Posts Tagged ‘kyobi’
1st Nov 2009
If you enjoyed playing Kyobi on the web, then why not download the complete iPhone version totally free of charge!
Kyobi on the iPhone is called “Touch & Go”, but it’s the same physics match-3 fun, with lots of added bells and whistles.
This is a fun and innovative “match 3” casual game that uses the touch input of your device to the max. The rules are simple, drag the blocks and throw them together. When three or more of the same color collide they all explode. Just don’t let the blocks pile-up too high. If they stack to the top then your game is over.
Smashing four or more blocks in one go will release one of three special power-ups – a time freeze, a stick of dynamite that blows up half the blocks on screen and a bomb that wipes out all the blocks.
Combo bonus points are awarded if you manage to smash blocks together in quick succession and multiplier points are awarded for four and five block hits. Each level has a set target of blocks to explode and when this is reached all remaining blocks will count against your level end bonus.
As the levels progress the action speeds up and more blocks will fall. From level five small blockers are introduced making the sorting of blocks trickier. From a gentle mind soothing experience the game will develop into a fast paced sorting crisis!
As the game plays you can organize the blocks by tilting the phone to move all the blocks to the left or the right.
See how many levels you can complete!
- Great Casual Gaming fun
- Total touch game play
- Tilt the phone to move all blocks
- Easy to play
- Great time filler
- Cool music track
- High score table
- Score combo bonuses
Touch & Go! is perfectly suited to the iPhone, a truly new touch game experience!
Overall, Touch & Go! is well designed and responsive. For a new take on the standard match and clear block game, the current sale price of just $.99 makes Touch & Go! a worthwhile purchase.
Placing a block is simple. All you do is catch a block out of mid-air, you then have full control of where you place it – and I mean full control. This is what sets Touch & Go! apart from it’s competitors.
3rd Jul 2009
On May 9th I posted the second part of my report on how my game Kyobi was doing. This is the final part of the report, nearly 2 months on.
The Kongregate referral payments have now finished. When I sold Kyobi Kongregate were my Primary sponsor. They offered me $200 upfront on referral payments (basically any time someone clicks one of the Kong logos in my game, I got paid for it). The last time I wrote they had just paid me my first months worth of clicks (just under $800). Since then I received 2 more payments, one for the month of May at $1548 and June at $382. I know that if GameJacket hadn’t died then the June payment would have been a lot higher. That is now the end of the agreement I had with Kongregate, and it certainly was an unexpected bonus to the games earnings.
Of course as we all know by now, GameJacket have gone bust. This means I never got paid the $1000 they owed me, so I have to deduct that from the previous total Kyobi had made.
Kyobi on the iPhone has enjoyed moderate success, and there is still a constant trickle of sales coming in. Between launch in late March and the end of May it has sold 5802 copies (an average of 77 copies per day). Because of the way Apple report sales I cannot give figures for June yet. But I do know that they are much lower than April and May. Summer time, plus now being an “old” game don’t help. It was fascinating to see how the sales changed. Some days it would shift nearly 300 copies, and then drop down to 100 the next day. Chart position played a really important role, as you can imagine. Right now it still enjoys a healthy ranking in European countries and, strangely enough, Japan. Bear in mind that I only get a percentage of sales (the lions share going to the publisher) but it still equated to $1563 to the end of May.
More small sponsor versions
I sold two more sponsor branded copies of Kyobi since the last report. Both were very small scale and only netted me $200 in total, but it’s still all helpful. Incredibly off the back of these sales I also sold two copies of one of my first ever Flash games, Abombinaball, so the knock-on effect was pleasant to say the least It also gave me two more portal contacts that I can approach when my new games are ready.
So how does it all stack-up now? Well taking the figures from the last report into account ($10,105). Deducting the $1000 GameJacket will never give me ($9105). Add in the new iPhone sales, sponsorships and Kongregate payments. And the total from my little game stands at $12,798. At the current exchange rate that’s £7833. Of course you then need to deduct the UK tax I have to pay from this.
In “real life” terms after tax that equals what I get paid from my day job over the course of a couple of months. So does this mean I could quit my job and do this full-time? Well, no. For a start I wouldn’t actually want to. While extremely demanding my job is also very satisfying. I work with a great team of talented people in one of the most creative places in the UK. That alone has value to me. The other important factor is that this money came in dribs and drabbs over a period of 12 weeks. That is not helpful when you have fixed mortgage payments, food to buy, etc. I know a lot of people who can and do work like this, and are very successful at it, but I just don’t really have the self discipline needed to stay on-top of all the paperwork. I admire greatly those that do.
