Pixels for dollars

Facebook, like Twitter, will begin charging $11.99+ for a verified status.

And here I am, paying $10/month for Linode VPS (there is a cheaper option for $5) and having a website with games, a blog, my own mail server, a “VPN”, a backup server, a database, and an SVN server.
Basically, it’s just a regular PC connected to the internet 24/7 at 40/2 Gbps speed that can do anything I want.

Damn, anyone can run the whole IT infrastructure of a small business for just 10 bucks a month!

Compare this to someone paying $8 just to have a blue checkmark near their name; you still can’t write whatever you want, and your account can be blocked at any time, sometimes just by mistake.

solitaires.games & mahjongs.games

I always wanted to have some nice domain names for my Solitaire and Mahjong games, and I was finally able to purchase domains that are nice enough. 🙂

I’ve registered solitaires.games domain for the All-in-One Solitaire game.
And mahjongs.games domain for All-in-One Mahjong.

Unfortunately, there is an “s” at the end of the names and tlds, but .game tld is very expensive (around $500/year), and neither “solitaire” nor “mahjong” names were available. Well, of course!

I put my games on these new websites, but not sure what I’m going to do with them and how/if I will do any SEO.
So, it is what it is.

Bye-bye PayPal!

Several Premium players contacted me and asked to switch to something different; otherwise, they would stop paying.
Recent controversy around PayPal was the last drop for them and for me. 🙂
Even though Premium Membership at Pozirk Games is a tiny source of my revenue, and I’m not a big PayPal hater (but definitely not a fan), I’ve started looking for alternatives.
Personally, I find PayPal‘s user interface clumsy, slow and buggy. I had several problems with PayPal in the past, including not being able to withdraw funds and, more recently, not being able to add a secondary email address. 🙄

The plugin I use supports a limited number of payment gateways; thus, my other alternative was Stripe.
Surprisingly, it took me just around half an hour to open an account and make it work on my website.
The process was smooth and intuitive.

Also, Stripe allows Canadians to withdraw USD funds to a USD bank account.
PayPal, on the other hand, allows withdrawals only to CAD bank accounts, forcing the conversion of USD to CAD at an unfavourable rate. Booo-hooo!

Of course, I can’t close my PayPal account right away because there are lots of active subscriptions, but, I guess, slowly everyone will be moved over to Stripe.

Javascript Adblock detector

As most part of my games’ revenue is coming from ads including website ads shown at Pozirk Games, I need to make sure those ads are actually working.
Ad-blockers cause some troubles for website owners like me, and even though I don’t like ads myself, there is nothing free in this world.
If it’s not advertisers who pay, then it should be me or players. I prefer advertisers to foot the bill.
I’ve searched and tried different ways to detect ad-blockers, but I couldn’t find an universal javascript snippet that works for any ad-blocker, so I’ve made my own. 🙂
Continue reading “Javascript Adblock detector”

What was wrong with Flash?

I have never had any problems with Flash Player myself.
But I’ve heard lots of complaints about 0-day vulnerabilities, etc. Of course, no support for mobile browser. Flash Player is not open source.
Maybe, maybe…

Anyway, I’m keeping Flash version of my games on the website as they are still working for me and some diehard players don’t want to switch to HTML5 version.
Moreover I still play some of the games from time to time, like Space Age, Resistance Is Useless and Mad Tanks.

Keep calm and play Solitaire

Some random thoughts/events that happened to me last year or something. 😀

1. I’ve removed games for Mac and Windows 10, mostly because it was quite annoying to update them and not really profitable. You need Mac to build Mac games and you need Windows 10 to build Windows 10 games. (thanks cap!) Both OSes suck, one is overpriced (I can buy 2-3 regular laptops for the price of 1 macbook), another is soooooo buggy and annoying and always downloading some stupid updates. I haven’t seen BSOD since XP, but Windows 10 reintroduced it again!

2. I have added dark mode to all my game websites, was easy and fun to do it.
For example, All-in-One Mahjong website. Don’t know, if many players will appreciate that, but I like dark mode in everything more and more.
Now need to do something with Pozirk Games website design and this blog…

3. Google Adwords keeps telling me that my paused Solitaire ads are gambling ads and violate their policy. First time I’ve contacted them and they have fixed the problem, but second time I had enough and just stopped using Adwords. Bing is cheaper and no stupid emails about violations.
Same problems caused by Artificial Stupidy Intelligence with Admob and Google Play.
Admob was telling me that another developer’s game is violating their policies and I have to fix it. Seriously?
Google Play sent me an email that my games are not 64-bit compatible, but when I login to check I see “This release is compliant with the Google Play 64-bit requirement.”
In general, all the services from Google are getting worse and worse, and support is getting more and more useless.
As a client I’ve abandoned Google some time ago, switched to another email service and DuckDuckGo search.
As a developer… well, it will take more time.

