Game Development Reference
game without earning him money, even if indirectly. The website would better promote these monetization ele-
Preece would also sell a deluxe version of the game that could be played offline, with better graphics. “People
like owning the stuff they really love,” as he puts it. “If two out of every hundred Desktop Tower Defense play-
ers had purchased a deluxe version,” he reasons, revenue would have catapulted into the tens of millions.
Design the Game to Be the Largest It Can Be
Preece experimented with creating different spinoff games to Desktop Tower Defense, but with “desktop” in
the title. (“It's not like I could put it somewhere else,” he says.) However, he was unsuccessful, perhaps because
the game's setting on a desktop was not really significant. In any case, Preece's takeaway is this: Design with
franchising in mind, so that a game's success can be multiplied through sequels/expansions and merchandise.
“Maybe I could have given the creeps more personality,” he muses now, “treat them like Angry Birds...like
Angry Creeps.” He recommends spending the extra few weeks of work to establish a franchise-able game, and
one that can be portable and re-usable on other platforms.
Of course, planning with these ambitions in mind doesn't mean you'll get to capitalize on them—however,
when one of your games finally does reach a high level of success, you'll be ready to expand.
Turning Hit Web Games into a Hit Web
Game Factory, the Nitrome Way
Created by just two people working in a spare room, Nitrome ( www.nitrome.com ) has become one of the
most successful developers of web games, with 3 million monthly unique players and an enviable, advertising-
friendly 50/50 gender split. Its biggest games, Rubble Trouble (see Figure 9-5 ), Icebreaker, and Skywire, have
been played tens of millions of times. Their distributed games Flipside and Twinshot 2 have each been played
around 100 million times across the web.