Recent posts by Tulrog on Kongregate

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Topic: General Gaming / Saddest game?

Obligatory: Final Fantasy 7. The original was already pretty emotional. But Crisis Core is the incarnation of a tearjerker. Bonus sads if you played the original before Crisis Core. I’m pretty sure that whoever invented that Tear-out-the-heart finishing move in Mortal Combat had FF in mind.

The Elder Scrolls games tend to have some drama too. Especially the storyline involving the Dark Brotherhood.

As for Flash games I’d say RPG Shooter: Starwish had its sad moments. And Don’t Escape 2 (the one with the zombies) involved sad stuff too.

Phew… no spoilers.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Greg, where are the new quests every two months?

He was planning to do a Causal \ 5 minutes games quest but it got lost somewhere along the road.

- Pip

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Learn to fly 3

Originally posted by light_bringer777:

5) I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, so if you have any ideas on how we could make something good out of this situation, let me know. I’m open to suggestions.

I think you go already in the right direction. Your time isn’t bound by a current project. This means you have a lot of time to invest in things you don’t get to do during development. And that’s awesome. Focus on the things you can actually influence.


You could make a suggestions thread for the second installment of your idle game. This seems to be a trend right now. And I’ve seen some great ideas in those threads. You could speed up your next game this way.


As for FlyingCat’s idea of advertising: Do what he did some weeks ago (in a different context). A contest which will end with the release of Learn To Fly 3. Something related to the penguin in your series of games. Stories, poems, pictures or whatever else people will come up with. Not sure about the prizes you could give but one idea could be to include the winning entries as unlockable secrets in your game. Just make sure to include the right to use the entries for your games for the participation in the contest. Would be interesting to see if your fan base can pull of such a creative event.

Maybe you can even get Kongregate somehow involved in this. After all Learn To Fly 2 is one of the highest rated games on this site.


Use the time to improve your knowledge. Take a look on how selling games on steam works or what you need to make mobile games yourself. Or spend some time finding a more reliable partner for future projects. Learn (to) HTML5 or that Unity replacement. You know better which move would be a good next move for you. Lay some foundations for the future.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Hero Simulator suggestions

Here are some random thoughts. That’s just a rough version of the ideas but I could go more into detail if something sounds interesting and doable.


Story that unlocks new features. Right now the game is predictable. So use your setup and give the hero a story. Get out of the wilderness and find a city. Become a citizen. Find a blacksmith. Gather some rare resources to make a unique weapon with its own set of rules. Do some quests to join the guilds. Quests like that, that will build up the game. I was really disappointed to see that neither the guilds nor the things you could buy changed the game mechanics. All they did was improving some stats. That’s nothing bad. After all that’s what idle games are about. But a great game makes me forget about what is beneath the surface.

An idea which is related to this: Let us build a shop. (Involving more quests like getting the merchant privilege, purchasing land, making the inventory). In this store we can store all the junk and the valuable items and they will be randomly sold. Probably with another currency to make things more interesting.

Build a village. You have excess room for people and guilds that do almost nothing. Building your own town would change that. You might have to adjust the story a bit. This might be also something for the prestige mode. When you “finish” the game for the first time you can start to build your own city. Once again make sure to be not too generic. I can’t stress this point enough.


Treasure room. Somebody has mentioned it already and I’ll add some thoughts to this idea. Everybody loves shiny stuff. Gold, gems, jewels, trinkets, crowns, coins, statues, art, antiques, relics and trophies from hard battles. However, I’d go one step further than just simply displaying some of this stuff based on your progress. Let us build our own treasure room. From scratch. This would also make the other quests more individual. You need materials for the room. And of course you need to collect the treasure too. A manticore sting here a crown of the undead king there. And tons of shiny stuff in between.

