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Shade
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I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 11:07 AM Reply

2013 is right around the corner and we're certain to be getting a few new users as well as plenty of new talented animators and programmers.

What worries me about this is whether or not 2013 will be a good year for NG. 2011 and 2012 showed a sharp decrease of items submitted to the portal daily and most of those were spam and shovelware. This might become an isssue in the coming year with fewer people checking out new things in the portal because the've been turned off by the shit submitted. Some of them might be up and coming animators and programmmers who might have made some amazing work but decided against it because they don't want to see their work next to such classics as "Mario ATVing" and "(Insert generic liscenced cartoon character here) fights zombies".

Am I just a nutter or is this something that should be taken seriously?

Nor
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 11:13 AM Reply

Most likely going to be worse. Honestly I hope it will do better. I will submit art and even do more reviews! But I don't know man, we can only hope for the best.
What is a nutter anyways? Have you been playing too much fable?


いないいないばあ

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Phobotech
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 11:18 AM Reply

I'm hoping it gets better too. But it starts with us. Leading by example.

I plan on doing my part by making lots of NG exclusive content...my shit exports crappily to youtube, so fuck'em, they'll have to come to NG to see my animations.

...on that note, got four projects I've been working on, set to release next year.

...and the year after that, and the year after that...

"I sail through a golden nexus. By tanks with armor that glisten. I watch and I play with creations, and what I'm not reading, I listen." <-

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PrincessLuna
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 11:24 AM Reply

Though this site was founded on originality and innovation. It has fallen behind to a corporate orintated web in which money talks over all else. People flock to YouTube because it is everywhere, people play flash games on Facebook for the same reason. It's more about the money than the art, developers now make games for anything they cash in on, not to share their love for an idea. I know money is an important factor, but it shouldn't be the sole factor of someone's motivation.

Indie Game: The Movie had a similar point, and it was a brilliant film. And on a side night forced me to buy Super Meatboy, and me and my friends have pizza parties with beer just to play it together.


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TheMajormel
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 11:31 AM Reply

I think Phobotech is correct and we really need to see more kids trying to create their own path, instead of trying to become the next Eddsworld or Oney. As a guy who makes flash games in his spare time, I would like to see more original game developers around here. Though next year, things will probably go well for NG.


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saqwert
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 11:41 AM Reply

Continuing decline. We need another redesign. That'll work this time

mothballs
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 02:18 PM Reply

At 12/27/12 11:07 AM, Shade wrote: Am I just a nutter or is this something that should be taken seriously?

Yes, you're a nutter. It's just NG, who gives a shit.

Urban-Champion
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 03:19 PM Reply

I'm very content with the website as it is, despite it not having the dense traffic it used to.

TomFulp
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 03:23 PM Reply

Usually when I make a post about this sort of stuff I end up erasing it but I'll toss some thoughts out and we'll see what happens.

Some things next year that should be better than this year:

1) Shovelware is much more under control so Mario ATV games shouldn't be as much of an issue in 2013. Spam will still be but if the spam can learn to get funnier that could be ok.

2) We'll have a video conversion server in 2013 and this will be a lot more accommodating for people who want to submit animations in video format. Right now our system is super picky and I end up manually encoding a lot of peoples' videos. The new system will also generate smaller mobile versions and we'll finally get the mobile video browsing in good shape, so people can watch stuff on their phones. Combine that with playlists of videos and people can watch lots of stuff. Also we'll have the Roku feed back in shape and hopefully get up and running in some other TV-related systems.

3) We have broader game support so it's no longer a question of how a game is made, as long as it has been made for a browser. These past few years a lot of people have flocked to mobile but many of them have had blah results. A lot of people have also tried to sell their games but that is a lottery too. It might be wishful thinking but I'm hoping people will rediscover how fun it is to just make a game and release it instantly on the web. Maybe we'll manage to improve ad revenue in 2013 and people who just want to make money will see better opportunities.

4) We'll have NG Passport which should help draw in more registered users from around the web. Our upcoming social gaming updates should make the whole gaming scene healthier.

5) We have some stuff coming to facilitate collaboration, as well as more feeds, so people will hopefully check in more and get more involved.

