News

Twitter integration

We are excited to complete and deploy integration with Twitter !

Everyone is welcome to follow us @packed_games to get updates on the latest games and news about packed and online gaming.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 News No Comments

Quest for points and levels

As you may have noticed, we’ve added a new feature to Packed called Quests.

Quests challenge gamers to complete a number of tasks in different high-score enabled games on Packed. Quests typically have a certain theme and involve 3-5 different games. An easy quest might take an experienced gamer only an hour to complete while a difficult one can take days or even weeks.

For completing a quest you will receive gamer points (which increase your gamer level) and a shiny badge for your profile page. More difficult quests yield more points (and shinier badges!)

We’ve started out the quests feature with three quests and plan to add 3-4 new quests every month.

Soon we will be launching our community forums which will be the last major update before the release of the Packed factory (which will enable you to create your own games on Packed) so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 News No Comments

Introducing Packed levels

Some of you may have noticed that we’ve implemented a points-based level system for users. The level system is used to recognize player achievements in three different categories:

Gamer levels

Gamer points recognize skill and effort in Packed gaming and can be earned in two different ways.

  • Making a top 10 score in a particular game. This is worth 10 points and will be awarded for either a new or an improved score, up to a maximum of 1,000 points. Each board on a game that has multiple score-boards (example: Powerpool 2) will be treated as an individual game.
  • Completing a quest (quest section coming very soon!)

Community levels

These are awarded to users who contribute something to Packed. The community point system works as follows:

  • Posting a comment - 1 point
  • Rating a game - 1 point
  • Thanking a user - 1 point
  • Writing a tip - 3 points
  • Writing a walkthrough - 5 points
  • Getting a ‘thanks’ from another user - 20 points

You may gain an unlimited amount of points and levels from getting ‘thanks’ from other users. However all other forms of gaining points are capped at 1,000 points. This means that after you’ve gained 1,000 points from posting comments, rating games and writing tips, the only way you could gain additional points and levels is to get thanked by other users for tips and walkthroughs you have written.

Developer levels

These would recognize accomplishments of users who build games at the Packed factory. More details on this will be announced once the factory is open to the public.

You will gain gamer, community and developer levels automatically and concurrently, but only one of them will be displayed next to your name when you post a comment or tip. You can go to your profile page to see more information about your current levels and how many points you need to advance to the next level. Currently we display your highest level next to your name when you post a comment but soon we will allow you to choose which level to display.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 News No Comments

Packing flash games with a new dimension

Like the mobile phone forever changed the way you communicate on the go, Packed3D™ will forever change the way you play flash games. Packed3D is capable of taking an existing compiled flash game, and turn it into a fully functional 3D game. Classic flash games like Bloons and The Last Stand can now be enjoyed with beautifully rendered 3D objects. Packed3D is currently in closed beta, but today we have released this video demonstration of the classic game Bloons converted into 3D.

The “magic” works in a two-step process. First, all 2D vector game objects are analyzed and 3D models are created based on a ‘guesstimation’ of how a 3D version of the object might look. Then, camera angels are calculated at random for different parts of the game. This process typically takes under a minute and afterwards the game is ready to be played in 3D. Naturally, the rendering engine doesn’t always gets the 3D models right the first time and the camera angels don’t always make sense initially. This is where the self-improvement side of Packed3D comes into play.

While players are playing processed games, Packed3D monitors player activity and watches for signs that 3D models or camera angels are not right. Several data points are analyzed such as player performance (poor performance may indicate poor camera angels) and time played. But by far the most significant data point is player facial expressions during play. Packed3D uses webcam data from the flash player to record player facial expressions and eyeball movements (players must first consent to this) and analyses them to determine which 3D models require improvement. Humans have a very distinct “this doesn’t look right” facial expression and when Packed3D detects this expression it records which object the eye was tracking at that exact time and then changes it slightly for the next player until it gets it right. This is made possible largely due to research conducted at the DIA of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing last year. 90% of the improvement happens in the first 1,000 plays, after which players report the graphics feel very realistic.

Gameplay isn’t affected by Packed3D conversion, only the game visuals. Currently, over 40% of the games we’ve tested were fully functional after conversion. Games that pose difficulty are flash games that are already in 3D or games that use mostly bitmap graphics. Dr. Klaun, the lead engineer behind Packed3D, believes that we’ll be able to get our success rate to over 60% before the scheduled launch in August.

Two business models will be available upon launch. The first will be geared towards developers and will allow them to submit their games for Packed3D enhancement in return for a small portion of ad revenues (several negotiations with in-game ad companies are currently taking place). The second business model is geared towards portals and will allow them to offer part of the gaming catalogue in 3D. The portal offering will use a licensing pricing model based on the size of the portal. A licensing deal with playedonline.com has already been signed and more portals are expected to sign-up in the coming weeks.

Packed3d

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 News 6 Comments

Cubic Disturbance and sponsored walkthroughs

A few days ago we announced Packed sponsored walkthroughs and released Cubic Disturbance - the first game with a Packed sponsored walkthrough.

Congratulations to Tim for the great game which has already been featured on the Kongregate and NewGrounds homepages and has won Mochiads’ flash game Friday competition.

If you’d like to submit your game for a Packed.com sponsorship please contact us

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 Games, News No Comments

Highscores, walkthroughs and thanks!

This week we’ve added some exciting new features to Packed.

Highscores

Thanks to the wonderful Mochiads Publisher bridge we now have over 2,000 games that support highscores. Check out Aliens Must DiePowerPool 2 and SAS: Zombie assault for some action-packed highscore fun.

Be sure to register if you want your highscores recorded. If you play as a guest, we will save your score and allow you to register and claim it for a short while.

Walkthroughs

Flash games are getting pretty intense, and some of them require complex strategies or tricks. This is where our new walkthrough feature comes in. Any Packed user can now write a walkthrough for any Packed game that includes images and videos to help out new players. Right now we don’t allow file uploads, so if you’d like to include images and videos you would need to embed them from other sites (e.g., YouTube, ImageShack).

A good example of a great waklthrough is Elprofesor’s PowerPool 2 walkthrough - I even used it to beat his score :)

Thanks!

With the inclusion of the new walkthrough feature and the old tips feature we thought it would be a good time to add a way for users to show their appreciation for other users’ tips and walkthroughs. Next to every walkthrough and tip you now have a “thank the author” link. You can see a list of the top contributors (users who received the most thanks) on the homepage. Later on, when we implement user levels the thanks feature will also be used for gaining ‘community levels’ (more on this later).

Sunday, March 8th, 2009 News No Comments

Packed open for beta!

After months of work, we are excited to announce that Packed.com is now open for public beta.

What is packed?

Packed is first and foremost a community site for individuals who are excited about games. Our primary focus is flash games and a proprietery technology that will allows Packed users to develop (”Pack”) their own games using a web-based interface (more information on this will be released later on, as we near our release date).

We strive to deliver a superior gaming experience and aim to serve people who are “hardcore casual gamers”.

What’s a “hardcore casual gamer”?

A casual gamer is someone who plays casual games. On the web, these games are typically free and are easy to learn how to play. But just because a game is free and easy to pick-up, doesn’t mean that it can’t require skill, strategy and finesse to master. This is where “hardcore” comes in to play.

What’s the “Packed Factory”?

The Packed Factory is where users will be able to build flash games using our proprietary engine.  We are currently in the final testing phases and expect to release it in mid-April. Over the next few weeks we will be blogging a lot about what it’s like to “Pack” a game at the factory and we’ll include as many screenshots and sample games as possible.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 News 1 Comment