Major Site Update: 7/26/2010


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FGL_Eric
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Hi, here's the notes and details from today's website update. Please read carefully as there are several changes to our processes listed below!

  • Major speed improvements! The website has been slowing down during peak operating times, so we've taken many steps to optimize it. We expect a dramatic performance improvement during peak hours.
  • Security improvements! This update incorporates several significant security improvements. We don't normally mention security upgrades, but in this case, we want to let you know about it so that if there are bugs, you'll know what's happening. If your game is replaced with FGL_Eric's face, that means the security system has activated. If you see this, please send us Feedback to tell us where and how you got it!
  • Game Cleanup: To help sponsors find fresh games, we've added new systems that unclutter our game catalog. We realized that over the past month, nearly 1/3rd of sponsor views were on games that were already sold, already self-published, or potentially abandoned by their developer. Developers often forget to remove their games from FGL in these cases, which makes it harder for sponsors to find fresh games. We've added features to rectify this:
    • If you don't log into FGL for 30 days, we'll assume that you've wandered off and are no longer interested in getting your game sponsored. Your games will become hidden from sponsors until you log back into the website. (We will, of course, send you an email to let you know this has happened.) We apologize for the inconvenience, but we believe it will help keep our game inventory much cleaner.
    • In addition, we now automatically search for your game on the internet. If your game is detected "in the wild", it will be removed from the sponsorship catalog. This process is not infallible, however -- sometimes a Flash game is released with the same name as an old Flash game. We have heuristics that should keep this from being a problem, but if your game becomes hidden inappropriately, just let us know and we will fix it.
  • Changes to Last Call: We've made two major changes to Last Call to make it more effective for developers, more predictable for sponsors, and nicer to our game catalog.
    • When your game is placed into Last Call, we will now email it out to sponsors to let them know. (Previously, "Last Call" was only visible from the website, not the daily automated email.)
    • The day after you have completed Last Call, your game will become hidden in sponsor browses and searches. Direct links to your game will still work, and sponsors who have ALREADY bid on your game will still be able to find it easily, but the website will stop promoting your game to new sponsors. We did this because once Last Call ends, you are supposed to accept a bid and end bidding. We hope this change will help promote the behavior we want.
  • Changes to Buy It Now: now when you get a Buy It Now bid, your game will immediately become hidden from sponsor searches.
    • Many developers have opted not to honor their Buy It Now offers, which was understandably very annoying to the sponsors who made the offer, so this is an effort to rectify the problem. Developers, please only set a Buy It Now price if you intend to honor it!
    • We know that sometimes a Buy It Now bid will need to be rejected because the deal fell through or the sponsor included unreasonable demands. In this case, please contact the admins and we will return your game to the sponsor viewing area.
  • View Locations: Developers, track your game views more accurately than ever! Now you can see WHERE your game views are coming from -- whether they are from automated emails, areas of the FGL website, your personal promotion efforts, or the efforts of the FGL admin staff.
    • We have attempted to back-fill view information for the past month or so. However, you will notice numerous entries labeled "miscellaneous". In these cases, we had to guess where the view came from. In the future there should be significantly fewer guessed entries (though there will still be some "miscellaneous" links).
    • Developers, by adding &from=dev to the end of your game's URL, we will record views from that URL as a developer self-promotion. When you include your game's URL in an email, you should include this. (We automatically add it to the end of the game's URL when you view your own game, so normally you don't need to remember to do this.)
  • New Browse Modes: Sponsors have three new ways to browse for games. As always, we are constantly trying new ways to organize games; these ideas may or may not be permanent depending on how useful they end up being.
    • Highest Bids: the games that have the highest bids in the system right now
    • Reliable Developers: games from developers who have very high Market Levels
    • Mobile-Ready: games that are optimized for Flash on mobile phones
  • User-interface improvements: as usual, we have also made various miscellanous improvements, such as more usable page-counters and a cleaner presentation on various parts of the site.

Please report any issues you find in this thread! Thanks.

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink Awesome Post (40)
keybol
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Awesome, I plan on using the last call this week and with your new feature getting last call games emailed to every sponsor on your mailing list should bring in more interested parties hopefully.

One thing, if your game is set on a buy it now price after bidding has occured, and one sponsor puts a BIN bid later, should it be hidden automatically? What if somebody on that day just missed it (say, he was out all week during casual connect) can he still place a bid higher than the BIN? or say, better terms? What do you mean by hidden exactly? hidden from lists? or not viewable/playable at all?


 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
CyclonicStudios
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I noticed (at least on iMac using firefox and again in chrome) that the FGL-Kindisoft wrapper does not start preloading. It worked earlier today for all games, and now it works for none. It just sits there at a 0% state. Nothing about Kindisoft was mentioned in the changes, though...


Game Development and Web Design

Bubblize: Play and Review

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
keybol
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Me too, my kindisoft enabled games won't load


 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
eduGameDev
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One thing, if your game is set on a buy it now price after bidding has occured, and one sponsor puts a BIN bid later, should it be hidden automatically? ~ keybol

If you look at other Buy It Now systems (ie eBay), it works like a retail system. You set a price you're willing to sell your item for and it's first come first serve at that point. I think that's similar to how FGL is trying to handle their BIN system and probably more along the lines of what the sponsors might expect.

That being said, I would assume that the game is hidden in the same way that Eric described it before:

your game will become hidden in sponsor browses and searches. Direct links to your game will still work, and sponsors who have ALREADY bid on your game will still be able to find it easily, but the website will stop promoting your game to new sponsors.~FGL_Eric

All of these changes sound great to me. I can't wait to start using them!


Garblactic is now sold! Site-locks available soon!

Fander was picked up by Yahoo! Please take a moment to log in and give it a rating!