Really though none of this stuff matters if people still don't want to share their stuff on NG. There's a variety of anecdotal personality-types I've noticed over the past few years:

1) The talented person who doesn't upload their work on NG because they aren't part of the community. I run into this a lot, even with people who got their start on NG; they think because they aren't on the site regularly and aren't posting in the forums, their submission would be out of place and wouldn't belong here. It drives me crazy because I'd love to feature anything cool that people make and giving people something to watch / play / look at / listen to / read is the best community contribution any person can make. This has been a growing problem because NG has become more and more of an isolated island that doesn't feel as inviting to newcomers as it once did.

2) The animator who is now more focused on YouTube. AKA most of the popular animators. For guys who make partner, the ads pay better and for guys who make movies about the right subject matter / have a lot of subscribers, the views are way higher. Sometimes people release on YouTube ahead of NG so they can get the YouTube money and then NG is a second run, kinda like going from theaters to basic cable. Some guys feel like they are making cheap/short movies for their YouTube audience and feel weird about putting it on NG. Some guys are just too busy to worry about both sites. Some guys don't realize they can upload an MP4 on NG. There's a real mix of reasons. I know that for undiscovered animators, NG can still get you more views. The movies of 2012 were a lot better than the movies of 2011 and I'm hoping 2013 will be a great year.

3) The game developer who wants to strike it rich with 1 million people buying their game. All I can say to this is that some of the big indie success stories of this decade spent years giving people free games; guys like me and Dan with the Behemoth or Edmund and Tommy from Team Meat. Every game you make is a learning experience so it's good to just make lots of games for fun and get feedback from the public. When the times comes that you make something to sell, you'll be a better game developer AND you'll have fans who want to support you. We're trying to help people make more money from their free games and in a lot of cases, making free web games has been more profitable than trying to sell games on other platforms. It just doesn't have as much allure right now because mobile has a big shiny jackpot that everyone wants to win.

4) The musician who is focused on other music networks. I still think NG is way more fun and offers more opportunities than other music sites. Playlists have been a nice addition but there's still more we need to do to fill in the gaps of what NG offers. Beyond those gaps, I think we offer something pretty damn awesome; a lot of musicians have gotten to have their work featured in games and movies and share in revenue along the way.

5) A whole bunch of others

When we first launched the Artist News block on the front page, a lot of people used it to promote their Art on DeviantArt. We had everything they needed for sharing movies, games and music but Art was a big gap we were still working to fill. Once the Art Portal launched, the promo posts for DA faded away. DA is still doing awesome, we just aren't bleeding traffic to it. We are, however bleeding traffic to sites like YouTube and SoundCloud. A big question for 2013 is whether we will give people enough that they stop obsessing over promoting sites with similar offerings and start obsessing over building up their presence here on NG. Especially when sites like Facebook want you to now pay them to reach the fans you've acquired through all those efforts.

Some of the biggest things I could ask of people in 2013:

1) If you have made something original, WE WANT TO SEE IT. Don't hesitate to share it on NG just because you feel like an outsider here. We're ALL outsiders.

2) Use the NG platform to promote your presence on NG. YouTube viewers will find you on YouTube. SoundCloud listeners will find you on SoundCloud. Those websites don't let you post directly on their front page and they don't let you embed links to NG in your movies, so despite the fact that it is more to NG's benefit than your own, please extend NG that same courtesy by not using us as a tool to advertise sites that do the same thing we've been striving to do well for much longer. It really just makes me sad. I'm not saying don't link to those sites AT ALL, just don't make me feel like that's the only reason you're using NG, because some people make me feel that way. NG is a very personal thing to me and it's like a slap in the face, or a kick while I'm down.

That sums it up: Share more stuff, send less traffic to other sites. Tell your friends about NG. Those three things are really all we need for a better 2013, I should just erase the rest of this post but I won't this time.

I even found a clever way to tie in last sentence to the first!

