CES Forum

The CES Forum allows fans of Cracked Egg Studios productions to get to know each other and discuss news and releases in a friendly environment. Cracked Egg Studios often takes the suggestions of its forum users when beginning a new project, allowing the community to shape the final presentation from even before pre-production.

The forum was not open when the Cracked Egg Studios web site launched on May 29, 2005, even though Forum was clearly an option in the site's menu. The Forum officially opened on June 6, 2005, featuring the first version of its layout.

For a list of categories and sub-forums, see List of forums.

Version 1.0

A screenshot from CES Forum v1.0.
The Forum was initially a modified version of the free Web Wiz Forums by Web Wiz Guide. Because of the specs of the servers hosting the CES site at the time, the ASP version of the forum, based on MS Access databases, was used. The forum contained numerous Google Adwords blocks because Cracked Egg Studios had not purchased a full license, and its logo was just a whole egg. Typing new posts was a challenge for users because entered text was invisible until submitted.

Version 2.0

Version 1.0 was not aesthetically pleasing and community activity was low. In order to improve, Cracked Egg Studios changed forum software to the advertisement-free open-source phpBB, which was not possible until servers were upgraded. In a long process of copy and paste, the information from Version 1.0's MS Access database was transferred to a MySQL database; however, dates and times for all previous posts were corrupted because of the UNIX timestamps used in MySQL.

On January 19, 2006, the corrupted Version 2.0 opened, but the color scheme was psychedelic, making it impossible to read some parts of the forum. Updates to aesthetics continued until January 21, 2006, when rewrites to stock skin templates were complete, using a black and red color scheme that was reminiscent of the Ni-Ki-Oh! logo.

Version 3.0

The upgrade to Version 2.0 yielded no increased community activity. Cracked Egg Studios converted to another open-source forum software that offered more security and more interactive features. Typed text could now be properly previewed before submission in Version 3.0, which was built on the Simple Machines Forum and opened February 21, 2006 with an event calendar and a Card of the Day section. By March 2, 2006, a Forum Store and a Donations page were also added. The forum sported a more professional skin, and activity finally began to improve.

Version 4.0

Community activity had increased between Version 2.0 and 3.0, but Cracked Egg Studios sought to further increase activity. By adding a Downloads section, visitors would have more incentive to join the Forum and become active users. The Simple Machines Forum software did not offer solutions for Download systems, and the Forum Store did not sell tangible items.

In an even longer process of copy & paste, the largest forum upgrade to that point began on June 1, 2006 and ended June 7, 2006.

A screenshot from CES Forum v5.0.
Version 4.0 used the professional forum software vBulletin, which had amazing support and innumerable addons. The new forum skin more closely matched the site design than any other skin previously, and timecodes corrupted from the Version 1.0 to 2.0 upgrade were finally corrected. New features included flash games, trivia quizzes, custom profiles, profile comments, and downloads governed by a new Points system.

Version 5.0

Cracked Egg Studios merged the entire web site into the architecture of the CES Forum on June 18, 2006. The entire site could now be contained in one window, and site and forum content could easily be combined. This improved the overall layout of the main site and allowed for improved news feeds and content management. The web site and the forum became one inseparable entity.

Version 6.0

Cracked Egg Studios launched a new version of The Vault on December 25, 2006. This update didn't affect the forum until The Vault was changed from wiki-based to forum-based in March 2007. Even though they could already be displayed together, this internal change meant that site and forum content were saved the same way. Users could interact and discuss site pages in the same way they could forum posts.

Version 7.0

A screenshot from early Version 7.0
After a year of mediocre success with VaultWiki, Cracked Egg Studios determined that sales could be improved if the site were given a fresh "more professional" layout, with standard dark-on-light color schemes. The various forums were separated into topics of interest. These topics were arranged in a wider, tabbed interface, with VaultWiki information and forums displayed on a separate tab from Studio productions.

On January 15, 2010, the VaultWiki portion of the site was moved to its own dedicated web site. This change was received well by both Cracked Egg Studios fans and VaultWiki users.

Version 7.0 would not be marked complete until the forum software itself had been upgraded to vBulletin 4. This did not occur until May 7, 2010, at which time the look of the forums had to be redone again.

Version 8.0

In January 2021, the web site closed for significant upgrades, and did not reopen to the public until February 8, 2022. The reopened site now used XenForo for its underlying forum software, rather than vBulletin.

The site theme remained visually similar to Version 7, but it included some updates such as a sticky navigation bar with a higher resolution logo, as well as more content built using VaultWiki, such as the News tab. The site's navigation tabs were also reorganized to bring more professional content forward and give the site a more corporate feel. Other improvements were made to the Store and the Egg Player.

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