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Mochi is dead

Published on March 30, 2014, by in Other Stuff.

Moich is deadThe news came without any warning. It was short and clear – Mochi is dead.

It saddens me to make this announcement today–our parent company Shanda has decided to dissolve the Mochi Media business. The last day that Mochi Media services will be available is March 31, 2014.

- Josh Larson, Mochi Media blog

March 14, 2014

At first I’ve had a hard time believing this. So… Mochi, THE Mochi, one of the biggest players on Flash games ads market, the provider of dozens of incredibly important and useful features is going to simply vanish in about two weeks after the announcement? As unbelievable as it sounded, it was true. Why? Because their parent company decided to.

Four years ago, when they were joining the Shanda company, it didn’t seem like trouble. Everybody was happy:

If they only knew - Moich is dead … but now it doesn’t look that good, does it?

OK, but anyways what does all this mean to a Flash game developer or for a casual Flash games player?

Let me point out few problems I’m currently struggling with.

 Ads

I know everyone hates ads. But you have to understand, they are the fuel that keeps the internet going. They are the reason you can have things for free – things like free email, free videos… and free Flash games. And while Mochi ads were never the main source of money I make on games, it was still very important to me. The end of Mochi means the end of ads income for most of Flash game devs.

Sure, ads can be replaced (I’ve been reworking all of my games to do that in the past week) – but what’s done is done: my games are already spread wide across the internet, hosted by hundreds of Flash portals. I can replace ads and put new files online but will it reach every Flash portal? Doubtful, even if Mochi with its last breath helps with the distribution.[*]

So, this will hit me financially… maybe not that hard, I only have a couple of games out there. But there are other devs who have like dozens of games with Mochi ads… and I feel sorry for them.

Live Updates

Among many features that Mochimedia gave to game devs, Live Updates was my favorite. What it did? Well imagine you make a game and then you upload it to Newgrounds, Kongregate and Game Jolt. Then other people grab the game from there and it spreads across the internet, reaching many portals and sites. And then you find a game breaking bug. Or a typo. You can fix it and re-upload the game to some of the sites but this will A) take lots of time and B) will leave lots of other sites with an older version of your game. Live Updates used to fix that problem. It was like a live patching system, it automatically downloaded the newest version of the game, EVERYWHERE, no matter where it was played at.

Live Updates helped me a lot with fixing all the problems and bugs that were reported after the launch of a given game. It also was very helpful when I wanted to simply update the game file with new content – like it was with A small talk game.

I will miss that feature.

Others

Other features will also be missed. I didn’t use scoreboards that much but others did. Besides that, Mochi provided distribution and promotion, analytics tools, achievements system, links tracking… It’s hard to actually comprehend the impact Mochi had on Flash games. And it’s even harder to imagine the impact of its dissolution.

End of an era

This is the end of an era. Mochi is dead, we have to carry on. What saddens me greatly is almost non-existent coverage of this events in media. Sure Flash games are not that important anymore but COME ON, this IS a big news, it could use more articles on the internet. Oh and of course there are also opinions that because Mochi shuts down, Flash is going to die. Nope, sorry guys, not going to happen… yet. Now if excuse me, I have a bunch of game preloaders to re-write….

Mochimedia – I will miss you. Farewell.


  1. * which they do. Seriously, guys at Mochi are great – breaking their own rules and distributing games with 3rd party ads to minimize the damage developers take… Thanks, you are awesome! <3 []
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Goodbye, 1GAM

1gamIt’s time to finally say it  - I hereby officially sign-off from One Game A Month.

It’s been a great year for me, thanks to the 1GAM initiative I’ve pushed myself into making games and basically I’ve started chasing my dreams again, however cliche that might sound.

All my best games, including A small talk at the back of beyond, Don’t Escape and 400 Years were made for 1GAM. Hell, this very blog has been made because of 1GAM.

Christer Kaitila‘s little meta-game, this achievement-hunting experience turned out to be great starter of my creative engine.

But as I’ve been creating a game after game, the 1GAM’s premise has transformed into an obstacle of sort. Creating one-game-a-month while having a full time job and trying to have some sort of social life has turned out to be much harder than I initially thought it would be. The one month deadline has become a burden that – after giving my creativity a spark, it started limiting it. How much can one do in one month after working hours, without sacrificing too much? Small games, sure. But what if your ideas go beyond that?

Don’t get me wrong - I don’t say 1GAM is a stupid idea – I’m far from that statement. An ability to cut features, to limit ideas to a bare minimum is indeed a valuable skill to have – and for a fact I can say McFunkypants’ initiative has taught me that skill. I had to reduce 400 Years length by almost 50% to release it in time. Is it bad? No, because if it wasn’t for 1GAM, 400 Years wouldn’t have been made in the first place. A single game developer with limited time and resources HAS to be able to cut features AND to make it with the deadline – because even indies have their deadlines.

But I’m tired with this. I was tired halfway through 2013 – if you check my 1GAM profile you’ll see half of my games there are stupid little games, fillers if you may, created in rush just before the deadline, just to get the points for make it another month in a row.  I CAN make a game in a month – but it doesn’t allow me to show my full potential. I have several BIG projects in my head, like the 3rd Deep Sleep game[*] or other ideas that are far too big to cram them in 4 weeks time.

So again… big THANK YOU to McFunkypants for his wonderful initiative. It has taught me a great deal of things, game design-wise AND time management-wise. I’ve stared making games again. I’ve started meeting other game designers that live nearby. I feel like I’ve gained enough momentum to act for a longer while.

Thank you and goodbye, 1GAM!


  1. * by the way, Deeper Sleep was not made in under a month time, it just happen that I’ve finished it at one point and had my game for that month []
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My next games

Published on January 9, 2014, by in Games.

Hello, Internet.

People have been asking me one particular question recently. This question has been repeated so many times I’ve decided to put an answer here… So, when is the 3rd Deep Sleep coming??? Not an easy one to answer, really. A couple of factors behind that statement.

One, I have a day job; creating Flash games isn’t all what I do.

Two, previous couple of months were really busy for me – see no blog posts in December and November?[*]

Three, the statement “making games one at the time” is false. I actually often start planning/sketching more than one project and then just decide which is the most interesting one.

 

My next game, 3rd Deep Sleep - locations layout

3rd Deep Sleep game – locations layout

So, the current situation with my next games is:

- I might do a Point-and-Click colab game with another Flash developer/artist.[**]

- Meanwhile, I’ve started working on 3rd Deep Sleep game. I’m planning out the whole game, designing riddles and world’s layout.

 

Right now I can’t give you anything more than a couple of facts about the next game.

Some minor spoilers ahead, be warned.

 

Spoiler! Show

 

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Spoiler! Show

  1. * I feel really bad about it []
  2. ** Might because it’s been a long time since I’ve been asked for it and I’m not sure if the offer is still valid. Shame on me if it’s not. []