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PsychoGoldfish's News

Posted by PsychoGoldfish - March 10th, 2010


"International Get Drunk Day" is just 1 week away!!!

Things to do:

1) Buy lots of alchohol
2) Get several tubes of green food dye
3) ???????
4) Profit

And when the day arrives, don't forget to join the only online party hosted by a true 1/4 Irish ginger!

See my last news post for further details


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - February 24th, 2010


As February draws to a close, we find ourselves approaching one of the greatest days ever, "International Get Drunk Day", also known by it's other names, "Buy Stock in Green Food Coloring Day" and the lesser known "St Patrick's Day".

This holiday dates back to 1738 when St Patrick invented green beer. This invention was an accident, occurring when the patron saint of Ireland ran out of milk for his Lucky Charms (wich at the time, only had the green shamrock marshmallows) and decided to substitute beer. As he finished his breakfast, he was amazed to discover his beer had turned green, and the rest is history.

Today we celebrate the holiday by putting green food coloring in anything liquid, and drinking any of these liquids that happen to contain alcohol in large gatherings.

I will be celebrating this most blessed day by doing simultaneous live broadcasts on Radiogrounds and Stickam, playing some music, drinking green beer, and possible nudity....

The show starts sometime around 2:00pm EST on March 17. If anything changes, I'll post a new blog.

"International Get Drunk Day"


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - June 5th, 2009



Posted by PsychoGoldfish - April 1st, 2009


YOU CAN ALL FINALLY QUIT BUGGING ME ABOUT FINISHING THE CHAT, IT IS DONE!

Click the chat link in the header to join in the fun.

HAHAHAHAH APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - January 26th, 2009


UPDATE:

Congratulations men, WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.cnbc.com/id/28873174

LONG LIVE VINCE!

------

CALL TO ARMS!!!!!!

http://www.cnbc.com/id/28855631/

VOTE SHAMWOW!!!!!!

Shamwow needs your help!!!!!!!


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - January 2nd, 2009


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Thank you for your time...


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - October 7th, 2008


Well, if you hadn't noticed, I like to play around with egg timers. I've always been into egg related gadgets, but lately egg timers have really grabbed my attention, mainly because I like to play with the latest spring and gear technology. Something about the fact that you can wind a spring and have it move a series of gears, while using far less power than a Ford F150 pickup truck, is interesting to me. It's fun to keep up with technology and realize we are getting closer to springs and gears powering other time-related devices in our homes, time related devices on our wrists and time related devices in our automobiles.

For now egg timers are still a useful thing to have around eggs, near boiling pots of water, at your family restaurant, etc. I would be surprised if people didn't have at least 13 egg timers around the home somewhere, in case their power goes out and they have to boil eggs on burning heaps of furniture without the convenience of a digital clock timer. Take these recent events with hurricanes. Millions of people were left without electric range tops and are stuck with soggy undercooked eggs from Ike. And what kind of timing devices are they stuck with? Power efficient Timex wristwatches that are water resistant up to 500 feet, that require elderly people to push difficult, tiny buttons. Without current spring and gear technology these watches will surely stop accurate egg cooking in a matter of years.

So I thought I would recommend some basic egg timers that use cutting edge springs and gears, which are very efficient and provide timed runs, better eggs, etc...

For those who want an egg-shaped egg timer, I recommend the 'Boiled Egg Timer'. This timer will run off any wrist crank, and will run at full power for whatever time you crank it to, before stopping with a loud ding. I have gotten over 54 minutes of egg cooking time in a single twist of my wrist. Now this timer isn't super loud, the ding is only about 70 decibels and has a slight aluminum resonance. This is designed as a close proximity timer that will give you enough ding if you are only 20 feet away.

It's available in one color here:

Boiled Egg Timer

It runs $10 shipped (shipping is WAY more than the egg timer). It's a tough little sucker too, I smashed it into the floor 2 times before it exploded in a wonderful display of flying cogs and razor sharp spiral springs.

For those of you who want something more exciting, with a lot more minutes, check out the Retro Look 60min Kitchen Egg Timer, which is listed on a different site. I keep one of these in my bedroom and our Forum Mod Luis has been using one to time the response time of the US/Mexican border patrol. It's a lot of fun! At $10.99 it's not for everyone, but it's a fun little egg timer and it will impress people when you crank it all the way to 60 minutes. You can use rechargeable wrist cranks in it, just read the specs here:

Retro Look 60min Kitchen Egg Timer

There is a special technique of turning the dial after a ding that can convert this 60 minute egg timer into a TWO HOUR TIMER, but it'll void the warranty if you turn it with a hammer drill. If someone figures out how to supercharge this bad boy to 3 hours, PM me :)

There are all kinds of other cool egg timers on that site too, but I wanted to point out those two because I couldn't be assed to google for any other egg timers for a half-assed parody post. Besides, they are both great and will make sure you have the awesomest, most fun egg cooking experience ever!

This isn't intended to be a sale's pitch, but of you do buy an egg timer, I expect a fucking commission for passing my helpful suggestions based on 5 minutes of research. After hearing about how many people have bought egg timers at wal-mart and target, I wish I had made this post sooner... it could have saved lives....

