Casual Gamers in Amsterdam

I will attend next week's Casual Connect in Amsterdam. If you are there and interested in meeting me please send an email to talk @ playyoo dot com or an SMS to +41786300839

Tags : thomas conferences

Downtime - What went wrong ?

Well, there's a first time for everything, and on Tuesday morning we had our first serious outage. So, what went wrong ? Well, to be absolutely honest, we're not exactly sure, since an issue with the application server software pulled the rug out from under the feet of our monitoring and logging systems, and hence everything vanished in a puff of bad logic.

But we've learnt our lesson, and we've now got monitoring systems monitoring the systems which monitor the systems running the monitoring systems, so hopefully we've not only got it covered, but we should be able to come up with pre-emptive measures in the future.

We're not going to promise it won't happen again. We're not insane. But hopefully it's a lot less likely.

We're very sorry for the loss of service, and especially for anybody who lost work in the Game Creator.

Tags :
Tags : playyoo

What to give that person who has everything?

How about their own personal mobile game?

It’s fun, it’s personal, it’s unique (you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s ever received a personalized video or mobile game). Equally as important, it’s free- and just might look like you invested months learning how to code.

Next time you’re wandering aimlessly through shops looking for that “perfect gift”, or about to spend your money on yet another sweater, think about what you could give instead:

• Tap into some sibling rivalry, turning photos of you and your brother into tic tac toe opponents
• Let your husband, or wife, hone their memory with a game of pairs that includes photos of your pets
• Let your friend blow off some steam with a classic whack-a-mole game targeting least favorite politician

Just some ideas- you could even incorporate holiday themes – Valentine’s Day, Christmas... I’m sure you can think of something far more interesting, creative, and personal. Get started with the Playyoo Game Creator and let your creativity fly.
Tags : mobile_game game_creator valentines_gift

2008: The Year of the Snack

While we don’t necessarily look to analyst reports to drive our every move, I’ll be the first to admit that a little external validation is nice, when a survey or report supports our way of thinking- and reminds us that we really are on the right track. So, I was happy to see that Snack Culture made it to Trend Watching’s list of 8 Important Consumer Trends for 2008.

Quoting Nancy Miller of Wired, Trend Watching described this trend:

“Music, television, games, movies, fashion: We now devour our pop culture the same way we enjoy candy and chips - in conveniently packaged bite-size nuggets made to be munched easily with increased frequency and maximum speed. This is snack culture - and boy, is it tasty (not to mention addictive).”

If “Snack-o-tainment” (as Wired Magazine called it) will thrive in 2008, we’re not surprised. Sure, as a culture, we’re more busy, more rushed, more distracted- but we’re But whether it’s for an hour, or a small sliver of time- we’re all still looking to connect with friends, decompress, challenge ourselves, compete with others, and just have fun.

And here at Playyoo, we pride ourselves on cooking up the perfect game snack: bite-sized games that you can tuck into your pocket (literally). And with Game Creator, you’re now able to create those snacks yourself- whether you just want to try your hand at being a game designer, or want to give a uniquely personal gift to friends and family.
Tags : nancy_miler snack_culture game_snack snack-o-tainment snack wired

New Playyoo release

We are happy to report that we released a maintenance patch (v1.0.02), which squashed few bugs. Please check the release notes in our forum.
Tags : maintenance release playyoo

Playyoo wants you!

Job Opening: Community Manager

We start building up our community of Playyoo members right now. So we are looking for a person, a mobile gamer at best, who brims over with enthusiasm for managing our online ecosystem of game players and game creators.

Responsibilities include:

  • Day-to-day communications across all Playyoo channels (platform, IM, IRC, Forum, blog etc.)
  • Engaging and communicating with the Playyoo community within the platform, the forum and on Playyoo Blog to communicate news, help solve problems and help ensure that every member has the experience they want
  • Stimulating, seeding interactions on the Playyoo platform and on external platforms (like Facebook ...)
  • Developing and hosting programs and opportunities for Playyoo like tournaments, contests
  • Navigate the occasional troubled waters (i.e. abuse mitigation)
  • Monitoring the community and providing input and recommendations to Marketing and Development

An ideal candidate should have:
  • Exemplary communication skills in online environments, on blogs, and as a moderator or facilitator of online forums
  • Experience working with a team developing web-based communities or social software
  • A passion for mobile games and mobile handsets
  • Near-native English speaker
  • Playyoo member highly preferred

You would be based in Lugano, Switzerland Please send your resume via .

