Over the past month we've deployed a ton of awesome updates to the site, figured it was about time we gave a roundup.
About 3 months ago our DB server hit it's RAM limit and our web boxes were spiking. So we began a massive data migration onto entirely new hardware. It hasn't been without pain and a few sleepless nights, but it is finally complete. Massive thanks to Greg who is the architect behind the upgrade, he has installed a media CDN with locations in Europe, USA and Australia, separated our upload system, upgraded our PHP threading so we can push more clients than ever before and made countless other upgrades. The site should be lightning fast and will remain that way.
My favorite update has to be HTML5 video support. This means you can now watch trailers and content via your mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads which don't have flash support. This update will be followed with more, as we slowly retire our old video player. Expect our new one to eventually add HD support, have less ads and to work quickly and always.
Upload direct from Youtube
Possibly the coolest feature is the ability to upload videos directly from Youtube URLs. You just select "upload from URL", paste the Youtube link then click upload. Our system will automatically attempt to grab the best quality video available from Youtube. It isn't perfect as the good guys at Google are constantly changing the system, but it is handy when it works! Please note that we still ALWAYS advise you to upload the original high-quality video to the system. It will yield better quality output, especially when we roll out HD support.
iFrame textarea support
The textarea you post content in now allows iFrames, which means you can embed widgets and other cool features from external sites which was previously not possible.
Created a newsletter system
Previously newsletters we sent were manually coded up with no stats to track subscribers or do anything awesome. Well we've finally built in a backend system which does all of this for us. Means we can track read-rates, click-rates, bounce-rates and hopefully deliver better content to your inbox more often as a result. To subscribe check out our new newsletter page! It also opens up the possibility for teams to use the system to email press and fans, though that functionality is still yet to be fleshed out.
Integrated social buttons everywhere
While i'm not the biggest fan of slow-loading social buttons spamming basically every site on the internet, I caved in and added them to all content on the site. To make them bearable I made sure none block the page loading and the bigger buttons only show up on the most popular content. I also choose to use Addthis for their in-built analytics and smart-button ranking support. We are seeing a bump in Twitter and Facebook followers as a result, so if you are on those sites (who aint!?) fan us and we'll keep you updated. Oh and also supported the new Google+ button, so if you haven't plussed us up yet, now is the time:
Clear all button for updates
Our heavy users have requested this for years and it is finally here. A tiny clear all updates button, so you can reset all mod/gamewatch updates in one go, saving tons of clicks. Enjoy!
Developers can trigger sales on Desura
Our aim with all of our sites has been to make them developer driven, after all it is bloody hard to get an editor to write about your game let alone give it front-page treatment. So we want to give you control. On Desura we initially hid away a few features but are now opening them up, as we need to get better at running sales, doing bundles and all that cool stuff. Desura has a ton coming so if you are gamer give it a go (and support ModDB / IndieDB) and if you are a developer - we want to release your game.
Speaking at Freeplay
Finally for those in Melbourne, Australia - i'll be speaking at Freeplay on Sunday the 21st of August at 10:00am. Topic of the presentation is "Cheating the Golden Rule". I'll be joined by Farbs and a few other indie game developers. Stop by for a chat if you can. Here is the blurb:
In the traditional studio model, the cry of ‘he who controls the gold makes the rules’ is at the root of everything. Independent development aims to remove that restriction, but we all need to eat. This panel discusses some of the innovations in funding, their good and bad, and some of the best practices in each to make sure that the one controlling the gold is you.