I last updated this list 5 months ago (and 1st did it 5 months before that). Once again, there is plenty of changes to the list; 21 new games, to be exact. The 100th video viewcount has increased from 93k to 155k. Total top100 views are up to 45 mil. Armor is still well in first, BubbleBox is still 2nd (although will probably lose ground, now that they aren’t owned by Martijn anymore)… the big newcomers are Spil Games and Slix Media, with NotDoppler also having a nice increase. Things are now neck and neck between Joey and John for top dev. And the top100′s % of total views is now down to 71.4%.
Views are in thousands. Count is the number of videos that sponsor/dev has on the top100 list.
MrRubix is a very good friend of mine. We chat almost daily. I’ve had the good fortune to meet up with him on multiple occasions. There is even a very long Tass Tips that features him. He is probably the single smartest individual that I know, and when motivated, the best gamer. When I am stuck walkthroughing a game, I turn to Rubix first.
Unfortunately, the Rubix of old has disappeared. He graduated college a little over a year ago, then spent about 6 months figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. Eventually, he settled on a high paying corporate gig in NYC that is worthy of his intelligence and schooling. Ever since starting this job, he has been rife with cbf (a fun little acronym that stands for “can’t be f*cked”).
The little psychology that I know leads me to believe he’s lost his drive to dominate in flash games because his time is limited. Why spend 6 hours on a game when he was just at work for 8+? Add to it a new girlfriend… and those of us in Impossible is Nothing have lost the Bix we’ve come to know and love.
So this is an open challenge to him. He started a thread on Kong a while back, and it has 20 incomplete challenges already. Here is the thread. Feel free to add HARD challenges to it for Rubix via the comments. Perhaps we can work together and get him out of cbf mode.
The original list is from February. A lot has changed since then. There are 17 new videos in the Top 100. The 100th video viewcount increased from 58k to 93k. Total views from the Top 100 has increased from 22 mil to 33 mil. But other things remain the same… Armor is well in first, with BubbleBox still solidly second. Joey Betz is still my top dev, but John Cooney and Eugene Karataev are gaining. And the % of views from the Top 100 has decreased from 81% to 76%.
Last Friday in the FGL (Flash Game License) chat, a few of us were talking about random game ideas, and the chat clown Benologist (Ben Lowry) gave one idea that I thought we could make into a game. 3 days late, we have a finished game… he did the programming and art, I did the design and QA. It’s a metagame about game commenters. We think it’s pretty funny.
Play Great Game! 1/5 on Kongregate and rate it 5/5 you like it. <3
Here is the lovely photo showing all of the caps spread out on my floor. All 90 of them:
And our winner… Kongregate user HuHeGa, who guessed 87!
A new bottle is already being filled, currently with 5 caps.
I’ll try and keep this short: Greg went to add badges to a just-released game. I suggested Möbius Strip as the badge name. So Greg adds it, complete with umlaut. I reload the game page, and it gives me an error. The umlaut broke the game page AND all of /badges/.
So Greg’s solution was to unpublish the game, go home, and deal with it tomorrow. I’m not sure if he knew the /badges/ page was down also… I didn’t mention it to him until about 3 seconds before he left.
Now, the obvious solution to this mess would be to just change out the ö for an o. Yet Greg did not do this… why? He’s not retarded, so I’ll infer the only logical explanation: he has no access/method to edit/delete a badge or badge name after it’s been released. As such, the only thing he could do was disable the game from being played; he has no ability to do anything about the /badges/ page… and hopefully place a frantic call in to one of the engineers or Greers to fix the problem before morning.
I could easily go off onto a whole tangent in regards to Greg’s lack of access, but that’s not my fight. Instead, let’s just bask in the awesomeness that I broke an integral part of Kong’s site and forced the shut down of a newly released, Kong sponsored, and 4.45 rated game! The bad news, however, is that that hurts me… I have a walkthrough in the game.
I received an email a few days ago asking me to fill out a survey about FGS, and what I filled in for the comments is pretty much what I am going to say here. I’ll only discuss those topics that I sat in on, which was all 3 developer story times that were in the dev room and all but 1 of the money panels (I also missed the NowBoarding storytime, but it was in direct competition with another story time). I did not hear anything about the 3 flash technologies that were discussed in the dev room.
