Playyoo Launch Contest Winners Announced

So we are now at the conclusion of our first major contest on Playyoo! Between the launch of the preview site last October, and the cut off date of 15 Feb, 356 user games had been created and uploaded by Playyoo members from all over the world, making this easily the largest collection of free Flash Lite games online. There are some really fantastic games within Playyoo, and some of them perhaps have had less attention than they deserve. Other great games were uploaded too late to build enough popularity to win.

We'd very much like to thank all who expressed their passion and trust by becoming a member of our community and contributed games. You've all played a key part in getting our vision for a mobile casual games community off the ground.

We would particularly like to thank Samir Dash for his generous gesture in declining multiple prizes, thus allowing us to extend prizes to the top 12.


About the results

The results are based only on community activity. From various measures, we derive a "game popularity index". The algorithm for this has been enhanced over time to improve the fairness and balance. Clearly, game quality is a big factor in winning, but so is engagement with the community, and finding ways to promote games. The game popularity index will be also used in forthcoming new and improved game selection features.


The Winners are:
  1. Match the Blocks a game by Samir won $10,000
  2. The Empty Space a game by Loomand won $7,000
  3. Panic Mechanic a game by marc won $3,000
  4. qTile a game by ptm won $1,500
  5. Ludo Cells a game by Samir (Samir generously declined his prize for this game)
  6. Mr. Shooti a game by Roozbeh won $1,000
  7. Think Fast a game by izam won $500
  8. Bog Frog a game by Ekleptica won $500
  9. Fill Board a game by Samir (Samir generously declined his prize for this game)
  10. SokoLite a game by ptm won $500
  11. Orang Bunian a game by Faisal Arbain won $500
  12. Sketch Mini a game by santoki won $500
  13. Sushi Mushi Mania a game by marc
  14. Mondo Under a game by bitacora13
  15. The Bee Game a game by lfons
  16. UFO Catcher: Barnyard Abduction a game by Naz
  17. Sea Combat a game by Mariam Dholkawala
  18. Trop Tris a game by CreativeSource
  19. Mr. Cease Fire a game by HungamaMobile
  20. Shark-Thrasher a game by digitallamb


For further info please go to the contest page.


Portraying the Winners and other high quality game creators

During the next days we will profile to the community the fine people that created the winning games. Short podcasts or transcripts will be made available on Playyoo blog.


And it's not quite over yet!

Further prizes will be awarded under the banner of the 2007 Flash Lite game contest. A panel of judges including representatives from Adobe's Flash Lite team is currently evaluating entries. Results will be announced soon.

We hope that everybody has enjoyed participating in this contest as much as we did running it. Remember, these are just the first steps. We want to make Playyoo a key resource for Flash Lite developers for many reasons, and we hope you will all help and support us in reaching this goal.

Keep your games coming!

Tags :
Tags : contest thomas

Comments and ratings in Playyoo

Playyoo is all about playing on mobile phones. You can only rate a game when you play it on your phone. You can also add comments directly from the phone, although comments can also be made through the web site. We're aware that at the moment how to do this may not be entirely obvious, so this short video shows you how it's done (note: it's not exactly Hollywood quality!).



By the way, we assign a default rating of "3" to new games. So a game rated 3 is average, 1 is poor, and 5 is excellent. You can change you rating of a game at any time: we only retain your latest rating.

Tags : developers flash_lite tech_support

Contest: One week to go

As you might know our contest will end in roughly a week. I was curious and had a look on the leaderboard and I took a snapshot to figure out if anything is going to change within the next days.

Here is the intermediate result:

Playyoo - Contest
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Thanks again to Samir for your generosity. That move from Samir explains the strange annotations on the snapshot.

Tags :
Tags : thomas contest

Using the new short ID feature

We recently introduced a new feature, the "short ID", which is accessible through the Your Account link.


The point of this feature is to make it easier to login to Playyoo on your mobile phone. Now, rather than having to painfully enter your email address, you can choose a user ID of minimum 4 characters. Note that this has nothing to do with your nickname, and remains private.

The best way to use the short ID is to choose a sequence of letters which can be entered with single taps on your phone keyboard. For example, ADGJ, which is entered by typing 2-3-4-5 (somebody has already grabbed this one, unfortunately. I wanted it!).


keypad.jpg

Other strategies might be to choose a pattern, or to map to a number. For example, my birthday is 28 Feb (so, still time to buy presents), so I could try AT02. Other easy to remember numbers could be the first 4 of your spouse's phone number, or your ZIP code.

