Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party

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TomFulp
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In my Best of July post earlier this month I mentioned we had a big uptick in marketing spam accounts. We were quick to delete those accounts and integrated a second anti-spam API to better protect the site.

In the time since then, I noticed a rise in support emails from hotmail and Outlook (both Microsoft email, hotmail has become Outlook) users who weren't receiving their validation or password reset emails. It turns out our email server was added to Microsoft's block list at the tail end of the spam attack on NG.

It COULD be a coincidence but a majority of the spam accounts had been using hotmail / Outlook and I feel like that had something to do with us getting blocked. Regardless, we are now off the block list and you should be able to re-send the validation email and validate your account if you couldn't before. Same goes for password resets if you were having trouble. BIG thank you to Microsoft for handling that promptly once we discovered it.

In other "updates that are important but not too exciting" news, NG will finally be going full https, site-wide. The reason this hasn't happened already is because a lot of older content has been site-locked to Newgrounds and anything that included "http:" in the site lock code will no longer work. We're gonna get around this by tracking individual submissions that need to load as http rather than https. Starting in October, Chrome will be penalizing websites that aren't https so some of that old content might get an ugly mark on it but the rest of the site will look totally pro. For an example, see our Supporter page, which has always been https.

The Future of Supporter

I've been re-examining the subscription model landscape web-wide; it's becoming the dominant business model as ad revenue continues to centralize at Facebook and Google.

One thing I've noticed is prices are higher than I remembered. For example Vimeo Plus is $7 per month billed annually ($84 up front) or $12 if you pay on a monthly basis. Vimeo Pro and Business are $20 and $50 per month, respectively. Deviant Art Core is $5 per month. SoundCloud Go (for consumers) is $9.99 per month and SoundCloud Pro (for artists) is $7 per month or $15 if you get Pro Unlimited.

Ever since we added the option for monthly Supporter, a lot of people buy a single month for $3, rather than paying $25 for the year or enabling a monthly subscription. Any support is awesome but realistically I think we need to eliminate that option and switch to the Vimeo model, charging $3 per month billed annually ($36 up front) or $4 if you pay on a monthly basis.

We would still have our easy cancellation policy so you could technically pay $4 for that first month and cancel the subscription immediately if that's how you want to roll.

Think about those numbers for a moment and let me know what you think. Existing subscribers would be grandfathered at their current rates but I'm especially curious for your feedback - would those prices scare you away?

Besides Supporters funding the ongoing development and maintenance of NG, they are on our mind for larger projects.

For example if we release Newgrounds apps for smart TVs, they would require you to log in as a paying supporter (aka subscriber), ala Netflix. If we release a desktop NG Arcade that preserves all the classic Flash games, works with site locked games AND lets you log medals, high scores and shared creations, THAT would require you to log in as a paying supporter as well. We don't intend to run ads on those platforms and subscriptions would cover the related bandwidth, development and maintenance. On that note, if you have experience developing apps for smart TVs, PM me with a summary of what you've done!

Party in Jersey!

@NobodyTM is a crew out of Roselle, New Jersey that promotes some great hip hop and they are throwing a Newgrounds-themed party this Friday night, August 25th! I'm driving up with @PhantomArcade and @IvanAlmighty to check it out. Supporters get in half-price, see their post for more info!

Want to make Games / Animation / Music / Art?

If you missed it, my last post was an update on popular Game and Animation software, with links for music and art as well.

Still in progress: New user pages, new search, new header and an update to the video processing server.

Picture by @Catoblepas that sums up this post:

Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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ZJ
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How's Nightmare Cops coming along Tom? Do anything cool with it this week?

Edit: Suck it Luis first

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"Your friends love you anyway" - Check out Guinea Something Good!

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PhantomArcade
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 17:24:35

I'm ready to fuckin party.

TomFulp
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 17:29:11

At 8/24/17 05:20 PM, ZJ wrote: How's Nightmare Cops coming along Tom? Do anything cool with it this week?

Yup I've been working on a giant cheerleader monster. @JohnnyUtah designed the boss and made the the background art, @Spazkid has been doing the animation. She does a lot of wacky stuff.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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TomFulp
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 17:35:48

At 8/24/17 05:20 PM, ZJ wrote: How's Nightmare Cops coming along Tom? Do anything cool with it this week?

Edit: Suck it Luis first

Here you go ENJOY!

Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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TomFulp
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At 8/24/17 05:35 PM, TomFulp wrote:
At 8/24/17 05:20 PM, ZJ wrote: How's Nightmare Cops coming along Tom? Do anything cool with it this week?

Edit: Suck it Luis first
Here you go ENJOY!

Fun fact: Pico pencil drawing in upper left corner is by @Fungasm.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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ZJ
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 17:41:13

At 8/24/17 05:35 PM, TomFulp wrote:
At 8/24/17 05:20 PM, ZJ wrote: How's Nightmare Cops coming along Tom? Do anything cool with it this week?

Edit: Suck it Luis first
Here you go ENJOY!

