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New Print and Play website done.... ish

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Redcap
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I hired a programmer to get it so I had a print and play website that would allow users to submit content, select membership types, and then track stats; and 2 months later he delivered... kind of. It is still in its infancy, and am looking for actual submissions to start. I am also looking for critique of how to make the site better for you the content submitter, and also for the customer who is buying your games.

I don't want to go public until it is polished, so if you are interested please pm me and I will give you the website address with the understanding that you keep the website's address low for a few more days while I iron out the wrinkles. The website is 100% functional right now, just not polished.

Please don't respond unless you have a game you are considering to submit for sale. I don't want people who are just curious, I want people who want this in the market as badly as I did and who want to have input into the further development of this site.

Also I am not only selling games, but also paper miniatures, and paper terrains; so if you are an artist there is also an oppurtunity for you as well to make some extra money.

On a final note, to those who get their games,miniatures, or terrains accepted first I will give you added exposure on the site in hopes to help boost your sales. So I will promot your item on the front page of the website for a period of time.

Look forward to hearing from you. Also any questions you have you can ask here or in a pm.

larienna
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I could probably do that

I could probably do that since I wanted to submit a game on your site( I already sent you the rules) and considering I have production on 2 other PNP site. So I can easily compare and see what is good or wrong.

Redcap
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Excellent, I think I have

Excellent, I think I have actually already given you the website. If not, let me know and I will re-pm you.

(Can you even say that... "re-pm") :)

larienna
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I checked rapidly, and the

I checked rapidly, and the site does not center correctly. The site does no seem too large since it fit on the screen but I need to scroll it to the right all the time.

Redcap
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Oppps, easy fix. In my css

Oppps, easy fix. In my css file the div had a margin to the left of 250 pixels. Changed it so that it centers automatically now. I don't think I would have caught that, because like reading ones own writing your brain fills in missing information because you know what it is suppose to look like I was so use to looking at the site that I didn't even notice I was scrolling if my window was diminished. Thanks.:)

larienna
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Can you add a free item on

Can you add a free item on your site and/or add a 1 cent item (or the minimum paypal fees) so that I could test the whole transaction process.

I did not have much time to test. I have been doing 10 things at the same time lately and I forget stuff I need to do.

I'll try making an account and buying stuff. Later I'll need a publisher account to submit stuff.

larienna
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OK, I have taken a fast look

OK, I have taken a fast look at your website, But I think I saw a lot.

1- On the subscription form, the password fields are not hidden. That could be a feature, but I just wanted to point it out.

2- There is no e-mail confirmation, so user could enter invalid e-mails. I thinks that could lead to security leaks but I am not sure.

3- There seems to be a platinum and gold account, but I don't really see the use. Still, for account types, if could be interesting to have consumers and Publisher accounts (which include consumers). When a consumer sign a contract with you, now you can promote it to publisher. Else right now, anybody can try to be a publisher.

4- As a librarian, I don't find the sub categories to be interesting since it mix game type, game style and game theme together. Select 1 facet where each item is mutually exclusive, but do not mix up classification criteria since you could en up with a game that fit in many categories. I could help on that, just tell me which facet you want to use.

5- Submission form: Here are some comments about the submission form.

Price: I would find it more interesting to enter any value I want. People could do psychological pricing like 4.99 instead of 5$. Also it is very interesting to have an additional field for sale price. Giving publisher the control over their game's price and trigger sale anytime they want is fun. In the catalog, you display the original priced dashed and the new price with a "on sale" mention.

Number of players: Some field like the nb of players should not use a combo box because it really limits your flexibility. You will end up with a 12 player game eventually and it will not be in the list. It might also give you eventually more flexibility if you make a search engine.

Description: There are 2 description field which are confusing. You shold rename them "summary" and "Complete Description" rather than "small description" and "description"

File download: Having a limited number of files could be a problem. Of course files can be zipped, but for example, my game have 7 files in 60 Megs. Is there a limit on each file? Or could a timeout occur if the files are too big? Else, yes I could zip the files.

