Regarding styling, the theme should be appropriate for a generic MMO site. I am not devoted to a particular color scheme, but we do not prefer extreme contrast (i.e., no lime green on pitch black, no hot pink on white). Something muted and professional is desired, as we frequently host game developers. Obviously, when a designer is selected, we can talk more about the specifics.
The two themes should be similar, but one should be a lighter variety and one should be darker. Both themes should be wide (not controlled), mainly because we have so many categories/forums. Additionally, forum categories should feature a different cog image for each game represented. Here are examples:
We have existing cogs for most games, but we need to brainstorm about how to connote whether or not a forum has new posts. I have a high rez PSD of the cog, but it may be necessary for the designer to alter the PSD to give it the "gritty" feel that the cogs about feature.
I am tentatively offering $200 USD for completion of this project, though this is negotiable. Please send portfolios or concepts to me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions are also welcome, whether by email, conversation, or posted below.
Thank you for your assistance.