Good God that's gorgeous. If I'm not playing this game by 2019, I might have a breakdown.


Sig by Luis - AMA
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Noodle
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 17:41:28

Maybe make it so if you sign up for monthly billing, it will auto-renew? Members have to log in and cancel the payments to opt out.

I think Newgrounds could charge more. But I think it will box some people out, unless there is like a minimum of 1 exclusive game a month or something? It doesn't have to be a massive game. But it should be something fun and appealing to gain access to.

That is a weird, cart-before-the-horse thing though. How do you get the funds to buy a game to encourage the supporters?
Maybe there are some dedicated devs who could donate a big of time to making a freebie game to get the ball rolling? Or start off with a game jam! Participation requires being a supporter, and then playing the games after also requires being a supporter :)


GAH!

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TomFulp
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 17:44:02

At 8/24/17 05:41 PM, ZJ wrote: Good God that's gorgeous. If I'm not playing this game by 2019, I might have a breakdown.

Fun Fact #2: I wasted a ton of time this week testing different ad companies. With more supporters I would be working on NC more instead of trying to figure out how not to die in a gutter. Also we could design the site around looking cool.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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TomFulp
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 17:49:57

At 8/24/17 05:41 PM, Noodle wrote: Maybe make it so if you sign up for monthly billing, it will auto-renew? Members have to log in and cancel the payments to opt out.

That's what I'd like to try - right now you can opt-in to auto-renew but it's easy to opt-out... If you have to either pay for a year up-front OR opt-in, NG will win either way - and it will still be easy for people to cancel.

The way I look at it is, right now a lot of our top banner ads are promoting the supporter system. If 10 people each day give us $3 for one month, we've made $30 from that ad space - not sustainable at all. If 10 people give us $36 we've made $360 - which is waaaaaay more than third party ad companies make in that space. The reality would be a mix of $36 and $4 that will go on to pay $4 every month... Which also just feels much more sustainable overall.

I think Newgrounds could charge more. But I think it will box some people out, unless there is like a minimum of 1 exclusive game a month or something? It doesn't have to be a massive game. But it should be something fun and appealing to gain access to.

The burning question... I think we have a chance at doing some sponsored exclusive periods for content. YouTube doesn't make most people any money nowadays so we wouldn't have to pay as much to have someone launch on NG a month ahead of YouTube.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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squidly
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 18:08:39

$4 is decent for a monthly but I think you need to fix up the phrasing of 36 paid up front. I dunno why but it bothers me when people say "x monthly billed all at once" since that removes a LOT of the attractiveness of a monthly.

Is there some big advantage you personally see to getting a burst of cash as opposed to constant trickle?


Good.

MSGhero
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At 8/24/17 05:14 PM, TomFulp wrote: Think about those numbers for a moment and let me know what you think. Existing subscribers would be grandfathered at their current rates but I'm especially curious for your feedback - would those prices scare you away?

It makes me think of the people in the news threads who say they're saving up money to become subscribers. I'm not sure what kind of income and expenses they're working with, but if $25 is a big enough deal, and $36 is 50% more...

Is there enough subscriber-only content to divvy it up into tiers, like Patreon? I expect some people might want to pay more than $25 or $36 but also get something special out of it. And then some people might want to do $3 every other month or something, which would give them less stuff. "$4/mo gives you access to the NG app" kind of tiers.

Edit: maybe consecutive months give you + 10% to your vote weighting, or like staying consecutive gives +2/+4/+6/+8/+10% at each month up to a max.

@egg82 there's your https

TomFulp
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 19:06:20

At 8/24/17 06:08 PM, squidly wrote: $4 is decent for a monthly but I think you need to fix up the phrasing of 36 paid up front. I dunno why but it bothers me when people say "x monthly billed all at once" since that removes a LOT of the attractiveness of a monthly.

Is there some big advantage you personally see to getting a burst of cash as opposed to constant trickle?

I think a lot of people are subscription-averse and will pay the smallest single payment option available to show support.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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KieranMaster10
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 19:30:46

hi Tom, i paid for a years supporter-ship in April but im not sure whether i ticked the renew box


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MindChamber
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 19:48:16

At 8/24/17 05:14 PM, TomFulp wrote:
For example if we release Newgrounds apps for smart TVs, they would require you to log in as a paying supporter (aka subscriber), ala Netflix. If we release a desktop NG Arcade that preserves all the classic Flash games, works with site locked games AND lets you log medals, high scores and shared creations..

this is makin me giddy

BraydogNG
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 19:58:25

I'm sorry this site got blacklisted...again.

I hope this site gets bigger, Tom.

It deserves way more respect and popularity than it has, man. It really does.

~Braydog


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thepixelizer
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 20:58:18

You should probably stick to $3.00, lots of users are children and teens with no income, or are unemployed.
Take the Newgrounds Forsaken City Kickstarter as an example, it never got enough funds.

Eh it's no big deal for me to pay $4.00 a month but, every site,company, and their brother are starting a monthly subscription service, and $3.00 is more appealing than paying 30$ for YouTube tv ,paying $8.00 for Netflix, or $10.00 for Nintendo.

