Flash Forward

Remember when the best things in life were free? We’re sure there was a song written about that too. However, as with most things in life, if you want to do something reasonably exciting or interesting in your spare time, you’re going to have to folk out for the privilege.

Yet one of Britain’s favourite past-times still has a flag bearer ready to wave the flag for those wanting things for free, and why not? Online Bingo is a huge money industry but the bastion of freebies freebingo.co.uk bucks the trend.

It Really Is Free

Freebingo is exactly that, free. 100% free, meaning there is no need to part with any cash at all. There is no catch, no hidden agenda or small print, people play for the fun of it, the socialisation, and the banter. Sure, there are prizes to be won but these very much take second place in the players eyes, they just add a bit more fun to proceedings.

The beauty of Freebingo is that its gaming engines are all powered by Flash, which as we all know is free too meaning that Britain’s favourite past-time and the much loved free software combine into a pretty neat package. Freebingo uses flash for its versatility, its user-friendly set up, the fact it is lightweight and easy to maintain and frankly, it looks good. Freebingo’s games have the feel of some of better looking flash games available for free today.

Looks Rather Flashy

As well as looking good the prizes that are on offer do ensure the players interest. Winners have recently walked away with 19” HD TV’s and cash lump sums all provided by the games sponsors.
This as mentioned before is all secondary in relation to the community aspect of the game but the addition of prize draws, tournaments and other competitions keep those wanting to maintain a high leader board score. Interestingly, Freebingo is based on Freebingo £££’s a fictional, made up currency if you like specifically designed for the game.

An accumulation of Freebingo £££’s can potentially earn the player entry into a big prize draw. This certainly keep players interested too as each and every Monday to Saturday there are two prize tournaments which take place at 9.00pm & 10.00pm. The prizes vary on size and on the theme of the night and special tournaments are regularly added too.

Freebingo offers players the opportunity to socialise, engage with one another and enjoy a classic game of 75 or 90 ball happy in the knowledge that the software running the show is fit for any gaming platform. Sometimes the best things in life really are for free.

They say 2014 is all about online gaming as more and more casinos go to war with greater sign up deals and bonuses. This means new players and lots of them, so what else comes with new players. Firstly online casino membership rates will soar, wagering requirements will fall and most importantly online slot jackpots will rise. Yes you read that right; more players will force prize pools through the roof. Over the past 12 months we’ve laid witness to some of the largest cash prizes ever paid and all because of the numbers, numbers which are only getting bigger.

Online slots alone account for around 67% of the casinos payout table with progressives taking another slice due to their huge jackpots. This tells us that internet fruit machines lie at the very heart of simulated gambling, and why not with some of the most explosive games still to come. Do the maths and it makes sense, popularity leads to more wagering and more wagers mean bigger jackpot totals. It also means that 2014 could prove life changing for even more lucky spinners. Why mess around with roulette tables and low variant black jack games when the returns remain low in comparison, this seems to be the reason why more players are heading for the reels.

To meet the demands of the new influx of slot machine players, websites like covertcasino.co.uk are making headway in targeting casinos for their total prize pool values. This means that not only will casinos be chosen for their reputation, software and selection of games, but for their jackpot capabilities too. New slots on the horizon mean greater playability and improvements to features, so it’s important that comparison sites jump on the band wagon to find them. If this year will tell us anything, it’s that lucky players will be winning more, a lot more.

Over at Viral Flash Games, I’ve decided to give away the entire VFG1 games pack for free. These are older non-AS3 games, but there is still value in reskinning them, learning from them, re-using some of the assets or even porting them over to AS3.

I’m using the Pay With A Tweet system which means you just have to send a Tweet, or post a message to Facebook about the games and you’ll automatically get access to download all the source codes, FLA files and a licence to rebrand them, plus you’ll also get a preview PDF for the all new Viral Flash Games II with details of all the games and links to demos!

Here’s the link, go grab the games!

Earlier this week I announced that VFGII, the eagerly awaited sequal to Viral Flash Games, was coming soon. We I’m pleased to announce that the new games pack will launch this coming Wednesday, 5th December!

9 all-new games will be included, all coded in Actionscript 3, all with full source code! We’ve put together a PDF preview giving details of all the games which you can download HERE.

