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Just thought I'd give everyone an update, albeit a nondescript one. Beyond the day-to-day Newgrounds operations, I've been working with JohnnyUtah on a new console game. We've actually been at it for over a year now, although it has gone through a lot of changes and revisions during that time (plus we squeezed Cathode Raybots in there). Things are finally getting nailed down so I'm feeling hopeful. We're gonna wait until it is further along before we officially announce what it is and get the whole hype engine started. For now, I just wanted to keep you in the loop in case you're curious! It should be pretty damn cool if doesn't blow up in our faces.
When Cathode Raybots launches, it will be the first game to showcase NG Passport! There will be a notice on the loading screen asking people to sign in, as well as notices in-game at locations where people could save data to NG. We're hoping it will make more people around the web make use of the API features and hopefully get interested in NG!
I'm also making this post to test another feature that I'll announce with a front page post, if everything is working. Reply and say hi!
It hurts to say this but it's also a bit of a relief because it's not too late to enjoy Christmas: JohnnyUtah and I have decided to postpone Cathode Raybots.
The plan had been to launch on Christmas Day and that worked as a carrot to get us 99% of the way this past month. As it stands we could probably release it on Christmas day but it wouldn't be as polished as we would like it to be. Taking some extra time will allow us to flesh out the campaign mode and menus (this game is interface hell).
ALSO it just so happens that PsychoGoldfish is working on the "NG Passport" bridge that will allow people on other websites to log in and save scores, earn medals or share content via our API. We decided things will align well and Raybots could launch with Passport integration, so people around the web can enjoy it - and hopefully sign up and check out NG.
Instead of wrapping up 2012 with a bang, we'll kick off 2013 off with a boom!
Expect some more feature updates before the year ends and hopefully there will be a turnout for the GiftJam on Christmas Day (I really should have promoted that more). This would have been a front page post but I didn't want to bump Jim's announcement of playlists!
I put together the available Castle Crashers Soundtrack, so you can relive the game in your head.
It felt TOO SOON to bump Goldfish off the top front page news spot, so for now hopefully people will see this!
Go vote for Abobo's Big Adventure as game of the year on Destructoid!
Haven't played it? go play it.
Then Go vote!
Earlier this year we experimented with advertising on Facebook, to see what impact it had on our NG Facebook page. When it came time to classify the expense types from our credit card purchases, I was particularly annoyed at HOW MANY Facebook entries I had to fill in, because they charged our card every fourth day. It made me wonder if Zuckerberg ever had to do his own bookkeeping; he started Facebook in February 2004 but already had investors and an office a few months later. I can't help feeling like I've just made too many mistakes that I'm stuck here doing manual data entry.
The real joke is that we paid Facebook to boost followers of our Facebook page (don't think it helped much), but now we have to pay them if we want more than a handful of those followers to receive our updates. Only 6,500 people saw our announcement about the new Emote stickers, despite 141k followers, mostly NG users who we pushed over to Facebook.
I really hate the Internet sometimes. Most times.
But things are exciting in NG land! Be sure to play Soulcaster if you haven't yet! It was originally developed for XNA but was ported to HTML5, pretty exciting stuff.
This is why I need to follow our analytics more closely - I was checking our Google Analytics data for referrals from third party sites and realized Stumbleupon was no longer in the top 10 summary. This was strange because Stumbleupon used to be our top referrer!
At first I chalked it up to the changing fads of the web; maybe everyone moved on to Pinterest and Tumblr and whatevr. But then I isolated the Stumbleupon graph and did a long-term view. Last October Stumbleupon was sending us 80,000 visitors PER DAY. Then in mid-may 2012, they simply shut it down... Less than 1,000 referrals per day.
This is really chilling, that was a considerable amount of our traffic! Also those daily visitors could have become repeat visitors, long-term fans, could pass links to friends, etc. This change had a real impact on NG and I never noticed it.
I couldn't find an email for stumbleupon so I've just Tweeted them so far. I read some stuff about how they blacklist sites that abuse their system but we've NEVER abused their system or tried doing ANYTHING to improve our results there.
So it's like WOW, it sure would be nice to get that traffic back! If anyone knows anyone at Stumbleupon, please ask them what's up. Hopefully this post can get their attention and they'll look into the matter. If anyone has any further info on their policies, let me know! Maybe too many people were stumbling on the wrong kind of submissions.
UPDATE: Some bad ads had come through our ad company for a few days in May and in that moment someone reported it to Stumbleupon and we were indeed blacklisted. They are reviewing the site now and we may soon return to Stumbleupon! Damn I wish I had noticed this sooner.
UPDATE 2: We are now back on Stumbleupon! Hopefully that graph will pop back up.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org via srv15.000webhost.com
Subject: You have been reported!
We got a report on you. The FBI has to investigate this.
If it ends up being crime you can get from 5 to 20 years in prison. Because of this, we need more information about you so we can investigate further.
We are going to ask you for some infotmation later on in this email. You'll need to reply with all the information needed and it must be accurate and valid. After this we will contact you again with information on this case.
WARNING: If you do not reply within 72 hours, we will send special forces to get the needed info from you.
We need all the information below:
Title. First name. Middle name. Last name. Telephone number. Company (your name if none). Street address. Country. City. State, region or province. Zip/postial code. Name of the bank you use. Telephone of the bank you use. Current balance on bank account. Credit or debit card from bank provided. Name as shown on card. Card number. Expiration month. Expiration year. Security code from back of card.
Copy the needed information list and write your information next to everything. Reply to this email with it.
NOTE: If you do not have a credit or debit card, go to your bank and get one.
Know that your information will be safe in the FBI directories.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
I dunno guys, I mean this SOUNDS legit right? And all my info will be safe in the FBI directories so it should be fine to send them all that info.
Castle Crashers is arriving on Steam this Wednesday!
Also Luis styled our NG Tumblr last night. We're trying to make better use of it.
Check out this thread if you want to help!
I'm on a better computer than three years ago when I made Madness Accelerant, so I decided to see how well it ran. I loaded it up in Chrome and... IT BARELY RUNS AT ALL. Constant freezing. Unplayable.
I loaded it in IE and it ran a lot better but had some bad keyboard lag, where it would play my previous input long after I hit the key.
I loaded it in Firefox and it ran flawlessly, full framerate.
I don't know if this is Adobe's fault of the fault of the individual browser makers. I know I'm a dinosaur for liking AS2 but there are A LOT of web games made that way. Some of them seem to run fine in Chrome; Dad 'n Me, for example. But it is a real bummer that Madness Accelerant doesn't work.
So Google if you are reading this, I no longer think Chrome is the best browser. My entire world is in a tailspin.
We sent millions of our visitors to Facebook so that we could build up 134k Facebook followers and then use Facebook to keep them informed of what's happening on NG.
Oh but wait... Now Facebook wants me to pay them to reach those users I sent their way.