Travian closed the door; we’re opening it

About a month ago, I asked who Building Browsergames should approach when it comes to getting opinions from developers on their games. Through your responses in the comments and a few recommendations that were e-mailed to me, I managed to compile a list of about 15 games or game developers to try and talk to. While I have to confess I haven’t been sending out e-mails quite as quickly as I would like to, I have still been in contact with a few game owners. One of the games that I most recently contacted was one that most of you wanted to hear from: Travian.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news; Roger Gräler, the Produktmanager for Travian Games GmbH, e-mailed me back and told me that Travian Games currently is not in the position to write anything for Building Browsergames, and won’t be in the future either.

On the other hand, I have some news related to Building Browsergames that should hopefully make it easier for some of the games(and game developers) that I haven’t had pointed out to me: Building Browsergames is now set up to receive contributions! What this means for game owners and developers is that all you have to do is sign up for an account at http://buildingbrowsergames.com/blog/wp-login.php?action=register, and then you’ll be able to log in at http://buildingbrowsergames.com/blog/wp-admin/ and submit posts for review. If a post is approved after being reviewed, it will be put into the publishing queue – which means what you write could show up in front of everyone reading Building Browsergames.

With that being said, there are a few tips that I have for anyone who is interested in contributing:

  • Code In Posts

    If you’d like to embed code in your post and have the syntax get highlighted properly, you can wrap it in <pre> tags, and set the ‘lang’ attribute to the language that you are using in your snippet. You can also optionally add the ‘line’ attribute to tell the syntax highlighter what line to start line numbers on(which is helpful if you are posting a small piece of a larger codefile, and you’d like users to know where you’re at). Here’s an example, that will highlight a Perl snippet and start line-numbering at line 8:

    <pre lang='perl' line='8'>
    my @array = map { $_ > 0 } @values; # your snippet here
    </pre>

  • Your Byline

    As a bit of an extra kickback to people who write for Building Browsergames, you are allowed to include a byline with anything you write. Ideally, this is a single, brief paragraph that describes you – who you are, what you’ve built, or what you’re working on. The text that will be displayed for your Byline is the ‘Biographical Info’ that you can set in your profile(if you can’t figure out how to edit your profile, go to this page).

In conclusion, I’m afraid that I couldn’t get Travian to talk about their game with me. However, I have been working on getting in touch with some of the other games and developers that you mentioned, and should hopefully be publishing their thoughts soon.

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Luke is the primary editor of Building Browsergames, and has written a large portion of the articles that you read here. He generally has no idea what to say when asked to write about himself in the third person.

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 site
  • Care to suggest a few specific topics you'd like to see contributions in?

  • One topic that a lot of readers are curious about are graphics packs(if
    you've played Travian, you'll know what I mean); what are the pros and cons
    of using them?
    Another I've been asked about is how to handle high concurrency situations
    with MySQL; the reader who talked to me mentioned that they switched from
    MyISAM to InnoDB for storage engines, but that wasn't quite enough. I'm
    afraid I don't know quite enough about databases yet to be able to write
    about this one.

    Other topics are balancing your game(and your game's economy), and voting
    sites: do they work? Which ones are best?

    I'm fairly flexible as to what a contributor can write about - as long as
    it's related to browsergames/PBBGs and makes sense, it's good enough for me.

  • JohnMunsch

    I'm not sure that I see the point of a Travian style graphics pack anymore. You had to jump through hoops to get the browser to recognize that a page was going to come from a foreign host and yet refer to images from the local machine.

    To me a better solution would be exactly what WordPress (and Google) are using now which is Google Gears. I believe it could be made to download a set of component graphics and use them and speed up the overall performance of a more graphic intensive web game. I'd be interested in an article that took the Google Gears approach and assessed other alternative implementations of the same thing (if there are any).

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Building Browsergames is a blog about browsergames(also known as PBBG's). It's geared towards the beginner to intermediate developer who has an interest in building their own browsergame.

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