Tags : thomas community-manager job_opening

About the Games Contest

How are the Playyoo Game Contest winners determined?

The contest rankings which will determine prize winners in the Playyoo Game Contest are calculated on the basis of the popularity of a game. In order to minimize any chance of artificial results, we will use an algorithm which applies a weighting based on some of the other user activity variables, both public and private. These might include rating, preview count, number of unique member downloads, time spent playing the game, and other factors. For obvious reasons we're not disclosing this algorithm!

At present there is a glitch in the interface which means we are not showing accurate data in the Contest leaderboard. However, it is not seriously wrong, and it will soon be corrected.
Game owners can increase their chances of winning by getting as many people as possible to play, so for example inviting friends on other social networks to join Playyoo, by engaging in internal self-promotion, as several enterprising members have already done, and by creating more games. Obviously they can also create multiple user accounts and play their own games, but actually this is less effective than you may realize!

There is no rule that prevents any one member from winning more than one prize. It's still wide open, and we anticipate a strong growth of the user base in the next few weeks. So, keep at it, and good luck to everybody. We value and appreciate every game that you create and upload, not just the winners.

Tags : changelog contest

Gamespot scandal and community reviews

Last month’s scandal at Gamespot undoubtedly rattled gamers and loyal readers who turned to the site for objective reviews. If you’re not familiar with the story, Jeff Gerstmann, Gamespot’s longtime editorial director, was shown the door- presumably after giving a negative review for Eidos's Kane & Lynch, which had spent a significant amount advertising on the site. Kyle Orland provides a great summary of the story over at Joystiq.

But what does this really tell us? We already knew that the interests of corporate sales & marketing and editorial departments can often clash. And in the age of marketing spin masters and PR gurus, it’s wise to take any “objective” review, post, or article with a grain of salt.

With the emergence of Web 2.0 and the collaborative web, we all become published reviewers (sometimes objective ones, and other times….). Online communities share ratings and commercially-untainted recommendations. Of course, it’s naïve to think that community-created reviews cannot be manipulated, however there’s something wonderfully honest and open about letting anyone with computer access and an Internet connection offer their opinion.

And at Playyoo, we take community input seriously (after all, we’re looking to you to determine who wins it all in the Playyoo Games contest).

When you browse for games, you can sort by the community’s top-rated games. Or, take it to a deeper level, and limit your focus only to those games recommended by your friends (the ones you really trust). Or just take a peak at what your friends are playing for ideas. But remember- you can never know for sure if you’ll like a game until you take it for a spin yourself.
Tags : game_review ratings review community joystiq kyle_orland jeff_gerstmann scandal gamespot mobile_gaming mobile_games

Rss feed url change

We are going to change our rss feed to in the next minutes. Please update your subscription.

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Tags : rss

Maintenance Release

This afternoon we installed a maintenance release to Playyoo, with the following principal changes:

New Features
  • Playyoo staff members can now be identified by an orange "team" tag below their profile image.
Principal Bug Fixes
  • Scores, ratings and comments from mobile now works also for non-Nokia phones
  • What your friends are playing lists are now shown correctly
  • Game stream configuration slider scale now corresponds to game ratings: for example, setting a slider to second position (after "none") means "only games with rating 5", setting to fourth position means "only games with rating 3 or higher", etc
  • Game default rating is set to 3
  • Phone type detection greatly improved (although not 100%)

There will be a further update next week, then we'll move on to the serious business of introducing some new stuff.

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Tags : playyoo

Connect: places where you can find us.

Right now, we are present on
- IRC #playyoo on new!
- Facebook
- Flickr
- delicious
- we are not in Second Life yet.
... please suggest where else do you want us to have.

Tags : presence communities communication