The Future of The SFC Group

What is up guys, this is Sage from The SFC Group, and I'm here today to talk about some major announcements related to what we're working on. We've been keeping it hush-hush for quite some time, but now it's finally time to announce it to the world!

Let's begin, shall we?

The SFC Group Celebrates its 3rd Anniversary!

We've come a long way from The SFC Group just being a hobby, to now a huge content creation organization that rolls out Tech, gaming, and sometimes entertaining content! We've got a lot of stuff to offer in celebration of our 3rd anniversary, and that's all going to be explained below!

So let's get started with our first big announcement...

The SFC Site 2 Beta 3 Rolls Out Next Week!

The third beta of the second major release of The SFC Site is coming around the corner, and we've got a lot to offer with this one. I would like to talk about it, but why not have the changelog below explain it?

The SFC Site 2 Beta 3 Changelog
- Backstage & Newsletter added in the navigation bar as “Notify Me”
- Moved "About Us" page to the More section
- The SFC Blog is now its own separate website
- Polls and Announcements moved to The SFC Blog site
- New SFC Wallpaper added: Forest in the Distance
- Improved mobile site
- Enhanced Tech Selections of the Week page
- Added 3 more Frontpage buttons on the Homepage
- Bunch of improvements and bug fixes

The SFC Site 2 Beta 3 will be rolling out to Backstage & Newsletter subscribers on October 15th at 10AM Eastern, so make sure to sign up for our service to get access to it!

Sign up to Backstage & Newsletter today:

But that's NOT all...

Introducing Codename Early Access!

Yes, you heard that right: Today we are announcing a new special kind of forum from The SFC Group, called Codename Early Access, powered by the Simple Machines Forum, and is the new home to our exclusive content!

So what does the Early Access forum have? Well, I'm glad you've asked. Early Access is split into three sections:

- General
- General Discussion: Discuss on tech, gaming, or other non-SFC topics.
- Information: General information and rules of the Early Access forum.
- Exclusive Content of the Month: Every month, we offer early access to one of our content.

The General section is accessible to all, which means Guests can view this section as well. But to reply or post something on the forum, you'll need to register for an account.

- Early Access
- Technology Showdown: Discussions on our animated show based on Computer Showdown.
- PiOS: Discussions on our user-friendly desktop-centric operating system for the Raspberry Pi.
- SFC Games: Announcements and development builds of SFC Games.
- The SFC Archives: Old SFC content going all the way back to our infancy.
- The SFC Site 2: Development builds of The SFC Site version 2.
- Fan Corner: Send in your own fan content (as long as it's appropriate) for the users to see!
- Announcements and More: Announcements on what's new for The SFC Group. (Child boards consist of Project Requests and Coming Soon)

Registered Early Access users get access to this section, which is where the main stuff is.

- Early Access Pro
It has everything that Early Access has, but with more. With Early Access Pro, you can:
- Watch our new Youtube videos early before the public does
- Get Pro-exclusive content that is ONLY accessible with Early Access Pro
- Download Early Access Pro development builds of PiOS and our games

This section will only be accessible to Early Access Pro users, which will be a giveaway only during our gaming sessions for now. It will eventually be donationware when The SFC Site 2 gets officially released, with a price yet to be determined.

And that's all we've got for this new forum! Codename Early Access and Early Access Pro will be launching next week (October 15th, 2016) in Beta form. We'll need your feedback on the new forum, so make sure to sign up for it when it rolls out!

We want everyone to get their hands on it, so we'll be including it in the "Notify Me" page alongside Backstage & Newsletter in The SFC Site 2, but we'll also be including it in The SFC Site 1.x releases as well, in the form of The SFC Site version 1.6.7 (also rolling out next week):

The SFC Site Version 1.6.7 Changelog
- Backstage & Newsletter added in the navigation bar as “Notify Me”
- Added Codename Early Access to the Notify Me page
- Moved "About Us" page to the More section

Check out Codename Early Access here: (now closed)

Now going back to Tech news...

PiOS Development is finally back on track!

PiOS, our user-friendly desktop-centric operating system for the Raspberry Pi, has been on a development hiatus for quite some time, but we're now back with it, and the next Alpha version of PiOS will be rolling out in mid-October! The next Alpha version, Alpha 1.2.1, will have the following features:

PiOS Alpha 1.2.1 Changelog
- Updated Wallpapers
- Camera Test app now has its own app icon
- Updated all dependencies to the latest version

But that's not all. We're announcing Alpha 1.3.0, which will be rolling out later this year! We are planning to include an omxplayer graphical front, along with some bundled games, new wallpapers, a new custom theme, and a whole bunch more!

Check out PiOS here: (now closed)

Finally, to end things off...

New Youtube Videos coming later this year!

- SFC Plays Train Simulator: Workshop Mania is coming back! We're now taking requests on what scenarios I should play for Workshop Mania. Send in your requests on our Steam discussion page or on the Video Suggestions page of our website.

- Other Let's Plays are coming on the horizon! While I can't play American Truck Simulator or Rocket League due to computer performance issues, I'll still be doing more let's play's for other games, mostly mobile games. These games include:
- Dragon Box Algebra 12+
- Minecraft Pocket Edition
- Pac-Man Friends
- Toontown Rewritten

- New Tech Videos coming soon. Our tech videos have been getting a decent amount of positive feedback, and I'm happy to say that new tech videos are on the horizon!

- The Raspberry Pi Guide: Raspbian Linux Review will be available next week. As of when I'm writing this post, I'm currently working on editing the video. It should be out as soon as possible, so stay tuned!

- The next Software Room video will focus on Windows XP Media Center Edition (all versions), requested by one of our fans. It will come after the Raspberry Pi Guide: Raspbian Linux video.

- The 4th episode of The Computer Cellar will focus on my newly acquired iPhone SE, including the OtterBox case! It will also be the first SFC video in 1080p HD at a true 24 frames per second, and will be filmed with a DSLR! Production on the episode will begin between late October and early November, and the full episode should come out between late November and early December.

And of course, our new videos will be available early via Early Access Pro, so yeah...another reason to go Pro!

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel:

But there is one more thing I almost forgot to mention...

Announcing the 2016 Marble Blast Platinum Championships!

Last year, we hosted our first Marble Blast Platinum championship, and it proved to be popular. Well, the championships are back for 2016, and oh boy, is there a lot! For this year's championship, we're introducing a new point system, we'll be giving away 2 Early Access Pro passes to players who join our server each month, and of course, by the end of the championships, we'll be giving away fabulous prizes!

More information on the 2016 Marble Blast Platinum championships can be seen here:

That's all we've got to offer for the future of The SFC Group. If you have any thoughts or questions on what we have to offer, feel free to leave a comment if you have one! As always, I'll see you in the not-too-distant future!

- Sage from The SFC Group