Keynote: As stated in my previous post, we got to the keynote late, and only heard the last 10 minutes or so. However, I don’t understand the grandstanding of Jameson Huo (CEO of MochiMedia). I’ve said before that I have no idea how conferences generally work, but in my logical mind it seems appropriate for someone opening up a day of speakers to talk about the state of the industry, advances of the past year, hopes for the coming year… not to promote one’s own company and use it as a platform for announcing new services. People speaking are supposed to be imparting wisdom to assist those attending, not trying to boost their own bottom line (ok, everyone speaking is trying to boost their own bottom line… but it doesn’t have to be THAT obvious and in our faces).
AtomAtomic and Canabalt: I think I was pretty accurate with my statement in my previous rant from last month. Cool game, but no point/sense/need to have a 30 minute talk about how it was developed. It’s an incredibly simple game, and I think just about any successful game’s development story would have been quite similar, if not significantly more interesting.
History of Nitrome: Quite fascinating and entertaining, but I don’t know how helpful the talk was. I feel like their formula is fairly straight-forward… it just takes years of dedicated game development to get to the point that they’re at. Most developers could have taken a similar path as the Annals, they just didn’t have the drive or creative mindset to do so.
Next Gen Monetization: This panel was 4 guys who have microtransaction (MT) platforms trying to tell everyone why MTs are awesome, but that games need to be designed from the ground up to incorporate them; they can’t just be slapped on at the end. I certainly agree with what they said, but they pretty much covered everything they could say in about 5 minutes, then repeated themselves for another 55. The Social Gold guy barely spoke English (same with the moderator) and did not seem to add much at all to the panel. There was a question asked at the end of the panel that would have been quite worthwhile, except the douche who asked it was more interested in trying to be an asshole than actually asking something meaningful. He wanted to know why the 4 guys were only discussing MTs, when the topic of the panel was not “MTs in Flash Games,” it was “Next Gen Monetization.” Which is a perfectly valid question… and it stems from the selection committee either a) picking a bad topic or b) not picking a diversified enough group of people. I’ll go with B, given the group of people were all completely identical, just from different companies, although A could be accurate if all one wanted to do was change the name of the panel to match the people speaking.
Monetize Game Outside Sponsorship: So we got the money side of things from MT companies. Now we get the low and dirty from developers who all made a bunch of cash not getting their games sponsored… 3 through direct sale and 1 through MTs. Daniel James, while just as interesting as last year, didn’t really say anything new from last year (except the fascinating tidbit about Whirled losing 4+ million dollars). The Rocketbirds guy was a flat out terrible speaker, and probably detracted from the panel, having no idea what to say and admitting he had no idea what he was doing when monetizing his game. Colin Northway, after his plethora of comments and mockings last year, was rather refined when speaking. From talking with Andy Moore (Colin’s best friend, worked on Fantastic Contraption, and was the moderator of the panel) the night before over beers, I was informed that Colin had spoken about FC multiple times at conventions… my guess is he was a bit burnt out by it at this point. Overall, fairly interesting… you definitely can make way more money through this model, the game just needs to be really cool.
Sponsorship Panel: My proposed panel was so awesome that 2 of my speakers were stolen for this one. [/bitter]. Greg completely dominated this panel. Candystand was doomed from the start, because their member on the panel doesn’t even do sponsorships for them and she’d only been with the site for 4 months… my boy Dave Fahrer should have manned up and owned face on the panel. Joel Breton from Addicting Games seemed to be in his own little world during the panel, and apparently has a different opinion about his site’s sponsorship methods than that of every developer and other sponsor that I talked to (their speaker at last year’s FGS left the same impression). Lars is a cool guy, but he and Robin were toting the sugar-coated P.C. corporate verbage that nobody actually believes is truthful. And this is why Greg rocked it… he told the truth, bluntly. We’re all industry people, we’re all big kids, we all want to know the truth to make successful games as well as money… sugar coating sponsorships doesn’t help developers.
