Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

I’ve been slowly working on the new vision for the Textfyre.Com website. It’s very much a work in progress and in the very early stages of development. If you’re concerned about design aspects, be patient. There will be artwork and prettiness added later. The site is going to be a portal for games and that functionality is at the core of the changes. There will be a lot of AJAX and Web 2.0 features and a new AJAX based FyreVM implementation called Zifmia (open source). Here’s the plan so far:

Game Portal Features
Zifmia will provide the ability to offer Interactive Fiction in the same way that a website offers web pages. Using AJAX, we’ll send commands to a server dedicated to Zifmia games (based on a modified stateless FyreVM engine). The web page will receive the response from the Zifmia server in JSON format, which will be stored locally using jStorage, unpacked, and written to the web page as required. There will be no scroll bar text window. Each response will be displayed in full in the main text area in the center of the portal. Each “turn” or response will be saved as history to local storage. There will be user interface features that allow the user to easily page through the history of their game play. This will happen by pulling the appropriate JSON data out of local storage and displaying it on the web page. If the user closes their browser, they can always come back to the same state they left the website in, carrying on with their game.

Game Search Features
At the bottom of the page there is a rectangle with the word “menu” as a placeholder. This area will be a place to scroll horizontally through game titles. The game titles will be represented by their cover art. When clicked, a light box will display the information about the game, which allows the user to start the game immediately. If the user is in the middle of a game, its state will be stored and we will start the new game automatically. What’s really cool is that we will keep track of all of the “games in progress” somewhere on the web page. Jumping to any game in progress will be a single click.

Membership
Similar to the previous website, we will have people register and login for certain types of content, mostly paid content, but there are other (legitimate) reasons for asking people to register. Anyone that’s registered and logged in will have access to paid content, beta versions, insider news, and more.

Cross Device Delivery
The biggest change to Textfyre is that it will focus on delivering games (ours and others) to many mobile devices in addition to the traditional desktop and laptop devices. The portal will prominently identify all of the current devices and available content.

Content
Another big change in Textfyre.Com is that we will begin to widen the type of content we promote and sell. This will include more mature themes and may include games with profanity, violence, and mild sexual themes (nothing explicit!).

Partnerships
Textfyre.Com will partner with other publishers and content creators to provide a wide variety of content.

Advertisement
Textfyre.Com will begin to carry skyscraper advertisements that will be located on the sides of the portal.

Textfyre has been in pivot mode for awhile now. As has been blogged before, we’re going to move away from the strict educational model we were hoping to build. We’ve already moved away from asking authors and designers to focus on the middle-school demographic.

It’s clear that mobile platforms and are going to be one of the places to be with new media and casual gaming content. That said, desktops aren’t going anywhere. What’s become clear is that we need to have a viable product on all platforms. This means standard web, social web, desktop, mobile phone, mobile slate, and eReaders. Once we’ve built the product delivery system on all of these platforms, we will be able to draw content from external sources and offer what is essentially a new pipeline for content.

Content creators can then use our delivery system for original content or for older content. Content creators can use our delivery process as a way to offer a necessary bump to their marketing cycle.

We’re close to having all of the platform delivery systems addressed and expect to be platform complete by the end of 2010.

The website is going to change dramatically in the coming weeks. Instead of focusing on specific content, were going to focus on Interactive Fiction as a new medium for new and existing content and provide information to content creators on how they can utilize our delivery mechanisms.

I’m excited about these changes. They bring the focus of Textfyre back to Interative Fiction as a medium instead of a source of supplemental education materials.