25 October 2010

Theme Innovation

By Bryan

For once I am going to look past the SMF teams shortfalls, as I dont want everyone to think that that is purely the concern on SMF, yesterday in my post in General Chat on this forum, regarding Blocs Retirement, I quoted part of a message from Bloc to myself:


But you know as well as I that there are no real designers left :P The themesite is mostly people from Turkey nowadays, and while I have no objections to them, I do wonder where the enthusiastic Europeans and Americans not the least! are..gone into hiding?

In the above quote (I wish to explain I agree with every aspect of the quote), Bloc mentions that there are no real designers left, and this has been case for a while, true designers of SMF have been on decline, more so since Curve was released.  In January 2009, I proposed a new board of SMF, and it was agreed upon, the Theme Previews board was created, this was one of a few steps I took while on team to change the habbit that was loss of orignality.  The post I made on that board says:


This board has been set up so authors can show a preview and get reviews of there themes, smilies or even button sets before they submit them.  Originality is something that was big but as the user base and theme base of SMF has grown it has gradually stopped, to make way for mass designing, even though this is good as it increases the number of themes the spirit of helping each other, working together has been lost, many of the long time designers used this technique to improve their skills and see what people wanted, to get an idea simply search the Graphics and Templates board as well as the Themes board and you will see many discussions about developments of themes.

To keep flow better we have set a few rules for this board.

* No Support: Please do not ask for support on smf or the creations on this board, this board is for previews only.
* Use [Preview] in subject: This is simply so people can see it is a preview and keeps everyone on same level ( example. [Preview] Something Cool )
* Original Work Only: on this board we want to see unique and original work, nothing copyrighted, nothing made by someone else, simply your own work.
* Stay Calm: This is important please accept all reviews remember negative reviews are just as benificial as positive.

We all look forward to seeing what the users here at Simple Machines can come up with.

The Customization Team

When I wrote this, I did have a few authors in mind, mainly crip (I am being Blunt), crip had made many good designs BUT they all used the same code, just images changed, in essence masses of variations.  I will also admit that since then crip has removed alot of his themes and kept some of his more unique designs.  Now crip was not alone in this, Fussilet started the same way, shadow82x, Nas, myself, and many others but we all learnt and changed.

Now we see more and more designs coming from the turkish Community, and while there are a few good themes, most of them … well in honesty they should be glad that themes dont get rejected for burining peoples eyes, now while I respect them for continuing, there has been a large drop in unique designers from outside Turkey.  In essence on top of my head two authors that comtinues to make themes that are unique and to a high quality are Bikken and Tamuril, if we must add another and to a lesser extent we add crip, thats 3 competent people making smf themes.

So where has it all went wrong, when I started there where loads of themers, akabugeyes (yes he used to do themes), .diplomat, akhyne, Justyne, Bloc, Forsakenlad, Aaron, jasidog, forsakenlad and even Tippmaster.  These people were big names when I started, and they are just a few, what happened to this big list, why has it died down to one or two.  I never ment to bring it this way but is it cause of how the team are thinking, is it cause theme authors are caring more about mods than what looks good, so they are keeping with variations, variations are good for one thing and thats promotion of quantity not quality and thats what smf needs, needs mroe quality themes.    Where is the innovation in themes.  Bloc was innovative, he tried various times to make themes show a different light, Simplicity and Minimalism even eren tried this with Bloggy, gazmanafc showed the world that themes dont have to be limited and made a theme with over 80 different features, in his theme Around the world in 80 Settings, so why is it only a few themes that has all this, this shows these show that innovation is out there, but why do no modern authors add these?