Site Software Used
Highland Arrow is powered by and in turn uses a variety of software to make it run. The server runs CentOS 64-bit with the Apache webserver.
The following software, scripts, and etc are used:
- Joomla! - the content-management system we use, although we have made moderately-extensive modifications to it.
- Kunena Forums - the forum software we use, since it neatly integrates into Joomla! Much of the template and profile integration is our own work however.
- Comodo PositiveSSL Certificate - our secure connections are certified with a Comodo PositiveSSL certificate, which has a 10,000$ insurance against fraud/man-in-the-middle attacks.
- JoomlaShine Pixel Pro - our site theme is derived from the JoomlaShine "JSN Pixel Pro" paid theme.
- JoomlaShine ImageShow - the main slide on the home-page is powered with JSN ImageShow
- JoomlaShine Forms - the story suggestion and developer submission forms are powered with JSN UniForm.
- FreeImages Stock Images - many of the images used in headers on the site are stock images available from FreeImages
- OpenGraph Meta Tags - OpenGraph meta tags are included in the page header so that when the pages are shared on Facebook proper information is generated by Facebook's algorithms.
- Twitter Card Meta Tags - Twitter Card meta tags are included in the page header so that when the pages are shared on Twitter proper information is generated by Twitter's algorithms.
- Schema.org Microdata - Schema.org mircodata is included in many pages, such as reviews, so that they appear with additional special formatting in Google
- postActiv - the community section of the site uses the free software application called postActiv, a freely-available software under the GNU AGPL 3.0
- Prosody - the XMPP server run by Highland Arrow is the Prosody server, a free software implementation of the XMPP protocol.
We link to a variety of stores in our reviews, and other content where appropriate, and in the interests and spirit of full disclosure we thought we would be remiss not to list which sites we link, and why.
The following digital distributors are linked by Highland Arrow:
- Steam - it probably goes without saying why we link to the primary digital distributor online. It has a 14d/2h return policy, although many have reported issues with follow-through on that promise. In general, while Steam is included here because it is the largest digital distributor, we would generally recommend getting a game at GOG or Origin since they are much more consumer-friendly: Steam has aggressively been pushing anti-consumer practices of late, including a push for additional private information, allowing developers to delete your keys without refund, and most recently, allowing users to delete games from their accounts, which introduces a huge security risk if ever your account is compromised.
- Good Old Games (aka GOG) - Steam's main competitor, the GOG store offers fairly-priced, DRM-free copies of a wide library of both publisher and independent games. GOG offers a 30 day refund policy on any game that they cannot get working for you, making purchases there fairly low-risk, especially since the GOG store is one of the more heavily and carefully-curated.
- Origin - EA's digital distribution platform, it is the primary means by which to purchase their games now, but also includes many third-party games such as Pillars of Eternity, the Witcher series, and many Ubisoft games that predate uPlay exclusivity. It also offers a 30d/48h return policy, with no questions asked and fully-automated. If you've owned the game for less than 30 days and played less than 48 hours you can get a refund automatically. It's probably the best refund policy among digital distributors we know of.
- itch.io - A marketplace for independently-developed games, it is pretty much the primary place to find games developed by indies. It has no posted refund policy, and imposes no DRM, leaving the onus on individual developers. In other words - whether DRM is included or refunds available varies from developer to developer. It's more or less "anything goes" so, while we link it as it's the main indie developer marketplace, do be careful about your purchases.
- Battle.net - Since Battle.net is the only legitimate source of new copies of Blizzard games online, we link it for Blizzard games. It has no posted refund policy and as such be careful with purchases there, if you have technical issues it's unlikely you will be issued a refund.
- Nuuvem - The Brazillian online digital distributor Nuuvem has a smaller library than most, but it is a reliable and very affordable place to get uPlay games online, as well as several other publisher's games. With Steam sales getting increasingly dodgy, they (and GOG) are the best place to go for deals. Please take note, however: Nuuvem offers refunds indefinitely on unredeemed keys through support tickets, but any redeemed keys sales are final.
At Highland Arrow we've commissioned a few artists over the years to produce work for us in some form or another, and in the interest and spirit of Full Disclosure we include them here:
- Peter Simeti (of Alterna Comics) - Whom is the main source of Highland Arrow art, including that used in May's twitter avatar and forum avatar, the login/registration page, and more.
- Amanda Flagg - Whom did the logo design for Highland Arrow.
- Adriana Yankey - Whom did the thumbs up and disapproval images soon to be used in review art.
- Gabrielle Bueno - Whom did a fine art piece of the Jenna and Halani characters.
- Mac Ko - Whom did pro bono the now titular/headline piece of the likewise titular Highland Arrow piece as a way to recognise the fair coverage we gave the #GamerGate movement.
- Makku - Who did many of the "pop art" pieces of art used in some places of the site, of the Jenna, Halani, and Katrina characters of May's.
The body of policies that Highland Arrow follows is available in the full listing at our Policy category page, a brief run-down:
- Code of Ethics - the standards of general behaviour expected of our reviewers and reporters
- Review Policy - specific matters of policy regarding the writing of reviews
- Advertising Policy - specific matters of policy regarding advertising
- Community Guidelines - the guidelines by which we moderate our community spaces, such as the discussion forums, our Steam group, Twitter, Google+, and so forth.
While we reserve the right to the final decision on any matter of our professional policies and guidelines, changes, additions, and subtractions from these policies are made under the advisement of our readership, whom we usually solicit on our forums and Twitter for responses to policy changes.