The Official Round-Up from Nitrome’s Flash Game Dev Q&A

For those of you who didn’t attend Nitrome‘s game development chat yesterday, you missed out! But never fear, I’ve created The Master Index of all the questions posed to Nitrome across the chatroom, forums and blogs and put them all together for you here by category and question index. If you’d like to wade through the raw log, you can grab that here.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Nitrome’s Flash game development practices, their business and also importantly their experience with micro-transactions using Mochi Coins! For those of you who did attend, you may want to skim this anyway because Mat has kindly answered additional questions that he missed during the chat.

Also, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Matthew Annal of Nitrome for wearing out his fingers for us to answer all his questions. He’s a great example for the entire Flash games community and I hope you all learned a lot from it! We want to do a bit more of these things, so stay tuned to MochiLand because we’ll be announcing another star developer doing a chat next week. :)

All About Nitrome

The Business and Industry of Flash Games

Game Design & Development

Mochi Coins Experience and Twin Shot 2 (Mochi Coins)

All About Nitrome

  • How large is Nitrome (staff) and how large you intend to grow? (Wonder Why-Er)

There are now nine of us at Nitrome but we grew from just two of us! We also use two freelance musicans on a regular basis on top of that. We have never had any long term plans but I see no reason not to grow if we can afford to and as long as we don’t feel it will spoil our creativity.

  • What’s your hiring process? How do you vet new employees? <urbansquall>

Send in a CV and great examples….if your good enough and we have a position we will hire you :) As an employer, people are vetted firstly by whether or not they send in a portfolio that we think shows potential… if it does we invite them for an interview to see what they are like in person. Most people are nice but I think it’s very important to make sure that you think that people are going to fit in well with your team.

  • Do you have any openings for artists? *Wink Wink* Does it have to be a brilliant Top dollar bling bling type portfolio and CV? <mochi_user__>

Send in a CV and portfolio. It has to be able to demonstrate you could either code or do the art to the standard we do or why would we take someone on?

  • Do you consider what college a person went to and what their major was when hiring them? Or only their portfolio and interview? <DiscipleOfFred>

I would always value Portfolio and then what the person is like above any qualifications.

  • You’re in the UK right? We’re in the process of moving to the US (SF) any plans to move Nitrome? <TheCC_Dave>

Yep London. I love SanFrancisco but I don’t think we have any reason to move

  • Do you plan on doing anything new and exciting with your website in the future? What do the players really want? <HardCircle_Bret>

We are always thinking of adding new things….we actually did a poll recently to get an idea of what people would most like to see us do….we would like to do something a little different to what people expect though if possible as I don’t think following trends is always a great idea. It seems a lot of our users want Level Editors and Multiplayer……In general though players are greedy and want everything you will give them :)

  • How much do you guys make a year salary wise? <HardCircle_Bret>

Enough to keep making more games :)

  • Are you planning any multiplayer game? (not hot seats as usually, using internet). <Selus>

Not right at this moment but we would like to make a multiplayer game in the future

  • You have created a lot of different characters, but you aren’t really using one as a mascot, are you? Nitrome doesn’t really have a “Mario” character. Is this on purpose?<Raitendo>

I don’t think Nintendo set out to make Mario their mascot it just happened because it was so popular. We prefer to push our brand as a whole and although we have had some games that were much more successful than others we havn’t felt any were woth pushing as a mascot……it could happen though eventually

  • What are your favorite console games? I mean the old school 2D games not the 3D bullshit…something like Parodius, Mario, Sonic etc…?!? <sw00p>

Sw00p, mario, sonic, street fighter, micromachines, worms, monkey island……..too many to mention!

  • Any chance I could get you on my msn and or keep in contact with you via emails? <HardCircle_Bret>

I don’t give out my MSN lightly any more….too many bad experiences but if you or anyone wants to drop me an email thats fine…

  • What are your top5 flash games (no nitrome games please ;) )? <sw00p>

Five that I like (in no particular order)… Bloxorz, Fancy Pants Adventures 1 and 2, Dad n Me, Gateway 1 and 2, Samarost…. oh and anything by Neko games is always cool.

