Saturday, February 25, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The SFC Site 2, SFC Live, Train Sim Month, and More!


UPDATE: The SFC Site 2 was updated to 2.0.1 to fix a major home button bug, and the "Receive SFC news" option during Backstage & Newsletter registration is no longer required to use the SFC Live and B&N Exclusive Content options.

We have been extremely busy during the past few weeks, but things have been going pretty well when it comes to our content. Today, we have 4 major announcements to cover, and they are pretty exciting ones, too:

1. The SFC Site 2 has been officially released to the public!


Today marks the day of release for The SFC Site version 2, the biggest update to our website yet! It has been in development since Summer 2016, and now it is finally finished and ready for the viewing!

Here is what has changed from The SFC Site 1.6.7:

The SFC Site version 2.0.1 (released on March 4th, 2017)
- The Receive SFC News option is no longer required to use the SFC Live and B&N Exclusive Content options when registering to Backstage & Newsletter
- Fixed a major home button (The SFC Group logo) bug where clicking on it would do nothing

The SFC Site version 2.0 (released on February 25th, 2017)
- Completely Redesigned Frontpage
- 7 Homepage Buttons total (plus the Frontpage image)
- Homepage buttons when you rollover them shows the meaning
- Version number, copyright disclaimer, and Mobile Site link now shown on every page of the website
- Added Twitter and removed Vimeo from the social link bar

- Completely Redesigned Series page that's now compact
- Three Categories of content: Tech, Gaming, and Entertaining Content
- Series buttons when you rollover them shows a briefing for that series

- Completely Redesigned Mobile Central
- Now has a pretty-looking Modern UI
- Includes the new Series page redesign
- The SFC Blog is no longer embedded
- Contact Email system changed
- Version number and copyright disclaimer permanently embedded at the bottom
- Optimized for both mobile devices, tablets, as well as desktops

- Added The SFC Archives to the Downloads page
- See The SFC Group's Archived Content dating back to 2015, 2014, and 2013
- 8 archived videos currently up (exclusive to The SFC Site for now)
- Includes SFC logo evolution with SFC Website Evolution Online Museum opening in Spring 2017

- Added SFC Live page to the More section
- Access to latest SFC Live episode and IRC Chatroom
- Includes Live Agenda, Live Schedule & Polls, Chatroom Rules and Regulations, IRC Help/Tips, and SFC Live Trivia Leaderboard and Rules

- Added the Technology Showdown soundtrack to the Music downloads page
- Added two new wallpapers: Forest in the Distance and Icon Wars (formerly a B&N exclusive)
- Backstage & Newsletter, Video Requests, and Contact Email system changed
- Backstage & Newsletter, Video Requests, and Contact Us forms now have reCAPTCHA 2.0
- Revamped Backstage & Newsletter registration

- You can now have the options to receive SFC Live notifications and Backstage & Newsletter exclusive content separately (requires Receive SFC News option to be selected; may be fixed 2.0.1)

- Enhanced Donate page (donation system currently broken at this time)
- Enhanced About Us page with a new "We've Been Places" section and revamped SFC Members' list
- Enhanced Video Requests page (formerly Video Suggestions)
- Enhanced Tech Selections of the Week page with images now
- Enhanced Apple Product and Software Generators (includes CCL Random Apple Product Generator)

We appreciate the feedback of our new website during its development, and now is your time to try it out and see what you think! And as always, if you see any bugs in the new website, please report it to us here.

Anyways, onto the second announcement:

2. SFC Live is making a triumphant return! 


SFC Live has been on a hiatus for a while (a month to be exact), but now it's about time to return to livestreaming some gaming and shenanigans!

Now most of the announcements related to SFC Live will be talked about during the annoucements segment, but if you would to know what is going on, we have a live agenda prepared on our website here:
http://www.sagefun.com/live

But for those who want to know now, we'll give you a couple of new updates:

SFC Live is now gonna be streaming in 720p HD! With our new equipment we have acquired, we are able to stream in the best resolution possible.

Rocket League and Train Simulator: Workshop Mania are making their debut on SFC Live this week! We were unable to stream both games last month due to performance issues, but now that they have been resolved, we will be able to stream not only Rocket League, but also Train Simulator, again in 720p!

The rest we'll keep a secret for now. Please make sure you tune in to SFC Live on Saturday Nights at 7PM Eastern/6PM Central/12AM GMT for some gaming and shenanigans!

Now let's get on with the third announcement:

3. Train Simulator Month: The Revenge begins on March 6th!


We have teased Train Sim Month for 2017 since the end of 2016, but now it's official. Train Simulator Month: The Revenge will be starting on March 6th, with a North Jersey Coast Line let's play video, followed by a Train Sim railfanning video later during that day!

More details of what we're doing during Train Sim Month: The Revenge can be seen in our previous post here (scroll down til you get to it). More information will be announced during SFC Live.

4. Our Youtube Channel is currently undergoing changes!


Our Youtube channel has been getting slowly more followers every day, and we are glad to see newcomers to our content! However, we haven't been uploading a lot of decent content lately, but now that we have new equipment to use, everything should go back to normal in terms of our video and livestream schedule.

Prior to March, we are doing major changes to our Youtube channel currently. Most of these changes will be coming from our older videos, such as video description updates. However, we are introducing some new changes to our channel that are available now:

- You can now watch our old SFC Live streams on our Youtube channel for the public to see! It is available below the Entertaining Content section, so if you want to relive the old streams, go ahead and watch them to your leisure!

- We're bringing back the discussion tab on our Youtube channel! If you have any questions related to The SFC Group, or if you have any tech or gaming related questions, you can send them in through the discussion tab right now!

During the Youtube channel changes, videos that haven't received the update treatment yet will have the comments disabled for that video. As of when I'm writing this post, all of our pre-2016 SFC content have received the update treatment.

And also now that we've acquired new equipment, we can get back to doing proper tech and gaming content again! Here's a quick summary of most of the video series that are getting updates:

Tech Content:
- The Software Room series will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- The Computer Cellar series will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- The Raspberry Pi Guide series will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.

Gaming Content:
- SFC Plays Minecraft episodes will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- The SFC Plays Train Simulator let's play series will be making a triumphant return to Youtube during Train Sim Month: The Revenge.
- SFC Plays Marble Blast episodes will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- SFC Plays Games let's play videos will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- We will continue to do SFC Editorials on Train Simulator DLC (such as more of Gary's scenario packs) and third-party freeware add-ons (such as the US Freight Car pack) and mods (such as the locomotive physics packs)

Entertaining Content:
- Technology Showdown: The Prologue is currently in production, however we're still aiming for the Summer 2017 release date. Due to Train Sim Month: The Revenge getting in the way, production will grind to a halt until work on TS Month is over.

So that's all we have to offer for now! More announcements will be made during SFC Live, so make sure you tune in tonight (February 25th) for some incredible updates to our content!

For now, I'll see you in the not-too-distant future!

- Sage from The SFC Group

Saturday, February 18, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 2!


This is it! Development on The SFC Site 2 is almost over! After the release of Release Candidate 1, it would make sense to release the final development build of The SFC Site 2, Release Candidate 2, exclusively to Backstage & Newsletter users!

If you missed out the previous Release Candidate, don't worry! Now is your time to check out what's been changed! Like Release Candidate (RC) 1, Release Candidate 2 is available today through our free email service, Backstage & Newsletter. If you're already subscribed to our newsletter, you should gain access to it so be sure to check your inbox! Here's what has changed in RC2 compared to RC1:

The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 2 (released on February 18th, 2017)
- Updated SFC Live Page with a Project Smartie tab
- Bunch of improvements and bug fixes

Like we've said before, this is the final development build of The SFC Site 2, and the final release goes live on February 25th at 10AM Eastern, replacing Public Beta 2 as the main website.

