GMNews – Writers, Prizes & Info

Firstly I would like to formally welcome Qwertyman (Brian) and Broxter (Jack) to the Scorptek team. They are here to help improve the GMNews site and keep a regular flow of articles going to ensure you have all the up-to-date Game Maker and related news every day. Please give them a warm welcome and make sure you continue to send in news tips as you come across something you think will be interesting to write about.

Secondly, I just wanted to make a small apology for the lack of news articles this month (meaning September). Trust me, we’re all quite busy, Scorptek has big plans ahead and many of our team members are still settling into their school, college and university schedules (including myself). We really appreciate the time and effort Qwertyman and Broxter have and will be putting in in the upcoming months to make sure GMNews continues to be the best source of Game Maker news available. Our goal this month is to keep this site up to date with news posts at least every 2 days, and hopefully every day.

Thirdly, the September GMNews prize has been postponed or rather combined with the month of October’s prize. Due to the lack of articles this month, we don’t feel there was enough opportunity available for users to make contributions through comments and discussion and therefore the October prize will be awarded based on the combined contributions of September and October. Thank you for your understanding.

I just want to say thanks to our loyal readers who have stuck around and sent in news tips even when the site appeared to die-down a bit. We appreciate your effort to help the GMNews community, and be assured we will be ‘reviving’ the site this month.

Looking For Writers

It has come to our attention that the GMNews team is quite under-staffed and unable to maintain this site to the expectation of many of our readers. Therefore we have decided it is in the best interest of the community to seek out some new writers to cover all the latest GMNews headlines and news stories as they happen. This will hopefully both improve and enhance the quality of the GMNews blog over time while keeping readers up to date with the latest GM News from across the net.

This is a volunteer job; however there are certain ’employee benefits’ you may enjoy as a worker of Scorptek. For more information, please contact us.

Recommendations for applicants (guideline only, many of the items listed are not absolutely required):

Game Maker
– Is an experienced Game Maker user with an understanding of the key concepts of GML and other programming languages (not necessary)
– Is a long time member of various Game Maker communities – at the very minimum, the GMC and YoYo Games
– Has contacts or a personal network of Game Maker friends that can provide reliable news and information

Education
– Has a High school Diploma from an English speaking school and/or has obtained an average mark of B- or higher in all classes in the most recent semester/term)
– Obtained a B+ or higher average in either English or English Literature (in the most recent semester/term)
– Obtained a B+ or higher average in one or more of Journalism, Communication Technology, Creative Writing, Media or Multimedia studies (in the most recent semester/term)
– Is an Honour Roll (or equivalent) student and/or has won subject/merit award(s) and/or has received academic distinctions in one or more classes (not required)

Personality
– Enjoys writing and research
– Has enough free time to check for news updates across various websites on a regular basis
– Is opinionated, but able to write without bias if and when necessary or desired
– Enjoys a challenge

If you’re interested, please let us know by emailing jobs[at]scorptek[dot]net with a paragraph about yourself and any of the applicable information above. Thank you for your help in making GMNews the best source of Game Maker news.

Updates & Prize Give-aways

Updates

It has been a while since our last post, and we’re sorry to have kept you waiting. The Scorptek team decided to take a break from GMNews this month in order to focus its efforts on improving some of our other services and creating new ones that we have every confidence will be successful.

One of these services will involve many new improvements and additions to GMNews and will be announced sometime in the upcoming weeks. Meanwhile, the monthly prize give-away (see details below), will be an ongoing project that will eventually become part of the new service once it has been released.

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Prize Give-aways

As part of a new effort to involve the community in discussion and collaboration of Game Maker related news, we will be offering FREE prize give-aways every month to users who contribute to the GMNews community.

How it works: At the end of each month, the user who contributes the best comments and/or news tips (sent to postMyGMNews@scorptek.net) will be awarded a gaming related prize of their choice from the options below. The best comments and/or news tips will be selected by the Scorptek staff based on their content and quality. The more quality and meaningful comments or news tips you submit each month, the more likely you are to win each give-away.