  • Any plans for flash games on a bigger scale? <Nobstudio_xh>

In general I think they slowly get bigger anyway over time… people tend to want to better their last game. We’d also like to try multi-part games, level editors, multi-player online and more Mochi Coins stuff all of which would likely end up being larger games.

  • What has been your biggest regret since starting the company? <urbansquall>

Not getting as much time to make the games as I once did. Don’t get me wrong though I think overall I’m happy with how it is going… but I seem to spend more and more time looking over what other people are doing instead of making my own stuff.

The Business and Industry of Flash Games

  • Did you fall into a position where you are mostly ad revenue driven or was that more a part of the overall plan? <urbansquall>

We never had any plans to run ads when we first set out so yes we fell into that

  • How important is sponsorship to you these days?<benologist>

It used to be the most important thing to us but Ads are now more important

  • How important do you think your website is to Nitrome’s success? <HardCircle_Bret>

I think it gets more and more important as time goes on……at first it was a hindrance. It was a hindrance to getting sponsorship early on as nobody really wanted us to have our own site……they just wanted us to develop stuff for them

  • Hi guys. We’re thinking of trying out games without in-game ads, to see if they spread more. Have you tried that? <LongAnimals>

I don’t think it makes much difference having an ad. We tried games on our site with and without and it made no difference. It may differ more in distribution but we have little experience in that

  • How important do you think establishing partnerships is? <HardCircle_Bret>

I think establishing strong partnerships is esential in getting forward in business. We probably would not be where we are now without Miniclip or some other link up being involved. You can’t be good at everything right away so it help to team with people who maybe offer what you can’t

  • Are you allowed to share how many daily uniques gets on a daily weekly or monthly basis? <BrightWave>

It changes month to month but we get about 1 million page views a day on Nitrome……not sure what uniques off the top of my head

  • Have you thought about devloping your own merchandise range? <mochi_user__>

We have always intended to have a shop on our site…..we have a tab for it but so far havn’t got round to it…..we will though :)

  • What advice would you give to any small gaming site that is just starting up, sponsoring game and making thier own, and wish to have similar success as yours? <mochi_user__>

My advice is keep control of your games. It is important not to give too much power to a sponsor……keep your i.p. and keep as much control as you can. Having a large cataloge of games you can do anything with can become really usefull making money later on

  • Have you thought about spinning some of your successful titles out in different directions ala bloons td? <benologist>

We did one spin off with Frost Bite that become Thin Ice. In general we let the game dictate an apropriate theme so we will use a world we already have if we think it is well suited

  • Where do you see Flash games, in general, in a year’s time? <urbansquall>

I think that MochiCoins may get more established and because of that you might start seeing a lot larger games and more larger companies starting to take the space seriously because of that.

  • Other than Tribal Fusion what other onsite ad networks do you work with? <fishnchips>

We’ve worked with a few and it changes month on month… CPMStar, Google, Casale, ValueClick and of course Mochi :) Tribal Fusion seem to have the best rates for us but CPMStar are great for anything that TribalFusion doesn’t pick up including non-english speaking territories because they are more game-focused.

  • Do you see a day where you just don’t bother with sponsorship at all anymore? <benologist>

We like the sponsors we work with and as long as they continue to have a positive impact on our company and the games we make I see no reason not to continue working with them. MiniClip in particular have always been very supportive and allowed us to retain our creative control over the games we make for them.

  • How has your game studio becoming a known brand effected the popularity of your content on a per game basis? <agafgames>

I think we get a certain level of interest because of the content that people know we have made before… kind of like if you like a game you will automatically be interested in a sequel. This is something we’ve always been very conscious of and why we’ve always wanted to make sure that every game is as good as we can make it.

  • Whats your opinion of the publisher/developer relationship in general, and if logic points to the developer just making their own you eventually did <ianstokes>

I think it depends on the publisher. I think that a good publisher can add things and push your games in a way that you couldn’t do on your own. A bad publisher on the other hand will happily take his cut without adding much value to your game so it really depends on the relationship you have and what you are trying to get out of it. I think setting up your own portal is a gamble… it has to be very good with a lot of good content and you have to be persistant… if you can do all of that then you probably would do better from that but it would take a long time to build up and your potentially not going to make as much money as you could while you are building it up so it is a bit of an uphill struggle.