6- There does not seem to be any credit card information recorded in the user account. You will probably delegate all the stuff to pay pal. But how does it works exactly, does the money goes into your account and you transfer it afterward, or does in goes directly into the user's paypal account which by the way is not in the registration form.

---

So the other test I would need to make is to submit a product and buy a product. Do you allow me to create a dummy product and send some useless files?

Hope it helps.

Redcap
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I think I am going to go in

I think I am going to go in backwards order.

1) I will try to get this changed, but not a big to do.
2) Completely agree, need to get this feature before I release to the general public.
3) The idea is anyone can be a publisher. The account type is merely for internal statistic keeping. If you sign up for Gold you are saying that you want to be an exclusive content provider, and my sales report will reflect you getting 80% of the net profit from your sales. If you sign up as a Platinum, then it will reflect a 50% earning. I left it this way because I want it to be very easy for someone to submit content. Less hoops for the user the better. Still not a perfect system, but for what I had to work with it works well.
4) I can change these in a heartbeat, and one of the only reasons it is mixed is because most boardgame websites I used as a reference listed mixed catagories. Having mixed catagories does allow for more publicity of your games though. Because if you have a kid fantasy cardgame you would get three hits instead of just one. But if I change this what is the most important catagory in your oppinion? Theme, style, or type?
5)Submission form. This was a hard decision to make, but it is most likely going to stay as is, I weighed the benefit vs cost of flexibility vs cohesion; and cohesion won out. I want a website that is homogeneous. I will see if I get more feedback about this, but due to budget this is one feature that most likely won't change unless I get a large outcry against it. Don't get me wrong, I understand your points exactly, but that can open a whole new can of worms I don't want to deal with right now.

I did change the description though, you were spot on with that.

File download was a communication error on part of myself and the programmer, and wont be changed until I procure some more funds. I wanted an unlimited upload using ajax, and he quoted me for what you see now.
6) Paypal is the method I decided to go with, because I didn't want to fight with credit card processing yet. That is scary stuff.

Feel free to upload a test file and I will accept it so you can see what it looks like. If you purchase it, what will happen is I will get an email saying someone purchased this product. I have a basic tracking feature in the system that tells me when users have earned $100 or more in sales so I can pay them out, but right now it doesn't automatically split the funds with the game submitter. I contacted Paypal directly and asked if there was a way to do this, and they said no; so basically I have to keep records and pay people manually. The first feature I am going to buy when my budget expands is a way for the user to see their says, because as it stands they can't. I assumed this would be included in my php code work, but it wasn't.

larienna
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Quote:The idea is anyone can

Quote:
The idea is anyone can be a publisher. The account type is merely for internal statistic keeping.

I understand the idea of making your site more user frieldly, but first, you need to sign contract with your publisher, unless you do not want to have contract. so you need to control who has contracts and who does not.

Quote:
I left it this way because I want it to be very easy for someone to submit content.

Second, from what I remember, you wanted to have some sort of quality control over games. If people can add games easily on your website, you lose all controls. Still, maybe there is already a form of control like viewing submission before accepting them.

Quote:
Paypal is the method I decided to go with, because I didn't want to fight with credit card processing yet. That is scary stuff.

If you can delegate all the financial stuff to paypal, that is a good thing. As long as you can easily keep track of where the money goes and infor the publishers about it. Accumulating up to 100$ could be utopic, but to limit the pay pal fees, regrouping payments is a good thing.

Wargamesdownload currently pay me once a month. If I only make 1 sale, the % of trasaction fees per game sold is much higher that if he paid every 6 months for example. It could be interesting if people could see how much royalties they currently have in their account and request a payment when they fee they have enought. This is how it works on drivethru RPG.

Quote:
But if I change this what is the most important catagory in your oppinion? Theme, style, or type?

This is the big question. From what I can see, the miniature/terrain groups will also be subdivided with the same categories? So subclassing by style or type might not fit well (ex: family game miniature or terrain? does not make sense). So by theme could be the best option.

Now how to define those themes?

