Flash Game distribution

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by MerscomMan, May 25, 2007.

  1. MerscomMan

    MerscomMan New Member

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    We have a lot of experience in the retail and downloadable game space but are new to flash/web games. In the past, we have created some flash versions of our games but really only to support portals selling the downloadable version.

    Given recent threads I've seen, there seems to be a real market for Flash games and a way to monetize them directly. I would appreciate any advice on how to get broad distribution for our upcoming Flash titles and also what revenue streams are available? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    Interesting post. Got me thinking... is it really so that portals won't accept Flash made games to be sold via them? I mean, I've seen poorer shareware games than for example I am Jesus in portals, so I'm wondering if portals aren't considering these games?
     
  3. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

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    Flash portals will take almost anything. What I find odd is most serious Flash game devs aspire to move to the retail and download space, and here you are wanting to do the opposite. I'm not sure there's as much money in it as you think.
     
  4. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    I bet they do... although I meant for shareware games (try & buy model) in Flash, I wonder if game portals like Bigfishgames accept those.
     
  5. Pyabo

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  6. mash

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    I think Multidmedia's Zinc (or other wrapper) is a solution for the high quality downloadable Flash games.
     
  7. Backov

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    Some commenter on Digg summed the story up as "Look at this guy! He can't program for shit but he cloned a game and makes mad cash!"
     
  8. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    The game is pretty fun - the Digg guy wasn't exactly being fair. The artwork is heinous but the game seems solid enough so unless he has access to the code the "can't program for shit" comment is, well, crap.

    The thing that is interesting to me is that he thinks his success is based upon his high score grouping mechanism. I was interested to find last night that you can play a full version of centipede (in a tiny window...) for free online. The full game. And it only had 15 hits yesterday sooooo, I'm not convinced that making a good, free game like this is necc. the path to riches.
     
  9. KNau

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    Well, it's a path to riches, and one that doesn't involve going to Real Arcade with hat in hand so it's worth mentioning

    Surprise, surprise - It looks like the way to make the most money from your Flash games is to take on the risk of making them successful and spreading the word on your own. Not that much different than success in shareware. Had he gone the sponsorship route he probably would have collected a couple hundred bucks and nothing more.
     
  10. Andy

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    You missed one important point Kyle. Game go for free for the players. That's why this should be easier to promote them. Especially good ones.
     
  11. Pyabo

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    It's a rather popular game, so definitely the exception to the rule as far as earnings go.

    I think the other key here is the same as the downloadable space: Just make a good game.
     
  12. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    ...just like all popular games, right? ;-)
     
  13. jaguard

    jaguard New Member

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    This is very sad that once you build a great game, which can potentially get you millions of hits, you have to do it all by yourself, or all you can have is just several licence deals, ~$300 each.
    I wonder, is there a company which can do this for me? I.e., take a flash game exclusively, promote it yourself, earn money on ads and pay a fair cut - like 30-60% of the revenue.
     
  14. datxcod

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    slow

    Not really, I work as a flash developer (freelance), I can say I have quite a bit of experience making flash games. For one of my games I decided I wanted to use flash because of the huge audience, cross platform, and lots of resources.

    The problem is using tools like Zinc for the download version, they slow down your game a LOT. I got around 40 to 50 FPS in the original version of the game without any wrappers, using Zinc I got 30 FPS on my beefy machine and about 15-12 fps on a normal "casual" computer. The game is sitting in my hard drive because I haven't found a way of upping the framerate, also it uses dozens of bitmaps and particles as part of the gameplay so I can't remove some of them as it would have an impact on fun factor of the game.

    Before using flash you have to analyze the type of game you are making, if it involves a lot of elements on screen with a fast gameplay, you would be better off using java for the online version and any other lib for the download version.

    I forgot to mention that I'm using some heavy filters like shadows and glows on some graphics of the game and all the sprites/graphics are of very high quality, that of course has an impact on the performance of the app. Also I'm using ActionScript 2.0 for the game which is great due of the wide audience but the new ActionScript 3.0 is a lot faster at the expense of having a smaller audience. Though a few weeks ago I read about Flash 9 having a 83-84 % of market penetration as of march in the US.

    Problem is now I can't be bothered porting the game to AS3.0 / flash 9.0.

    So in short if you want to make casual games using flash then I'd recommend you to do it using ActionScript 3.0 / flash 9, and have in mind that most wrappers slow down your game.
     
  15. Bad Sector

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    I haven't done any exhaustive research or something, but really how many gaming sites do you think there are which will license a game? I don't believe that there are enough to pay for the expenses of a dedicated company (or even a single person) and also be able to absorb all the games.

    Keep in mind than many sites might seem unrelated, but in reality they are just parts of networks. For example, i was looking for sites to submit my Square Shooter game and all sites i found seemed to be part of ArcadeTown (there was similar layout, almost the same games and sometimes even the same AT icon), which already had my game. So after spending an entire day, i just gave up - until FreeArcade popped up here, to me seemed that ArcadeTown owned the whole webgames thing :). Pity that they (AT) are lately focusing more on downloadable games... (i'm saying that both as a gamer and developer)

    I was thinking to create my a site with webgames for quite some time (actually since mid-2005) but there is the problem of making these games :). It isn't that easy to make enough games for a gaming site alone - unless i had a really successful game, i wouldn't considered to create a site for just one game.


    The irony to the above, though, is that currently www.slashstone.com provides only Square Shooter and nothing more :p.

    Of course at the background i have lots of other things, the server hosts some of my other projects and is my primary mail server, so technically there isn't only Square Shooter there :).
     
  16. KNau

    Original Member

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    Yeah, you're not likely to succeed relying on licensing fees.

    Like the downloadable model you really need to be willing to invest in running a business, the "I just wanna make games and forget the rest" philosophy doesn't fly. That's a good thing. You want to be a business owner otherwise you might as well work at a studio. Don't be lazy.
     
  17. cybermonk

    Original Member

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    As someone who switched from downloadable to flash games several months ago, I'm discovering that it's a very valid business model. But I agree with KNau, you have to run it like a business, and be willing to do more than just game development.

    I found out with my first flash game that a surprising number of players click on the links to my site. So I made my own online games arcade, and I'm actually making a lot more from this traffic, than from the MochiAd in the game!
     
  18. mash

    Original Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions! We would like to make our next game using AS3.0 and Zinc.
     

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