  • In general, are your sequels or your new ideas more popular <meman32>

It really depends on the game. Generally a popular game will have a popular sequel. But you can’t really judge a new idea… some just take off more than others. It’s usually the simplest ideas that do the best! I would say that if you have a popular game that works then it would be stupid not to make a sequel…. but if you only ever stick with one game then you never know whether you could have come up with something more popular and you run the risk of people getting bored with it.

  • When you started out you did lots of contract work before just focusing on nitrome games. What type of contract work did you take on? and how did you find a balance between contract work and making your own games?? I ask because this is the stage my own company is starting to enter. <HardCircle_Bret>

We did a lot of Flash advergames and educational games. We needed to make money to survive so that was obviously the main incentive. We made our own games in between work that we had on and grew that as we could afford to do so. We didn’t start off with Flash games so it took a little while to really get going in the free browser game space. It is very hard to do both things at the same time and deciding to stop doing advergames and concentrate soley on free flash games was one of the hardest decisions we have had to make as a company.

  • How much of your ad revenue comes from your portal and how much from the mochi ads being hostedo n other sites? <urbansquall>

Most of our games aren’t on a lot of other sites and the sites that they are on are usually from a licensing deal or sponsorship rather than having free hosted with ads. So therefore most of our ad revenue comes from our own portal and we don’t really have anything to compare that with.

  • What’s your biggest earning game to date? <agafgames>

From an ad-revenue point of view it would have to be the one with the most plays: Jack Frost. This has so far been our most popular game although there are others that have been very popular too that seem more well known. A lot of people are surprised when we say it is Jack Frost because we have never made a sequel.

  • Traditionally, you’ve gone for limited distribution (mainly on your site plus a limited number of site licenses).  Do you plan on going for a wider game distribution if you’re using MochiCoins? <Erasmus_Darwin>

We did do that with our first MochiCoins game Twin Shot 2. So far we have been very encouraged by how it has spread so I think we will definitely try that again but we won’t be doing it with all of our content.

  • To my knowledge you guys have followed a market strategy that consisted almost entirely of selling Non-Exclusive Licenses, does this work well for you, and do you have any intentions on altering this strategy to increase your revenue? (Porter)

Our strategy is actually a combination of advertising, non exclusive licensing and sponsorship (Miniclip, MTV, Candystand). That seems to have worked well for us so far so we have no reason to change from that. We are however always open to trying things on top of that such as recently Mochi coins which also led to us freely distributing the game.

  • What is the biggest mistake a startup can make in the online games field? (Oknavi)

I think the most important thing to remember when starting up is to keep your independence and IP. It is very easy to get tempted by offers early on but if you have the talent and can afford to keep going then retaining full rights to your games will eventually put you in a much stronger position once a few build up. Although each game may not make you very much on their own after being out a while, it all adds up and you don’t have to put much work in to keep getting that money.

Game Design & Development

  • How did you learn to program flash games? <DiscipleOfFred>

I’m not much of a coder myself although I know a bit I’m mainly an artist. The others are all self taught or picked it up on Programming courses

  • I would like to know more about the development methodologies, do you guys have a consistent planning phase with class diagrams and more, before starting code? I already heard that you have your own framework, is it mvc based? Is it built over another existent (opensource?) framework? Please if you can say a bit more about it, we indie developers would love to heard about that. (Ruy Adorno)

Too much planning really eats into the development period and in flash games that is really important. We are constantly coming up with new ideas that we run by each other verbally and we do write them up as a document but it is very small. Usually it consists of little more than a paragraph outlining the core concept a bullet point list of potential elements that might be included beyond that and a few scetched diagrams. Basically we feel this is the bear minimum needed to make sure that everyone on the team and any sponsor understands what the concept is so that there is no confusion later on. We also have a second phase….we try to have a mock up shot and a tech demo together in the first week at which point we review what any other elements should be that are left in the game. I’m not really a programmer so I can’t comment on that but if your interested just email in and I’ll forward it to one of the programmers.