I have been working on a 3 facet genre classification for novel for libraries. Those 3 facets are:

Action type: Romance, adventure, action, slice of life, etc.
Time period: Ancient, modern, sci-fi, etc.
Style: Fantasy, historical, Illogical, etc.

Now I could use this as a source of inspiration for your sub categories. Maybe it could go to the objective of the theme. Like an Horror theme's goal is to scare people, but you could have horror fantasy, horro sci-fi, etc. Else, you could go with time period and ignore the fact that it could be fantastic, historical, etc. That could be the easiest way to identify the product with the lowest level of ambiguity.

Now ask yourself. If somebody is not looking for a game in particular, which criterias will he use? Or which criteria will he exclude? Personally, I like strong themed game, so I would be tempted to search by theme. But in most board games, theme is not important. I also have some exclusion criterias like "I hate auction" so if I see that mechanic in a game, I ignore it. I might also ignore collectible game for example.

Having various tags on a game could be interesting, but classing the same game in various sub categories is bad. Because when I browse by categories, I don't like seeing stuff I have already seen. I expect that if I pass through each category, I would have seen and analysed everything. Now I need to reanalyse games, or remember that I had already seen that game.

I'll continue to give some thought to it. If you have priorities, let me know.

Redcap
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Yep, no contracts with users,

Yep, no contracts with users, they just agree with the terms of conditions and submit content.

If a user wants to be paid more frequently, they can ask for the payments more regularly but that will lead to less because of the paypal transaction fee.

There is quality control built into the website because after submitting something, it doesn't go to the main floor until after I review it and flag it for sale.

Onto theme. I will think about it over the weekend and report back with what I have found. I would be interested to have others weigh in on the subject so might ask other forums on their oppinions as well. Also I will do some reading on articles and papers concerning the subject; but your thoughts are always valued and welcomed.

Thanks for all of your great input thus far.

P.S. My programmer is making a password verification as we speak, so thanks for that advice again.

Clever Mojo Games
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Platinum vs. Gold

Traditionally, Platinum is a higher value membership than Gold, but it seems reversed on your site.

Currently, your Platinum Members receive 50% commission, while your Gold Members receive 80%. I would suggest switching that so Gold receives 50% and Platinum received 80%.

I look forward to your opening up the site for PnP submissions.

Redcap
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That is what I thought too,

That is what I thought too, but my programmer choose the catagories and I don't want to deal with trying to get him to change them. So what we say is, we aren't your traditional website... ;)

About 2 days and we are going to open for submissions.

larienna
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So you want me to do these

So you want me to do these additional tests within 2 days. I'll probably be free tuesday. If I have some time I could try it tonight, but definitely not tomorrow.

Redcap
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Ohhh, sorry Larienna; no

Ohhh, sorry Larienna; no whenever you have time. We have tested that the site works, just seeing if it works the way you all want it too, like you posted above. So feature changes will be dones in about 1 day now, then I am going to post the website for general submissions. Still working on the categories though. I might leave them as is for now, and change them as more users submit content and leave feedback though.

larienna
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Do you need help for the sub

Do you need help for the sub categories classification instead?

Where you still looking for a classification by theme considering that you needed to group together other things than games?

Redcap
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I would love help on the

I would love help on the sub-classification. The nice thing is it is easy to change, so if what we come up with doesn't work it can always be changed again.

Main catagories will be Games, Miniatures, and Terrains; past that I am looking at theme.
Fantasy, future, etc.

larienna
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Classification Scheme by theme

OK, I have created 2 different system by theme which can fit will all product type.

Method A - Classification by time period

The concept is simple, group products by time period. There is 2 list of time periods according to the amount of time period you want.

