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Back from PAX! I've actually been back since Monday night around 2am, but I spent all day Tuesday trying to get caught up, as usual. This finally ends the "summer gauntlet" of conventions, although there are murmurs of checking out the Tokyo Game Show.
I was happy to see that response to the new ads wasn't too bad while I was away! There is a definite problem with point and click shooters being surrounded by the ads, so we'll need to address that.
It was exciting to find a tiny change to the forums that I had been nit-picking over. It was one of those things that was extremely low priority compared to everything else, but the guys decided to surprise me. I technically COULD have dug into the code and tried making a change like that myself, but I'm staying hands off with Bob's CSS so as not to make a mess of things.
We're still playing catch-up on previously existing features that didn't launch with the redesign. The "secrets" returned over a week ago and the "reviews by author" pages should be returning in the next week. The portal buddies system is still in limbo, although I know people have been using the old management form that still exists on the server. Bringing back portal buddies under the new layout is the next priority.
I plan to front page Corey Stuck In Purgatory, but I front paged so much stuff yesterday that now I have to wait. Check it out, it's a visual treat. I have high hopes for the Corey series, but regret that NG hasn't mustered up more views for it. The NG front page really vexes me sometimes... If I put up something that looks "sexy", it might get 30-40,000 views per day. Something with sprites will get 15-25,000 views per day. Something unknown will get 5-15,000 views per day... Sometimes less. Having sprite movies or sexy looking movies on the front page doesn't seem to hurt the views of the submissions around them; if I put nothing but "underdogs" on the front page, everything performs equally bad... If anything, the mainstream content does seem to help lift everything up around it.
It makes me wonder, where do people go who would have watched the sprite movie or the sexy looking movie if one had been there? Do they just leave the site because they didn't find something that appealed to them? Or do they just look elsewhere on the site? I really need to get more into analytics. What I really want, though, is a general shift in the web browsing public. People need to stop looking for sexy and/or familiar and take a lot more interest in discovering new things. We already have a lot of great users here on NG who love to look under rocks and see what's crawling underneath, I just want MORE of that. There's so much awesome stuff on the site that is just slipping by every day. I get a chuckle out of iPhone every time I watch it, but I could have easily missed it and never have front paged it. We'll need to do another treasure hunt contest some time soon.
Anyway, I should probably talk about my trip to PAX! PAX is the Penny Arcade Expo, now possibly the largest video game convention in the US, now that E3 is downsizing. It's kinda surreal, because we're buddies with the Penny Arcade crew. It's like, you grow up feeling like such a nobody in such a big industry, then suddenly the people you were growing up with start becoming the power players - so you become totally embedded in the emerging power structure. I look at NG the same way... We're a bunch of outsiders, but we're growing up and building something huge, and all the old guys are gonna eventually die or retire. Over the years, NG contributors are landing jobs at big companies (not to mention jobs at NG) or starting companies of their own. It's crazy to think what another ten years will reveal.
So back to the post... PAX was a lot of fun! We had a 10x30' booth with two Xbox 360 test units running Castle Crashers and maintaining a constant crowd the entire weekend. We sold hundreds of t-shirts and figurines, which covers the expenses of the trip (booth fees, merchandise production costs, hotels, flights, etc.) and helps keep the Behemoth chugging along. I'm going into military mode with finishing CC (I might even shave my head to set the tone), as development has gone on for too long and my stomach hurts when people ask about a release date. It will be a special day when the game hits Live Arcade! There are so many games I want to make, it's giving me an ulcer.
My PAX and Comic-Con picture/story pages are forthcoming... For now, you can read Emil's coverage from our Comic-Con booth!
i wish i could go to a game expo :(
OMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOME NOMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOMENOM EN
At 8/29/07 09:17 AM, TomFulp wrote: It was exciting to find a tiny change to the forums that I had been nit-picking over. It was one of those things that was extremely low priority compared to everything else, but the guys decided to surprise me. I technically COULD have dug into the code and tried making a change like that myself, but I'm staying hands off with Bob's CSS so as not to make a mess of things.
