Recent posts by emily_greer on Kongregate

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Topic: Kongregate / Say Hello to Your New CEO

Thanks everybody!

Originally posted by Holy2334:

I couldn’t express my opinion in words.

Our mom loved this graphic! :-)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Say Hello to Your New CEO

Thanks, guys! I’m so happy and lucky to have shared this incredible journey with my brother, and proud to have the opportunity to lead Kongregate into the future. It’s really nothing without the great team and community of players and developers and I really appreciate your support.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Should Flappy Bird Flash Be Removed?

Hi guys, just wanted to say that we are in contact with Dong, who made Flappy Bird, and have asked him whether he would prefer us to leave the game up or take it down, and will respect his wishes either way.

 
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Topic: Tyrant: General Tyrant Discussion / Trolled By Kongregate

This bug should be fixed now. Apologies for the mistake.

As for Tyrant — well, I’m part of the problem there in that we’re publishing mobile Tyrant & new games from Synapse in the pipeline and that’s affecting main Tyrant. We’re discussing the future of web Tyrant and resource allocation but that’s about all I can say.

 
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Topic: Tyrant: General Tyrant Discussion / Trolled By Kongregate

Yikes, that’s terrible. I forwarded this thread to our QA & support teams. Someone should be in contact with you in the morning (our time) to get this fixed. Apologies!

 
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Topic: Kongregate / End of Weekly Challenges

We’ve been looking for a replacement for Kongai card challenges for years, and started brainstorming what has turned into Kongpanions nearly a year and a half ago. While the weak pipeline of single-player games is disturbing to us (and something we’re attempting to improve) the replacement of weekly challenges with Kongpanions is totally independent of that.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / [New Feature] Introducing Kongpanions!

Originally posted by Chatbot:

Over 30K Kongbots awarded? Wow. I honestly did not think that many people still frequented Kongregate. I know how popular the site used to be, but idunno, this surprises me

Our traffic is higher than it’s ever been actually.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / [New Feature] Introducing Kongpanions!

I don’t think will ever be as easy to re-earn as Kongai-cards — part of the reason we did that with Kongai cards was because they were SO expensive & slow to produce we had to constantly rerun them. These we won’t have to so any individual one will be more unique. But as I said if players want to be able to get at the back catalog we will likely make it happen.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / [New Feature] Introducing Kongpanions!

Originally posted by 123aaa789:

Quick question, would they be able to be earned any other way/multiple times like Kongai cards were (multiple times they were rewards, as well as being able to purchase them or win them in-game with Kongai)?

There’s not a current method for earning them other ways/multiple times but if there is player demand for that we will likely add it. Same for purchasing them.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / [New Feature] Introducing Kongpanions!

Originally posted by adv0catus:


2. IAmTheCandyman quoted the post by racefan12, but didn’t answer the meat of the post. Will there, continually, be new weekly Kongpanions for, basically, forever? 52, every week, each year, for years to come? It just seems like a huge commitment that the site is making and it’s worrisome that it might not come to pass.

Forever is a long time so I can’t promise you that we will be releasing new Kongpanions in 2034 but I can promise you that we spent a lot of time figuring out a system that we COULD commit to supporting every week for years. Just in that profile list above you can see 21-weeks worth! And we’ll probably be doing special ones for holidays and such. What we can’t know for sure is how useful they will be to developers in creating games, but I can also say that jmtb02 put a lot of thought into designing them in a way that would be flexible & useful in multiple genres, and not require a ton of animation so our fingers are crossed.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

Crows terrify me, I’m not going to lie. There’s a bunch of huge crows that hang around near my apartment, and like to settle on a railing near my bus stop while I’m waiting. It’s hard not to be freaked out by birds that are the size of my entire torso and glaring at me from about 5 feet away, especially when it’s pretty close to the place they filmed The Birds.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

FYI I’m working on another post addressing various complaints/questions on MMOs and free-to-play. It’s going to be another long post (mini-essay really) so it may take me another day or two to get it finished given family demands on my time for the holiday. Pies don’t make themselves! :-)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

So in response to rpresser’s question: we don’t have any intention of alienating a portion of our audience. Kongregate has always been an open portal for all types of games — among the 78,000 there are pretty much every type of game, really something for everybody and then we let ratings determine what we promote. Not every game is going to be everybody’s taste and sometimes games drop in rating substantially when we put them in Hot New Games or add badges, but they always start above a certain level. The games that are in most played are consistently games with kreds in them, and that reflects their popularity.

