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How to create playing sites in the mobile era

As we all know, the end of Flash technology has taken its toll on various games and playing sites online. This is a brief review on how I tackled this issue on my free-to-play solitaire website which hopefully can help fellow site owners.

How the end of Flash affects playing sites

As we all know, the end of Flash technology has taken its toll on various games and playing sites online. This is a brief review on how I tackled this issue on my free-to-play solitaire website which hopefully can help fellow site owners. Another similar issue has been the rise of mobile devices and how games with older technology have not been able to keep up with it.

The reasons for the lack of support of Flash

Steve Jobs tells in his blog post the reasons why Apple decided to stop supporting Flash technology back in 2010. As briefly mentioned already in the introduction chapter, mobile devices have completely changed the way we use the internet these days. Jobs mentions in the post, which was written back in 2010 that we live in the age of mobile devices and that Flash technology had a place in PC era, but in this mobile era, it's redundant. Mobile devices are about low power devices, touch interfaces, and open web standards, all to which Flash falls short.

How to create playing sites in the mobile era

I recently started my project of building a free-to-play website Pasianssi.com for Solitaire card games. I had a couple of requirements for the website before I started building it, which were:

  1. All the games have to work with all devices
  2. The site has to work fast and to be easy to use
  3. The design has to be pleasing as people might play Solitaire for hours and hours

These three things were the baseline requirements for the website.

The first point can be easily solved by using HTML5 technology with all the games, instead of Flash, which as mentioned before iOS (iPhones) does not support. What I did is find a person who has done HTML5 games before and hire them using Fiverr.com to make versions of my games in that technology.

To solve the second point, I decided to code the website from scratch myself and without using any CMS services such as Wordpress. This way I could ensure that no unnecessary plugins or pieces of code were being used. I used HTML, CSS, and JavaScript languages to build the website. 

The third point was perhaps the trickiest of all. It's hard to come up with a design that would be pleasing for many hours at a time, and to be timeless. What I decided to do in this was to benchmark paintings and landscapes to come up with briefs for the game designs. The results turned out really great, well in my opinion at least. My favourite design has to be for the game Vapaakenttä – FreeCell in Finnish, which is one of the most played solitaire games – and also probably the most challenging. I used Fiverr's services for this part as well.

I hope this blog posts can help some site owners, or those thinking about building free-to-play websites. Feel free to post comments or join our Facebook group for detailed questions!

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