Kongregate, YoYo Games’ big brother?

For many of the GM community, it has been a long-held belief that YoYo Games was pioneering something new, an opportunity for amateur game developers to get noticed and show case their games to a wide audience and community in true web 2.0 style.

It turns out in fact that a site called ‘Kongregate’ has been offering a very similar service since 2006. Although Kongregate does not allow submissions of Game Maker created games, the site itself is feature-packed and in many ways makes YYG look like the kid who hasn’t grown up yet.

Until one or the other starts running both types of games (flash and executables), I don’t forsee any major competitive battle-out between the two companies. But what I do see is an opportunity for the YoYo Games staff to take a look at what Kongregate is doing and ‘borrow’ some ideas to improve their current website.

Just to name a few of the features which I think are interesting
– The ability for users to embed/run their games from independent websites
– An integrated API to sync game high-scores with the website
– Ability for developers to make 50% on in-game ad revenue
– In game live chat between players

Thoughts?

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Discussion: Game Genres

In this day and age you could say first person shooters and online role playing games have pretty much dominated the market for a good few years now. On the other hand, there are many games of different genres that have also become very successful.

  1. Do you think there is any particular genre that has an obvious advantage over others (i.e. can become popular very quickly not because of the game play or the quality, but rather the type of game it is)?
  2. In contrast, do you think any game despite it’s genre has a good chance of becoming popular and widespread so long as it is entertaining and has a good solid game play / decent quality?
  3. As a developer, when you decide to make a game, do you try to focus on making it part of a particular genre rather than follow your original idea? Do you ever mix Genres and be creative?

[Remember: Each comment you contribure to the discussion will increase your chances of winning the monthly prize give-away]

Debate: Annoying/Addicting the way to go?

Today’s post is more of a discussion than a news announcement, so please contribute your thoughts on the subject.

We’ve all played those classic games like Chips Challenge, spending hours and hours repeating the same level over and over again until you start believing your computer holds a grudge against you. One wrong key press and, oops, you have to start all over again… but somehow you manage to pull yourself together and keep playing until you see those words of relief: Level completed.

As annoying as those levels are, you can’t argue the fact they have an addictive quality. It’s almost as if you’ve promised yourself the level must be finished before you can make your daily trek away from your monitor. In essence, the game is feeding its players an addiction of relief and accomplishment. The question is, as a game developer, is this what you want for your users? Is trapping them in a black hole of a never-ending, time-looping, swirl of madness the way to keep people playing your games?

That question is certainly tough to answer, and has been one that has been on the minds of many game developers lately. I remember reading an article about a war game that had to add body armor after beta testing because developers found that many of the testers were outraged at the fact that they died so quickly after just one or two shots. At the same time, the testers were really into the game (mentally and even physically) and were not about to give up just because of a little set-back like an unexpected death after turning the corner.

In summary, do you believe that creating an addictive-annoying game such that players must repeat sections over several times until they are done right is an effective way to keep people playing a game?