27th Sep 2012
I had the pleasure of giving a presentation at the onGameStart 2012 conference in Warsaw, Poland. The title of my talk was “Insert Coin to Continue”. A gentle nod to the fact that lots of game developers do actually need paying in order to carry on creating great games! I wanted to share my experiences and results of working in the HTML5 game sponsorship market. The Flash world is well served by sites like FGL and blog posts detailing income and strategies. But very little exists for HTML5 games, hence the choice of topic for my talk. This article will cover most of my presentation for those who weren’t able to attend.
Client games vs. Indie games
As a company we develop HTML5 games for both clients and ourselves. The reason is both financial and practical. Client work simply pays better right now. And the more of it you do, the more doors it can open to other bigger and more interesting projects. In my experience this is no different to any other platform. But there are obvious benefits of making your own games:
- It’s your own IP! There is value in establishing a brand and common IP even in the relatively small scale sponsorship world.
- You can make anything. This is important – no matter how awesome your clients are you are always working within set brand guidelines. They’ll never really allow you to do truly anything you want. But when you build for yourself this restriction is removed. You have to be careful of course, as great as Dinosaur Chicken Rock III might sound to you, if you want to get sponsors it needs to appeal to the wider market too.
- There is the very real chance of long term income. I’ll cover this later in the article, but ad revenue and ‘game rental’ can build up substantially over time, where as most client work is a one-off payment.
The benefits are obvious. As well as getting to flex your design muscles in your own way there are significant long term benefits as well. Lots of companies started out by mixing client and indie work only to find that the income from their indie endeavors was enough to leave the client side behind (Nitrome are a good example of this). So let’s explore how you turn this passion into income.
17th Sep 2012
We’ve been busy working on our own titles recently, along way a raft of games for the BBC, and one of our new titles is called Dungeon Darts. It’s part of my series of games where I tried to think what sort of bar games would take place in a stock Tolkein fantasy land. In this outing we’ve got dwarfs playing darts, using jewel encrusted daggers and a dragon emblazed dart board 🙂 Here’s a WIP of the title page:
The game art was created by Ezra Allen, so if you’re ever in the need of quality 3D modelling or illustration then drop him a line. We hope to have the game itself released in the next couple of months.
14th Sep 2012
Color Crush is our new mini puzzle game. After the rush of client games we’ve been blogging about recently we felt it was time to show something that we made just for ourselves 🙂 It will be one of the launch line-up games on the new AOL Games.com mobile portal, but essentially was just something put together because I’ve always loved this style of game.
Needless to say if you’d like to license this game for your portal then drop us a line.
13th Sep 2012
We were very happy to work with Tminus1 Creative on a set of 3 games for Agilent Technologies Summer of Fun campaign. We produced mobile, tablet and Flash versions of each game to cover the widest range of devices possible. The games by their very design were just meant to be small slices of fun before the player entered a prize draw. There’s no real way to “fail” at any of the games, you just keep going until you’ve won them 🙂
12th Sep 2012
I’m pleased to say that I’ll be giving two presentations in the coming weeks. The first will be at the onGameStart HTML5 Game Developers conference in Warsaw, Poland. I’ll be talking on the Friday (21st September) and the title of my talk is “Insert Coin to Continue: Making Money from your HTML5 Games“. This will cover the HTML5 Game Developers business forum I run, sharing experience and figures of working with games portals and sponsors along with hints and tips on getting the most out of them. I’ll also share what I’ve learned about licensing your games to clients and cover both the good and bad sides of the sponsor market, including knowing what warning signs to look out for and how to avoid getting ripped off.
Then on October 4th I’ll be speaking at Bristol Skillswap. This will take place at the Pervasive Media Studios and tickets are free but limited in number. I’ll be covering my experiences of building HTML5 games including how to handle various issues such as mobile screen sizes and performance as well as how to set the right expectation levels for clients! I’ll be talking to a very technically savvy crowd so it won’t be baby step stuff, but I hope still interesting 🙂
If you’re around at either event please come and say hi!
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