4. Bing is cheaper, but generates fake clicks, they are aware about that, but decided to do nothing.
When I’ve contacted them with the following problem, 2 clicks per 1 view:

They told me it happens and offered me some promo codes.
The problem is, those double clicks happen everyday and while I can catch “2 clicks, 1 view”, what should I do with “3 clicks, 36 views”? How many of these clicks are unique and actually real?
Here is the answer from Bing support:

I believe Bing don’t have these fake clicks in US unlike in Canada, Australia and Europe.

5. Lots of clowns are still trying to “hack” my website. Everyday. I don’t know what their problem is, cause trying “admin/123456” as login/password didn’t work before and will never work, but so far almost 7k blocked IPs. Cool number, but this blocking is not really helping as every day I get another “admin/123456” attempt from new IP.
I mean, it is not always “admin/123456”, sometimes it’s “admin/password”, “admin/pozirk”, “pozirk/password”, etc. But result is always the same.
More fun details here: https://inside.pozirk.com/2018/09/28/cool-hackerz/

6. I’m planning to add 14 more games to All-in-One Solitaire, but waiting for a stable port of Feathers UI to Haxe/OpenFL.
One big flaw in my games is menu scrolling, it’s painful for players (I think so :)), cause I made it myself and it works really bad.
Feathers UI has nice scrolling component and should save me.

7. Suddenly I’ve changed theme for this blog to something simple, my old theme had some Flash elements.

8. Google is sending emails and calling me asking to advertise with them. No, thank you!

Let’s Encrypt

Let's Encrypt logo
Thank to Let’s Encrypt, I was finally able to move all of my websites and sub-domains to SSL.
It was not that hard to obtain all the required certificates, install them and setup an auto update.
Most awesome features about Let’s Encrypt are:
– it’s FREE;
– it supports multiple domains;
– while setup, all the certificates are updated automatically;
– I even use it for my mail server, and FTP, and SVN. Ya, encrypt everything! 🙂

I was also able to setup SSL certificate with NodeJS, so back-end for my games will slowing start moving to SSL connection too.


Таки смог наконец-то купить домен pozirk.by.
Пока он просто редиректит на pozirk.com, но я очень надеюсь в один прекрасный день сделать русский и белорусский варианты сайта.

Вообще, домен я покупал на аукционе auction.cctld.by, и это было целое приключение.
Аукцион выйграл за 315 белорусских т.р., из них 165 надо было перевести на счёт детского дома, а уже за 150 зарегитрировать сам домен на 1 год.
А потом ещё в детский дом надо было отправить письмо, обычное, бумажное 🙂 , написать, что я им перечислил деньги.
Вот такие они, благотворительные аукционы в Беларуси.

All-in-One Solitaire and Mahjong

Damn it! I was supposed to start making new game in March… and it’s end of the April already.
All-in-One Solitaire for iPad/iPhone/iPod
All-in-One Mahjong for NOOK Tablet
All-in-One Mahjong for Kindle Fire

And a mobile friendly version of the website now available here: m.pozirk.com

Bye-Bye, GoDaddy

This new year, I’ve decided to start with something positive, like canceling my GoDaddy hosting account, and switching to something better.
I had many problems with GoDaddy’s hosting:

  1. Too many “500 Internal Error” and websites were loading really slow, or weren’t loading at all.
  2. GoDaddy’s IPs are listed by AHBL(www.ahbl.org/), so your email won’t be delivered to some Indian and Chinese email addresses (like @163.com), and I had many problems with that. They have this problem for a long time and still can’t solve it. (http://community.godaddy.com/groups/email/forum/topic/godaddy-ip-mail-address-being-blocked-by-major-spam-blocking-sites/)
  3. Lost connections to MySQL server, because of too many websites using the same database server.
  4. Equal responses from GoDaddy support like: “We are currently unable to duplicate the issue you are experiencing with your hosting account.”
  5. No Toll-Free (1-8xx-…) support phone number, so I couldn’t call them from Skype for free.

So, GoDaddy’s shared hosting isn’t good, according to whois.domaintools.com they were hosting 1300+ websites on a single server along with my websites.

Now, I’m on VPS with myhosting.com, They have pretty good plans for a very affordable prices.
Although, their email/online chat support is from India (admin-ahead.com), they are not so bad, and they solved all the problems I had. And btw, they have in-house phone support.
I’m going to wait one more week, to see how things are going with new hosting and then cancel GoDaddy’s hosting account and, probably, transfer all the domains from them.

OK. Bye-bye, GoDaddy.
You’d better have more servers and good support, instead of these useless Racing/Fitness/… “stars” on your homepage.

From ArcademPro to WordPress

I have found a mochi plugin for wordpress, that is very nice and easy to use.
This plugin with some wordpress theme modifications gives really nice flash games websites absolutely free!
All this thanx to the plugin and theme author – Emanuele Feronato.
So, ArcademPro is buggy, ugly and slow piece of code, that is why I have switched Free Flash Games website to wordpress engine.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this blog represents the opinion of the author. No information here should be used for any purpose except for entertainment.