I know what would really make them bite the bate, Sales! In this recession lots of people don't buy anything
unless it's on sale.

DoubleDenial
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 21:10:19

First page..?

Heh, I'm not supporter but whatever.
I'm also not going to be at any parties anytime soon.
Also, the redesign is the only thing that interests me. Perhaps it could look more like the old NG? (not exactly, but, somewhat similar) People seem to still like the design with brighter colors than this version, like the button colors being orange on the outside and gray on the inside instead of vice versa.

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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 21:10:41

Since we are talking about the site's update, I was wondering if it's possible to allow everyone involved with a project be able to respond to reviews? Maybe there is a good reason why that's not an option and someone can enlighten me on the subject.

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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 22:12:18

I know that I'm a total dick sometimes but I really do wish I could help. Part of me wishes that adblock wasn't necessary to begin with. Let it be known that advertisers not only killed the free internet but also their own platform with their malicious practices. I was perfectly happy with ads until they started hijacking my browser.

squidly
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 22:30:40

At 8/24/17 07:06 PM, TomFulp wrote: I think a lot of people are subscription-averse and will pay the smallest single payment option available to show support.

I'm actually more down for a subscription, but that's just me.


Good.

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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 22:33:57

Tom, to be clear, are the numbers $25 annual fee and $36 monthly-billed annual fee? The 25 definitely seems cool, but the 36 is kinda odd, at least because it's not a multiple of 5. I don't know how other people feel/react, but I personally have no issue since I want to support the site. But I guess having just those and removing the single-month payment seems "logical"... however, I feel like it might scare some people away that would just want to pay one month now and then. How many people, according to your records, actually do that? If it's a significant number, removing it might be a bad idea. All of that aside, though, a great incentive for supporting would definitely be more features such as all that signing in to NG apps on whatever platforms you're looking at.

BTW

A couple things regarding my school (California State University Fullerton). In the computer labs, every computer has Swivel loaded into it, interestingly enough. Also, I spoke with the Arts Department Career Specialist, mentioning the site, and she included what I wrote about it on our school's website as a resource for art students:

Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party


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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 22:49:54

I find that more site have a 3 month, 6 month and 12 month option, instead of just 1 month or a year. How about more break-down options? I'm less likely to buy for a whole year, but I'm more likely to buy for 3 to 6 months.


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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-24 23:22:27

At 8/24/17 05:14 PM, TomFulp wrote: Existing subscribers would be grandfathered at their current rates but I'm especially curious for your feedback - would those prices scare you away?

Not at all. :)


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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-25 01:45:25

At 8/24/17 05:41 PM, Noodle wrote: I think Newgrounds could charge more. But I think it will box some people out, unless there is like a minimum of 1 exclusive game a month or something? It doesn't have to be a massive game. But it should be something fun and appealing to gain access to.

Timed exclusivity on certain games would be a great incentive for subscribers. Even just one a month would work, because someone might really be itching to play that game. Hell, I'd probably let NG have timed exclusivity on one of my future games, just to show support for the site. Would probably make NG more money than the old sponsorship model.


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Mich
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-25 04:25:07

- Yay for full https, that's always good to see!

- I think simply having the subscription thing opt-out rather than opt-in might make a big difference.

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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-25 04:35:32

My thoughts:
Keep it simple. Make one single model. Monthly. And you may charge 4 or even 5 $ I think. Billing is 3-Monthly always. Easy Opt-out.

Make an occasionally popping up supporter landing page that shows you: "What you get for 4$ per Month:" and then with bright colored images: Games, Animation/Movies, Audio, Art. "With a vibrant Indie-Community". "Full access to everything by everyone".

That's it. No unnecessary text or promitions or whatever. Just that page. With a button to "Become a supporter" of course or "Continue using Newgrounds as a Guest". Occasionally popping up: Once per week.

And full access: What about limiting Guests in certain areas? Liking, reviewing should still be possible. But for example do not allow Guests to blam entries. Limit the number of characters in forum posts. No blog posts possible.

Just my ideas.


You find Let's Plays in German of some Flash games here on Newgrounds on my YouTube channel

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matt-likes-swords
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-25 04:38:02

A Newgrounds app for TVs sounds like a great idea! As someone who's recently bought a huge smart TV and started watching a lot of Netflix and YouTube on it, this would definitely encourage me to spend more time watching animations on Newgrounds.


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TomFulp
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Response to Updates, Thoughts, Ideas & Party 2017-08-25 06:24:26

At 8/24/17 09:10 PM, MadNukin wrote: Since we are talking about the site's update, I was wondering if it's possible to allow everyone involved with a project be able to respond to reviews? Maybe there is a good reason why that's not an option and someone can enlighten me on the subject.

That is a long intended feature that IS coming!


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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When exactly is that Newgrounds Film Festival supposed to happen again? I feel like the date is fast approaching, but I haven't heard anything about it since the initial thread.

Still, exciting stuff, all around!


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