Game Design
stories, tips, follies,
...and making some $$$ along the way!




Zodiac Reactor Released on Kongregate

Posted by: Sam Horton on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM



Just finished things up today with the new game: Zodiac Reactor! You can give it a shot over at Kongregate!

For the sponsorship deal, I decided to try out Flash Game License, to see if they are as great as I've been hearing. I have to say, their service is worth every penny! The game was on their site for about a week, and not only did I get some great feedback for improvements, but several sponsors that I've personally had trouble contacting in the past were able to take a look at it.


Check the game out over at Kong, and be sure to vote for it if you get a chance!

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By: Sam Horton | Jun 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM | | Leave a comment




About to release a new game - Zodiac Reactor

Posted by: Sam Horton on May 19, 2009 at 10:11 PM


This game was supposed to be next in line after Oroboros back in 2007, but as often happens, life takes us on a different route. I wound up putting Zodiac Reactor on the back burner to make room for several other projects.

Last week I decided that it was just too close to being finished for it to sit there collecting dust, so I've been working non-stop in an effort to wrap things up. It's pretty much finished, but I need to hunt for bugs a bit more before releasing it.



Creating Stars Would be Fun
Zodiac Reactor is basically a skill game where you try to collect elemental particles to fuel this star generator that is floating somewhere out in space. When you collect enough of each element, the reactor spits out a star and the universe is happy!

The arrow keys are the main controls you use to play, and each one corresponds to a particular element. Your job is to sync the reactor up with the same colored element at precisely the right time. If you miss, things will get hot and eventually you'll break it. The gameplay gets really fast-paced along the way, and will wind up giving your brain a decent workout. To keep things interesting, I included a mode called terminal velocity that maxes out all stats...It's crazy fast!







Concept and Artwork
I used a mix of Lightwave 3D and Flash to create all the art for this game. I'm pretty useless when it comes to pen and paper drawing, so working in 3D is fantastic. All the lighting and shading can be easily tweaked, and the possibilities are just endless if you have the patience. For this game I wanted a sleek and futuristic look with a lot of glowing sh!t...particle fx, magic runes that light up, etc.






What's your Sign?
Incorporating the Zodiac signs into a game about stars seemed to be a good fit. I decided to arrange each one based on the element it represents, and then make a belt of interlocking tiles that light up as you progress through the game. When all of the tiles are lit up, you win—At least in normal mode. There are a few survival game-modes as well, which is where things really get interesting in my opinion.


Music and Sound FX
In another life, I used to play the guitar, and for some reason, on this game I felt the urge to bust it out of its case and whip up a track. It's a pretty light-hearted song, with just enough synth to cover up my woeful strumming. I also made an ambient loop for the intro screen, which is nice and calm. For years I've been using FL Studio to make loops and sound effects, and highly recommend it if you're interested in getting a great piece of audio software without killing your wallet.




High Scores
Back when I released Oroboros, I built a custom high scores page that wound up being the second most visited page on my site, so I decided to make an even nicer leaderboard page for Zodiac Reactor! It has a comment system that you can post to directly from the game, and a bunch of other cool features. Hopefully it won't crush my server, but that's a problem I'm definitely willing to deal with!


Sponsors
I'm still thinking about how I want to go about releasing this game. I think it's my best one yet, so I'd rather not be too hasty. If any portal owners are reading this, I'm probably going to offer non-exclusive deals, but I'm open to any ideas as long as they are reasonable. If you want to get in touch, you can send me a message here.



Thanks for reading this long winded post. Be sure to keep an eye on the site over the next few days. Zodiac Reactor will be ready for beta testing soon!

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By: Sam Horton | May 19, 2009 at 10:11 PM | | Leave a comment




Some of my Favorite Free Games

Posted by: Sam Horton on Mar 24, 2009 at 6:07 PM




I was thinking about how much fun I've had over the past few years making games and participating in the Flash Game Community, and decided to write a few blurbs about the games that have inspired me during that time.