  • I’m sure you have a list of future games you’re going to work you have a plan on how to order that list? and do you bump it with great ideas that come to you? <mike950>

We have a list of ideas that gets topped up by everyone at  Nitrome and people pick from that when they need to decide on a new game

  • How long does it take you to make a game? Do you set a schedule for a project when it starts, and if so, do you often run over/under schedule? <waynemarsh>

We originally tired to keep it to 4 weeks but now it is usually about 5-6 weeks per game with a team of two

  • What have you found to be the most productive workflow? If you could split it up into stages of how a game gets created at nitrome that would be nice. =) <Oknavi>

Week 1 mock up shot and game prototype, week 2 fully fleshed out mechanic with main graphics, week 3 and 4 add extras, weeks 5 build levels, week 6 test and fix things. We work in teams of two usually

  • When do you guys usually tackle level building? At what point in the process? <urbansquall>

Yes the levels get done between the artist and coder……if one is lagging behind the other will make more levels.

  • When you make a game do you code it as you go along or do you write it all out in flow chart form first? <mike950>

We write it as we go

  • What is the average size of a Nitrome game does file size ever come into play when making a game? <BrightWave>

We try to keep under 2 meg….usually most of that is the music

  • Have you had and project that could not be done due to limitations of flash or poor performance speed wise. has any projects had to be scaled back due to limitations?<BrightWave>

Not really……most ideas you just scale the concept to work with what you have to work with

  • So does the 8 bit game style extend into restricted color palettes that help control filesize for your games, is that how you get them to be so small with so much content?<IQGames>

We don’t restrict colours….the pixels are mainly for style purposes but sometimes have other benefits to processing

  • Your games are pretty happy go lucky…have you gotten any back lash for ‘parasite’ because the main character is basically a bad guy?<BrightWave>

We did get a few complaints over Parasite but not many and in general people loved being the bad guy!

  • iirc, you guys have several games in parallel development at any given time… how far out does you’re planning extend? Do you know already what project any given programmer or artist will be working on next september, or are things kept pretty fluid?<tfernando>

We only plan the game after the one we are working on about half way through each project

  • Do you prototype a lot of different game ideas before you actually get a finished game?<coollavagames>

No we usually just run with an idea until it works or doesn’t….there isn’t really time for anything else and most things work if you push at them

  • About how many collective man-hours on average do you spend making a single game?<Khanduras>

We spend about 5-6 weeks on a game…..two people 5 days a week, 8 hours a day… a couple of days for the music by a musician

  • Do you switch up the teams of two or do thy stay the same?

We do try to swap about but it can be dificult as teams tend to finish at different times so then it makes sense for the same people to make another together

  • Music is usually contracted or in house?<tfernando>

Music is contracted but every other part of the game is in-house.

  • How much do you spend on music sfx, or could you suggest what a fair price would be for those who are new to outsourcing music/sfx for money.<HardCircle_Bret>

You are free to contact either of our musicians for a quote….they are both linked on our links page

  • How do you guys work out bug and level and difficulty progression…do you have inhouse play testers? how do you determine how your target demographic will perceive a game before release<BrightWave>

We test each others games and get friends to but that is mainly to weed out bugs.

  • Do you intentionally target a demographic? Or are you building what you want, based on the experience that what you build has a market? <tfernando>

We don’t target a demographic but we try not to make our games as open to all gamers as possible…so no blood or rude stuff!

  • Would you ever port your latest game to iphone? and have you thought about how the user would interact without a keyboard and mouse? <mike950>

We would not port a game but we would make new versions of a game on different formats or whole new games……who wants a direct port of a free flash game?

  • Where do you get your ideas? <DrRobot>

I guess I’ve always had a good imagination and things I see about the place seem to spark new ideas. I always write everything down in a little book – to make sure I don’t forget – even if it’s late at night. It has to be said though that quite often when I tell other people some of the ideas they think I am insane :)

  • Are you guys going to port to other mediums like xbox live marketplace and iphone? <benologist>

I would like to think that you will see our games on other formats at some point. I don’t really like the term port as it implies not adding much and potentially it being handled by a third-party. I think that perhaps why we haven’t done it already when you see ports of other Flash games is that we’re passionate about keeping everything in-house and making fresh exciting content rather than a straight port.

