Happy New Year

New Year's eve is often about resolutions and predictions. I remember that 8 (or was it 10) years ago I made the decision to stop smoking. I didn't predict the future though. We might start trying to predict how many people will create and play Playyoo games or what's going to happen in respect of global warming.
To make things easier let's look back in history.
Below you'll find predictions that date back more than 100 years.

What do you think came true:

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Tags : predictions

Prefs On-The-Go

Did miss that report from Parks Associates "The New Frontier: Portable and Mobile Gaming"mobilegaming_pr1.gif - found again at Flavert Media Lab.
The chart summarizes the report => On the go users want casual games - on top rank puzzle and card games. Those games should be free and easy to download after all.

Faisal Arbain, from Flavert Media, uploaded a Malaysian game to Playyoo only recently. Will try that one asap.
It perfectly fits that Mariam Dholkawala, from Mumbai, just uploaded her 6 games.
Tags : india thomas card puzzle malaysia

Happy Holidays

Enjoy the next few days with those people that matter to you!

And if time permits try our games here to have fun. Those that are ambitious might create some holiday games here with our game creator.

Wishing you all the best!

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Tags : greetings holidays

Sushi for your phone

I’ve been known to be a picky eater- not horribly so, but let’s just say that if someone were to put food in front of me at random, there’s a chance I might not eat it. Why am I mentioning this? Well, here at the office we compare the new game stream feature to a sushi boat (that carousel conveyor that circles sushi dishes around). It’s a great visual image, and people (at least those who have been to a sushi restaurant) understand the feature right away.



But, game stream is actually not your ordinary sushi boat. A more accurate comparison would be a sushi boat where you called ahead, told the chef which types of sushi rolls you like, and that’s all they sent down the line. And- it would be just like the restaurant knew your food allergies, and made sure to never send anything containing crab, for example.


So, how does this work? When you sign up for Playyoo, you can personalize your game stream settings – and create the perfect balance of card, casino, shooting, action, puzzle, etc. that will satisfy your game appetite perfectly. If your main games are puzzles, but you might play a racing game or two- you can make this happen.


And behind the scenes, Playyoo is working hard to make you're your game stream will only present games that are compatible with the specifications of your phone. We know how frustrating it is to go through the work of downloading or checking out a game, only to realize later that it just won’t work. So with Playyoo, you can be sure that the games you see, are games you can play.


If you haven’t set your preferences yet, you can find it here (or you can find the link on the top right of the screen once you've logged in). So be sure to set your game stream preferences and pick your menu.
Tags : mobile_gaming mobile_game sushi gamestream playyoo

Interview at LeWeb3

Playyoo in a nutshell

Last week I attended LeWeb3 in Paris. And it surely was a delicious event. I also had the chance to speak with Ewan Spence from All About Symbian.
Here is the reference post and the podcast directly embedded here. Hear me talking about our public beta release and the game creator.

Multimedia from All About Symbian

Tags : conferences beta podcast leweb3 thomas

The Game Creator Intro

David had the idea of the game creator as a means of enabling everybody to be creative. And he has such a disarming voice according to the girls next door. Please watch and enjoy the walk-through. You never know and end up creating casual games and winning the contest.

PS: and please don't forget those games are going to be played on a mobile handset.
Tags : mobile_games casual_games innovation creativity ugc game_creator

The Future of Entertainment

According to Nokia it is based on:
- Snack Size Content
- Geek Culture
- Generation C
- Localization

Seems as we are perfectly positioned. Ok, localization is missing but it's on our roadmap. And, please tell us what languages you do prefer.
Nokia Nseries | Entertainment Study: "The study carried out by The Future Laboratory, interviewed trend-setting consumers from 17 countries about their digital behaviors and lifestyles signposting emerging entertainment trends."
Tags : trends mobile_snack snack geek nokia thomas

Insights - Come Aboard

Well normally you can't see that.
Except if you're logged in. It's quite exclusive but then why hesitate.
Come on in and join that fun party.

Playyoo - Member
Uploaded with Skitch!

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Tags : screenshot

All work and no play?

With the launch of Playyoo beta, there’s definitely an excited energy at the office - coupled with the inevitable stress from long nights and one too many espressos. And all these frazzled nerves got me thinking about an older (well, 2003) study conducted by the Utrecht University on the effects of game play on the job. (you can read more about the study here)

Scientists followed a group of 60 employees at a Dutch insurance firm – half were allowed to play up to an hour of simple computer games like Solitaire a day, while the other group wasn’t so lucky. And sure enough, the employees that played felt better about their jobs and were more productive. So, a round of solitaire can help break up a long work day, give the brain a break from complex work, and help people be more effective (think recess back in elementary school).

So, go ahead. Take a time out from your hectic schedule and try out a game or two on our beta site. The experts say you should.


