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Pausing Skateboardle

Like the Osiris D3, all good things come to an end, or at least a pause since I just discovered those abominations are back for sale.

Jokes aside, I am bummed to announce that I will be pausing Skateboardle games after game 180 (frontside or backside pun intended) which lands on Feb 16th.

However, I do want to make clear that the site will always remain up. You will always be able to play the older games and share the game with a friend who has never played. There is also a chance I will upload more games in the future, maybe not daily, but I just need a break for now.

The main reason I have to pause is rather boring, but it is simply due to the lack of time I have available to continue adding a game every day.

Adding a single game typically takes me anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, which is increasingly difficult to come by as a new dad and working full time. I’m trying to simplify my day a bit and Skateboardle is just one extra task I have on my plate every day.

I have tried to figure out alternatives, such as automating the games, or making it easier for others to contribute games. However, each has a downside and ultimately I would rather pause the game on a high note than have the experience degraded.

Automation issues #

I implemented a proof of concept in which the entire thing could be done by a scheduled program. A video was selected, downloaded, split up by clips (thanks ffmpeg), and then 6 clips chosen at random, all done automatically. However, it didn’t take long to realize the quality of the game would suffer tremendously. After only a few test runs of truly random “clip selection”, I could see that the game would not be as fun as if the clips were hand picked.

Throughout the game I made sure to put a lot of thought into which clips were selected. For example, the first clip is usually difficult and the last clip should make the video obvious. Or there were funny clips, for example, in the Blind - What If? game I included James Craig’s clip where the song literally says And you're watching What If. Or I would just pick clips that were standouts from the video.

Issues with Accepting more contributions #

The downside to allowing others to help more is simply that I still have to manage the quality control and upload the games, which takes a non-zero amount of time. I know it might sound lame, but it’s still an extra thing I have to keep tabs on and it doesn’t really alleviate my time enough.

I’ve actually had help over the course of Skateboardle by SkateVideoSite’s own resident skate nerd Frankiesomethin. He has helped with roughly ~40 of the games and I can’t thank him enough.

Skateboardle Retrospective #

I plan on doing an additional Skateboardle: A Retrospective post where I will go over some fun statistics such as win percentages, total games played, etc. I also want to go over the actual code itself as I plan on open sourcing the codebase, and share some of the additional things I’ve learned from the experience.

Closing Thoughts #

I am immensely proud of this project. In under a month it went from idea to execution and was able to almost immediately become part of the Skate-internet subculture.

It’s because of its succes though that I have been anxious to write this up. I know I have built quite a dedicated audience around the game and am sorry to let you down. I am so extremely stoked to have watched it grow and to see people playing it every day. My goal was to make something which could spark a little bit of joy in someone’s day, and I feel confident saying that was achieved.

I want to thank everyone for playing and allowing me to curate Skateboardle, but the time has come for me to get some time back. This will also allow me some more time to continue improving SkateVideoSite.

I want to give a shout out to:

  • my wife for being supportive when it’s 10:30 PM and she hears me say I still have to do a skateboardle
  • the 41 page thread on Slap
  • the 1300+ comment thread on UkSkateForum
  • SkateVideoVault for supplying high quality skate videos online
  • Frankiesomethin, our resident skate nerd, and Markus over at SkateVideoSite
  • Walker Ryan for collaborating on his book release
  • Larry Lanza and the folks at Jenkem, thanks for the interview
  • Lurp Luprington for brainstorming ideas and for creating a user survey
  • Shawn, Tclow, and Harrynuggets for continued support
  • everyone who sent me an email, especially those who submitted clips

In the mean time you guys should head over and play They have a similar daily game featuring miscellaneous skateboarding and skate spot trivia, it’s super fun and the dudes behind it are rad.

Thanks everyone, Cheers.