Alien Soup (AlienSoup.com)

Kevin

Well-known member
Alien Soup @ AlienSoup.com is, as you likely guessed from the name :p, a site geared towards sci-fi fans while welcoming fans also of just about any other genre you can think of. It is my primary site that I work on and is a hobby site in the sense that I do it for the enjoyment and not for financial gain.

The origins of the site date back to the 1980's when I used to run a sci-fi BBS name "Farpoint Station BBS" using PC Board; at the time it was one of the larger free BBS sites offering multiple dial-in numbers and network connection to FIDO, RIME, and others. As the days of BBSs waned I started a web site that was mostly news and sci-fi related downloads. Originally it was all hand-coded HTML pages before switching to Coranto, a perl script for news content. In 2003 I became a vBulletin customer and on March 21, 2004, we switched domains & name (to "Cool Sci-Fi" @ CoolSciFi.com) and software to vBulletin 3.0.0, just two days after vB 3.0.0 was released to the public. The community has attracted a number of published authors in our Books forum and had some nice inbound links to others sections like the Gallery.

Running vBulletin for many years we eventually fell into the trap of add-on overload. vBadvanced CMPS, vBa Links, vBa Gallery, vBa Dynamics, v3 Arcade, a bunch of bespoke stuff, and so on. I held off converting to vB4 for a number of reasons and with vB5 I could not see a viable upgrade path for me staying within the vB ecosystem so, with excitement, I was one of the first XenForo customers. :D

I have several XF licenses and have been running it for a while but held off converting Cool Sci-Fi until the time was right. Recently, the time was right. :coffee:

With the switch to XF I looked at it as a reboot of the site and a chance to return it to its original core function of discussion. For now, at least, that means no portal, no gallery, no major add-ons, and what add-ons are present are minimal to the end user. For now the only negative feedback from that decision is that as part of the migration we lost the hundreds of images we had in our old gallery with vB; I am still looking into options about how to possibly bring them into XF.

The two custom styles we have, along with all of the graphics, were done by Kim of Xenique. "Doo Wop" is a blue & pink pastel style meant to invoke the retro feel of a 50's diner while "Detroit Steel" is a more traditional 'sci-fi' design with darker colors with red highlights. There have been some... interesting :ROFLMAO:... feedback regarding the Doo Wop style along with a good amount of positive feedback as well since it breaks away from the stereotypical color schemes used by most genre sites.

Well, enough of me rambling. Please feel free to come visit and post your thoughts.


UPDATES​

  • In 2015 "Cool Sci-Fi" @ coolscifi.com was renamed to "Alien Soup" @ aliensoup.com so I've updated the name change above. The "Alien Soup" name was a site that @Alien used to run and when the name became available I acquired it from him (too cool of a name & logo for me to pass up!); I'm not sure where the content from that site ended up. These days Alien can be found atWTF.com while I've since stopped working on all of my other misc. sites & projects and now just hang out at AS.
 
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Shelley

Well-known member
Excellent looking style kev. Kim did a great job with this one, The retro diner look has been pulled off perfectly and the colours just gel together nicely.
 

Kim

Well-known member
I love your site Kevin, some wonderful members and great content!

The reaction to Doo Wop was hysterically funny LOL :p glad we could put together a more conventional version to please the masses! :D

Thanks for the kind words about the theme Shelley! As I am sure you could imagine, Kevin was a total honey to work with during the process!!! :)
 

BlackCobra

Member
I do like your site Kevin, however, I don't like the pink at all. The only thing on the site that could've turned me away is pink, as it's quite a bright color and stands out a little too much from the other colors, I'd suggest on either using a dark pink or changing that color, other than that I have no additional suggestions, however, I may become a member of your site soon :)
 

Kevin

Well-known member
Excellent looking style kev. Kim did a great job with this one, The retro diner look has been pulled off perfectly and the colours just gel together nicely.
Thanks, Shelley! :)

I love your site Kevin, some wonderful members and great content!
We are a small but friendly bunch there. :D
The reaction to Doo Wop was hysterically funny LOL :p glad we could put together a more conventional version to please the masses! :D
I still laugh at myself for not realizing until the last minute that, while the blue & pink scheme might be retro for some people, it conjures up totally different impressions for other people. Whoops! :X3: :ROFLMAO:

I do like your site Kevin, however, I don't like the pink at all.
Did you check out the "Detroit Steel" style available? We knew that the blue & pink style was not going to be for everybody so the custom rocket logo looks great also with the alternative style that is darker with shades of grey, chrome, & red.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
I like the pink (no not that pink) ;) the pink colouring on the site. It's what sets this as being unique to your bog standard average sci-fi site. It's easy to go with standards, to be adventurous in colour usuage is more difficult and I honestly feel it's paid off. There's a few spacing issues I've noticed but nothing major (forgot to mention them last time kev) . I wouldn't change the colour ( The Pink ), it's what makes the site unique so I'd suggest not to change the colour.

Edit: Just posted kev with the spacing suggestion at you site.
 

Kevin

Well-known member
... it's what makes the site unique so I'd suggest not to change the colour.
That is my thought process as well and, love it or hate it, the blue & pink style will remain the default style while offering an alternative in a more traditional color scheme.

Edit: Just posted kev with the spacing suggestion at you site.
Thanks, just fixed it! :) The spacing issue was me making a few tweaks that apparently broke the alignment that Kim originally had. :(
 

BlackCobra

Member
Thanks, Shelley! :)

We are a small but friendly bunch there. :D
I still laugh at myself for not realizing until the last minute that, while the blue & pink scheme might be retro for some people, it conjures up totally different impressions for other people. Whoops! :X3: :ROFLMAO:

Did you check out the "Detroit Steel" style available? We knew that the blue & pink style was not going to be for everybody so the custom rocket logo looks great also with the alternative style that is darker with shades of grey, chrome, & red.
Didn't even think about looking at the alternative styles available, I love the Detroit Style, looks amazing
 

Kevin

Well-known member
Don't let the name fool 'ya, we are most than just sci-fi. :D Some recent changes....

Coming up will be some type of contest/giveaway, just not sure yet in what form. We have licenses for both Chris D's Competitions add-on and for Snog's Raffles add-on so not sure if one of them will be used as our standard way of doing contests/giveaways or just do forum posts.
 

Kevin

Well-known member
Wow, a bunch of changes since this post!

The site is still around but the name was changed to pick up the "Alien Soup" mantle so it is now https://AlienSoup.com. I'll try to edit the first post in a bit to reflect the name change.

I recently migrated to XF2 and the silver/red theme was ported over. I'm not sure if I'll port over the blue/magenta theme yet. I think I got most of the style tweaks done; just did the email templates this week which I had missed initially.

The site is still my little hobby spot on the net that I do for fun & keep me busy mentally. Everybody & anybody is welcome, just play nice.
 

Woujija

New member
Great skin and theme. I grew up on science fiction, putting together model monster kits and watching The Twilight Zone and cheesy late shows with giant crabs. : ) I'm 70 now and my favorite sci-fi movie (other than Blade Runner) is the 2014 Automata. I'm not big on the fantasy anime stuff, probably due to my age. Thanks.
 
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