iPlay works for 1 day, now obsolete

Sandy and GMC Administrator Chronic had only just finished announcing the release of a Firefox 3.0 compatible Instant Play plug-in when the Mozilla team decided to update its browser yesterday to version 3.0.1. For users still using version 3.0, they will be constantly reminded (in the form of a corner pop-up message) that they should upgrade to 3.0.1. Pretty soon most users will be up to date, and will be without a working Instant Play plug-in yet again.

The plug-in in its current state was not designed to install on future browser versions. It’s very unfortunate that just hours after YoYo Games took time to release the plug-in, it had already become obsolete. For users looking for temporary/work-around solutions, see below. At this time, there is no statement from YoYo Games to indicate if an when a new version of the plug-in will be available.

Chronic used this method to override compatibility of the plug-in:

Download the addon (YoYo.xpi, right click, save as.)
Rename from YoYo.xpi to YoYo.zip
Unzip to a new folder
Open Install.rdf in Wordpad
Find this line: em:maxVersion=”3.0.*.*” />
Change it to: em:maxVersion=”3.*” />

Once you’re done with that close and save the file and rezip all of the files in the folder and rename it to YoYo.xpi then drag it in to a firefox window to install it (uninstall the previous version first).

Now, I’m not sure that this will 100% fix the issue, but its working for me. So do this only if you must, otherwise wait for an official solution.

For users with the nightly tester tools add-on, you shouldn’t have to make any modifications, a simple press of the ‘override compatibility’ button should do the trick.

iPlay & GMC get updates

YoYo Games just announced the final release of the Firefox 3 Instant Play add-on that many users have being eagerly anticipating for the past few weeks. It is expected to be available for download tomorrow (July 15th) at around lunch time – GMT.

Although not indicated by the staff, this sudden news on the plug-in is likely the result of recent criticisms that started over an open letter to the Yo Yo Games staff that appeared on Connor Wilkins’ blog yesterday. One of the points brought up in the letter was a distinct lack of progress updates on the Firefox 3 compatible Instant Play plug-in. Until now, Firefox 3 users have been unable to play or download games from the YoYo Games website. This problem has also deterred new visitors from the site who are also unfortunate to be using the browser.

The GMC forum also got an update today. The forum now supports RSS feeds of the five most recent topics in the Announcements and Examples/Tutorials forums.

Also regarding the GMC – anyone who is using the GMC Extension (karma) plug-in, we are currently testing the skinning feature that enables users to choose their own theme/look for the forum. This feature should be available to the public sometime in the near future.

iPlay & G-Flash

In the interest of conserving time and title space, iPlay will now refer to the official YoYo Games Instant Play plugin in any future articles.

For anyone who uses Firefox 3, it’s quite obvious that iPlay does not share your enthusiasm for browser upgrades. When you visit the YoYo Games site, you’ll have no choice to download games, and instead will be prompted to “Play Now”, a feature incompatible with the world-record breaking Mozilla software.

Although the YoYo games team is taking their time to fix the problem, there are now several users have discovered work-arounds. One of Scorptek’s very own programmers, ari_aaron, modified the YoYo Games .xpi plug-in installer to make it fully compatible with version 3 of Firefox. Unfortunately, after contacting YoYo Games with ‘high priority’ to demonstrate the easy fix, the YoYo Games staff neglected to respond to our support ticket and seemed to have ignored it altogether.

Also to our dismay, the YoYo Games website ‘Terms of Service’ strictly prohibits us from distributing the modified plug-in to others :(.

So the next best thing we can do is recommend an alternative work-around which keeps your browser safe and secure (un-like the common about:config ‘hack’ which could potentially put your web browser at risk).

1) Download the Nightly Tester Tools add-on for Firefox
2) Upon reboot (of Firefox), install the YoYo Games plug-in and click Force Install

I thought I would also take time to mention Caniac’s continuing efforts to send in news tips (so if you want to win this month’s prize I suggest you get cracking). Caniac wanted to let our readers know there are some new developments to G-Flash, an oldie project long assumed dead until now.

According to Caniac, about 20 new functions have been added to the Game Maker to Flash converter, and the project now has four new members on the team. It is hopeful that with some help, the project can be brought back to life again.

Check out the G-Flash subforum here.

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).