Let us know how this works out for you, and if you have any suggestions.


Of course, you can also use this short ID to login on the web. And by the way, we've also added a third way to identify yourself: just use the mobile phone number you registered with.

Tags : developers flash_lite tech_support

What Playyoo will do for Flash Developers

The Playyoo launch contest will soon be over, but it doesn't end there.

We want to make Playyoo a place where skilled Flash Lite developers - and that means all of you - can show off their talents, attract an audience and build up a great portfolio of games.


After the contest ends, we will be promoting the leading games and game developers, covering at least the top 20, not just the prize winners. We will be featuring the games on Playyoo, we will run interviews with developers on this blog and elsewhere, we will be showcasing their games to commercial partners, and we will be pushing them in general to the Adobe Flash Lite community. The Flash Lite community has got Playyoo off to a great start. Now we can start helping you in return.


We believe that Flash Lite has a big future, and while we hope that Playyoo will play a key part in that, coming from the user generated content side, we also believe there are great opportunities for individuals and small companies to develop a career in this market.


We have big plans ahead for making Playyoo an attractive resource for both hobbyist and professional Flash Lite developers, and we also hope to be able to make introductions to content purchasers.


We would love to hear from you about what you would like to see from Playyoo. Let us know through the developer forum, or contact us directly at

A look at Game Creator with Kars Alfrink

I sat down with Kars Alfrink, interaction designer, teacher, and consultant for Playyoo, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Game Creator, and see if he'd indulge me in revealing what's next. For those of you attending the upcoming GDC conference in San Francisco next week, be sure to check out Kars' talk on Feb 18: Designing a Casual Social Gaming Experience for Generation C.



[photo courtesy of Ram Yoga]

So, the Game Creator has been released for over a month now. What has it been like to see it in use? Any surprises?
First off, it’s been a lot of fun to watch how people are using the Game Creator and see their creations. Sure, there have been some pleasant surprises – for instance, I’ve seen some really cool snake levels, where people just went crazy with the layout of the levels. The Game Creator is about personal expression. And the games seem to fall into two categories. The first group of games uses graphics with a broad appeal – for example, a famous character, a scantily clad model, or a known politician. And then there are the games that are entirely personal. They make no sense to you or me, only to the person who created it and their friends. For example, I saw one variation of Lunar Lander where you need to land a crab on someone’s, let’s say Debbie’s, head. Now, I have no idea who Debbie is, but I can imagine Debbie is a friend or sister of the game's creator. And it must have been a lot of fun for them to include the picture, and then have an easy way to distribute it to their friends.



At its initial release, the Game Creator has 6 game types: Lunar Lander, Pairs, Revenge, Snake, Tic Tac Toe, and Ping Pong. Why these six?
In the early planning stages, we created a long list of potential games. We picked these six for various reasons: familiarity, opportunity for customization, and suitability for the mobile platform. Sticking with well-known games is key. With known games, there’s no learning curve. People already know how to play the game, and can instantly start thinking of ways to change it.

So, will we see some other games from the list? Sure. From day one, we always knew we were going to add more game types to the mix, and give people even more choices. I’m not going to give anything away right now, but we are working on some other game types, and definitely want to strike a good balance between classic arcade types and puzzle games.

Let’s talk a little about the social aspect of Playyoo, and in particular the interaction between the Game Creator and the larger Playyoo community.
For game designers, the social aspect is a fun thing to watch. They can see who’s playing their game, who’s getting the high scores, and various comments from players. With the Game Creator, most of the fun comes from creating games for your friends. From that standpoint, the games themselves become “social objects”, to use a term from the social media circle. The games essentially become an 'excuse' to have conversations with people.

And do you see different conversations forming around original games and those made with the Game Creator?
If you look at the conversations around original games, they tend to focus on the specifics of game play – does the game work, did it take too long to complete, was it too large. So here, designers can get instant feedback from players. It’s a little different with Game Creator games. The discussions center around the underlying message – like the silly picture someone put in, or the political figure that was used. But, the key here is that both conversations can coexist on the same site.

I see a lot of parallels with Flickr. I post photos that I captured on my camera phone. The comments on my photos aren’t focused on my photography skills, or the lighting, or any of that, but more the story behind the photo. On the other hand, my friend is an avid photographer with a professional-grade SLR camera. His photos generate comments on composition, technique, lighting, and more.

