The end of indie?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by hippocoder, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. JGOware

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    Hmm... that's not good. Especially with the popularity of all of the netbooks being released with XP as the os. :confused:
     
  2. Alistair Hutton

    Alistair Hutton New Member

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    How do you get the standalone Flash 10 projector to play hardware accelerated then?
     
  3. electronicStar

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    Regarding Flash: the main quality of flash is its ability to stream content(games or other) directly to your browser with the greatest installation base at the moment. Let's consider Flash with and without this browser-based quality.

    1-without considering this browser quality Flash is just another programming language and IMHO not a very interesting one. I'm not going to go over the pros and cons , but if I were to code a downloadable game, Flash would be at the bottom of my list of choices.

    2-Now let's consider its fantastic web capacities. This is Flash main quality, and this is the reason why some games like bloons or tower defense are so popular (and probably earned their authors good money).
    But without this browser playability noone would play these games because let's be honnest they're pretty crappy. And there's a reason why flash portal games are crappy. RinkuHero told about it when he said that a flash game creator could make a living by creating 10 to 20 games a year.
    Yeah that's like one game a month, but it's really what you would have to do if your revenue only depends from advertisement and game customization for portals. According to that logic, a develloper would actually be losing money if he was to work more than one month on a game.
    10 to 20 games a year seems like an awful lot of work to me, that is unless you make the crappiest game possible using stick figures for characters or thing like that...and it's exactly what I can see when I browse most flash portals catalogue.

    So yeah Flash might have mad a few lucky devellopers rich, but I personally wouldn't bet too much on it for my carreer.
    As a develloper it's a risky choice and as a player it's not what I'm looking for in videogames.
     
  4. Nexic

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    Funny thing is, I did exactly that. I made 3 demos of my MMO, put it on NG and won a bunch of awards and they were all featured on the front page for a week each. From that alone I got about 1 million plays in a short period of time and 50,000 unique players trying the MMO once it was done. I also got sponsorship for each of them. Trick is to not make them an obvious demo, don't have buy now buttons etc and be a little less obvious with the upsell.

    Yeh I'd agree Build A Lot made more money, probably not a massive amount more though. I'd also say that Bloons probably took 1/5th the effort that build a lot did.

    With Flash I'm able to have about 20 large animating sprites (with alpha'ed edges), huge scrolling bitmap backgrounds, and several full screen and sometimes rotating lighting overlays running at 20fps on an average spec PC. If I remove the lighting and make the backgrounds a bit smaller can easily get up to 40. Can go up to 60 if you run it bundled into a exe rather than in-browser. If you're making any casual or slow paced game performance simply isn't an issue.
     
    #224 Nexic, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  5. princec

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    And just how many people here are going to write a game with that exposure? Less than 1 in 1000 of us.

    All this Flash talk just reminds me of that same old same old "get rich quick, here's how!" talk. It's not the solution, just a tool for doing certain sorts of games and making certain amounts of money in a certain sort of way. Beyond what everyone knows it's capable of, there's some other, better technologies around.

    It all sounds just like that "ooh portals are the way to get rich!" mantra everyone was bleating on about last year or two. Lots of newly enrichened indies in here now? No? I thought not. Get on with your work!

    Cas :)
     
  6. princec

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    Especially as it's the design and content creation and coding that takes the time in our games. I mean, Droid Assault took, hm, 12 man-months or so of effort roughly (slightly lazy effort mind you)... it wouldn't be any quicker to write the game in Flash (Mike Reitzensten could probably tell you how long Robokill took, and I think it was perhaps marginally less but they work a lot harder than we do :p) I could write a game called Droid Assault Shit Version in Flash in 2 weeks but it would, indeed, be shit. Or I can just bung it directly in an applet and it'd be exactly like the installable version.

    Cas :)
     
  7. hippocoder

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    testing the large ones, I have faster performance from the native non accelerated version (its the only one which goes at 60fps on this machine).

    Its interesting that I have a powerhouse pc (runs crisis high at 30), and it has problems with direct and gpu versions being slower.
     
  8. hippocoder

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    Well, the GAME is the solution. Flash and Java are means to an end. I went with flash because I wanted to get into something I absolutely knew was future proof.

    I used to use blitzmax but it just hasn't got any realistic browser or handheld capabilities, while further down the road flash will probably be supported by any number of internet friendly devices.
     
  9. tolik

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    I've gone through that explanation here at least few times...
     
  10. Grey Alien

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    So did Bloons make several million dollars then? I don't know much about it but I know that build-a-lot really was a BIG hit.
     
