Many submissions in the Mini LD #53 have links labeled as web, that are not web at all. This is quite annoying, as I like to know upfront if I’m going to have to actually download something, extract it, blah blah blah. There is a proper way of labeling your links, as I describe below. Doing this properly will help keep people in the community from being annoyed by a “web” game that prompts to download an exe file.
- Web – Can be played in the browser. For instance, you build your game in flash, html5 or unity webplayer, and the game is hosted on kongregate, newgrounds, your own site, google drive, etc. (I’m trying to be all inclusive, not stating any one of these is better than the other). These games will be played directly in the browser, without you downloading anything that you must do outside of the browser.
- Download – This cannot be played in your browser. A file must be downloaded, extracted, dependencies possibly installed, etc. The game is run outside of the browser and is a bit of a headache. With a lot of games, this takes more time than playing in the web, as the file must be extracted and so on. Examples below.
- Windows – This is anything that is an exe, or a zip or other archive that contains an exe meant to run only on Windows. If this describes your game, please don’t label it as a “Web” link. You can label it as “Windows” or something similar.
- Mac/OSX – This is a game built for Mac/OSX that is played only on Mac/OSX. This is not played in the browser. If this describes your game, please don’t label it as a “Web” link. You can label it as “Mac” or something similar.
- Jar – This is an executable jar file. This can run on any platform, as java is that versatile. Jar files can be run in the browser, but it’s still necessary to build the web page to do so. If you link ends with .jar, this is not a web build, so please don’t label it as a “Web” link. You can label it as “Java” or something similar.
I’m not trying to yell at anyone here, but some people haven’t learned the difference. It may seem trivial to some, but it is only common courtesy to let people know up front what to expect. If I click on your web link (because your game seemed so exciting I forgot to look to see where the link actually went before I clicked) and it didn’t take me to a page on the internet that allows me to play it in my browser without downloading anything manually (and extracting, and so on), I will not play your game. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that if you can’t tell the difference, your game is likely to suck and be a waste of my time extracting it, installing dependencies, running in compatibility mode, turning my monitor on it’s side, setting up a house of cards, painting a masterpiece, etc. just to get it to work.
HOWEVER, if you let me know up front by labeling your links correctly that all of that stuff is involved, if your game seems worth it based on the good and complete description that you wrote, I WILL do it.
Edit: If you weren’t planning to build your game for web, please consider doing so. Not everyone in the community is computer savvy enough to download a game and install dependencies, people like artists, people like my artist / wife. If it’s not a web game, my wife won’t play it unless it has a very compelling description that’s very appealing to her, in which case she bugs me until I cave in and download it and make sure it will run for her. Also, it’s possible to unintentionally include malicious code in a downloadable game, where security settings in most of the web players won’t allow such a thing. I’m sure it’s not hard to write your game in .NET and make a mistake (Because you haven’t slept in 30+ hours) that deletes the a user’s “some other folder” instead of just the save file your game makes like you intended. Not saying that this awesome community would do it, but someone could do something like that on purpose, especially someone that’s not part of the community and is just looking for some way to get their kicks. I’m sure most of us are playing these games on the same computer we develop on, the computer that is our livelihood, and just don’t want to take that risk.
Edit 2: Please read the note from artist/wife for a better written explanation, as she is much better with words than I am.