We just wanted to update you all about the Indie Giving package. The deadline to take advantage of this package is January 25th! Make sure that you sign up via the website: www.IndieGiving.com.
Be sure to jump on this as you get a ton of great stuff with the package:
- Hotel accommodations for Friday, Saturday & Sunday (2/25, 2/26, 2/27)
- 1 Flash Gaming Summit ticket
- All meals covered for Saturday event
- Travel to and from Saturday event (from hotel)
- Travel to and from FGS (from hotel)
- 2 awesome t-shirts
- Dinner Saturday night, sponsored by AddictingGames & Shockwave
- Opportunity to drastically change someone’s life for the better
- $20 BART ticket
Also, be sure to keep an eye on the site as we’ll be putting information up about how to pick up tickets etc. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We anticipate 20 minutes of down-time tonight and tomorrow night around 11pm EST. We’re upgrading a subsystem, and don’t anticipate it will take terribly long.
(We normally show this sort of info on the Dashboard page, but it seems lots of people aren’t checking their dashboard, and these are short-notice, so I wanted to give a little more visibility.)
The website has been updated with many new features! If you notice anything weird or odd, please let us know.
Major New Features:
- Unity Support: you can now upload games made with Unity3D! (note: First Impressions do not yet work with Unity games.)
- Game Editing Overhaul: you can now edit all aspects of your game from one place, and the game-creation process has been dramatically improved. Many small bugs and annoyances have been removed. (And, presumably, replaced by new bugs and annoyances… please let us know how this can be further improved!)
- Fan Accounts: want to invite friends or family to playtest your game? Try the new Fan Account option! Developers can create these accounts and send them off to anybody they want. No muss, no special “codes” (like we had in the Previewer beta). Note that Fan accounts will only be able to see your games, and only the games that you mark as being “Visible to my fans”.
- Pre-Reviews: before you place your game up for bid, you will now be asked if you want us to “pre-review” it. One of our review team will do a dry-run review and send you the scores and comments, so that you can make changes before you put the game up. The reviewers will be available for further conversation, so you can ask questions and get specific feedback. When your game is finished, it will be “really” reviewed by one or more other reviewers.
- We are working towards having a “dedicated agent” experience, where each game will be assigned to a sales agent who is your point of contact. We aren’t there yet, but the pre-review system is the first step in this direction.
- “Followers” System: we’ve replaced the “Friend” system with a “Follower” system. It works much the same, and your friends are automatically imported. Your feedback on this system is requested! The major changes are:
- You can post messages that all your followers can see in their “Followers” page
- You can see who is following you and reciprocate if desired
- Your messages are stored sequentially so that users can see multiple messages from you. (The old “friend” system only had one “status message” per person.)
- Sponsor Suggestions: When viewing games, Sponsors will see lists of “Similar Games” that they might also be interested in.
- We understand that some developers are concerned about this causing developers to leave their game earlier than they otherwise would, but the potential benefits are very large. This system is an experiment in order to gather metrics and see what real results we get.
- Previewer Program Now Open: Anyone can now sign up for the Previewer program from the main FGL website. They must still sign an NDA, however.
- Badge System: we will use this to give badges to winners of contests, such as our Programming Contests or the 2010 FGL User Awards.
- Age Rating: you can now specify an Age Rating for your game, to help sponsors find games that better match their demographic.
- Update Notes: when you upload a new version of your game, you can choose whether this is a “minor update” or a “major update”. If it is a major update, you can provide update-notes that will be sent to everyone watching your game, and everyone who has bid on it. Note that you can only have a few Major Updates per month; it is expected that most updates are “minor updates”.
- Forum Signatures Can Now Just Be Images: You no longer need to include text in your forum sig. However, note that there are now guidelines for maximum signature height (approx. 250 pixels).
- Mobile Games Category: is now visible to developers and previewers. In addition, you can see games by high-market-level developers in the “Reliable Developers” section.
- Bid Listing Improved: developer’s bid-listing now includes a bit more info. This screen will be getting more features soon!
- Alerts when Leaving Pages: if you enter text into a form (such as when providing feedback or posting a message in the forums) and navigate away from the page without submitting the form, you will be prompted to make sure you aren’t making a mistake. In addition, you will be asked to make sure you really want to leave the Chat room and the Edit Game page without saving.
- Email Followups Improved: when you request email follow-ups to a forum thread, the emails you receive now have a link right to the newest post.
- Watch-count split up: Developers can now see how many sponsors and how many developers are watching their game. (Previously, these numbers were grouped together.) However, in order to protect sponsors’ privacy, the “number of sponsors watching” count is delayed by a random number of days and views, so that you cannot easily figure out which sponsor might be watching your game based on who has viewed the game.
- “Follow This Developer”: sponsors are now prompted to follow developers when they view games, so that they can quickly be informed of status updates and news by that developer.
- Gravatar Support: if you do not have an FGL forum icon, but do have a Gravatar icon, that will be used on the forums now.
- Chat Room – Mobile Phone Support: the chat room now supports most smartphones.
- Approval Queue Bugfix: if you edit your game while it is pending approval, it no longer resets your place in the approval queue. (Unless you indicate that it is a “major update”… minor updates don’t upset your queue position.)
- Icon Voter Improvements: along with minor bugfixes, you can now play the games you are voting on, if they strike your fancy.
- Team Profile Updated: the new guys are there now on the FGLopedia “About Us” page.
- Forum Categories: a modest attempt at organizing the forums.
- Buttons Revised: the candy-coated buttons are mostly now gone. If you are using them in your forum signature, please stop, as they’ll be removed soon!
- Youtube Video Revision: you can now easily set and change your Youtube video from the Edit Game page, along with everything else about your game. Changes are instantaneous. (Previously they required admin approval.)
- Co-authors Can Do More: Co-authors can now change anything about a game or its viewing permissions. Theoretically, the only thing they can’t do now is actually accept bids.
- Dozens of other bugs fixed: from strange phrasings to non-optimal sales recommendations, we’ve made many small changes. Of course, we’ve probably introduced new problems… so please let us know if you see any!
If you spot any problems, please post them! Thanks!
The votes have been tallied and the results of the 2010 FGL Developer’s Awards are here!
Best Artwork: It’s a tie! Both Armed with Wings 3 and Homerun in Berzerk Land win Best Artwork.
Best Story/Ambiance: By a large margin, the winner is The Company of Myself!
Most Original Design: This was a close one! The winner is Steambirds!
Best Music/Sound: Another big victory for The Company of Myself!
Most Addictive: Crushing the competition, the winner here is Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems!
Technical Achievement: This was a tough race; a lot of innovative games came out last year. But the winner is… Big Pixel Zombies!
Best Game: This was an extremely tight category… we almost had another tie on our hands. But the winner is… Steambirds!
Congratulations to the winners! Thanks to the community for the event, and thanks to JJWallace for the art. We’ll attach the award badges to your accounts soon (after the next site update). For the categories of “best artwork”/”best sound”, we’ll award the badge to both the “owning” developer and the developer credited for art/music.
2010 was a very impressive year for Flash games. Let’s see what 2011 can do!
The FGL 2010 awards are about to wrap up! We will end voting Monday morning. Please vote, if you haven’t yet!