- Candles Against the Night
This website was reviewed 11 Jan 2004 when the site was at the GeoCities URI. Geocities has ceased operation, but one of our readers found the site at the WebRing URI.
This website, by Keven R. Pittsinger, is focused on the Reavers' Deep sector circa 1125. The home page is organised into three main sections: the main body of the site, a "Coming Soon" section (only lists "DED's Dice Roller"), and some assorted character generation software for download. The main body of the site is further divided into ten different topics. The title of the site (Candles Against the Night) is only visible on the title bar, the page itself has a large CT style logo graphic that mentions the Reavers' Deep sector and then loudly proclaims it has "4 of 5 stars" from Hyphen. The overall style is of white and yellow bullet points centered on a black starry background. And as soon as you arrive you are greeted by 2 script errors ... in fact almost every page has 1 or 2 script errors and this rapidly gets very irritating.
- The first main topic is a "History of Reavers' Deep". An article of modest length that introduces the sector. Style-wise it is white text on a black starry background. The text fills the browser window from edge to edge (even when you resize your browser).
- Next comes "A Pilot's Guide to Reavers' Deep": a set of 16 subsectors, each with a map (executed, I believe, with TrTools), an HTML table of stats, and some descriptive text.
- The "House Rules" topic is fairly minor and under-developed.
- Clicking on "Characters" brings up a page with 9 PCs and 8 NPCs. Each has a name, UPP, and description. It would have been nice to see the skills as well, but even so, many of these could be adaptable as NPCs in other campaigns. Stylistically, the names should have been emphasised to make them stand out more, and the use of centered text is overused.
- The "Campaign Log" has 2 session entries (so far). Each entry contains a substantial amount of (centered) text.
- "Das Boats" contains links to several ships (both military and civilian). Stats use High Guard and some have deck plans. One strange aspect is the text has a different size on different pages.
- Clicking on "Download" doesn't take you to another page but downloads a zip file of the Reavers Deep sector data in TrTools format.
- "Library Data" takes you just where you'd expect: one big long text file of library data entries (centered).
- "Alternative Character Rollup" contains some minor house rules for T4 character generation.
- Finally, "Money" takes you to a page that describes a dozen key currencies, lists their exchange rates in 1120 and 1125, and gives reasons for the change between those two dates.
Summary: The initial impression is slightly negative ... the content of the site is marred by poor typographical skills (high contrast white text on black background, excessive use of centering, and typographical style inconsistencies) and the 'obligatory' script errors on every page. But beneath these cosmetic flaws there are the seeds of what could become a first rate site: a detailed sector, and a selection of characters and ships ... nicely focussed to support a Reavers' Deep campaign. I particularly liked the exchange rate information.
Improvements: First and foremost - those script errors need eliminating. Next, the typographical elements need fixing (white text on black tends to look amateurish, text should be consistent across all pages, the use of different sized text to indicate subheadings, body text should be constrained from filling a browser window and should be justified or left aligned rather than centered, etc). Also, I'd place the "Alternative Character Rollup" link on the "House Rules" page, and the "Download" link on the "Pilot's Guide" page. Other than that "content is king", so keep adding the good stuff ... perhaps some organisations, key planets, other equipment, maybe a selection of 'recent' TNS style bulletins ... I'll be revisiting this site soon to mine it for resources. (One last point, although Far Future Enterprises' copyright is acknowledged the 'Marc Miller approved' site-wide disclaimer is missing.)