A little side project that I've been working on for over a year is Spin2Win Wheel. I originally built it on a tip off from Carl at GreenSock who said that people on the GreenSock forums often asked about a wheel of fortune type component. So as a huge fan of dials and all things spinny I went ahead and built it, originally in Edge Animate, and sold it on the CodeCanyon marketplace.
It was a bit basic and I had aped the classic TV Wheel of Fortune design but, as predicted by Carl, I sold hundreds of units and it was used all over the world in weird and wonderful situations by some pretty big brands.
At the time I was really pushing the boundaries of Edge Animate could do so the complexity of the wheel coupled with its ease of editing in Edge contributed to its success.
Some of you may know that Edge Animate died a rather unceremonious death a while back (so THAT was a waste of 3 years of my life) and so around May 2016 I decided to rewrite Spin2Win using my favourite tool of choice - SVG.
I had learnt many lessons from customer feedback on the original, basic version so I built in as many of those features as I could for version 2 - JSON powered (via PHP if required), gesture or button control, total customisation of colours, size and segments, responsive and even an anti-cheat mechanism.
One thing I missed off because it was really hard to implement was probability. I had a big fat think about it for nearly a year, in the mean time releasing several updates addressing various other requests.
Jump to the present day and I finally got my head around a way of adding probability that complements existing features and meets the needs of so many existing and prospective customers.
It's always good to have side projects. I have literally hundreds that I dip into every now and then; they are usually practice grounds for learning new skills and approaches that never see the light of day.
Spin2Win is a bit more important because when I'm improving it I take the experience I gain from other not-so-important side projects and feed that knowledge into new features that people actually pay for so I can't mess it up!
So what's next for Spin2Win? Not sure yet but I will probably focus on ecommerce integration (Shopify etc) but who knows? I'm always listening to my customers and when a trend of similar requests starts to appear it usually informs my next steps with it.