As you may, or may not know, I am the owner of Project-GC. It's my "fault" that everything changed, and I apologize for that, though I still feel that it was the right thing to do.
I won't go into any details here. Clappy and pinkunicorn has been involved in the whole project, and what they have written comes from the team.
You should know that you are now seeing the third iteration, and probably not the final result. Clappy has been excellent to work with and I have full confidence in the fact that he will make it even better.
When I say "even better", I say that because in my opinion, these badges do actually look good, in my eyes. Yes, the background is a bit washed out, we were aware of that, and we (clappy) will see what he can do with it. As he has mentioned though, it's pretty much the same background as the old Badges.
My favorite quote here is this:
I've been looking at them for a few weeks now (the link on the FB-page from a few weeks ago worked the whole time), so maybe it's just a matter of getting used to them? They are much more 'calm' to the eyes I think (the StatBar looks great too!). If the situation was reversed, and the new ones had existed for years, and were changed by the old ones, many people would say there was no need for a change.
I truly believe the second part here is the case. I personally love the BadgeGen design as well, and what I am writing now is in no way meant as criticism for that design, or the work of Kyle. But I do believe the new badges are more thought through, easier to read/understand the icons, and has a more common design with each other. With a few exceptions of course, for example Earth and CITO, which is just waiting for their turn.
For two years I have been trying to update/evolve the Badge-system in different ways. The Addon-system was the primary goal, and I never managed to get it working/looking good with the original Badge-design. Therefore, I felt that a new design, from scratch, was necessary. I still believe that. And that's not because I dislike the original BadgeGen, because I really don't.
During these two years we have actually more than once announced that we have been looking for a designer for new Badges. The response has been super low. Clappy saw the result of that, with our first redesign. Since he didn't like it, he made a few suggestions and sent those over. That's how this cooperation started. What I am mostly impressed by, is that he has managed to design 40 very visually readable icons. That and his patience, independence and his ability to shake of unconstructive criticism. :) Constructive criticism is great though, which we have seen more of the last 24 hours.
The old BadgeGen is still technically available. Currently, anyone who has a paid membership can add the url parameter bgv3 when viewing Profile stats to see their old Badges. Example: http://project-gc.com/ProfileStats/magma1447?bgv3
If it becomes a popular request, we could very well make it available as a standard for those users who wants it. However!
- They won't be able to access any of the new features/changes made.
- At some point we will lose interest to maintain old code, the fewer that uses them, the sooner we would stop maintaining it.
I personally don't think too many would like to stick with the old when there is a new system which is more feature rich and have more rewards available.
Regarding adjusted requirements. The changes you see is the first iteration of those. It's the biggest, without a doubt, and it shows the direction we want. We will most likely update the requirements at least once more, but then much less. We do have a very conservatory mindset in regards of requirements. For those who don't know it, BadgeGen has also been updated during the years. Some of the requirements there could be considered as having been unbalanced from the start, others because Geocaching has changed. Some good ideas has turned out being silly in the end, because of misbehavior from Geocachers (like The Author). In 1-2 months, we want our new Badge-system to be considered fixed for years to come, at least in regards of requirements for those Badge levels that exists now.
Anyway. I wasn't supposed to go into details already discussed, so I'll stop here. What I really wanted to say is that I will be Live on the podcast GeoGearHeads. Friday 3 am - 4 am CET (the night between Thursday and Friday). You are welcome to join that podcast show and ask me any questions. I can answer things like:
- Any technical design decision.
- What has been tested and what hasn't.
- What we have thought on and haven't.
- Changed requirements.
- What has been discussed/tried with Clappy.
- Parts of what Clappy is planning.
- New badges coming.
- Removed/merged badges and why.