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Thread: Game development is tough

  1. #1
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    Game development is tough

    Nah, really? Well, guess what? Yes really.

    It is no easy task. Everyone here knows that as a fact. Even the simplist games require long hours of arduous scripting and drawing. For some, the scripting is not that big of a deal, it's the graphics that really hinder their overall product. For others, with the graphical talent, programming the game is not an easy feat either. But I think that none of these are as huge of an obstacle as coming up with that idea, the idea the will make your game stand out and succeed in its purpose.

    In order to create the next Tetris, or the game that will create buzz, we must think hard, real hard. What sort of new, innovative gameplay can we create that will hook players? It has to be new, not hackneyed and overdone. I mean, how many times have we seen target games, or side-scrollers with the same control mechanics. I'm not saying these games are bad, but none of them do anything different. Target games could be fun if something else was included, something addicting and enjoyable. But IMO, there's nothing new that can be done to those games so just leave them alone, do something else.

    So, what kind of games should we make? I don't know. But I do know that the first step in game development is brainstorming an idea for a game. We have to think outside the box, forget about all the games we've seen, and plan something out. Damn, its tough I tell you.

  2. #2
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    kudos

  3. #3
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    Shoot Playa Shoot!

  4. #4
    Who needs pants? hooligan2001's Avatar
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    Very deep brother, very deep indeed.

    HOT TIP: Next year will be a big year for new ideas and great games

  5. #5
    When you know are. Son of Bryce's Avatar
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    I don't think "completely new" game mechanics are necessary to make an exciting game. A lot of the time you can take a style of gameplay that's already been done a million times before, add an interesting theme or storyline, and it becomes something people will still be excited to play.

    Generally speaking, the most successful games are the ones that people are already familiar with the style of gameplay. If you're going for completely new gameplay you have to get the idea across quickly and as simply as something like Tetris. It has to grab them and want to play more.

    Katamari Damacy is one of the more original games I've played recently. The gameplay is incredibly simple but it's addicting. The theme is wonderful with the simple vibrant goofy art that makes it unique. I think it's the theme that really brings out the gameplay in this game. If the gameplay remained exactly the same but instead of people and elephants you were picking up blocks or abstract shapes it wouldn't be interesting at all.

    Hmm... my point? The theme/idea is just as important as the gameplay mechanics. You can take Pac-Man, set it in space, add a funny storyline and have a best seller if you executed it right.

  6. #6
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    People love crap, the Internet's a lazy place and quality doesn't come cheap. I think the main reason you don't see original games is because the average flash gamer just doesn't care. Its the developer who does. I think there are some great original games out there, however they get lost in the crowd.

    Flash lets anyone create something, and that's the attraction for so many people. Kinda like one hit wonders, Flash is just a big one hit wonder. Give a reason for developers to create something unique and they'll do it, 15 minutes of fame isn't enough for some people.

    So, what I’m trying to say is I think there's just no demand for quality flash gaming, personally i think flash is suited for web and animation, that's where its originality and versatility is being shown, flash gaming is falling behind because its really just keeping alive old trends. I'm probably sounding anti-flash right now; I assure I’m quite pro-flash; I’d like to think flash could compete with XBOX360 and PS3. Ever talked to a friend about a flash game you played? I sure haven't.

    As with any game Son Of Bryce is right, you need a good theme/idea. But technology is what presents it.
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

  7. #7
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    If you look around in the pro gaming sites you can find many commercial games made with Flash, but most of them are web versions of downloadable/sellable main game and they never promote them as "Flash games". And they usually have mixed selection of Java/Flash/Shockwave games.

    But its still interesting to see how you think that somehow XBOX/PS games are more "real games" and everything played on the web are "not actual games". Just because some game involved running around and shooting people and requires latest 3D card does not make it any better then simple clicking on blocks. Web games have more players then all the consoles combined and Popcap sells more games then any "real" game developer. And because web games developers do not spend millions on TV/magazine ads and on silly 3D engines they can also make more money.