  • Does the end Product(Game) usually mirror the inital concept or does it take on a life of its own during the development cycle? (BrightWave)

Usually the final version of the game is very similar to the inital idea. Only when things don’t work as expected do we ever deviate from the initial concept. But if we felt it broke the overall idea too much we would probably just scrap it before it got too far.

  • Judging by your games you target a specific style. Is it Nitrome aim to be recognized by that style? Does it feel limited sometimes? (Wonder Why-Er)

There are certainly limitations: scaling and rotating pixel graphics isn’t ideal… but we have done both and made it work. I think it helps to be recognised by what we do and if I ever felt that an idea was impossible because of the pixel art style i’d consider doing it anyway. I think we have done games that use the pixel style quite loosely.

  • What are your opinion about 3d in flash?Because you’ve made flash cat, and no more 3d after it (Incrue)

FlashCat isn’t actually real 3d it is just lots of scaled sprites on a 3d plane. We have nothing against 3d but I think 3d in Flash can look quite primitive so we in general prefer to work in 2d where we feel there is more room to add polish. Having said that we probably will make more 3d games in flash if a concept feels like it would benefit from it. I don’t think we will be using Unity any time soon because I don’t think 3d is necessary and there is limited other reason to use it over flash which is already so established. Iphone and other formats are of more interest to us though as they are a whole new area so wait and see :)

  • I’m love the art in Nitrome games. Could you share some of the sketches, concept art, color palette tests, or other such non-final art from Nitrome games? Also, I understand Mat Annal developed the Nitrome “look” – do you have any favorite artists that you look (or looked) to for inspiration? (Junkyard Sam)

We don’t really hold onto the sketches we do and we settle on the look for a game pretty quickly. If we get a large call for this I guess there probably is stuff we could dig out and post it somewhere. I may have set us working in pixels and set up a few guildlines that we stick to but I think all the artists add something that we take on. My main influence is really that I make sure we only take on very tallented artists :) I am really influenced by Japanise video games from the 16 bit era but also I think we get a lot from more modern designer ilustators too both pixel based like Eboy or vector like Tado.

Nitrome and Twin Shot 2 (Mochi Coins)

  • I would like to know the ecpm and total plays Nitrome is getting for Twin Shot 2 in conjuction with the Mochi Coins system. (Incrue)

CPM can be misleading as some territories are going to bring the overall CPM down quite a bit. I think Mochi Coins are currently very English language focused and for those territories we have been getting around a $4.88 CPM which I think is good for our first attempt with a new system. To give contrast the Asian market has a $0.0026 CPM which obviously brings the average way down. When we first launched with the game only on Nitrome we were averaging about a $2.50 CPM for all territories but now that it is on a lot of other sites including a lot in China it has dropped to a $0.68 CPM. We have had over 10 million plays of Twin Shot 2 already so anyone thinking that coins will stop your games spreading should find that reassuring!

  • Any chance you’d be willing to share some rough CPM numbers on the mochicoins stuff in Twin Shot 2? <urbansquall>

Actually I already put some figures on the forum thread about this chat :)

<DiscipleOfFred> CPM can be misleading as some territories are going to bring the overall CPM down quite a bit. I think Mochi Coins are currently very English language focused and for those territories we have been getting around a $4.88 CPM which I think is good for our first attempt with a new system. To give contrast the Asian market has a $0.0026 CPM which obviously brings the average way down. When we first launched with the game only

  • How come you used MochiCoins for Twinshot 2 but not for Rockity?<Raitendo>

We don’t plan to use them for every game but we will be using them in others and we have one in the works at the moment that will use them :)

  • How will you use MochiCoins in your next game? level expansion pack, or are you gonna try something else?<Raitendo>

Good question……I think although the level pack worked quite well in retrospect I don’t think it was the best thing we could offer. In future I think we would likely keep levels free and concentrate on things that add to the experience like weapons, new modes and cheats

  • How do you decide which games to use with mochicoins and which games to leave alone? <DiscipleOfFred>

We wouldn’t put coins in any of the games we have sponsored…….not uless they requested it anyway. Other than that we judge how much we think we can add to the game through extras as I think some concepts are more suited than others