If you notice any bugs in the latest website dev build, please report it to us by contacting us here:
http://www.sagefun.com/contact.html

If you haven't signed up to Backstage & Newsletter yet, it's pretty simple really. Just sign up with an email address, and that's all you need to do! To get access to The SFC Site 2 development builds and other exclusive content, you will need to enable the "Receive SFC News" and "Receive Backstage & Newsletter exclusive content" subscription options.

Sign up to Backstage & Newsletter today:
http://www.sagefun.com/news.html

Oh, and before I go, there is one more thing...


When you looked at the changelog for The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 2, you probably may have noticed "Project Smartie". What is it you may ask? Well, I'll explain right here:

Project Smartie is a work-in-progress name for our new live trivia game coming to SFC Live this March. It is heavily inspired by CC Trivia, a live trivia show hosted by the Computer Clan back in the good ol' days of their livestreams (when they didn't shove comedy down people's throats). Project Smartie is gonna be similar to CC Trivia in several ways, including how the points are counted, however there are going to be a bunch of differences.

Project Smartie is gonna be powered by a web browser, which means it can be played on ANY platform, including Linux. We're introducing three categories of questions, where it'll be randomized for each question. Finally, on the final round of each game, we'll be giving away $20 Steam or iTunes credit to the 1st place winner!

As of right now, Project Smartie is currently in development, and won't be finished until early March. We're also planning to make Project Smartie available for everyone to play for free, only on The SFC Site 2!

Project Smartie will be officially announced on February 25th at 7PM Eastern during SFC Live. We're planning to debut the official game on March 4th near the end of the gaming show segment. When we do start the game, we'll be explaining the rules, how the game works, and playing the first official game and round of this new trivia game. Please be sure to follow us on our social media pages for more information regarding Project Smartie.

That's all we currently have to offer. More exciting announcements will come later this February on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+), but for now, we'll see you in the not-too-distant future!

- Sage from The SFC Group

Saturday, February 11, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate!



After two successful public betas, The SFC Site 2 is on its last leg of the development phase! We're now moving onto the Release Candidate phase before its final release!

The SFC Site 2 has been in development since late 2016, and since the Public Beta release in December 2016, we've been getting a decent amount of positive feedback on the new site. Well, we are now wrapping up development of The SFC Site 2, however we still have features to implement and bugs to squash before its final release. That's why we have release candidates, which are going to be available exclusively through Backstage & Newsletter, our free email service!

The First Release Candidate for The SFC Site 2 is available today through Backstage & Newsletter, so if you're already subscribed to our newsletter, you should gain access to it so be sure to check your inbox! Here's what has changed from Public Beta 2:

The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 1 (released on February 11th, 2017)
- Added Icon Wars wallpaper in the Downloads section
- Improved Apple and Software Product Generators
- Contact Us section on Mobile Central now switched to the new Email Contact system
- Bunch of improvements and bug fixes

A second release candidate will also be available on Backstage & Newsletter only next week (February 18th), and hopefully we'll offer more content while squashing as many bugs as possible!

Finally, as you might have seen in the image above, The SFC Site 2 will be officially released to the public on February 25th, 2017! All changes from the 2 release candidates will be made to the current Public Beta 2 for its final release. The SFC Site 2 is the biggest website update we've ever put out, and we hope that you'll be excited for its final release as much as we do!

If you haven't signed up for Backstage & Newsletter yet, it's pretty simple really. Just sign up with an email address, and that's all you need to do! To get access to The SFC Site 2 development builds, you will need to enable the "Receive SFC News" and "Receive Backstage & Newsletter exclusive content" subscription options.

Sign up today:
http://www.sagefun.com/news.html

That's all we have for now. Tune in later this February for some more great updates we have for you. For now, we'll see you in the not-too-distant future!

- Sage from The SFC Group