This would have to be a visual feature. But you could spend your time customizing your treasure room while waiting for quests to finish. If you want to go meta let special combinations unlock other secrets. For example filling one chamber to the roof with gold (or was it silver?) would unlock expeditions to a new continent. Also I’ve been told that accumulating riches might attract all sorts of shady characters which might be of use in one way or another. ;) And look. An ancient manual to build machines. Wasn’t there this one guy who could read this? Maybe he could take a look at it.

And finally the ability to share your personal treasure room would be the final topping for this idea. I don’t know if you need your own server for something like that but I do remember games where you could share stuff with other Kong users. So maybe this is a special Kong feature. This isn’t about actively interacting with other people so I hope there is a way to implement such a feature. Of course you need enough combinations to make things interesting. But I’m pretty sure this would be something that would make your game stand out from all the other idle games.


A final piece of advice. The first time a player hits the prestige mode is something very special. Make it worth the trouble getting to that point.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / 100K (Rounded up) Games Celebration Giveaway [Over Now]

Nice idea FlyingCat!

First thing that comes into my mind are the interviews made by Thomas. You get a glimpse at interesting background information you would otherwise have no access to. And those random names suddenly get a face and a personality.

Next one are the game competitions. The ones hosted by forum users. While I personally don’t participate in them I still think they are one of the greatest things made by the Kong community. There is always somebody who sacrifices his free time to make the event happen and other people participate as well. So it’s not just a good idea but a successful one.

A while back the Game Programming forum was also holding programming contests. Not sure if they do this anymore but I see no reason why it shouldn’t be mentioned nonetheless. They picked a theme and made games related to that theme. Kong isn’t only about playing games. You also get insights into game development. And a contest like that gives game developers a place where they can thrive.

Even if Kongbitary Day is more of an OT thing it still makes this place better.

CAAAWWW!!! You may love it or hate it. But there is a good chance that you were somehow affected by our own grandmaster troll and that you will get crow references. Somehow this makes this place feel more familiar.


But Kong users aren’t the only ones who make Kong better. The admins usually have to take a lot of… let’s call it feedback. And this is a great opportunity to mention some of the things that left a very positive impression on me.

The monthly suggestions threads provide some feedback to many ideas. And that sort of feedback should not be taken for granted. After all Kongregate is still a business and anything that doesn’t generate money is an extra mile thing. So seeing answers from the admins is always a nice gesture. And I appreciate it whenever someone doesn’t just stick to what he has to do and instead goes beyond that. Of course the people writing the suggestions shouldn’t be forgotten too. ;)

Personally I love the idea of Kongregate TV. It may not use its full potential yet but at least we got a ceremony for the Best of 2014 quest. And yes, the Best of 20XX votings are a special moment too.

And finally there is Greg and the Upcoming Badges thread. Despite all the different tastes this is the most constructive thread I’m aware of. It is amazing to see how many great ideas are generated in there. Keep up that great work!


And lastly I’d like to mention a group of people which come always with a contest like this one: Everybody who isn’t mentioned but still tries to make things better. If you don’t see your name or idea in here I still appreciate your work! Despite of the impression you might have sometimes in here, there are many people who care and who want to make a difference. And it is easy to miss one.


I’m glad FlyingCat made this thread. It’s always easy to complain about what we don’t have and at the same time to forget how many things are actually great in our life. So thank you for a chance to reflect on the good stuff. :)

Too bad SicMirx is gone. Her Giveaway events were always something special and she had class. Well, gotta enjoy the things while they last. :D


TL;DR: All glory to the Hypnotoad!

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Are Hobbyist games doomed to forever be "under judgement"?

I like the description on Not Doppler more. Especially the last sentence makes it very clear what to expect from your game. An overly positive text is the trademark of those cash-grabbing MMOs and rings my alarm bells. Or to put it in the words of Tywin Lannister: Any man who must say, “I am the king” is no true king.

The first sentence might make people think this is a management game though… not a skill based one. Not sure if you want that extra attention from people who are looking for something different in your game.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges!

