Merged: Direct linking downloads and 3rd Party Site Promotion

Member
Posts: 78
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #1
I was just informing the download sites of BitRacer. Which was great until they all decided they ought to direct link to my file. Unfortunately for them, and me, I was 20 times over the bandwidth limit on my friends account, so I had to move the file. Unfortunately for udevgames it didn't drive traffic there. Sad

I managed to persuade VT (after some effort) to just link to the download page of BitRacer. Initially they linked to the udevgames forwarding link. Except udevgames forbids this (I'm guessing in order to make people link to the site). The effect however is to make people skip udevgames altogether.

Is this really a good idea?

The nuts at MacUpdate decided they would rather mirror the file than link to a webpage. Huh Go figure. I don't yet know what MGF will do, but I don't have good hopes based on my track record.
Quote this message in a reply
Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
Can we discuss this topic in the forum, so I don't have to deal with everyone on a one-to-one basis? Thanks.

Some background. In the first uDevGames 2001, I wanted to garner as much exposure for our little contest, so I submitted all the games myself to macgamefiles and versiontracker. I haven't done it since 2001. After the first year, we left it up to developers to promote their own game (to learn marketing Smile )

In the past, developers added something like this to their game's description on 3rd party sites, "This game was entered in uDevGames. Please visit udevgames/idevgames for more games."

With the requirement of the uDevGames readme, and the in-game uDevGames promotion, we were able to bring people to the site to try more games and to vote.

I understand that many of these sites now require a direct download link. They do it to keep traffic on their site of course. And to make it a bit easier for their visitors. (Though I see exceptions for your Adobe's of the world.)

Anyways, here is how it stands...

Some developers care VERY much that games from this contest get promoted on site ABC, without mention of the contest, or other games.
Some developers don't care about the link going to our downloads page, but hope that the description mentions something about the contest/voting and other games.
Some developers don't care about anything. (errr. this issue)

We do not have an official rule on this matter because I realize that not everyone will be happy, and that we can't control the policies of outside sites.

I'm going to allow everyone to air their feelings (be nice!) here, and hopefully we can reach a compromise that makes entrants happy.

So, please no more direct emails on this to me, because I need to focus on other stuff.

Cheers!

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
I thought you wanted a mirror! Cool

Anyhoo, macupdate linked directly to my graveck.com file... argh... and won't change it. (I did the modify submission form AND a polite persuasive email.)

The macgamefiles site linked to the entry page as it should. My qualms with them is that they only have a "shareware" game type... it's free and you don't learn that until you click the link. Oh well not a big deal. The other thing is that the pages for filese look... plain. Macupdate lets you have a screenshot, and puts the application icon there too. It is a lot nicer, visually.

I haven't jumped through all the hoops to submit to version tracker. What did you put for all of that information!!! They ask for a zillion contacts and snail mail addresses, phone numbers, company description, etc... Anyone ever submit there? Whatdaaya do?


-Jon
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 771
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #4
I have a nice number of downloads, but I haven't done any publicity about my entry besides here, since I don't want to spend all my bandwidth until my final version is uploaded! Actually, not even then, since my entry is being hosted by someone other than me (Reza H. - thanks!)
Quote this message in a reply
Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #5
> My qualms with them is that they only have a "shareware"
It seems that many sites haven't made it to our present day. They tend not to know what open source is... or clump it with Freeware. You would think they would know about Public Domain.

The point of this thread is.... what can be done? should anything be done?

I think that the majority of gamers have come from macgamer.com and insidemacgames.com. I will see if I can check our stats to confirm that.

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #6
Camacho Wrote:> The point of this thread is.... what can be done? should anything be done?

Well, I don't think really anything can be done. We can make entrants _only_ have download links on the uDG appropriate contest page, but that doesn't stop anyone from finding where the file actually links to and putting the direct link up on their mac software tracker website. When games are submitted appropriate to sites, they don't always get the correct entry link posted.

It seems out of our control, so I guess it's something to be lived with.

However, we DO have control about what the downloads look like. For instance, we could require all entries to be in a .dmg format, and require them to have a uDG background picture that we would provide. There could be a tutorial and sample read/write .dmg to get them started.

