Archive for March, 2010

How to get your game distributed on Big Fish Games

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

BFG logo

Someone just emailed me asking some advice about getting their game onto Big Fish Games (BFG). They said “publish” on BFG but I’m guessing that they meant “distribute” instead. I’ve only got experience with having my games “distributed” on BFG, which means that they put a game up on their site and pay me royalties – this leaves me free to also put the game up on my own site and on other portals. If BFG “publishes” a game for you, they’ll give you detailed feedback and do lots of marketing and distribution for you, it’s a different ball game and it’s up to you which route you prefer.

Before you approach BFG make sure that your game is finished, good quality and as bug free as you can make it. It’s a good idea to have tested it on other people to make sure that they understand how to play it and don’t have any major problems. BFG has a “Developer Relations” department that evaluates games that get sent to them – you can read about the submission process here. They will advise the developer of any changes that may need to be made before it can be published on the site (splash screens, technical issues etc).

Bear in mind that BFG get sent many games each week and only the best ones actually make it onto the site, so make sure that your game is really professional before sending it to them. How do you know if it’s good enough? Download other games on the site and compare yours in terms of graphics, sound, playability, content/scope etc. Posting on forums like Indiegamer can help you get much needed feedback to refine the game into a winning title. Here’s another clue, if you didn’t spend much money making your game, then it probably isn’t going to be good enough.

Regarding royalty rate: I’m not sure I’m publicly allowed to state BFG’s royalty rate, so just in case let’s say that an average casual game portals is about 25% to 40% and that if you let them have an “exclusive”, which means that only their site has your game for the first few weeks, you may get a better deal and will certainly get better promotion – something worth considering.

Note that some Indies actually prefer to put their game on their own site (and use their own mailing lists) for several months to maximise revenue at the full $19.95 price (or similar) before putting it on the portals to make use of their much bigger audiences but with a greatly reduced revenue per sale (e.g. 35% of $6.95 after transaction fees = about $2 or so).

Check out this post for more info: I’ve just finished my game – now what?

Also here’s an article by BFG founder, Paul Thelen, about bringing your game to market.

Cool Kid Doing Epic Breakdancing

Friday, March 5th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago my 6-year old son, Callum, was “messing around” in the garden doing some kind of crazy freeform dancing and I thought it looked cool (and sweet). So I overlaid some Drum and Bass and this is the result. Enjoy! (Check out at 1:25 when I ask him what he is doing and he says “Tricks” and does some really cool moves.)

I told him this video is going on youtube, and Twitter and my blog, and he is ultra excited – so please give a nice rating and be polite in the comments, thanks! 🙂

What I liked was that he felt totally happy being natural and expressing himself without any self-conciousness. How long is it since you or I have done that?

Vancouver Roaring after Canada’s Olympic Hockey Gold Win

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Last Sunday I watched the Winter Olympics Hockey final and saw Canada narrowly beat the US team in a nail-biting, incredible game. Somehow the conclusion seemed inevitable and “correct”. What a way to finish the Olympics, it was legendary!

Afterwards I could hear this funny noise and I realised that it was outside, so I went out onto my balcony and was astonished to hear the whole of downtown Vancouver roaring, cheering, and beeping their horns. I live at least four miles away and the sound was carrying across the sea all the way to my house. It was quite something to hear, almost unreal.

Anyway I videoed it, check it out: