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New School Blues Dev. Diary #22: Packaging Intro
by Yoyo Bolo on 02/14/13 11:12:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Packaging refers to the steps taken between the game being complete and tested to being out the door in a shape or form where people can actually play it.  So if you think about it like a book then development is writing, editing, designing, and copying the book, whereas packaging is making sure copies get to stores.

Since video games are a digital medium we have a lot of packaging options.  Since YoyoBolo are shooting for the pc casual market, going the physical copy route (such as buying it in a store like a AAA title) seemed excessive.  So predictably, we’re going through digital means.  We should note, however, that we are not going the downloadable route.  We are instead posting our game on a web portal.  Some web portals host games where people can log on and play for a price or for free.  Some distribute the games to other sites as well.

image

Kongregate is just one example

So how does that work?  Well the short answer is you submit your game to them, they give it a once over to make sure it works and isn’t breaking any of their target audience content policies and if it checks out, you’re up and running.  What are the web portals getting out of this you wonder?  Read on.

Most web portals have their own practices, but for the most part what happens is the web portal agrees to host your game provided you place advertising in it.  Ads can appear upon launching the game, during the game on tiny bars to the side of the screen, and even over loading screens.

image

Here’s an example of in-game banner ads

If you happen to be charging for people to play your game, or if you’re free to play but intend to make money from in game advertisements, advertising is obviously mandatory.  Should you rather keep things both free to play AND ad-free (like NSB) most sites are happy with a tiny ad upon launch and that’s it.  Though that won’t generate revenue, it’s still a great way to get your game out there and get people’s attention.

Tune in tomorrow for a closer look at exactly what YoyoBolo is doing to NSB to ensure it is web portal ready!


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