Get Rich Quick(ish)!

Also known as: Why I will never be as rich as Notch.

It bothers me how often developers ask, “What’s the in genre? What will make me the most money?” I am not bothered by developers being callous and in it only for the money; I am irked by the answers usually given. Indeed, I think any answer that involves a specific genre is wrong.

Tower defense. Physics puzzles. By the time they are popular enough that they are well known as the in genre, there are already dozens if not hundreds of competing games available. If a potential, money-hungry developer asks this question, by the time they have produced their game, sold it, and released it, they will be at best a few months late to the party. At worst, they will become yet another developer whining about how there is no money to be made in Flash.

I would like to draw your attention to Minecraft for a moment. It is freeform. It is creative. And you already know about it.

This is a diagram of how players go through my games:

This is a diagram of how players go through Minecraft:
Open ended

I like to craft experiences, where the player is made to feel the emotions that I want them to. (I just made myself sound like an evil dictator. I promise, I do it for the good of my players!) What this means is that I have all sorts of fans, who really enjoyed spending half an hour on my games – and no more. There is a built-in limitation to how involved my fans can be. The way to get the ultimate fandom is to have an experience that never, ever ends.

Give a child a jigsaw, and they will be occupied for a while. However, give a child a bucket of LEGO to build from, and you may occupy them for hours, even days, before they need feeding again. This translates directly into the gaming sphere: Fantastic Contraption, Line Rider, and Canvas Rider are the first Flash examples that spring into my mind.

I confess, this is not how I build games, so I will never be as rich as Notch. But it does answer the original question.
The way to get rich somewhat quicklyish, is to build an addictive game that lasts forever.

Has anyone tried building a game-creation engine in Flash?

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5 Responses to Get Rich Quick(ish)!

  1. FlashMush says:

    You really do have a point and I’ve never thought about it that way before even though it is very simple. In all honestly while I do love linear games, I would like more open ended flash games like Line Rider but there really aren’t that many that I can think of (that aren’t of Line Rider or Canvas Rider theme).

    • Thomas says:

      There’s at least a couple more I have seen but can’t for the life of me remember the names of. But either way, I would definitely argue that it is pretty much the only way to get rich from Flash.

  2. FlashMush says:

    Level-editors would be one type I guess but not the same and wouldn’t see it getting nearly as much play time as a game like Line Rider and of course not as much as Minecraft (but that was not even a competition).