Please Stop Spamming Reviewers’ Inboxes With GDPR Notices, They Mean Nothing

So tomorrow the GDPR privacy protections go into effect in the EU. In reality, this means you need to change your data retention policies and ask for consent, notify people of data breaches and some other stuff. But in most people’s minds, this seems to mean “spam everyone with emails and hope it all works out”.

Now, I’m not in the EU nor a policy maker, so don’t trust me: Go trust The Guardian and their policy experts:

The vast majority of emails flooding inboxes across Europe from companies asking for consent to keep recipients on their mailing list are unnecessary and some may be illegal, privacy experts have said…

(Also almost no one is limiting their spam to Europeans, despite the Guardian’s wording here.)

As a reviewer on dozens of PR listings, I’ve gotten over 100 emails about new privacy policies, “please sign up again”, blah blah blah. I just cleaned out a dozen from my inbox before writing this article.

Odds are, at most 1 in 10 of these emails are even meaningful and less than that were actually necessary. If I opted into your review list, you do not have to email me. If you’re just going to be following the policies you’re…required to follow anyway, you don’t have to email me. Save the emails for PR. That is why I consented to be on your list, not spam about whether I consented to be on your list (goodness the irony).

If you already gathered my consent, there’s almost certainly no need to spam my inbox. Even if you didn’t, there’s various clauses in the policy that allow collection without consent provided it follows the GDPR’s retention/etc policies.

In short, stop emailing me and make sure your actual data policies met GDPR, because that is the only part that ever mattered. This was not supposed to be another EU Cookie Law where no one changes anything but all burdens are passed on to the consumer with a bunch of annoying crap no one reads.

In fact, reading a bit of it, it seems this consumer-side burden was specifically intended to be avoided in the GDPR. What initially appeared to be another Dumb EU Overreaching Law seems to largely be a case of poorly informed people doing basically random things hoping they’ll accidentally comply with it.

Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium Ancient Egypt Event (2018) Guide

Event ends soon! I posted a video about the encouraging direction the game’s taken lately.

This is a “mini guide” for Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium, with only the Ancient Egypt Event (2018) information, split out to be faster & easier to load on mobile devices. Feel free to add to your homescreen for easy access!
See the main guide for a more comprehensive set of information.

If you enjoy my guides, please consider contributing to my Patreon to help me make even more, higher-quality guides & articles!

All hidden fish already found! Thanks a lot to the /r/AbyssRium community for helping get info so early!

See what the new fish designs look like here (design spoilers)

Thanks to /u/ btbtiu13041 on Reddit for compiling the images!

Continue reading “Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium Ancient Egypt Event (2018) Guide”

What’s New On Sir TapTap.com? (March Updates)

Been a lot of changes on SirTapTap.com lately, but mostly stuff you might not have noticed without looking. So let’s list ’em all up in a big ol’ post!

New Content

I’ve had several “series” in mind for this site for a long time and hadn’t really gotten started on them until recently. As of today, three of them have gotten started and I’m proud of them. They’ve all been added into the header menu for ease of navigation.

Free Points

Free Points is a new series of weekly (actually) free game recommendations, ranging from flash games to games on Steam, from traditional platformers to surreal Alt Games. I’m slightly behind on them as I write this, but they’ll be back soon!

Finer Points

I’m allowed to use the same spikeball-related pun once more than once, right? Ahem. Anyway, Finer Points is a series of UX-focused articles on game design and design in general, particularly the little touches that have a big effect (positive or negative) on the whole experience.

Tap Into YouTube

I’m a YouTuber as well as a writer and developer, so Tap Into YouTube is my series for discussing gaming-related YouTube stuff. It’s both for YouTubers to learn the ins-and-outs of YouTube’s workings (both technical and social), and also for game developers/PR people to learn about how to get the most out of their interactions with YouTubers.

I noticed a lot of devs make some common mistakes in reaching out, so I hope Tap Into YouTube will help make it at least a bit easier.

Patron Benefits (Beta)

A major feature that was added was the Patreon Login Page where my patrons can log in with their Patreon accounts to get the following benefits based on their monthly pledge:

  • $1 – Current Month’s Parker Pictures
  • $2 – No ads on SirTapTap.com
  • $5 – Early Access videos & full archive of past Parker pictures

The feature is only in “Beta” because of an odd conflict with my Progressive Web App caching; the caching makes the site crazy-fast, but it unfortunately sometimes caches the “logged out” copy of a page, so logged in users may occasionally see ads or be initially refused from Patron-only pages; these issues are cleared on a page refresh.

