a read-only state while we undergo the big move. What this means is that you’ll be able to continue browsing the forums during this time, but you will not be able to create any new posts until the new forums are up and running. This work will begin at 10:00 pm (Pacific) on Tuesday, June 18th.

Ask me (almost) anything

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. As I mentioned above, I’m somewhat limited in what I can share before the release, but I’ll do my absolute best to answer any questions that I’m able to.

Also, if you’re looking to share your excitement about these upcoming changes with your fellow forum members, I’m sure there will be a rather lively discussion taking place over in The Pond. There always is.

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UPDATE: Stay tuned, as I’ll be adding additional previews of the new forums right up until we go live!

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