Most of the images that we originally built into Match The Memory fit with our original vision for the system — family-oriented sharing of one’s personal life. These images were mostly in the “scrapbooking” vein with color schemes that reflected the late 2000s.
Today, we’re announcing a refresh of the default images. The most popular images that launched with the site are sticking around, but we did some spring cleaning and got rid of many images that were rarely used.
In their place, we’re adding light and dark varieties of some basic patterns that work with whatever background color you’ve chosen. From bubbles to zig-zags, these patterns have lowered-opacity white and black colors to subtly brighten or darken your color palette.
A few months ago, we posted about the new fonts we’d added to the site, and hinted that we had “plans to translate the site and editor itself into many languages.” We’re happy to announce that phase 1 of those plans has now launched on the site.
Under the hood, every time your web browser asks a web site to load a specific page, it also tells that web site which languages it supports. “I read Korean,” it may say, “can you show me this page in that language?”; or, “Please give me a version of the web site that’s tailored to Spanish as spoken in Argentina, or any Spanish whatsoever.” Up until a few weeks ago, that specific part of the request (called the Accepts-Language header) was ignored by Match The Memory. “Koh-ree-uhn? Sorry, never heard of it — you get English.” “Here ya go, a nice English web page for you!”
We have now published a little tweak that allows the site to correctly respond to those requests for the 5 most-requested languages on Match The Memory:
Everything from the home page, to the game play page, to the editor where you can create and refine your own personalized matching games has been professionally translated into these languages. The addition of the four new languages gets us to almost 90% support for requests to our site, so it should open up opportunities for game creators and players across the world.
We’re planning to roll out translations for the following languages in the next few months:
(Update 2021-11-13: These languages have been added to the site!)
These represent the six next most-frequently requested languages on Match The Memory, and once they’re in place, more than 95% of our visitors will get the site sent to them in the language that they actually asked for.
After that, we’re going to branch out beyond the current user base of Match The Memory, and add support based on the most popular languages spoken worldwide. (Sorry, we don’t have plans to support fictional languages like Klingon.) That will involve creating translations for:
If you’d like to speed up this translation effort so that we get to your chosen language more quickly, get in touch with us via our contact form. Let us know which language you’d be able to help with, and we’ll work together to drop its support into the site.
Alternately, if you’d like your preferred language to jump the line, as it were, you can donate the cost of the professional translation (approximately USD $30 per language) and let us know which one you’re interested in.
When we originally conceived of Match The Memory more than 10 years ago, we had no idea that creators from all over the world would eventually make games in hundreds of languages using dozens of writing systems. As such, we picked fonts that we thought were fun at the time, not considering localization support in the slightest.
In the mean time, a lot has changed on the web in general, and specifically on the site, and it’s time that the typefaces available to game creators on Match The Memory reflect those changes as well.
Over the years, teachers and students have been some of the most prolific visitors to Match The Memory. Educators all over the world create games for their students to review the fundamental concepts that they teach in their classrooms, in dozens of languages.
It goes without saying that we’re living in unprecedented times in many aspects of our lives, and education is no exception. With the current coronavirus restrictions on schools, and the corresponding shift to digital-first learning, many more people have learned about and started using the site. In March and April of 2020, our numbers of new users, games, and game plays have basically tripled from the same timeframe last year. We welcome all of our new game creators and players! We’re here to assist you in navigating these uncharted waters.
The first version of Match The Memory launched exactly 10 years ago today. Since then, you’ve made thousands and thousands of memory games (25,000+!), which have been played more than 12 million times. Today, we’re celebrating not just the site itself, but the creators who made the best games on the site.
Since nearly the beginning of Match The Memory, the person who plays the game has had a lot of control when it comes to the number of cards with which to play the game. The card count feature allows a player to select any number of cards, as I explained in a previous blog entry:
By default, when you come to play one of our memory games, you get all of that game’s cards. But at any point in the game play, you can decide to use fewer cards. Just use the “# of Cards” dropdown and select a lower number. Boom, you’re playing a much easier version of the game.
This can be somewhat problematic, for a couple of reasons. First, the player has to know to switch the dropdown. Some games (like the periodic table matching games that we created) contain a huge number of cards, which isn’t a great experience for the people trying to match those cards. Sure, a teacher could link to the version of the game that contains an appropriate number of cards, but not a lot of people know that trick.
I have a lot of experience playing matching games, since I create quite a few myself, and I curate all of the public games built by others on the site. So when my 3-year-old son got an old-school physical matching game for Christmas this year, I immediately started contrasting the experience with playing a similar game online with Match The Memory.
A year and a half ago, we made a strategic decision to add Google Ads to our site pages. In general, it has been a good move for us, helping to offset the cost of running our servers.
But we understand that not everyone likes having ads show up on their games. Some people run ad-blocker software in their browsers that prevent our ads from showing up; we’re fine with this. We do it ourselves.
Recently, we got a request from a game creator to remove advertisements on their games. We decided to turn it into a win-win opportunity, and created a new product that allows a user to disable those ads while still providing some revenue to keep the lights on at Match The Memory.
You can see this new product on any game’s Buy page. After you purchase it, Google Ads will be removed for all visitors who come to play that game.
In a previous post about tagging, I addressed some of the problems inherent in how Match The Memory is currently built, specifically that games aren’t particularly discoverable. At the end of that post, I promised that finding games would be better in a new version of the site that’s coming “soon”.
(Update: The “new version” of the site was released in August 2018, with both search and tags pages being *much* faster than their original implementations.)
Since then, I’ve gone on a holiday game building bender, creating several new Christmas games that I thought would be enjoyable to a broad range of people. But this week, my wife helped me see that adding a bunch of games doesn’t help if people can’t find those games. So I decided to do something about it.