Category: ‘Technology’

Announcing The Simple Game Site Builder

May 3, 2017 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Simple Game Site BuilderIt has been a long time everyone. I have been working on a few things over the last few months, and I am finally ready to announce one of them. So here goes. Announcing the Simple Game Site Builder. This simple tool will help you get a clean and professional looking game site up and running in a matter of minutes.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a great article by Justin Carroll about the need to have a clean and well structured site to sell your game. Inspired by this article, I set out to make an easy to use tool that will give you a great looking site to sell your game. All you have to do is update the included game_info.xml file, put your images into the images directory, upload everything to your web server and the site takes care of itself.

See Simple Game Site Builder In Action

See Simple Game Site Builder In Action

There are some great features for this too.

  • Use either a link to the location you are selling your game, or use the embed code from your store of choice.
  • Include your trailer from whatever site is hosting it using their embed code.
  • Display any number of images and features.
  • Build a subscriber list for your company by including code from services like Mail Chimp.
  • Point people to all your social media locations.
  • Easy linking to your presskit()
  • Include analytics tracking code.

We have also made the Simple Game Site Builder available to you under the MIT license for open source software. You can use and modify this code for any need you have. We have also made the code available on Github. If you want to contribute to the project, you can do so there. You can also see this tool in action over at the ManlyBoy site.

Simple Game Site Builder Github RepoDownload Simple Game Site Builder Zip

This Week on Techdirt: Nov. 21 – 23

November 26, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

This week was a short week because of Thanksgiving but I did manage to get out 4 posts and a mention in the favorites post by Mike Masnick. So here they are:

Potential Patent Infringement Threatens To Doom Highly Anticipated Open Source Project

John Carmack had plans to release the source code of Doom 3  to the open source community, but it was delayed because of an old patent infringement threat. Everything worked out in the end because he was able to work around the code. The same can not be said for Linux and Android who are being threatened by Microsoft over patents it refuses to disclose.

How Do You Promote A Bad DRM Scheme? With A Bad Movie Of Course

Warner’s Ultraviolet DRM is a piece of crap and in an attempt to promote its use, Warner decided to give away free digital copies of Batman Forever with the video game Batman: Arkham City. No joke.

New Research Shows Movie And Game Piracy On The Rise, But Won’t Tell Us How It Knows

Research firm Evisional has released some piracy statistics for the UK and found that game, movie, tv and software piracy is on the rise. Music piracy is on the decline. Sadly, there is no information on how they determined this so we can’t verify the numbers.

Game Developers Sue Baidu Over Links To Infringing Content

A bunch of Chinese game developers are suing the Chinese search giant Baidu for copyright infringement. What is Baidu’s crime? Linking to games that can be downloaded. There are no files hosted with Baidu. The links just show up in search results. The game developers need to learn from the music industry which entered a licensing deal with Baidu.

So that’s it for this week. Keep an eye out for more.

Netflix Does It Again

November 25, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

You would think that after the thrashing Netflix got with the whole “Qwikster” mess they would be a little more careful going forward. Yet, they haven’t learned their lesson at all it seems.

This past Tuesday, Netflix announced a new “Just for Kids” section for the Wii version of its streaming software. This is something that I thought was pretty awesome and wanted to try out. I have 4 kids who love watching shows on the Wii and this would make it a lot easier for them. So I updated the software (which was actually easier than I thought it would be) and started it up.

This is where things went south. The first thing I noticed was that Netflix was a whole lot choppier and slow. The app took longer to load up. The Just for Kids button covers up the first item in my queue. The button itself takes forever to load. It is just slow loading all around.

Now the Just for Kids section is actually pretty cool and my wife and I spent a little while just messing around with it. So I don’t have any complaints about that specific part of it. This is just as good as I could have hoped. (more…)

This week on Techdirt: Nov. 14 – 18

November 19, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

This week is a rather short week. I didn’t have a lot of time to write new articles. So, there are only two of mine and one from the ECA. Doesn’t really change the importance of the topics discussed, so let’s jump right in.

Gamex Pulls The Welcome Mat Out From Under The Pirate Party

The Swedish Pirate Party was invited to the Swedish game show Gamex. Just a week before the show, after they have paid for  their booth and have been featured on advertising for the show, the people running the show told them they weren’t invited. Apparently someone wasn’t very happy about the Pirate Party’s presence and pressured the show to lock them out. It wasn’t a blanket ban on political speech as another political group was allowed there.

Everyone Freak Out! Gangs Have Discovered The Internet!

Yes. Gangs have discovered the internet. The National Gang Assessment Center does an annual study on gangs and what they are up to. This year got some attention in the game world because the study mentioned Second Life, a popular MMO, as a tool gangs use to communicate. I delved in a bit deeper into the whole section on technology that basically says that gangs are using the internet to communicate. You know, just like everybody else. This isn’t some new thing, it just seems the federal government is a few years behind everyone else in figuring this out.

SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video Gamers

This one wasn’t written by me. This is from Jennifer Mercurio of the ECA. I had asked the ECA to write up a guest article on why SOPA would be bad for gamers and this is what they sent over. Great stuff. I am extremely glad that I had the opportunity to work with the ECA for a number of years and still keep in touch with them. It’s nice to have connections.

So that’s it for this week. I have a few new articles lined up for next week so keep an eye out.

This Month on Techdirt: Oct 10 – Nov 9

November 13, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

So I have been bad. I meant to focus on these articles on a weekly basis and have been slacking this past month. It is not that I have not been busy, but I have neglected my blog for the most part. I did get out an announcement of my new book, Random Battles, and write an open letter to my Congressman and Senators. So there is that. Plus this month had a whole lot of articles on Techdirt. So here we go.

Netflix Kills Qwikster Before It Has A Chance To Live

Netflix made the mistake of trying to break its DVD by mail service from its streaming service without taking into consideration what their customers actually wanted. That turned out to be a bad idea and they backed out.

Barnes & Noble Doesn’t Get Digital DC Comics, Throws Hissy Fit

Barnes & Noble and Amazon are in a bit of a war over digital comics. Amazon won exclusive rights to a segment of DC’s digital line. So in retaliation, B&N removed all the physical copies of those comics form their shelves citing a policy of “make available any book, anywhere, anytime” Yeah, I don’t get how tis move complies with that either.

Universal Backs Away From Planned $60 VOD Release Of Tower Heist

Who knew that charging $60 to watch a movie one time was a bad idea? Oh, right, everyone except Universal. (more…)

Open Letter On E-PARASITE/PROTECT IP

October 27, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Dear ‘Representative’,

I know you really don’t care about looking after the interests of the people of this nation. You continue to pass regulations that kill jobs, destroy our Constitutional rights and slaughter our economy. I have already expressed my frustration to you by sending a letter explaining why I will not vote for you and will actively campaign for those who truly wish to uphold their oath of office to uphold the Constitution and defend our rights. You do not deserve another term in office and will not get one.

The actions of you and many of your colleagues in office have shown further proof that you are corrupt and beyond repair. Recently, you voted to extend the PATRIOT Act to continue the erosion of our Constitutional rights. Most recently, you have shown a disregard for the public by ignoring the protests throughout the nation and failing to put a stop to the abuses by the state and local governments who continue to target citizens of this nation for exercising their Constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of their grievances.

But most recently, your colleagues in Congress have put together a bill proposal that seeks to implement one of the most Fascist laws to date. This bill is known as PROTECT IP and/or PIPA in the Senate and is now known as E-PARASITE and/or SOPA in the House. This bill seeks to implement a China/Iran/Syrria style internet firewall around the US. Not under some grand scheme to protect our national ideals or interests, but to prop up the failing business models of legacy copyright middlemen and protect them from international competition. Do you really want the US to be compared to those nations or do you want the US to be the standard bearer of freedom that we once were?

For as long as copyright has existed, those who build their business around the monopoly control of the same have railed against new advances in technology that threaten that same control. The earliest known examples are the scribes who made a living off hand writing copies of documents and books when Gutenberg introduces the printing press. Other examples include the gramophone, the player piano, the radio, film, television, the VCR and now the internet. PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE is nothing more than the death throws of a legacy industry whose business is built around 100% of the production and distribution chain of entertainment, has been threatened by advances in internet technology. Entertainment itself is not threatened. There is more movies, music, games and books being produced today than ever before. But if you only listen to legacy gatekeepers you would not believe such.

The internet has led a revolution of content production that we never would have dreamed of 30 years ago. More people can produce today and get instant access to an audience because of the way the internet currently functions. This is what has the legacy industry scrambling to pass E-PARASITE/PROTECT IP. This ability for music/movie/game/book creators to self publish through a myriad of internet services both US based and internationally based is costing the legacy gatekeepers money. Regardless of their rhetoric, they are not seeking to do anything that benefits the creators of entertainment, they are seeking to prop up their gatekeeper status for a few more years.

If this bill passes, we will see a destruction of the growth in entertainment as the tools and services that self published entertainers rely on are blocked for US consumers. Those who want to connect directly with fans without having to rely on legacy gatekeepers will be shut off from many of the most popular means of distribution all because you as our ‘Representative’ want to continue the failed policies of crony capitalism rather than let the free markets work as intended. The Free Market has already all but disappeared in the physical realm and now you are seeking to do the same in the digital realm.

If you value your position in Congress in any way, you will vote down this latest attempt to trample to rights of US citizens and cull yourself of all traces of crony capitalism. You are beyond redemption in my eyes at this time, but every effort you take to make the job of cleaning up your mess from the true patriot who is elected in your place will be greatly appreciated.