Egg Timers!


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - May 28th, 2008


Just wanted to drop a note here for anyone interested in hearing about the progress of the Flash API.

Over the past few weeks we've had some isolated hiccups that have required our attention, so getting the issues with the Ad stats has been a bit of a trial. We're all back on track now, and I am just now taking my first break from updating the Ad/API scripts to address all the current bugs.

The only major bug right now is that something got jacked up with the script that loads in your earnings stats from the ad company. The dates that it was storing stats under weren't being set correctly resulting in one of two scenarios: users show NO stats for a given month or users show double what they should.

This bug only effects the archives stats, your current daily and current month stats should be working just fine still.

The fix to this issue is nearly complete, so all your stats will eventually get deleted and be re-imported directly from the ad company without any of these date bugs causing problems.

One update that HAS been completed is the addition of the payment address form. If you are using flash ads and haven't filled this out yet, you'll need to get it done before the end of the month so we can pay you.

The next updates will be geared to making the API setup pages less confusing and getting stat pages for all your custom stats and lists of who is hosting your movies.

We're even working on a system to set up revenue splits for multiple authors, so that should be up really soon as well.

Okay, my break is over... back to the trenches!


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - April 24th, 2008


Since we went public with the Newgrounds API beta, one of the observations I have made is that people have a hard time distributing their work.

Distribution is a key ingredient in maximizing the revenues your flash ads generate, because it exposes your game to a variety of large markets.

For example, Newgrounds has long been a prime location for showcasing work to a younger game-savvy group of people. Here, you can really succeed with hardcore gamers and people with a twisted sense of humor. So when you make a catchy puzzle game, you get some great reviews and initial attention, but the general audience here would rather move on to something with a lot of shooting and combat action.

This does not mean your game is a failure in any way, you simply haven't gotten it to the right demographic.

Most game portals have a pretty good mix of user types, and webmasters from smaller sites are always fishing them for swf files to swipe. Back in the day, having people host your swf without permission was always frowned apon, but in this viral market it is the best way to get your ads running on as many sites as you possibly can.

So now that you know the advantages of distributing your game... where do you actually submit to, and what can you do to streamline the process a bit?

Unfortunately portal sites each have their own style and presentations. This means icons and screenshots are never the same size for more than one or two sites, and one could spend an insane amount of time dealing with these problems.

Before you start submitting, I suggest taking the time to tackle these image formats first.

While all the portals out there have varying sizes, one thing that is somewhat common is the size ratios, and image designs.

The most common design style is the icon. Icons tend to be based on the following ratios: 1:1 (square), 7:6 (slightly wide), 4:3 (wide).

Icons can range from 46 to 100 pixels in width. These icons are usually too small for a lot of text or elaborate logos, but can really pop out if you have a nice image that can relay the overall feeling of the game.

Not all games do well with a screen-shot for an icon. If you have a cool character, you might want to use that as the base for your icon rather then trying to show actual gameplay in sucha tiny image.

When you have the design planned for your icon, make versions at the folloowing sizes: 60x60, 70x60, 100x75.

Make sure when you save the files, you put the dimensions in the filename... ie mygame_icon_11x75.jpg (I would recommend saving as jpegs with the quality set at 8/10, but be prepared to make gif files for sites with extreme filesize restrictions).

Now that you have the base ratios set up for your icons, you can resize them and save them as new files to cover most of the image sizes you will encounter. Here at newgrounds, we use 46x46 icons... so you would simply resize your 60x60 file to accommodate.

Here is a lits of some icon sizes you will probably be asked for:

1:1 - 60x60, 50x50, 46x46
7:6 - 70x60
4:3 - 100x75, 93x73, 96x66 (these ones don't ratio up perfectly so design your 100x75 with a little bit of free space so you can crop as needed).

After you have your icons together, you can prepare the other common format which is a larger image, often a screen shot. These images are almost always a 1:1 or 4:3 ratio.

These images give you a little more creative freedom since they are larger than the icon formats and can fit more text and logo imagery. If your game has enough action, a screenshot will work great, but you should try and make something that stands out a bit more.

Think about the game section at your local electronics store. Every game company has dropped a lot of money into graphic design to make their covers stand out, and the covers never show the actual in-game art. Your images should follow that premise and make the name of the game really stand out, while showing some imagery that makes people want to see how the actual game looks.

For these, I would suggest starting with bigger images, 250x250 and 320x240. These won't really be used for submissions, but they give you more room to work before scaling down, and we'll be using them later when we package a distribution file together.

After you have the images prepared, you might want to scale them to the following sizes:

1:1 - 250x250, 125x125
4:3 - 320x240, 160x120, 168x118, 129x98, 120x90 (again these aren't all dead-on 4:3 sizes so let your master image allow for some cropping).

Then, just to be safe, take a few screen shots of the game in action and save them as 320x240 files. I would suggest 3-5 images.

You will likely run into other image sizes, so keep your base files handy.