Most of our revenue comes from the kreds spent in games, so we do preferentially promote popular kreds games though we’ve always carefully restricted the # of kreds games in the feature roll or hot new games at the same time, and we even suppress kreds games from showing to users who we think based on past ratings are likely to dislike them.

However I do feel that in the last year that the balance between big, multiplayer kreds games and the type of single-player game that has always been the core of Kongregate has gotten a little off, and it’s something that I’m quite concerned about. So what happened? It has to do with the supply of games being uploaded to Kongregate. As MMO & CCG-type of games have done well on Kongregate, word has spread and the number of those coming on the site has gradually increased, though their #s (a little over 400 out of 79,000) is totally dwarfed by ordinary single-player games, of which we get between 1200 and 1500 a month uploaded.

The reason it feels like the MMOs & CCGs are dominating, though, is because though the number of total games uploaded on Kongregate has stayed pretty steady over the last few years, the number of highly-rated games has dropped drastically. Back in 2011 we average 46 highly rated (3.7+) new games a month. It dropped to 30 in 2012, but that was still one good new game every day so the difference wasn’t very palpable. But in 2013 we’ve only averaged 16 highly-rated new games a month, with probably about a quarter of those MMO/CCG type of games. With only one good new game every other day it means that every decent game spends longer in Hot New Games and in some droughts (August-October) Greg was having trouble finding games to add badges to.

So why the big drop in good single-player Flash games? It’s not just Kongregate, it’s all the game portals. It’s the result of some complicated market forces, most directly the crash in the amount Flash developers get for game sponsorships, but most of them lead back to one thing: the rise of mobile games.

While Flash games are often made by hobbyists in their free time, most of the high-rated games for the last 4-5 years have been made by developers working on Flash games mostly full-time. To make a good game takes both a lot of skill and a reasonable amount of time to polish, and it’s hard for people doing it after work/school to make good games very frequently.

To do something full-time you need to be making enough money at it to support yourself, and developers were making the majority of their income from the game sponsorship market, where portals like Kongregate, Armor, Newgrounds, NotDoppler, etc pay to have their branding plus a link to play more games added to games before they’re released. Our ad share, in-game ads elsewhere, and site-locked licenses making up a much smaller % of developer’s income, in the 20-40% range depending on the game..

The average sponsorship price has never been very high, $500-$2000, definitely not enough for anyone to make a living off of unless they were absolutely cranking them out. But for many years the amount that a developer could get for the sponsorship of a high-end game was quite high, $20,000-30,000 pretty frequently, sometimes higher. I know we’ve paid as much as $100,000 for them, and I’ve heard rumors of even higher #s, and those were definitely high enough for developers to support themselves.

In the last year or so that market for sponsorships have crashed. I can’t know for sure why other people are bidding less, but I know that we’ve been bidding much lower because the quantity & quality of traffic referred is much lower than it was before, probably because the traffic at most other portals has dropped dramatically over the last two years as people have moved a lot of their casual gaming to mobile. (Side note: we’re the exception, in part because of the big multiplayer games, which are very sticky — our traffic is actually up.) I assume that with the portals dependent on advertising revenue the sponsorships are worth less, but probably also their revenue has dropped quite a lot and their budgets are smaller. The net result is that if you look right now on FGL (where a lot of the bidding for sponsorships happens) the highest bid for a sponsorship is just $4,000.

With that kind of drop in potential revenue a lot of developers have looked around at other opportunities that might be more lucrative. Some are doing PC titles for Steam etc (2DArray & thedavidcarney just released Not the Robots for example, Nerdook has a game on Greenlight). Many more are making mobile games, which makes them much less likely to use Flash, because Flash doesn’t work on mobile unless you use a framework like Starling, or Haxe.

