Introducing Changes to Life Is Strange Fans
Hello to all fans of Life is Strange, to the longtime Members of this site and newcomers alike. For more than a year, this site has been home to one of the best gaming communities I’ve ever encountered. So much has happened in this time: So many amazing pieces of Fan content have been uploaded (over 2000 in fact), we’ve had amazing Contests and the quality has been exceptional for all of them. We had a live Q& A with Kate Marsh herself, Dayeanne Hutton, we won a Community Heroes award from Square Enix, and our Councellors have helped so many vulnerable people and made them feel safe here.
As many of you are aware the site doesn’t always run very smoothly, with often unacceptably long loading times. Many of our loyal followers have tolerated this and joined the Live Chatroom every day, helping to keep the site alive with their spirit and enthusiasm, but it’s not good enough. We need to do better and make the site optimised for performance for everyone, including mobile users. We intend to do that but it will of course take time. Because I’m not a programmer I built the site using a CMS solution (WordPress in this case) with very little programming involved and a heavy reliance on Plugins. That’s the main reason the site runs quite slow. I’ve recently disabled many non-essential Plugins which has helped a little but in order to fully optimise the site we essentially need to rebuild it from the ground up.
Life Is Strange Fans 2.0 will be coming, but please bear with us as we make changes to the site during this time, which may involve limiting or removing some features temporarily. It’s all necessary in order to fully realise my vision for Life is Strange Fans: a one-stop hub for all Life Is Strange fans and content, and to continue to make this the best version of that idea.
Here’s a summary of some of the changes being made:
If you came directly the main site you’ll have already noticed that the Homepage has had a refresh. The old Homepage was too overloaded with content, which meant it took a very long time to load and required Users to scroll endlessly down the page to get to the content they wanted.
The new Homepage has a Metro style layout with quick access content blocks:
The Latest Fan Art and Cosplay galleries now have dedicated pages, and you can upload your content there, tagging the uploads as appropriate, which means your content will still appear on the relevant pages such as the Character pages, but will take less clicks to upload. (Please note that the content blocks may not display very well on mobile but we are working on that).
NEW CHAT SOLUTION
We have tried 2 different Chat Plugins since the site launched: iFlyChat and CometChat. Both Plugins worked okay most of the time, but both had their own issues, some of them quite serious including lengthy server downtime and private PM’s inexplicably appearing in the Public Chat. While it’s nice to have an on-site Chatroom, it’s honestly not worth paying for these systems when there are already better, free alternatives out there. So, we’re introducing an LISF Discord:
The New Chatroom page at: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/chatroom/ will show a Live Preview of the main #public-chat Channel form Discord, and it even updates in realtime, but you won’t be able to type there. You’ll need to join the Discord server in order to join in the conversation. This on-site page is great for lurkers though! (We know who you are 😉 ) Or you could view the chat on that page while typing when you need to using the Discord App on your phone or tablet. It’s up to you. While the Discord Server will have specific Channels for Fan Art, Cosplay etc, it is still to be treated as an extension of the site and we hope both can work together to make both the chat and the site more active. Want to jump into Chat right now? Join the Discord here: httpss://discord.gg/F7MvWV5
LIFE IS STRANGE FANS PATREON
Life Is Strange Fans has been a labour of love for me from the beginning, from the very first day I started building it in February 2015, just after playing Episode 1 of the game. But it has also cost me a lot of money to run. The bigger the site becomes, the more media it hosts, the more features we add – it all costs money to maintain. Currently, the costs to run and maintain the site are paid by myself, with occasional support via Paypal donations from regular Members of the site. Even on a good donation month, I never break even and it has always cost me money to run every month.
The reality is I only have a part-time job as a Stock Controller at a supermarket. With the usual bills and rent I have to pay each month, that doesn’t leave much for the site at all and when the site money is taken off, most months that doesn’t leave any personal income for socialising at all.
Please consider supporting the site through our newly-launched Patreon:
Please take a look at the Reward Tiers. Rewards range from Wallpapers to unique Roles on-site/in our Discord Server and even a free Mug at the highest Tier.
We want Life Is Strange Fans to be the best place for content, resources and a place for fans to call home. We have lots of new features and secxtions of the site planned including:
- An on-site FAQ to help users get around the site and find out more about the site and Life is Strange.
- More Clubs to add to the already existing Movie Club, Videogame Club and Music Club
- More regular content including content for those Clubs such as Movie/TV Show reviews, Videogame previews and articles and more. We’ll be taking application for regular content writers on Life is Strange Fans very soon.
- An exciting new way to view the Fan Content that was Shortlisted in all our Competitions.
- More regular video content on our YouTube Channel.
- Our own Twitch Channel and scheduled streams whcih you can have a say in.
- Kate’s Support Club (finally).
Our hope is to keep the site running and continue to improve it throughout the release of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Life is Strange: Season 2 and beyond. With your help, we can make that a reality. Thank you.
Chris Anderson is the creator of Life Is Strange Fans. He is interested in all things creative, be that Film Making, Digital Art, 3D Art, Graphic Design and Video Game Development.
He is also an aspiring Writer and has been developing a fantasy series for over 10 years.