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!
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 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!