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
EpicShadow
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Amazing update you guys, excellent work Eric and staff. This is the best update in a long time, very useful updates. Such a great post, scratch that, such a perfect post Wink

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
keybol
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wait, it said that specifically for Last Call hiding games from lists, but not for BIN. Also, we are not ebay, it doesnt end when the amount meets the BIN, there are still terms, and we should still give chance to sponsors who were bidding early but did not yet see the BIN price.


 posted 2010-07-26. last edited at 2010-07-26 permalink
coffingames
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great improvements! Specially the Game Cleanup and Last Call :)

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
Guil07
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That Kindisoft problem could be part of the "security" updates?

Anyway, the changes sound great (bar that problem), keep it up :)

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
FGL_Merlin
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We're working on the Kindisoft pre-loader error!



 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
CyclonicStudios
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Looks like you fixed it. Good work! I really like the referring page in My Games.


Game Development and Web Design

Bubblize: Play and Review

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
FGL_Eric
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Okay, Kindisoft is back online. Still working out a few other site kinks!

But I wanted to mention that prior to this update, there were 1955 games visible to sponsors, and as of this moment that number is 877 because so many games were hidden. If it stays at that ratio, that should definitely help developers get more attention for their games! But even as I type this I'm seeing lots of devs login that I haven't seen in a while, so we'll see how where it ends up.

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
shajby
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great updates, thanks! Excellent idea about showing us the source (emails, new games, random game,..) of the sponsors visits!


littlebigplay.com

I m on App Store, Google Play, Amazon, B&N

Check out my portfolio and my game portal. I also have some HTML5 games for sale :))

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
shajby
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maybe what about adding also browsing based on the LATEST bids (not only Highest)?


littlebigplay.com

I m on App Store, Google Play, Amazon, B&N

Check out my portfolio and my game portal. I also have some HTML5 games for sale :))

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
FGL_Eric
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Yeah, there's already a sponsor browse-category for recent bids.

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
Paradox711
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Did this reset the best First Impressions category? It doesn't show any games anymore, saying none have been rated. Awesome update regardless, thanks!

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
MunsieGames
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" and we should still give chance to sponsors who were bidding early but did not yet see the BIN price."

Then simply don't set a BIN price. BIN means BUY IT NOW regardless of bidding action going on. First come first served.


Do you have a family friendly flash game suitable for the mobile market? You'll want to pm me then. ;)

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
FGL_Eric
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Good catch, Paradox711. It's using a new schedule for updates. It would have fixed itself in a couple of hours, but I manually activated it, so games are there now.

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
Diamondblade
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Thx for the updates, it's ccol. This things will help a lot.


 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
FGL_Eric
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One thing, if your game is set on a buy it now price after bidding has occured, and one sponsor puts a BIN bid later, should it be hidden automatically? What if somebody on that day just missed it (say, he was out all week during casual connect) can he still place a bid higher than the BIN? or say, better terms? What do you mean by hidden exactly? hidden from lists? or not viewable/playable at all?

The game remains playable, it just stops being "advertised" so to speak - it doesn't show up in any sponsor browse-categories. Direct links to it still work, and sponsors who have bids on your game still have an easy way to reach it (from their "My Bids" page, which is how they usually check up on games they've already bid on).

If you're worried about other bidders not noticing a new Buy It Now price, I'd recommend sending them each a brief PM about it. (We may automate this PM eventually, but it's not sent automatically at the moment.)

We recommend honoring the first Buy It Now bid you receive, even if that means a slow sponsor doesn't get a chance to offer a bid as well. After all, the premise is, "Okay, first person to give me this much money gets it" -- waiting for additional higher offers goes against the spirit of Buy It Now.

That said, there will of course be times when the Buy It Now bid is unacceptable due to the terms and conditions on it. If you have to cancel your Buy It Now bid and need to make your game visible to sponsors again, send us feedback via the feedback menu item and we'll turn it back on.

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
Gromvert
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Hey thats pretty good update but one question about system that looks for game on net, and if its found it removes it from bidding. Are developers noticed when their game is found by algorithm on internet and therefore removed from sponsor view?

Btw there is a typo on game views page "Upated Games Since Last Visit". Feature is really, really cool.


Meh.

 posted 2010-07-26. last edited at 2010-07-26 permalink
MunsieGames
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"but one question about system that looks for game on net.."

Keep in mind some devs like to pre-promote their game with screen shots, early builds (playable only on their site), blog posts, etc, etc. The blog posts for sure could spread to alot of other sites. ;)


Do you have a family friendly flash game suitable for the mobile market? You'll want to pm me then. ;)

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
keybol
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Then simply don't set a BIN price. BIN means BUY IT NOW regardless of bidding action going on. First come first served.

I just feel a need for courtesy to sponsors who bid early when I haven't put a BIN price. Afterall, these sponsors dont check FGL daily, as all of you say, they are busy men.

I did email them with the BIN and an advise that I will push last call this week.


 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
4urentertainment
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I see you put in a button to get to the first page of a thread. Finally! Laughing

I just feel a need for courtesy to sponsors who bid early when I haven't put a BIN price. Afterall, these sponsors dont check FGL daily, as all of you say, they are busy men.

Why would you need to put in a BIN price if there's already sponsors bidding on your game? Just let the bidding escalate on its own. To me, placing a BIN price in the middle of a bidding causes trouble, as if two sponsors are in a bidding war, and you've got a BIN price, it'd suck if a third sponsor who just saw the game just came in and bought it.


 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
Hamedn
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If you think our game is on the internet, will we be notified?

For example, I uploaded early, unfinished, and unpolished version to uploading services. Right now, a google search of "Gravinaytor" brings up a Newgrounds Dump, however, this isn't the actual game that I will soon be showing sponsors... Is there a problem?

-Hamed

 posted 2010-07-26 permalink
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