Our Properties: Gamasutra GameCareerGuide IndieGames Indie Royale GDC IGF Game Developer Magazine GAO
My Message close
Latest News
spacer View All spacer
 
October 15, 2012
 
How XCOM enables players to tell their own stories
 
Release This: Dance Central 3, Doom 3 BFG Edition hit retail stateside
 
Changing the face of games - the diversity of indies [6]
spacer
Latest Features
spacer View All spacer
 
October 15, 2012
 
arrow The Shifting Continuum: An Arc System Works Interview [6]
 
arrow Tiny MMOs, Massive Opportunities? [1]
 
arrow The Sound Design of Journey [8]
spacer
Latest Blogs
spacer View All     Post     RSS spacer
 
October 15, 2012
 
Musings on Successful Multiplayer Maps [2]
 
4 Simple Tips for Combating Game Piracy [31]
 
Xbox Live Arcade Sales Analysis, September 2012
 
35 Years Ago, Star Wars Character In-Person At Toys R Us Set Me On Track To Be A Game Developer [11]
 
The Cost of Making Games [14]
spacer
Latest Jobs
spacer View All     Post a Job     RSS spacer
 
October 15, 2012
 
Kabam
Senior Operations Engineer / Dev Ops @Kabam
 
Kabam
Software Engineer - C++ @ Kabam
 
Kabam
Software Engineer - Flash @ Kabam
 
Hidden Variable Studios
Senior Programmer
 
Kabam
Technical Writer (Contract-to-hire)
 
Activision
Technical Director - Graphics
spacer
Latest Press Releases
spacer View All     RSS spacer
 
October 15, 2012
 
Train Simulator 2013
Deluxe Edition Now
Available
 
BRAWL BUSTERS RELEASES
“A NIGHTMARE ON...
 
SANCTUM SURVIVAL CONTEST
NOW UNDERWAY
 
Introducing Xbox Music:
The Ultimate
All-in-One...
 
Warner Brothers
Interactive Entertainment
and...
spacer
About
spacer Editor-In-Chief:
Kris Graft
Features Director:
Christian Nutt
News Director:
Frank Cifaldi
Senior Contributing Editor:
Brandon Sheffield
News Editors:
Frank Cifaldi, Tom Curtis, Mike Rose, Eric Caoili, Kris Graft
Editors-At-Large:
Leigh Alexander, Chris Morris
Advertising:
Jennifer Sulik
Recruitment:
Gina Gross
 
Feature Submissions
 
Comment Guidelines
Sponsor

 
Interview: Flash  Tower Defense  Creators On VC Deal, Social Gaming Site
Interview: Flash Tower Defense Creators On VC Deal, Social Gaming Site Exclusive
 

November 18, 2008   |   By Chris Remo

Comments Post A Comment

More: Console/PC, Exclusive





Successful Flash game developers Paul Preece and David Scott have launched Casual Collective, a new free-to-play social gaming site, and have received $1 million in funding from investment firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Responsible for the popular "tower defense" games Desktop Tower Defense and Flash Element TD, Preece and Scott originally launched the site last December in what they describe to Gamasutra as "stealth mode." The relaunch introduces a variety of social networking features as well as several new titles.

"We've rebuilt it from the ground up, and we've spread our content over several servers," Scott tells Gamasutra in an interview conducted prior to the announcement.

"Our goal with the new site is to enhance the social features that did well, to create better and stronger games, and this time not lock them to the site but let people take them and post them all over the internet."

Pushing The Business Model

Flash games have perhaps the most decentralized distribution of any gaming segment, since they can be easily embedded into any webpage in their original form.

Rather than attempting to fight that reality, Preece and Scott are embracing it by strengthening the links between embedded games and their own site, and by exploring optional paid content, such as is common in the growing Asian free-to-play market.

Preece explains: "We hope to use the games themselves as an advert for the site, much the same way as the normal sponsor would, but we have a very high level of integration with the games and the site. You'll be able to arrange multiplayer games and tournament, and so on. There will be additional content available only on our site, and some content that can only be purchased."

He points to a real-time strategy game called Minions, which offers additional paid units and a "pro pack" of features, but added that not all games will incorporate paid content. Price points could fall in the neighborhood of $2-5, he suggests.

In multiplayer games, for example, such content need not give undue gameplay advantage. "Status is one of the easiest things to sell," says Preece.

"Even just giving somebody an extra icon next to their unit -- people will pay for that. On the old site, we saw a lot of gifting of upgrades. We've ended up with people who have spend three or four hundred dollars over the course of a year."

"You don't have to create particularly large games to do this; you've got to create good games," he argues, "as long as you price to what the people are going to be buying."

Design Freedom

One of the most rewarding parts of Preece and Scott's current jobs -- which allowed them to move from being hobbyist game developers to full-time game developers -- has been the freedom that comes with small-scale design of successful titles. Preece's Desktop Tower Defense has exceeded 70 million downloads, and Scott's Flash Elements TD has doubled that.

"It's very much like the early 80s," says Preece of the current Flash game design scene. "Not requiring a publisher gives you immense freedom to do whatever you want, and the spread of games across the internet is so fast now."

Though games tied to social networking sites are often seen as the next big thing, Preece thinks Flash games still have broader appeal. "People go on about Facebook, but I defy a Facebook game to spread as fast as a normal internet game does," he says. "Both of our games reached millions of people across a day or two."

"And the capabilities of Flash games are now approaching that of full download games," adds Scott, referencing more traditionally-distributed casual games such as those published by PopCap.

But despite the increasingly glitzy presentation, he stresses that clean, simple design is still paramount in casual games: "You build a sandbox out of a few simple rules, and the gameplay flows from that."
 
 
Top Stories

image
How XCOM enables players to tell their own stories
image
Release This: Dance Central 3, Doom 3 BFG Edition hit retail stateside
image
Changing the face of games - the diversity of indies
image
In-depth: Angle-based SSAO


   
 
Comments


none
 
Comment:
 




 
UBM Techweb
Game Network
Game Developers Conference | GDC Europe | GDC Online | GDC China | Gamasutra | Game Developer Magazine | Game Advertising Online
Game Career Guide | Independent Games Festival | Indie Royale | IndieGames

Other UBM TechWeb Networks
Business Technology | Business Technology Events | Telecommunications & Communications Providers

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Copyright © UBM TechWeb, All Rights Reserved.