Considering the times, I figured it would would be appropriate to write something for the budget minded among us. So If you are looking for some of the better (in my opinion) free games from the past few years, definitely give the article a read and let me know what you think!

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By: Sam Horton | Mar 24, 2009 at 6:07 PM | | Leave a comment




Hero Master Concept

Posted by: Chuck Wainman on Jan 22, 2009 at 7:41 PM



CONCEPT

Hero Master is the working title of the game. The idea is that the player is commanding a party of heroes. At the beginning, the player is only able to command a single hero, increasing to 4 or 5 during the game. The heroes begin with only a few skills. As the heroes gain experience, the player trains the heroes with new skills. This way, each hero can be unique as they specialize in different skills.

Heroes gain experience by exploring dungeons. A dungeon is made up of several rooms. The number of rooms in a dungeon increases as the game progresses. In each room, the heroes can have a variety of encounters. Most encounters are combat with monsters. Other encounters include skill tests of strength, intelligence, dexterity.

Outside of the dungeons, the player improves his heroes. This includes researching new skills, crafting equipment, purchasing new equipment, and recruiting new heroes. The player may have more heroes then the maximum allowed in a party. This heroes can be swapped into the party.


GAMEPLAY

The game starts in town with the player recruiting a hero from several available at the tavern. Then the player trains the hero with some basic skills and sends him into a training dungeon. The hero enters the first room and automatically engages the nearest monster. Each hero has a special attack that the player can activate. This special attack has recharge/cooldown before it can be activated again. The heroes make their own targeting choices, not the player. If a HEAL is a special ability, then the hero will choose whom to heal--the hero with the least health.


LEVEL UP

The skills of a hero are auto-attack, special, weapon use, and armor use. Each of these can be improved with each new level. Auto-attack is the basic attack of the hero. Some stats that can be improved are: damage, recharge, crit chance, crit damage, range, area effect, stun, damage over time. Weapon and armor use allow the hero to wield different weapons and wear different armor.


PRESENTATION

The main action of the dungeon fight is seen from the side, with the heroes starting on one side and the monsters on the other. The units, both heroes and monsters, move toward each other in the X axis. There is no up/down.

Below the dungeon view is information on the heroes. Each hero has a info area and a button to activate his special skill.

Above the dungeon view is map of the dungeon and game info area.

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By: Chuck Wainman | Jan 22, 2009 at 7:41 PM | | Leave a comment




A Picture is Worth a Thousand Plays

Posted by: Sam Horton on Feb 25, 2008 at 1:00 PM



I wanted to spend some time on the promotional side of game dev, and talk about the importance of designing a great preview image. When you upload your game to a portal site, it will be swimming amongst a sea of thumbnails, each one competing for visual dominance. This is the first stage of interaction you have with your players, and we all know how important first impressions are.




In Search of the Perfect Thumbnail

There are many approaches to designing for maximum visual impact, and if you want a first hand example then look no further than the cereal aisle of your local grocery store. For years the breakfast giants have been dealing with the same issue: "how do we stand out from the crowd in an otherwise equal environment." Check out the image below and take note of what box grabs your attention first.




Whichever box it was, you likely noticed it first due to a combination of factors that normally go something like this: "Blam! The bright colors pop out at you... Quickly, you Internalize the imagery, which triggers an emotional response leading you to either move forward or look elsewhere."

With games we have ratings and play counters that help influence our decision to play or not to play, but the initial reaction always follows the same process. We can dramatically improve our chances of getting the players attention if we follow some simple (if not obvious) rules.




Face is the Place

A great deal of information can be conveyed in a facial expression: aggression, compassion, joy, sadness, and everything in between. As humans, we place a high degree of importance on facial recognition. As a result, our brains have a tendency to spot faces quicker than other objects in a scene—more than likely due to those faces belonging to things with big teeth. So if your game's theme revolves around a central character, it makes sense to to capitalize on this common trait, and use a closeup of his/her face as your thumbnail image.