Watch this space for news of when we launch on Wednesday, or head over to ViralFlashGames.com and sign up to the email newsletter!

Over at Viral Flash Games we’re gearing up to launch an all new pack of 9 original AS3 games with full source code!  Following on from the hugely successful original VFG pack, the new games cover a wide spectrum or genres from racing, to shooting, puzzles, slots and more!  The pack even includes full source code to an iOS game, live on the app store, and built in Flash!

More details to follow when the games launch next week, but if you’re looking for AS3 games with full source code to learn from, or to reskin/rebrand then check out this blog post at viralflashgames.com

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In over 9 years of web game development I’d never used a third party framework until recently, preferring to code everything up from scratch. Both Flixel and FlashPunk had caught my eye though and for the past year or so I’d been meaning to try one or the other.

Well, a few months ago the opportunity presented itself. Hasbro hired us to develop a multi-world game to promote their new Kre-o range of toys and I decided it was the perfect project to test these frameworks with. Read the rest of this entry »

Another sizzling summer of success has seen the mercury in the sporting barometer soar to the dizzy heights of last season. England are beginning to get a stranglehold on the Ashes series. The Aussies might be down but they’re never out and stinging criticism back home looks set to stir the tourists in to rambunctious Antipodean retaliation. Chris Froome overcame the loss of Sir Bradley Wiggins by storming to victory in the Tour de France. This apparently left a bemused Gallic cycling audience scratching their heads. Typical – like London buses you wait over a century for a British winner then two seem to come along at once. Talking of long waits, Andy Murray finally got the Wimbledon monkey of British backs by crushing all opposition and looking like the natural champion he is. The piles of strawberry and cream washed down with rivers of champagne made for a rip-roaring summer.

With so much summer action the average sporting fan would be forgiven for taking his eye of the ball. Oh wait! Hold the back page! The football season is about to explode in to life for another season of delight and torment. The Football League Championship gets under way this weekend with the Premier League due to kick off a fortnight later. Competition in the Championship is sure to be as fierce as ever. This season it features slumbering giants like former European Cup Winners Nottingham Forest, past Football League Champions Leeds United and previous Premiership winners Blackburn Rovers. All are vying to blaze a return to their glorious days of yore. And if football’s about to kick off that means rugby union isn’t far behind!

With so much mouth-watering action lined up, there’s even more incentive to enjoy an online flutter and keep up with the latest scores and results at the same time. By logging on to the William Hill Sportsbook homepage, you can watch entertaining podcasts about the cricket, the football and the horse racing. Make the most of the bonuses and promotions like the two for one Ticket Offer Great St Wilfrid horse race meeting at Ripon Racecourse. Of course you can also bet online at UK’s Home of Betting William Hill. The Sportsbook has the best horse racing odds guaranteed and continuous coverage of all the races on William Hill Radio. As well as showing all the UK and Irish horse racing William Hill TV broadcasts football from undoubtedly what is the best league currently in Europe– the Bundesliga!

Well I need to apologise, it’s been a looooooong time since my last post here!

I know a bunch of you have been wondering if and when the Flash Games Classroom course is coming out, and thanks to everyone who has been filling in the survey so here’s a quick update.

The short answer is yes, there is a course in the pipeline, but it’s probably NOT going to be the “complete guide to developing Flash games” that we originally intended.  From the feedback we’ve been getting there are several specific key areas that lots of people want info on, so that’s where we’ll be focussing and so the course will be a number of key “modules” covering those topics.

Some of the tutorials have already been written, and we’re looking at a probably launch in November, so watch this space and make sure you are on the newsletter mailing list to be kept up to date.  I promise you won’t have to wait too long for details this time!

So what’s with the huge delay?

Well, sometimes life just gets in the way!  I’ve been super busy working on a ton of games for clients.  I was trying to reduce my workload to concentrate more on the course, but when clients like Hasbro and Lucasarts are asking for games it’s hard to turn them down!

I’m 80% through a BIG game for Hasbro at the moment which is due to launch next month,  and from then on I’ll be a lot more focussed on this!

