FGL Community Spotlight – A chat with developer platon_skedow

FGL Community Spotlight – Episode One

FGL is pleased to unveil a new series here on the FGL Forums: the Community Spotlight! In our first interview, we sat down with developer ‘platon_skedow‘ to talk about his recently released smash hit ‘Royal Warfare‘.


FGL_Brian: Thanks for meeting with us, Platon. Why don’t you introduce yourself for the people who may not know you yet.

platon_skedow: Well, my name is Platon Shkedov, I’m 31 years old and live in Russia. I have a wife and two kids – my first beta-testers. I worked as an employee since the late 90s, and started my own business several years ago. At first, I had an office and several employes, and together we made different flash stuff for our customers, but then decided that it’s better for me to work alone – less responsibility, more freedom. And my one-man studio name is Iden Games.

F_B: I noticed you own a website under that name, too. (http://idengames.com/) Do you update it often?

P_S: Several years ago I made my first game, Ragdoll Parashooter. I made that website and published the game with self-sponsorship. The game got a lot of gameplays, and it recouped the development costs several times.

Right now I have plans to make something bigger from this site, but have no time Smile

F_B: I remember playing that game. It was fun! Much more simple than your last game though, Royal Warfare. What was your inspiration for Royal Warfare? It combines two of my favorite genres, Real-time strategy (RTS) and tactical strategy. And it has elements of wave defense. Where did you get the idea for this type of game?

P_S: Hard to say. I think that the game was inspired by Myth 1-2 and Warhammer: Dark Omen. The main idea was to make a TD game, where the towers can move around the battlefield.

I started the development over 2.5 years ago, and it took more than 18 months of full-time work. It was my personal challenge – to make a game fully by myself (well, except of music – it was written, but I decided to take a professional track). There was one difficulty: I couldn’t make art. At all. SmileAll my drawings looked like “developer’s art”.

F_B: I thought the art and music ended up being two of the stronger elements in the final version of the game. How did you decide on using these visuals and this music?

P_S: I spent several months studying the basics of art. Then I made the first version of all graphics. Then I remade it all. And again, and again. Some things were changed 10-12 times – until I realized that I really liked the result.

For the music, I wrote several tracks, but later removed them from the game: the quality was too low, and I didn’t want to spend months making them better. Smile So I first figured out what I’d like to hear, and then began to search the music banks. It took another several weeks, and then suddenly I found what I was searching for.

Game development is the hardest way making money I know. Smile

F_B: You made a lot of changes and improvements to Royal Warfare. You used our Pre-Review service, and seemed to implement a lot of the feedback you received. The long list of fixes in your feedback thread was impressive! Do you usually do a lot of “tinkering” with your games like this? Do you mostly do internal testing, or were the balance changes based on external feedback you got from other players?

P_S: FGL helped me a lot here. The game was really raw at first, but it was hard to say after working on it for so long – devs always need an outside point-of-view. The FGL admins’ feedback forced me to review some core elements of the game. I spent another 2 weeks, and the game was ready for release.

However, when I received the feedback from the gamers, I spent another 2 weeks working 12 hours without weekends to fix all the things they discovered and asked for.

F_B: What are you most proud of in Royal Warfare? From your point of view as the developer, not necessarily as a gamer or player.

P_S: Two things: 1. It was made by me and 2. Players really liked it!

You know, after months of development and playtests I still have fun playing this game.

F_B: Haha, that’s the sign of a great game!

P_S: For me the main reward is the player reviews; when I receive lots of emails and comments on different portals.

F_B: Like you said, game development isn’t easy. When did you decide that game development was something you’d like to do as a career?

P_S: Well, I liked games since I was child. I always wanted to make the game of my dreams SmileWhen I got enough resources, I finished all other projects and started my work. Now it’s finished, and it hits the charts. The players liked it and are asking sequels, mobile ports, a multiplayer version, etc. Looks like I’ve got work for several years. Smile

F_B: Is that the plan for the future? Expanding on this current content? Or do you have new projects you’d like to start soon?

P_S: There are lots of ideas and plans and too little time. I spent lots of time making the ultimate gaming engine and sharpening my skills, and now games development takes much less time. Right now I’m finishing a new game: it’s a shooter / defense game. There are several propositions to port the original Royal Warfare to mobile platforms. Also, I built a multiplayer prototype of Royal Warfare several months ago – it really rocks, but making such games takes really a HUGE amount of time… And I have enough ideas to make a sequel of the RW, and lots of other gaming ideas. Well, all of them are about a war.

F_B: Exciting! Sounds like you have a lot on your plate! I’m excited to see your next game. We’re almost out of time, so let’s answer some rapid-fire questions in the Lightning Round:

How did you decide on the name of your studio?