Do Like Cereal Does - Use High Contrast

High contrast colors are more noticeable, and will stay true to form even at greatly reduced sizes. Yellow is considered to be the most attention getting color, as well as one of the most fatiguing to the eyes due to the amount of light it reflects. When yellow is paired with blue for instance, it creates a striking contrast that will leap out at you. Not every combination of high contrast colors creates a desirable color scheme though.




Vibrating Colors Make Me Angry!

When two very intense complimentary colors are juxtaposed—red and green for instance—an effect known as "vibrating boundaries" occurs. Basically the edges where the two colors transition into each other appear to be moving or highlighted. This can be very unsettling when trying to read text, but who knows, perhaps it could really get your game's thumbnail image to stand out.

Talking about all of this isn't really going to do it justice. Check out the following images to get a better idea.




High contrast yellow and blue maintain excellent legibility even at tiny resolutions.






Low contrast imagery is never a good idea when designing for small spaces, as it will become an unrecognizable blur.






Colors that exhibit the "vibrating boundaries" effect, cause text to become hard to read, and can fatigue the eyes if stared at for too long.




If you want to examine color theory further, then one of the best tools around is Adobe's Kuler. It will allow you to build color schemes without much knowledge of the whole process, but you will learn a lot just by experimenting with it. There is also a huge library of user-submitted color schemes to choose from.




Graphical Embellishment

Yars RevengeThere are usually two schools of thought regarding the creation of game thumbnail images. One says that it is only acceptable to use in-game graphics, period. The other Hearkens back to the days of Atari cartridges, where fancy box art allowed our imaginations to run wild in anticipation of how great the game was going to be. It was always a let down, but perhaps it was also the catalyst that spawned the race for better graphics... Personally, I think it's great to embellish. Just make sure some of it spills over to the game!


I've spent hours creating what I thought was the most amazing thumbnail graphic, only to have a portal owner replace it with the first random screen shot they could crop down into a 50x50 square. If a site gives their required dimensions, then you should always make a custom version of your thumbnail for them so they will be less inclined to make one for you.




Text or No Text?

If your game's title is short enough, you might consider adding it to the thumbnail image. You want to help people remember your game's name so they can easily find it the next time they want to play it, or show their friends. Since Flash games seem to attract some pretty short attention spans, it's common for people to play a game and never even know its name. So the more chances you have to remind them what game they are playing the better.




Making it Sociable

After you have your thumbnail designed and ready to go, make sure to set up your game's web page to take advantage of it. When submitting your game to a social bookmarking site such as Digg or Facebook, you can also include your thumbnail along with a description. Facebook has standardized the process, which mostly involves adding a few extra meta and link tags to your html, and is a snap to implement. For Super Saimon, I added something similar to this:


<meta name="medium" content="mult" />


<link rel="image_src" href="http://path-to-my-image..." />


For a full description of the Facebook share standard and how it applies to all types of media, check out the: Facebook share partners page.




That's about it for thumbnail 101. I hope you enjoyed the article, and if you are interested in reading more you can grab the Funface Feed. Time permitting, I plan on writing a new article every few weeks centering around Flash game development and promotion.


*Thanks to the good people over at MochiLand for publishing this article on their site. If you haven't checked it out before, it's a great place to read interviews and tips from the Flash game development community!


Credits:
The game thumbnails used in this blog post belong to their respective owners, and represent some excellent games!

American McGee's Alice
Bubble Tanks
Coil
Elv is Black : Bunny Capture
Ether Cannon
Gish
Host
Monsters Den
N3wton

Oroboros
Protector
Shift
Sonny
Super Saimon
Tank 2008
The Fancy Pants Adventure World 2
Witch Hunt : Nooboo Mary
Yar's Revenge

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By: Sam Horton | Feb 25, 2008 at 1:00 PM | | Leave a comment




The Life of a Flash Game-How to Promote Your Creation

Posted by: Sam Horton on Feb 13, 2008 at 2:50 AM



If you're an aspiring Flash game developer, you can turn your efforts into long-term income sources by learning how to effectively promote and manage your game.