Prizes to be won (you can pick your choice of 1 prize from any category):
For PC: USB Gamepad w/Rumble Support & Analog Sticks, Gaming Headset, USB WiFi Adaptor for Windows XP, 4 Port USB Hub, Flexible Waterproof Keyboard
For Wii: Remote Accessories: Steering Wheel w/Table Suction Mount, Pool Cue, Golf Club, Fishing Rod, Light Sabre. Other: Blue LED Cooling Stand, Wii Memory Card
For Xbox 360: Gaming Headset for Xbox Live, Xbox 360 Media Remote Control, Cooling Fan Attachment for 360
For PS3: DVD/Blu-ray Media Remote, Cooling Fan Attachment, USB PS3 Dual Controller Charger
For DS Lite: Headset, Stand/Table Mount, Blue LED Charging Cradle
For PSP: USB Wifi Adaptor, PSP Movie stand w/Speaker, PSP Face plates
For All: Silicone Casing (skin) for Your Choice of Console/Controller, Rechargeable Battery Pack (for Available Console Controllers)
* Prizes are subject to availability, options may change in the future without notice
* Prizes may not have the same retail value (choose 1 that has the most value to you)

What you should know:
– Any user who posts a comment or gives a news-tip is automatically eligible to win the monthly give-away (assuming a valid email address is used & the user’s posts follow the Rules)
– Prizes will be drawn at end of each month starting June 2008 (start now!)
– There are no geographical restrictions for prize winners, and you will not have to pay shipping fees if you win the give-away. Shipping time will generally be 2-4 weeks
– You must contact us at prizes@scorptek.net to claim your prize from the same email address you used to submit comments/tips with.
– We have no obligation to try and contact you in the event you are a winner (you should see our announcement at gmnews.scorptek.net and then email us at prizes@scorptek.net if you are the winner).
– You will have up to 1 month to claim your prize unless otherwise stated
– You may choose one prize from the prize list. Some prize(s) may be out of stock
– Comments & tips must be submitted in the same month as the give-away to win
– If you do not wish to participate in the give-away, add [noprize] to the end of your name or email subject when posting a comment or submitting a news tip

This is something to look forward to, and I hope this will really help encourage GMNews community discussion. Also, if you wish to help donate toward prizes (as currently they are being paid for at Scorptek’s expense), please see the about page.

You must meet the eligibility requirements (see Prizes page) in order to receive a prize

Domain change & GM-online

If you haven’t noticed already, we have now officially switched over from gmnews.wordpress.com to gmnews.scorptek.net
Old links to gmnews.wordpress.com will still remain active (indefinitely), however we recommend that all new links and rss feeds (gmnews.scorptek.net/feed) be set to use the new URL address. Also ‘scorptek.net/gmnews’ (as well as .org and .ca) will also continue to function as per normal, although we are now considering this url deprecated. If you have any further questions about the url change, email GMNews@scorptek.net.

In other news, an interesting piece of software called Web Game Builder has popped up on the GMC. It allows any Windows executable to run embedded in a browser window. It looks quite promising, although it appears some GM games take a while to load (as expected) but if the player decides to navigate away from the page while the game is still loading, it appears to still open and then embed itself in whatever window/tab the user is viewing.

There is also one more major problem with the software. It is only compatible with Internet Explorer right now. According to them ‘don’t worry’ because that means only 3 out of 4 users will be able to play the game (hardly something to ignore). The company who built the software did say however that the next version will have FireFox support, making it a superior alternative to the YoYoGame’s Instant Play feature.

It also has the added benefit of being able to embed the game on your own website, however it is important to note that the cost of the program is about 2.5 times that of Game Maker (compared to YoYo Games’ free Instant Play feature). It is still something to keep an eye on, and hopefully YoYo Games will be able to implement a similar ’embedding’ feature in their browser plug-in in the near future.

The plugin also poses a security threat though; web pages can be coded to automatically download and run a virus executable on the client computer without the user even knowing until it is too late (assuming the client has the plugin installed).