Flash Truth

…about flash gamedev and business

Building up reputation and business

Hi all and I’m deeply sorry for my absence. I hope this post excuses me for not updating Flash Truth as much as I would like.

Several developers that know my not-so-alter-ego have approached me asking “how do you do it?” related to my own flash develop business. I also read the Where’s the cash for flash issue on Gamasutra and although I have two drafts waiting for me to finish writing, I decided that this is good enough info and discussion to bring up immediately.

Without further due, let me answer the “how do you do it?” question: Building up reputation and business, which is, for some weird reason is the title of the post.

Part 1: Building Reputation

No business flourishes without reputation and no reputation exists without networking, so, get to know people. The more people you know, the more people you will have available for a specific need.

If you are reading this, you have access to the best networking tool available: the Internet. Get involved in communities like Newgrounds, Mochi or Flash Game License, to access developers. Be helpful and be smart. As you find people with some sort of need you can help, just help and don’t make a fuss about it. When you need help, ask for it.

What about portals?! Some developers look for (and easily find) huge lists of emails and go on an email galore. Don’t do that, it’s annoying and many portals have asked to have their emails off those lists. Many portals however, have an email or submission form to contact them about sponsorship, take your time, do that, submit the game to them and has they answer, you will have a name, a person, a contact, so a bigger network.

If your game is good you’ll have other portals contacting you for licensing, so more names… network…

Your network will start slow and grow. Do not nag people. Be professional, polite. Sooner than you think, you’ll be emailing portals directly, having a friendly developer to help you out with something strange and so on. And that is reputation!

Part 2: Building Business

Well, if you have your network, you have half of your business. The rest is professionalism and quality, both quite difficult to achieve.

There are some really basic things you can do to raise your professional behavior.

First, no email goes unanswered unless you don’t care about that specific person ever. If what you have to say is not pleasant, make it pleasant, but answer. Be polite, clear and as much as possible, short.

Second, being professional means that you will go through some really annoying stuff with a smile. I’ve read several times that developers don’t accept offers from portals because there’s too much paperwork involved. This kind of behavior shows only one thing: the developer is a spoiled brat that doesn’t give a damn about business. There are exceptions *cough* Oberon *cough* but what matters is not really the paperwork but the behavior.

All of this should mean money, right?!

Not really, this means that you have the skills to market yourself and your games. You still have to find multiple income streams and raise the quality of your games constantly. Use this formula: Business + Money = Reputation * Quality.

The Cash for Flash

One last word for the issue at Gamasutra. Basically it serves as advertising for the people mentioned there. Life in the flash market is way more difficult than it looks when you read it. I felt that, even if it wasn’t made with that purpose, smaller developers were being told that they’ll get rich if they do what those developers do and/or if they do it on FGL. Success is not a log on on FGL or an idea for a game. It’s blood, sweat and tears that I think most developers are not willing bleed, sweat and cry.


February 11, 2009 - Posted by | Monetizing | , , , , , , , ,


  1. I just want to mention that the gamasutra article was in no way meant to be an advertising tool. In fact I was merely asked to be interviewed, I never went to them with the idea of the article, nor did I know who else was being interviewed.

    However, I feel that everything I told them was 100% accurate and I think if you read the article carefully you will see that all the developers they mentioned DID work very hard to get where they are and are STILL working hard. Even Sean who has a strong background in gaming states that he works as hard as possible to keep food on the table.

    I do think that the article focuses primarily on success stories, but each article has to have a focus (and there are tons of other ways to be successful in this industry that aren’t listed in the article). Also, there are already hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about how there is no money in web games, so I actually think this article is a nice way to try to bring some balance.

    As for networking and building business, I won’t argue with your points, but I will say that you should put more of an emphasis on making a great game. Networking and being professional are indeed important, but it will be hard for any developer to make a living exclusively making games unless they are producing top quality content. This is where FGL is trying to help because if you are truly putting your all into making games, where do you find time to talk to all potential sponsors/licensors, distribute your games, negotiate deals, etc etc. It can be done, but not efficiently for an independent developer.

    Comment by Chris | February 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. I said that it serves as advertising, never said that FGL or anyone else gave the interview with that purpose. To me the reaction to the article by the common foe is pretty obvious, while your intentions are not and, in doubt, I will always consider that you or anyone else at FGL is acting based on good will.

    A note about making a good game. I find that obvious. Using FGL to make it more efficient, likewise. But if FGL is a good place for good games, why don’t you work on having less low quality games? Why are games generally getting a lower number of unique sponsor views? If having a good game on FGL makes such a difference why is my revenue outside FGL growing while the number of offers at FGL is lowering? The people that spoke with me and led me to write this post often say that they are not getting any attention on FGL. Is anyone at FGL aware of this because the main guys feel a lot like they are moving away from the community.

    I would say that happens because of the size of FGL, but I’m not a critic, I’m the opposite. FGL has grown to a point where you may be commiting a typical error: being sure of something that isn’t so anymore.

    Feel free to disagree with me. Evolution comes from discussion and I’ll glady discuss it with you or anyone else, but for your sake, the sake of FGL and even mine, don’t be so sure that FGL is getting better or that it is (still) that good.

    Comment by flashtruth | February 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. Well, if you want to play a game of semantics, I never said that you said we did the article for advertising purposes 😉

    Where are you getting your stats? The stats I see.. and EVEN the stats posted publically on our website disprove everything you say about FGL. We are seeing MORE sales and MORE money spent. And we will always help every level of developer. I find it interesting that in your post you say that you don’t like how the article is basically elitist, but then you act elitist in your response to my defense of that! FGL will never turn anyone down and we’ve seen amazing developers grow because we helped them to make their games better and become better developers.

    I’m not sure I even understand your first paragraph of your last comment. Who is the common foe? I wasn’t aware of any enemies. And how are our intentions not obvious? We are very open in the fact that we are here to grow this space, and to help developers and sponsors get the most out of games.

    You shouldn’t take making a good game for granted. It should be the primary focus.

    In the end I think you miss the entire purpose of FGL. We help developers and sponsors/portal owners. We put almost everything we make back into the site. I did an interview because I thought (and do think) that it would help independent developers (like yourself, no less) get more attention. I’m not sure why you feel you need to attack it, or us, which you have done in other posts, because we are only trying to help.

    Comment by Chris | February 12, 2009 | Reply

  4. “Foe” was a wrong word.

    You know Chris… we are arguing semantics and that’s pointless. I believe that what you read is not what I intended and vice-versa. So, there’s a communication problem.

    For the sake of clarity, I’ll assume I started it and will solve it the only way I know.

    Comment by flashtruth | February 12, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] to the article here […]

    Pingback by The Monday Roast: Flash Links That Game Developers Should Not Miss - 23rd February 2009 | Drastika | February 23, 2009 | Reply

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