23rd Apr 2013
It’s no secret that for nearly 2 years we’ve run a private business forum for HTML5 game developers. On it we listed all the portals and sponsors we dealt with and our experiences in doing so. So far we’ve got 32 portals added, all of them known to have bought games in the past.
Since launching the HTML5GameDev forums though it no longer made sense to keep that information under lock and key. I didn’t want to support two forums and two communities either. So I have merged all the sponsor details from the private forum into the public one, for all devs to benefit from.
Because the posts contain email addresses they are not visible unless you are an active forum member. By active that means you have an account on the forum and have been taking part in discussions. Therefore you must have a positive post count to be allowed access to the sponsor board. But once in you’re welcome to take advantage of this significant resource and hopefully contribute towards it too.
8th Jan 2013
2013 is certainly well under way now. Christmas and New Years are all but a distant memory and I suspect all of us are now deep back in to our work. Although we enjoyed a brief spell away from the office it’s full steam ahead here right now.
I intended to write a summary of what 2012 meant for Photon Storm, but if I had to sum it up in one single word it would be: independence. 2012 was the year we went from being busy, hard working, full-time employees to being mentally busy, hard working, full-time-and-then-some but working for ourselves. And what a roller coaster of a ride it has been.
We took the concious decision to break away from Flash entirely and focus 100% on HTML5 games, specifically running in the mobile web browser. It was always meant to be a mixture of making our own games / IP, doing client work and collaborating on Kiwi, the HTML5 game framework we’re deeply invested in. In an ideal world those three elements would balance out quite evenly. Of course the reality is that client work sucked up a huge majority of our time – this is in no way a bad thing of course, given the current economic climate we are in no way complaining about having lots of work on the books, but it did present challenges to a company so small that we hadn’t anticipated tackling quite so soon.
23rd Nov 2012
A quick summary of what’s going on right now:
First of all we’re happy to be one of the judges in the Realtime xRTML 3 contest that is now running. As their name implies Realtime provide some very smart web tech for real time push based messaging. This has massive application in HTML5 based multiplayer gaming. From a simple shared cursor experience to a proper full-on game. There are plenty of code examples on their site - and don’t be put off by the ‘enterprise’ focus either, the free tier has plenty of room to power a popular online game.
Talking at the BBC Fusion Games Summit
I’m pleased to be talking at the BBC Fusion Games Summit next week. I’ll be covering some of the stark realities of building for the mobile web and things to take into consideration when commissioning or pitching for HTML5 game projects. Although my talk is sold-out, if you’re attending the event then please come and say hello!
Sign-up for the Kiwi.js launch
We are getting increasingly close to a release of Kiwi.js, our HTML5 game framework built specifically for mobile browsers. It would be great if you could sign-up on our launch site and help to spread the word. The moment it goes live you’ll be first to know and we may even be throwing in some special offers too
My onGameStart presentation is up on Vimeo
Back in September I gave a talk at onGameStart about making money from your HTML5 games. The talk was called ‘Insert Coin to Continue’ and much to my dismay they filmed it all and put it online So feel free to watch me nervously trying to explain how to get your game sponsored. Despite my obvious nerves in public speaking the feedback I’ve had has been great, so it was worth it! Of course you should also check out the rest of the great videos, especially Rendering Voxel Worlds by Jonas Wagner, if only to see his priceless reaction when his brand new MacBook Pro falls off the lecturn
Storming Christmas Cards
We just had a bunch of company Christmas cards printed (by the ever excellent moo.com) featuring a cute new piece of pixel art by Ilija. We’ve had more printed than we need to send to clients and don’t want the rest to go to waste. So drop me a line with your name and postal address, and tell us what your all-time favourite game is (and why). Come December we’ll shove one into the mail for you, subject to quantity!
16th Nov 2012
Since starting to run Photon Storm full time earlier this year I always told myself I was going to keep things small. A micro-business if you will. Just myself handling development, my wife handling projects and we outsource the rest. But we’re at the point now where we are turning down considerable projects every week just because there are not enough hours in the day.
27th Sep 2012
I had the pleasure of giving a presentation at the onGameStart 2012 conference in Warsaw, Poland. The title of my talk was “Insert Coin to Continue”. A gentle nod to the fact that lots of game developers do actually need paying in order to carry on creating great games! I wanted to share my experiences and results of working in the HTML5 game sponsorship market. The Flash world is well served by sites like FGL and blog posts detailing income and strategies. But very little exists for HTML5 games, hence the choice of topic for my talk. This article will cover most of my presentation for those who weren’t able to attend.
Client games vs. Indie games
As a company we develop HTML5 games for both clients and ourselves. The reason is both financial and practical. Client work simply pays better right now. And the more of it you do, the more doors it can open to other bigger and more interesting projects. In my experience this is no different to any other platform. But there are obvious benefits of making your own games:
- It’s your own IP! There is value in establishing a brand and common IP even in the relatively small scale sponsorship world.
- You can make anything. This is important – no matter how awesome your clients are you are always working within set brand guidelines. They’ll never really allow you to do truly anything you want. But when you build for yourself this restriction is removed. You have to be careful of course, as great as Dinosaur Chicken Rock III might sound to you, if you want to get sponsors it needs to appeal to the wider market too.
- There is the very real chance of long term income. I’ll cover this later in the article, but ad revenue and ‘game rental’ can build up substantially over time, where as most client work is a one-off payment.
The benefits are obvious. As well as getting to flex your design muscles in your own way there are significant long term benefits as well. Lots of companies started out by mixing client and indie work only to find that the income from their indie endeavors was enough to leave the client side behind (Nitrome are a good example of this). So let’s explore how you turn this passion into income.
All about Photon Storm and our
HTML5 game development services
- Pixel Perfect scaling a Phaser game
- We're hiring: Laravel4 and Web Audio API developers
- A defiant and deadly Phaser 2.0.6 "Jornhill" is released
- A first look at what iOS8 means for Phaser and Pixi.js (hint: bunnies, LOTS of them!)
- Lands of Lorez - our 32x32 pixel dungeon crawler
- Flash to Phaser JSFL Script
- Phaser 2 and our plans for the future
- Phaser 1.1.4 ("Kandor") released. Check out the new features and roadmap.
- Phaser games in Ludum Dare 28
- Advanced Phaser and TypeScript Projects
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