In this article, I want to point out some of the often overlooked benefits of Flash game advertising, as well as cover a few topics that will help your game become successful such as:
  • Getting paid to have your game sponsored
  • Adding in-game advertising so you can collect money as your game spreads across the internet
  • Learning how to promote your game in order to maximize your earnings
First Things First
Obviously making money in the Flash games business is not going to be an option until you have a game developed. While this article's focus is not about how to make Flash games, I can point you in the right direction. If you are just getting started with Flash and need some help, check out the links in the resources section at the bottom of the article.

Why Sponsor a Game?
So your game is finished, and you can't wait to release it to the world. Before you hit the upload button, consider the following, from a sponsor's perspective:

Flash games have the potential to reach millions of players, often in a matter of weeks. This obviously represents a great market for advertisers to get involved with. Ordinarily, online advertising consists of banner ads and text links, scattered around the content of a web page. Savvy web users recognize that that these ads are not part of the content, and as a result, they often get skipped over intentionally. Flash games on the other hand, provide a vehicle for delivering interactive, rich-media ads that are contained within, and most importantly, associated with the featured content. This has the obvious potential to create more interest and trust in the sponsor, which leads to long-term brand recognition.

A sponsor will pay to have a logo animation and links leading back to their site placed in your game. Once you release the game and it spreads all over the web, the sponsor has one of the best forms of advertising working for them full time. If the game is a massive success such as The Fancy Pants Adventure World 2, then they will get a great return on their investment, and substantially increased brand recognition!

If you've ever set up an online advertising campaign, then you know it can get expensive quick. Basically, you have a budget and you bid on keywords, when the budget runs out or you are outbid by a competitor, you don't get the prime ad slots anymore. Now contrast this with the following:
  • Large-format, multimedia-rich, Flash animation
  • One-time fee
  • Ad placed inside the featured content (the only thing the player is paying attention to)
  • Games persist indefinitely, and your ad is a permanent part of it!
  • That means it has an uncapped click potential!

It's pretty easy to see why Flash games represent an interesting advertising venture.

But let's do a quick example:
You sponsor a game for $2000, which is a common rate for a medium/good game. If 500,000 people play the game in the first month–which is average for a medium/good game–then you've spent 2k for 500,000 impressions of your uber ad. That translates to $.004 per impression, and with a lowball guesstimated click-through rate of 1%, you are looking at 5000 visitors at 40 cents a pop.

Well that sounds rather average, but you also have to consider that the sponsor gets to host the game on their site and earn ad revenue from the traffic generation. The real money maker is not the ad per se, but the huge traffic potential of your game combined with all of the other games on their site. The ad serves as a nice bonus to create brand awareness, and a decent amount of interested visitors for as long as the game is in circulation. Try getting as much bang for your buck through traditional advertising...

With that said, make sure you—the game's developer—have your own logo and branding to promote yourself with. Keep your logo animation around 5 seconds long, and make sure it also functions as a link back to your site. Displaying your domain name is also a smart idea, since some browsers treat outbound links from Flash as popups.

Types of Sponsorship Arrangements
A Flash game sponsor is most often a portal site looking for a hit game. When a game portal sponsors your game, there are two main types of sponsorship arrangements: exclusive, and non-exclusive. Alternatively, you could opt to self-publish your game if you think it's good enough. Self-publishing is a big risk, but also presents a huge potential to make big bucks from your own advertising should the game become a hit. Once you release your game though, the chances for sponsorship are almost nil. It's definitely a do or die scenario!

