Flash Truth

…about flash gamedev and business

Integrating GameJacket in your game

Hello again. I’ve read a lot of people complaining about the difficulty of integrating GameJacket in their games. I had a lot of problems when I did it the first time, biggest of all was that I assumed it worked just like MochiAds, meaning, it was a preloader. That is the biggest misconception about GameJacket and it’s what causes most of the difficulties developers complaint about. It’s not the technology itself, but rather our understanding of it. So here goes the tech crunch.

How does it work?

GameJacket serves as a wrapper for your game. What this means is that the file GameJacket distributes is not your game, but rather their loader that wraps your game. I don’t know why GameJacket decided to do it this way, but it addresses one of the major problems with other advertising networks: it is pointless to decompile the wrapper because the game itself won’t load without it.

The code that is delivered with the instructions has one and only one objective: to prevent the game from being ran without being called by the wrapper. This is a good thing: it assures you will get the play from wherever the game is. In case you are wondering, there are portals that will decompile your game, rip your logos and advertising code and post it as if it was a non-exclusive license. This prevents it.

So… what about the preloader?

You will have to write your preloader to all games that you want GameJacket to go with, but that shouldn’t be a big deal really, that’s something you should always consider anyway. To make it simple: write your preloader as if you were releasing the game without advertising; insert GameJacket’s classes and code as explained in the documentation; make the success event trigger your preloader graphics and finally make the failure event go to a nice message box that says where people can get a legitimate copy of your game.

The workflow of all this is?…

As I explained, the distribution file is not your game, but rather a wrapper. When it is loaded from a site it will show the ad and when the “Play” button is clicked, it will load your game. When your game is loaded, the code you inserted will confirm if the game was loaded from the wrapper or not. It will either launch a success event, launching your preloader, or a failure event, showing the message you want.

The good: Version control, more difficult to rip your game ads
The bad: Well, we are kind of used to have Mochis preloader

Hope this helps!

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Advertising Networks, Monetizing, Technical | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Addicted to the number of plays

Just stumbled on a thread in the Mochi forums where a developer proposed to rank other developers by the number of plays their highest played game achieved. Seems logical doesn’t it? I personally disagree and it seems I’m not alone in this. Badim spoke wisely when he said that average playing time, earnings and time spent to develop the game is also relevant and I partially agree with him.

There was a time where all people wanted was to have their games largely distributed. Nowadays, that’s a bit pointless. You spend countless hours making a game, countless hours finding a sponsor, a bit of time integrating the code from an ads network and then countless hours distributing, creating thumbnails of different size and shape only to appeal to the portals.

And what do the tasty high traffic portals do? They don’t want the ads in your game in their site. Isn’t that a killer? Your game will not generate YOU any revenue unless you license the game to those portals, which is fine by the way, but that means you will loose potentially millions of plays because of that. Well, think about it… if you have nothing to win from it, why should you even consider having your game, generating revenue to the said portals and you getting nothing from it?

Flash game developers are too addicted to the number of plays. In reality the number of plays is meaningless if the developer as nothing to win from it. You, as a developer, should not upload your game to any site, even if very high profile, if you don’t have anything to profit from the upload, simply because portals count on your addiction to increase their revenue and most of them, not sharing it with you.

December 10, 2008 Posted by | General, Portals | , | Leave a comment

A flash game in Time

Time Magazine online just released their Top10’s of 2008. You can find GTA IV at the top as many would have anticipated, or even Spore at #10 as many probably couldn’t predict. But the most fascinating figure is #8. Hunted Forever is the game that was born just before Towering Forever from Pixelante Game Studios, which I already pointed out in the blog.

I’m amazed. Not by the fact that there’s a flash game in the list, not because it’s above Spore, but because of the recognition. I thought no one had ever noticed us, but I guess I was wrong. Right beneath it, I noticed there’s a DTD game… for the iPhone and I smiled.

December 9, 2008 Posted by | General, Outstanding Games | Leave a comment

5 Questions to Badim

I really hope you know Badim. He is the creator of the Elite Forces IP and a force to be reckoned and an example to be followed. He is well known for the stats he continuously updates on his site regarding the money made from flash games. He is the owner of Elite Games portal and a success story to be cheered and watched.

Taking the event of his first indie aniversary, I sent him an email asking if he could just answer 5 questions, which he did. So here goes a brand new category 5 Questions to… Badim.

You have just completed one year of Indie development with considerable success. What do you consider that success to be based on?

I think, because I`m making games that I like – and I like military games like Contra or Starcraft. Besides that I like to read what other people think about my games, and beside reading I like to improve them.

What’s your workflow at the moment? Do you work alone? Hire? or do you have a team?

I`m now developing five new games, few of them alone, one in a team of three, few others in team of two.

Elite Forces is your strongest IP. Do you have plans to develop other IPs or will you focus on EF?

Yes, indeed! Joe’s games are also doing very well. And I do not like to put all eggs in same basket. But one should have the focus and that is EF games for sure.

A lot of aspiring developers read your blog and dream of that kind of money. What’s the best advice you can give them?

Make games that you like, but for others. Listen, improve your games, improve your skill. Reward best feedback.

And finally your portal. Do you have plans for your portal or will it be secondary to games?

It will always be secondary after developing games, but I’m going to improve it anyway, and I’d like to achieve more with it.

Thanks to Badim for taking his time to answer these questions!

December 5, 2008 Posted by | 5 Questions To..., Monetizing, Portals | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stop complaining, will ya…

This is more of a rant than a “good” post. I’m tired guys, really tired and this is why I’m ranting about. I’m tired of reading “developers” complaining their games don’t get any sponsors. Are you one of those developers? Here’s some news for you:

Your game probably sucks!

Not only that, but your over inflated game developer ego forbids you to see the obvious, which is the level of suck-o-meter your game can achieve. The most astonishing fact is that you don’t give a crap about your game, do you? If you actually gave a crap about your game, you’d take time to make it better, polish it, soften the rough edges. If you cared about the players that will play the game, you would strive to give them the best possible experience. If you cared about the portals from whom you want the money from, you would make the game fit, you would make the game feel and you would make the game breath.

But no… your biggest concern isn’t that the game is not good enough… your concern is that the game is not good enough to give you cash. Your concern is not that you should’ve contracted graphics and music. Your concern is not the game’s financial break-even, if you even know what that is. Your concern is that no one will offer you money for it.

You are not a developer, you are a whiner.

On the other hand, you may not be complaining about it. Maybe you know why you are not getting any money, but you don’t care that much… you do your games for fun, and let me tell you, that’s the most noble thing to do. Maybe you even say “Yeah, getting some sponsorship would be cool, but I’m ok with not getting any” and I really relate to that.

But if you want to make money, if you want to make a living out of this: make a good game, the best possible one you can do and you can invest in and stop complaining, will ya…

December 3, 2008 Posted by | Monetizing | , , , | 2 Comments