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    My first bit of fanart :)

    2011 - 07.31

    I just had a skype conversation with my good friend Inko – who absolutely loves BannerMetaGame and recently discovered an EPIC cup of tea.  To celebrate this, he sent me the following bit of fan art :

    Epic Cup of Tea

    An Epic Cup of Tea!

    I love it 🙂


    Extending BannerMetaGame

    2011 - 07.24

    As you can probably see, I’ve moved the BannerMetaGame into a more ad like position on the blog.  Hopefully it will get a bit more visibility – I’ll be adding it to additional pages on the site over the week, and have a plan to make it look a bit nicer than it’s current mishmash of colours and default gdlib font 🙂

    Now you can click on the banner and it will take you to a page that not only has global stats for the game, but also stats about your current ip.  You will notice than rather than linking to lots of different ips, instead a player name is generated.  These are unique for every possible ip and means that your ip won’t be spidered when visiting the site 🙂

    I’ve got a long list of items I want to add to it, along with actually getting some item images on the banner, will make it somewhat more interesting methinks.  The current ‘rareness’ system doesn’t seem to be working to well either, so I’ll need to look into that as well.  But quite happy with the way it is going – it would be really nice to implement on a community site to see how it effects things – I’ve already noticed an increase in page requests on certain pages of the blog ( mostly from what I can tell, people spamming the F5 key ( which won’t work btw 😛 )).

    I’m also debating adding some javascript to the banner itself with live feed info – i.e. it telling you that visitor Tovyuyea has just found an EPIC cup of tea.  That could be quite cool.

    As with most of my stat related pages – the actual page has a lot of info but is as ugly as hell.  I’m sure I will get round to updating it to something a bit better looking once I get some time.  I tend to be a lot more interested in the back-end stuff than making a pretty front-end.  I really should stop that, I think it is a pretty bad habit as most people judge by looks alas.

    As ever, feel free to comment and let me know what you think.  I always love getting comments, makes me feel special 🙂


    BannerMetaGaming and Ad blindness

    2011 - 07.17

    I was reading something a few days ago that you were more likely to survive an airplane crash than click on a banner. There are several reasons for this I feel. But rather than doing a long essay type post about what is wrong with the banner business ( I’m sure I can spam about that one for hours ), I’ll just get straight to the point.

    An ever increasing number of people are using things such as adblock plus to remove banners completely. Some sites, such as reddit, reward users who don’t use adblock by serving funny images and flash games in banner positions – a great idea. So I’ve taken this idea and quickly coded up an extension to it – you can see it on the right hand side column of the blog menu, at the bottom. That is the start of my BannerMetaGame 🙂 It is pretty ugly at the moment, but the base functionality is complete.  Once it is a bit more complete and there is a stats screen, I’ll bump it up to a more advert like placement.

    The idea is to reward a user for viewing the site – and indirectly to draw attention to the adverts. Every impression on the page gives a chance of an event occurring. Currently there are three events – finding a small amount of gold, finding a large amount of gold and finding an item. All of these events are linked to a hash of an IP – meaning it is a far from perfect system. A cookie or even better a log in would be the ideal solution – however, for a quick demo, IP works fine 🙂

    Obviously, to stop abuse, there is a built in delay, so spamming F5 over and over again won’t get you hundreds of items and a tonne o’ gold 🙂

    At the top of the banner you will see a made up advert – there are currently four pretty unfunny ones in there. However, with the information about the BannerMetaGame so close to the advert, the traditional ad blindness that a lot of people attribute for failing click rates becomes much less of an issue. Though this is a very low traffic blog, bigger community sites could easily implement something like this for rewarding users viewing content. And the great thing is – it is pretty much automatic and optional. If you don’t care, there is no interaction needed, it just runs happily in the background.

    The next task is to build a stat screen around the information generated by the banner – creating total gold in the system, showing the [hashed] ips that have collected the most items and gold.  All pretty simple stuff, but should be interesting to see what happens with it.

    The next logical step in evolving this idea is to add community features.  Letting people associate a log in with this data and then maybe allowing user badges, along with letting people ‘buy’ things with the gold they have accumulated.   The currently implementation records the page that called it, so additionally it can be used as a pretty simple stats mechanism.

    It is a pretty simple concept, and with gamification being such a buzz word at the moment, I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything like this implemented yet.  If you have seen it, let me know, there could be ideas I could ‘liberate’ from different implementations 😉  More to follow at some point 🙂