So I was talking to Greg today (Kongregate’s Greg)… and it came up that there haven’t been many great games released recently. Laments were had about lack of sponsored games and lack of video views. Tears were shed (probably… Greg’s that kind of guy). He then asked me what the guys at Armor were working on, and the list of stuff I gave him surprised me when I looked at it.
Armor has 5 full-time flash developers. This is what they’re working on:
Tony: Shift 5 & a spoof TD game based around his spoof RPG game
Con: The Last Stand: Union City
Krin: nothing official, but his forum’s moderator posted that he’s working on a Sinjid sequel
John: FlipSide, a mini-game compilation akin to FSF meets Simon Says… I have a feeling the title will be changed before release… I haven’t played it, but from my understanding of the game, the title doesn’t seem to fit that well.
Joey: that phuzzle that I mentioned in an earlier blog, plus he mentioned some sequels in an ArmorBlog interview.
Now, what does this all have in common? Not a single original idea in the lot… every single one is a sequel (I’m stretching a bit on John’s game, but go with it). This seems to be a big trend in flash games recently… very few new ideas, lots and lots of sequels / title re-works. BTD4, BTTD, CycloManiacs 2, Perfect Balance 2, Epic Quest, etc etc. I could give a very long list.
There’s nothing wrong with sequels. It’s far easier to come up with 1 great idea and then capitalize on the success of that game by releasing sequels. But you can only rest on your laurels for so long… it’d be nice to throw some new concepts in now and again. Console games have been doing it for years. My fear is that this is some sort of early warning bells for the start of the industry’s decline. I’m likely being paranoid, and this just happens to be a lull time, but I’m mostly dependant on ad revenue from video views to live… so forgive me my paranoia.
What are your thoughts on flash game sequels? Are you happy to see a 5th SHIFT game or 4th Bloons TD game? Where would you like to see these top developers spending their time? I’m a bit torn on it myself. This is something I’ve told more than one developer: Sequels have name recognition. That can be a good or bad thing (or both to different people). People KNOW what Sonny is; they aren’t going to play Sonny 3 if they didn’t like Sonny 1/2… even if Sonny 3 is 100x better. So you’re immediately alienating part of your potential player base. But, there is the other half… those who will immediately play it because they recognize it and like it, and portals that will host it for the same reason. With a non-sequel, players have no bias… they see a name, a picture, and a rating and decide if they want to try the game out or not. There are obvious pros and cons to both, depending.
I really don’t think I can say it enough times… the guys at Armor are amazing. Not only were they the first guys to work with me on walkthroughs, but they continue to help me out and hook me up. I was just trying to assist John and Joey, giving some feedback and advice on their upcoming games… and Dan sends me a nice chunk of cash. Completely out of the blue. I’ve tried to do what I can to return the favors… running Poker Night in San Fran, sending a Candy Basket… gotta figure something else out now. Maybe they want bowling lessons?
So, yeah. Make sure to play all your games on Armor, because they’re the coolest guys I know (note: nothing against all the other really cool guys I know and work with). And check out Joey’s game that I helped out on, The Competitor.
Another week, another new game created in-house by Joey Betz and John Cooney of Armor Games. This is 2 weeks in a row now they’ve started a game on Monday and released it by Friday. Last week it was Demolition City (just Joey)… this week it is nanoTank. Both games are really cool concepts, but you can see that only a week was put into them… mostly in the level design. There is a bit of a lack of creativity to them, but that is to be expected. Mostly, I’m nick-picking. In actuality, I’m hoping that a month or two from now they go back to these games and create sequels from them… adding harder and more creative levels, new feature sets, and level editors.
nanoTank puts you in the role of a long tank with a big gun. Your goal is to make it to the other side. Simple? Not quite. Falling objects, spikes, and timed gates are there to stop you. Plus, there are 5 stars per level and a speed time to achieve on each level. Plenty of challenge for the gamer that just HAS to do everything.
In case you get stuck, here is my walkthrough showing how to beat each level in under the par time:
Play the game now on Armor Games!
New game in the “blow stuff up” genre… I’d call it a cousin to games like Fragger or Roly-Poly Cannon. Place bombs on certain pieces of a building to demolish it under a specific height. Pretty fun, not too hard, and over too fast. I suspect there will be a sequel. Could also use a level editor!