Thursday, August 13, 2009

Independent Flash games studio, is it possible on your own?

independent games
In the last few months I'm really into consulting 3 different teams of Flash games developers. Each team, has it's own problems, goals, abilities, means and way. In the last few months it has been very clear to me - Yes, it is possible to establish your own casual games company.

There are 4 points every team should think about before starting its own business:
1. Do you have business modal?
2. Do you need someone/something you cant get?
3. After achieving the first goal, do you have enough money to pay?

4. Do you have financial business plan?

By asking these question, you'll start arranging what you know and should pay attention to.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Game developers 'How to': Drawing more attention to your Flash games?

Drawing attention to Flash games
As an independent Flash games developer, you should know by now, that marketing and exposure are the best ways, and the only right way, of making money. You might use Mochiads/GameJacket for monetizing your intros with PPC ads, you might use new platform swith Google Adsense abilities, and you might implement local API's like Kongregate's/NewGrounds's/HallPass's etc. Nevertheless, you'll always need the right amount of pushing and pumping skills and/or tools.

When you launch a new casual Flash game without any sponsor, you are probably using one of the mentioned methods for monetizing your art. Lets talk about them for a sec:

Mochi And friends: Mochimedia and its copycats, are serving a great service of mediating between companies how need ad space and companies how needs advertisers on their empty ad space. Simple yet powerful. You can make about ~$1 for 1000 gameplays.
2. Xpogames is actually
NewGrounds, HallPass and Kongregate all together. They're all great within their own closed borders. However, there are great communities there. with millions of gameplays per day. So if you integrate their API and upload your games, they'll get the kick start you need, the testing (and hostile I might add) environment. From my own experience, they're mostly about "will give you cash, but we will be very happy if you could you spent it here", but you don't have to. The word says it's about $2 for 1000 gameplays.

Now, lets see what you can do to push you game farther, to the next step of exposure:
1. If you've implemented Mochi (or any other similar service of pay per click ads), boost it! Upload to all mentioned now! (Don't try Kongregate, they don't want others ads).
2. Share your avatar, update your status, describe you and your work, 'go down' to the community, be social.
3. After realising the first version of the game, use the community words to improve the game. Launch 'V.2' as a new different improved game.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Casual games 2.0: The social network kind-of-game

Casual girl play gamesMan has been playing games for, well…more or less for ever (games have probably been around longer than the wheel)। The industrial and technological revolutions brought a whole new way to play games. Video games started appearing in the late 4th decade of the 20th century. The game industry growing from niche markets to mainstream took in about USD$9.5 billion in 2007 in the US alone (ESA annual report). Games have become more graphic, more real and more complex! Watch out 20+ old people, casual 2.0 in your way.

The new era has introduced us to both the "web 2.0" and the return of casual games. Casual games usually programmed in Flash or Java, are typically distinguished by their simple rules and lack of commitment required in contrast to more complex hardcore games. Although some gamers may argue that casual games are ruining gaming, others including myself enjoy the fun of simple, fun games that can even be played between engagements.
So, the "Web 2.0"- what does it mean? There are many answers to that question and you will probably get a different one each time you ask, but I'd like to think of it as the social web - the manifestation of the World Wide Web. Social networks are all around us these days, for mass audiences' varying in age, gender, interest and more.
Today we set forward to check some of the social networks out there involving casual games:

NewGrounds(NG) must be one of the oldest networks around, founded by Tom Fulp in 1995!
NG is mainly a website for people who make Flash items: Flash games and Flash movies (and less for those of us playing the game). High scores won't be saved and you will not earn achievements through playing the game. However, voting on games and movies and reviewing them will be rewarded. It also offers resources for artistic collaborations such as an Audio Portal where musicians can submit their music to be used freely in games and movies.
It is also probably the only casual gaming website (along with K's Hentai section) including adult features: adult games, adult toons, Britney& Paris Hilton parodies, dating sims etc.
Kongregate is a social web games website, described by its founders as "the YouTube of videogames". The site was created in June 2006 by a sister and a brother, Emily and Jim Greer. The Kongregate website itself was designed by Happy Cog Studios.
As of July 2008, Kongregate has raised around $9 million in capital from investments by Reid Hoffman (best known as the founder of LinkedIn), Jeff Clavier, Jeff Bezos (the American founder, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of, and Greylock Partners (one of the oldest venture capital firms).
Although, featuring personal profiles and forums it is still hard to define Kongregate as a social network। Its social interface is basic and the main feature appears to be the live chat which opens up in the game window (usually).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sense and Sensibility of casual games in game consuls

Influence in the gaming industry It has been a wild move and it seems to be the right one – game consuls are getting more casual than ever, along with casual abilities, games and methods. How the consuls did influence the casual games industry and how did they influenced back on the consul game industry.

Atari>Sega>PC games and then the PS series, was aiming for the best graphic abilities. Only one poor gambling putted Nintendo's eggs in the casual basket and boy were they right…the casual thinking of Wii consul became a hit in the consul games world, and ever since then, the casual gaming has lifted its head and these days, casual online gamers can look straight in the eyes of the traditional consuls gamers.

After getting the casual games up front, the casual games started to have influence on other game consuls. PS2 and 3 came with 'eyetoy' for simple interactive games, and the PC games world / online games world are fulfilled with very simple yet addicting games.

A traditional game developer had to choose between consuls, PC, PDA's and web based development methods and goals. These days, there is a new generation of developers and developing tools for cross or (at the list) multi platform games.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Casual games industry 2009 forecast in 3 points

Sexy Girls holding playstation 3
As many respectable authorities speaks tones about 2008 successful casual games year. I would like to take a moment of your developing process, and share my forecast with you. What will it be like in 2009, as far as the casual games industry cares?

1. Financial issues and political opportunities: As long as the dinner stays at home due to law salaries and empty restaurants, people will continue to play in house games. Online web games as consul game machines are more welcomed then ever, in every kids and living rooms, around the glob. If Barak Obama fails with his 'the other chick' method on the Iranian issue, America might need some new war titles, as Gaza & Israel pushed abot 5 good titles online in the last few weeks.

2. Technology: Flash is huge now more then ever, and Apple as well as Nokia and Microsoft are whiling to fight. The operating systems are going to enhance the Flash into their agenda and MS still fights with the "I've got a better or as good as yours" method, with Silverlight V 3. Once Adobe understood the power of Flash in the gaming industry, it has become irrelevant to fight. Most of the online casual scene is made of Flash and Flash light games.

3. Marketing: Independent Flash game developers can choose: A. I"ll make my own game, win prizes, get some sponsors and earn in-game advertising cents for years and you'll find me all over the social networks, gaming portals and yearly meetings. B. I"ll work for my boss, 24/7 and make games per title or as a part of a talented team, distribution? His problem!. C. I"ll create special ad-games for big companies combining my talent with my marketing abilities.