The Biggest Problem With Flowlab

I’m going to be honest, I’m guessing most flowlab veterans will have guessed what I am going to bring up. This would also require liking games being more prominent and useful.

Ok, flowlab has had a bad front game page for a long time. The games that are worth playing are on the first and second page, every page after that is full of player’s spam reloading (yes, some of the games are good, but most aren’t). Which is why I am going to suggest something that most people want.

A flowlab featuring system. I’ve created a community one on discord, but it’s like 15 people and people don’t often post games. This heavily reinforced a thought in my head: It’s basically impossible to find underrated, good flowlab games. The best way to do it is to just pick random links and hope that you are the luckiest person alive.

So let’s move on to what flowlab specifically needs, as it’s obvious we need a better featuring system.
First of all flowlab needs more community involved with featuring games. It will better connect the community and make us feel more like our opinion is important. This would be hard to do, but very crucial.
Secondly: We need more than one tab. Let me break this into subcategories:
2a: A front page that is based on how good games are (play to like ratio?)
2b: A trending page. This would help new games that people hyped up and just posted to get even more attention!
2c: A magic page. This is the hardest to implement. It would require people tagging their games with genres so that based on people’s favourited games, it would generate a game with a large amount of play to like ratio. This would make finding good games 100x easier.
Finally we would need more reasoning to make good games. I love the idea of the front page, but it’s only ever used for flowjam games and for the 2020s when the last game was featured normally (i think), it should be used for games grazer thinks deserves more attention.

Comment additional things below, I guess.

14 Likes

If this was Halo Waypoint (another Discourse forum), I’d react to this post of yours with “100_Percent”.

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I agree, the games page could really get an overhaul.
Better search, sections, filters, and tags would really help.

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Being able to search for multiple keywords with spaces would help too.

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Agreement +1

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maybe there could also be a rating system similar to game jams? I’m not sure how it could work with trolls though, also people improving a game after ratings…

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Nah

This could be nice for stuff such as the magic tab idea. Though it would have to be restricted to members of a higher levels (to avoid botting and trolls).

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This’d be good. Grazer’s next large update is a website update, so who knows what could or couldn’t happen :woman_shrugging:

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I am definitely open to featuring more games, more often. We need some way for games to be suggested, nominated, or voted to go into a queue for featuring. I’m not sure what the best way is, but I’m sure that just waiting around for me to randomly notice a game is not a good system.

There are way too many games, and they get added too quickly, for me (or anyone) to go through and try to find standout games to feature.

Here’s a possible idea: I could make a forum thread, and people could “nominate” games there. After some amount of time, I can add a poll and the most voted game gets featured.

I’m not sure if that’s a good idea, but it’s one possible approach - I’m for sure open to other ideas. I would like to come up with some method that:

  • Allows people to suggest games
  • Can be repeated over time
  • Minimizes the risk of salt

Thoughts?

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I still think it would be nice to have the other suggested tabs, so more people get attention. Maybe an additional “flowjam” tab for flowjam top 10 as well as games you like being featured more often.

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Sure, more options would be good, and some of this stuff (like tagging or categorizing games) we need for sure. I’m just trying to think of ways to improve the game list right now, without waiting for me to schedule & prioritize website updates for it.

How do you envision the “trending” games working?

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The trending tab would include games of which are all of a sudden gaining plays (maybe check for 25+ plays in a day, with less than 3 plays a day before.)
This would require reload spamming fixed though as well as not allowing people to give their own games plays.

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Yes, I agree, when I made test games on Flowlab starting in 2018, it had spammed games, and a bad front page, this makes sence.

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I like the idea of tabs and tags .
Tabs:

  • Featured : for Jam winners and similar
  • Hot : by voting, play ratio, to be determined
  • New : exactly that, new games by latest release

And then game tags that allow to search by RPG, Platformer, Shooter, Puzzle, etc.

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It isn’t possible to prevent people from “spamming” plays. The only way to do that would be to only count plays from logged-in users. That would mean most plays aren’t counted.

I have been thinking of just hiding the public playcount though - there are too many obnoxious people that run scripts against the server for whatever reason. Removing the playcount would remove that incentive.

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“newly created” games don’t really make sense here. How do we determine “latest releases”?

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This tab would be 100% people who are spamming or scripting plays :frowning:

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Perhaps it could be based on likes, right now they don’t have much use other than a dopamine response :laughing:

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Maybe either have a “release” button they can press to add to the queue or maybe when plays > 100. I like the button idea because it becomes a manual list that can be played through.

Daily play rate will make the game list for the next day. Maybe some sorting could be done to change it up daily. As well maybe allow flags and you can only appeal them?

Featured should be a separate category.


Microstudios I think is a great example that I can see flowlab going. Very simple and something I can see done with what Flowlab has now. (Tinkersmith showed me)

microStudio - Learn programming, create games

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