Experiment: monetizing a Flash game – Part 8

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

More than a month passed since the last update of the experiment. Now it’s time to show you how things are going.

As you can see on the weekly updated widget, my games are still performing well, with the only exception of Tileball, that I will discuss later.

But let’s see some details and goals: unfortunately the dollar is getting weaker and weaker against the euro so the minimum goal is now set to 46 dollars per hour of developing/branding/promoting, while only a month ago was 44.

Circle Chain: $71/hour
Chirstmas Couples: $62/hour
Tileball: $4/hour
GuessNext: $42/hour
Glomb: $96/hour

I’ll make a more detailed report in next update, because the aim of this update is not showing my past games but introduce you my new one: BallBalance, at the moment released only on Kongregate, scored with a 2.93/5

BallBalance

The aim of the game is simple: You control a ball with the mouse, and you have to drop it on a balance. Once you drop it, you will control another ball that you have to drop, and so on. Every ball has a set weight and affects the balance according to its distance from the fulcrum. Match three or more balls of the same color horizontally or vertically to make them disappear. When a side of the balance hits the ground, it’s game over.

Then I added some features to the game:

9 levels with increasing difficulty (the higher the level, the heavier te balls)
bonus points for quick combos or combos involving more than three balls
3 different powerups
MochiAds leaderboards

It’s almost an one-week game (it took me 18 hours to make it) based on A new Flash game prototype post.
You should always check for new prototypes because new prototype = new game concept.

But the the thing I want to focus in this post is how did I try to monetize the game. I already reviewed flashgamelicense.com in the post Find a sponsor for your Flash game with Flash Game License and this game was a test drive to determine how this service works.

So I submitted the game when it was a pre-alpha with just some colored circles moving here and there, and to increase the appeal of the game I promised a review of the portal sponsoring it.

I thought “some minor portal will be happy to catch a review on my 3,000 unique visitors day blog for free!”.

It’s ironic how the portal that sponsored the game is one of the most famous ones in the web…

Well, as said, I received feedback from a sponsor after some hours, then I got a couple of non exclusive sponsorship requests and finally an exclusive sponsorship request with MochiAds allowed. I was about to accept the offer when Chris (flashgamelicense.com owner) told me that Kongregate would like to sponsor the game… and when I say “Kongregate” I mean

Kongregate

At this point, I could update the offer waiting for an higher bidder… but I thought Kongregate is a sponsor that a Flash game developer must have in his portfolio, so I accepted the offer.

I won’t unveil at the moment how much Greg (Kong’s owner) gave me for the sponsorship, but I’ll tell you how his sponsorship works.

In my (and Chris) opinion, Kong’s sponsorship is one of the best types of deals out there right now… it’s a so-called “Primary License”, that means I can still sell non-exclusive licenses to sites if I site lock the game to those sites. Otherwise the game must have Kongregate’s logos and links in the game.

Moreover, I have MochiAds in the game (that won’t be displayed in Kong) and will also get revenue share from Kongregate’s site.

On the other side, the game must be only on Kongregate for the first week.

I am very excited for this sponsorship and I can’t wait the week to be over so I can submit my game to other portals.

What did I learn?

Time to share my thoughts about this experience…

1) Once your game is complete, shut down your computer

No matter if it’s a one day game or a one week game… when you are close to complete your game, you only think about releasing.
If you shut down your computer, once you turn it on again you will realize you forgot something or that enemy sprite could be better.
Don’t be a victim of the “got-to-release-it-right-now” syndrome like most AAA games…

2) Once your game is REALLY complete, insert MochiAds and MochiBot

Once your game is really complete, create a MochiAds account if you don’t already have one and insert both MochiAds ads and MochiBot statistics.

3) Upload your game to Flash Game License

Let this site work for you.
Create an account on flashgamelicense.com and upload your game, with your requests.
I have both a developer and a sponsor account in the sponsored one I can see a lot of three figures sponsorship offers… and some four figures too… there is no need to waste time looking for sponsors elsewhere… use that time to produce your next game!
For your security, you should sitelock the game to flashgamelicense.com (I’ll write a tutorial about it next days) and encrypt it with a software like Amayeta’s SWF Encrypt.
The software costs $125, that’s less than 10% of a single interesting sponsorship, and you can protect any amount of games with it…

4) Wait…

That’s the hardest part. At this point you really want to release your game.
Just wait at least a week. Use that week to start making another game.

5) Publish it and remember who helped you

Once you deal with the sponsor logos placement, sponsorship policies and so on, publish the game.
At this time you have the money and you are very happy. Don’t forget who helped you making this possible.
Send Chris 10% of the sponsorship for the service and feel free to buy me a beer, or twenty.
This is not mandatory, but if you give Chris his commission I am sure he will help you to get the best sponsorship he can, next time you upload a new game. And about my beer… well, I am italian… did you see The Godfather movie?

See you next time.

* Last minute update: Chris is co-owner of Flashgamelicense, and Greg is not the owner of Kongregate. He is in charge of community relations and sponsorships :)

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