To access your site configuration from your arcade admin control panel click on the ‘Site Configuration’ menu button from the control panel as shown in Figure 4-1. In our site configuration we will be making changes to a lot of the information so that our arcade will reflect information for our specific arcade.
This page has a long list of textboxes and dropdown menus that we will be editing. This will be broken into five parts below as we list and describe the site configuration options of our arcade.
As we walk through the list of options you can update your arcade with your desired configuration. If you are unsure about some of the options you can keep the current default value. Do not get confused with all these options because they will soon become apparent as you get to know more about your arcade.
Site Configuration Part 1
This will be the title of your arcade which will be displayed in the browser title bar. In this case my website is www.yourarcade.org, so I will make my title ‘Your Arcade’, fairly straight forward. I also want to have a slogan for my site. My slogan is going to be ‘An Arcade of Your Own!’, so my full title is going to be ‘Your Arcade – An Arcade of Your Own!’
This is the description of your arcade. Your description will be displayed in the Meta tag of your website. The Meta tag data is stored information about your website. This data will be available to search engines and other web crawlers. The data is meant to describe your arcade in your own words. An example description may be ‘Free Online Games’, ‘Tons of Flash Games’, or any other description you would prefer.
Website keywords will be what your arcade contains such as flash games, action games, fun games, etc. Some search engines use your keywords, which are placed in your meta tag data, to find out what your website is about. By entering in keywords you are describing what is contained in your website. Separate each keyword with a comma.
The base URL is your domain name, ‘http://www.yourdomain.com/’. Remember to make certain that you have the trailing ‘/’ at the end of your domain name. This will prevent any possible linking errors.
Enter in your email address. You can enter the email address you created back in Hour 1, or you can enter a previous email address. You will receive emails when someone submits a new link to your arcade and other information pertaining to your arcade.
This is the current admin username that you will use to login to your arcade control panel. You may edit the current login name to change your username.
This is your password that you will use with your admin username to login to the back-end arcade control panel.
Admin Arcade Username
When you have finished creating your arcade you may want to create a user/member on the front-end of the arcade. This drop down will populate with all your current arcade members. You can leave this drop down as ‘None Selected’.
If you are making many changes to your arcade website you may want to temporarily set it ‘offline’. Instead of visitors viewing broken links or unfinished graphics you can set your website status to ‘offline’. For now we want to be able to view our arcade as we are making changes so we will keep our arcade status ‘online’.
When you have set your arcade status to ‘offline’ you will want to leave the visitors a little message saying something like ‘Our website is currently undergoing maintenance. We will be back up very soon. Thank You.’ Or any other message to let them know that the arcade is currently offline.
CACHE Configuration Data
This setting will keep a cached version of our configuration data. This means that our arcade configurations will be stored in a temporary file location so that it can be more easily accessed. This will result in a faster experience for our arcade members. You can leave this option as ‘YES’, unless you have a reason you want to set it to ‘NO’.
File Transfer Type
There are two different ways of transferring game files to your arcade. Sometimes on some servers you may experience difficulties with ‘TRANSFER TYPE 1′. If problems occur when transferring games/images we would want to switch to ‘TRANSFER TYPE 2′. In this case we should be fine with the default ‘TRANSFER TYPE 1′.
When leaving the Auto CHMOD option ‘On’, the arcade script will attempt to change permissions of files when required. We will leave this configuration ‘On’.
Site Configuration Part 2
enTraffic is a banner exchange network where users from other arcades trade traffic/visitors with each other. You can choose to use this service if you’d like; however, through the process of this book we are not going to explain how to use this specific service. This textbox can be left blank.
This option can be left blank as well, unless you have chosen to use this service.
Mochi Games Customer Number
We will get to this field in Hour 5. During the lunch hour we will be creating an account at MochiAds.com (The place we are going to get our games from). After we have created our account we will have a Customer ID that we will enter in this field.
Number Of Games To Pull From Mochiads
This will also be described in the next hour. When we get games from the Mochi service we will specify in this field how many games we want to grab.
This drop down will list all the current templates/themes that we have in our template directory. Each theme displays different colors and layouts of our front-end arcade. Right now the default template is selected. The ‘arcadeblue’ template is the theme that was shown back in figure 3-19. We will talk more about templates in Hour 6.
Search Engine Friendly URLS
Have you ever visited a website that has a bunch of symbols at the end of a URL such as ‘?’ and ‘=’ or possibly a bunch of variables and characters at the end of the URL? Well you’ll notice that having a short and simple URL is much nicer and more readable than a jumbled URL. Having a more readable URL allows search engines to search and index your site better; therefore, your site will look friendlier to search engines and your site will have a better reputation. We will change this option to ‘On’.
