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!
Table of Contents
New ContentI’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 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!
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.
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.
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!
SirTapTap.com is now using Relevanssi for search, enabling much better and more relevant search for users and a lot more customization for me. Searches are now sorted by relevance and partial word matching is functional as well.
For example searching for “Hyper dimension Neptunia” instead of “Hyperdimension Neptunia” now works as you’d expect.
To help out mobile users, the search bar has been added to the header menu for mobile layouts. On desktop-style layouts, search will still be in the sidebar as always.
Breadcrumbs are those little things at the top of most shopping sites (and many other types of sites) showing your path from the home page through the categories to the specific page you’re in.
They help show the structure of a site more clearly (and Google loves ’em) so I added them to help make the site more readable and navigable.
“Change URLs, are you crazy?!” – anyone with a passing knowledge of SEO.
Yep, my old permalinks kinda sucked; they were date-based which is pretty meaningless, especially since my content is often updated regularly. So I swapped them to end in categories, so /08/15/post turned into /guides/game-title/article-title.
It’s not a big change (and no, it didn’t impact my SEO/visits visibly at all!), but it makes the site just that much more reader-friendly and more clearly structure and it pairs perfectly with the breadcrumbs.
Interest-Based Push Notifications
Late last year I started adding Push Notifications you can subscribe to on your phone or desktop browser to get timely updates. It was a big success and many, many more people use my push notifications than email updates!
However lots of people only use specific guides, so I didn’t want to hit people’s notifications with stuff that wasn’t relevant. So now on SirTapTap.com if you’re subscribed to notifications, the site will automatically tag your anonymous Push subscription ID with the tags of guides that you visit.
Also, I’ve disabled the auto-push notification feature, so all push notifications sent by SirTapTap.com are now manually written and sent by me to specific groups of users.
Fancy Discord Page
Discord has a fancy little widget to show off your server, so the Discord page now shows an online list and voice channel list for my server before you log in. Everyone’s welcome in the discord (except jerks)! We talk all kinds of games and have a dedicated AbyssRium text chat. I try to make it a nice chill oasis with none of the hate all too typically associated with “gamer” spaces lately.
Here’s all the guides I’ve written since the last big update post:
It’s been a great year so far, thanks to everyone for reading!