Flash, Unity, and XNA.

Flash Logo

Flash Logo

Red Remover, another damn physics game

Red Remover, another damn physics game

Gosh… What have I gotten myself into? Struggling to make money as a game developer sucks. Flash is probably the easiest game development platform to make money with, but the general audience who plays Flash games prefers ‘casual’ games, as opposed to the hardcore style that I enjoy. Sure, you can sell a zombie shooter platformer physics game, but the only thing that’s really attracting sponsors are match 3 gem swappers, puzzle games, and apparently physics games are still doing well, even if they’re all the same thing.

Unity Logo

Unity Logo

Unity Editor

Unity Editor

Now here comes Unity3D, which boasts it’s superior development tools, full 3D acceleration (the only thing that made me glance at it), and it probably has some other qualities that I don’t really care to look into. Long story short, Unity has a pretty low adoption rate, meaning that most people will have to download a plugin just to play your game (but you can make desktop executables of course). Flash is getting 3D support sometime in 2011, so theres something else that will end up giving Flash the advantages. And until yesterday, there wasn’t a real good way to sell Unity games. FGL just posted some site updates in the past day or so that allow you to upload your Unity games to the site for bidding, so it’s possible that it will take off, but I doubt it. And again, most people who play browser games are more casual gamers, so I don’t really fit.

EDIT: I’ve downloaded the Unity trial version and I was surprised by the ease of use and all of the features. Honestly, if Flash doesn’t take off for me, Unity will probably end up being my favorite development platform. The UI is rock solid and it’s really easy to get a simple project going. There’s plenty of tutorials around, but I’m not sure what would be the best way to actually make MONEY with Unity. Flash has sponsorships, and Unity could too, if it takes off on FGL, but at the time of writing this, no Unity games have sold there.

XNA Logo

XNA Logo

360 Launcher

360 Launcher

XNARacer

XNARacer

And then there’s XNA. Developing games with XNA looks very appealing to me. There’s plenty of tutorials out there to get me started, and the games generated can be played on the PC, XBox360, and possibly some other hardware. XNA is simply a framework though. It’s not an engine like Unity3D. There’s a bit of work you must do before you have things up and running. Unity runs out of the box. Again, I haven’t really researched much into any of this. I know that Microsoft takes part of the money gained from selling your games on the 360 marketplace, but I still need to do a lot more reading before I abandon Flash. I’m going to continue working with Flash as long as I can. I’ll get my papervision game out before molehill arrives, and I’ll work hard on making some amazing games with Molehill, but XNA sure is tempting…

Oh, and I suppose I should look into what platforms can publish to iphone and droid, seeing as mobile games are doing pretty well. Basically I want to develop games that fit my style, and casual isn’t really what I have in mind when I think of my dream game. Who knows where I’ll end up!

EDIT: Thought I’d mention that I installed XNA game studio and got a basic hello world going. Again, making money seems like it would be much harder this way. Browser games get sponsors, and Unity isn’t adopted by enough users/portals yet. I’ll stick with Flash until I can be sure that money can be made with a different system. In a follow up post, I’ll look into the Unreal Dev Kit (UDK).

EDIT: For a more researched post about Flash vs Unity vs XNA, look here. And even more information here.

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7 thoughts on “Flash, Unity, and XNA.

  1. Sexy blog post!!! I’m also kinda having the same problem as you are. I have all three on my computer (as well as UDK and a few others), but I only want to work with Flash because I want to get really good at one development tool rather than alright at each one. *Breathe*. I still dabble in each of them every now and then, but there aren’t enough hours in the day/days in the year to become pro. :[ <— My real face is sadder than that. (One day I'll master all of them) And also I refuse to learn any other game dev tool until I have released my flash game I've been working AGES on. I'm a procrastinator. Hehehe

    Anyway, I thought sponsors would love a zombie shooter platformer physics game?? It's completely unique and if it's anything like Dynamite Max, you will WIN. You'll see when you get that FAT sponsorship!!!!!!

  2. On the topic of Flash:

    Amen brutha!

    I feel you there. I too prefer making the more hardcore games, though it really is a shame how horribly they sell. Raze for example, took me about 6+ months to create. I then created a simple gravity based game in 2 weeks, I made 60% of the money on it that I got from raze, and it only took me about 8% of the time to create.

    Lame.

    • Damn, it hurts to hear those numbers. I was a big fan of Raze, and I like platformer shooters. To think that a gravity game, or a puzzle game would do better makes we want to find a different launch platform.

      Casual games… Blah.

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