Now that you have the image work done, you can prep up your text stuff. Open up a new text document and write up a few descriptions for your game within these basic guidelines:

Brief Description: 1-2 short sentences relaying the premise of the game
Short Description: A short paragraph describing the game
Detailed Descrption: A full description of the game with general instructions.
Instructions: An breif outline of how to play the game and a list of controls.

Save your file and you now have everything ready to go.

Once you have these files ready, throw them all in a zip file with a copy of your swf file, you can use this for sites that do not have submit forms.

Now you can start hitting portal sites, and simply copy and paste in your descriptions, and upload your pre-made icons, or email your zip file.

Here is a list of sites you might want to submit to:
www.newgrounds.com (duh)
www.freeworldgroup.com
www.addictinggames.com *
www.armorgames.com
www.hallpass.com
www.freeonlinegames.com
www.kongregate.com *
www.2dplay.com
www.gamegum.com
www.flashportal.com
www.gamegarage.co.uk
www.bubblebox.com
www.xgenstudios.com

* These sites do not allow in-game ads on submissions, be sure to use the API settings to disable ads for them. Other sites will grab your swf from these sites, and they are pretty high traffic, so they are still worth submitting to. You might even win a prize or be offered a non-exclusive sponsorship.

A lot of these sites do not have submission forms, so look for 'contact us' or 'suggest a game' links.

You may also want to shoot an email to sites like Jayisgames.com and flashgn.com with a link to your game and a little press release on your game.

I'm sure there are other high-traffic sites I have overlooked, so feel free to drop some links in a comment if you know any.


Posted by PsychoGoldfish - April 23rd, 2008


In response to the many PMs I get asking for help with the new NG API, I have decided it would be nice to have a single place people could go for general help until we have a proper FAQ on the API section itself.

If you have any questions about the API that are not answered below, post a comment and I'll try and get your question included on here.

NG API FAQ Holy acronyms Batman!

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Q: I just want to run ads, what do I need to do?

A: From the main API Page, add your movie. When the settings page loads, scroll to the 'Flash Ads' panel and make sure they are enabled. Leave all the other options disabled or blank and hit 'save changes'. Follow the installation help for your version of flash.

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Q: I have the flash ad in my movie but nothing is happening, what do i do?

A: First, make sure you have the NewgroundsAPI.as file in the same folder as your game or movie. Flash 5 and MX users, you need to have the NG_API_OBJECT (not to be confused with the NG_AD_OBJECT) on a layer that spans your entire movie. View the API help page for your movie to obtain the files you need.

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Q: When I test my movie, the flash ads cover everything up, what's the deal?

A: The ad unit movieclip should only appear on the frame you want the ad to run on. If it covers your whole movie, you probably have it on a layer that spans your full movie. If you are using Flash 5 or Flash MX, chances are you simply confused the NG_AD_OBJECT with the NG_API_OBJECT.

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Q: I want to use version control... how do I hard code the version number into my movie?

A: You need to set your version number on the same keyframe you have the API installation code. Using the appropriate AS version, replace "1.0.3" with the correct version number.

ActionScript 1 users:
_root.NewgroundsAPI_movieVersion = "1.0.3";

Actionscript 2 & 3 users:
NewgroundsAPI.setMovieVersion( "1.0.3" );

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Q: How do the ads work? How much money will I make?

A: The ads run on several platforms... CPM, CPC and CPA. What that means is that different ads pay for different things. Some ads pay based on how many views they get, some by how many click-throughs they get and some by how many customers buy something from the advertiser. Because much of the ad inventory is dependent on user interaction there is no way to say for sure how much money you will make. From your stats pages you can guess as to how much you will make by looking at your eCPM rates.

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Q: What does eCPM mean?

A: eCPM stands for "estimated cost per mille", or in layman's terms, the average amount of money you earn for every 1000 ad impressions.

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Q: Why is my eCPM so low?

A: The amount of money you earn depends directly on 2 things. The quality of your work and the level of distribution. If your work is of low quality, less people will play it and you will not have much success with ad revenue.

If your work is high quality, but you only have it on one or two sites, you limit the amount of exposure your ads get and will also earn less revenue.

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Q: Can I use the ads and/or API if I have a sponsor?

A: We have no problem with that, but you should always check with your sponsor first.

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Q: I want to submit my game to a site that doesn't allow in-game ads, what can I do?

A: When you install the ads in your work, you have the ability to disable them from loading on any site. Lets say you want to submit to www.adfreegames.com but they don't allow in-game ads.

Go to the settings page for your game and scroll down to the 'Flash Ads' Panel, and locate the text bar labeled Add a New Host.

Type "adfreegames.com" in the box and hit the 'add host' button.

Now, if your game is hosted by www.adfreegames.com, the ads will not load. Your ads WILL load on any sites that swipe your swf file from this site!

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Q: Can I change the tank image and the black border on the ad unit?

A: The ad unit was designed so authors could customize how they look. You can change any of the artwork in the ad movieclips, just avoid altering any of the scripting or instance names. If you break the ad unit you may get limited support, so this is not recommended for novice users of Flash.

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Q: Why am I getting a "There is no method with the name 'isInstalled'" error?

A: Your copy of NewgroundsAPI.as is out of date. Re-download the API for your version of flash to replace it with the latest version.