Some days ago I released the DSDefense flash game
on this blog. It is also available on some of the more popular flash game websites like on Kongregate
and with ratings of an average of 3.8 (out of 5), DSDefense is one of the few flash games I wrote which also some people other than me liked. This was also visible by the quite huge amount of people visiting the games website:
The impact of DSDefense released on 16th August.
The traffic on that website is above that of an average website before that date already,
but exploded on the release date of the game.
So, if you want to create such a game as well, here is some stuff which I learned so far:
- If you are more programmer than artist, use Adobe Flex, it's a free SDK (similar to the Java JDK) to write flash applications. I'm personally using it with the command line, but there are also (free) IDEs available, like FlashDevelop.
- Gameplay over graphics: The quality of graphics used in flash games seems to be secondary. A boring game with brilliant graphics will be rated a lot lower than a fun game with ugly programmer art. Interestingly, this is exactly the other way round in AAA-PC games.
- Be sure to use an ActionScript obfuscator like irrFuscator (it's free for 30 days). People will try to steal the code of your game and make their own game out of it. This is quite common in the flash game scene.
- Make it possible at any place of your game to disable sound and/or music. Or even add a volume control. Some people won't like your game if it doesn't have this feature.
- After releasing your game, stay cool: A lot of people will play your game and they'll write all kinds of comments about it, from useful, constructive criticism to swearing and insults. I even had one guy 'stalking' me and sending me several dozens of mails full of insulting shit. Simply don't take every input too seriously, in fact: You can ignore a lot of it. There are strange people out there.
I'll write some details on what tools and techniques I used for DsDefense later as well.