And it’s a risk because not every game I make will be this successful. Perhaps I’ll never get this level of success ever again. Of course I’m optimistic that the game I’m working on at the moment is original and fun enough to do well. But that’s like saying I’m optimistic that my lottery numbers will come in next week. Granted it’s not a gamble on the same level, I mean you can’t sit back and look at your lottery numbers and go “damn, that’s a fine piece of work there”. But there’s an element of risk in all game releases, and logic or fairness doesn’t always win. You never know who you are up against that month. Or what the overall feeling of the gaming world will be. And you never will.
So to conclude I just want to say that whatever you do, keep on coding, and keep on making great games. Because there is definitely a market for them. Many people far greater than I ever will be demonstrate every day that there is a life to be made in building beautiful Flash games. And living from those proceeds. If you are one of those people, I tip my hat to you. If you aspire to be one, you have my best wishes for your success.
21st Jun 2009
Despite an incredibly busy time at work I have managed to progress my chameleons game by quite a considerable amount. It’s an action / puzzle platformer and I’m using Box2D for all of the platform elements. It just feels lovely bouncing off the blocks, gliding, sliding and slinking about the levels. As a side effect of this I have learnt loads about the b2PolyDef, sensors and custom contact listeners. It’s all good stuff though – you can never stop learning
Since release Fruiti Blox has been going down well. Loads of plays, decent enough NG and Kong scores and it even won the Mochiland “Flash Game Friday” award (and $100 in the process), winning this is a first for me so I was really pleased about it Here is the review:
This puzzle game has you matching four corners of the same color and eliminating all blocks within that space. The gameplay idea isn’t new, but the execution is definitely top notch! I like how clicking on the color highlights the selected and dims the others (makes for finding corners faster). The bubbly graphics and smooth interface make it even more fun! You can’t just buy this kind of polish in a store, folks. With leaderboards and achievements rounding out the game, it’s definitely a great experience.
I’ve had some player feedback come through that I am going to implement in a new build that I’ll release to Candystand and BigFishGames next week.
The 8-bit Interview
I also finally managed to complete an interview with Jeff over at 8-bit Rocket. He sent it through to me around the start of May, and I only just got it back to him, which is incredibly slack of me. Hopefully it won’t take him as long to edit out my weirdness and get it live as it took me to finish it.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know how disgruntled I was with GameJacket. Their recent collapse into bankruptcy has left a lot of developers out of pocket, myself included. I’m not going to dwell on this any further, a number of good people have lost their jobs there and a really well built system is now in tatters. I understand why it happened, what I will never forgive them is offering me the $1000 advance in the first place even though they knew full-well they could never afford to pay it to me. That just stinks. I’m even more annoyed by the fact that Kyobi was all set to actually make back that advance, and then some, had it had a chance. It had already earned nearly 60% back by the time they went under. With GameJackets collapse the game dropped out of hundreds of web sites across the world, which of course also effects the amount of referrals it can send to Kongregate (my primary sponsor), so I’m almost certainly going to loose money as a result of this too.
Still, life goes on. There’s no point even giving this any more thought. I recognised the “dying” signs of GameJacket a good month in advance of their death, and released Kyobi onto Mochi as a precaution and now I’m glad I did. Otherwise it’d be fighting for distribution against the rest of the wave of GameJacket orphans now hitting the service.
AS3 Atari ST YM Player
Christian Corti, the mastermind behind the AS3 Mod Player library Flod, has been working on a YM Replay library and it is sounding incredible! The YM format is a direct register dump from the YM soundchip found in computers like the Atari ST or the MSX. There are hundreds of YM tunes available (converted from classic games and demos). Although SNDH is the format of choice for chip-tune replay on real Atari hardware, getting that to replay within Flash means emulating an entire 68000 CPU, which is quite a tall order. YM replay at least means it’s “just” having to emulate the YM chip itself.
How useful is YM replay in Flash games today? Virtually none unless you were doing a retro remake and wanted an authentic sound (without using megs worth of mp3 files, YM tunes are typically around 4k in size).
But how cool is the fact that FP10 is powerful enough to do this at all? Loads
11th Jun 2009
Well it has been a long time coming, but I was pleased to be told that Kyobi was finally released by Oberon Media today, and is now sat pretty on the homepage of MySpace Games. Oberon have been hard at work updating their game delivery system to support AS3 and MySpace is one of their first sites to carry AS3 games, of which Kyobi is their flagship title.
Anyway they’ve done a great job with the attract sequence, so I hope some of those 18,000+ current players give it a click
9th May 2009
This is the story of the little game that just keeps on traveling. Since writing about my experience selling Kyobi a couple of weeks ago I just wanted to update you on what had happened since…
Part 1 – Kyobi won 3rd place in the Whirled Single-Player Game Competition
This was both unexpected and great news! I’ve blogged about Whirled before, the anarchic but beautifully freeform Flash virtual world. They run a quarterly developers competition where games are split into two categorys: multi-player and singer-player. Obviously Kyboi is about as far from a multi-player game as you can get, so that category was out of bounds for me (which is a shame as it has significantly bigger prizes!). But I spent some time making Kyobi Whirled compatible, uploaded it and hoped for the best.
