Two excellent themed game examples

So in my earlier post I was talking about themed games, but it is easier to imagine if you have an example. I will take 2 games that have the same game mechanic: A match three game (aka Bejeweled). The first game is a fast-paced version where you only have one minute to complete the game. The second one will be a slower paced version where you have 3 minutes and rather focus on creating “special matches” than completing the game quickly.

Fast-paced game: Miner Speed

Ok, so let’s have a look at the theme here.
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EA buys PopCap

Electronic Arts just signed the deal to take over casual game publisher PopCap for ~$850 million (Source: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/111636-EA-PopCap-Is-the-Pixar-of-Casual-Games)

So now we know what the publisher of casual games like Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies a.m.o. is worth… 850 Million Dollar … It’s going to be interesting to see how this effects PopCaps new game realeses.

Just 1 1/2 years ago EA took over social game developer Playfish (http://investor.ea.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=422828). Playfish was known for it’s Facebook Games such as Pet Society, Restaurant City and Who’s got the biggest brain. After being taken over by EA they published some new social games that evoked from former EA games like EA Sports FIFA Superstars and Madden NFL Superstars. Currently they are developing a facebook version of the sims. Makes you wonder what PopCap will publish now,  a new Sim City version maybe? Or Hidden Objects – Medal of Honour ..

 

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Themed Games

It’s not about the game mechanic anymore it is a lot about the game design, the user experience.

Casual Gamers don’t want to “learn” a game before they can play it. So many game publishers nowadays use a common game mechanic and just twist little aspects. You can play the classic Bejeweld, but also a faster paced version, a strategy version or get different “specials stones” in different games.  But why would people play exactly THIS imitation of Bejeweld? A good and common way to make a game enjoyable is to “theme” the game. I will post another article where I give 2 nice examples of theming the same game, but firstly I want to explain themed games.
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Simple Dropdown menu AS3 – .fla

Yesterday I was looking for a simple DropDown menu in Actionscript 3.0, but all I found was either made more complex than it needs to be or a 45 minute tutorial including the explanation on how to start up your computer.  So I made my own. Just 40 lines of code and that is including the rollover effect.

Simply insert your menu items in the Array. The variable selecteditem will return the selection the user made, so you can use it to work with.
For example create a function that goes to different pages when a selection is made.

If you want to make a new and fancy design make sure to leave the object in place as the AS refers to them ( Textfields have to be named, and the main menu button as well)

Download .fla

 

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Making Money (2)

This one will be a little shorter, and focus on how to make money out of casual games for game developers.

First option of course is to get a job at a game development company. But sometimes you prefer to work independently, or you have a great idea that you want to sell.

So here is a good way of getting some cash out of your games: More »

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Making Money (1)

Designing and creating casual games can be fun, but if you want to do it properly you need to know how to make money.

This is post 1, where I want to cover how the industry makes money out of casual games.  In Part 2 I will particulary explain how independent game developers can make money.

“Online Game should be free” More »

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You play what?

Casual Games are according to the Casual Game Association a rapidly growing sector in the gaming industry with more than 200 million people playing casual games worldwide. When it comes to defining what exactly a casual game is the sources vary and the definition becomes quite blurry. Wikipedia states:

“A casual game is a video game targeted at or used by a mass audience of casual gamers. Casual games can have any type of game-play, and fit in any genre. They are typically distinguished by their simple rules and lack of commitment required in contrast to more complex hardcore games.[1] They require no long-term time commitment or special skills to play, and there are comparatively low production and distribution costs for the producer.” More »

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