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29Jul/090

Flash Game Interweb Mash-up : July 29. 2009

Flash Game Interweb Mash-up : July 29. 2009

We delivered the first 3 chapters for our book on Flash Game Development this past weekend. Before I start my game and write up for the next chapter, I have been spending the week playing and many different games as possible and reviewing them. I have also been visiting many of the blogs that I have not been able to frequent as much as I would like. Since this is my 2nd blog / site related Mash-up in less than a week (and I have done 6 game related ones in a row), I decided to search the corners of the infobaun for some new places to excavate game related wisdom (I have also mixed in some of the usual suspects).

Kongregate, doesn't expect you to get paid by the hour...
Last week I linked to this article by Greg from Kongregate. Ryan, over at the We Make Flash Games Blog, has posted his rebuttal on one of the points. Ryan has taken issue with Greg's comment that indie devs should not expect to get paid by the hour. This seemingly innocuous comment has exploded in a very lively debate. After reading Ryan's rebuttal, I have to agree with much of what he said, but Greg also should be given a little benefit of the doubt as to the exact nature of his comments. It is REALITY right now that most unsolicited indie devs don't make a good hourly wage. But, Ryan argues that they SHOULD and that those "kids" who give away their games are de-valuing the games and lowering the market price for those who need to live off of their games. They might be arguing different points, but Ryan's points are very much the reality for all of us indie game developers. Greg seems like a good guy, so I don't think he was trying to say "EAT THIS you dumb shits", but it might look like that to some people (including me at first, and maybe at second).

The GameList Newsletter
The GameList newsletter has quite a few good games listed in their Fresh Cut Friday game list. They are all worth trying out, and I see quite a few games from friends and associates there. Nice selections.

Mr. Zar Jaz Himself on Game Design
Jeff Minter has posted an extensive development diary on his classic game, Gridrunner. It should be required reading for any budding video game designer. I loved the Atari 8-bit version.

Mochi Really Pushing Direct User Monetization
Because of their new "Coins" product, Mochi is pushing what they call Direct User Monetization. I think the AdvetureQuest or PopCap models are better, because trying to get people to pay for what was previously free might be a stretch now. Maybe it will work, as I'd love to actually make some money off portal games.

Squize, even if the Spammers aren't listening (reading) we sure are.
Squize takes on the lowest form of information super highway road kill, and also douses us with a hefty amount of cool stats from his new asteroid blast-fest.

Flash Game Distribution Is Getting some Props.
I have used FGD for a few games, but they were already on Mochi distribution, so most portals had already seen them. Mark G had a pretty good experience using them and you can read about too.

Did you read the toaster's man page first?
Michael James Williams has a very insightful post concerning API's, their associated documentation, and their failure to answer to commonly asked questions. Also, check out the wonderful cartoon associated with the article.

It's like I'm back in the little bedroom room I shared with my brother and the Atari ST burning hot from over-use...
The Grumpy Gamer is reporting that Steam is selling all the old Lucas Film games and adventures. These really were some of the best games of the era. If you want to see a genre that has NOT been over saturated in the current "free" Flash game markets, these would fit the bill.

If marketing tells you to put an Easter Egg in the game, is it really still and Easter Egg?
My answer is no, and Dad Hacker has a interesting story about one that he was asked by a Marketoid (his beautiful title) to put in to the Atari 800 version of Super Pacman. Dan Hodges found his Easter Egg in the Atari 8-bit version of Donkey Kong (the best version ever made by the way). I suspect no Marketoid had anything to do with this one.

A portal owner's view of Mochi Coins and Mochi Leaderboards enhancements
I can't empathize, but I can sympathize with this view. The feeling of being screwed sucks. As a game developers, we feel screwed by everyone, all the time. Here is what one portal owner feels about the new ways in which Mochi is trying to screw him. Do you agree?

An alternative opinion on Mochi Coins
Freelance Flash Games has tried it and gives a short review and opinion on the subject. Also, check out his reviews/options on GamerSafe. Then, check out The Game Idea Factory that he just created and released.

What inspires your game design?
Porter's World has a nice set of tips on places to find inspiration. Steve seems to be inspired only after his neglect injures one of his kids (just kidding, Steve, don't hit me... again).

Just how many ads can you fit on one blog page?
Wow, The unigamesity blog has an entry on the hardest Flash Game ever (Run). That game is difficult, but I had an even harder time trying to find the blog post amid all of those ads (just kidding). Actually, if that works, I may use it to pay for this blog. Their blog is pretty popular, so maybe its working well for them. I like money too.

I can't let these go to waste
I have been reviewing Mochi games all week. Here is a list the ones I have actually gone back to play multiple times.

Bear & Bees(B+)

Yoko(A)

Barnstormer (B)

The Black Box (B+)

Invaders Catch (A)

Ginger Bread Circus (A)

Twin Shot 2 (A+)

Remember Flash Game Blogs for your minute by minute dose.

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