Multiplayer Game Dev Contest - Play Entries!

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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

Update on 2/19/12

The submission deadline is up.

To review games you can head on over to http://playerio.com/competitions/ega2012/reviewgames and sign up using the code “letmeplay”.

Epic Game Ads, WhipFlash, Player.IO, Kongregate, Newgrounds, and Adobe are teaming up to put on a pretty epic (ha…haha!) game development contest.

So here’s the deal:

We’re looking for multiplayer Flash games that have virtual goods (microtransactions) in them and are lots of fun to play. You have 6 months to make the game – they’re due Feb. 18th, 2013. At that point, you submit it to be judged (with me as one of the judges – feel free to start sucking up!) and 10 winners are picked, with the top prize getting $30k and 10th place still pulling in a nice $5k.

Winners will give WhipFlash worldwide exclusive rights to publish the game on all platforms. The game will receive promotion from Epic Game Ads, WhipFlash, Kongregate, Adobe, and NewGrounds. You’ll score some additional schwag including Adobe’s CS6 Master Collection (worth $2600) and some cool shirts from Kongregate and Newgrounds. Admit it, you’re gonna do it just for the shirts. ;-)

You will retain full rights and ownership to the IP for the game, able to publish sequels yourself. WhipFlash will pay you a 50% revenue share of all net revenue generated by the game’s sales on all platforms.

If you win, but decide that you would prefer to distribute the game yourself and keep the full revenue share, you may choose to not accept the prize money and promotion.

For full details, check out the contest page on Player.IO’s site: http://playerio.com/competitions/ega2012/.

Good luck everyone!

 
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First!

JK :)
Looks pretty cool, wish I knew more about PlayerIO.

 
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Saw this in an email, pretty sweet contest! As a note to everyone, when you sign up for the contest, it’s a Player.IO PRO account, so you can access all the features you must require for free.

Edit: Player.IO Plus plan or whatever :D A step up from free anyway



To Phoenix ( who is quite a handsome, strong, and intelligent man ) Do you know what the games are going to be judged on? If I made a game, I would probably keep mtx at a minimum personally. A game wouldn’t be scored lower by the judges because it only used mtx minimally, would it?

 
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Originally posted by BobTheCoolGuy:

Saw this in an email, pretty sweet contest! As a note to everyone, when you sign up for the contest, it’s a Player.IO PRO account, so you can access all the features you must require for free.



To Phoenix ( who is quite a handsome, strong, and intelligent man ) Do you know what the games are going to be judged on? If I made a game, I would probably keep mtx at a minimum personally. A game wouldn’t be scored lower by the judges because it only used mtx minimally, would it?

Signed up and it’s showing me as the free plus plan. YOU LIAR!

 
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Sounds like a cool contest. There’s a .001% chance I will enter. :P

 
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Very interesting. Plus there’s a hell of a lot of time to publish. That’s also good, ‘cause I’m in school and I get very limited dev time. But… question. If we publish to all platforms, do we get the money off that too? ‘Cause that’s not really fair. You get only $30000 for a game, and if the game is good on all platforms, it could potentially make a lot. If it’s good, that is. But we should at least get a share

Edit: Forget it.

 
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RTL_Shadow – definitely check Player.IO out. They have some great services, and I’ve seen a number of developers who have no networking experience get a multiplayer game up and running relatively easily. Everybody Edits, Shellshock Live, Bad Eggs Online, and a bunch of other games use Player.IO. I don’t know the details of the free/plus plan in relation to the contest.

BobTheCoolGuy (who is currently in the lead!) – According to the official rules: “All games will be judged based on their creativity, fun, artistic talents, polish and commercial viability.” So yes, ability to make a profit is going to be part of the judging. Ultimately Epic Games Ads / WhipFlash hopes to get a good return on the over $100,000 in cash they’re putting up, so that’s an important aspect. You want the game to be playable and fun for everyone, but for those who really enjoy the game and want to support it, you want to make sure you give them the ability to spend a substantial amount in the game too.

jasonjie88 – Yes, you do get a share of all profits from the game. So the first place gets the $30,000 cash, plus the Adobe software and other schwag, plus 50% of all net sales from the game on all platforms. So if the game is a huge success, you’ll get a substantial amount of money from that too. :) Having fair terms, including retaining ownership of the IP and a reasonable revenue share, were part of the requirements for Kongregate to get involved – we wanted to make sure it’s a good deal for the developers. With these terms I’d have to say that I think it is. You do give up some of your revenue share, but you get some guaranteed cash and promotion – you shift your risk for a smaller potential long term reward, but since it’s a revenue share everyone will be working towards the same goal.

 
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This isn’t an easy question to answer, but what sort of total monthly ads revenue do you expect from the top 3 games?

Perhaps an easy question to answer would be do you expect total annual ads revenue to be higher or lower than the straight-up prize money?

 
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Ad revenue isn’t part of the monetization of the games – the games are required to be monetized through virtual goods/microtransactions. Kongregate has incredible experience getting flash games to monetize well through microtransactions. As Phoenix mentioned, the prize money offsets the risk to the developer – but a hit game will generate significantly more revenue than the upfront cash prize.

It wouldn’t be wise or even possible to ‘expect’ any game to produce any specific amount of revenue. I guess that’s what keeps things interesting!

 
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If you’re a decent programmer, you hopefully won’t have too much trouble with Player.IO, once you understand how it works. You do the serverside stuff in C#, which as it mentions, isn’t all that far from AS3. It’s a little more strict, and you may want to learn some C# features (delegates, Events in C#, lambda expressions, Dictionaries, etc) but overall I don’t think anyone should struggle too much with that.


