Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Oh dear, Oh dear me.

If you're a regular reader you'll hopefully know that when we moan or bitch about someone or something then it's usually 'cause we think it's justified. We don't just turn on anyone and everyone for the hell of it, or for the joy of stirring things up. Life's too short.

The target of my venom ? The latest article posted on mochi, "The work scheme of an independent Flash developer".

The author Badim has made a point of being open and honest with his figures in the past, which we've even linked to before. His constant openness has made him somewhat of a poster boy for the indie scene, he's living the dream for a lot of people, and he's not afraid to share his knowledge.

That's got to be applauded.

But his article, sorry, but there's just not one word I can agree with, and I'm amazed it's been passed fit for publication by mochi.

The low light for me is this quote:

"If you’re not naturally talented at art, the next issue to be resolved is where to get good graphics. The easiest, cheapest, fastest way is to use sprite sets. The most popular of them are the hits from consoles (Megaman, Zelda, Sonic). it’ll be convenient for you to find the right set for your future games. If you can’t find the sprite set you want or have something specific in mind, move to the next option."

( The next option being to pay an artist ).

If I've even got to explain the wrongness with that then this really isn't the blog for you, move along please.

These "Let's make money with Flash, it's piss easy and there's loads to be made" posts seem to be getting progressively worse. I've just re-read the article again to make sure, and I can't find any mention of the joy of creating a game. The creative process. The love that makes a game shine. The shit that should matter basically.

A very disappointing article which sums up what is so wrong with the indie Flash scene right now. It's great that we can all make cash now. It's even better than very talented people can make lots of cash now. It's not great when money becomes the central focus of game creation. I don't live in a bohemian bubble, I have the same bills to pay that you have. My full time job is making games, that's it, without them I starve. But I still put the game first, and that's the advice I'd give to anyone, not to use a Mario sprite in your game.


Comments (9) -

  • Zach

    8/24/2009 10:21:55 PM |

    And this gem of a quote
    "Another interesting option is to make sequel of someone else’s game. The author of this game probably won’t like this if he is still in the game industry."

  • Squize

    8/24/2009 10:36:27 PM |

    With my last game being an Asteroids clone I didn't want to labour that point too much, but yeah, utter bollocks.

    The whole article encourages people to do whatever it takes to make a Flash game to earn money from it.

  • Colbycheeze

    8/25/2009 1:49:19 AM |

    Looks like they took the article down.

  • makc

    8/25/2009 6:40:37 AM |

    re asteroid game, where did you get the music from, huh? while it could be true that copyright for original expired long time ago, this particular performance could be recorded a year ago and still sold by sony bmg and alike :)

  • John Cotterell

    8/25/2009 10:31:27 AM |

    Why the fk would he give this advice?

    Not only does he know better, but he knows that anyone starting out taking his advice wont get very far selling their games onto the better portals.

    not so much encouraging newbs to succeed whatever it takes, but encouraging them to fail miserably.

  • Squize

    8/25/2009 10:50:10 AM |

    Colby yeah, the backlash must have got to them. People power in action and all that :)

    makec, do you really think I'd just rip that music ? I've already been asked where I got it and to be honest I bought it ages ago and can't for the life of me remember ( Hmmm that does sound like a big fat lie I know ).

    google "royalty free classical music"

    $50 gets you pretty much anything you want royalty free.

    Now I'm not saying I'm whiter than white, I mean for example in cronusX the button press sounds are heavily based on two samples from space invaders ( Not the actual ones, but public domain copies ) purely 'cause I wanted that in there. The game itself is based on Asteroid obviously, and in my time I've used lots of existing ideas when working for other companies. The Prodigy game we did was heavily based on an existing game, as the client approached us specifically requesting that game.

    I'm not a paragon of virtue, I bend the "internet rules" like most other people. I've used open source in projects, and will in the future.

    What I don't do though is encourage people to use ripped graphics in a game they profit from. I don't suggest that you make an unofficial sequel of an existing Flash game ( For every responsible coder who would approach the IP holder and ask permission, like I believe Adam did with the asteroids game, how many won't ? I really wouldn't want to see say a Dino Run 2 written by other people without permission. Also I believe Sean Cooper is looking to license out the BoxHead series IP, I don't think he'd be doing cartwheels if unofficial sequels popped up everywhere, neither would the developers who paid out for a license ).