Exclusive
An Exclusive agreement boils down to you adding the sponsor's branding to your game before you release it, and the branding must remain in the game permanently. The sponsor's goal then is to help spread the game far and wide, which potentially puts their ad in front of millions. Exclusive deals usually pay the most money up front, and represent a risk for the sponsor if the game is a flop. One of my favorite things about exclusive licenses is that they are truly "fire and forget" situations. Since the branding is locked in, and you can't usually make deals with other sponsors, you are free to release the game anywhere you want with no strings attached. It is also a common practice for the sponsor to pay a higher rate for any future games you make. Your games should be getting better as you gain more experience anyway!

Non-Exclusive
A non-exclusive deal goes something like this: You sell a license to the sponsor for the right to host your game on a specific site for an agreed upon period of time. You also add their branding to the game, and then lock the game to their site so it doesn't spread around the web with their branding in it (which would decrease the value of your game). The main benefit of a non-exclusive deal is that you can sell multiple licenses to many different sites and potentially make a lot of money (you totally control your game). The downside is that it is more work for you the developer. Adding custom branding, extra site locking, managing multiple communications and terms of agreement etc., will eat up quite a bit of your precious time. Non-exclusive deals also pay less per deal in most cases, so choose the best option for your situation.

If you want to learn more about the many types of deals that are available for getting your game sponsored, then the ultimate resource is Flash Game Sponsorship. These guys are pros in this arena, and have a service established to connect you with potential sponsors. They will try to get you the best deal for your game and more than likely save you a lot of headache.

In-Game Advertising and More!Check out MochiAds
One of the best things to happen for Flash game developers, hands down, is MochiAds. They operate a massive advertising network which delivers high quality in-game ads to any participating Flash game. They also offer free hosting and distribution for your game. This means you will not rack up extra bandwidth fees in the event that a million people try to play the game on your personal site. If you are looking to self-publish your game, then this aspect alone could be the deciding factor.

The great thing about having MochiAds in your game is that it allows for a long-term source of income. The more it gets played the more money you make, plain and simple. In the past, Flash developers had to worry about unscrupulous individuals stealing their games and hosting them on their own site, thus profiting off of someone else's hard work. With MochiAds in your game it's not really a problem if this happens, since you will be earning ad revenue. In fact, it's desirable!

In addition to providing in-game ads, and swf hosting, they also offer customizable leaderboards to store and display high scores in your games. Managing all of the security and database issues related to high score management can be a full time job, so this is a great service that will save you time in the long run.

When you are getting your game sponsored, make sure you discuss including MochiAds. Some sponsors will not allow them, but most are coming around and realizing that it is good for developers in the long run. One thing I have personally done to help get MochiAds approved in my games, is to give the sponsor the traffic share ad. When a developer signs up with MochiAds, he/she gets a free ad that circulates throughout the entire network of games. The more ad impressions you show in your games, the more they show your ad, which usually links back to your site.


Mochibot Host Tracking
Another free service that mochimedia offers is swf host tracking. You place a snippet of code in your game, and they will keep track of every single site that is hosting your swf file, as well as the total number of game plays. Being able to determine your top host is always exciting, and can help you target your promotion efforts in the future. If you make games, then choosing whether or not to add Mochibot should be a no brainer. Check out the public stats for Oroboros to see Mochibot in action.

The Big Launch
So everything is good to go, the ducks are in a row, and you are ready for the deluge of players that will undoubtedly be unleashed upon your game! This is probably the most important moment in the life of your game "The Initial Release." There is nothing that is going to boost your chances for success more than having a great game. This much is a given. There are however, several options to consider at this point, and they depend on the agreement you have with your sponsor (if you have a sponsor).

Lock the game to your site, and don't let anyone else have it for at least a week.
If you have a great game on your hands, and you can handle the traffic it will generate (see the bit about MochiAds hosting above) then this option will be crucial in order to maximize your ad earnings, and in-bound links to your site. You need to be the one who seeds it to all of the social networks like digg, stumbleupon, facebook etc. If all of these sites are pointing to a fantastic game on your site, then prepare for a flood! The best thing to happen as a result of this is that large sites will link to your game, write reviews, and do the lions share of the promoting for you. The main goal here is to establish a network of links pointing to your site. I can't stress this enough.

