Before each year's convention, the Convention Master System Specialist should create or be provided with a theme folder for the following year so that Sunday pre-registration for the next year has an appropriate theme. Whenever possible, this theme should use background artwork from the next year's Artist Guest of Honor. If no suitable artwork is available, generic background artwork may be used until official artwork is provided.
Historically, the theme has been created and provided to the Convention Master System Specialist by the webmaster, due to the need to update .php and .css files. However, this is not a necessity, if the Convention Master System Specialist or another volunteer has the necessary skills.
The theme file can be created from scratch using a blank theme available from the Convention Master documentation. However, as the current theme has already had much of the customization work done, it is easier to simply make a few edits to the current theme folder.
The theme folder is named by the convention year ("NWC42", "NWC43", etc.). Within the folder are several files and one "/images" folder. The following changes need to be made:
- /NWCxx/images/ARTISTNAME_background.jpg: The background image, named using the current Artist GOH's last name. This is a 1280x1024 (landscape orientation) .jpg file.
- /NWCxx/images/mainpagebanner.png: The "Norwescon [year]" logo that displays at the top of the page. This is an 800x151 (landscape orientation) .png file with transparent background. The numerical designation should be updated for the current year. The current theme folder includes a Photoshop file (mainpagebanner.psd) that can be used to generate the new image.
- /NWCxx/bottom.inc.php: Adds the copyright credit for the theme and background image. Line 17 should be updated accordingly. Sample (replace any all-caps text):
<p style="font-size: .75em; color:gray;">Norwescon Theme Template by Michael Hanscom<br />Background image © and used by permission of <a href="http://ARTIST-WEBSITE-URL">ARTIST NAME</a>.
- /NWCxx/styles.css: Defines all display styles used by the system, including displaying the background image. Line 5 should be updated with the name of the background image file. Sample (replace any all-caps text):
background: #19171b url(images/ARTISTNAME_background.jpg) repeat;
Once these changes have been made, the theme folder is ready to be added to Convention Master. If the edits are being done by someone other than the Convention Master System Specialist, the folder should be compressed into a .zip archive and sent for inclusion.