Creation of a Flash arcade site using WordPress

I am reading for a few days a tutorial about Building a WordPress games arcade on the FingerMonkey Flash Arcade Blog and although I won’t follow his tutorial, I decided I will create my Flash arcade site using WordPress, and once ready it will replace Triqui.com.

Moreover, I will made the WP Arcade capable of updating itself from MochiAds feed.

This first step is only an introduction about what I am going to do in order to have my Flash arcade site using WordPress

Why WordPress?

This is the first question. Let me answer because WP rocks!

It’s stable, robust, always up to date, easy to install, mantain and configure, SEO friendly, free, and fully customizable.

That’s why I am using it… and I will create my own theme starting from the default Kubrick theme.

Why MochiAds?

I am using MochiAds feed because they update it very day, and because more and more developers are using MochiAds to monetize their games.

A quick and easy way to have a Flash arcade site that runs without any interaction from the administrator.

The less time I spend updating the site, the more I earn working on other projects (or the more I enjoy the beach!)

Ok, I’ll use MochiAds feed. JSON or XML?

I am using the JSON one because it’s lighter than XML one (today’s JSON feed is 2.84 MB while the XML one is 6.57 MB).

What’s JSON?

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format.
It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate.
It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language, Standard ECMA-262 3rd Edition – December 1999.

JSON is a text format that is completely language independent but uses conventions that are familiar to programmers of the C-family of languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and many others.

These properties make JSON an ideal data-interchange language.

Read more information at JSON official site

Now let’s see how a game like Jamag is coded inside MochiAds JSON feed:

Let’ see the fields I am going to consider

rating: the rating of the game. It can be “Everyone”, “Teen”, “Mature” or “Adult only”

updated: unix date representing the last update

popularity: the popularity of the game. Seems to be null in every game, even the bloons series, so I won’t consider it

description: the description of the game

key_mappings: keys used to play the game. I won’t consider it

height: the height of the SWF in pixels

game_url: the url of the game, I won’t consider it

slug: the slug of the game, I won’t consider it

tags: the keywords of the game… very important since WP has a native tags support

instructions: instructions how to play the game

uuid: the unique MochiAds id of the game, I won’t consider it

author: the name of the author of the game

control_scheme: how to control the game, I won’t consider it

author_link: the link to MochiAds author page

feed_approval_created: when the game was added for distribution, I won’t consider it

name: the name of the game

swf_url: the url of the swf

recommended: in my opinion is a boolean flag stating if the game is recommended by MochiAds or not, anyway I won’t consider it

thumbnail_url: the url of the 100×100 thumbnail of the game

created: the date of the creation of the game, I won’t consider it

categories: array with the categories of the game

game_tag: it should be another unique id representing the MochiAds code

leaderboard_enabled: boolean stating if the game has leaderboards

zip_url: url of the zip where to download the distribution package

width: the width of the game SWF, in pixels

Let’s parse JSON feed!

Ok, let’s do it. I have good and bad news for you.

Good news is php supports JSON decoding from version 5.2.0, bad news is php supports JSON decoding only from version 5.2.0

That’s all at the moment… in next step we’ll see how to populate a WP blog with MochiAds feed.