SE Friendly Directory
This is the directory name that you want to be displayed when you play a game. In this case when a game is played the URL will look similar to ‘www.yourdomain.com/playgame/gamename…’. You can change this directory to a name that you feel suitable or you can just leave it as the default value ‘playgame’.
SE Friendly Full Screen Directory
Similar to the field above, this directory name will be displayed when users play a game in full screen. In this case when a game is played in full screen the URL will look similar to ‘www.yourdomain.com/playgame-full/gamename…’. You can also change this directory to a name that you feel appropriate or you can leave it as the default value ‘playgame-full’.
Full Screeen Game Height
This value is the height, in pixels, that you want games to be displayed when they are being played in full screen. The default value ‘800′px is usually a good value.
Full Screen Game Width
This is the width, in pixels, that you would like a game to be displayed when it is being played in full screen. The default ‘800′ px wide is a good size to display the game.
Preview Game Page
This option is asking if you would like to have the Preview Game Page configuration turned ‘On’ or ‘Off’. If this option is ‘On’ a user will view a Preview Game Page after they click on a game to play. The page will then display the game name again and a button that will say ‘Click Here To Play’. It seems excessive to make a user click a button twice when they are trying to play a game, but I guess it gives the arcade owner an extra page to display ads. If this option is ‘Off’ the arcade visitor will not view the Preview Game Page.
SE Friendly Preview Game Directory
This is the directory that will be displayed if the ‘Preview Game Page’ option is turned ‘On’ and a user is viewing the ‘Preview Game Page’.
Game Play Log
Keep Log For How Many Days
If you have Game Play Log turned on you can specify how long, in days, you would like to store the logs.
No. Reports before Removing Game
When users play a game they can click a button, usually titled ‘does not work’. If you specify a number of reports such as 5, then after 5 reports that the game is not working it will be removed. If the value is 0 then the game will never be removed due to visitors reporting that the game is not working.
Site Configuration Part 3
Friends Request Email
Max Games Per Page
This will be the maximum number of games you want to display for each page in a category. When a category, such as ‘Action’, ‘Adventure’, or ‘Puzzle’, is clicked each page will display a certain amount of games per page. Usually the default 25 is a good number.
Max Games On Front Page
This is the maximum number of games that will be displayed in each category on the Home Page. The front homepage displays all the categories in a separate box. Each of these boxes will display 6 games by default. The first game will be displayed with an image. You can change this number to however many games you want displayed in each category on the homepage.
Max Games On Newest Game List
This is the maximum number of games you want displayed on the Newest Game List.
Max Games On Popular Game List
This will be the maximum number of games displayed on the Popular Game List. (The popular game list will display games that have been played the most/highest rating?)
You can choose whether or not to have a member system integrated with your Arcade. The member system allows visitors to sign up as a member, edit their avatar, send messages to other members, and other additional member exclusive functionalities.
When a new member signs up on your arcade you can choose to make them verify their login information and email by receiving an email and clicking a confirmation link. After the confirmation address has been visited the arcade user has confirmed their account and they can login to the arcade front-end as a member. If this option is turned ‘Off’ users can sign up for an account without confirming. If you have this option turned to ‘Off’ you may have a lot of visitors signing up with a bunch of dummy data or false information.
Member Referral Tracking
When a new arcade member is created they can visit their user control panel in the front-end of the arcade. If member referral tracking is turned on in the users control panel they will have a referral link they can use to refer friends and other people to your arcade. When they use this specific link the arcade system will track that the new visitor came to our arcade using their referral link, and that arcade member will be awarded points.
Points For Referral
This is the amount of points that you would like to assign each member when they refer a new user to your arcade.
Private Message System
You can specify whether or not you want your arcade members to be able to send each other private messages. Usually it is a good idea to encourage interaction in your arcade.
Max Inbox Messages
This is the maximum amount of messages you allow a user to have inside their inbox.
If you choose to have guest credits on then visitors will be required to create an account after they have played a certain amount of games. If this configuration is turned off, then guests can play as many games as they want to without having to sign up as a member.
No. of Guest Credits
The amount of games a user can play before they must sign up as a member. This is only applicable if you have chosen to turn Guest Credits ‘On’.
Points Per Game Played
This is the amount of points you would like to award an arcade member for playing a game.
Points Per Comment
This is the amount of points you would like to award an arcade member for posting a comment.