Unless GemCraft changed since the version from a year ago I don’t think the free part of the game has anything that would justify an impossible badge by difficulty. The only time I had trouble was when the timing of a shadow showing up was unlucky (during the last waves with enraged mob). Otherwise it was just a matter of time. Not saying an impossible badge would be a bad thing for such a huge game but I don’t see how to make one which isn’t about length.

Maybe three hard badges would represent the effort needed better?

 
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Topic: General Gaming / World idle

After sleeping one night over it here is some feedback.

Can the player “screw up” in your game? For example can your population die out? Because that’s what I had most of the time on my mind. And that’s not really enjoyable. Losing the game is an absolute no-go for idle games due to the massive amount of time the player has to put into them. So I guess you will only drop to a certain level from which you can recover? Would be nice to see what that level is. That would take away the pressure and make the game more enjoyable.

This problem is not only true for absolute losing. Let’s say I start a war and 90% of my male population would die. And also let’s say I need 1 hour to recover from this war to continue playing (birth rates too low to make progress). In this case the game becomes frustrating. I haven’t tested war so that’s just a random thought. But you know your game better than anyone and will probably recognize such a situation if it exists.


Complexity. If you’d ask me what I like about your game that’s probably the only thing I could mention. However, one of the biggest sins I’ve seen with complex games is slapping the player with full force right from the start. For example take the research tab. Getting to 5k gold will take you some time. So having the research tab right from the start is at least not necessary. To make things worse it just makes it harder to figure out how to play the game. I was really confused at the start. Easy to learn, hard to master. That’s what you aim for. Remove anything that isn’t needed at the start and introduce those features gradually.

Also take a look at this problem from a different angle. Idle games are about progress and exploration. If I know everything I’m going to be able to do in your game right from the start you take away the exploration part. So all that is left is progress. Watching some numbers grow. Not really interesting and there are more than enough idle games out there that do exactly this. What you could do is giving a hint that there will be more. For example a button to unlock the research screen. And once you have unlocked research some technologies will show up. This way the player will know that there is more to the game than he sees right now and he will know what to do. Also he will have a goal he can work towards.

I know that this will require some thinking and work on the UI but this is one of the things that distinguishes a good idle game from all the clones.


Playability. Right now this is more a simulator than a game. The only interaction with the game is buying buildings. And to make things worse the order in which you build the buildings is linear. Once the production gets negative you react and build a building unless you want to risk “losing the game”. And usually the production gets negative before you can do something you would actually like to do (research/ tool building). There is no fun in that. One of the main arguments brought up against idle games is the lack of interaction with the game. And your game suffers from this right now.

Something related is balancing. It takes a long time to gather 250 wood. And it was a shock to see that building a “tool factory” did effectively nothing to the gameplay due to the massive base usage of tools by my population. After building one or two more factories and still not seeing any positive numbers I gave up on the game.


Another thing is how you present your game. For example I had a hard time figuring out what Wo is supposed to mean. A different approach would be to use icons instead of names for the resources. And just to be save make a tooltip for the icons to clarify what the icons are supposed to represent (for example wood). Most people will identify a picture of a log as wood. Wo on the other hand is confusing.

“Presenting” your technologies in a different way would also improve your game. Think about what you would prefer to get as a player: Agriculture + 3% or a plow, damage + 20 or a Katana, tank7 or a Mammoth tank. Technically there is no difference between the two choices. But for me as a player this sort of details is what makes me dive into a game world. Especially if you make the upgrades somewhat unique. Improving some stats is not bad but getting a tank that can suddenly roll over other tanks is better by several magnitudes. Doesn’t mean every technology has to unlock a new game feature. But not being able to predict the whole game is very important for the fun level.


Donations. Don’t get me wrong. You spend your free time to create something for other people. You have all the right to give them the opportunity to support you financially. But the “how” is very important. Right now you have… I don’t remember… 5 or 6 tabs. Two of them do effectively nothing. That means at least 25% of your game is asking people to give you money. The impression that is left on my by this is rather devastating. After all this is about making an enjoyable game, right? Otherwise if this is about money, that’s still fine but you should consider other means to reach your goal.

