Sunday, June 28, 2009

Widget: Play Random Game

I mentioned this widget on my previous post however I think it deserves it's own post.

I've made this widget in order to improve Games-Garden Bounce Rate and to allow people to discover games they might have not played before or might have forgotten about.

This is the widget's description:
Do you want to discover the best games on the web? this button lets you find them and takes you to a different game every time!

The general idea is to keep users (players or visitors) for as long as possible on your site and Games-Garden offers different options for it which include showing the top 15 games and other games in the same category so when people get bored of playing the same game they can choose similar games.
However having an option to play a game in a sort of "blind date" I think could do a better job.

Give the widget a go, I'm sure you will find a cool game behind :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Widgetbox business model is not good for devs

Play Random Game

I just added a new widget to Widgetbox and noticed something I'm actually not happy with:

A widgets developer HAS to pay to avoid Widgetbox hijack his/her widget and inject ads...


To be honest, I don't remember if this "feature" was already there in February when I added my first Flex Widget (Newest Games) but I today when my widget Play Random Game was approved I got an email encouraging me to upgrade to Pro and after checking, this is one of the benefits:

- No ads on widgets you develop or install

I just don't get it!
- We create content for them for free
- They use our content for Marketing adding a button with a link back to Widgetbox (which is fair as they are distributing the widgets)
- They add ugly ads covering our widgets without our approval
- They monetize with these ads without any revenue share option for us devs
- We MUST pay if we don't want to see the ads (???)

I think the idea of charging users if they don't want to see the "get widget" button is good but adding ads without sharing revenue with the devs and on top of that asking devs for money so the ads are not shown IS JUST PLAIN WRONG!

Very bad Widgetbox, very very bad. I wonder how much they make from widgets like my Flash Date Calendar which gets 50k+ views a day?

This makes me think about moving my widgets with other distributors...


Monday, June 22, 2009

Inspiration: Flash and meow

I just added a new link on my blog roll: Zoltan Bornemissza.

Zoltan is the new Lead Flash Developer from my team at work and I had a chance to check his blog which is full of cool stuff!

Flash and meow

I recommend you to play with the fractal experiments and get some inspiration :)


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Widget: Newest Games

Taking the same "feed" from Games-Garden Latest Games as the one used for the Featured Games Widget but displayed in a different way, this is my first Flex Widget:

Newest Games

I haven't uploaded it into any widgets distributor yet as I still haven't found a way to pass variables into the widget (to change colours for example) so at the moment there's no design but the default components skin from Flex 3.

I must say I love how easy is to work with Flex and my new homework is to do some changes in the PHP side of Games Garden to create an API that will provide feeds for most of the different categories of the site. The next one is "Top Players" which I won't be releasing as a widget as is only important in the website itself.

Play around with Newest Games and play some games as well! come on, you deserve a 5 minutes break ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Widget: Featured Games

Back in business! :)

Killing 2 birds with the same stone I've created this widget called "Featured Games" which pulls .xml data from Games Garden, parses it and shows it as an "iTunes" like widget.

What are these Featured Games anyway?
well, almost everyday I add a couple of new games to Games Garden and PHP creates the .xml for this so to be honest the widget should be called "Games Garden Latest Games" but... you know... a bit of marketing ;)
The games added are hand picked so only the best games make it to Games Garden and therefore to the widget.
The widget shows the game name and a game icon which you can double click to go to Games Garden and play that specific game, otherwise just click on the "Play Game" button that does the same trick (gets you to play the game).

Just if in case anyone is interested...
What's going on in my life?
well, since I opened Games Garden I've been extremely busy learning PHP & MySQL, making more flash games (I'll speak about them later) and learning Flex (expect my first Flex widget soon!)

Anyway, give Featured Games a go, play some games and if you like the widget, add it to your site ;)