Building a WordPress games arcade Part 1

24 04 2008

Wordpress Flash Arcade Experiment

Welcome to the first part in a series of posts that covers the development of an experimental project that attempts to use the popular open source blogging platform, WordPress (WP), as the core for a flash arcade website. As I have mentioned before in a previous post, this is by no means a new concept, there are numerous examples of excellent WP powered games sites out there, Raitendo being one that immediately comes to mind. They are however, still very much a minority, so there’s room for expansion.

Project Background
Readers of this blog will know that I’m always pondering ways to innovate and improve the flash game arcade industry. Without doubt, the industry is stuck in a time warp. It’s saturated, out of date and ready for some change. Therefore, it provides fertile ground for experimentation and doing things dfferently.

In a recent post I discussed the problem of arcade saturation and the negative impact of spam arcades (sparcades) on the industry as a whole. Later on in this post I made the point that arcade developers are part of the root cause of this problem, all too often opting for a fast buck and catering to the ‘sparcade’ culture rather than using their talent to explore new ground.

Whilst all these posts and this blog in general may come across as highly critical, negative and condemning, it has always been with a view to constructing and improving the gaming industry. You have to start by identifying what’s wrong with a system before you can begin to consider changing it. Until now, that’s what I’ve been doing, assessing ‘the damage’. Part of the conclusion I reached was that it was time to start building games arcades in tune with the technology and trends of our times. This experiment is attempt to see what it takes to build an arcade without recourse to the usual scripts, template layouts, flashing banners and other painful paraphernalia that plagues the Web.

Given that I am not a coder or a developer, it is sadly beyond my means to create a platform from the bottom up. Therefore I have been forced to look at existing software. My instinct was to look at open source software (OSS) options, not only for the zero cost factor, but more importantly to be free from dependencies on lone script developers and their once in a blue moon update promises.

The first thought that came to mind was WordPress, simply because I’ve been a long time user and I know it inside out. The intention behind this series of posts is to provide a rough guide to anyone interested in trying this for themselves. You’ll have to come up with your own designs, content and hosting of course, but maybe I’ll be able to give you the foundations. Let’s wait and see…

Why WordPress?
So why work with WordPress? WP is not usually associated with flash game arcades and this partly has to do with the fact that WP has never supported flash games but mostly because WP is a blogging platform – that’s what it does and that’s what it’s best at. However, over the past couple of years there has been an extensive diversification in WP applications, with individuals and companies now using WP to power magazines and corporate websites. With this diversification has come a whole new era of WP themes and plugins that have extended the capabilities of WP – including the ability to embed and host flash files on a WP site. Hooray!

[Note: it has no doubt always been possible to use flash if you are a skilled developer, but for the laypeople amongst us it has never really been an option until recently.]

WP will bring several key benefits to this project. First of all WP is backed up by one of the largest developer communities on the Web, this means it is expandable with 100s of plugins and themes released every month. Secondly, its core features are rock solid and easy to use with the benefit of 5 years of coding. Core functions include tagging, categories and all round user friendly admin panel. Thirdly, WP is well known for being inherently search engine friendly. Google loves WordPress! On top of that, I’ll be using the all in one SEO pack to boost ranking. Finally, beyond flash games, WP offers the possibility of embedding other media such as video and audio. This is something I am keen to open up. While the main focus of the site will be gaming, there is also room for a few movie trailers, music tracks and other media goodness 🙂

Project Aims

  • To build a flash games arcade powered by WordPress
  • To create a unique design and layout
  • To incorporate user accounts and user-oriented functions (profiles, favourites, game and media uploads, rated reviews, users blogs etc)
  • To incorporate game rankings
  • To enhance searchability with tag clouds and an image-based archive
  • To open the site up to other media (video and audio)
  • To max SEO the site
  • To run the site without flashing ads, google ads and any other godforsaken, headache inducing nightmare — but to offer some exclusive and discrete 125×125 banners ads 🙂
  • To offer game developers a premium space to showcase their work

In Part 2 of this series I will show you some initial graphics for the site layout and provide some tips on searching for suitable WP themes and plugins to power an arcade. Stay tuned and feel free to drop me a line if you find this project of interest.

