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Experiment: monetizing a Flash game

Multipart tutorial: available parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

This is the first part of an experiment I want to start. Can we monetize a Flash game? And what kind of Flash game should we monetize?

Before starting to explain my experiment, let me introduce you three different categories of Flash games: one-day game, one-week game and one-month game.

The one-day game is a game you can develop in one day, or in a few hours. The game will not have great graphics or stunning level design because this requires time, and the gameplay will be very simple. The one-day game can only rely on originality and gameplay.
Pros: very quick game development – easy to play for everyone
Cons: poor graphic – repetitive gameplay
A big example: Boomshine

The one-week game is a game that requires some days to be coded. It should feature levels, powerups and a more complex gameplay.
Pros: very similar to a “big” game – can be very addictive
Cons: debugging could delay the release or the game may have some bugs
A big example: Bloons

The one-month game is a game that requires a month (or more) to be ready to play. Excellent graphics, great gameplay and a lot of well balanced levels is what it should offer
Pros: It’s a damn good looking game!
Cons: May require a team – If people will not like the game, it would be a very amount of time wasted
A big example: Ball Revamped 5

It’s up to you to choose what kind of game you are about to code, even if I suggest to make a couple of one-day games before trying to shock players with a more complex project.

I’ll try to monetize every category of game, and I am starting with a one-day game called Circle Chain.

Circle Chain

It’s inspired to Boomshine and it’s made of about 200 lines. I will release the source and the tutorial very soon.

At the moment I want you to know I made it in 3 hours. So it’s time to decide how much I want to earn from a game I made in 3 hours. This depends a lot from the Country you live in… here in Italy, an average programmer is paid about 30 euro/hour, even if I know a PROgrammer that earns about 80 euro/hour.

So I am going to define three goals: one for the “average programmer”, one for the PROgrammer and one “dream goal”.

I said the game took me 3 hours, and I am going to calculate an extra hour promoting the game on forums, blogs, sites and so on.

So the average programmer should earn 120 euro, the PROgrammer 320 euro and I am fixing the dream goal to 1000 euro.

Since all payments are made in dollars, here it is the goal sheet:

Average programmer: $172
PROgrammer: $460
Dream: $1439

Honestly, I am not quite sure I will hit the $172 goal

Never mind. It’s just an experiment, and should it fail, we’ll learn how not to monetize a Flash game.

Next question is: how to monetize? I decided to publish it on a page of this site with some Adsense ads and to embed Mochiads ads.

I would like to include Kontera ads too but I dont’ want to fill the page with ads.

The page I made is very lame, but I had to to it this way because I have only an hour to promote the game, unless I want my goals to raise…

Note: being a one-hour game, I am not looking for a sponsor. I will contact some of them when I’ll publish at least a one-week game.

Note 2: Mochiads does not pay you until the game is approved by its staff even if you are displaying ads. So at the moment I won’t submit the game to big portals. I’ll wait until they approve the game.

At the moment I have no further news, so I am waiting for Mochiads…

What else can I say? Play the game and give me feedback about it… how much will I earn? Did you like it? Did you beat all levels?

Multipart tutorial: available parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Rate this post: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (21 votes, average: 4.76 out of 5)
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This post has 68 comments

  1. mastermax

    on October 28, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    I was making one day games before. I am making one week games now. You can see my flash games at games121 .

    http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2007/04/29/create-a-flash-game-like-security-part-2/

    helped me a lot at creating the Ultimate Assassin.

  2. chaew

    on October 28, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    well ive just got back from a holiday in italy ;) and played this game and i think it is very addictive! its great for three hours work but if you wanted to improve it you could add better graphics and sound effects maybe.

  3. styxtwo

    on October 28, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    wow nice experiment, i have a feeling the one-week games can make the most average money (per hour). since it has a good look and gameplay, but on the other side doesn’t cost a lot of time

  4. Games, Flash and money | zedia flash blog

    on October 28, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    […] This guy blogs about how to monetize a game you made in flash and what type of game you should target. It’s a nice article, the guy even made a game to experiment with and the game is pretty fun and really simple. I always wanted to make flash games and I have ideas that have been in my head for years but I never took the time to sit down and do them. Also it got me thinking about Air and flash games, now that you can make a desktop version of your game without too much trouble, it gives you another way to monetize your gave by making a small version online and a big version for the desktop. […]

  5. zedia.net

    on October 28, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Your game is really nice and I enjoyed playing it, but as for most one-day games, I don’t think I will ever play it again. It was nice that you added different types of circles, but I don’t think that it added enough complexity for me to want to play again. Maybe it was also the fact that luck and not ability did most of the work to complete a level. Also, you should optimize your page for search engines, you could do this by putting the instructions below the game or by adding a description or some text at least. Search Engines will be your first source of visits and will last for a very long time.

  6. pepe

    on October 28, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    The experiment looks very exciting, I’m making some games and I don’t know what could be better, add mochiads or sponsorship.

    Here, there’s a list with the money earned from sponsorship of some games:
    http://www.flashgamesponsorship.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=37

  7. Maciek

    on October 29, 2007 at 2:38 am

    I thouguht ill join ur monetizing thing, ive got a three hours flight tomorrow so maybe ill be able to come up with a game^^

  8. Thomas

    on October 29, 2007 at 5:36 am

    wow! you could become a financial consultant!

  9. Frederik J

    on October 29, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Nice game, at 3 hours. Personal i don’t think, that it will make the PROgrammer income, because as zedia.net said, its not good enough for me, to play it again. But anyway, nice! And im sure I’ll enjoy your tutorial, Emanuele.
    /Frederik

  10. And Mar

    on October 30, 2007 at 12:53 am

    I was dumb. My first game was 3-months to program, and it should have taken a week.