When a site such as jayisgames decides to write a review of your game, you are going to get world-wide exposure, and as a result, game portal owners are going to come out of the woodwork to contact you with offers and requests for your game. You can really build a great network this way!

We are talking about the basic laws of supply and demand here. If you don't create a demand for your game, then it's not going to generate as much buzz for your site. Let's say for instance, that you want to go for the digg effect. If you are seeking that illustrious front-page status, then you need everyone to be digging the same link. Sometimes 10 or 20 diggs is all it takes to push it over the threshold. If, conversely, your game is released on 10 different portal sites that are all hoping to get their version dugg, then you are seriously diminishing your chances.

I have watched the digg effect happen to several games on Kongregate such as "Filler", and "Protector". Both are excellent games that received so many diggs that they literally doubled or tripled the traffic to Kongregate for a time. All of those people are going to generate some serious buzz for your game, so it makes sense that it should point back to the game's creator/s if possible.

You may have an agreement with your sponsor that requires a period of exclusivity on their site for the initial release. If this is the case–and hopefully they paid a premium for it, or at least agreed to give you a share of the advertising revenue that your game generates–then make sure your link is also on the site, and focus on promoting their version of the game during the exclusive period. You are basically giving up the traffic, back-links, and ad money you could have gotten, in favor of an upfront payment. This is not a bad situation at all. Many developers would rather let someone else handle the promotion, or might not feel confident that their game will be successful enough without the sponsor's support. If you are just starting out, this might be the best option while you get acquainted with the whole process.

Prepare for Bugs
The first week of release will put your game to the test, and I promise you that when you put thousands of players in front of your game, something will eventually emerge. This is yet another reason to make sure the game is released exclusively to one site for the first week. It's easy to make changes and upload a new version to a single site–especially if it's your own. Try doing that after it spreads all over the internet, and you will have your work cut out for you.


What Sites Bring the Most Players?
Based on my personal experience, there are a few key portals that you should absolutely target when releasing a game. These sites can put millions of players in front of your game, and most of them have thriving communities that are fun to get involved with. You should really try to develop a good rapport with the people who run these sites, some which are the original pioneers of the Flash game industry!

In no particular order:
  • Newgrounds - Legendary! commonly viewed as the number 1 Flash portal in the universe! Login and upload your game through a very slick interface. It will be published instantly, and if it makes the front page, will get a ton of plays!

  • Kongregate - My personal favorite place to play Flash games, mainly because of the achievement system they make available for developers to design into their games. They are also growing rapidly, and shaping up to be the leader among gaming portals. One downside to Kongregate is that they have a deal with MochiAds that disables the ads on their site. They do however, offer contests and ad revenue sharing, which pretty much makes up for it.

  • Armor Games - They sponsor the best Flash games, and offer a great price for them. I chose Armor Games as the sponsor for both Oroboros and Super Saimon, and the experience was stellar. I received a check within 2 days of the agreement! Their new site is top-notch as well.

  • Mind Jolt - Mind Jolt is the master of generating traffic! They have a facebook app that allows your game to spread like wildfire. It's mostly US players, which leads to high advertising returns if you are using MochiAds. I highly recommend implementing their high score api.

  • Hallpass - Another strong source of players. They will also pay you $50 to add a line of code to your game that enables their high score system.

  • Not Doppler - Great portal site with a nice clean design. Not Doppler will generate thousands of plays per day for weeks!

  • Nonoba - This is an upcoming portal to keep your eye on. The site is very feature rich, and has an excellent system for managing your uploaded games.

  • One More Level - Copious amounts of traffic while your game is on the front page list!

  • Ugo Player - Great site with a large community that extends beyond Flash games.

  • Heavy Games - The best thing about this site (from a developers point of view) is that they iframe your page so you get the full benefit of your ads. They also generate a ton of traffic!