So my advice would be to decouple the donation part from the core game mechanics and make it somewhat less invasive. For example you could implement an achievement system which boosts slightly some of the stats. Make opening the donation screen one of the achievements. This way people will still see how they can help you. Anybody who is willing to spend will spend. Anybody who doesn’t want to spend won’t spend no matter what you do. And nobody will be bothered by bagging. Everybody wins.

Also I used the word donation. I don’t remember the details but I remember “Kreds”. Technically this means that’s an ingame purchase not a donation. And as far as I know games which use the Kred system need to be confirmed by the Kong administration. This means on one hand that your game won’t be necessary released on Kong. And on the other hand it means you will have to wait for some time before a decision is made and your game gets released. Just in case you didn’t know this adjust your plan accordingly.


To sum things up I hope you won’t be discouraged by my feedback. The very fact that I took the time to write those things down means that I believe there is potential in your idea. But there is a lot of work ahead.

Good luck with your project! :)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Are Hobbyist games doomed to forever be "under judgement"?

Many idle games around here are made by hobby devs and still manage to climb to the top. I think this is more about the general taste of the audience than about pro vs. amateur devs. I watch the newly released games from time to time and the games worth playing (in my eyes) are usually out of judgement with a rating I can agree with.

Not long ago we had another game which didn’t succeed despite having great ratings on different sites. Give up 2 by Tasselfoot has a rating of 3.6. That doesn’t sound that bad but it is too low to get badged and was a major success on Armor Games. I don’t know if Tass is a pro dev but he is definitely beyond being an amateur.

As for your game it is has definitely well polished graphics. But the gameplay was rather… not captivating. No offense. I can only speculate why your game did make it on NG and Notdoppler but didn’t get out of judgement on Kong.

First off the NG player base seems to have a preference for harder and skill based games. Can’t say the same thing for Kong. On top of that it seems like Kong has more new games. And we have a lot of garbage games around here. You have only a very small window of time to convince people that your game isn’t one of those games. And let’s be honest. People will only rate your game if they (at least somewhat) like it or hate it completely. In every other case the one point for rating isn’t worth the hassle. Giving you a rating for your game is a reward not an obligation.

Are amateur games still welcomed here on Kong? Definitely. You might have a hard time getting to the top but it happens. And getting into the weekly Top 10 is absolutely doable. But you need to consider what people around here like. As with every other site the amount of work you put into a game is in no way a guarantee for being a game which people will enjoy. This is entertainment not homework. ;)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / [Live Event] Live Interview with Emerald City Games on 7/16!

Sweet! Sacred Seasons was one of the very few MMOs which were worth spending money on. Also it didn’t leave me with the “Thank God this is over” feeling once I quit. Thanks for not going the maximum profit route with those two. :)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / An interview with IriySoft (Game Developer)!

Holy crow. There is an entire army of them. oO

Always interesting what you can learn if you look what’s beyond the things right in front of you.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / [New Feature] Introducing Kongpanions!

Originally posted by Funnykidsc:

Since when are stars planets?

I wonder what Pluto thinks about this.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges!

Originally posted by greg:

Keep the feedback coming on GemCraft badges — I’ve already changed them around a few times.

Looks like a good mix. Especially the vision-hard is great. Much better than the initial ideas.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Learn to fly 3

What a luxury to have so many fans waiting or your next game. Something other newer devs can only dream of. You should totally add a ninja costume for all the people who have been waiting patiently for the release. EVERYBODY loves ninjas. :D

 
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Topic: Kongregate / An interview with Rob_Almighty (Game Developer)!

As always good job Thomas.

New Zealand sounds like a great choice for a visit. I wonder how it feels like to be at a place which you have seen in a movie before.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges!