So, in some ways, the Game Creator is like the camera phone for the mobile gaming world. It might not be a perfect comparison, but it’s all about breaking down the barriers to creation and self-expression.
Tags : flickr game_creator socialobjects kars gdc playyoo

Valentine's Game

This Valentine's Day you can have an extra trick up your sleeve to win over your heart's desire! Send her, or him, a Valentine's Day game using a special, limited edition version of the Playyoo Game Creator. We've set things up so that it is even easier than making a regular Playyoo game. Simply click on the Valentine's Day link (trust us, you can't miss it), fill in the details to tell us who you want us to send it to, and add as much - or as little as you want to say, and choose the type of game you want to make.
Inside the Game Creator you'll find a range of special themes and graphics, with everything prebuilt so that you can - if you want to - just settle for our version. But you can of course customize the game to add your graphics, your messages and your rules.

You can create one of 3 types of games which can initially use pre-built graphics, rules & text but which can be augmented with:
-Valentine-themed graphics from built in libraries
- user’s own graphics
- user’s own text strings in various screens
- user-selected rules

Then simply sit back and wait for February 14th, when Playyoo will send an email and an SMS to the lucky receiver. And if you get cold feet before then, well you can cancel. But you wouldn't want to do that, would you?

Oh, and sending Valentine's Day Games with Playyoo is, of course, free. So sign in to Playyoo, create your game, and good luck! Let us know how it worked out for you. Here is a preview of what you'll find once you're logged in.

Tags : valentine's_game game_creator

Playyoo is at WMC, Barcelona

Traveling again. I will attend next week's World Mobile Congress in Barcelona. 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 wmc barcelona conferences

The Contest is heating up

There is still one week to go for entries in the contest, and things are heating up. Samir, who is also behind Mobile Wish, offering an innovative Flash Lite greetings application, and who has dominated so far, has made a very generous offer to relinquish all prizes except his top one.


A look at the leaderboard shows that a late entry, The Empty Space, from loomand, is demonstrating that it's not over 'til it's over.

leaderboard.jpg

So keep them coming!

Tags : contest games_contest developers

Contest Leaderboard updated

We have at long last managed to get the web site contest leaderboard displaying the correct results. It may seem strange that this took so long, but we have about 27 zillion things we're just bursting to fix, add or enhance on Playyoo, but there are only 24 hours in the day - even for the software engineers...


The revised leaderboard doesn't really show any big surprises, but it does redistribute things a bit. There was never any doubt who was going to be on top - Samir Dash, with his killer mix of excellent games and marketing nous was unlikely to be dislodged, but it's good to see some of the other Flash Lite developers staking their claim. To be honest, the whole Top 20 is a pretty stellar list, and we're all really impressed by the quality of games contributed by our early adopters.


The algorithm used to generate the rankings is clearly Top Secret, but generally it is weighted towards the ultimate objective of Playyoo - getting people to download, play and submit scores from their phones. However, it takes a few other things into account, especially since in these early days we do not yet have a fully mature game downloading culture.


And just to remind you again: it's not over till it's over. Any game uploaded before 23:59 CET on 15th Feb 2008 will be considered in the contest, and the final rankings will be decided based on activity up until 23:59 CET on 28th Feb (yes, we failed to notice that 2008 is a Leap Year).

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Tags : playyoo

New Playyoo Release

We are happy to report that we released a maintenance patch (v1.0.03), which squashed few bugs and added some new feature. Please check the release notes in our forum.

Contest Update: Just 15 Days Left and Full Speed Ahead

It’s amazing how quickly time flies. The Playyoo Game Contest is in full swing, and we’re just a few short weeks away from the deadline. To be clear:

  • You have up to February 15 to submit a game & be eligible for the contest
  • Winners will be determined based on popularity and community activity as of February 28

Haven’t submitted your game yet? Don’t despair- you have until February 15th. But remember, winners are determined by community activity (i.e. number of times played, number of people who have recommended or marked it as a favorite). So, if you still want to enter your creations (whether they’re created with Game Creator or your own design skills), you might want to come up with a creative marketing & self-promotion campaign to go along with it. Encourage friends, family, anyone to download, play, and recommend. After all, if your mom marks your game as a favorite, it’s not against any of our rules.
Tags : playyoo contest games_contest developers