It’s not the biggest issue in the world but I’d really like to stamp out that last bug before rolling it out of Beta.

AbyssRium

Disclaimer: To get this out of the way, I’m not affiliated with the AbyssRium devs in any way…they don’t even reply to my support requests! And nope, “Sir Tap Tap” has nothing to do with “Tap Tap Fish”—it’s been my name for 9 years, and it’s based on enemies called Tap-Taps in Yoshi’s Island for SNES!

So AbyssRium’s been a bit of a contentious issue lately; the developers have made some major changes to the game and players aren’t very happy. I talked of leaving the whole thing and no longer updating my guide (though I would always leave it up for players to use as I do with all my guides).

The more recent update shows some signs of improvements, though not quite a full return to quality. For now I’ll still be making guides, but I’m very unhappy with the game’s direction and if players continue to abandon the game due to its hostility to players I may leave. But not yet.

New Features

Lots of new little features were added as well!

Better Progressive Web App Functionality

I kinda broke offline caching for a bit in my Progressive Web App, and in the process of fixing it I made it better than ever!

If you don’t know what a PWA is, going to “add to Homescreen” from most Mobile Browsers will add a shortcut to your mobile device’s Homescreen. On supported browsers and devices, these pages will actually act similar to full-blown “native” apps with (opt-in) push notifications, offline caching, special UI, and if you use Chrome on modern Android versions the app can even be put in your App drawer. 

The SirTapTap.com PWA has the following features:

  • An adorable TapTap (spikeball) icon for your homescreen
  • Instant access to the Guide Index, one tap away from any major part of my site
  • Offline caching for fast page speed and offline access of previously visited pages
    • Also a more pleasant “offline” page that still features full UI!
  • Ad-free guides supported for logged-in Patreon supporters
  • A minimal  browser UI will now be shown, so “Find On Page” functionality is available
  • Interest-based Push Notifications (optional)
  • Firefox & Mobile Safari now support PWAs, including SirTapTap.com!

Better Search

Continue reading “What’s New On Sir TapTap.com? (March Updates)”

Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium Spring & Easter Event (2018) Mini-Guide

This is a “mini guide” for Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium, with only the Spring Event (2018) information, split out to be faster & easier to load on mobile devices. Feel free to add to your homescreen for easy access!
See the main guide for a more comprehensive set of information.

If you enjoy my guides, please consider contributing to my Patreon to help me make even more, higher-quality guides & articles! With enough funds I can reduce or even remove ads as well!

Event ended April 30th 2018.

I livestreamed the event earlier, watch the archive if you want to see what it’s all about! The event’s costs are really unfair so I highly recommend an auto-tapper, see how to use  an auto tapper here. The events aren’t fair, and here’s why in my opinion; it’s a systemic issue. As players we deserve better. I’d recommend messaging the devs on Facebook and telling them you want more community interaction. They need a Community Manager.

Continue reading “Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium Spring & Easter Event (2018) Mini-Guide”

Makai Wars English Guide, Character Info, & Translations

Makai Wars (魔界ウォーズ ) released on Android and iOS (in Japan only)  in February and as a huge fan of Disgaea I started a guide to both get you started quickly despite the language barrier and also detail the more intricate details that are harder to understand without knowing Japanese. 

Makai Wars is a simplified Strategy Roleplaying Game much like Disgaea (and half of NIS’ other games), and it’s Asagi’s very own game! For real this time! No really, stop laughing!

As always for my guides, feel free to ask questions or share info in the comments below or chat in the Discord server! The guide will be expanded over time as new info comes in.

Updates

Current Events

Mao Event,

Banners: Laharl/Sutr/Unut, Val/Artina/Fuka

Guide Updates

What The Heck Is Makai Wars?

Makai Wars is a long-running gag in the Disgaea/NIS community. Originally it was announced as a PSP game for E3 2004 and Asagi was to be the protagonist. It was a no-show. It was later re-announced as a PS3 game, which also never materialized.

Since then Asagi has shown up in a majority of NIS tactical games making cameo appearances, usually searching for her game, Makai Wars. She even got a full “Asagi Mode” side story in Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood (yes that’s a real title).

Finally, in the fateful year of our Overlord 2018, Makai Wars is a real thing and Asagi didn’t lie about it being her game; though it’s basically a Disgaea spinoff title featuring her. It’s a mini-SRPG playing like a simplified version of many of NIS’s other titles, specifically Disgaea.