This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

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PrincessLuna
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 03:31 PM Reply

At 12/27/12 03:23 PM, TomFulp wrote: 3) The game developer who wants to strike it rich with 1 million people buying their game. All I can say to this is that some of the big indie success stories of this decade spent years giving people free games; guys like me and Dan with the Behemoth or Edmund and Tommy from Team Meat. Every game you make is a learning experience so it's good to just make lots of games for fun and get feedback from the public. When the times comes that you make something to sell, you'll be a better game developer AND you'll have fans who want to support you. We're trying to help people make more money from their free games and in a lot of cases, making free web games has been more profitable than trying to sell games on other platforms. It just doesn't have as much allure right now because mobile has a big shiny jackpot that everyone wants to win.

I agree completely, especially with the last point. You've done a better job at stating it, then I did earlier, damn you. But to continue, I do see this place as a diamond in the rough, and an arena for creativity that is beautiful and fair. I guess the users can only thank you guys for your hard work and commitment. After watching Indie Game: The Movie it really did show the difficulties out there to make a game, but the commitment was admirable and the kind that anyone should envy.

Thank you guys.

Edmund and Tommy are epic, and sexy btw.

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NoLanLabs
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 05:14 PM Reply

Just some thoughts:

1. I think NG would benefit from a comment feature on submissions, like YouTube, sound cloud, kongregate, etc , rather than just a one-time review. It would probably be a lot of youtube-like crap, but would make submissions a lot more social and interactive, like on every other modern website. (On Kongregate you can even chat live with other people while you play the games.)

2. Newgrounds NEEDS Unity support ASAP. Every Ludum Dare I see a bunch of really neat Unity games that NG is missing out on.

3. The new video player seems to only work on high-end computers, I have a couple friends who have to watch stuff on YouTube because the NG player is just too slow. It seriously needs a quality option or something. A bonus would be making it embeddable for sites like Facebook and Reddit.

4. Hopefully HTML5 will continue to bring awesome console-quality games like Soulcaster. An HTML5 version of the API would help but I have no idea how feasible that is.

5. With the more mobile friendly content coming in (audio portal, mp4, html5) NG is gonna need a mobile version that only displays stuff that will work on mobile. Right now browsing NG on a mobile device is kind of a guessing game, as it's not obvious at all what will work until you click on it. Seeing "You need Flash" on one submission might make a mobile user give up on the whole site. (Even better, a Newgrounds app! But that's probably asking way too much.)

6. This one isn't as important but now that you can see which of your friends are online, it would be AWESOME to have a private chat feature. It's not gonna save NG, but it'd be pretty darn cool.

7. Maybe you could use the Behemoth to promote Newgrounds? Like, a NG-exclusive BattleBlock Theater or Castle Crashers mini game?

8. I know people would hate it, but the key to success these days seems to be Facebook and Twitter integration - not trying to create your own separate social network, but making a network that meshes with the already-popular ones. Maybe like a NG Facebook app that posts when you get high scores, and you can challenge your FB friends. Yeah, people here would really hate that, but it might be inevitable.

9. Somehow the Art Portal needs to be promoted better than it is now, because there is some absolutely amazing art in there and it seems like not enough people see it. Not sure what to do, but something. Also, I would think the Lit portal would help the site - it seems like there would already be a user base for it, and it would attract a very different audience than the typical Flash game kids.

10. Is it possible to somehow give more ad revenue to NG-exclusive content? Might be a really bad idea, but I know Kongregate does it.

11. Sponsor a NASCAR car.

12. Another unimportant one that would just be neat: more trophies for stuff like monthly winners, and custom ones for contests like robot day.

I'd like to see what you guys think, on some of the bigger ones anyway.


Happy Robot Day 2014! Play our latest GAME! It's in 3-D!

TomFulp
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 05:56 PM Reply

I'm about to run so sorry this will be quick:

1. I think NG would benefit from a comment feature on submissions, like YouTube, sound cloud, kongregate, etc , rather than just a one-time review.

I do think about this a lot. My one worry is that we get a lot of compliments from people who say they get the best quality feedback on NG, so I get nervous that if we added an alternative system the review system might get less love. And it feels like two systems gets messy so it should probably be one or the other. Still something to ponder.

2. Newgrounds NEEDS Unity support ASAP. Every Ludum Dare I see a bunch of really neat Unity games that NG is missing out on.

