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2017 Year End Thoughts

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TomFulp
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With 2017 coming to a close, it's time to reflect on what we accomplished this year and what our plans are for 2018.

Things we accomplished in 2017

We completely rebuilt our site search. The search bar now auto-suggests content as you type and has a ton of options for advanced searching, including specific date ranges.

We migrated NG to HTTPS, so your connection is extra secure and the whole NG experience is more pro.

We updated the Audio listen and playlist pages to be mobile friendly and utilize an HTML5 audio player. The player now remembers your global volume setting and where you left off on individual songs. You can now loop an individual song OR an entire list of songs. We added a global rights management tool for artists and management options for use in games like Geometry Dash.

We updated the Art view page to be mobile friendly.

We updated Dumping Grounds with the new layout and drag and drop uploading.

We built a new custom storage solution to cut costs while doubling our storage capacity.

We integrated additional software to tackle spam in the blogs and forums while manually removing anyone who gets past the filters.

We rebuilt our follow / favorite system and now have more data to use in upcoming updates, such as time stamps for when people are followed and things are favorited. We've begun the transition of replacing hearts with a more clear "Follow" button for artists. You can see this on audio and art pages currently. Hearts will still be used for favoriting content.

We unveiled Nightmare Cops at Comic-Con. It's still a ways out but it's gonna make waves when it finally hits.

We hosted Pixel Day, a Construct 3 Game Jam, Pico Day, Madness Day, a Halloween Spooktacular, a movie theater screening, Robot Day and several indie game art contests.

Plans for 2018

The new year will kick off with the launch of new user pages and a new site header. Heads up, the tank logo isn't currently planned to appear in the new header because we could never get it to feel right without taking up a lot of space. We intend to keep working the tank logo into the site in other ways but for now we're in a big state of transition as the layout evolves.

Next we'll be gunning to launch new movie and game view pages as quickly as possible, so all our content pages will be under the new layout.

Then we'll be moving on to the forums, PMs, project system, wiki and various odds and ends. We intend to make the PM system more chat-like, where you maintain individual real-time threads with users, rather than the current system where you send single messages and quote previous messages. The forums will become mobile friendly and include the ability to reply to posts in-feed, something you will see with blog replies in the January update. We're making an ongoing effort to let you do more and more in-feed, so you can interact with lots of stuff without having to jump in and out.

As we wrap up layout updates, we'll be spending time to focus on UI / UX. This is a great time to give us suggestions and to share stories about when the NG user experience has caused confusion for you. We want to improve the initial sign-up process so people are more likely to engage with the site and artists. We want to be sure people are following artists they like because our feed will keep becoming more useful.

We also have plans for helping fans financially support their favorite artists, although the idea involves tracking and rewarding one-time direct payments vs recurring subscriptions, which would require NG to be more of a middleman than we intend to be.

Event-wise, Pixel Day is January 23rd! We're expecting to showcase a site skin by Joakim 'konjak' Sandberg to celebrate the release of Iconoclasts, which happens to be the same day. Joekim is a virtuoso and has been working on Iconoclasts for the past seven years, you won't want to miss it.

In February, expect the release of the NG Dragonball Z collab followed by a line-up of new episodes of your favorite space-themed NG shows. We already have a slick site skin by @LemKuuja waiting in the wings.

If you enjoyed NG this year and are looking forward to our ongoing progress in 2018, it would be greatly appreciated if you become a supporter!

We started 2017 with 1,645 active supporters and are currently wrapping up with 1,651. The fact that the number has grown is good news; most supporter accounts expire over the course of a year and we could have easily ended 2017 with less than we started. Still, we seriously need to double that number asap and make sure it grows year after year, rather than simply maintain.

Thank you everyone who participated in and supported NG in 2017! I'm proud that NG is home to so many talented individuals and there is always so much cool stuff to see, hear and play. Newgrounds remains a completely unique place on the web and is building strength year after year, all thanks to the ongoing efforts of the community. A lot of websites have come and gone over the years and I want NG fans to be able to look at all this with pride and know they picked the right horse.