The point about the technology is actually a big one because it’s not just about developers who have been making Flash games for a while. Flash used to be where a new developer was likely to get started, and once they made a Flash game they almost inevitably put it on Kongregate and other portals. But since the future of Flash has been in question for quite a while, new developers have started elsewhere — Unity for example, or if they’re focused on mobile they’re likely to build games in C, or Cocos 2D, or something else that doesn’t work in a browser at all. So that’s been hurting the supply, too.

So that’s why we’re getting fewer single-player games, and it’s something we’re very concerned over. We talk about it a lot internally, and are trying to figure out what we can realistically do. Ultimately it needs to be worth a developer’s while to make browser games. In the past essentially all the portals shared the cost and benefit of developing browser games by taking turns paying for sponsorships. On a small scale we can fund and develop games — that’s why we hired jmtb02 — but the scale of paying to have an equivalent flow of single-player games as we had two years ago is both too expensive and too risky for us to fund.

We’re not giving up on this at all, though. We’re likely to try and expand our direct funding of games, between internal developers and possibly funding some games from popular developers from the start. We also want to take advantage of what we’re doing on mobile to help improve the game supply by having all (or nearly all) of the games we’re publishing there also published on Kongregate (some are out, some in Kong+ currently, some are coming). That includes a lot of single-player games (Sheep Happens, Endless Boss Fight, Cardinal Quest 2, Epic Skater) as well as some cool multiplayer games (Blood Realm, Lionheart Tactics) .

More generally we’re trying to increase the awareness of Kongregate with Unity, HTML5, & mobile developers and hopefully get more of them putting their games on Kongregate. I feel that the shift to mobile while based on real revenue opportunities, has been too dramatic, and that developers will start realizing that having their game on many platforms benefits all platforms, so I’m optimistic. We’ve seen a small uptick in single-players games in November & December relative to the previous 6 months. I’d like to get back up to at least 25-30 a month, but I think it may not be possible to get back up to the 40+ we saw in 2010 & 2011.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

Okay, I’m about to post my response on kreds/MMO games vs single-players game and it may make you regret you ever asked as it clocks it at over 1,400 words! Now you’ll understand why it took me days to write. More answers to come over the next few days.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

Originally posted by SicMirx:

Working on good answers? Well, here’s a question that demands an over-the-top, quality, good answer…

Why isn’t your Christmas shopping done already!?

That is all.

It’s because I’m a terrible, disorganized person. Oh wait, I was completely done as of the 19th when I left SF? Right, I’m ahead of almost everybody in this thread I bet!

I’m still a terrible, disorganized person. But mostly because I left my nightgown, my knitting, and one intended Christmas present in SF. I usually only forget one thing, not three!

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

Hey guys, just want to say that I haven’t forgotten this topic and will be writing up answers over the next few days. I’ve been frantically working and Christmas shopping before leaving to go to my parents’ house for the holiday. I’m here now and on vacation so I have some more time and will work on good answers for everything.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

Gah, my next answer is turning into a novel and I’m not going to get it finished tonight. It’ll have to be tomorrow. But also on quick side note:

Originally posted by FlyingCat:

is it true RawIsMojos voice is as captivating as a siren, as mysterious as the stone henge, and as friendly as a corgi?

Yes. He also has very nice hair.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

Hey guys, sorry to disappear for a few days. I don’t have a fever anymore which means I’m up for answering questions again. I’ll start with some of the easier ones and work up from there.

So yes, we hang out a fair amount though it tends to be in the office rather than other places, since SF bars tend to be small and loud and there’s quite a lot of us now. We’ve got a kegerator (and occasionally other beverages) and have board game nights and other things like Towerfall or Pacman tournaments once a month or so. Jim runs a poker league out of our office (they play here about once a month) that includes people from lots of game companies and a few other tech start-ups. Friday evening beer pong has also recently become a thing.