Once again enjoy the time you have left in office.

Zachary Knight

Sent to Senators Tom Coburn, James Inhofe and Representative Tom Cole

For more information on just how bad PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE is check out these articles on the topic at Techdirt.

This Week On TechDirt Sept 22 – Oct. 7

October 7, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Starting this week, I am going to be doing weekly summaries of what I wrote for TechDirt during the week. It will be a lot easier to keep up with it all. So without much ado here we go:

Microsoft Convinces Yet Another Company to Cough Up ‘Protection’ Money

MIcrosoft managed to get Casio to sign up for a cross licensing deal for their patents. They managed to do so by threatening Casio with patent infringement over some 235 patents they claim Linux infringes. We still don’t know what those patents are but they must be convincing.

Conan O’Brien Has The Inside Scoop On More Netflix Changes

Just a funny video in which the Conan O’Brien rips a new on in Netfilx’s apology for raising prices.

Bethesda Turns Down Quake Fight Over Scrolls Name; Takes Guaranteed Loss By Going To Court

Notch tried to settle this whole trademark dispute with a game of Quake, but Bethesda didn’t want anything to do with it. Now it is going to court. It doesn’t matter if Bethesda wins or loses this case as they have already lost in the eyes of the gaming public.

Gaming Company Sees Massive User & Revenue Growth Because Of Piracy

Unity’s Asian branch has seen tremendous growth over the past year or so basically because of a bunch of Asian game companies pirating their software. They aren’t mad, because revenue is up 258.7%

No Rest For The Productive And Successful; Nintendo Sued Again Over The Wii Remote

Yeah. Nintendo is sued once again for patent infringement. This time from a company called UltimatePointer. They claim to make a product much like the Wii Remote, but it is still in “testing.” Funnily, this patent was filed for the same month Nintendo revealed the Wii to the world.

EA Sues EA Over The EA Trademark

Energy Armor has a logo very similar to the Electronic Arts logo and Electronic Arts is not happy. It doesn’t help matters much that Energy Armor’s product is sports gear, which Electronic Arts has a hand in.

Nintendo Thrilled To Have Game Copy Devices Found Illegal In France

Nintendo got flash carts and other mod chips banned in France. Not a big surprise. What is really frustrating is that Nintendo continues to ignore the greater truth that these chips open up its consoles as customers want. Nintendo would rather fight to keep their consoles locked down.

So that’s it for the week (and some before it). Enjoy. There is plenty more to come.

iPhone Developer Creates App Criticizing The iPhone; App Is Quickly Pulled

September 16, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

This post was originally published on TechDirt.

Molleindustria is an app developer who makes a line of controversial and political games. Some of its more well known games include McDonalds Videogame, Operation: Pedopriest, and Oiligarchy. It just recently announced and released its latest game, Phone Story. This particular game takes the player through the cruel world of smart phone production using a series of mini games depicting the mining of coltan from the Congo using child labor, the suicides in the Foxconn factories and, of course, e-waste disposal in third world countries.

On top of all those themes, the game was to be released on the very platform it criticized: the iPhone.

It didn’t last long on the platform.

Just hours after being approved, Apple yanked it from the app store for four separate violations.

15.2 Apps that depict violence or abuse of children will be rejected

16.1 Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected

21.1 Apps that include the ability to make donations to recognized charitable organizations must be free

21.2 The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS

(more…)

Did Jim Henson Infringe on a Recently Approved Patent?

September 9, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

Recently on Techdirt, we highlighted a number of ways the US patent system could be fixed. One of the proposals on the list was allowing for input from those who are skilled in the art behind a patent application. Under this system, a person or company working within the industry surrounding a patent application could review it and submit their reasoning behind whether the proposal is obvious and not patentable or original and patentable. This public input would help patent examiners decide on the final patent-ability of an application.

As an example of why such a public input segment would be beneficial, we have a recent patent, found by io9.com, for “A costume suit modeled after a large size animal“(PDF) This patent, which was submitted by Japanese company ON-ART, which specializes in airbrush painting of large balloons, was approved on August 16, 2011. This patent has a total of twelve claims all having to do with the mechanics of the suit, which allows for the operator to create the realistic movements of the animal he portrays. (more…)

Debate Time: Ubisoft Says DRM Is Needed, Valve Says No It Isn't.

September 8, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

It’s not every day you get two diametrically opposed views on DRM from two high profile companies in the video game industry, yet that is what happened recently.

While both were speaking to different gaming news sites, their conversations have an almost debate-like feel. So I think we will let the two execs duke it out on the debate floor. In one corner we have Martin Edmonson of Ubisoft Reflections speaking to Eurogamer. In the other corner, we have Gabe Newell of Valve speaking to Kotaku (thanks to Matt for being the first of many to send this in).
(more…)