Posted on May 12, 2009
Hey, They Used Our Kung Fu!: Free Jigsaw , hezekiah.hu
Almost 2 years ago, we published our very first game on Mochiads. It was a Jigsaw puzzle engine I had been toying with since Flash 5. The concept of the program was very simple: Allow users to configure the Jigsaw puzzle engine with a .xml file. They could swap colors, buttons, puzzles, etc. and make it look almost any way they wanted. With all of the files external, the Mochiads shell could be any where on the internet, anyone who wanted the engine could configure and use it, and we would see the benefit of the ad views.
The Free Jigsaw engine was born out of this process.
I put the engine up and waited for someone to use it.
A couple days later, we started getting a lot of hits from a site that, to this day, bewilders me as to what it’s purpose might be: hezekiah.hu . I believe this is a site, for Hungarian Nature Enthusiasts, but that is just a total guess. After the first 1000 or so game plays came-in, I was really jazzed about the engine idea. I kept waiting for another site to use it, but it never happened. Still, hezekiah.hu has dropped 77,000+ game plays for this little engine, and it’s still going strong. It’s gets maybe 100 plays daily, and for something 2 years old, on a site that really is not centered around games, that’s pretty good.
At the time, my feeling was that this was "better" than just a free game. It was a free game that someone could also customize and use on their own site. I felt there could be a whole line of these products, each self-contained and configurable with an XML file. I managed to build one of of these named Free Fireworks, which was more of an interactive toy than a game. Anyway, the steam ran-out of this idea when I realized that most game portals wanted Flash games that were completely self-contained in a .swf.
I still believed this idea is sound though, but re-tooled and revamped for the modern Flash game portal era. Jeff took me up on this earlier this year with his Micro Chip Maze engine that he put up on Flashden.com…but that is a tale for another day.