@GemCraft

Well, the game is called chasing shadows so hunting down a certain amount of those flying upgrade points might be an idea. How about one of every type? Nothing as fun as getting overrun on a long level because of a last minute shadow.

Unlocking (all) free skills might be another idea. You had to collect some skills from crypts or something right? Too long ago since the game has been released…

Also beating one of the vision fields. They were in the free version of the game?

As already mentioned, the compass quest would have been a great badge. Unfortunately it did involve maps which were on the paid part of the game.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Learn to fly 3

How did you plan such a huge project? Pen and paper? Or did you use some tool?

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Learn to fly 3

Originally posted by light_bringer777:
Originally posted by Tulrog:

Well, if you release the game this month you’ll be up against Gemcraft in the monthly contest. Clash of the titans from the ancient times. :D

Haha for real? I thought I was like the last big flash dev who hadn’t moved to mx or to another platform :P
…There can be only one…

I haven’t kept track of what happened to Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows after it has been released on Armor Games roughly a year ago but I think they went to Steam after that. So the order was something like AG – Steam – Kong. But you are right. Pretty much all the big names from the beginning moved on. Somewhat sad but it was a definitely a cool thing while it lasted.

Fun thing is, we had months of games which were ok at best and now two of the best and oldest games on this site get a sequel at the same time. I know… first world problems… :D

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Learn to fly 3

Well, if you release the game this month you’ll be up against Gemcraft in the monthly contest. Clash of the titans from the ancient times. :D

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges!

Originally posted by Bluji:

Poor greg. All this time he’s been wishing for shorter games and then this massive precious stone is dropped on the site. And when I say massive, I mean VERY massive – a hard badge will not suffice for game completion this time.

Too bad the “compass quest” was (is?) partly behind a pay wall. Would have been a great candidate for a complementing hard badge.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges!

Hey Greg,

Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to post something that personal in front of a large crowd of “strangers”. Especially in a situation where you have other things on your mind.

I’m totally with FlyingCat and the slowing down idea. We all love your badges but nobody is going to die just because we don’t see a new badge for a week/ a month. I’m not a doctor but a stressful environment with high expectations and a lot of criticism doesn’t seem like a good place to heal to me.

Sad to hear about your situation. But hang in there! I’m sure you figure out what to do and get rid of the pain eventually. :)

And to end this post with something positive: The last badge had the ID 2736. Two thousand seven hundred thirty-six badges. And most of those badges were your doing. Don’t beat yourself up just because things don’t work out at this moment. You’ve done your fair share. And it is an impressive share.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Summer '15 suggestion thread

Originally posted by trickyrodent:

Hey everybody— PumpkinBrigade has done a really great job collecting and organizing everyone’s suggestions for the past eight months;

Thank you for that! It is great to see that you guys care about the feedback from your community. Hope you get back to commenting as soon as manageable. I (and I bet many others) enjoy reading the responses. :)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges!

As mentioned before I think it is a good idea to badge Give Up 2 as long as it is an impossible badge only.

It may be hard but it is hard for the right reasons. There are no problems with the quality of the game, including the controls. And another important aspect is, that it is a rather new game. Which means adjustments like adding new stats or rewarding stats retroactively are likely to happen if needed.

But I don’t think this is completely what LM had in mind when he proposed the idea. A badge for Give Up 2 would only benefit some hardcore players. I’m pretty sure there are better candidates out there.


Maybe some sort of contest would be fun? Let people pick one (or three) game(s) which they would like to see badged. And let them explain why they have chosen this very game. Also let them include ideas for badges and badge names. Restrict the choice of the games to those which have a working API and to the stats which are already available. In the end we would have a collection of games that would represent popularity and reasoning at the same time. All Greg would have to do would be pick the X most voted games and maybe one optional game of his choice, make a picture of the badges and implement the badges.