Tags : simple_games gaming play work productivity stress games utrecht playyoo mobile_gaming mobile_games

Playyoo in Holiday Beta

After many months of development, we have released the Playyoo platform for mobile social gaming into public beta. Don't ask how much blood, sweat and tears went into it yet (probably more to come). We decided to release our baby straight - without a private beta - into the wild just before the holidays.
Remember, it's still beta so please be patient and expect some bugs and glitches. And yes, please provide us with feedback. It's you who are telling us what is missing, what doesn't work and what's in the way of excellent user experience.
So please go on, spread the (beta) word, enjoy playing the games and, if you are feeling creative, participate in the games contest by making your own games.
Tags : mobile_games thomas beta

Freeing the creativity in everybody

I stumbled across this post at Gamasutra News (see below) and asked myself what is needed to support content that is based on user demand. The answer to this question is the secret to every successful business after all. But how to find the proper answer. 2 ways I think are commonly used to accomplish that. One is heavy investment in market research, prototyping and predicting what user will like (in the future). The other - often referred to as crowdsourcing or open-innovation - unleashes the power of the users/customers themselves.

With the Playyoo Game Creator we enable every (!) user to create those free games that he or she wants to play. Be those games designed for children, for learning or just for killing time.
Nixon: Developers Should Design For Kids, Adults Simultaneously: "

As part of an in-depth new Gamasutra editorial, AWE Games' Scott Nixon (SpongeBob SquarePants, Cars series) has been criticizing the lack of 'piggybacking', child-specific game writing/design that also appeals to adults. Nixon, whose company has worked on a plethora of kid-oriented titles over more than 10 years, notes in particular of examples in other industries: 'Piggybacking is an art that cartoons and movies have arguably mastered. A good example is SpongeBob SquarePants. Here is a ...

Tags : thomas free_games open-innovation crowdsourcing creativity ugc

Nolan Bushnell discusses rebirth of casual games

Thirty-five years ago, Nolan Bushnell and Atari brought us the world’s first successful video arcade game: Pong. I came across a short radio interview (PONG: The Ping Heard Round the World) with Bushnell where he talks about the “rebirth of casual games," likening it those early days.


"The rebirth of the casual game structure is very reminiscent of the early days of pong where pong really was every man’s game and then it went to Street Fighter where you had to push 13 buttons with all 13 of your fingers and rip the spine out of somebody. Violent games lost the women; and the complexity lost the casual gamer. Now we’re coming back full circle to games that are casual that can be played over the Internet."
(and over mobile phones, of course)


Leaving aside any social comentary on violence in games... At Playyoo, we wholeheartedly support the rebirth of the casual game- and renewed interest in developing high quality games that anyone can pick up, play, and enjoy. Simple doesn't have to be boring.


But where I might deviate from Bushnell (at least how Bushnell was portrayed in this interview) is that the resurgence of casual games does not have to be at the expense of their complex counterparts. It's not an either-or situation. People have diverse preferences and ideas for entertainment. And individuals themselves are too complex to play one game type day in and day out. If I pull out a deck of cards to play solitaire, it doesn’t mean I don't like playing Risk (I haven't actually played Risk in years, but that’s not because of any card playing).


In short, the world is big enough to accommodate strong markets for casual, complex, and any other genre of games. The key is to make sure there are high quality games of all types to meet the wide range of preferences.
Tags : casualgames bushnell nolan_bushnell pong atari gaming casual_games mobile_gaming mobile_games

Select free mobile games and have fun

Well Jupiter makes it quite clear what is needed to boost acceptance and adoption. Their take is concerned with improving the browser software itself. Until that is done we try to improve user experience with the means available.
One of our main goals is to support exactly that via a socially augmented game selection process. By leveraging the experience of your friends plus your personal preferences we strive for an improvement of user experience. And even better we offer the mobile games for free on our platform. And, you can even create your own casual games and share them and your scores.
JupiterResearch Finds Creating Better Browser Alternatives Would Stimulate Mobile Internet Adoption: "The industry should focus on this reality. In turn, they can double or triple current adoption levels and drive up usage by focusing efforts on those cell phone users who would be motivated by a better user interface and more compelling experiences.."
Tags : thomas ugc user_experience social_software free_mobile_games

1100 views for Playyoo

I just realized that our slides from the presentation to the Boston Adobe Mobile and Device User Group have been viewed 1100 times and it's only three weeks ago. That's something I'd say. Thank you all for taking a look at this bare bones presentation. Much more to come in the next weeks live on our platform.

We had a warm welcome there and got to speak about Playyoo, Flash Lite, our free mobile games platform, the user generated games concept and our game creator.