    Of course money and time and talent are still needed for successful Flash game, but when real console games take 100 million $ and 5 years with 200 people, you can create extremely successful web game with fraction of that. Its quite sure that big game companies will either die away or jump into web game market too. Of course they will start to use Flash instead of Java (or some MS product) only if Flash allows cheaper, faster and better looking games.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chriserrorplain's Avatar
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    must agree with mr.PA here,

    I actually think there is a massive demand for quality indie games at the moment (whether they be coded in flash, director, javav or c++). Games like gish, heliAttack3, Tactics Core, N and ALien Homminid have really proved how successful bedroom coded, 'net distrubuted games can be.

    There are alot of people out there who still love gaming, but don't have the time to invest in a game like Half Life 2 or the latest Zelda. Indie games offer the perfect solution, they are often more imaginative than the latest blockbuster gameplay wise, cheaper and needn't invlove you playing it every night for 3 hours solid to get anywhere.

    chris

  9. #9
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    Hmmm....very interesting Tonypa.

    I remember hearing Nintendo arguing that the video game market was on a decline. According to them, the rate at which new gamers are coming on board is decreasing with time. The main reason for this, I believe, is that today's typical video game is too complicated and utterly expensive for my taste. Also, video games don't do a very good job of attracting the girls and adults. I believe that's why Nintendo is supposedly innovating the way we play games, with simpler controls and simpler games for the whole family.

    It's also important to note, that the female has a very strong presence in web-gaming. The video game market is losing a very huge segment of the population to flash and java games on the internet. Web games offer girls games they want such as puzzles, quick fun games, cute graphics, and what not. Girls aren't too interested in hardcore gaming thus their unwillingness to touch a console.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Boombanguk's Avatar
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    I make Flash games, but when I want to spend some time "playing" a game, its the x-box I turn on, not the internet. Why is this? its because I'm interested in imaginative, exciting worlds/narrative to explore, and you can't do that in Flash. Flash games have their place, don't get me wrong, but their place right now is to be used in promotional campaigns for brands, and for that their very useful, because they sit on a medium which reaches many many people, the internet.

  11. #11
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    Tonypa - "If you look around in the pro gaming sites you can find many commercial games made with Flash"

    I'd love to see some pro games. Got links? google near makes it imposible.

    Tonypa - "But its still interesting to see how you think that somehow XBOX/PS games are more "real games" and everything played on the web are "not actual games".

    Their games, just coffee break games, or the ones i've seen. Although flashforward has produced some amazing games like conti-fan-world (i think that's right) console games provide much more depth, and i don't mean 3D.

    Tonypa - "Of course money and time and talent are still needed for successful Flash game, but when real console games take 100 million $ and 5 years with 200 people, you can create extremely successful web game with fraction of that."

    But look at how much those company's make in return in both money and reputation. The console gaming community is bigger than hollywood. Relating back to the original question, if i was going to make 20 thousand+ dollars for a flash game, i'd make it the most unique thing on the planet. Why is it that flash developers don't get paid like console developers? my guess is that there's no demand, which means no need.

    Why did you choose flash for game development?

    I'll continue to make games no matter what, as with creating the next tetris, i think i'll wait till someone else does. Flash is still my baby and i love and care for it everyday.
    Last edited by mr_malee; 12-26-2005 at 08:43 PM.
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonypa
    Web games have more players then all the consoles combined and Popcap sells more games then any "real" game developer.
    hey tony, got any links to sales figures for places like popcap? I been looking for those for ages.