If you've been lurking, now would be a great time to sign up and introduce yourself! Make 2018 your big year on NG and see what happens.

I'll close this out with a flashy NG Tank Pin, available via SharkRobot!

2017 Year End Thoughts


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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Djjaner
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 11:02:07 Reply

First

IIITesTerIII
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 11:02:36 Reply

Oh yeah!!

I'm really excited for 2018 and I'm thanking 2017 for being such an awesome year :)


While you're reading this, I'm stealing your cookies...

DoctorStrongbad
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 11:07:36 Reply

At 12/29/17 11:02 AM, Djjaner wrote: First

Anybody could be first. lol

2017 was a rough year for me, but I made it.


I have a PhD in Troll Physics
Top Medal points user list. I am number 12

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Luis
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 11:13:32 Reply

At 12/29/17 10:49 AM, TomFulp wrote: If you've been lurking, now would be a great time to sign up and introduce yourself! Make 2018 your big year on NG and see what happens.

I'll close this out with a flashy NG Tank Pin, available via SharkRobot!

Maybe you could have some sort of referral reward system for the subscriber system, i imagine they must work to get some traction on services like grubhub and uber?

I think with the leveling rewards and stuff, i figure having the humble brag of being a superstar recruiter would fit in well with the newgrounds system? Thinking out loud.

Maybe the hall of fame supporters page is manifested differently and more integrated to the site, maybe for supporters it pops up their user feed? like hey X just joined supporter status say hello! Right now it feels like an island and i feel not many people reach it.

i think having the pm system feel more like a messenger might be nice, might be a big build tho, i feel like the one way note tossing format is kind of outdated in todays immediate gratification norms.

The shark robot collab was a refreshing one, would be neat to sneak in more newgrounds friendly stuff through them next year.

Would be cool to begin planning another one of those screening things, maybe pico day evolves to being more like that as opposed to just an office hotel party format? after so many pico days now would be cool to do a screening just devoted to the evolution of pico days over the years perhaps, or not i dunno

ok thats my thoughts. first post also


None

Mantis1
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 11:16:49 (edited 2017-12-29 11:17:37) Reply

Event-wise, Pixel Day is January 23rd! We're expecting to showcase a site skin by Joakim 'konjak' Sandberg to celebrate the release of Iconoclasts, which happens to be the same day. Joekim is a virtuoso and has been working on Iconoclasts for the past seven years, you won't want to miss it.

I'm killing to buy Iconoclasts, and an NG site-skin by Joakim 'konjak' Sandberg makes the game even sweeter! Does he have a NG account by any chance?


I'm probably supposed to pander hard to you so you would follow me on Twitter! :)

Wegra
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 11:28:23 Reply

2017 was a great year for me and I'm glad to see the mobile layout is nearing completion. Glad to see we survived another year and I hope we got more to come!


Ahahahahahah

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DoctorStrongbad
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 11:45:03 Reply

At 12/29/17 11:02 AM, IIITesTerIII wrote: Oh yeah!!
I'm really excited for 2018 and I'm thanking 2017 for being such an awesome year :)

2018 should be much better. It could of be one of my best years ever. Very excited about it.


I have a PhD in Troll Physics
Top Medal points user list. I am number 12

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PhantomArcade
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 12:13:14 Reply

2018 is gonna be sick. 2017 was a great year, and looking back even the fumbles served as learning experiences so they'll just make 2018 that much better. Also, every cartoon that's 99% done but won't make it for 2017 can now all come out in '18, so that's gonna be righteous.

Excited for new user pages, and Luis's supporter ideas are slick. I dig that.

XwaynecoltX
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 12:53:24 Reply

2018 here we come

Glad to see some nice nifty changes comming down the pipeline.

~X~

TomFulp
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 12:55:39 Reply

At 12/29/17 11:13 AM, Luis wrote: Maybe you could have some sort of referral reward system for the subscriber system, i imagine they must work to get some traction on services like grubhub and uber?