Game Info

Title: 魔界ウォーズ (Makai Wars)
Platform: Android & iOS
Language: Japanese
Release date: 2018-02-15 (Android)
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software and Clover Lab
Price: Free with IAP/Gachapon
Genre: SRPG
Filesize: 520MB (installed and updated)
Always Online: Yes, persistent internet connection required
Gambling element: Yes (standard character Gachapon a la FateGO etc)
Battery Drain: High

If you’re just curious and not curious enough to download a Japanese app, you can see some standard gameplay of the game here:

Timed Events 

Banner Gachapon: Valvatorez, Artina, Fuka 

Ends: 2018-05-16

Banners have a roughly 50% chance for a 3* pulled in the gacha to be one of the listed characters. Odds of getting a 3* are still 8%, and the more characters in a banner the less likely getting any specific character is.  Remember 10 pulls have no benefits in Makai Wars, so there’s no need to “save up” 3,000 rubies before doing a banner/any gacha in the game.

Also note the “banner” without a time limit is the normal gachapon. New characters are listed on the normal gachapon’s banner image, but these characters do not have a raised occurrence chance.

Current Timed Events
Beryl Solo Raid 

Level Completion Rewards 50 Rubies, 50 Rubies, 50 Rubies, 100 Rubies

Total Score Rewards: 30,000 Hell, 30,000 Mana, 1 Evo Vial (M), 300 Rubies, 1 Red Orb

Earn score by beating levels, repeat the final level to get ever-increasing amounts of points.

To beat the raid just auto fight the last level on repeat and it should come pretty quickly (it’s pretty easy, low level teams welcome). You get the items immediately upon reaching the threshold unlike the April Fool’s event. 

Mao Event

Level completion rewards: 50 Rubies, 3 Evo Vial (S), 50 Rubies, 2 Evo Vial (M), 100 Rubies, 100 Rubies, 1 Blue Orb

Past Events
Makai Kingdom Event

Ends: May 1st

There’s a lot of stuff for the Makai Kingdom Event! A 15 day long “grind” event where you can get Zetta (Book), a free normal Gachapon pull a day (10 times), a new Background for the duration of the event, and a Banner Gachapon for Zetta (Overlord), Petta, and Pram.

Event SP Quest Rewards: 5x Dark Vial (M), 10 Zetta (Book) stones, 3 Evo Vials (M),  10 Zetta (Book) stones, 300 Rubies, 10 Zetta (Book) stones
Last two SP Quest missions drop Zetta (Book) stones randomly, 4 for second to last.

The final level of the event is even harder than Usalia’s, so work hard! It’s best to grind the second to last (15 AP) stage for Stones instead due to the extreme difficulty of the last one.

Valvatorez Event

There’s an event with Valvatorez and some Ragna Quest character, but don’t get too excited as it doesn’t give summon stones/tickets for either character. It just gives some “premium” items when certain levels are cleared the first time. So just play every level once to get all the rewards (repeats give nothing) and move on.

Rewards: 3 S Evo potions, 2 M Evo potions, 50 Rubies, 100 Rubies, 1 L Evo potion, 50 Rubies, 1 Passive Skill orb

Makai Wars Quickstart Guide

Continue reading “Makai Wars English Guide, Character Info, & Translations”

Tap Into YouTube: Launch Day Is Too Late For PR

As a reviewer if there’s one mistake I see in my inbox more often than any other, it’s developers reaching out to press on their game’s launch day. Sometimes, even up to a week after release.

I’m not entirely sure the general reason for this; whether it’s seen as not necessary to reach out first, or perhaps it’s some attempt at avoiding “embargo breakers”, but it’s probably the most easily corrected major mistake you can make in your game marketing.

Don’t break your game’s sales just because you didn’t want to send out some emails before launch.

Tap Into YouTube is a series on YouTube and Games PR, written from the perspective of a YouTube Content creator. That’s me!

It’s meant to help both devs and YouTubers serve their audience the best and work with each other productively.

What’s the big deal? Well…

Reviews Take Time

The biggest factor here is that if it takes me a week to write a review (not uncommon, especially for smaller shops or larger games), and you send me your game the day of release, you’re logically going to get reviews a week after release. And that’s at the earliest; you’re probably not at the top of my queue. Especially since you emailed me the day you launched your game!