  13. #13
    Senior Member The Helmsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boombanguk
    I make Flash games, but when I want to spend some time "playing" a game, its the x-box I turn on, not the internet. Why is this? its because I'm interested in imaginative, exciting worlds/narrative to explore, and you can't do that in Flash.
    Wrong statement Did you see "Death in Sakkara?" - this is a best example on how to make an exciting story and world to explore using Flash.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_malee
    I'd love to see some pro games. Got links? google near makes it imposible.
    Some companies:
    Oberon media
    Preloaded
    SquarecircleCo
    TheoWorlds
    Some games:
    Death in Sakkara
    Death Jr
    PitchinPut Golf
    Forrest Challenge
    Tactics Arena
    Dofus
    Prince of Persia
    Samorost II
    Pakman
    Zorro
    N game
    Heli Attack 3
    Half-Life 2D Codename Gordon
    A murder of Scarecrow
    The stone of Anamara
    The House
    Mansion Impossible
    All games above made in Flash^^^
    Enjoy!
    Last edited by The Helmsman; 12-27-2005 at 06:53 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_malee
    Tonypa - "If you look around in the pro gaming sites you can find many commercial games made with Flash"

    I'd love to see some pro games. Got links? google near makes it imposible.
    Best selling console game in 2004 "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)" sold 5.1 million.
    http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/01...s_6116499.html

    "Heli Attack 3" had 142 million game plays in ninety days.
    http://www.miniclip.com/article_18oct2005.htm

    Think about those numbers. 5mil : 500mil per year. (Yes, I know HA3 is free and they talk about gameplays not sold games). And then think about how big budget was for both games.


    Links:

    List of best selling video games:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ng_video_games

    Gamasutra interview with Popcap:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20...faldi_01.shtml

    Casual games interview on IGN:
    http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/1_1/casual.php

    Another casual games story:
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/print/8/15

  15. #15
    Say hello to Bob Kakihara's Avatar
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    Hey guys. Thought id chip in my thoughts.

    I see what tonypa is saying and he does make a very good point, but the short end of it is that flash developers dont make good money. Ive made quite a few games and only sold a handful for only marginal money, you cant earn a living out of it unless you work for a media company creating promotional games for big brands.

    Heli attack is a phenomenon, but for the time it takes the guys to make it and the amount of money they actually make doesnt represent big bucks and huge profit margins. Im not making out like i know how much they earn from it but it aint going to be a life changing amount is it.

    As for coming up with innovative ideas that will change the way of flash gaming: It just doesnt happen, you get a good idea come out and within a week they idea has been copied 100 times, so everyone gets fed up with that kind of game and moves on leaving the original developer scratching his head trying to come up with another great idea. A great game with innovative ideas doesnt generally sell for more than a game thats just a rehash of an old classic, so whats the point in slaving for days over something that you aint going to get rewarded for?

    This may change in the future but for now I think if you want to earn a living out of flash then the best thing is to join a media company and make the occasional game on the side until something big happens.

    Just my honest thoughts on the matter.

    ps. I havent actually given up on the flash games I just took a very long break to figure some things out.
    If our body is a clock ticking away and if while we experience all that this world has to offer time has still continued to pass, are we living or just experiencing a slow death?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Boombanguk's Avatar
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    Wrong statement Did you see "Death in Sakkara?" - this is a best example on how to make an exciting story and world to explore using Flash.
    ok you have that game, and I'll play burnout revenge on my x-box, or medal of honour 2 etc etc , I didn't say it wasn't possible to do that in Flash, I just suggested that its always going to be better on a console or a latest PC.

    I think Flash tech will advance to a stage soon (say within the next 2 years) where you can create basic texture mapped 3D worlds with it, but nothing as complex as a current x-box game. But there will be some amazing Flash games created i'm sure, the question is will they make a lot of money from the public? Probably not.

    Think about those numbers. 5mil : 500mil per year. (Yes, I know HA3 is free and they talk about gameplays not sold games). And then think about how big budget was for both games.
    ?!? heli attack had that many plays because it was FREE!, make it £39.99 and see how many plays it gets, trust me I think it will be lower then what GTA got. The general public don't make the distinction that heli attack is on the net, so its ok that it doesn't have a 3D world and 3D action etc, they just see a game that looks 15 years old. Thats the problem. The games that are the most popular on the net, are games that don't work well in the 3D environment, i.e puzzle games (bejeweled, etc)

