Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Full Working Week

So, I'm sure you guys are excited about some of the future features we plan to add to the site, however, we can't always be working on new features. We have to divide our time up between maintenance and development. This week, at least, we've got to work on some fixes for the CC browser and the site itself.

We got an e-mail last week saying that the “Sever Load” feature wasn't working on the NES. (I know the NES is the only system that has it and that the others should, but I'm always so busy...) At first I rejected the idea. “I know it works, I tested that thing I don't know how many times!” I told Jonathan when he told about the bug report. Well, we tested it again and it didn't work. So, I crawled around in the code until I found the problem. We sent the guy a zipped version of the new DLL and it worked. However, we still have to roll it into a new install/update so it will work for everybody.

While we're doing that we're going to go ahead and make a few minor changes to the browser. We've got a list of changes we want to make including making the Facebook button a “Social” button and adding a bunch of features. For instance, we want to add the ability to turn the status update on and off. I only mention this to let you know what we plan to do in the near future. This week we are just going to fix that bug and add another “Upgrade Button” for free accounts. As I mentioned before this will lead to more features for you already-paying customers.

The site also needs a bit of work. I know it doesn't look perfect now, but it won't look perfect when I'm done either, lol. That is at least partly due to the fact that I'm not going to be working on the site's look or layout, but on the code behind it. Many of you may have noticed that the site doesn't work well in Chrome or Firefox and we need to fix that. We also need to fix problems behind the scenes that our users don't see, but that Google does. I think some of these problems are costing us traffic.

If we can fix them maybe we will get more visitors. That will lead to more users which will lead to more features. We also really need to add forums back to the site. We need you guys feedback and we would also appreciate any volunteer help.

Someone suggested that we should convert the game info pages to a Wiki format and let the fans do the editing themselves. I think this is a great idea, but I'm not sure where to start and I doubt I have the have the time right now.

I any event, we will be working away this week. If any of you have any thoughts or suggestions feel free to comment here or on Facebook. You can also shoot me an e-mail if you like.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A World of Features

In my last post I mentioned that adding more games and systems to the service was one of the benefits of having more free players at Console Classix. Another of the advantages is the addition of more awesome features. Here is a very short list of some of the things we'd like to do with the service:

1.)Add multi-player gaming
2.)Host tournaments and playoffs
3.)Share high scores and screen shots on Facebook
4.)Offer a wider range of emulators for more advanced users
5.)Support mobile devices like the Andriod and iPhone
6.)Build our own open-source multi-console cross-platform emulator

I could go on and on. These are just some of the highlights. If you're looking over that list and thinking “Hey, I thought of that!” or “I sent Aaron an e-mail about that!” I, for one, am not surprised. Our fans have a huge number of ideas and thoughts on future features and additions. There has been many a time I've checked my e-mail and sat there thinking “This dude is brilliant!” as I read some fan suggestion. Although it may not always look like it we are always listening to you guys.

So, you may be asking yourself why don't we ever get on it. Well, I'm Console Classix lead programmer, but I'm also our junior programmer. I'm even the intern who fixes the lead programmer's coffee. If you haven't figured out what I'm saying, I'm our entire programming staff. That includes web programming as well as coding for the service itself. I'm also our network engineer and PC repair man.

Some fans have the idea that we are some huge corporation, but one look at our website should tell you that isn't true. We're a very small company with some very big ideas. In order to see some of those ideas turn into realities we are going to have to get more full time staff. In order to that we need more paying customers. In order to get them we needed to get more free users. That is how the “Login as Guest” and “Free Sampler” changes lead to direct benefits to our current full members.

We are doing everything we can to make Console Classix better and better everyday. We have a lot of plans and a lot of ideas on how to get things moving a bit faster. I may share a bit of that with you in my next post.

Have fun and good gaming!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's Up

Many of you may be wondering what we've been up to for the last few months. The short answer is “A lot”. You may have noticed that we've added a “Free Sampler” button to the client as well as a “Log in as guest” feature. In the long run this should benefit all of our users.

“What could the benefit possibly be for full members?” You ask. Well, it's a step toward getting even more full members for Console Classix. The free sample gives users an even larger test selection so they can see how well the “For-Pay” systems work on their computers. Being able to log in as a guest allows first time users to jump in and start playing as fast as possible. Both these things should cause more users to sign up for a free account and actually use it. The more free users we get the more full users we get it's as simple as that.

There are many reasons that matters to our full members. First, a larger subscription base means more games as well as more systems. Last year we launched the N64 as well as the TG16. Both of these systems need more “filling out”. Also, the more users we have the more copies of each game we need. The more full members we have the quicker we can add width and depth to our game selection.

What this means for all our users is more selection and less wait. That is just one way in which a larger subscriber base adds value for our full members. I think I'll discuss another in my next post.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back in the Saddle

OK... So months ago I said I was going to try to get back to this blog. Well, it was true, I did try. I failed miserably, but I did try, lol. This year I plan to put a lot more into it even if I just post “Hmmm, nothing much happened this week....” at least once a week.

There has been a lot going on with Console Classix over the last few months. I plan to go down the list over the course of a few more posts. I'm sure most of you have noticed that we got the N64 and TG-16 up last year. This year we plan to fill those systems out.

We also have a lot of changes in mind for the Console Classix Browser and the general level of social interaction with the service. I ask you guys to bear with me. I will really try to keep up with this blog. If you see me falling down on the job feel free to shoot me an e-mail saying something like “Aaron, you taking a vacation or what!?!?”

We need your feedback. That's one of the areas we're really planning to work on.

That's it for now. I'll try to put up a bit more by next week.