  • Where did the majority of the 10m plays of TS2 come from? <TheCC_Dave>

Mainly our site, newgrounds……some big sites in China made up quite a lot too. Our site had a lot and it was only on there for the first week…..after that it gets quite split between lots of little sites. Newgrounds stood out against most…..FreeOnline games were quite good for it too

  • Did adding the free skins in TwinShot 2 help drive more players towards logging in with Mochi accounts, and/or purchasing with coins? <flipline_studios>

Yes it had quite a big impact actually and that is something I would recomend doing…….once people are logged in they are more likely to buy things we find

  • Are you impressed enough with the results of TS2, that you plan to use Mochi Coins for most of your new games?<ArcadeJunky>

I think we will be using them in most games that we don’t have sponsored but not the sponsored ones

  • With 10 million plays, how many of those plays turned into buys/mochicoin accounts? <HardCircle_Bret>

On our site we were getting a $2.50 CPM…….since distributing it has dropped to $0.68 CPM. Mostly that is down to China though and English speaking territories make up most of the purchases

  • I was curious if you tracked the click-through traffic back to your site from Twin Shot 2. Did you receive as much traffic as you typically expect? <ryannichols>

We have noticed a good spike in traffic since we put Twin Shot out so I think it has done well in that respect but we havn’t looked into it that greatly…yet

  • Have you given any thought to rolling your own currency ‘NitromeCoins’ and using that on and off your site? <TheCC_Dave>

I don’t think it is really something we want to deal with. Also I think there is a strenght in all getting behind one coin system and making it a standard

  • Is the cost benefit from including MochiCoins in this new title enough long-term to justify the added expense of integrating the new feature set in your game platform and developing the additional content?  A 40% commission seems a little high compared to that of the Apple Store, etc, at around %30? <IQGames>

We made a lot more off Mochicoins so I would say it is worth it. I don’t think compairing to the App store is appropriate though as they are quite different markets

  • Was there any big lessons you learned off Twin Shot in terms of mtxns? Would you take the same or different approach with your next mtxn game? Any advice to share? <ryannichols>

I think one thing we probably would do with future Mochi coins games is to plan them with updates in mind……if you add updates you are going to keep people coming back to one game and up the chance of them buying things you spent time making. they are also more likely to buy things if they think there will be more to use what they have bought with in the future I think

  • What could be more profitable: Making Twin Shots 2 with MochiCoins (as it is now) or making 2 games (TS2 and 3) with 50 levels each? My point is that you could have used the same engine/artwork, making a sequel (TS3) with the 50 extra levels and selling it as a “new” game (not an entire new game). Could that give more profit than a single game with mochicoins? <Grendelio>

Making the extras was not as much work as a whole other game so Twin Shot 2 was more profitable than two games. I think one game with coins that is really well made will make more than two sequels

  • I have heard of something called you plan on writing for that platform? <mike950>

No we have no plans to use silverlight.There is really no point in using silverlight when Flash is so much more dominant…….you would be ruling a lot of oppertunities out doing that

  • Have you considered doing console games, for example wiiware <Raitendo>

Yes we certainly would like to do work for consoles……all of them would be great.

  • Now that you’ve had some exp with Mochi Coins, what types of items/upgrades/unlocks do you think are most successful with the micro-transactions model? How would you change TS2 if you could go back and do it again? <Ada>

Good question…….I think if we had released the extra levels for free a few weeks afterward and concentrated on even more extras that were all split up into individual payments we probably would have made more money in retrospect

  • Any plans to localize to other languages (in particular Chinese or Korean) noting somewhere above that your ARPU dropped when Twinshot hit worldwide distribution? <tfernando>

We would consider translation but there is a lot of money involved.