Greg wouldn’t have much additional work, we would get some new badges outside from the usual routine and it would be really interesting to see what sort of games and badges people around here would like to see more often. the downside is that we’d have to give Prec a minor handicap (like ripping his arms off) to keep it fair. But that’s doable. :D Absolutely worth a try if you ask me.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Impossible Achievements

If you are looking for the hardest impossible badge I think that depends a bit on the person. Somebody who is into bullet hell games will probably have a different opinion than somebody who is into platform or puzzle games.

Sorting the impossible games by “least awarded first” could give you a very rough idea. On the other hand it doesn’t consider how long a badge has been around and if there were ways to cheat your way to the badge. Streamline and Hexiom for example had easy ways to bypass the difficulty which got only removed after many people already got the badges.

For me personally any of the Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Delux achievements is still a badge of honor to anyone who got it in a legit way. It requires you not only to memorize all the patterns from several songs. You also have to execute those patterns perfectly. No luck involved. And then there is Hexiom which can be tricked a bit by restarting the puzzle until you get something “easy”. But even the easy ones will still fry your brain.

It’s also about knowing the strategies to victory. Dolphin Olympics 2 has one of the most awarded impossible badges (and one of the best in my opinion). However if you don’t know that you have to build up horizontal speed first for a significant amount of time the badge will be harder for you than any of the SCGMD badges.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges!

Guess I was wrong with the end of the discussion?

@LouWeed

Not accepting new Unity games does not equal not being able to play quality games. This may or may not be true for multiplayer games but hundreds of high quality single player Flash games tell me a different story.

I’ll give you that much. There might be a decline in quality for some of the games during some period of time. Devs need to adept to the new situation and that’s not going to happen over night. But on the plus site, the added attention to alternatives like HTML5 and webGL will help to improve those tools and resolve common existing problems. And those alternatives can be used by most people on the internet. Isn’t that something that is more desirable than a solution that is forcing everyone to change to Firefox if they want to experience Kong as a whole?


@wouterboy

Hey. I think you are getting closer to my position. :)

Yeah the analogy isn’t perfect. All it was supposed to do was to give you that “Wait! What? That doesn’t make sense. There should be a better way to deal with this.” feeling. Having another browser has several small downsides. Starting with security issues, including additional updates and ending with additional consumption of limited monthly volume. It’s nothing that is going to kill you (probably). But it’s an annoyance non the less. And there is a better way to deal with the situation in the long run. One that doesn’t require a whole lot of people to leave their house with their left foot from time to time.


@Bluji

At some point we will have to face this situation anyways. I think now is a good time to start thinking about it. Unity isn’t as much of a problem as Flash will be. If you remove Unity from Kong you remove some great games. That’s it. If you remove Flash from Kong you basically kill Kong. But even if you are opposed to removing anything, trying to push the direction towards the more compatible alternatives seems like a good idea to me.


@rinky

If you feel that way I’m sorry. It is not my intention to antagonize you. Most of the arguments I’ve seen so far sound reasonable. Especially in the short run. But I just think that the other option is better in the long run.

If you want to know my opinion about the past IE and current Chrome comparison: IE had massive security and performance issues. Chrome just removed some plugins. If it wasn’t for Kong I wouldn’t have noticed that there was a change. I don’t think you can compare those situations.

I don’t try to promote the use of Chrome. Which browser to use is something people have to make up on their own. What I’m trying to do is pushing Kong towards a direction from which as many people as possible can profit. We clearly have different opinions of which direction this is.


I’d really like to cut the discussion at this point. So here is my offer:

We agree that the lack of Unity support is at least an annoyance. The two options which were discussed to resolve the situation are encouraging people to switch to Firefox or to somehow cut Unity support by Kongregate (for example by stopping to badge Unity games). After considering both options the vast majority prefers the first option (aka Firefox).

Is that something we could agree on and move on with our lives? And to sweeten the deal I’ll even grant you the privilege of the last word. So you can respond to whatever I’ve written in this post and/ or post some last thoughts without me commenting it in any way.

Deal?