And it paid off (thanks Chris/Adam!!) It paid off to the tune of $1000 in fact. You can see all the winning games here.
What I find interesting about Whirled is that my game is for sale in the shop there. I get in-world credits from these sales, but I also get my share from the developers bling pool too. The terminology might be a bit “what the hell?” but once you get over the pimp-my-ride lingo it starts to make sense. In short: for as long as your game is on Whirled, and brings people to Whirled, you get a cut of that. This translates into real money. If your game brings people to Whirled and they sign-up, you get 30% of whatever they spend for life. That could add-up significantly, so don’t ignore this fact.
You can also sell “furniture”, “backdrops”, “toys” and “avatars” in the Whirled shop. So I pulled apart the graphics from Kyobi, put them into the shop and now they are on sale. Every day people are buying these items. I took the background from my game, changed it a little and now it’s a room background to buy. And people do buy it!
Here is a picture of my room, decked out with most of the Kyobi game items available on sale:
I believe this is an easy avenue for income, both real and virtual. Given that you made the assets for your game already, it’s a no-brainer and I’ll certainly be doing it again.
Part 2 – Do people REALLY click those sponsor logos?
This question gets asked a lot, most recently here on the FlashGameLicense forums. Honestly, I was quite skeptical about it at first. When Kongregate made me a Primary offer for sponsoring Kyobi, the money was paid as an advance on the income these referral links would make.
To be brutally honest I took the offer and ran, never expecting to hear anything again. I’m glad to say I completely misjudged this part of the deal and my first months payment was just shy of $800. I will get paid another 2 months worth of referrals before the deal ends. While $800 doesn’t sound like a huge sum of money (and on its own it isn’t) you have to remember Kongregate sponsored the GameJacket version of Kyobi – so not only do I get money from someone clicking “More games” for example, but also from the pre-roll ad at the start. Combine these together and with a really popular game that travels well it can add-up significantly. I consider the total plays Kyobi is getting across all versions to be really good, but there are lots of games that do significantly larger numbers of plays – and if they are being paid per click there is some very serious income potential here too.
My advice? Don’t under-estimate these kinds of offers from sponsors. And never under-estimate just how valuable those “more games” links are to your sponsor. People really do click them, in their thousands. So sell your game for a decent price accordingly!
Part 3 – Skill Gaming – A great new revenue stream for Flash Developers?
On the most basic level Skill Gaming sites are sites that offer payments based on how well you play the game. It’s a form of gambling really, with payouts being based on who else is playing the game, how well they are doing, etc. King.com is an example of a site that makes a seriously large amount of money from this market. But there are many others, and I believe this is a growing sector in more ways that one.
At the moment King are sponsoring games left right and center, because they drive large numbers of people to their site – lots of whom then go on to spend real money. Most (if not all?) of the King sponsorship deals are just standard Primary ones though, they pay for branding and your game is a magnet for players to their site.
However this is changing – new sites such as SkillAddiction.com are starting that take your game, convert it to be more “skill game” focused and then you can get a percentage of revenue it generates on that site.
I have been contacted by two different companies, both of whom want versions of Kyobi for their sites on this basis.
There are some factors to consider when it comes to skill gaming – first of all it doesn’t suit all types of game. They have to be quite specific in nature, often they have to be completed within 4-5 minutes, and you have to be able to know the sorts of scores that are possible. For example I’ve had to change Kyobi to make it a lot harder at the start, and to make the play just get progressivly faster until it finally beats you – the current game doesn’t work like this, I inject “breather” levels into the game ever few rounds to give the player a break. But obviously you can’t do this when they are trying to win money.
Lots of current skill gaming sites buy-up Flash games just to pad out their sites and draw people in, then they hope those visitors will explore the “other” side of their site. But as I said this is changing, new skill gaming sites are appearing that will use your game directly with the players, offering pay-outs when playing it. And if they offer you a percentage of this then there is massive potential here. Contact the guys at SkilAddiction.com to see if your game would suit their site, it could benefit you.
I’ll report back to let you know how Kyobi fares in this market soon. I still need to finish my SkillAddiction version of it for release (an insane workload during crunch time for an MMO delivery has prevented this so far sadly)
Part 4 – Oberon Media version finally passes QA!
They also required a huge load of paperwork to be signed, and contrary to all the other big sponsors (Shockwave, BigFishGames, etc) you have to actually print and post the paperwork to them. Sending via UPS cost me nearly $80. Why they don’t accept it via email like the rest I don’t know. On the plus side once you have sent them one contract you don’t need to post them another in future, should they buy a new game from you.
