News Introducing HaloCustoms 2.0

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For the past several months, the staff members here at HaloCustoms have been hard at work, thinking up new ways to improve our user experience. For some time now, we've noticed the lobby system has needed a little bit of an overhaul, so it gives me great pleasure to finally be able to announce the all-new HaloCustoms Custom Games Experience.

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games.halocustoms.com
To sign in, just use your HaloCustoms log in information.
Our ultimate goal has always been to make lasting connections between Halo fans across the world. HaloCustoms bridges that inherent gap in the online gaming experience: no longer are you restricted to playing with explicitly your friends or explicitly complete strangers -- when you participate in the HaloCustoms environment, you're part of a larger community, in addition to having the granularity you would have when you make games with your familiar friends list.

With that in mind, we concentrated on really fleshing out what makes HaloCustoms special. Whether you're a new member or a site veteran, you should always be able to find an enjoyable, hand-crafted custom game. It should be convenient to access, quick to use, and integrate seamlessly with the existing Xbox Live framework.

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The new HaloCustoms lobby experience is clean and works in real-time. It interfaces directly with your Xbox Live friends list, allowing you to send game invites and messages directly from the website! With Halo 5 releasing in a matter of hours, the new features will go a very long way towards having a great game experience.

In addition to the existing lobby system, we also have a brand-new LFG/LFM (Looking for Game/Looking for More) feature. This will really help Halo fans get strong lobbies going on the fly, without requiring much waiting or planning. Each lobby even has a private chatbox, allowing easy communication in that lobby, without spamming the "global" chatbox.

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A big shout out goes to TACTICS and BigStack for devoting their time to help develop this amazing project. Note that this is still in a public beta stage, so please let us know about any bugs, features, ideas, comments, anything that jumps to mind.

See you on the Halo 5: Guardians battlefield!
Insane54
Founder
 
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Comments

#4
Forum feedback:

The top bar where the logo is now looks a bit empty, perhaps add a subtle background image to it?

Why does my avatar now have a weird blue background instead of a nice transparent one now?

For the new LFG/LFM subdomain site:

Could you have a translucent container around the main content on the page? Like a blueish colour that wraps around all the content, whilst still being able to see the video in the background? A lot of the content looks a bit lost on the moving background without some form of background tying it all together. I'm not very good at photoshop so I can't really do an example but it's not a big change. Having alternating colours on table items would be awesome too, mainly on the lobbies page. I fiddled in the chrome dev console and came up with this:

It's not very mobile friendly at the moment, but I assume that will be something you guys can look at when you've ironed out 99% of the major bugs and issues.

An automatic login if I'm already logged in to HC would be sweet, but I'm not sure how you'd handle that if it's two sites with different sessions and cookies.

Mostly personal: I'm not overly fond of the video idea, they look very grainy on a 1080p monitor full screen. Could you use some newer videos or swap them for some nice images? It was cool at first having a full screen video as a background, but after seeing it for more than 5 mins it's very annoying, especially when the video cuts back to the start without a fade.



Will edit when I look more after dinner.
 
#5
The top bar where the logo is now looks a bit empty, perhaps add a subtle background image to it?
We actually got this all set up this morning. Once we find a cute image, that should be live.

Why does my avatar now have a weird blue background instead of a nice transparent one now?
#Transparency :heart:

Could you have a translucent container around the main content on the page? Like a blueish colour that wraps around all the content, whilst still being able to see the video in the background? A lot of the content looks a bit lost on the moving background without some form of background tying it all together. I'm not very good at photoshop so I can't really do an example but it's not a big change. Having alternating colours on table items would be awesome too, mainly on the lobbies page. I fiddled in the chrome dev console and came up with this:
Agreed. We've been forwarding a couple visual ideas to our overlords, so it should just be a matter of inserting the CSS once we settle on a design. Let us know of any ideas you come up with, mang.

That goes for everybody. If you have any suggestions, let us know here or on the spreadsheet. As Insane pointed out, this new system is in an early beta stage, so there are bound to be some problems that need a 'fixin.
 
#6
This new experience makes it look harder to find custom games. I liked the previous way, it was simple.
 
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#8
Any feedback as to how to improve that? I think in objective terms this experience is easier, but it definitely isn't as simple.
I liked the previous way because all you had to do is click the custom games and it takes you to a list of upcoming games people have listed. But now it looks like it takes you to a different website. I do think it needed improvements, but I don't think it needed this big of a change. Also on the previous version there was a list of upcoming custom games from days to years in the future. Where are they in the new experience?
 
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#9
I liked the previous way because all you had to do is click the custom games and it takes you to a list of upcoming games people have listed. But now it looks like it takes you to a different website. I do think it needed improvements, but I don't think it needed this big of a change. Also on the previous version there was a list of upcoming custom games from days to years in the future. Where are they in the new experience?
Technically the website is a subdomain of halocustoms, but I get what you mean. We're working on a similar hook where you'll be able to see the running customs at a glance within the forum and some basic information about each. You'll still go to the new lobby experience when you click on a lobby, but that should give you the "at a glance" experience that you're referring to. That should be out within a few days!

Regarding future custom games -- it's something we've been debating a lot. The vast, vast majority of customs were spur of the moment, or close to it. So, a lot of customs were made in the future out of necessity, but almost everyone did it as spur of the moment as they possibly could. With that in mind, we decided to focus on that "real-time" experience, allowing you to create a lobby immediately and immediately join lobbies. However, there definitely is relevancy for scheduled customs (many of the bigger lobbies are scheduled for specific times at regular intervals), so hopefully we'll have some kind of solution regarding it eventually coming up.
 
#10
Technically the website is a subdomain of halocustoms, but I get what you mean. We're working on a similar hook where you'll be able to see the running customs at a glance within the forum and some basic information about each. You'll still go to the new lobby experience when you click on a lobby, but that should give you the "at a glance" experience that you're referring to. That should be out within a few days!

Regarding future custom games -- it's something we've been debating a lot. The vast, vast majority of customs were spur of the moment, or close to it. So, a lot of customs were made in the future out of necessity, but almost everyone did it as spur of the moment as they possibly could. With that in mind, we decided to focus on that "real-time" experience, allowing you to create a lobby immediately and immediately join lobbies. However, there definitely is relevancy for scheduled customs (many of the bigger lobbies are scheduled for specific times at regular intervals), so hopefully we'll have some kind of solution regarding it eventually coming up.
I do think there should be scheduled custom games because real-time wouldn't work for everyone.
 
#16
I'd love to use this, but I lack and have lacked XBL Gold for a long time, and doubt I'll be able to get an Xbone to play with anyone again. :lurk:
 
#17
Ive just joined this site not long ago in hopes of playin more customs this time around. There was always a problem for me with custom nights in the past, working out what the start time was, being from Australia and trying to workout the different timezones, usually I'd figure it out but it was a huge pain. Seems like it would help non North American halo players a lot if there was some way to set up what time zone you're in and then have the system adjust it for you automatically. Not knowing anything about programing I don't know if that would be an easy thing to do or not but if it was easy I'm sure there's some people that would love it. Back in the day some people didn't like playing customs with us Aussies because of lag but with the servers that's not an issue anymore, I hope the game grows more because of it.