Flash game development


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Short overview of indie flash game development, covering technical and business topics

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  • Going to talk about the TECHNICAL side of flash game dev And the BUSINESS side of it
  • I’m going to focus on flash games made with a low budget A tiny team (sometimes just 1 person) And with no advertising budget whatsoever You might even say.. ‘indie’
  • Not going to talk about social games like Farmville As they need big budgets, much bigger teams, and a massive investment in advertising & servers
  • First, lets talk about how to actually build a flash game It has never been easier to make one (as a programmer)
  • In 2008 Adobe themselves released the Flex compiler Takes ActionScript, compiles into a flash movie (.swf) Pre 2008 you had to buy Adobe (or Macromedia) Flash for €gazillions
  • ActionScript, similar to javascript, easy and powerful(ish)
  • Flixel, created largely to build Canabalt with, now open source
  • Probably best to cobble together what you can on the cheap, then pay someone to ‘make it totally sweet’ later on
  • Flash games have become big business Mochi Media: $14M funding in 2008, sold to Shanda Games in 2010 for $80M Kongregate set up Dec 2006, $9M funding over next 2 years, acquired by GameStop July 2010
  • For the game developer, that is Strangely, an awful lot of money has been made by AGGREGATORS in the flash game world Portals, ad providers, etc… not the developers themselves! Lets talk through a few ways to make money from a flash game
  • On your site, eg w/ Google Adsense or similar. ~ $1 cpm without trying too hard (10M plays = $10K) On other sites (you are making money for them!!), some portals do ad rev share (Kongregate, Newgrounds); less money, more distribution On totally random sites using in-game ads, eg Mochi. VERY LOW cpm. ($0.10) Not great
  • Flash games generate traffic Portals pay for traffic One-off fee to ‘tag’ your game with a portal’s branding (eg Armor Games, Kongregate, etc) Usually with a ‘more games’ link to their site Generally in the $5-10k range FlashGameLicense – game dev to portal broker (also promoted concept of ‘primary’ sponsorship) FGL: over $7.5 M in sponsors/licenses brokered
  • Primary sponsors get their brand & linkbacks in your game But you can sell one-off sitelocked licenses to other portals Runs only on their portal, but usually has no outbound links (sometimes not even to your own site!!) One off payments of $500 – 1K ish
  • Just like social games, some flash games are doing this kind of thing Some services exist to make it easier to implement, eg mochi coins Really just a way to ask players for money so why not…
  • I mean come on, it’s not that strange for people to PAY for their entertainment is it? Some flash devs doing exactly this; eg Fantastic Contraption “for every unique site visitor, he converts 0.5% to a paid version [at $10]" = ~$175,000 in first three months
  • Free flash game for massive exposure / distribution = lots of traffic to your site = cross sell the same game on eg Mobile Canabalt did just this with some success
  • Steambirds made mostly by 1 programmer Released first for flash, then for iphone (ported for 50% rev share), then android (same) Steambirds Survival (sequel) had microtx unlocks (planes)
  • This data (esp micro txns) is only after a few months
  • It has never been easier to build flash games It has never been easier to make money from flash games
  • Flash game development

    1. 1. Flash Game Development Colm Larkin blog.gambrinous.com twitter.com/gambrinous
    2. 2. Low Budget Tiny Team No Advertising
    3. 4. The Technical Section
    4. 5. FREE compiler: Flex
    5. 6. Use any IDE FlashDevelop Flash Builder / Eclipse Notepad
    6. 7. Actionscript 3.0
    7. 8. Actionscript Game Libraries
    8. 9. Graphics / Sound? On Your Own!
    9. 10. The Business Section
    10. 11. Making Money
    11. 12. Advertising On your site / other sites / in-game
    12. 13. Sponsorship
    13. 14. Licenses
    14. 15. Microtransactions
    15. 16. Ask players to buy the game!?
    16. 17. Cross selling on other platforms
    17. 18. Example: Steambirds ~$45K
    18. 19. Example: Steambirds 1 + 2 ~$180K
    19. 20. Flash Games Never Easier Than Now