“The amount of time it takes to review your game is significantly higher than the time it takes to play your game”

Gaming reviewers are infamously crunched for time and often forced to rush out reviews for games they haven’t finished, spend crazy hours to finish a game in time, or take other unfortunate steps that pretty universally result in both worse working conditions for the reviewer and a lower quality review.

To write a thorough review ideally the player will have to complete the game, or in some cases like Multiplayer or Roguelike titles, at least play far enough to feel a sense of reasonably complete understanding of the game. 

In addition to the game itself, budget in the time for writing, editing, replaying to verify certain details, checking out additional modes, and other features. After all that, the time it takes to review your game is significantly higher than the time it takes to play your game. Always keep this in mind.

If there’s one person you don’t want to rush, it’s your reviewer. When you’re rushed, every flaw is that much more grating. Every complexity is that much more unwelcome. Every high is that much more fleeting. By rushing reviewers it’s quite possible you’re harming your own review scores, let alone the number and timing of those reviews.

Scheduling Issues

Sort of a sub-point of point number one, but even if I can respond to your game in a snap as, say, a Livestreamer who plays through games blind for first-impressions streams, I still may be unable to play your game until a few days after launch. I might have previously announced plans, things I’ve been waiting months to do, I might be on vacation, heck, you might just happen to release on the day I’m not at work!

Your game is probably the only thing on your mind. It is not the only thing on the mind of everyone you’re emailing about your game. That’s one of the biggest things to realize when handling your PR and working with press; you know your game, we do not (yet). But meanwhile, we’re also juggling up to dozens of games, upcoming releases, sheduled content. The less time you give us, the less possibility there is for us to fit your game in with the rest. 

By giving reviewers a reasonable length of time they’ll not only be able to write a better review, but they’ll be able to work things into their schedule more easily. For example, I work a day job so if your game releases on Tuesday even if I have nothing to play but your game (this is never the case), the earliest you’re likely to see a video from me is the following weekend.

But Isn’t YouTube Different?

Continue reading “Tap Into YouTube: Launch Day Is Too Late For PR”

Yume Nikki -Dream Diary- Guide

Yume Nikki Dream Diary is here and perhaps not what we all expected, but as Yume Nikki fans many of us will still want to explore every secret there is to see, so I’m putting together a guide with all the important info, collectables, and theories. I’m also collecting the references to the original game.

This is still a Work in Progress for the moment so feel free to comment to ask any questions or share info! I’ve provided links to some key terms in the Yume Nikki Wiki, feel free to get lost in the wiki as well, it’s quite enjoyable. I’m trying to link all the references to the original game, as they’re a rather significant amount of the enjoyment to be had in the game, so point out any I’ve missed as well!

For purpose of clarity, the full name Yume Nikki Dream Diary will be used when referring to this game, and Yume Nikki alone will be used to refer to the original game by Kikiyama.

Game Info

Title: Yume Nikki -Dream Diary-
Platform: PC (Steam)
Languages: English, Japanese, French,Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Portuguese
Release date: 2018-02-23
Developer: Kadokawa Corporation
Price: $20
Length: About 4 hours
Genre: Horror/Exploration
Filesize: 3GB

Updates

What is Yume Nikki -Dream Diary-?

As a heads-up in case you haven’t purchased the game yet (or haven’t started it), Yume Nikki is something closer to a “reimagining” of the original than typical remake or sequel.

Many are disappointed by what they find (as, well, was I) so it’s best to be aware of what you’re going in for. That said, if you’re a big enough fan of Yume Nikki, you’ll probably dive right in and play it like I did so I figured I would make a guide to help those who have already committed to it.

Walkthrough

Continue reading “Yume Nikki -Dream Diary- Guide”

Free Points: Drop Alive – Short Classic-Style Platformer

So far Free Points has largely focused on surreal, more conceptual and less gameplay-focused games. They’re a favorite of mine, but not all we’ll be covering here. So without further adieu, here is Drop Alive, a retro-style platformer (with a non-retro aesthetic)!

Free Points is a series of weekly free game recommendations. The games may range from the most surreal of Alt Games to the most traditional of platformers; the only requirements for a Free Points game is that they’re free (real free, not free to play!) and very much worth your time.

What Is Drop Alive?

Title: Drop Alive
Release Date: 2016-12-06
Price: Free!
Developer: Invi Games
Languages: English
Length: ~1 Hour
Platform: PC  (Steam)
Genre: Platformer
Themes: Hand-drawn, Cute, Challenging
Supplemental: You can watch me play about half the game on YouTube

Drop Alive is an adorable platformer featuring a water droplet that must escape seemingly mundane environments that become quite intimidating when you’re the size of a water droplet!