The new user pages actually pass referral info in their links to the supporter system but we haven't built the back-end that tracks it yet. We do plan to do that though!

Maybe the hall of fame supporters page is manifested differently and more integrated to the site, maybe for supporters it pops up their user feed? like hey X just joined supporter status say hello! Right now it feels like an island and i feel not many people reach it.

It's definitely too hidden, especially for existing supporters since they no longer see supporter ads. I've been wondering about something that shows the latest supporters in the footer, or a box on the front page... We'll be trying SOMETHING along those lines. Even considering a black-out day to see how many supporters it generates.

Would be cool to begin planning another one of those screening things, maybe pico day evolves to being more like that as opposed to just an office hotel party format? after so many pico days now would be cool to do a screening just devoted to the evolution of pico days over the years perhaps, or not i dunno

Hopeful for more screenings, just gotta decide how big of an event it should be and if there could be enough for people to make the trip for beyond a theater screening. Could just keep it low key for now though. We need to grab a drink soon too.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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DoctorStrongbad
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 12:56:39 Reply

At 12/29/17 12:53 PM, XwaynecoltX wrote: 2018 here we come
Glad to see some nice nifty changes comming down the pipeline.

~X~

2018 is just around the corner. I will have to check out these new updates.


I have a PhD in Troll Physics
Top Medal points user list. I am number 12

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TomFulp
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 12:56:50 Reply

At 12/29/17 11:16 AM, Mantis1 wrote:
Event-wise, Pixel Day is January 23rd! We're expecting to showcase a site skin by Joakim 'konjak' Sandberg to celebrate the release of Iconoclasts, which happens to be the same day. Joekim is a virtuoso and has been working on Iconoclasts for the past seven years, you won't want to miss it.
I'm killing to buy Iconoclasts, and an NG site-skin by Joakim 'konjak' Sandberg makes the game even sweeter! Does he have a NG account by any chance?

Not aware of him having an NG account at the moment, maybe by Pixel Day that will happen!


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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AndoGDTunes
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 13:16:59 (edited 2017-12-29 13:21:38) Reply

2017 was my first year in the Audio Portal, and I'm so excited to see how 2018 will go!
Also, I'm hyped for the new NG layout :D
I love the talent collected in this site, and I'm hoping that it continues to grow so that the unknown artists can be noticed while staying on their home platform.
The future is near, people!
~ALISTICmusic

Also hoping to become a supporter soon so I can break away from the "hey I came from Geometry Dash" crowd and go full on with ALISTICmusic. Soon.


wowza.
I appear to be creative. All my stuff

DoctorStrongbad
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 13:20:54 Reply

More and better ways to earn money would be amazing. Getting paid for things that you enjoy doing is awesome. We could all use more cash in 2018.


I have a PhD in Troll Physics
Top Medal points user list. I am number 12

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jonthomson
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 14:11:01 Reply

At 12/29/17 11:07 AM, DoctorStrongbad wrote:
At 12/29/17 11:02 AM, Djjaner wrote: First
Anybody could be first. lol

It's good to see that his forum postings are as original as his Portal postings

RealFaction
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 14:19:54 Reply

At 12/29/17 10:49 AM, TomFulp wrote: With 2017 coming to a close, it's time to reflect on what we accomplished this year and what our plans are for 2018.

That's a lot of stuff to reflect on, and a lot of progress to come! :) Can't wait to see it. I'm really looking forward to the user page changes and messaging changes especially. So you would have a Patreon-inspired system but not exactly? I dunno, i'd be careful with that one. But, it could work if executed right. I know I could use it since I'm definitely broke xD

Scuinox
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 14:59:39 Reply

I was going to mention a few things I thought of.So there is a level system for blaming and voting on videos. There are points for playing games and such. I was thinking if there was a level system for playing games then it might make the games more engaging and maybe put a competitive twist to the gaming experience. As well as leaderboards for all games. Also I had kind of a sudden almost out of left field idea. Another portal where the videos are filmed videos. So then it wouldn't be just animations and such. PLus then it would filter all the horrible videos out. Which wouldn't pollute the site with unnecessary videos. It would be a place to judge other videos and films. Which could open up a whole new section and invite different people. These were just thoughts that I had as I've been using the site quite frequently for a few months now. I'm not sure what all has been considered and not thought about or if there is a gaming level system.
Anyways I just thought I would mention these few ideas in case they would be of help.
Happy New Year!


