YYG Gets Update – Still in testing

According to the YoYo Game’s glog, the YYG website has been updated and tweaked to include a new homepage, new improved play pages, and a shorter, easier way to upload games.

The new site however, is still in beta testing. Sandy Duncan does not yet know for sure when the new site changes will be made public, but is optimistic that the new features will be available before the weekend.

Two users commented to suggest that the new YYG game upload service should be set to ‘standard’ mode by default whereby users can still download the game and are not forced to use Instant Play. Timoi points out that originally the idea may have been to keep the games secure, but now that the decompiler has been updated to handle Instant Play games, this is no longer the case and it makes no sense to force Instant Play as the only option.

Kongregate, YoYo Games’ big brother?

For many of the GM community, it has been a long-held belief that YoYo Games was pioneering something new, an opportunity for amateur game developers to get noticed and show case their games to a wide audience and community in true web 2.0 style.

It turns out in fact that a site called ‘Kongregate’ has been offering a very similar service since 2006. Although Kongregate does not allow submissions of Game Maker created games, the site itself is feature-packed and in many ways makes YYG look like the kid who hasn’t grown up yet.

Until one or the other starts running both types of games (flash and executables), I don’t forsee any major competitive battle-out between the two companies. But what I do see is an opportunity for the YoYo Games staff to take a look at what Kongregate is doing and ‘borrow’ some ideas to improve their current website.

Just to name a few of the features which I think are interesting
– The ability for users to embed/run their games from independent websites
– An integrated API to sync game high-scores with the website
– Ability for developers to make 50% on in-game ad revenue
– In game live chat between players

Thoughts?

Elmernite’s Prize & YYG Glog

Elmernite, last month’s GMNews contribution prize winner, has been kind enough to send as a video of the prize he won. The USB PC Controller has two analogue tumbsticks, a 4 way directional pad, 10 numbered buttons and force feedback/rumble support.

Also in the news, YoYo Games has announced the upcoming competition 04 theme on their Glog. The chosen theme, ‘Save The Planet’ has attacted quite a bit of interest and users are already coming up with ideas and plans for their game submissions.

The Glog has had no shortage of updates lately, yet another post revealed that the YoYo Games website receives over a quarter million posts a day. Despite this milestone, the YYG staff are encouraging people to market the site and recommend it to friends.

Glog again? – GMSchool Downhill

For a third time in three days, the YoYo Games glog has been updated with yet another post.

It reads,

The deadline for the third YoYo Games competition is quickly approaching. You have only four more days to submit your entries. We hope that we will see a number of interesting additional submissions. Checkout the Competition page for details. Please realize that the deadline is strict. Last time we extended the deadline because of the problems caused by the server move, but that is not the plan this time.

So there you have it, your last chance to submit a game so don’t miss out. For everyone else, click here for a list of participating games for you to check out and rate.

In other news, GMSchool, a community forum to help Game Maker users is starting to take a turn for the worse. The previously popular message board, is becoming increasingly bare with some forums having no posts in months. Due to the lack of recent support, the owner of the forum is unable to continue funding the community and therefore will not be able to make the required annual payments for forum licensing and hosting costs to maintain the site.

As a result, the community is going to be moved back to Invision Free (a free forum hosting service) where ShadePlay23, the owner of the board, hopes the forum will gain some attention and pick-up it’s popularity once again.

G-Wiki – GMC Stats

The YoYo Games glog has been updated again, this time with a post from Mark Overmars. The post informs users of a change in the wiki engine used on the YoYo Games site, and encourages everyone to help contribute and make the wiki a great resource for Game Maker users.

There was also mention of a ‘bug’ that was fixed that prevented multiple games being uploaded in a single day. Before now this would result in games getting stuck in a virus scanning queue that never got completed.

It’s been a while since we’ve updated you guys with the latest GMC stats.

There are now almost 1.8 Million individual posts on the board.
The board has nearly 70,000 members now to make those 1.8 Million posts.
The user with the most posts is ragarnak, who’s made 13, 425 different posts.
50 percent of those 13,425 posts are in the Novice Q&A forum
poetkathi, a global moderator, has been the least active recently with the last activity being on February 9.
Both
Rithiur and Shaltif moderate 12 forums, more than any other local moderator.

And quite amazingly, there are over 65 new users who register each day on the GMC on average!

Glog – GMWeekly – ‘Amazing Code’

The YoYo Games Glog received an official update today. Boasting an updated version of WordPress, the blog will open up to a broader range of topics including those previously reserved for Mark Overmars’ (no longer in use) personal blog.

Records of user registrations have been wiped clean, so all users will have to re-register for posting however for the time being users can post after having their comment approved by a moderator of the glog.

Gm Weekly is a new Game Maker magazine start-up which promises hopes to release a new edition every Friday of each week. The magazine is more like a small newsletter, with only 2 1/2 pages of content, it is no wonder DPoole, the author, is able to keep up with the weekly schedule. This first issue contains various recent GM news items as well as a small tutorial on creating a simple ‘pause game’ function. The publication has mixed reviews, but for a first release – who’s complaining?

GmMkr, a user on the YoYo Games forums, has posted a topic called ‘Josh’s Amazing Codes‘ which essentially is a challenge for Game Makers to decipher an encrypted string of characters. The prize is not too note-worthy, but I know a lot of Game Makers who enjoy a good thinking challenge, and I thought I might pass it on.

P.S. Josh has rated his puzzle with a difficulty of ‘EVIL’, so be warned 😉

YYG Help Desk

On the 20th of June this year, I sent a support ticket into the YoYo Games help desk. I labelled it URGENT priority. The ‘support’ ticket was actually concerning the Firefox Instant Play plug-in and its incompatibility with version 3 of the browser. Included in the support tick I attached a modified version of the plug-in that was compatible with the browser.

Until today I have not heard a word from the support staff, and figured my support to them was falling on deaf ears. But surprisingly I got an e-mail today from the support desk, almost two months later to say this:

Hi Benjamin

Apologies for not contacting you sooner – there i now an official fix as you are already probably aware of.

Regards,
YoYo Admin

So while I am disappointed with the service I received and the ridiculous response time (especially for something marked URGENT); I will give them credit for eventually reading and responding to my support ticket. At least this is a step in the right direction, until now I had no hope for ever getting a response from the desk, no matter how large or important the problem was.

In other news, the GMC staff have announced that the Tutorials & Examples forum will be closed down for an undetermined period of time for reorganization purposes. It is expected to be back up ‘soon’, users are being told to hold their submissions until the forum re-opens.