Week 2: Pretty (Shameless)

This week for So Play We All, we each chose our own topic to fill a four hour budget. I decided to pick up theming again and, as long as we’re competing for profits, get started on making money.


Luke dominated last week’s poll (Luke: 5, Me: 0, Jim: 2), he even got my vote. He taunted mercilessly about technical woes, and Jim continued to pick on our games’ names. But I’ve learned from Luke’s strong showing and decided I’d make Oaqn attractive and do something surprising (like his kittens).

This Week

I spent my first hour buying and integrating the Arthouse theme from ThemeForest. I spent another 30 minutes creating a logo (and adding it to the Oaqn Twitter account) and some small styling tweaks.

In the next hour, I added in usernames and achievements, though I forgot to link to the leaderboard listing all players! There are two achievements for being an early player, so register now if you don’t want to miss out.

Hour 3 was spent writing copy for the homepage to sell the game (Jim, just for you, it mentions how to pronounce the name):

Build a caravan, buy precious goods, find new markets, make a huge profit.

In the living world of Oaqn (pronounced “oaken”), cities grow and shrink as you meet their needs — or not. The characters you meet will remember you, especially if you let them down and they get their hands on power.

Join with thousands of other players to build alliances, explore the changing world, and reshape it by your actions.

I also created cute little icons for achievements and added a breathtakingly shameless plug to get people to donate to the game.

Yes, even before Oaqn has any game code at all, I’m soliciting donations. I’ve outlined the game and I’m offering some unique opportunities to anyone willing to take a chance on Oaqn: a badge, credits, a unique in-game item, even the chance to help design an item (you can even name it after yourself).

I spent the last hour on small tweaks and trying (unsuccessfully) to tweak things so you could use your username in place of your email address. Bit of a frustrating way to end things, but I’m still pleased with my progress. Here’s the final reckoning:

Achievements Unlocked – er, Implemented

  • bought arthouse theme
  • integrated theme into site
  • hack up a logo
  • added usernames
  • hosted player profile at /players/username, like so
  • styled the notice/error messages
  • added achievements

    • added badge for signing up in the first six weeks
    • added badge for signing up during So Play We All
    • added badge for visionary donors
    • drew badge images
  • added leaderboard
  • added paypal donation button and copy
  • downloaded database from production (this is housekeeping)
  • wrote a credits page (left myself off, oops)
  • wrote copy to sell the game on homepage


As for money, I invested $17 buying the theme. It really does wonders for the site. Luke didn’t put in his hours this week, so that $20 puts me very close to being in the black (for, you know, six seconds). That’s all for this week!

The Poll

Please vote for Oaqn in this week’s Browser-Based Games Forum poll!


  1. SPWA Week 2: Funding and Forms - Push cx - June 11, 2011

    […] week I bought and added a theme to Oaqn. I was hugely tempted to tear it apart and make sure everything was perfect, with semantic class […]

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