Boxhead: I’ll say the same thing I said directly to Sean Cooper about his talk… I didn’t understand 95% of it. But I’m not a developer, so it’s ok. The developers who I talked to about Sean’s talk (Jmtb, Gregory Weir, etc) all said that Sean is a genius. So I approve. However, it was also noted (and I agree) that he jumped around a lot, and didn’t really have a good flow from A to B in his talk. He also said something to me later in the day that I wasn’t sure if he was joking about or not (John said the same thing happened to him when talking to Sean); I’ll have to investigate more.
Zynga’s After Party: [rant]This started off strong… bus transportation from the conference to the bar. And it was all down hill from there. Let’s list the problems… 1) Extremely loud music is not conducive to networking. 2) Over 500 people at FGS this year, yet the bar is smaller than the 09 after party bar… could barely breathe, let alone move around. 3) Why, why, why, why, why did Zynga invite people from GDC to the party? Are they seriously that cheap that they can’t have 2 parties if they really want to host the FGS after party AND have a GDC party? It started off with all FGS people, but by about 8:00 it was filling in with old people in suits.[/rant]
So, I know this all comes across as pretty harsh… but this event is important to me and I’d like to see it be as awesome as possible. I also focused on the negative in this post, as I covered most of the positive things in the previous ones (networking, awesome people, etc). The event still needs to focus more on the games themselves, and less on profiting from them (I think we’re at the point where if we talk about monetization any more next year, it’ll just be a complete reiteration of this and last year’s talks). I think I have 1 more post’s worth of material, dealing with suggestions for FGS11.
Also, random note, I completely agree with something John said in his FGS10 blog post: it’s shocking how many social games are being developed in Flash; last year at the after party, I met all kinds of people doing random stuff in the industry… this year, almost every random person I talked to was working on a social game for Facebook.
by Tass on Feb.19, 2010, under ArcadeTown, armor games, BubbleBox, Candystand, Flash, Game, jmtb02, Joey Betz, kongregate, newgrounds, NinjaKiwi, NotDoppler, Pastel Games, Statistics, youtube, Zeebarf
I spent some time on 2/17/10 compiling a spreadsheet of my top 100 videos, their aprox viewcount (rounded down to closest 1000), sponsor, developer, and whether the video was featured in-game or not. From there, I tabulated the top sponsors and the top developers (only calculated devs with 3+ videos in top 100, unless they have 800k+ views).
I have 450+ total videos, so this is less than 25% of my total videos… but these 100 account for over 22 million of my 27+ million views, so they are a fairly accurate representation of the whole. Obviously, the farther down the list you look, the less accurate it is (like LegitGames having 1 video on there, but they have 2 others that just missed the cut).
Any questions or additional data you guys would like to see? I did not include the raw list of top 100, nor did I do any analysis of in-game vs not in-game. And TITOL2 is not counted in this list for Armor or jmtb.
So I submitted a speaking proposal to FGS for a panel. I wanted to have a topic that would focus on game development, and not on ways to maximize profit. Last year’s panels and speakers seemed to almost entirely focus on making money, not touching on what makes the products worth paying for. A good game is going to result in profit. I thought about what I know and would be able to tell other people about, and game polish seemed like the most appropriate topic. With that in mind, I set to work on putting a panel together and hashing out a basic framework of what would be talked about.
To me, the most important thing was to get a solid panel, full of well known, experienced, respected, and diversified people. Naturally I would be on it, as it’s my panel. I reached out to Greg to speak from a sponsor’s perspective, and he readily agreed. Together, we chatted about who else we wanted to ask to join us. Jared Riley from Hero Interactive was my first choice, and Greg quickly agreed. Jared makes high quality games that are almost always highly polished. He is also someone that I talk to on at least a semi-regular basis. He quickly agreed, seeming really pumped at the topic and people involved. The 4th member was a longer road. We weren’t sure who we wanted, but we decided we wanted a 2nd developer. It took a bit to narrow it down, and we had one or two people who weren’t going to be at FGS this year… but we eventually brought Daniel Stradwick (garin) in. After that, I felt we had a perfect group… myself from a gamer perspective, Greg as a sponsor, Jared from his dev role running HI, and Daniel as a dev who works 6+ months on massive RPGs.