P_S: It’s a wordplay, hard to translate. Smile

F_B: What were your favorite games as a child?

P_S: Jagged Alliance 2, Myth 1-2

F_B: What was one early mistake you made as a young developer? And what is one big mistake first-time developers tend to make?

P_S: I should have started studying / making games earlier, when I had a lot more free time. SmileAnd the biggest mistake for young developers is when they decide to make games. Just joking Smile

F_B: Hahaha! I’m sure that will go over well! Tongue Out Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Platon! Would you like to give any ‘shout-outs’?

P_S: Well, I’d like to thank my family for their patience, and two great devs: Ant. Karlov and Johnny-k. Their work inspired me very much.


I’d like to thank Platon for answering our questions and sharing these stories with us. If you have any other questions for Platon, post your questions below! If you know someone who would be a good candidate for the Community Spotlight, comment below, send a PM to FGL_Brian or email at brian@fgl.com.


July Dev Newsletter – HTML5 Game Shop Features Revealed!

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Success on Mobile

Congrats to Bram and Happy Planet Games for success with 3 Tripeaks solitaire!

Learn More…

72 Hour Game Jam

Join us on July 25th – July 28th at 4pm PST for our monthly 72 hour game jam!

Learn More…

FGL Game Night

Come pwn the FGL Admins ingame, join on chat/skype to trash talk, or just on twitch.tv!

Learn More…


Announcing HTML5 GameShop Beta Features!

As the HTML5 market continues to grow, FGL has turned it’s attention towards building out a new and improved GameShop to make it significantly easier, faster, and better to buy and sell game licenses, with or without personalized branding. This exciting new marketplace is now in beta with only a handful of publishers viewing a handful of games. We are in the process of adding more games into the new HTML5 GameShop now.

Also, we would love to hear from any publishers who might be interested in joining the HTML5 GameShop Beta!

The new HTML5 GameShop will help you sell licenses much easier. Here’s an example: let’s say a company comes to you now and says they want a high score API, and all your branding out, and their logos and links in. You have to negotiate the deal, make the changes, deliver the game, and wait for the money. With our system you do nothing but get the money. Since we have your game with stubs for high scores, ads, branding, etc all built in we can merely show publishers how much the game costs (you set that) and then they enter in payment details and click a button to buy the game. Our SDK will automatically insert their branding and APIs etc…

New HTML5 GameShop Features

  • simple to integrate sdk

  • dev testing tools to help with debugging common issues

  • html5 game distribution system

  • clean/simple shopping experience

  • shopping cart to instantly buy/sell licenses at dev set prices

  • automatic branding/site-locking/API integration/etc

  • shows exactly what you’ll earn (before taxes)

  • earn more money without doing more work!


If you’re a developers who is interested in getting your HTML5 game into the new GameShop, here’s how!

Getting your games into the New HTML5 GameShop:

  1. Visit fgl.com/html5

  2. Follow instructions to complete Tier 1+ integration

  3. Complete User QA with the provided tools

  4. Add the game to the GameShop from the game’s page

  5. Fix any bugs/issues found by the QA team

  6. That’s it! We’ll take it from here and help you to monetize your game to the best of our abilities.

What’s in it for FGL?

FGL receives 30% of the ad and licensing revenue that is earned through the HTML5 GameShop, most of which will require no additional effort on the part of the developer to be earned.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or email at info@fgl.com


FGL Mobile Platform Success Story – 3 Pyramid Tripeaks

Recently, 3 Pyramid Tripeaks (a game developed by Bram Schoonhoven and published by Happy Planet Games) used the FGL Mobile Platform to reach #10 on the Google Play app store for Top Free Games.  It also reached a rank of #1 in Cards and #28 in all Top Free Apps!

3 Pyramid Tripeaks was pushed through FGL’s Mobile Platform back in October of 2013 as a premium game on sale for $.99.  FGL worked with the developer and publisher to make the game free and monetize it with FGL’s ADsorb ad system which assured the game had the highest cpms possible.

FGL continued to promote the game and when it was apparent that the game had good organic growth FGL organized more specific promotions around the game, which helped raise it to #10 in the Top Free Games category on Google Play.

Said Kelly from Happy Planet Games, who published the game, “Working with the FGL Mobile Platform has been a great experience. I get to focus on finding developers and games while FGL takes care of all the behind the scene details that would otherwise take up most of my valuable time”

Bram Schoonhoven, the game’s developer, also had a great experience working with FGL and their Mobile Platform, saying: “I am very happy to work with FGL, they know what they are doing and always respond fast. I am looking forward to more mobile successes.”

FGL has enjoyed working with Kelly and Bram and we congratulate them on their achievements, and look forward to working with them on future games!


