Game Developer’s Radio #05 Flash Game Design

Number of View: 3913

Date recorded: 10/17/2009
Guests: Ryan Henson Creighton, Iain Lobb, Edmund McMillen and Daniel Cook

In this truly action packed episode of “The Game Developers radio” I have setup an amazing conversation with a group of skilled and very talented Flash game designers.  For a little over two hours we chat about a very wide range of topics relating to what it takes to design a quality Flash game.  We do manage to go off on some very interesting tangents, but we always manage to make it relate to game design in some way.  Even if you are not into Flash games the topics we discuss really can be applied to designing any type of game, it’s well worth the listen or anyone interested in game design.  Id recommend making a bowl of popcorn, sitting back with some head phones with the volume cranked up and, well, just enjoy :-)

The podcast is about two and half hours long…  If you don’t want to listen to the entire thing in one sitting I have broken it up into two segments…
Part one…
Part two…

Opening music: Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton
Closing music: Flash Love Letter (The Remix) by Nathan Germick

Topics Covered:
-How Flash games differ from console games
-How to approach the design of a Flash game so it hooks people right at the beginning
-Edmund explains why he doesn’t like to implement micro-transactions into his games and why he designs games the way he does
-Everyone tries to understand why Edmund is against micro-transactions
-Dan explains why micro-transactions are scary to game designers
-Edmund goes deeper into why he doesn’t use micro-transactions
-Dan begins to explains what it means to make games as art
-Edmund restates why he doesn’t like games that encourage addiction
-I loose control of the show and our first real tangent beings!
-Art in games and how to make your game stand out
-Discussion on why the Flash game market isn’t actually crowded
-Quality of Flash games
-Why Flash is a good learning tool for designing games
-What steps that everyone takes to get there design juices flowing
-Dan discusses shorter and long form Flash games
-Brief discussion about how clients usually don’t know what they want in a game.
-Social interaction in Flash games
-14 year old’s and Flash game development
-Why more Flash game developers are not using social hooks and multi-player in  their games
-Why developers jump ship and don’t stay with flash for future “real” game development
-Dan’s  prophecy
-What to do when the mainstream companies start making games for Flash
-Using Flash to prototype your game, then porting your game to a different platform
-How to get noticed as an indie game developer
-Realism in games
-Art direction
-Vector art
-Another tangent, but it’s a good one… Edmund asks his wife about game design
-Making a game that doesn’t look like a Flash game
-Find out where Dan gets his artistic inspiration from…  You will never guess it
-Americanized Anime
-Different art styles
-Innovation and what not to do in a game
-Camera zooming effect and polish
-What it’s like working for the more main stream companies
-Education and game development
-Tools to use when learning game development for the first time
-IPhone games
-Edmund hints at a new device that will compete with the IPhone
-Return to the discussion of multi-player games
-Procedurally generated content
-Letting users generate the game content for you
-Closing it out with advice for up and coming game developers

Links To Things Mentioned:

Andre Spierings
Time Fcuk
Interrupting Cow trivia
Electro server
Cunt (Not work safe!)
Dragon Age: Journeys
Flash love letter
Zombie Cow Studio’s
Tyler Glaiel
Game Maker
RPG Maker 2000
Shark Runners

Thought id also link to Ryan’s blog post on this podcast…  He always makes the funniest posts!


  • The Game Developers Radio » Game Developer’s Radio #05; Flash Game Design Part 02

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  • The Game Developers Radio » Game Developer’s Radio #05; Flash Game Design Part 01

    [...] This is the first part of the Flash Game Design podcast which was posted here… [...]

  • coollavagames

    The topics covered looks really interesting! TWO HOURS that’s a lot of talking, I’ll have to reserve some time to tune into this podcast.

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  • Junkyard Sam

    I was going to write a custom comment, instead here’s a response I made to Marcus Reichert (sp? The guy that made Doeo)

    I’m 15 minutes in so far and this is such a cool roundtable discussion! I love the metaphor of “scaffolding” in regards to incrementally introducing the player to the game, etc… And then you have the duelling viewpoints of the guy that does Flash for the love of the art versus the guys that focus more on wide appeal/business,etc…

    Art vs. business sounds like a cliched discussion, but it gets interesting because he talks about the inherent dishonesty of how a lot of MT Flash games are monetized… I find that interesting not so much ethically but rather as a gameplay issue.

    The audio production is great, too, considering these guys are having a conference call discussion and aren’t even in the same room. You’d hardly know!

    What a great link – thanks for sharing. -Going back to the podcast now =)

  • axcho

    This podcast was epic. I’ve already listened to it twice. :)

    I feel special when I listen to it, like famous people are talking to me… :p

  • Jason

    Very interesting podcast, it was great to hear an insight into the flash game development industry from very knowledgeable and experienced people. Keep up the excellent work and those podcasts coming!

  • hermitC

    Finally made it through this +2h of entertaining talk. Made me rethink some aspects of my current game.

    Well done!

    PS: Is the placenta still in the fridge? :)

  • Uoogames

    nice game