  11. Samuel Rostøl

    on October 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Emanuele.

    Please post the tutorial in OOP, there simply aren’t enough tutorials on game-making in OOP.

  12. Samuel Rostøl

    on October 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Nice game, very addicting :D

  13. IceTran

    on October 30, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    nice work there dude
    I like lvl 19 the most and the blue circles gets abit annoying. I nearly thought lvl 16 was the end.
    I kind of like the game but its not really addicting enough. Good work.

  14. ReJex

    on October 30, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Ahh, I noticed your game at
    http://www.kongregate.com/games/triqui/circle-chain?referrer=rejex

    So I decided to come over here to see what was going on. This is a very interesting experiment, and I can’t wait for the results.

  15. Bart

    on October 31, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Nice experiment! To how many and what sites did you submit your game?

  16. Emanuele Feronato

    on October 31, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    I am updating the experiment post with submissions and other details in day or two.

    Just a little spoiler… I am rather satisfied of the results.

  17. Nikolai

    on November 1, 2007 at 1:27 am

    Doh! Mine took 3 days. I can’t get anything right.

    http://www.dicingdangers.com/purp.php

  18. bob

    on November 1, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Nice. But please give us the option to disable sound. The more control you give your users, the more they will enjoy the experience.

  19. Cale Gibbard

    on November 1, 2007 at 6:58 am

    Hey, I have a better experiment. What if someone did something not only out of an interest in making money? Nah, it’s crazy, it’d never work.

  20. Experiment: monetizing a Flash game - Part 2 : Emanuele Feronato - italian geek and PROgrammer

    on November 4, 2007 at 7:39 pm

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  22. Experiment: monetizing a Flash game - Part 3 : Emanuele Feronato - italian geek and PROgrammer

    on November 11, 2007 at 6:56 pm

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  23. shaneneville.com » links for 2007-11-13

    on November 14, 2007 at 5:32 am

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  24. Experiment: monetizing a Flash game - Part 4 : Emanuele Feronato - italian geek and PROgrammer

    on November 19, 2007 at 12:21 am

    […] suggest you to read part 1, 2 and 3 before […]

  25. Experiment: monetizing a Flash game - Part 5 : Emanuele Feronato - italian geek and PROgrammer

    on November 25, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    […] month passed since the release of Circle Chain… read steps 1 to 4 to get informed about […]

  26. Experiment: monetizing a Flash game - Part 6 : Emanuele Feronato - italian geek and PROgrammer

    on December 5, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    […] sixth part of the experiment comes with a milestone of Circle Chain game: it reached 200,000 MochiAds […]

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    on December 8, 2007 at 3:38 pm

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  30. Peter Kao

    on January 31, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Very interesting experiment!

    I find myself always clicking on links before a game loads for some odd reason, despite the fact that I am an expert in avoiding Adsense traps. Maybe I’m just too impatient :)

    Peter Kao
    Mind of an Undergrad Entrepreneur – http://peterkao.com

  31. Find a sponsor for your Flash game with Flash Game License : Emanuele Feronato - italian geek and PROgrammer

    on February 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    […] In my opinion this is an extremely useful service, anyway I am testing it with a game, so stay tuned for the next part of the experiment. […]

  32. andy

    on February 20, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    nice games Very nice experiment

  33. Experiment: monetizing a Flash game - Part 8 : Emanuele Feronato - italian geek and PROgrammer

    on March 4, 2008 at 7:11 pm

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  35. Copernicus

    on May 10, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I played your game and I love it! I’ve beaten all your levels – your game is perfect: Easy to learn, a do-and-watch gameplay, I simply love it!

  36. Danyal

    on July 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Hey cale,

    “Hey, I have a better experiment. What if someone did something not only out of an interest in making money? Nah, it’s crazy, it’d never work.”

    You think people enjoy sitting around figuring out how to make money?

    It’s probably the most frustrating thing, having ideas and stuff but not having the time to do them because you’re sitting on your arse bashing out crappy commercial websites just to pay the bills.

    So if this experiment works then congratulations to you Emanuele.

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    on October 5, 2008 at 11:45 am

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  42. bgfdtbhs

    on November 2, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    My game took about 3 weeks.

  43. Max

    on November 16, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Good game, but too hard. I couldn’t get past level 5.

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    on November 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm

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  48. Tom

    on June 11, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    nice games!

    QUOTE:
    “It’s inspired to Boomshine and it’s made of about 200 lines. I will release the source and the tutorial very soon.”

    where is the source available please? i’m interested in it to learn how it works. would you be so kind to email me the source?

    thanks

  49. Cippa Lippa

    on August 14, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Se prendo un tuo gioco, gli cambio gli sprites e ci scrivo che e’ uno spin-off mi benedici o ti incazzi (vedi link)?

    http://www.mindjolt.com/games/bones-chain

  50. Emanuele Feronato

    on August 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Benedizione…

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  52. Flash Games Master

    on October 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Good game but need to be able to shut of the sound. Very addictive and very interesting experiment.

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  54. Libby Murray

    on May 20, 2010 at 2:55 am

    I have used Kontera on one of my blogs and i earn good from this ad program.,*`

  55. daylyn

    on March 31, 2011 at 9:18 am

    a nice work,a funny game,i enjoy it very much

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  57. AllexandarF1

    on November 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Check my project! :D
    http://www.kongregate.com/games/AllexandarF1/color-balls-remake

  58. Marcelo M L

    on January 6, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Hi Emanuele,

    Here a example:
    http://www.asmallgame.com/2011/04/making-of-a-small-car/
    Basic game, good graphics, sounds, easy developing tools

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    on December 3, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Your blog is great. Just the thing that any person starting a flash game business should read.
    Your blog helped me a bit when i was starting my site
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