    In the comments of the post Badim, amongst others, took the attitude of "Well NG and mochi don't mind having games on there with ripped sprites" as if that's a justification. This has only become a "grey" area 'cause it's slipped into being the norm.

    I'm glad Mochi have backed down over this, although to be honest an alarm bell should have gone off when they were proof reading it. I think it's only 'cause of Badim's popularity in the scene that it was allowed to fly in the first place.

    The guy is a positive influence, he inspires a lot of people to get into Flash games and helps keep them there with his constant monetary updates on his blog, I just think he should have used his influence in a more positive way, focusing on making great games rather than a short cut to a pot of gold. Which doesn't exist for most.

  • Badim

    8/25/2009 4:22:20 PM |

    i still surprise how different people comments this article. people usually ask more about poser, gameplay, mochiads, sponsorship...

    violating copyright is bad. dont do that. there is not much to say about it.

    i`m not encourage anyone to steal or whatever, i give look at market 'as is'. anyway, better to discuss it in one thread.. in my blog(where article still up), or atleast on mochi-forum... if you truly interesting in this question.

  • tweenOut

    8/26/2009 4:42:43 AM |

    I'm glad that they took this article down. Copyright and any other type of infringement on other people's work is just wrong. I can't believe they would even post such a thing.

  • Squize

    8/26/2009 10:34:32 AM |

    Shows how little people care, it only ever seems to be devs who kick up against things like this, and then we're just seen as whinny bitches for doing so ( Yeah deep down I'm really jealous my game hasn't done as well as "Mario vs the stickman zombies", that's why I'm flagging up theft as being wrong :S ).

    Badim good of you to take the time to comment here. I did check out your blog but there was only one comment there, and I don't want to go to your place to say the same things I've already said here. If there was a debate going on there then yeah fair enough, but me just diving in out of the blue at your blog picking holes in the article just seems a little churlish.

    If the article didn't have the thing about ripped sprites and making sequels, and was titled differently, ie more focused on making money with Flash ( As there's no real mention in there of the art of making games, just how to turn around something which will generate money, ignoring the actual quality of the end game ), so something like "The timeline of making money with Flash game development" then it would have been a great introduction for a lot of people, you do cover a lot of stuff in there.

    I don't want to see you burn, like I've said you've done a lot of good things for the community with regards monetizing Flash games, just a couple of those points in the article just play to the lowest common denominator, and there are more than enough shit Flash games already without encouraging people to make more just for the cash.
    I've never subscribed to Flash games as an open market, that everyone is equal and it's justifiable for people to reskin tutorials ( And do nothing more ) and then put them out there with ads and those games are then out in the same space as games that people have spent a long time on, even if their shit, it's more important that they created the game themselves.

    It's not that I want it to stay a closed shop, 'cause I'm ok I don't want anyone else snapping at my heels, the opposite in fact. It's just that I know myself and the majority of my peers have had to sweat blood to get to where they are. That we'd all like Flash games as a whole to take the next step up in terms of quality and depth, to have the medium recognized in a positive light.
    For every person new to Flash who puts in the hours, who asks the smart questions, who tries new things, there are dozens and dozens more who just want it on a plate, who will reskin the tutorials with no credit to the original author and be happy with their $5 from mochi over the space of 3 months because they can churn shit out all day long.
    Those are the people who are holding the market back, and I can't see any reason to make it any easier for them to do so. By reaching out and suggesting a couple of things you did, you're targeting these kinds of people, script kiddies for want of a better term, to just produce more dross.

    I assume that wasn't the intention, but I think that's the end result.

    I can't help but feel that Mochi should have edited it too. Even if what you wrote you believe to be a 100% good advice, someone should have cut out the bits that everyone flared up against and avoided all this.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to pop by. Hopefully we haven't pissed you off too much, the blog post wasn't an attack on you, just on key points in that article, I hope you can see the difference.

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