The majestic cookie sea.

With a lot of charm it’s easy to underestimate Drop Alive’s difficulty; the game won’t go easy on you, but it’s not an incredibly demanding game either, especially due to it’s length.

Why Play Drop Alive?

Drop Alive is a good ol’ platformer with a fair amount of challenge. It’s short length keeps it from being frustrating or getting old, since you’ll probably be done with it within an hour.

The water droplet isn’t purely for style either; properties of water are used for gameplay purposes as you change state and avoid being absorbed into other materials.

As a water drop you can change into a liquid, gaseous, or solid state with ease.

Drop Alive reminds me of many Flash platformers from the glory days of Newgrounds.com (who is still very much still around, by the by). It’s just long enough to be worth playing but not long enough that it wears out it’s welcome. The short-form game format is a favorite of mine, and it’s great to see games still get made.

There is a paid option for Drop Alive, but as it only contains cosmetic items and does not affect gameplay, I don’t consider it a disqualifier for Free Points. And, of course, if you think the game was worth the “asking” price of the DLC, make sure to support the developer! I’m a big fan of games that offer that sort of option.

Need More To Play?

Check out the Free Points archives for more worthwhile free games.

Free Points: Space Funeral – Surreal Comedy/Horror RPG

Space Funeral by thecatamites is a fairly vintage game in the set of surreal RPG maker games that have popped up over the years. As you might have noticed, this peculiar subgenre is a favorite of mine! Due to it’s short length, relative popularity, and good sense of humor, it’s hard not to recommend Space Funeral among other surreal RPG Maker games.

Free Points is a series of weekly free game recommendations. The games may range from the most surreal of Alt Games to the most traditional of platformers; the only requirements for a Free Points game is that they’re free (real free, not free to play!) and very much worth your time.
I get paid $10 every time I say BLOOD in all caps.

What Is Space Funeral?

Title: Space Funeral
Release Date: 2010-09-17
Price: Free!
Developer: thecatamites
Languages: English
Fan Translations: Russian
Length: ~1.5 hours
Platform: PC (Gamejolt, DRM Free)
Genre: RPG
Themes: Horror, Pixel Art, RPG Maker, Surreal
Content Warnings: Mild horror/blood
Supplemental: I streamed a full playthrough of Space Funeral you can watch here

Space Funeral follows the story of Phillip who seeks the legendary City of Forms to restore the world, and his pal Leg Horse who is a Leg Horse. There will be BLOOD SWAMPS, BLOOD CAVERNS, and many other sources of BLOOD.

Explore a rather miserable world and beat up pretty much anyone who gets in your way, and don’t forget to say hi to Dracula. Cry at enemies until they die!

I think he’s some sort of crime man.

Why Play Space Funeral?

Continue reading “Free Points: Space Funeral – Surreal Comedy/Horror RPG”

Free Points: OFF by Mortis Ghost

OFF is actually the game that originally inspired me to have a “cool free games” sort of section on this site, so it’s no surprised I’m posting it early! This one’s a real treat for fans of more existential games like OneShot and Undertale, and just a really interesting gem of a free game.

Free Points is a series of weekly free game recommendations. The games may range from the most surreal of Alt Games to the most traditional of platformers; the only requirements for a Free Points game is that they’re free (real free, not free to play!) and very much worth your time.

What Is OFF?

Title: OFF
Release Date: 2008
Price: Free!
Developer: Mortis Ghost
Languages: French
Fan Translations: English, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish
Length: ~5 Hours
Platform: PC (DRM free)
Genre: RPG
Themes: Horror, Pixel Art, RPG Maker, Surreal
Content Warnings: Mild horror/blood, disturbing themes, existential crises
Supplemental: A YouTube Playlist of my playthrough of OFF, and an incomplete video walkthrough of mine

OFF is a mildly horror-themed RPG (tending more to the surreal and intellectual horror, rather than visceral gore and jumpscares) created by Mortis Ghost. It’s a game that makes a very strong and layered impression with its distinct and occasionally discordant visual and musical themes.

In the English-speaking world OFF first gained popularity through Starman.net, an Earthbound fan site due to its similarity to that series. The Batter’s choice of weapons and the game’s propensity toward getting Meta (and even letting the player name themselves) evokes some strong Earthbound vibes.

OFF gameplay clip
Combat in OFF

Why Play OFF?

Continue reading “Free Points: OFF by Mortis Ghost”