originally posted by PWizard
Cheat Happens was launched on January 1, 2001. Now, 15 years later, we have re-launched the site with a new design, brand new features and a new focus on PC gaming. Back in 2001 the gaming landscape was very different than it is today. Roughly 99% of all games released across all devices had some sort of built-in cheat codes or functions. The simple press of a few random buttons or the typing of codes into a console would activate all the cheats you could ever need. Our site was created to gather those cheats and maintain a database where each code could be listed, described, printed and more. Fast forward to 2016 and now only 1% of all games released contain any type of built-in cheat codes or developer functions. Today we are left with only achievement and trophy lists and maybe the random hints or bug exploit. While we can't do anything about that in regards to consoles, we found a solution for PC gaming in the form of trainers. Cheat Happens has been producing exclusive trainers for going on 10 years now. Today we produce over 2,000 trainers per year and employ three full time programmers to develop and update trainers for as many games as humanly possible. With the latest version of our site, we're making it clear that our dedication and focus is squarely on the PC as we further expand our trainer library for both free and paid members alike.
So, what's new with Cheat Happens? In a word, everything. Before now, each version of the site was built upon the previous version with code stacked on top of code to the point where it became a jumbled mess of outdated functions and features. The new CH was coded from scratch, incorporating new HTML standards to increase speed, proficiency and usability. We built a better, faster site that will be much easier to update in the future. Here are some specifics:
New DESIGN. Darker, cleaner look that puts the focus squarely on the PC and our trainer library. We know that not everyone will appreciate the dark theme but it was time for a change. We just ask that you give it a chance. If you prefer the light theme, I can almost assure you that that sometime in the next 15 years we will change it back. Just hang in there.
New LOWER PRICES. We've dropped our yearly membership from $59.95 to $49.95 and our lifetime membership from $99.95 to $89.95. We've lowered prices on reward credits across the board.
More FREE CONTENT. Our team is dedicated to expanding our FREE TRAINER SERIES to more than 50 free trainers per month. These trainers will require NO REGISTRATION and will be clearly marked on the site as FREE. We hired a new, dedicated programmer that will focus entirely on releasing free trainers each and every month.
More TRAINERS. We've expanded our programming team and hired DDS full-time to produce an additional 50 trainers per month. In 2015 we released over 2,050 trainers. Our goal for 2016 is 3,000 trainers or 250 per month all while LOWERING prices instead of increasing them.
More VIDEO CONTENT. We're producing more trainer demonstration videos so that our visitors can see how each trainer works. These videos now play directly on the site instead of opening in a new window.
Streamlined REVIEWS. A new review layout with the latest trainer and wallpapers on a single page. You can also now see which reviews are coming up next. We plan to do more featured articles in 2016 and focus our reviews more on PC titles.
Revamped MESSAGE BOARDS. More compact and easier to read with new emoticons and functionality. We added a SEARCH function for each individual thread. Users will soon be able to attach files to messages and PMs to assist our admins in troubleshooting issues. New multi-step Q&A when posting regarding a trainer to make sure that posts end up where they belong and so that our staff can easily locate them. The newest post page now highlights your username in the recent posts so you can quickly see if someone has replied after you. We also added an auto-refresh feature so that you're always up to date with the latest posts.
New TRAINER UPDATE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM. This system will allow users to file a report for each individual game letting us know when a game has patched and needs an updated trainer. This list goes directly to the trainer makers so they don't have to search the message boards for update posts. They can also prioritize which games to work on by the number of reports filed and only check them once a certain number of reports have been made. This will free up wasted time spent uninstalling other games, re-downloading, re-installing, re-patching and re-testing each game trainer only to find out that it still works fine.
Improved SEARCH ENGINE. Search will now display the best matches based on game popularity so you can find what you're looking for quicker. Search only trainers, wallpapers, reviews, members or message board posts right from one search screen.
Request credits are now REWARD CREDITS (RC) and the new currency of Cheat Happens. They will still be used for requesting trainers just like before but we will soon be adding ways to use them for purchasing things such as custom avatars, alias changes, custom profile header pics and other items as an alternate to using real money.
Revamped TRAINER REQUEST SYSTEM. We've added new ways to see games that are requested and keep track of your personal requests. Users can now choose to gift us the game in exchange for 2000 reward credits being added to the goal. This will help us to cut down on the huge overhead of buying games each month and also allow goals to be met quicker. Lifetime users will now have the option of transferring reward credits to another user.
Revamped TRAINER TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE. We've made the guide more interactive and easier to read. Instead of reading through every point, you simply locate your problem and a list of possible solutions will appear.
New SUPPORT PAGE. Not sure where to get help with your issue? Now you can visit our new support page, locate your problem or question and get help right away.
Streamlined GAME INDEX pages. Instead of listing ALL of the trainers individually for each title, we now only show the most recent two with expandable versions of all previous trainers. Trainer support, update notification system, video demonstration and message board posts are now conveniently located on the right hand side of the page. The membership level required for each file is now clearly marked with a badge next to each download.
Streamlined GAME WALLPAPERS. Our wallpapers now open in a single window with no ads or other content getting in the way. Wallpapers for each game now have a dedicated page instead of cluttering up the game index page. We also plan to start adding 4K wallpapers very soon.
New "MY CHEAT HAPPENS" dashboard for signed in users. This is featured on most pages throughout the site and contains all of the useful links to our various features and functions. We've added new "modules" which can be toggled on and off through the dashboard settings. These include MY BOOKMARKS, MY FRIENDS, MY TRAINER DOWNLOADS (for monthly subscribers) and MY REQUESTED TRAINERS. Now you can customize your Cheat Happens experience with just the content you want to see.
New SITE SUMMARY. We combined the social and gaming superpages into one complete snapshot of everything that is going on at the site. Latest content, requests, PMs, friends list, message board posts, @mentions, who's online and more.
New AVATARS AND PROFILE HEADERS. We've added a ton of new avatars and profile header pics for members to choose from. All new users to the site will be forced to pick from a randomly generated list so that we eliminate all of the blank avatars seen throughout our message boards.
We had to eliminate some of the functions that were not used often and caused more work on the back-end than was ultimately worth it. This includes user blogs, game and movie collections, author admin, user-submitted reviews, thumbs and user polls on message boards and the print book.
So, where do we go from here? UP.
We have more things planned that we didn't quite get to with the re-launch. This includes a mobile version of the site, more My Cheat Happens modules, trainer support for Steam Link+Controller and other things that we can't mention quite yet. While we work on these additional improvements, our trainer team will continue to produce and update as many trainers for as many games as our time allows.
We appreciate each and every person that visits our site, especially those members that support our site through a premium membership. This allows us to maintain the quality and quantity of trainers that users have come to expect from Cheat Happens. As promised, we've used all of the money collected through additional donations, Lifetime PLUS memberships and other avenues to hire an additional full-time trainer programmer while still managing to lower the prices on our yearly and lifetime memberships. 2015 was another record-setting year for Cheat Happens as we had more people join our site and download our trainers than any previous year. We know there are alternatives out there, many of them free, yet we continue to rapidly add new members and maintain an amazing 87% renewal rate for existing subscribers. We wholeheartedly appreciate your support and hope that you are able to see the incredible effort that went into meeting and hopefully surpassing your expectations with this new re-launch.
We'd love to hear your feedback on the new site and we hope you continue to visit and support CH for another 15 years!
[Edited by PWizard, 1/2/2016 6:26:54 AM]