We’re generally playing for bragging rights (which is plenty with a competitive bunch like us) but there are a few things that have prizes attached, such as the Kong fantasy football league which I believe TheresaC is leading, though jmtb02 is also doing well based on a strategy of drafting an entire team of players with the name Jackson or Johnson.

I also recently set up a rival fantasy league for fantasy figure skating (believe it or not this is a real thing ) and put up a prize of $50 for the winner, $100 if they can beat me. 15 people signed up, which means that Kongregate alone represents 2% of the 741 people playing fantasy figure skating this year. We’re about half way through the season and I’m winning, but only by a fairly slim margin; joe1017 ’s team SpinIt2WinIt is giving me a run for my money.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ask an Admin: Emily Greer, co-founder of Kongregate

Hey guys, so I had a bunch of meetings this morning and didn’t get a chance to reply before now but am excited to be doing this. I’ve got an hour to have lunch before my next set of meetings begin at 1:30pm so I can only post a short reply now. My answer for rpresser is going to be fairly epic, including history of the Flash game market, mobile, and a lot of other things, so I’m going to wait and write that up later and answer Rolby’s much easier question first.

So Kong HQ is current about 5300 square feet, and is in a nice brick building built in 1907 shortly after 1906 earthquake completely leveled the downtown part of San Francisco. Now if you know much about earthquakes you know that brick is bad news: our building was heavily retrofitted back about 15 years ago and should be okay through most earthquakes. Luckily it’s never really been testing in our 3 years here, and we’re moving to new offices next month. The new office is about 60% bigger at 8500 square feet (we’ve been growing quite a bit) and is a 10 minute walk from where we are now, in a not-as-cool building from the 60s, but compensates with a pretty view of the SF bay.

We’ve got a little over 30 people here in the SF office, working on things like design, marketing, accounting, producing our published games, and advertising sales. We’ve got another smaller office up in Portland where most of our engineers work (it’s a lot easier to hire good engineers there than in San Francisco, where there are so many tech companies) and then another 10 or so people scattered across the country who work from home, mostly more programmers and our community team.

In the pictures below you can see the view from my desk through the office. One angle includes Greg and Phoenix00017’s empty chairs, another slightly blurry one with JMTB02’s empty desk & AlisonClaire’s decorated one, and the third includes player03 standing up waiting to go to lunch. You don’t get much of a view of our Towerfall set-up (near the K painted by ivory) but I can promise you it gets very heavy use.

Edit: large pictures are large. Working on resizing down to a reasonable size.



 
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Topic: Kongregate / Ten reasons why Kongregate is great.

Added as friend for the jumpcat badge.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Scheduled downtime 10/14 (9pm PST)

Congrats to the engineering teaming for keeping it to exactly 30 minutes. We were upgrading our database — enjoy the improved speed!

 
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Topic: Kongregate / So, gamestop's in for a while now...

Hi guys, we’re actually talking to some of the international areas for Gamestop to see how we might fit into their loyalty programs, which for the most part don’t work the same as PowerUpRewards where you earn points. Instead they have levels, and we’re hoping to perhaps do something like give out Kong+ to people who hit a certain level in those programs. But since it works so differently it’s a fairly big effort on both sides to make it work and I’m not sure yet when we’re going to be able to make it happen. We haven’t forgotten though!

 
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Topic: Kongregate / New Kongregate Version: New Search Results Page

Originally posted by Storaged:

Well, I’m not longer able to search for particular users or posts made by particular users via the Kongregate search system.

We’re going to be adding a separate forum search, and I think we’re also planning to add developers to the main search. It’s pretty rare for people to search for regular users.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / New Kongregate Version: New gamepage for everyone

The progress bar is currently being tested on brand new accounts who are the most at sea. We may expand later if the test is successful with the most impressionable group.

 
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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [Backyard Monsters] === BYM Compensation Packages on Kongregate ===

Originally posted by Lordleelee2:

Hold on… if she eats a hat… Wouldn’t that mean all TF2 players will freak out?

She herself plays TF2. Maybe she meant a hat there?