FGL’s better ad experience

FGL is constantly working to help game developers in every phase of a game’s lifecycle.  From development, to publishing, to distribution, to monetization, and everything in between.  And though we have our own systems and services to help in all these areas, there are also other great companies that offer services that we think developers should take advantage of.

For years we’ve partnered with companies that wanted to advertise on the FGL.com site.  But our system for showing and tracking those ads is really old.  It was built in-house and the ad sizes are not industry standard.  So, we have decided to overhaul the system.  In the near future, you will notice different ads on FGL.  Please note that both ad placement and ad content are for testing purposes, and will most likely change, as we find the best ad experience for you.  You will most likely even see bland google ads for a while as we do this experiment.

Also, we will not be showing these new ads to sponsors or publishers just yet.

If you have questions or suggestions about ads on FGL please send us some feedback.  We always appreciate hearing from you.

And, if you would like to advertise on FGL, or know of someone who might, also drop us a line.

June 2014 Developer Newsletter


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Chat Event Planning

We’d love to start hosting regular chat events with devs/pubs, but… who do you want to hear from?

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72 Hour Game Jam

Join us on June 27th at 4pm PST for a 72 hour game jam with $275 in cash & prizes!

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How to Increase Views

Do you have an awesome game that’s getting overlooked by publishers? Get help now!

Learn More…

Copyright ©2014 FGL.com, All rights reserved. 

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Current State of Flash Games on FGL

Current state of Flash games on FGL

One of the questions we get a lot is “how are web Flash games selling on FGL?”  And, especially since we’ve been pushing a lot on mobile and HTML5 games, developers are increasingly interested – and concerned – about the state of the web Flash game market.

So, we thought we’d put together a little write up about the data we see on Flash games that have been going through FGL in the last year.

First of all, we still see $150k – $250k a month spent on web Flash sponsorships and non-exclusive licenses of Flash games.  One thing should be noted, though: some of this money spent is paired with the purchase of the Flash games’ mobile counterparts (sponsors are paying for both the Flash web game and mobile publishing rights together), but not a significant share.

The biggest recent change we’ve seen in Flash games is a significant downward trend in sponsoring high quality games for $10k+ up front.  As an example, in the last 6 months we’ve seen 2 games go for over $10k for a primary or exclusive up front amount (though there were a number of games that came very close to $10k).  In the 6 months before that time period, we saw 16 games over $10k!  And currently in bidding there are only 2 games going for over this number.  So, while it is still very possible to achieve these numbers, the likelihood is vastly reduced from just 6 months ago.

The number one factor for this change is due to the very large sponsors diverting their budgets to mobile.  This is something almost every, if not every, large sponsor has done.  Some to the extreme of leaving Flash altogether.  What is interesting is FGL believes that sponsors are prematurely leaving the Flash game market. This is not something we say lightly because we ourselves are heavily invested in mobile and HTML5.  In fact, most of OUR revenue comes from the other markets as you can see in our 1st Quarter sales stats (we take a cut of all the revenue developers make).  So we have no real agenda in saying this.  In fact, most, if not all, of these large sponsors are still working with FGL to acquire mobile games.  Before we explain why we think sponsors are leaving the market too early, here’s a little more insight into money flowing through FGL:

Even with the major difference in top game spending, the total money flowing through FGL for Flash games isn’t so drastically different over the same time period.  This is due to a couple of factors.  1) Mid-level bids have increased both in their amounts and frequency.  The average bid amount for a mid level sponsor is higher over the last 6 months than before, and there are more mid level players. and 2) Non-exclusive licensing has gone up.

For item 1) much of this is obviously due to the big sponsors bowing out.  It has created a buyer’s market and even allowed new players to come in and capitalize on the change.

Item 2) is a big reason we believe sponsors are leaving the Flash market too early.  A main factor in why non-exclusive sales have gone up is due to companies who had previously left the Flash market, only to return when they saw revenues drop.  In particular, one large company we work with redesigned their site to de-emphasize their Flash games, only to redesign it BACK and populate it with more and newer Flash games.  Their initial change dropped their revenue significantly, and it rose back up with the change back.

FGL strongly believes all publishers, and developers, should be thinking toward the future, and towards having the biggest mobile presence possible. However, without an already present, and strong, revenue stream in mobile, we advise that you protect any current revenue streams you have with Flash. Furthermore, there’s no reason for these things to be mutually exclusive.  In fact, our current advice for publishers is to maintain both a Flash and Mobile portal as well as invest in native apps.  This is all very achievable with most publisher’s budgets.  Drop us a line if you would like any help in accomplishing this.