So rather than try and attract attention to uDevGames before and during the process of downloading, we could do our best to attract it after the fact. More than just a uDevGames readme. A .webloc, a background image, etc.

-Jon
Quote this message in a reply
DoG
Moderator
Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #7
I've located the code in the dm that checks the referrer for the download links. We could turn it off if seen fit, I don't really see a point to blocking, as the download page is not that pretty to look at anyway.
Quote this message in a reply
Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #8
BTW DoG. In the admin section there is an anti-leech feature. I've never had that on, for fear of stopping downloads. I just mention it so you know some code somewhere does something to do with stopping file leeching.

aarku, you explained that very well. We (I) attempted to do the dmg and background idea last year but ended up giving up. Didn't seem to be that much support for it.

I think the issue of not mentioning other downloads and the contest was a larger issue when we didn't require a readme and text in the game about uDevGames.

Cheers.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #9
Camacho Wrote:aarku, you explained that very well. We (I) attempted to do the dmg and background idea last year but ended up giving up. Didn't seem to be that much support for it.

I think the issue of not mentioning other downloads and the contest was a larger issue when we didn't require a readme and text in the game about uDevGames.

Well, here is a very quick mockup of what I had in mind.

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~czec0035/images/u...mockup.jpg

Looks like embedded images are turned off now. Huh

Anyways, what you'll notice in that quick mockup is the bottom is reserved for uDevGames, and the top you can do whatever you want with. We could provide .psd files, png24 files, and anything that has an alpha channel. Then devs could drop their own background in for the top part. Additionally, it'd be easy to provide a variety of cookie-cutter solid color ones for developers that need or want something simple.

There could be sample .dmg that you could download and examine, and I could write a concise tutorial on how to make a background image for your game download.

Why do this? To help promote uDG and give an extra level of professionalism to the contest.

-Jon
Quote this message in a reply
Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #10
>Looks like embedded images are turned off now.
Yes, strange.

The mockup looks good. I think what some people said last year was that they had a problem with the dmg format. Can't recall what it was.

Let's do this next year. I think it is a tad too late now. Or, let's do this once all the games are declared.

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
Quote this message in a reply
Kwerkx
Unregistered
 
Post: #11
re Direct linking downloads

When I got the official email that told us to use the udevgames links for our games I thought it meant to use link to our game not to the whole downloads page. An email from a nice visitor informed me that my web page links were broken. Instead of locking out non udevgames refferers in a draconian fashion and giving them that horrible non authorized message why not just foreword the non approved links to what ever page you that are running the contest to feel is appropriate. Stopping a visitor cold dead like that does nothing for positive for anyone.
Quote this message in a reply
Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #12
I'm not sure I understand the above post. Could you re-phrase that?

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 916
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #13
the only reason I don't like the dmg, is that it does not allow me to write to files inside the game app there, and I have a bad habit of liking to keep EVERYTHING inside one app.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #14
skyhawk Wrote:the only reason I don't like the dmg, is that it does not allow me to write to files inside the game app there, and I have a bad habit of liking to keep EVERYTHING inside one app.

Yeah, sorry but that is a really bad habit. You have no guarantee that you have write privileges to an app bundle. Sounds like a .dmg would be a good nudge to do things correctly Smile

-Jon
Quote this message in a reply
Kwerkx
Unregistered
 
Post: #15
Some one has changed direct links to udevgames to just lock out in this manner:

Error:
http://www.kwerkx.com/b.html is not a valid referer. If you believe this to be in error, please quote the above error and report this to the admin
<back>

Sending visitors to a dead end page is useless for us all. Especially when the only option on this error page is to go back to the refering site. Why not redierct these links to the general downloads page or page or whatever.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Tracking UDG D/L and Promotion igame3d 28 12,922 Mar 14, 2009 06:39 PM
Last Post: igame3d
  Links to uDevGames downloads NCarter 33 19,907 Jul 12, 2005 07:58 PM
Last Post: ardam the third
  Including 3rd party code in source submission NCarter 5 5,215 Nov 22, 2004 10:42 PM
Last Post: aaronsullivan