  • What sells more in twin shot: the cheats & treats or level pack? <DiscipleOfFred>

They are actually pretty equal even though they are very different in price so I don’t think the amount of money is as big a barrier as just convicing them to pay anything. Cheats and Treats has slightly more but the level pack has mad us a lot more money

<etrepum> DiscipleOfFred: Since one is priced at 3000 and the other is priced at 1000 most people tend to just buy both since they’ll fund their wallet for at least 4000 coins

  • What do you think the future of mochi coins is???<HardCircle_Bret>

I think the future is good for Mochi Coins. I think they will become an accepted part of flash games just as mochi ads have become and developers will make a lot more money because of them

  • What made you guys choose mochicoins over gamersafe? <FGL_Merlin>

To be honest I hadn’t heard of the Gamersafe option until after we started developing for the coins so it never really got considered – sorry

  • I apologize if this has been answered previously as I got here a little later than I would have liked, but do you feel implementing MochiCoins was worth the overall added effort?  Are you more prone to implement it in more games now that you’ve already tried it? <Khanduras>

Yes we certainly wouldn’t have have made the same amount of money on the game if we hadn’t included it. It more than covered the time to do the extra work. Although we won’t use it in everything we will be using it in more games.

  • What do you think of using a very simple Mochi coin scheme in a simpler game, so maybe unlock a part of a simple game only..just one item to buy <ianstokes>

I think that MochiCoins are more suited to complex games but there’s no reason why the items can’t be simpler. I think the main thing we’ve learnt is that in order for someone to buy something they want to feel that they are going to use it and a lot of Flash games get played only once or twice before a player moves on.

  • Did you get any backlash from your fans in regardes to Mochicoins, and or how does it affect your future titles? <HardCircle_Bret>

Yes we did get a bit of negative feedback but I think that was mainly because people didn’t understand that we were still going to provide all of the free content that they had come to expect from us. There is a feeling amongst some players that you are trying to take something away from them rather than add something… but I think that this will be dispelled as we make more games. It’s also worth noting that we had a similar amount of positive feedback  – both on the MochiCoins comments area and through people emailing us directly. A lot of people actually request things for future games so I think once they get over the idea of paying then they start to see the potential of what you might be able to add that they wouldn’t have been able to get before.

  • I agree with you about making MT games with updates. Do you have your own version control system? <LongAnimals>

We don’t currently have our own version control system. We could make one but I’m not sure we need to as we can just use Mochi’s for games we want to distribute.

  • Has twin shot 2 become your most profitable game? And are Mochi coins the most profitable aspect? <agafgames>

In terms of a non-sponsored game yes it is our most profitable and yes MochiCoins make many times more than the in-game adverts.

  • As you may or may not know, a huge controversy about developers using MochiCoins in their game was spawned on account of publishers feeling that redirecting users to MochiGames would drive users away from the originating site.  As both a publisher and a developer, what are your feelings on the topic? <Khanduras>

I think that this is a non-issue as MochiGames is not pitched as a portal. People need a place to buy the coins and they also need a place to see all of the other games that they can spend their coins on… You can’t have one without the other. I think that Mochi are very conscious about not competing with developers and publishers who are a core part of their business and I think you will find a continued effort to make their service as transparent as possible.

  • Gabriel Bianconi

    Thanks for the Round-Up.

  • Chris

    Great work on editing this Ada, I’m sorry I missed the chat but it was about 5am out time I think :). That said most of my questions are covered I think there.
    Thanks too to Matt!

  • Junkyard Sam

    LOL, I read the entire chat transcript before I saw that it was neatly ordered down below.

    Really extremely cool to host that chat and for Mat to come on and talk with everyone.

    I hope MochiCoins becomes ubiquitous… Please don’t ever behave like a monopoly though. =)

  • Porter

    Thanks for getting to my question. I wasn’t aware you guys did sponsorships with MTV and Candystand, good stuff. I like how you mention the importance of retaining your IP, it definitely does pay off in the end and makes the work load much less. Great Q and A, thanks a lot.

  • wonderwhy-er

    Very interesting stuff. I think I will be coming back to reread some parts.
    Seems to me that Nitrome could be good example of indie browser game orientated firm.

  • axcho

    Excellent transcript – thanks for sharing all this info! It was especially helpful to see your project timeline for a typical game over 5-6 weeks. :)

    Best of luck for the future. Hope things work out with MochiCoins and all that!

  • eichwulf

    Wow, so many questions about MochiCoins, it seems developers were more interested in that than in Nitrome.

  • D

    What is this “IP” he’s talking about?

  • Cool Lava Games

    D: IP means Intellectual Property. For example if you create a new game, it’s your IP.

  • D

    Oh… Thanks! :)

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