In summary, we currently see Flash game sponsorships stabilizing, we seen non-exclusives increasing, and we think that many sponsors are prematurely leaving the Flash game market.  It is possible there may be a resurgence in sponsorships from sponsors who don’t find success on mobile, or from new players taking advantage of the gap, but we suggest that developers at least tinker in HTML5 or porting their games to native mobile (or better, both!)

Questions about HTML5 game development

There have been a number of general questions about HTML5 game development in the forums and we thought we’d compile a list of some of them, along with answers, here on our blog.  If you have any questions please let us know and we’ll be sure to compile another list of Questions and Answers in the future!

Should I make an HTML5 game with the intention of releasing it for mobile web, or mobile app stores?

Right now, the main reason to make a mobile HTML5 game is to leverage the fact that it can be played on the mobile web, outside of app stores.  That said, a huge benefit to the language is that there are many ways to move your game to app stores and take advantage of those markets as well.  For example, there are a multitude of technologies that allow you to “wrap” your game, or easily port it, so that it can be put on native mobile marketplaces.  And some app stores are actually supporting HTML5 games without the need to convert them.

So, you should definitely make sure the game works properly in mobile web browsers, but if you can also wrap or port it so that it works in native app stores then you will have more opportunities to make money with it.  The challenge, of course, is making sure the game runs efficiently when porting it.


Does my game need to be both desktop and mobile compatible?

You need to make sure it is at least mobile compatible.  That is the huge draw of HTML5.  But, your game will be worth more if it is also desktop compatible.  Many companies who are licensing and publishing HTML5 games are interested in giving their gamers a similar, or identical, experience whether they come from a desktop computer or a mobile device.  They are willing to pay more for games that allow for this experience.


Should I make simple games, or complex and in-depth games?

Most publishers are looking for both!  What you need to think about is:

- What is your level of experience?

- What type of game do YOU want to make?

- What sort of risk are you willing to take?

Publishers will pay more for bigger, in-depth games.  However, they are also pickier about them.  They pay less for simple games, but usually they are less picky.  So, you have more risk spending more time making a bigger game than you would a smaller game, but the rewards are higher with the bigger game.  Also, if you personally want to make a larger game, you should factor that in.  If you are new to making games, or HTML5 games, our suggestion is to start small.  Build up your reputation and catalog of games.  You can also use money you make from these smaller games to eventually fund the larger game.


What is the best filesize for my game?

Generally I’d say to keep the same kind of target sizes as you’re used to in Flash. 4-7MB is going to be an acceptable file size if you are making the user wait for all the assets to preload at the first frame. Test it out on a slower connection if you can, and consider whether your users will be happy to wait that amount of time to play your game.

If your game is slower paced, or has per-level assets, then it’s often quite easy in HTML5 to load them in after the user starts playing. If your game is 10MB or above, it’s worth considering having in-game loading screens if possible. This will also help with memory usage on mobile devices.

Audio will usually account for a large percentage of your game’s filesize, so you can consider loading your music in the background which will also improve the loading times.


How should I monetize my HTML5 game using FGL?

Making money with your HTML5 game through FGL is extremely easy.  In short, you implement our SDK, upload your game to our system, then sit back and make money (or, better yet, work on your next game!).

But, we realize there isn’t much substance to that answer, so to find out more information check our our HTML5 informational page: www.fgl.com/html5


Where can I find more information?

The FGL forums are a great place to find information and ask questions.  Also, feel free to ask us directly.


FGL Developer Newsletter, May 2014

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Easy Money w/HTML5

Simply integrate our API into your completed html5 game to start earning more money!


April Contest Winners

Congratulations to the
winners of April’s game jam!

DTek, irontippedquill, and EgoAnt

Learn More…


New HTML5 SDK v1.4

Waiting for the onReady event, and calling fgl.create() are no longer required with v1.4!


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310 Wilshire Blvd 2nd Floor Santa Monica Ca 90401


FGLAds: now with publisher revenue share

FGL Ads now offers publishers a revenue share!  The in-game Flash version of FGL Ads now shares 15% of all revenue with sponsors.

Taking advantage of this offering is easy.  When bidding on a game, make sure to select “FGL Ads”.  Then, when the game is sponsored, the developer can mark you as the sponsor in the ad manager dashboard.  That’s it!

You can even take advantage of the revenue share if the game wasn’t sponsored through FGL, or if you are licensing the game non-exclusively.  When the developer implements ads, they merely have to mark you as the sponsor.   Or, if you would like to receive all the revenue and have negotiated that with the developer, you can use your own ad code.  That way you’d get the developer share (50%) plus the publisher share (15%)*

Revenue share is not deducted from the developer’s share, so there is no downside for developers.

Reporting on earnings can be viewed here or by selecting Home -> Reporting from the top menu.

*Note that to receive the publisher share you must be an active publisher on FGL