I named our panel, “Game Polish – Make Your Games Shine,” which I thought was a really catchy title… always an important thing. I also wrote up a catchy session description. However, what I’m guessing resulted in our panel being passed over is the lack of fully describing the benefit of the panel. It was something I had a hard time doing, as it just seems so obvious to me how beneficial this topic is… if you don’t make a game that has all the little things done well, it’s going to wind up pissing off too many users to the point where they stop playing it. I tried to put this into more business-like terms, but I didn’t really have much substance there. There was also an option to add a secondary abstract that was much longer, but I did not include one of these. I have a hard time putting my thoughts down well into writing, and when it’s something formal I tend to be curt.
My other fear is that I am the cause of my panel’s rejection. I’m not a sponsor, I’m not a developer… I’m just a gamer. I could see some of these people look at who I am on paper and think I’m not qualified to be speaking, or am not a big enough name to be on a panel. I really hope this is not the case. Besides the fact that I have the support and ear of many of the top portal owners and developers, I did also run the most popular casual flash game ever created for 3+ years. I may not fit inside that little box of sponsor-developer… but I damn well know what I’m talking about, I provide a completely different perspective on things than most industry people, and that seems like something that other people would benefit from.
Now I am anxiously waiting to see what the speaking topics will be at FGS. Hopefully looking at them I’ll see that my panel was outclassed. I will be very disappointed if this year’s topics all deal with profit and don’t have anything to do with game design. And I am disappointed in having my panel rejected… I was looking forward to having the opportunity to share my insight with everyone. Oh well… there’s always 2011.
January was shaping up to be a very bad month for me… worst since June, when my content still hadn’t really taken off yet. Then this weekend happened, and while the month was still sub-par compared to the previous few, it at least made it respectable. Why was January going to be such a bad month? A few reasons that I can think of… I was away for almost 3 weeks at the end of Dec / start of Jan, and made almost no videos in that time. Between Dec 11th and Jan 14th, I didn’t have a single monetized video do even 50k views… and all told, I only made about 20 vids. Not many games released over the holidays, and those weren’t very good. Also kids off from school go away on vacation during this time, etc etc.
This weekend changed that. The past 7-10 days, some good games started to hit my plate… i remain, werebox, and foreign creature 2. The planets aligned, you could say. The result was 3 of my 4 best days in terms of both ad impressions and money made (excluding my one crazy click-fraud day) and 3 of my 5 best days ever in terms of views (including #1). First, weekends always produce more views than weekdays… for obvious reasons. But what happened this weekend to cause this massive jump? Let’s look at these graphs I pulled from Insight:
(ignore that it says 1/30/10… for some reason Insight always displays the graphs as 1 day earlier than they actually are).
The least expected, and biggest, reason for this weekend’s success is that Addicting Games added This Is The Only Level to their site on Friday, leaving in the walkthrough link in-game. This pulled in 40k+ hits alone, each day… compared to the 4-6k/day it had been doing for the past few months. Second, WereBox… although I’m not 100% sure why yet. It’s on BubbleBox, but didn’t take off until 3-4 days after release. It’s on a few other mid-large portals (notdoppler, gamesfree.ca, etc), but none of the largest ones (just went onto Kong today)… yet it pulled in 25-30k for the past 3 days. Third, i remain was given a completion badge on Kongregate on the 26th (Tues), so it was already starting to taper off by the weekend. It also has yet to hit any of the other large portals. So those 3 alone were 80-85k/day views (out of the 150-160k for each day). Add to it Foreign Creature 2, Cargo Bridge Armor Edition, Alice is Dead Ep2, and Demo City 2 all contributing 5k+ each and then 400 other videos, it works out to 150-160k a day.
Basically, what this says to me is that this was one hell of a weekend… and it might not be over with yet. Numbers are definitely dropping big time today, as expected, but when WereBox and i remain hit the other large portals, it should jump their numbers big time. Plus I have 2 videos sitting finished on my desktop for Kongregate (one probably won’t do very well, the other will do at least decently with upside potential to do well). I have 2 games waiting to hit my desk for another site, one of which will do VERY well. And, let’s not forget about TITOL2… which might be released as early as Friday of this week.