  17. #17
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    There´s been a lot said and for most statements i disagreed with there´s already been good arguments against,so i´ll just reply to this one:
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_malee
    The console gaming community is bigger than hollywood. Relating back to the original question, if i was going to make 20 thousand+ dollars for a flash game, i'd make it the most unique thing on the planet. Why is it that flash developers don't get paid like console developers? my guess is that there's no demand, which means no need.
    I disagree on the point that flash game developers don´t get well paid because there´s no demand for them (or high quality games).
    It shows that there´s a demand for high quality games because those high quality flash games i know have had huge playrates as far as i know and not just for a month but in most cases for over a year.
    So that alone shows that if you create a high quality game chances aren´t that low that its played by masses for a good amount of time and therefore theres more need for high quality games than crappy trash games.
    (as even if poor games are played a lot for a short amount of time thanks to hyping/beeing good as coffee break killer, normally without huge marketng efforts they vanish out of interest of the masses quite quick).
    So if there´s a demand for high quality games,why don´t the developers earn that much compared to the offline game market?
    I see several reasons for this,a quite big one is that there´s tons,pretty endless amounts of flash games coming out and most are released for free or a very low licensing fee.
    Game portals are interested in having games played by millions instead of hundred thousands but yeah,if they can get 20 games for 20k,they´re often not eager to pay 20k for a single game anymore.
    So at the end game portals,those client types who are normally into having games which are played by masses even without ongoing promo hype, don´t pay the highest sums for games easily and in most cases.
    Next big reason for flash games not earning well is the lack of protection.
    Its just too easy to use a game on a site which you didn´t pay for,so lots of game sites spread every month who have tons of games without paying a dime.
    And then,those clients who pay high amounts of money like for promo games often don´t care that much about indepth uber quality gameplay (exceptions underline the rule),for those its often more important that the product just looks good and is a good coffee break killer (next to beeing delivered in a really short timespan normally).
    I could go on listing reasons why web game developers normally earn way less than console game developers and at the same time why less high quality games are done in web technologies,but i think its enough for now.

    How and when those problematic points will/may change?
    just suggestions now:
    -when flash game developers ask for more money for a high quality game and don´t sell themselves low. (Better don´t sell it for a while than go mad because you sold it low and exclusively and then you could earn a ton more for a better deal later but don´t have the right to anymore).
    -when game developers release their games themselves or on a good coop portal where they earn a good percentage of the money the game returns (you´d go crazy thinking about how much money one of the most visited portals makes with your game hosted and what you get in return for it)
    -when flash games generally have protection routines embedded making it more difficult to abuse the game on another site
    -when the better earning developers team up and do a lawsuit against the content abusing sites
    -when developers explore the possibilities in as3 and some of them create high quality games which make the free crap on most sites look like junk and make the players and clients generally look for higher quality games.

  18. #18
    Senior Member UnknownGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsamson
    -when developers explore the possibilities in as3 and some of them create high quality games which make the free crap on most sites look like junk and make the players and clients generally look for higher quality games.
    That will be an awesome day.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Boombanguk's Avatar
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    in reply to pretty much everything tomsamson said.

    It shows that there´s a demand for high quality games because those high quality flash games i know have had huge playrates as far as i know and not just for a month but in most cases for over a year.
    because they are free!, or close to free!, whether they be high quality flash games, or low, if something is free on the net, people will be more willing to play it or download it. That is why Flash games are played by so many people. It does not mean that people love Flash games, it just means that people like a free game! (regardless of quality usually). Also regarding the portals, I suspect they make all their money through advertising on the site, not from any money directly derived from the games themselves. Make people pay to play those Flash games, and watch those millions of hits to those sites drop to about 10!. If anything if a portal is making a tonne of money from advertising because its getting millions of hits per month, then shouldn't the developers get a percentage of that ad money?

    Flash game developers are not going to make as much as offline developers (when competing against offline games) until Flash games look like the latest offline games. Its as simple as that. Why would the public want to pay to play a Flash game that looks like a 15 year old console game?!? and even if they want to play a game like that, they will probably want to do it on their portable device (psp, sp, ds etc etc), not on their desktop.

