Last Good Quote: Son's are the seasoning on our lives. - Someone on Facebook

Tuesday, November 27

First Day in the Advertising Park

As I said before, I setup my google adwords yesterday. Here's some interesting information on that effort:

Active Keywords

The following keywords were used, the cents represent how much I paid per click.

Date Keyword CPC Imp. Clicks CTR Avg CPC Cost Position
11/26/2007 free online multiplayer rpg games $0.10 122 4 3.28% $0.22 $0.87 3.4
11/26/2007 good strategy games $0.05 1 0 0.00% $0.00 $0.00 4
11/26/2007 play rpg games $0.05 149 4 2.68% $0.16 $0.66 4.1
11/26/2007 strategy game $0.10 518 9 1.74% $0.21 $1.89 3.6

"free online multiplayer rpg games" was interesting because I could not set it lower then $0.10 per click.

57% Came and Left

43% continued to play the game.

62% used Firefox

53% used IE

They visited 4.5 pages per visit. (There is about 6 pages total)

My Mistake with Google Adwords

I decided to try out google adwords and actually pay to get some visitors to the site. Here is a brief synopsis.

Setting Up

In case you have not tried this, in general the steps to setting up google ads is as follows
  • Create a google account
  • Create a "Campaign" ("Battle Forces Online")
  • Create an "Ad Group"
  • Create an "Ad" (see below)
  • Create Keywords
  • Set your keyword price
  • Set your google network price (this was my mistake)
  • Give Google some money, so they can give money to advertisers.

My Ads

I made two ads, they are both equally effective at this point.

Battle Forces Online
Tactical turn based strategy game
Fight, Battle and Play now

Online RPG
Tactical turn based strategy game
Fight, Battle and Play now

My Mistake

I did not realize or the default Cost per Click for the Google Network was set at .20. When I let my ads go live, I racked up about $50.00 in an hour. The good news is I got 70,000 impressions and 100+ visitors.

I have since turned off Google Ads, My goal today is to re-evaluate my keywords.


Be aware of the fact that it takes about 3 hours for the results of your ads, (and how much money you spent) is updated in the Google Admin Control panel. This was part of my issue as well.

In your history log most of the refers from adwords will be labels as

Monday, November 26

Flash or Javascript

This is a follow up post to "Flash or Javascript".

I'm happy to say the bugs that were causing the game to not work in Firefox were very minor.

I have fixed them and the game is now 100% compatible with IE and Firefox.

The problem occurred when I was using a custom attribute within an HTML tag. For example a tile has a div on it and the div has an attribute "isWalkable"

--div class="tile" id="tile_x_y" iswalkable="Y"--

I would use the following javascript to access and set this attribute:

if(document.getElementById("tile_x_y").isWalkable == "Y")
//....blah, blah, blah
document.getElementById("tile_x_y").isWalkable = "N";
I changed this to the following:

if(document.getElementById("tile_x_y").getAttribute("isWalkable") == "Y")
//....blah, blah, blah
document.getElementById("tile_x_y").setAttribute("isWalkable", "N");

I'm hoping that this works in Opera but at this point less then 1% of my users use that browser so I'm forgoing compatibility on it.

Random Link: Free Books Online

I have found that this site has the best collection of books online!

Saturday, November 24

Flash or Javascript

I made a conscious decision to develop in javascript and PHP. I personally do not enjoy working with Flash. I find the concept of building with a Timeline unusual.

In addition to this I wanted to build a game that could possibly have multiple front ends. To do this I made all the request and programming logic available through API or URL calls. (This is called REST-like architecture)

Unfortunately as of right now more then 50% of my visitors are using FireFox. And there is a bug causing the battle field not to work properly. SO I am paying the price.

I'll keep you updated on this.

Friday, November 23

BFO - Needs some AI

Big problem with the Battle Forces Online, in order to play someone else has to be online.

Kinda hard to get the game started with this in play. A fella suggested that I add some type of AI which will allow a player to play.

I wonder if there is some type of sub-game that I can create. One that will allow people to stay on line and play while watching for another player to get online.

This may be critical to getting the game to actually launch.

Marketing and Stats

So it's been a few days since I posted on the forums. I went on family vacation for Thanksgiving so I've not been able to stay on the game and help people play. (That was a bad timing issue on my part)

Anyway, the day of the post I got 100+ visitors, next day 35, and yesterday 15. This goes much as I expected as I figured that as time passed my posting would drop to the bottom of the forums.

My game allows a person to play as a Guest without registering, so it's hard for me to tell how many new players have signed up, however here are some stats:

Number of Players: 31
Number of Guests: 25
Humm, doesn't help a lot. Does it.

The other interesting items to note are that the following sites give me the most referrals:
48 -
14 -
14 -
12 -
12 -

My next attempt at marketing will be to put the game on some list but first I have to push an update.

It's a Small World

It's a small world. I post my game up on a few forum boards and I get responses from two fellas who I have been shadowing for years.

One of them is the fella behind Rusty Axe ( And he's been in game development for a number of years.

The other fella does sprite/pixel art and I've always loved his art work ( - custom graphics).

Both of them gave me some solid advice for the game. And some awesome art work!

Wednesday, November 21

Marketing A Browser Based Game

So as I roll this new game out, I wanted to advertise it and try to drive some users to the game. After some research and head scratching below is my plan. I'll write an update in a few days about how it's working.

Referral Program
The number one item that I put into place to help with marketing is the ability to refer a friend. If you refer a friend and that friend plays the game a bit, you can get a free unit (game piece). I'll be interested in seeing if this helps with word of mouth.

Forum Postings
I feel like such a heel. I've gone to about 10 different forums and posting a request for beta users for the game. I felt like a spammer. In my defense I tried to post only in those threads designated for new games or advertisements.

To be honest I don't expect a lot of traffic from these posts.

Gaming Directories
I've posted the game to a number of gaming directories, it will be interesting to see which ones will prove to send the most traffic.

I should point out that I am using Google Analytics for my stats tracking.

Battle Forces Online - Released

I've been hard at work on a new game called Battle Forces Online. Here is the marketing blurb on it. I'll be posting more information about it in the coming days.

Battle Forces Online is a tactical turn based RPG game. You control a number of "Blades". You configure their starting setup. You battle other players in a multi-player heads up arena.

Free for all to play! How many can you gather under your command?

This is an isometric game in which you have 6 Blades / Units to start with. Wager and win more Blades from other players. There will be something at stake every single battle!