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Alternative Self-Publishing

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tfowers
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Joined: 07/05/2009

Hey guys, I wanted to bring up a self publishing model that might fit some of your individual situations. We're flash game developers that love board games. So we make video games influenced by board game mechanics(our game 'Now Boarding') and board games influenced by video games(the restaurant game we showed at Protospiel)
We've found success in the flash market with making a flash demo version of our game and sending it out for free. There are thousands of flash game sites that constantly want new free games. So we have ads in our game that sell a "full download version" and link to our site( www.nowboarding.us ) SO MANY people play flash games, I'd say you can expect over 100,000 plays of your game minimum, most make it over 1 million. With these kind of numbers, you only need a fraction of a fraction to find a decent audience.
I know not many of you have the ability(or friends) to code a flash version of your boardgame. Also, not all boardgames translate well to videogames. BUT, if you can make a flash version of your game, I think a "preorder 500" type system would be pretty easy to reach. Have a picture of the boardgame with a link to a webpage with info and a big fundraiser "Thermometer" showing the current preorders. There are just so many people that will see the game, getting 500 or 1000 that love your game should be feasible.
Once you have your preorders, you should be able to do a print run, or go to a publisher with 500 preorders, they'll probably be more interested.
Thoughts?

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
what's a good text

to learn Flash from?

DavidBradbury
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Joined: 07/22/2009
I like the concept. I think

I like the concept. I think if I saw it in action, I'd be much more likely to participate. Of course, I'm a tiny bit of a control freak, so I'd want to make sure that my rights to my game, art, etc were in tact, as well as earning shared income from the game and advertising - Overall the concept is nice, I'd just want to make sure it was safe, professional, and fun :) Now Boarding looks well done, I'd like to see more!

simpson
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Joined: 10/22/2008
We made flash & PC versions

We made flash & PC versions of our mobile games a few years back which had very encouraging numbers. We used pre-orders to fund our full release game support along with sequels. I would do the same again if I had a large-scale game design in the works (including the XBLA audience this time around).

More and more traditional designers are taking cues from video game developers but its going to take time for trends to fully take hold. Plus any effort spent on promoting the game, takes away effort spent on perfecting the game.

simpson

MichaelM
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Joined: 03/09/2009
Sounds interesting

How long does it take for you to code the flash game? And do you have the web capabilities to bring people together to play it?

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Are you looking for a client, or a partner?

Color me interested.

However, I have one big question: Are you looking for client, or a partner? By this I mean: Are you looking for a designer who will hire you to make a Flash version of a game to promote pre-orders for a tangible board game, or are you looking for a designer who will work with you to design Flash games and share with you in the profits for same?

If you're looking for a partner, I'm tremendously interested and I'd like to take the conversation off-line (private messages). If you're curious about what kinds of games I make and my ability to produce, check out my 100+ games at Invisible City: http://www.invisible-city.com/play/521/list-of-all-games . I have plenty more unreleased games in various stages of development.

If you're looking for a client, I'm not your target audience, since I don't publish my own games – I just license them to publishers. However, I think it's a great and clever idea.

tfowers
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Joined: 07/05/2009
Coding certainly varies

Coding certainly varies widely based on how complex the game is, and the skills of the programmer. Also having some good looking art helps it get more players. There are alot of technologies for multiplayer flash, electroserver, smartfox are 'socket' server programs, an easy one would be Nonoba( http://nonoba.com/developers/multiplayerapi/overview ) since they do the hosting. But multiplayer flash games just don't get as wide a distribution as single player. Most of the problem is getting people together to play at the same time - empty servers scare people off. We've even been working on a multipurpose online gametable with voice( www.tabletopnetwork.com ) but it's on hold for now. Multiplayer is also much more complicated to code. My current belief is you need a strong single player game to get alot of attention. This could mean playing VS AI bots, or redesigning the gameplay to be single player. The main purposes of a flash game it to get the player hooked on the core gameplay, and teach them some of how the physical version of the game plays.
Having a multiplayer version on your site would be a fantastic demo tool to show people how to play, and allow your audience to play with each other, but a widely distributed single player version is probably more important for finding new players.

MichaelM
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Joined: 03/09/2009
I am Interested

I would have interest in this depending on how we can implement payment / compensation... etc

Check out my stuff and contact me.

Michael
Tasty Minstrel Games
My Blog Covering Game Publishing and Internet Marketing / Blogging

tfowers
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Joined: 07/05/2009
We're not actually interested

We're not actually interested in making flash games for people, but we're pointing out the opportunity in the market. Right now there isn't an easier way to get your brand/game in front on millions of players than flash games. We are planning on experimenting with this alternative marketing with our boardgames, and we'll let you know how it goes. We've had alot of success with Now Boarding, and it's design was influenced by pickup and deliver boardgames.
We're happy to share our knowledge on making and distributing flash games. Feel free to ask me questions.

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