Top Players List
You can choose whether or not to display a ‘Top Players List’ in your arcade. If this option is turned on the arcade will display which arcade members are the top players.
Max Top Players On List
This is the amount of Top Players you want to be displayed on the Top Players list. You can choose any amount you would like; however, the default 5 is usually a good number.
Sort Top Players By
You can choose to sort the top players by the amount of points they have or the amount of games they have played. If you have Member Referral Tracking and you want to encourage members to post comments it may be a good idea to leave the default configuration set as ‘Points’.
Site Configuration Part 4
You can specify whether or not you want to allow games to receive comments.
Who Can Comment
You can limit who you want to be able to leave comments on games. You can choose to only allow members to post comments or you can allow anyone to post comments.
Max Comments Displayed
This is the maximum number of comments you want to be displayed under each game if you have the comment system turned on.
Comment SPAM Filter
You can choose to turn on or turn off a spam filter for the comments section.
You can choose to turn link trading on and off. Link Trading allows other arcade creators to add their link to your site as they add your link to their site. You can track the amount of traffic that goes in and out between the two arcades. Having a link trading system is a good thing to have. You will get a better ranking from search engines if there are other sites that link to yours. I hope you can see the importance in this. Having a good ranking with search engines is a key factor to getting a good flow of traffic coming to your arcade. You can choose to leave this feature ‘On’ or ‘Off’.
How To Confirm Trades
If you have Link Trading turned on, you can choose how to confirm the link trades. You can confirm the link trades ‘Manually’ or ‘Automatically’. If you have this configuration set to ‘Manually’, then when another web arcade submits their arcade link you will have to go into your arcade back-end/control panel and manually change the link from inactive to active. If this setting is set to ‘Automatically’ the links will become automatically active when a new arcade submits their link. It may be smarter to leave this setting set to ‘Manually’ because if you have this set to automatic you may get a bunch of spam links from several visitors.
Use URL or linkout.php
If you would like to track the amount of traffic coming in and out from your links you will have to set this configuration to ‘Use linkout.php file’. Otherwise the link traffic will not be tracked.
Max Top Links
If link trading is on, there will be a list of top links on our arcade page. This is the maximum number of top links that you want displayed on this list. Usually you don’t want to have over 10 links displayed. 5 or 6 is a good number.
Sort Top Links By
This is the way you would like to sort your top links. If you want to sort them by the amount of traffic they bring in per day you can leave the configuration setting as ‘Day In’.
Sort Links Page By
This is the way you want to sort your links page. Usually you’ll want to sort the links page the same way as your top links section.
E-Mail Notification of Trades
You can choose whether or not you would like to receive emails when someone submits a link trade to your arcade.
Max Game Width
This is the max width that we want a game to be displayed. In certain arcade layouts we may want to choose a game to be displayed with a smaller or longer width. In this case we will leave the width to the default 400 pixels.
Max Game Height
This is the max height that we want a game to be displayed. We will leave this configuration as it is; 600 pixels.
Site Configuration Part 5
Change above image to not show ‘Max Game Height’
If this feature is turned ‘On’ there will be a Tell-A-Friend section below each game. This section will include a textbox that a user can enter in a friends email address and click send. This will automatically send an email to that users friends email with a link to the game that is currently being played. If this feature is ‘Off’ the section will not be shown.
Hot Link Protection
Hot Link Protection will prevent users being able to view a page source code and see where specific game files are located on your server. This will prevent any users from trying to download your games. We don’t need to worry about people seeing where are games are stored so we will leave this configuration ‘OFF’.
Allow Game Submission
If you want to allow users to submit games to your arcade you can turn this configuration ‘ON’, if not you can just leave this setting ‘OFF’.
Who Can Submit
If you have Allow Game Submissions ‘ON’ you can specify who you want to be able to submit games. You can choose to let ‘EVERYONE’ submit a game or ‘MEMBERS ONLY’.
In-Between Game Page
If you would like to have a page be displayed before a game is played you can turn this setting ‘ON’. When a user clicks to play a game, you may want to display an ad for about 5 seconds and then take the user to the game. If this setting is ‘OFF’ the user will be taken directly to a game and no ‘In-Between Game Page’ will be shown.
Delay for In-Between Page
If you have the ‘In-Between Game Page’ setting turned ‘ON’, you can specify how long you would like the page to be displayed. You can enter the amount of time you want this page shown before the user is re-directed to their game. The value is entered in seconds.
Banned Text Display
If you have to ban a user from your arcade due to misbehavior, you can enter specific text for them to read. If a banned user tries to access your site they will see the message entered in this textbox.