Their payment terms are also extremely poor compared to every other sponsor out there. You are looking at a wait of around 60 days from the date the game goes live across their network. 60 days is an incredibly long time even for standard companies, let alone an indie developer. On the upside of course I don’t rely on this money for anything essential like the mortgage or feeding my family. But if you do then bear this in mind if ever dealing with them. It’s not a deal breaker at all, I’m just saying be aware of it. I also don’t believe the payment should be from the date they release the game. It should be from the date they approve the QA of it, but that’s another story.
So why go through all this hassle? because it will place the game across a number of sites with extremely significant visitor figures. They run MySpace games for example. I’d wager that the volume of plays my game gets when it hits the sites they licensed it for will be significant. I’ll report back later in the year to see if my thoughts confirm this.
Sadly Oberon don’t offer advertising royalty payments on Flash games (they do for ActiveX/C/Shockwave games). Originally when I first started talking to them it looked like this could be a deal, but things changed internally and it fell away. Had they been able to offer me an ad cut then I actually would have sold the game exclusively to them.
Part 5 – Shockwave.com version finished. Now devoid of Nazi imagery!
It surprises me that sponsors are still licensing Kyobi. I don’t know why it surprises me, I mean it’s still a fun little game – I guess it’s just the “Flash mindset” where you assume your game is only popular and of interest to sponsors for a month or so, and then is swallowed up in the ever changing tide of new releases. I’m quickly realising this assumption is wrong, and there is actually a bit of a long-tail for game sales, just as in every other medium.
The most recent sales was to Shockwave.com, who contacted me via FlashGameLicense (that site is worth every single 10% they ask for!). Their offer was a good one, and the requests were simple. Logo here, few button changes there, basic API for highscores.
Then they asked if I could change the title page. Apparently the girl didn’t sit well with their demographic. When I commision work from artists I always insist that they create it over as many layers as is possible within Photoshop, so it’s easily changed. This meant I was able to open the title page, hide the girl layer, shunt the logo around and create a new more “subtle” version. All-in about 10 minutes work. I was happy, they were happy. Job done. Or maybe not …
Then the “Nazi” issue hit. Yes, you read that correctly. If you’ve played Kyobi you’ll know it involves throwing coloured blocks around. Apparently there was an issue with my pink block. The problem was that it featured a triangle. A pink triangle.
Highly confused by this being an issue they explained that a pink triangle was what Nazi’s used to brand homosexuals with while in concentration camps. I had always assumed the pink triangle was the gay pride symbol. A little Wikipedia reading later and it confirms both are true. It’s origins are one of the horrific brands used by the Nazi’s, but these days it is more commonly associated with the paramount opposite of this.
Also the actual symbol is an inversed triangle. The triangle in my game is the other way up.
Anyway, not wanting to be seen to promote Nazi’s in any way at all (even if it feels more like it would be promoting gay pride if anything) I agreed and modified the block, turning it a brown colour instead.
So there you have it – the Shockwave version should be released on May 12th and will be 100% cute girl and Nazi-branding free! If you’re going to sell a game to Shockwave be prepared for artistic change requests, and whatever you do avoid any of these shape/colour combinations!
Part 6 – (the penultimate part, honest) – iPhone game sales update
I reported last time that the iPhone version of Kyobi was enjoying success thanks to a promotion on the hit game iDare. I wondered if this might just be a flash in the pan, or if the sales rate would be sustained. Thankfully it’s still going strong and shifting 3 digits worth of copies per day. The amount varies a lot, but averages at around 250 sales a day, with the usual peaks and troughs you’d expect. I don’t know for how much longer this will last of course, but it does mean I’ll see at least one months worth of decent royalty payments from it. And of course it won’t ever stop selling, it’ll just reduce back to a much lower rate – but even this will ensure a nice small payment coming in each month.
Part 7 – Summary
Wow, I had no idea this would turn out to be such a long piece when I started. I could probably have broken it into 6 different blog posts. But if you got this far (and actually read up to here rather than scrolled) then thanks and I hope you found it interesting and some of it useful.
Factoring in new sponsored versions of Kyobi, the unexpected Kongregate payment, the Whirled prize money and money I know I’ll receive from iPhone sales so far, I can report that this one little game has now netted me $10,105. I know there will be more iPhone and Kongregate payments to come over the next two months (although I expect them to be lower). And maybe another portal may even buy it, who knows?
I’ve learnt an awful lot from this one game. Things I will take into my next game for certain. The Whirled link-ups, the possibility of skill gaming revenue share, not to under-estimate referal payment offers and the long-tail of sales.
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