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Tags : thomas ugc mobile_games adobe game_creator flash_lite slideshare

Juniper's Big Numbers

The other day I downloaded a white paper from Juniper Research on mobile games. Juniper recently published a report predicting big things for mobile games. The research group believes today's 5 billion mobile game market will skyrocket to 16 billion in 2012.

Here's why Juniper has such high hopes:

Universality: There are now 2.8 billion mobile handsets (and growing), compared with just 324 million consoles (Sony PS2, PS3, Wii, etc.). [Note: the 2.8 billion is Juniper's figure from the WP- according to a new post on Engadget Mobile, there are now 3.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions]

Low level of mobile game penetration: The total number of mobile phone owners actually playing games is still low - around 7% - meaning there's a lot of room for growth.

Technological advances: The rollout of 3G networks around the globe offers new opportunities for connected, multi-player gaming, while more sophisticated handsets can offer more attractive graphics and a better gaming experience.

Shifting demographics: Juniper noted the growing number of female players.

Rise in casual games: Good news for casual game developers - Juniper attributes much of the growth in mobile gaming to the rise of the casual gamer.

Sure, the numbers are encouraging (and we’re definitely not going to dispute that there’s a large opportunity in mobile gaming) – but it’s going to take a lot of work to get to the promised land of 16 billion.

We’ve got to address some of the chief hurdles in today’s mobile game market: mobile games can be too expensive, too difficult to find; and, well, to quote John Carmack, “most of the games are just crap.”

At Playyoo, we’re doing what we can to bring mobile games to the masses. Free games, game creation tools, community ratings, and a game stream that will make finding cool games as easy as a trip to the sushi bar. Most importantly, we’re expecting big things from the Flash Lite developer community and we’ll keep sponsoring contests to spark everyone’s creativity and talent.

So, in short, we know there’s a big road ahead of us, but the future looks pretty good from where we are.


Tags : industry handset juniper mobile carmack mobile_game mobile_gaming mobile_games

Nokia on Peer-created Entertainment

Well this is exactly what is fundamental to our platform. The Game Creator released in public beta in Friday is a relevant piece in that puzzle. At some point in that press release they call it the "feminization of technology".
Nokia - PressRelease: "Up to a quarter of the entertainment consumed by people in five years time will have been created, edited and shared within their peer circle rather than coming out of traditional media groups. This phenomenon, dubbed 'Circular Entertainment', has been identified by Nokia as a result of a global study into the future of entertainment."
With mobile casual games on a social platform Playyoo is well positioned to support these shifts in creativity and innovation. So why not try the Game Creator immediately and create a free mobile game.
Tags : thomas collaboration feminization peers innovation creativity nokia

Facebook, Flickr, Del.icio.us

Oh yes, there is the obligatory FB group - so please come over and join.
We will also feature a FB-application once we have launched and everything is smooth.

- Then there is a public Flickr group that is great for sharing screenshots of games you like or created any everything else
- A del.icio.us account that provides links we find relevant to what we are doing.

If we missed anything please let us know in the comments here.
Tags : delicious flickr facebook

Kars @ Game Developers Conference 2008

Just in case you didn't know. Kars Alfrink will present some insights on the user experience and design of Playyoo's Game Creator and some of the initial mobile casual game types.
Game Developers Conference 2008: "Specifically, it discusses how to combine short-session mobile play with a web-based meta-game to arrive at a compelling casual social gaming offering."
See also his blog post.
Tags : thomas game_design conferences kars game_creator

Enter early, enter often

If you're familiar with American politics, you've heard the phrase "vote early, vote often." The quote may be referring to voting corruption in Chicago, but it's pretty fitting for the Playyoo Game Contest as well.

Why early? This is critical for those of you thinking about entering your games in the contest (and with $25,000 in prizes, this is a good idea). Sure, game uploads are due by February 15, 2008 to be eligible. But winners are selected by download statistics and community ratings (after all, at Playyoo we're all about community). That means if you submit your game on February 13, you don't stand much of a chance to build the community following needed to win. The earlier you submit, the better your chances of winning. If you submit games before Playyoo goes live in mid December, your games will be included in the initial inventory - ready to be found, downloaded and enjoyed right from the start.

And remember, there's no limit to the number of games you can enter. So if you've got a great idea for a handful of puzzle and action games, there's no need to choose. We want them all.
Tags : puzzle contest playyoo

Flash extension update

With yesterdays release of the game creator we also updated the Flash extension to v1.0.6. The extension is aimed at developers

The Playyoo Flash Extension is a downloadable executable application which, when run, adds functionality to Adobe Flash (version 8 Pro or CS3) using the Adobe Extension Manager. It introduces one or more menu-level commands which are used to initiate the creation of a Playyoo game. The Flash Extension includes auto-update functionality, which allows Playyoo to update features and functions from time to time using the Adobe Extension Manager.

Tags : update flash_extension