At the same time, I’ve been working on some iPhone game development.  In fact, that has been going so well that I’m planning a series of Flash for iPhone development tutorials to post here, and an iPhone module in the classroom

(and for those of you saying “you can’t run Flash on iPhone” or “iPhone games compiled for iOS are poor performance” I have news for you – you CAN develop high speed, efficient game code for the iPhone using Actionscript, and I’ll be showing you some examples here real soon!)

Finally, there is a complete new Viral Flash Games package in the works, so if you’re interested in getting your hands on a whole load of new games, all written in OOP AS3 and all with complete source code keep at eye on that site for an announcement in a few weeks (plus a fire sale of the last few AS2 packs at a crazy end of line price!)

So there we go, that’s the score and hope that all the col stuff coming helps to make up for the massive sabatical!

Yes, you really can develop fast and playable iPhone games in Flash, watch this space for examples and tutorials very soon!

Yes, you really can develop fast and playable iPhone games in Flash, watch this space for examples and tutorials very soon!

As games developers we all have one thing in common.  Whether we’re creating games for fun or profit, we want more people to play our games, and that means we need to do a little promotion!

The average Flash games developer tends to pop their new creation on their own sites or blog, upload to the Mochimedia network, and hope that the game is good enough to go viral.  While that’s a great start, we can do better!

There are literally thousands of games sites out there which you can submit your games to, but a relatively small number of them will be worth the effort.  The biggest obstacle in getting your game out there is finding exactly which sites to submit to, so we’ve done the hard work for you and written a free report listing hundreds of the top games sites that you can submit to, and get a huge amount of exposure!   Many of the larger sites also offer sponsorship deals too, so use this list to allow your game to get the attention it deserves!

The free report is in PDF format with clickable links, so download it, and go through it at your own pace.  It starts off with some of the “big guns” like Kongregate and NewGrounds, but quickly moves into hundreds of smaller, but still very popular sites, many of which you might not have heard of.

If submitting your game to hundreds of sites sounds like a daunting task, check out the final page of the report which has some tips of making it an easier task!

Download Where To Submit Flash games here!

Browsing through the new releases on MochiMedia these days, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the most popular games genres are tower defence, “dress up” girl games and side scrolling, monster truck “stunt” driving games! Just because that’s what hundreds of newbie developers seem to be releasing doesn’t mean that’s what people want to play though!

Tower Defence I can understand, in fact some of the better tower defence games (such as Bloons Tower Defence or Desktop Tower Defence) are very popular at the moment, but there are 3 genres of browser games that are hugely popular, year after year. These types of games might not be groundbreaking, sexy or exciting, but they get hordes of players, and when well designed they tend to be guaranteed hits!

Last year MochiMedia ran a survey that showed the average casual gamer to be 43 years of age, and that 55% of players are female which goes some way to explain why arcade and strategy games don’t feature here. So, what are the 3 most popular genres…

Word Games

From the humble crossword to games like Word Reactor, words games are always popular, particularly with female players, and the older generations, word games attract large numbers of players and can be single or multi-player.

Since word games, in general, tend to be relatively simple to develop and with low overheads in terms of performance they are ideally suited to the Flash platform.

Card/Casino Games

Texas Hold’em on Facebook regularly attracts 15 million or more player per day! From Windows Solitaire to multi-player card games, this is an evergreen genre which always attracts players. The rules to many card and casino games are already well defined so you can spend less time tweaking and deciding on gameplay, and more time creating a polished experience.

Again since there is little in the way of graphical overhead these games are ideal for Flash, and work extremely well as browser based games.

Puzzle Games

Since Tetris is one of the best selling games of all time, it should come as no surprise that puzzle games are extremely popular online and attract huge numbers of players. Bejewelled, from PopCap games, has apparently been downloaded over 150 million times, and has sold over 35 million paid versions! Again, with a few exceptions, they tend not to be processor hungry and so are well suited to the Flash platform. While the term “Puzzle game” can encompass a wide range of game styles, generally they are 2 dimensional, and relatively simple both in terms of gameplay and development.

So, the next time you’re deciding on the next game you want to create, ask yourself what you want to achieve.  If you want to push the boundaries, and create a new, funky arcade game great – but realise that while a word or puzzle game might not be as interesting to develop, it could end up being way more successful!

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