Prehistorical
Ancient: Start with the invention of writting
Renaissance: Start with the invention of print press
Modern: Start with the invention of electricity or other energy source
High Tech: Start with the invention of wireless internet
Sci-fi: Start with the invention of faster than light drive
Universal: Not specific to a timeperiod (ex: a map with a forest could be of any time period)
Abstract: Absolutely no theme

These time period could be contracted as

Ancient: Includes prehistorical
Renaissance: Includes medieval era, or the end of it
Modern: Includes High-Tech
Sci-fi: Include late hightech
Universal: same as above
Abstract: Same as above


Method B - Classification by theme style

You will probably like better this classification system. I also made some test with my game collections at the end. The order of the list below is important. The entries higher in the list have priorities against the next entries if there are multiple possibilities.

Fantasy: Contain things that will NEVER exist. Dragons, magic, etc.

Science-Fiction: Contain things that does not exist yet but that could eventually exist. OR Contains stuff that did not exist at that specific time period. Example: Sci-Fi world war 2 theme with mecha and rocket (ex: dust, Gear Krieg, Ring of Red, etc.). Includes alternate reality.

Historical: Contains the following elements: Historical character, events and geography. For game, I think you should need at least 2 elements. For example, Vinci had a world map of europe but It's not an historical game since all the civilization are fictive. "Cleopatra" is an historical character for the game "Cleopatra", but the palace layout is complete fiction and there is no historical events.

Realist: Games where the THEME makes sense with reality what ever the time period. The mechanics of the game does not have to be realistic. Only the theme is evaluated here.

Universal: There is a theme but it's not specific to anything.

Abstract: There is absolutely no theme


Method B Classification example

I have made a list of my game collections and tried classifiying them according to method B to see if there was any problems. Here are the results:

Fantasy
Age of Mythology
Lord of the rings confrontation
Fury of Dracula
Shadow over camelot
Dungeon Twister
Arena Maximus
Elixir
Heroscape (contains Sci-Fi, but fantasy is first so have priority)
Fallen Kingdoms
Munchkin Fu
Duel Masters
Battle Masters
Arkham Horror
Bonhanza

Science-Fiction
Leonardo Davinci (The inventions are irrealist)
Star Craft
Twilight Imperium
Illuminati
Dune Express

Realism/Realist
Oceania
Settlers of Catan
Cleopatra (only the name is historical, not enough)
Chez-Dork
Stratego (only the units are historical, not enough)
Viktory 2 (Only the units are historical, not enough)
Vinci (This is only a map of europe, not enough)
Carcassone (some expansions are fantasy)
To court the king
Hacker
Louis XIV (there are only historical paintings. Not enought)
Rum and Pirates
Puerto Rico
The big idea
Pay Day
Hui Clos
Monopoly
Lion Heart

Historical
It seems I have no historical games, I'll list a few

Axis and Allies
London 1888
Victory Pacific

Universal

Abstract
Sept Sceaux
That's Life (the original game had no theme(pictures in the middle)
Uno
Micropul

So this is it. I think you would be much more tempted by method B. In the original layout, I also had the "Horror" category but it was not mutually exclusive with the other. You could have horror fantasy (Arkham Horror) horror historical (london 1888), etc.

The other problem is if you only evaluate the theme or do you also evaluate the game play? For example, Bonhanza has been classified in fantasy because humanoid beens will never actually exist. But if you evaluate the game play, the game is pretty abstract. Same thing for carcassone, the theme is realist, but the gameplay is abstract.

But you cannot keep in the "realism" category only the game where the mechanics make sense with the them because there is currently 1 game out of 1000th that does it. Second, it's too subjective to evaluate. This is why I focused strictly on analyzing the theme only.

I hope it helps Enjoy!

Redcap
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I like the latter grouping,

I like the latter grouping, personally.

What I am going to do is open up the website for submissions today, get more user feedback, then change the catagories accordingly; then retroactively change the catagories of the accepted products.

Thanks again for actually giving me feedback, it has been invaulable.

HarryPotter
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I'm interested

I'm interested in looking at your website and I have a few games that I'm trying to sell. I would appreciate if you take a look at my website too

larienna
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By the way redcap, I did not

By the way redcap, I did not forget you, I am just too busy to take some time to post my game. It's on my todo list so it will eventually be done.

Redcap
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No no, you are fine; but

No no, you are fine; but don't think I forgot you either.

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