Originally posted by Phoenix00017:

BobTheCoolGuy (who is currently in the lead!) …

Yes! Quick, end the contest now!

 
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@Phoenix, I have a question. The contest states “We may only use PlayerIO”. Does this mean no external libs such as Flixel?

EDIT: I also think I nice incentive for Kong would for the top 3 winners to have lifetime Kong+, could you bring that up?

 
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Dealmaster13 – EpicGameAds replied already, but I’ll confirm – ad revenue on a per-game basis, while good, generally is much smaller than revenue from virtual goods when they are implemented properly. The goal is to find games that are selling virtual goods effectively, and when that happens they will generate far more revenue than ads will.

BobTheCoolGuy – Sadly, you’ve got to keep it up for 6 months. :) Glad to hear that you’ve had good experiences with Player.IO – everyone I know who’s used it has said how easy and effective it is.

RTL_Shadow – You may need to check with Player.IO to be sure, but Flixel is a game engine (primarily for graphics, asset management, and some basic physics) while Player.IO is more of an interface layer for multiplayer servers, transactions, etc. As far as I know there is no problem using an additional game engine that doesn’t replace the Player.IO functionality. I think what they meant was that for those particular elements you must use Player.IO.

 
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So this is a contest where the main prize is losing half your game? :p

 
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RTL – check out the contest page – this is on it:

 
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D: I think I’m going to be doing this… Why u make it so enticing…

 
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Every reasonable part of me is saying “you don’t have the time for this”. But the banner is so shinyyyyyyyyy.

So this is a contest where the main prize is losing half your game? :p

It’s quite possible that the amount of marketing you get will more then double the net revenue anyway.


Does anyone know of an API or something that would make implementing micro-transactions simple? I personally have no idea how it would be done. I’m sure there are all sorts of security measures and authorization and authentication things involved.


I’m also wondering about this:

Your game must target Flash Player using ActionScript 3

Actionscript 3 not enough for you? Then have a look at HAXE!

 
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Originally posted by truefire:

So this is a contest where the main prize is losing half your game? :p

It’s quite possible that the amount of marketing you get will more then double the net revenue anyway.

Pretty much: its a nice place to get started. As someone on Mochi said, it will put you on the map.

 
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Also wondering if PlayerIO even HAS a Haxe API. Last I tried them (a year ago?) they didn’t have anything available for haxe. (It wasn’t in .swc format or anything either, there were .as files IIRC)

 
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Does passive multiplayer (i.e. bluetooth/wifi connections) qualify? I’m already working on a game that will include multiplayer in that fashion, but it would have no minimum, as it would simple be “all nearby players.” And be limited to devices that support such connectivity.

 
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It has to use PlayerIO Draco, and I’m fairly certain they don’t support that kind of multiplayer.

Though that brings up a question: Does “minimum of four players” mean that you can’t play with less then 4 people, or you have to be able to play with at least 4 people if you want. That is, would a 1-4 player game be OK?

 
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Does anyone know of an API or something that would make implementing micro-transactions simple? I personally have no idea how it would be done. I’m sure there are all sorts of security measures and authorization and authentication things involved.

I haven’t looked at it, but Player.IO has something for monetary transactions which you are supposed to use.

 
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Originally posted by truefire:

It has to use PlayerIO Draco, and I’m fairly certain they don’t support that kind of multiplayer.

Though that brings up a question: Does “minimum of four players” mean that you can’t play with less then 4 people, or you have to be able to play with at least 4 people if you want. That is, would a 1-4 player game be OK?

Ah, I didn’t see that it had to use PlayerIO. But still: valid question.

 
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Amibtious – The contest has a main prize where you get a good chunk of money and a bunch of promotion, in exchange for splitting your revenue. You still own the code, art, and IP, but you’re basically entering into a publishing deal that has up-front bonuses. If you’ve got a marketing budget you may do better on your own, but for an indie dev who may have a hard time getting traction it could be a great opportunity.

UnknownGuardian – Haha, I look forward to seeing what you come up with! :)

truefire – Indeed, Player.IO has a pretty solid microtransaction (a word I’m trying to avoid – you don’t have to be “micro”) API. I know developers have integrated with kreds purchasing almost trivially thanks to how Player.IO hooks right into it, and I think Player.IO also supports direct payment methods too. I don’t know about HAXE support, though I would imagine so if it was mentioned on the contest page.

multiplayer questions – I’m checking with the organizers to find out more. While I know some about the contest, I’m not the “official voice” and don’t know the intricate rules. It sounds like they intended for games that can support a minimum of 4 simultaneous players. My guess is that something like Platform Racing 2 would be fine – it doesn’t force 4 player races, but they are possible. I’ll update when I find out more about those requirements.

 
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According to the second eligibility section in the official rules, the game apparently has to be a cooperative multiplayer. I’m kind of curious as to why there is no mention of that anywhere else. Also, why would a competitive/free-for-all focused game be turned down if it can fulfill all the other requirements and recommendations? Or is this all just a copy/paste error?

 
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Originally posted by Phoenix00017:

multiplayer questions – I’m checking with the organizers to find out more. While I know some about the contest, I’m not the “official voice” and don’t know the intricate rules. It sounds like they intended for games that can support a minimum of 4 simultaneous players. My guess is that something like Platform Racing 2 would be fine – it doesn’t force 4 player races, but they are possible. I’ll update when I find out more about those requirements.

Does it have to be Flash, or can we use Unity? I could implement it into my game fairly easily. It could in theory support mutiplayer over the internet (and as many players as the API can support concurrently), it’s just less…….social.