There are several other large portals such as miniclip, Addicting Games, BigFish, Shockwave.com, etc... but they do not allow MochiAds as far as I know, and usually require you to add their branding to your game (something you cannot do with an exclusive license). If you decide to go the non-exclusive route, then these portals are some of the best around.

Release it Everywhere
After the big rush from the mega portals has subsided, you might feel inclined to go on a portal search in an attempt to squeeze every last bit of life out of your game. While you are searching for places to upload your game, be sure to make a list of what sites you find as well as what features they offer. That way you won't have to do it all over again for the next game.

Many of these portals still do not have an automated method for uploading your game to their site. To help in this department, I suggest having a zip file readily available that site owners can download with the following contents:
  • Main .swf file for your game
  • Several thumbnail images at various sizes ranging from 50x50 to 100x100
  • Readme text file with the game's title, description, controls, dimensions, a link to your site, and basic terms and conditions
  • 2-3 screenshots of your game
In addition to that, prepare an email that you can quickly customize for each portal site. It should be quick, but informative. Include links to the zip file, as well as a link to where they can preview the game.

If there is ever a question about whether a portal is worth your time, you can start by going to alexa.com and checking their page rank against other well known sites. Keep in mind that this technique isn't infallible, but it does give you a good idea of where they stand. Many sites are just getting started, and may be worth investing some time and effort into even though they have lower traffic levels.

Winning Contests
So far I've had a pretty good track record of winning prize money on Kongregate! They offer monthly and weekly prizes of up to $1500. for the top rated games. Contests provide a nice unexpected source of income, and can do wonders for promoting your game.

There are many contests out there with great prizes, but you need to be aware of the terms before you decide to enter one. Some contests require special branding as well as holding off on releasing the game on your own site (or anyone else's) until a specific date. These things can severely limit your chances for sponsorship money, not to mention missing out on the big rush of traffic to your site. Not everyone is going to win, and while it might be a great payout if you do, you could wind up with zilch if you don't.


The Downhill Slide and the Unexpected Spike!Traffic graph from when Super Saimon was featured on MindJolt
After the big rush to the top of the charts, your game will more than likely lose the spotlight to the fresh batch of games that get released on a daily basis. The spotlight period for a good Flash game, during which you can expect a decent amount of traffic, is normally about a month. If your game reaches legendary status however, then you will get pinned to the front pages of the big portal sites, and that period will extend indefinitely. This will keep a steady stream of traffic coming in, and if you are using MochiAds or some other form of revenue sharing, a steady stream of money too.

When a game is allowed to spread to the far reaches of the internet, its traffic graph will usually level out to a steady plateau with the occasional spike from sources like stumble upon. A good game can easily maintain 5000 plays per day long after the big rush is over, and while this won't make anyone rich, it will contribute to the cause!

Future Potential
As independent game developers, we should be thinking of as many ways to fund our games as possible. Personally, I am really interested in getting multiple (non competing) sponsors on board for future games, and getting more creative with how the in-game advertising works. Who wants to be associated with my next power up item? Energizer... are you listening?

This is all very exciting stuff to ponder!
Everyone is looking to benefit from their creations, and if you are in the business of making Flash games, hopefully this article has given you a bit more ammo to work with when considering how to manage, promote, and license your games.

Thanks for reading!

I'll be writing articles on more specific topics about game development, promotion, and design in the near future, so be sure to grab the funface feed if you are interested.

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Flash Resources
Here are some useful sites for learning Flash as it pertains to Game Design:
Game/AI Programming - kirupa Forum
The Kirupa Forums are one of the best places to get Flash Help. This link points directly to the game programming area.

Steve Fulton's Flash Game Tutorials
Steve has a collection of great articles on game Programming with Flash.

senocular.com : Flash Tutorials
If you want to learn the inner workings of Actionscript 3, then Senocular.com is the place!

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By: Sam Horton | Feb 13, 2008 at 2:50 AM | | Leave a comment