There should have been some type of a tour for the new BVEStation, but for whatever reason that didn't happen. So this topic will give you a quick picture tour of the new BVEStation, and I'm sure more than half of you guys still haven't explored the other 75%. The forums are not the site!
As obvious as it is, if you visit the homepage of BVEStation now, we now have a 3 column layout allowing us to display more information than we could have previously. This is the best way to get a general overview of the happenings on and around BVEStation. Everything from news, to Photo of the Month, to all our social networking pages. You will likely find it on our homepage, and we hope you are bookmarking that and not the forum. (Shame to the people that only bookmark the forum.)
Next up is the meat of the new BVEStation, its redesigned navigation system.
On the very top of the page, present on every single BVEStation webpage, including the forum is the transparent navigation menu. This is designed to get you to the major parts of the website, with the most useful information always just a top away. To the left of that is the mini info ticker. If you are logged into BVEStation, you will be given direct access to your personal messages, and notifications of any new ones if they are present in the BVEStation Forums.
Under the banner is our new redesigned navigation menu.
The black menu roughly represents BVEStation's pages, while the gray menu roughly represents BVEStation's community. The more intimate connections will likely take place in the gray menu, so (with the exception of the forums) you can interact with other members of the BVEStation community through those links. This includes Teamspeak, Chat, and the Multiplayer Systems. You can find out more about our staff on our staff page. The black menu is where all the meat is for our users.
You can find access to Downloads, Guides, Development Information, and more. These pages are perfect for those who have questions on BVE or BVE development. Please look at these pages if you are interested in any of those two and use the forum as a last resort for questions. We're always happy to help your last resort questions on the forum regarding any issues. (Just post them in the right location)
With that we have our new Downloads Section, which hopefully you have gotten used to by now.
Presented on the left column are the categories which downloads are now organized in. So you can now view downloads by their type. Routes also have an additional non-fiction/fiction category as well. This is designed to help you find what your looking for much easier than before. There is also a new search feature to the downloads in which you can simply search for the route you are looking for based on keywords. Great for fast searches for a specific file in the downloads.
In the middle we have our main download info boxes, sorted by latest release dates, here you can find the latest download always at the very top. So no more guessing which route was released first.
In the info box includes a title, and author. There is also a new Download Now which downloads the main file of the route instantly without viewing the information, great for users who are simply redownloading routes for whatever reason, and the More Info link for a detailed page of the downloads with dependencies, videos, description, screenshots, and more. Then there's the number of views, a rating, release date, size, and what versions of BVE the route works with.
For those of you who miss the old downloads section with the bullets, we have miniaturized that and placed it on the right. So you can now have quick access to your favorite non-fictional downloads with a simple click like the downloads once was. In addition a route progress will also be displayed if the route is not yet released for download. A future quick access will be placed for trains too.
So now lets take a look at an actual downloads page.
As a variation of our older downloads page, this one includes much more information in a fun and intuitive way for users. Again we have a info box at the very top of the page. Self explanatory... Then we have the new media section on the right of the page. Users will be able to hover over a screenshot which will then display on the larger preview right on top of it. For a larger screenshot, just click the larger preview to view the screenshot in full. Right under the screenshots is our youtube video section, featuring our users operating the very route or train we have displayed on our downloads. And of course we have our description and right below that we have our rating system, in which if you are logged into BVEStation you can post a rating, and of course the main download links and the dependencies. Dependencies are files which you need to run the route. There will also be a 7zip alternative and a MD5 Checksum for the main-downloads on selected non-fictional routes.
If you notice we've also placed strip maps, thanks to Lance on our downloads section.
Finally we end our tour with the gallery.
Remember those screenshots I've mentioned about in the downloads section? You are allowed to upload screenshots directly and instantly to the downloads page of your choice. All you have to do is have an excellent screenshot, and log into BVEStation. Then click the gallery link at the black menu bar, and you will be given the option to upload a screenshot of your own, and have it displayed!
So that concludes our tour of the new BVEStation. I encourage each one of you guys to check out all the links in the new navigation system to explore the site, you are bound to find more goodies that I haven't covered here! Enjoy.