I recently rewrote Hangman! (and also renamed it) For those who don’t know, Hangman! was my first Facebook app. I wrote it originally in June of 2007 and it silently lived on Facebook, deep deep within the depths of Application hell.
There were many things amiss with the old version and in order for it to progress forward, it needed to be rewritten from the ground up on a much more stable framework. The old version was written as a prototype (to show I could write a Facebook app at the time) on top of another prototype of a framework that I was creating at the time. Everything worked fine, and there was nothing really wrong with the code. There were just a few issues; It was ugly as hell and the prototype of a framework that it was built on had no future. It lacked a whole lot of basic and extended functional pieces that I had grown to love over the last 4 years using real frameworks.
So I rewrote it. Originally it took me a weekend to write. The rewrite took me about 9 hours in the depths of one night. Then a small amount of time scattered over the next week fixing minor bugs that popped up as people started using it.
As of right now I’m declaring the rewrite a success. The old version had one or two users per day and not much for returning users. The new version since launching on March 9th, has been averaging 30 new users per day with a 20% return rate. Those are pretty good. As long as people keep sharing it and allowing it to spread through out Facebook’s gaming community, it can only go up.