I noticed that this morning... I thought that I'd seen the xxxx/xxxx exp since the redesign, but I wasn't sure. Certainly looks cleaner, and there's no real need for it outside of profiles, so it's cool.
Eh, while I usually search the portal for new series and upcoming titles, I'll admit I'm only really persuaded to view a front page animation if I've heard of it before, or the artist who made it... I mean, they should all be good seeing how they were displayed on the front page out of the thousands of animations that pass.
I'd like to see another treasure hunt, the last one was great.
At 8/29/07 09:17 AM, TomFulp wrote: Having sprite movies or sexy looking movies on the front page doesn't seem to hurt the views of the submissions around them; if I put nothing but "underdogs" on the front page, everything performs equally bad... If anything, the mainstream content does seem to help lift everything up around it.
People need to stop looking for sexy and/or familiar and take a lot more interest in discovering new things. We already have a lot of great users here on NG who love to look under rocks and see what's crawling underneath, I just want MORE of that.
Well, you could make a good start on that by not showcasing the tired crap that IWP produces. I mean, if he created a new and interesting character that was actually good, well-animated and funny, then fair enough, he'd deserve the exposure, but he seems to show no inclination to listen to his fans. Some of them are even starting to lose interest in smutty innuendo and the same old recycled graphics. Replace that 'Car Wash' tripe with Corey
Good god, why do people ask what PAX is without reading the main post?! :P Its RIGHT there...
When viewing things on the front page, I generally only look at things with high ratings - I am a bit reluctant to view animations with scores under 4, and games with scores under 3.75. As long as it has a high rating, I'll watch it, no matter whether its well-known or not.
I view flash in the pop-up windows, so the new ads had no effect on me at all...
Go for it, shave your head! :D
Hey Tom I'm glad Pax went great again for you guys, Also have you been playing Bioshock at all? amazing game also what did you think of Jack Thompson stupid comments about the tv ads and content in Bioshock people can be so stupid there was some bad press about the moral stuff with the little sisters to bunch of assholes, so when can I look forward to playing Castle crashers on the arcade? well keep up the awsome job Tom later. -Steve
In regards to the fact that sexual flashes get many more views than the really good ones.
It is in the subconscious nature of people to click on the sexually themed flashes instead of something that might be awesome. The front page is comprised of small icons with a little bit of text to attract potential viewers to flashes. If that is all there is to initially represent these flashes, then of course they will not get enough views. When someone sees something they think is going to be sexual, they know that they are going to have a good time.
My solution is that you (somehow) make them stand out better. I noticed that there are big empty spaces on each side of the front page, comprising of 40% of the total front page space. Making use of this could be useful to make a bigger, better place for the flashes to be featured. The more awesome the link to the flash looks, the more likely it is to be viewed.
Then again, the extra space on the front page is probably vacant for bandwidth reasons. There was also a big update recently which you guys are still trying to tweak into perfection, so I doubt you will be making any big changes like this.
At 8/29/07 10:06 AM, madknt wrote: looks pretty much exactly the same as comic con.. must get boring?
going to japan would be cool though, apart from everyone speaking japanese.. but ya get that!
because emils page was covering comic con!!
ahhh, im such a dumb ass.
but on another note, i like the forum change.
its really does look cleaner and makes posts take up less room vertically, which really was needed.
didnt take long to adjust to it not being there.
ummm.. as for the front page.
sprites and sex sells, combine them.. youll get 100 times the views.
Good to hear the redesign bugs are being handled...hopefully the return of seeing a person's reviews will coincide with the review mods being able to delete/ban again, because I'm getting tired of seeing chain-mail-esque reviews. This isn't Youtube, dammit... :-(
Plus lots of people want to start getting points again, lol.
I noticed that "Creators" Picture pack on XBL, it's the best damn pack ever (Right next to that one with Angry faic) Can't wait to play Castle Crashers. Thanks Tom!
I wish I could go to some of these. Looks like a lot of fun. Nice story :P.
MY E-PENIS IS BIGGER THAN YOURS
...and this is my fag...
I don't see why anyone would like something with sprites MORE than something hand drawn. :/ I guess it's just because of familiar characters.