We are gonna be adding Unity support. Technically anyone with HTML5 access could upload a Unity game NOW, since they would just upload a zip with an index.html file that loads their Unity game. Still, I'd like to disable voting and reviews for people who don't have the plugin and offer a proper notification of what they need to do, so planning to do it up right.

3. The new video player seems to only work on high-end computers, I have a couple friends who have to watch stuff on YouTube because the NG player is just too slow. It seriously needs a quality option or something. A bonus would be making it embeddable for sites like Facebook and Reddit.

The problem there is we have a lot of true 1080p videos on the site. We need to make 720p the default. We could actually go smaller - videos on Vimeo are half that resolution but at a high bitrate to avoid artifacts so they still scale well in a browser. The downside with the Vimeo method is that the line art in cartoons can come off slightly blurry because it's been scaled and smoothed by the browser. Also we do want to attempt embedding, we have the bandwidth for it.

4. Hopefully HTML5 will continue to bring awesome console-quality games like Soulcaster. An HTML5 version of the API would help but I have no idea how feasible that is.

We plan to tackle this!

5. With the more mobile friendly content coming in (audio portal, mp4, html5) NG is gonna need a mobile version that only displays stuff that will work on mobile. Right now browsing NG on a mobile device is kind of a guessing game, as it's not obvious at all what will work until you click on it. Seeing "You need Flash" on one submission might make a mobile user give up on the whole site. (Even better, a Newgrounds app! But that's probably asking way too much.)

We plan to tackle this!

6. This one isn't as important but now that you can see which of your friends are online, it would be AWESOME to have a private chat feature. It's not gonna save NG, but it'd be pretty darn cool.

This will actually be possible with the social server stuff Goldfish is working on, so it's not too out there.

7. Maybe you could use the Behemoth to promote Newgrounds? Like, a NG-exclusive BattleBlock Theater or Castle Crashers mini game?

I talk a lot about doing a CC web game or releasing the original prototype (where it was totally different art and layout), I gotta get off my ass on that some day. :(

8. I know people would hate it, but the key to success these days seems to be Facebook and Twitter integration - not trying to create your own separate social network, but making a network that meshes with the already-popular ones. Maybe like a NG Facebook app that posts when you get high scores, and you can challenge your FB friends. Yeah, people here would really hate that, but it might be inevitable.

Goldfish is tackling this.

9. Somehow the Art Portal needs to be promoted better than it is now, because there is some absolutely amazing art in there and it seems like not enough people see it. Not sure what to do, but something. Also, I would think the Lit portal would help the site - it seems like there would already be a user base for it, and it would attract a very different audience than the typical Flash game kids.

Have some ideas that could help integrate the Art Portal in more places, overall just need to organize more cool stuff around it too. And we do plan to have a Lit Portal, I'm holding on to hope for 2013 but our list is big.

10. Is it possible to somehow give more ad revenue to NG-exclusive content? Might be a really bad idea, but I know Kongregate does it.

If we start generating bigger numbers this would become more worth exploring, like if we start landing higher paying pre-roll ads.

11. Sponsor a NASCAR car.

ON IT

12. Another unimportant one that would just be neat: more trophies for stuff like monthly winners, and custom ones for contests like robot day.

Goldfish actually built a system for doing the custom trophies, it just never made it to 100% completion. Hopefully we can get that wrapped up as a rainy day project because it would be fun!


This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

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TheElephant
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 05:58 PM Reply

dont worry you everything is gonna be allright


remembre my name!

Phobotech
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 06:23 PM Reply

Thanks very much for chiming in, Tom. It's awesome and reassuring that you're addressing this.


"I sail through a golden nexus. By tanks with armor that glisten. I watch and I play with creations, and what I'm not reading, I listen." <-

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LDAF
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Response to I am worried. Dec. 27th, 2012 @ 10:28 PM Reply

At 12/27/12 06:23 PM, Phobotech wrote: Thanks very much for chiming in, Tom. It's awesome and reassuring that you're addressing this.

Reassuring is definitely the word I'd use here too. Very excited to see what happens in 2013 and how NG evolves!


Are you MAN enough to click this?!

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