Minor Bug-Fix Update

Tonight’s quick update fixed a few issues that people have brought up in support tickets repeatedly, so I figured it would be useful to let people know they have been addressed:

  • When a game was in regular bidding and is then switched over to QuickAuction, any sponsors Watching the game are sent a private message explaining that they have only 15 days left before the game is gone.
  • The “preview” feature of the game uploader didn’t use the same JavaScript as the rest of the site, so it wasn’t a reliable preview. This has been fixed.
  • The website now acknowledges the existence of SWF Specification 11  (even though Adobe hasn’t released this specification to the public yet, the latest Flex SDK targets it by default, which is gross and goes against the very concept of open source specifications, but what can you do). The website was previously reporting that these games “require Flash Player 11″. This is incorrect, as SWF specification 11 can apparently target Flash Player 10.2 and 10.3. This has been fixed (including retroactively, for games that were already uploaded).
  • When a game is doing a QuickAuction, we’ll no longer send automatic emails to developers encouraging them to use site features that are disabled during QuickAuction (namely Buy it Now and Steal of the Week).
  • The “Weekday” email setting for sponsors now actually works.

Thanks, and as always if you have problems or need assistance, please use the Feedback menu to get in touch with us.

- Eric

Site Update 7/23/2011

We’ve added some cool new features in today’s update!

QuickAuction

This is an experimental game sales mode. The developer agrees that their game will be on public display for 15 days, and then they will pick a winner. (Or, if they don’t like any of their offers, they can choose to self-publish their game.) This is a great way for sponsors to make sure their funds aren’t locked up in games for very long time periods, and is a useful tool for developers who want to sell their game more quickly than the recommended two month auction period.

Anti-sniping system: To make sure that all sponsors have time to react to any last-minute bids, sponsors who already bid during the auction can continue to bid for a few days after the QuickAuction ends. The exact amount of time available after QuickAuction ends is partially random, and partially up to the developer. The intent is to guarantee that there is at least one business day after the auction period ends to let other bidders react to sudden last-minute offers.

Keeping it simple: Games that use QuickAuction cannot use ”Last Call”, “Buy It Now”, or some other site features. The goal is for QuickAuctions to be simple and quick!

How to turn it on: Developers, you can find this option on the “Edit Game” page for your game. Be careful, as once you activate it (and your game is approved, if it wasn’t already approved), then it is impossible to stop the bidding until the time is up. You cannot accept a bid during this time. While this feature is in the “experimental” stage, only developers with at least Market Level 1 will be able to activate it. This is to keep the number of games using it low, and to make sure only the savvier FGL users use this — it may have rough edges that need help, and we don’t want brand-new users to get overwhelmed!

 

“Endorsements”

Speaking of experimental features, here’s an experimental social feature. When you view a user’s profile page, you’ll see a button to “Write Endorsement for This User.” If the user approves the endorsement you write, it will be visible to anyone who visits their profile page.

The goal is to help sponsors and developers feel confident in who they’re doing business with. If you’ve had a good experience working with someone, feel free to write a short endorsement for them!

If this feature proves useful, we’ll augment it in future updates. If nobody ends up liking it, then we will follow our usual policy of removing it and pretending it never happened.

 

Sponsor Bidding Improvements

We’ve improved the sponsor bidding pages in many ways:

  • Smarter bid auto-filling: when you go to place a bid, the form will be filled in with the details from the last bid you made on that game (if you had already made a bid). If this is your first bid on the game, it will use the last bid you made on any game. There’s also a link on the bidding page to clear the entire form so you can easily start from scratch.
  • Track counter-bidding more easily: when you view a game’s previous bids, you will now see them numbered by the order in which they bid. The first bidder is “Bidder #1″, then “Bidder #2″, etc. If the same bidder places multiple bids, they’ll get the same number each time. We’ve heard from several sponsors who were confused when bids said things like “this bid uses the same details as my last bid”, and hope that this helps clarify those situations. It also adds a bit more transparency to the selling process.
  • Follow what’s going on easier: we’ve revised the “My Bids” page and the bidding page to make it easier to tell what’s going on and take action. Please let us know if there are other improvements you’d like to see!
  • See expired bids: you can now easily track your expired bids. There’s a menu-option for it under the “My Bids” menu. If the game is still for sale, you can place a new bid. If it’s already been sold and has been moved to the Game Shop, you can buy a non-exclusive license from there.

 

Other Improvements

We also have a bevvy of smaller improvements and fixes. Here are some highlights:

  • Whenever a developer adds a new game to the site, makes a major update, or has their game approved for bidding, this info is automatically posted to the developer’s Followers List, so people following you can always find your latest games. (You can always go in and delete these messages from your Follower List if you need to, and you can also completely disable this option via a new check-box on the My Account page.)
  • The game uploader has better error messages, and if things go poorly with the Flash uploader, it offers to let you switch to an old-school HTML uploader instead.
  • You can now specify “Special Notes To Bidders” for your game. These notes are shown on the bidding page right as a sponsor is placing a bid. (This feature was previously restricted to high market-level developers.)
  • We now enforce the developer’s wishes when they indicate that they only want certain types of licenses. If the developer hates Exclusive licenses, for instance, the system won’t let sponsors make those offers. Hopefully this will save time and hassle for everyone involved.
  • Sponsors can now receive their New Game Emails every weekday, skipping weekends. If you choose this option (from the My Account screen), any new games added on Saturday or Sunday will go out in your Monday email instead.
  • The numbers on the developer dashboard now update whenever you reload the page (instead of waiting until you next log in to update).
  • In the “Community-Driven Activities” forum, whoever creates a thread has the power to delete other peoples’ posts. This is to help people run contests, etc. without distractions. Please use this power responsibly.

 

Let us know what you think (or report any problems you see) on the forum!

FGL Downtime Planned

We will have 1-2 hours of downtime late tonight (technically tomorrow morning, around 1am EST 7/23). We’re doing some routine maintenance and putting up a new version of the website. Stay tuned!