  11. tolik

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    In order to compare revenues, think of tiers of profits and monetization methods. Single ad-supported game will have a hard time earning as much as a good portal sale because the efficiency of the ad doesn't depend on the game. The conversion rate of the ad is not determined by the game, but by the ad itself and by the amount of impressions which depends on the distribution network of the game. Addiction of the game is able to generate more plays per user, create wider distribution network and create or improve brand recognition. Quality is somewhat irrelevant, as Flash game is a quickest possible snack that could be either short or deep, depending on the gameplay type (genre, number of levels, etc).
    Bloons should be shown as the least common denominator of quality (in a good sense - this is an example of how basic the game could be to be rad) and highest common denominator of distribution network. Too bad there's no "addiction" stats as there's no precise "unique plays per user" information, so you can't claim it's the most addictive, however I'm playing it over and over again and it's as addicting as other marble popping games.

    What could hundred casual game downloads bring for a great casual game? Depending on a conversion rate and the price - from $6 (2%, $3 per game) to $20 ($6 per game, 3.3%) or even higher if it's a direct sale. But if you want a direct sale, you'd spend either adwords budget (let's assume $0.50 per download * 100 downloads = $50, but it could be much lower of course if it's an adword with your game name) or SEO (generic genre keywords) and buzz (which is targeted) which don't scale linearly with investments.

    That's not the case with flash games as the revenue of the game play session for developer is miserable, however the reach is much wider. Plus it's much harder to reach the top. But in contrast to all those free plays of casual games, Flash plays indeed convert into something, such as visitors to your site (that is impossible with casual games and would otherwise cost you at least few cents through adwords). And if that site sells the full version of the game, kac$$$ing. Or if it's an MMO in case of Nexic - it's a targeted registration that is worth a dollar, while the average return per registered user varies greatly on the product beyond the flash game.

    BUT! Never forget what the most played Flash games bring to the portal. They could place ads by the Flash game and earn even more, as they barely share these profits with the developer, covering them with "licensing cost", which is reasonably hit or miss for them, but when you've got hundreds of thousands of hits per day, it's quite irrelevant.
    That's the same as counting how much everyone in a loop of $20 casual game earned - both portal, affiliate, CC processor, all the ads shown around the title...
     
    #231 tolik, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  12. Nexic

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    I'd say Bloons has made around $1m. Of course I can't be totally sure, but based on the extra ads and things they sell at bloonsworld I guess that's roughly correct.
     
  13. Grey Alien

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    ok wow. impressive for a flash game for sure.
     
  14. tolik

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    https://www.mochiads.com/community/forum/topic/mochis-top-10-most-popular-flash-games-of-2008

    A quote of a post from there:
    "it would be about $170,000 at .50 CPM or $85,000 at .25 CPM."

    But don't forget that Bloons is a brand now, not just a single game. And when you advertise through MochiAds, you pay 0.xx cents on CPC/CPA basis, so CPM figure is quite a rough estimation of total profits.
     
  15. Nexic

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    Sure, just from mochi ads in-game they probably only made a few 100k, but I'm thinking the extra income they've had from site - with the ads they have there I would think they are getting several $ per 1000 impressions, not to mention the affiliate arcade. Even if only a tiny percentage of the 350m visitors stop by his site, it's still enough to make a huge income.
     
    #235 Nexic, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  16. KNau

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    And I once saw Flash rescue kids from a burning schoolbus!

    I love Flash and evangelize it myself whenever possible but it's getting a little over the top here. Just like any other aspect of the games business, most people developing free Flash games aren't making a living at it. Just like most shareware developers aren't making a living at it.

    There's the mysterious x factor where one goes from a hobbyist / tinkerer to a professional (paid) developer. If you've got it then it doesn't really matter what you develop with chances are you will figure out how to make money. If you don't, then Flash can't save you (and, frankly, you're making it worse for the rest of us).

    It just needed to be said.
     
  17. Chris Evans

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    Exactly KNau.....exactly.
     
  18. tolik

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    The difference is that a "mediocre or worse game" according to casual or hardcore standards would be "an excellent" Flash game with all the consequences. Flash lowers both entree barriers - for developers and players.
     
  19. Jack Norton

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    Well that could be but isn't going to last long. There is a flood of games (both good and crap) on flash sites. I don't understand, people complain about the flood of crap on iphone/portals and instead on flash is fine? something is wrong I think, or isn't going to last long.
     
  20. tolik

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    That's right, there are dozens of games released each day, but most of these games are what? 10-40 hours of work? Thus the better games get better sponsorship deals and better exposure. You are getting paid to be placed on portals or could upload the game to the sites yourself to get exposure to the existing audience and depend on it to rate your game from the gameplay perspective, not from conversion ratio.

    Don't tell me you wouldn't be able to produce games as cool as donutgames.com (ArcadeLab!) or Nitrome.com?
     

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