Visit FingerMonkey.net for some free flash gamer madness!

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14 responses

27 04 2008
Building a WordPress games arcade Part 2 « The FingerMonkey Flash Arcade Blog

[…] 2 in this series of posts on how to build a WordPress games arcade. If you missed Part 1 you can go catch up here. I had a little bit of spare time last night and this morning to start playing around with a […]

28 04 2008
Deconstructing Arcade Classification « The FingerMonkey Flash Arcade Blog

[…] to that, but based on these ideas I’ve come up with a working classification for my new WordPress powered arcade. For obvious reasons, I can’t tell you exactly how this will work until my project has […]

29 04 2008
Building a WordPress games arcade Part 3 « The FingerMonkey Flash Arcade Blog

[…] flash games arcade. If you’re new to this blog and you want to catch up on the series, read part 1 here and part 2 here. In this entry I will outline some of the initial design ideas for my new WordPress […]

1 05 2008
Building a Wordpress games arcade Part 1 — Arabic Music and songs

[…] is also room for a few movie trailers, music tracks and other media goodness… source: Building a WordPress games arcade Part 1, The FingerMonkey Flash Arcade […]

5 05 2008
Building a WordPress games arcade Part 4 « The FingerMonkey Flash Arcade Blog

[…] WordPress flash games arcade. So far I’ve covered the concept and ideas behind the project in part 1, outlined the research and components to build the arcade in part 2, gave you a whole preview of […]

2 07 2008
Own An Arcade Empire Today! « The FingerMonkey Flash Arcade Blog

[…] this was a project I built entirely from scratch and you can see the creation process in 5 parts starting here. This arcade is unique. There are literally no others like it. For that reason alone it is a […]

8 07 2008
IT Massachusetts

That was a great post. I will have to bookmark this site so I can read it later.

20 08 2008
miguel

This is great information, because i am planning to do something very similar, and also add links to download games for PC and mobile devices, as well as reviews too.

Regards

6 09 2008
Flash tutorials | Game in AS3 and WordPress | Lemlinh.com

[…] am reading for a few days a tutorial about Building a WordPress games arcade on the FingerMonkey Flash Arcade Blog and although I won’t follow his tutorial, I decided I […]

9 09 2008
My Kawan

wow, I never know that there’s a way to make wordpress to work with flash games. That will be a heck of a coding right?

This is a very worthwhile to note, keep up the good work buddy!

9 09 2008
Kawing Chiu

No doubt WP is a way to go to develop a flash game website. However, it is still lacks of many features which you will get from buying an existing Arcade Script. For example, ability for members to track high scores; Adding Flash, Shockwave and Java games; Database of 1000’s of games which come with one small fee. It is really a matter of convenience which you pay what you get. 🙂

25 09 2008
MochiLand » Blog Archive » Create a Flash Game Arcade Using Wordpress

[…] created one using a feed of MochiAds games. He walks through the process in detail here. He credits Fingermonkey’s experience in building one as his source of […]

4 10 2008
links for 2008-10-03 « Free Open Source Directory

[…] Building a WordPress games arcade Part 1 Welcome to the first part in a series of posts that covers the development of an experimental project that attempts to use the popular open source blogging platform, WordPress (WP), as the core for a flash arcade website. As I have mentioned before in a previous post, this is by no means a new concept, there are numerous examples of excellent WP powered games sites out there, Raitendo being one that immediately comes to mind. They are however, still very much a minority, so there’s room for expansion. (tags: Building a WordPress games arcade Part 1) […]

15 02 2009
How to build a wordpress arcade? - Talk Arcades

[…] is a tutorial from fingermonkey here. I haven’t looked at it, but there is 5 parts to it, so it sounds pretty […]

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