YoYo Games: what would make the website much better
January 21, 2008
I’m not quite satisfied with the YoYoGames.com website: it certainly is lacking in many, many directions. And it has been having numerous of stability problems in the last month.
I have written a complete list of necessary improvements to YYG.com, for everybody. I will divide these arguments into multiple categories: “Profile” and “Gaming”. Profile will contain criticism on the profile & user system of the site. Gaming will contain more criticism on the gaming section of the site, including all game management tools and InstantPlay. I’ll also include additional criticism on other parts of the website.
As YYG.com is the official community website for GM-made games, it should be clear that it needs a complete user system. But in this case, it does not: it is lacking in many directions.
- While this isn’t exactly an issue related to the user system directly, the lack of moderation is worrying me: there are a lot of flame fests on users’ pages and imposter profiles keep on coming. No matter how many reports are sent, nothing seems to happen. Either YYG’s staff is taking one hell of a new year vacation or they just suck at checking the report queue.
- The user shoutboxes or game comments are not user-moderation possible. While reporting is possible, there is no karma system (such as YouTube’s new commenting system) and users can’t even remove comments on their own profile or games.
- The user profiles can not be customized almost at all: being a “web 2.0 gaming website” (as they claim it) means some sort of customization. But no, you throw in your age, description and some other basic user info and that’s it. Let’s say that you don’t have favorite games in YYG: your profile still shows it. It’d be convenient to be able to hide it from showing up.
YYG.com certainly has made a lot of effort on the side of the games, their upload and playing. Their InstantPlay mechanism certainly has helped on the amount of games tested out: no more manual downloading, it does it for you. But deep down, this system is still flawed in many, many ways.
- As Microsoft Vista came out (Please, do not make a 500 word long comment on how much Vista “sucks”), users quickly discovered that Game Maker 6- made games would not run on their computers. Obviously this caused some kind of outrage, but fortunately after a short time, an official GM6 to Vista “upgrader” was released, allowing GM6 made executables to be converted to Vista- compatible games. YYG.com lacks any indication if the game will work with Vista. They should auto-detect a GM6 signature, for example, in the game and show a warning to Vista users: or just simply demand game uploaders to do it themselves: GM6 or not (or made Vista-compatible)? [update: esh corrected that InstantPlay will make GM6- based games compatible on Vista; but some users might prefer to download it instead: they’ll be greeted by a nice “game.exe crashed” dialog box.]
- Although this is a minor point, InstantPlay needs some additional improvement. For example, users should be allowed to set another temp directory where it should download the games to.
- The game pages should also allow maximum customization: maybe make it more attractive than the typical white background – green/gray content? Custom backgrounds would be nice, so would be custom text boxes (instead of the small Description box)…
your imaginationthe YYG.com staff’s imagination is the limit.
- The navigation is flawed. I doubt an user looking for games to play
(snort)would want to go through hundreds of pages to find a good game. Perhaps a randomizer with some extendable search queries (e.g. I don’t want to play Adbarlian CastlesCatch the Clown!) would help.
And the rest
I hope I’ve established some points that you are free to debate in the comments. But before that, I will point out some other things bothering me (note that this also includes some general criticism on YYG):
- Their forums. There’s the GMC: what do we need a pathetic clone of it for? This is like decentralizing the community. There’s the “YoYo’ers” and “GMC’ers”. It doesn’t make sense: there’s always space for an YYG section in the GMC.
- Their lack of communication with the community. Yes, we’ve got a lot of announcements, they even have a “glog” (and they even forced Mark to blog), but their communication with “us” just seems so stiff.
- YYG still hasn’t used their full power to improve the state of GM: much more could be done.
That’s about it. Feel free to comment!