This past weekend I attended the Flash Gaming Summit in San Francisco. I thought, before I get into any detailed articles about the event, it might be fun to just throw out a few quotes that really stood out to me. Some were inspiring, some interesting, but all listed here caught my attention. Bear in mind, I was taking notes the entire day, but I can only write so fast… thus what I’m calling a quote my actually be paraphrased. Regardless, it’s the message that struck me, not the words that were used.

Flash+ A Whole New Dimension for Games
Thibault Imbert & Lee Brimelow, Adobe

  • Mobile game revenue 2009: $4.7b | 2010: $5.6b | 2014: $11.4b
  • Adobe is looking at building APIs for using game controllers in Flash games
  • Native bitmap cursors now available
  • Stage Video utilizes the GPU which gets the same performance as QT on Windows. Drops CPU usage to almost nothing.

Keeping Yourself Honest in Game Design
Andy Moore, Radial Games

  • If you release a game that sucks, no-one will notice. People WILL notice your game when you fix the problems and re-release.
  • You can’t target everybody.
  • Surround yourself with talented people who can do what you can’t. Don’t try to be a one-man show.
  • Be promiscuous. Find partners on a per-project basis. Just because a team agreed on game A doesn’t mean they’ll both share the same passion on game B… and you want to be working with people who have a passion for the game.
  • Steambirds was originally known as “SexyPlane”
  • “The game on the left is the game I love. The game on the right is the one that made me money. You have to strike a balance.”
  • At the time of writing, the Steambirds franchise has made around $200k, including roughly $125k from iOS and Android sales and $40k from the initial sponsorship.

Panel: Metrics From Top Game Developers
Anil Dharni, Funzio | Curt Berertron, ZipZapPlay
Greg Thompson, Tall Tree Games | Mike Sego, Gaia Online

  • Roughly 1-3% of your users will be paying users.
  • If in the first month your game is not making as much money as you’re spending on it, you need to quickly figure out how it can make money or dump it.
  • A few thousand dollars is a decent starting marketing budget for FB ads because they yield high quality traffic. Use metrics and adjust.
  • Different is good. Even though Baking Life was another game in the sim genre, it was the first baking-related game on Facebook
  • Scandinavian audiences tend to monetize the best
  • Competition is important in a FB game
  • The assumptions you’re making about your FB game will almost certainly be wrong. Release early and iterate.
  • It’s less expensive to acquire users on FB than on a destination website

Panel: Polish: Make Your Games Shine
Panelists: Alexander Shen, Mochi Media | Daniel Stradwick, Monstrum
Jared Riley, Hero Interactive | Mike Pollack, Tasselfoot

  • Polish means not taking shortcuts
  • Polish includes hitting genre expectations
  • Cater to as many people as you can. In the console world, users have already invested $60 when they play your game. In the Flash gaming world, another game is just a free click away.
  • “I’m not time rich, I’m money rich”. – People are much more comfortable making micropayments for consumables. Spending a dollar to stay alive long enough to complete a level is more palatable to a gamer than paying for extra content or otherwise unobtainable features.
  • Sponsors usually won’t spend more than a few minutes playing your game. They love to see versions with cheats that allow them skip ahead in the game and see the full experience without having to play the game from start to finish.
  • You want users playing your game they way they’re comfortable. Consider allowing button mapping as a way to retain users.

And this one about Facebook games just made me laugh:

People have about 10 minutes to play your game before they move on… or their boss comes in.

For more information on the speakers mentioned in this article, click here If you’d like to watch the events summarized above, click here.

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