The past two weeks we started a rapid development on HONLY, a place for greek players of Heroes of Newerth game. The initial goal was to design a site from the scratch, create a user database and integrate SimpleMachines forums in it. Well we did it, in record time!

Screenshot from the website

Screenshot from the website

Dewfall did a great job designing a gamish style that reminds a lot of HoN but still has its own personality. The style is based on dark colors which suits more for this game.

This was the first time I was focusing only on translating raster image to CSS properties, without worrying about style itself. I must admit that it was a lot easier and I had all the time that I needed to tweak more CSS files, and not bother trying to figure which colors fits better using my untalented mind.

Apart from design there is a big part of development. HONLY will not be just a forum but it will be a set of applications that will help players, like the ladder, mods repository, signature etc. At first I though to implement everything with PHPLibs but then it seemed an overkill to create a forum from the scratch. So I grabbed the latest SimpleMachines forum (2.0 RC2) and started working on integrating it.

There were many issues to solve, like url routing, authentication realm, search, theme etc. Although not all of them were implemented, it is now clear to me how to set up them. The first thing I did was to solve url routing and with phplibs Stupid system it was like one line of code. Next I had to figure out how would be the UI consistent in forum and in the rest of the site, and this was the hard part for me. I search around on internet and nothing helped me, so I made a copy of the default “Curve” SMF Theme and starting playing with it.

SMF has a very simple template system, no mysterious markup language or files with unknown format, it was straight forward PHP, which for me was easy to read and change. I started from changing the CSS files and after changing over 150 rules the site started looking in proper colors. Then I focused on rewriting the header from the scratch, I reimplemented a much richer but more minimal login form, powered by jquery for some simple effects. The final website was exactly what Dewfall had designed and this made us happy with this work.

Bite is the domain name inventor and will be the main moderator of the forum too. He has already started creating groups, boards , and testing any side of the forum. Friends of us have registered their self on the site and the user base started growing.

We hope greek HoN players to love it and use it.