    So I don't think its a case of developers selling themselves "low", I think if Flash game developers started expecting 20k for a game, it would just kill the Flash game market dead, and the portals would find something else for "free" to give away to the public. Having said that, I think I agree slightly with tomsamson in the sense that there is a difference between "coffee break" games ( which have to be at least 90% of Flash games) and what I would call a "real" game, i.e multiple levels, pause option, gameplay that lasts at least 30 mins if its mission based. Right now, in portals and other sites, Flash games are FLASH games, regardless of quality, and I think that lack of distiction hurts quality Flash developers. The only way to change that, is for more "quality" flash games to be developed, I think Flash 8, helps a lot in that regards.

    -when flash games generally have protection routines embedded making it more difficult to abuse the game on another site
    this is a very good point, and something which is easy to forget. But, offline developers have struggled for years to have protection for their games, and they have still not perfected it, which is partly why PC games have lower sells then console games. Ironic though that PC developers are now using the internet as a means to protect their games, when Flash games being net based are so hard to protect!

    -when developers explore the possibilities in as3 and some of them create high quality games which make the free crap on most sites look like junk and make the players and clients generally look for higher quality games.
    yup extactly, thats the point I was making above, except that I think Flash 8, is fine for making games, as3 is just if you want to make 3D stuff.

    One last point I would make is development team size. Offline games take lots of people lots of time to make them, the days of 1 guy (or girl) in their room making a complete game has long since passed for offline games, and although I'm not saying that you have to have a 100 people to make a good game, I think its harder to do the kinds of high quality games we're aiming for with 1 person...

  20. #20
    Senior Member The Helmsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boombanguk
    ok you have that game, and I'll play burnout revenge on my x-box, or medal of honour 2 etc etc , I didn't say it wasn't possible to do that in Flash, I just suggested that its always going to be better on a console or a latest PC.
    I have Quake 4 and Half-Life 2 on my PC, and the overall graphics quality in both of them on my nVidia 6800 makes me cry. It's looks almost like pre-rendered scenes of the latest Sci-Fiction movies.... but there are no story in both of them. Actually the story was the last thing developers thought about when they worked on those titles.
    The story of "Death in Sakkara" game was brilliant and reminds me old "Indiana Jones" movies. It makes work your imagination as well as investigate and explore. Thats a different feeling and i'll be happy when it will be not inside the creepy Flash title but in the latest 3D title too. Due to this time i can remember only one game where the 3D graphics was the same quality as a story. It was Max Payne II.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kakihara
    ....Ive made quite a few games and only sold a handful for only marginal money, you cant earn a living out of it unless you work for a media company creating promotional games for big brands....
    ...As for coming up with innovative ideas that will change the way of flash gaming: It just doesnt happen, you get a good idea come out and within a week they idea has been copied 100 times, so everyone gets fed up with that kind of game and moves on leaving the original developer scratching his head trying to come up with another great idea. A great game with innovative ideas doesnt generally sell for more than a game thats just a rehash of an old classic, so whats the point in slaving for days over something that you aint going to get rewarded for?...
    IMHO the old business model when you pay for the game will not work with tha Flash games. I can't imagine when i pay for the title a dime which is looks like ****.... but i can pay if it will be for my mobile phone (remember PopCap?) or if it will be with good story I can re-played (beTrapped by Oberon Media) or i'll be ready to press a banner if the game i want to play requires it It looks like Flash games requires new business model in order to bring money to game developers. The examples above illustrates known ways on how you can make money with Flash games, but think about ways which needs to be discovered and implemented?
    The next thing i want to point on is that i don't see clones of Flash games which i posted before. Interesting isn't it?
    Besides this, the mass-multi-player games made with Flash can't be stolen (or it will be extremely difficult to steal it) and use on another website. For example i can refer to Tactics Arena and Dofus games which i don't see on any game portals except the original websites.
    Last edited by The Helmsman; 12-27-2005 at 03:12 PM.

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