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DoctorStrongbad
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 15:02:54 Reply

At 12/29/17 02:11 PM, jonthomson wrote:
At 12/29/17 11:07 AM, DoctorStrongbad wrote:
At 12/29/17 11:02 AM, Djjaner wrote: First
Anybody could be first. lol
It's good to see that his forum postings are as original as his Portal postings

Yeah. Maybe you should help him out?

Anyway, enjoy 2017 while you still can.


I have a PhD in Troll Physics
Top Medal points user list. I am number 12

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BrandyBuizel
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 15:11:51 Reply

Hearing that only 1,651 are active supporters on the site kind of frustrates me. So many people use the site on a daily basis and care enough to protect the portals daily. If every user on NG with lvl 20 or higher gave $25 a year to NG for supporter status we'd easily quadruple the current server hosting and artist distribution/contest funds.

MeowPew
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 15:29:22 Reply

Enter Newgrounds at 23:59 and 0:00 you've been at Newgrounds since last year. 'w'


In the days of Kings and Queens I was a jester . Treat me like a God or they treat me like a leper ^~^

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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 15:34:26 Reply

At 12/29/17 12:55 PM, TomFulp wrote:
At 12/29/17 11:13 AM, Luis wrote:
Would be cool to begin planning another one of those screening things, maybe pico day evolves to being more like that as opposed to just an office hotel party format? after so many pico days now would be cool to do a screening just devoted to the evolution of pico days over the years perhaps, or not i dunno
Hopeful for more screenings, just gotta decide how big of an event it should be and if there could be enough for people to make the trip for beyond a theater screening. Could just keep it low key for now though. We need to grab a drink soon too.

I've been researching the local venues on and off since the screening; any place we'd try couldn't offer an all day reservation so it'd have to be a planned time slot and i'm not sure if that could replace the Pico Day Office parties. The MOCA still looks like the most fitting spot so I'll try calling them up today about prices/rates, but that still makes for a short meetup so if there was a screening with another follow up place like last time then I could it turning into a larger thing perhaps. But in the meantime it'd be nice to do another small one, I'll pitch a few of the spots to you sometime


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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 15:36:28 Reply

At 12/29/17 03:29 PM, MeowPew wrote: Enter Newgrounds at 23:59 and 0:00 you've been at Newgrounds since last year. 'w'

That is true. Everything will be, See you next year or Catch you next year.


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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 15:51:46 Reply

At 12/29/17 02:59 PM, Scuinox wrote: I was going to mention a few things I thought of.So there is a level system for blaming and voting on videos. There are points for playing games and such. I was thinking if there was a level system for playing games then it might make the games more engaging and maybe put a competitive twist to the gaming experience. As well as leaderboards for all games. Also I had kind of a sudden almost out of left field idea. Another portal where the videos are filmed videos. So then it wouldn't be just animations and such. PLus then it would filter all the horrible videos out. Which wouldn't pollute the site with unnecessary videos. It would be a place to judge other videos and films. Which could open up a whole new section and invite different people. These were just thoughts that I had as I've been using the site quite frequently for a few months now. I'm not sure what all has been considered and not thought about or if there is a gaming level system.
Anyways I just thought I would mention these few ideas in case they would be of help.
Happy New Year!

We have leaderboards via our API but it's up to the individual games to integrate them. We also have a medals ranking board but that could be promoted more heavily and we could try other things to rank people by how much of individual content types they consume. I've always liked the idea of a pie chart that shows how someone uses the site (animation / games / music / art in particular).

