Thursday, July 19, 2012

Modern ways to host flash games - 2012


There is more than one way to host a flash game on the internet.

Hosting can be prohibitively difficult if you are just beginning to make games. The "traditional" method is to create your own website by purchasing a domain name and a subscription to a hosting provider. The site itself must be designed and built-- once this is done, the game can be brought online.

Alternately, there are "aggregate" game hosting websites such as Newgrounds.com and Kongregate.com which will host your game for free and virtually guarantee its exposure to their massive online audiences. More often than not, players will attempt to leave constructive feedback. It should be noted however, that these users are not necessarily representative of the people you want to play your game.

Despite the apparent benefits of hosting your games via these aggregate sites, you may still choose to host from your own site or blog. One clear advantage is that you can control the way your game is presented to the player. In the past, Newgrounds.com had banner ads for adult websites. On Kongregate.com, all games are presented next to a public chatroom. Both sites use heavy formatting that is slow to load and consumes computer resources that could otherwise be made available for your game.

The fastest and most affordable way to host your game is to outsource or "piggyback" off of external hosts such as Newgrounds.com. This method still requires you to create an account and publicly post your game to that site, but you will be able to embed (link) the externally-hosted game on your own site or blog. Some aggregate sites may even provide the HTML embed code for you.


Game hosting methods:


The "Traditional" Method (pay for your own site):

 Pros:
      Complete control over presentation
 Cons:
      Expensive
      More difficult than other methods

Upload to an aggregate flash site:
 Pros:
      Free
      Exposure
      User feedback
 Cons:
      No control over presentation
      Site may slow down computers

The "Piggyback" Method (outsource to a flash site):
 Pros:
     Free
     Outside exposure
     User feedback
     Near-complete control over presentation
 Cons:
     Game will also be hosted on the other site

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