A portal for live action video is one of the big looming possibilities. It was need to be clear enough to the public that they can't just dump endless hours of home movies and vlogs on there, otherwise it would be a mess for us to accept and process all the uploads even before removing them. One of the things about sites like YouTube is that it does still cost a fortune to just let the general public dump video on you. It might even have to be invite-only, at least initially.

The other concern there is it would really shake things up. Animated content would be competing with live action content and sadly live action would probably end up being more popular with a wider audience and animators might feel like they are getting nudged out of the spotlight. More likely though, live action could end up widening the spotlight for everyone.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 15:56:54 Reply

2017 was a rough year for me, but I made it.

Same, it was a pretty shitty year imo.


gay
gay
gay

bucknike1
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 16:33:41 Reply

At 12/29/17 12:56 PM, TomFulp wrote:
At 12/29/17 11:16 AM, Mantis1 wrote:
Event-wise, Pixel Day is January 23rd! We're expecting to showcase a site skin by Joakim 'konjak' Sandberg to celebrate the release of Iconoclasts, which happens to be the same day. Joekim is a virtuoso and has been working on Iconoclasts for the past seven years, you won't want to miss it.
I'm killing to buy Iconoclasts, and an NG site-skin by Joakim 'konjak' Sandberg makes the game even sweeter! Does he have a NG account by any chance?
Not aware of him having an NG account at the moment, maybe by Pixel Day that will happen!

I don't like the system of the audio portal right now. Way too many people post stolen audio onto the audio portal and all it takes is one user scouting them and they can post all the stolen audio they want.

There is simply too many stolen audio submissions on NG and we need a way to clean the audio portal up by changing up the system on the Audio Portal.

TomFulp
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 16:38:41 Reply

At 12/29/17 04:33 PM, bucknike1 wrote: I don't like the system of the audio portal right now. Way too many people post stolen audio onto the audio portal and all it takes is one user scouting them and they can post all the stolen audio they want.

There is simply too many stolen audio submissions on NG and we need a way to clean the audio portal up by changing up the system on the Audio Portal.

Most of that comes from kids trying to upload music they think they'll be able to use in Geometry Dash but they won't because RobTop has to whitelist their account. It has been tempting at times to make the Audio Portal require supporter status just to solve that problem but it would keep a lot of other people out. Eventually we could use a service to scan each upload but that will cost thousands of dollars per month and NG would need waaaaay more supporters.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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bucknike1
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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 16:44:05 Reply

At 12/29/17 04:38 PM, TomFulp wrote:
At 12/29/17 04:33 PM, bucknike1 wrote: I don't like the system of the audio portal right now. Way too many people post stolen audio onto the audio portal and all it takes is one user scouting them and they can post all the stolen audio they want.

There is simply too many stolen audio submissions on NG and we need a way to clean the audio portal up by changing up the system on the Audio Portal.
Most of that comes from kids trying to upload music they think they'll be able to use in Geometry Dash but they won't because RobTop has to whitelist their account. It has been tempting at times to make the Audio Portal require supporter status just to solve that problem but it would keep a lot of other people out. Eventually we could use a service to scan each upload but that will cost thousands of dollars per month and NG would need waaaaay more supporters.

Also I would like to point out that "too rated inspired artists" in my opinion serves no purpose because all you have to do is make a crappy or ear rape song, and vote 5 on it and you will be on that list.

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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 16:46:56 Reply

I really dig the idea to change the PM system over to a more chat based one.

Are there any plans to allow game uploads that are made NOT in HTML5 or Flash?


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Response to 2017 Year End Thoughts 2017-12-29 16:51:38 Reply

At 12/29/17 04:46 PM, Zachary wrote: I really dig the idea to change the PM system over to a more chat based one.

Are there any plans to allow game uploads that are made NOT in HTML5 or Flash?

For now we're sticking with web-based but downloadable has long been under consideration. The timing felt ripe back when there weren't good web alternatives and Steam was still harder to get onto but now it feels less pressing. One of my other concerns is NG becoming even more confusing to people who think there is too much going on here.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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