When I learned that Ryan Wolniak from Freelance Flash Games was writing a guide about selling Flash games I was really interested and have been curious for its release even since. The book came out on last Monday, 25th of October, under the name “Getting your Flash game sponsored” and promises a step-by-step guide with 186 pages separated into 6 chapters that will help Flash developers getting their games sponsored.

Before getting into the review itself let me just say that, as a developer starting to get into the game business myself I really appreciate the work that was put into writing this book. Especially because there is nothing more then some scattered, mostly outdated, articles on blogs that don’t even talk about some of the most important details. So just the fact that there is a book dedicated to the subject is already something to cheer for, now let’s see if the book lives up to the expectations.

One thing you’ll notice right from the start is that the language used in the book is “bloggy” which might please some people that don’t want to go through lengthy and confusing texts, it is also nicely organized so you can come back to it looking for answers to a specific question. However, not everyone likes casual writing, some people prefer very detailed information covering every possible aspect, kind of like a “definitive guide”. I don’t think this book can enter that category, it is more like a compiled list of tips, a “first steps guide”. This doesn’t mean the book won’t be helpful, I believe it can even help some experienced developers out there in one small detail or another and for the not so experienced it will definitely help a lot.

The book also assumes the use of FlashGameLicense which is a portal dedicated to Flash game sponsorships, developers usually upload their game to the website and lots of portal owners visit it daily and bid on games they’d like to sponsor. This is the “common” route for every Flash game developer starting but if this is not your plan then you will probably only get some bits and pieces of help from the book.

I won’t be quoting here any parts from the book because I don’t want to spoil a good reading, but I can tell you that it covers important aspects of the process like:

  • sponsorship types with benefits and drawbacks
  • protecting your game
  • what can you do to get more sponsor views and bids
  • what to do when uploading a game to FGL
  • importance of removing bugs and getting feedback before showing your game to sponsors
  • very detailed information about polishing your games
  • hiring artists
  • what techniques FGL use to promote games
  • emailing sponsors: who to email, when to email and how to email with examples
  • value of a game
  • choosing a bid and negotiating for better bids
  • self sponsorship
  • case study, interview bezerk studio

The book is not that big and its easy to read so it will probably take you just a couple hours to go through it, it covers almost all aspects of getting a game sponsored using FGL and sometimes with very good tips. The fact that it uses developer, sponsor and FGL quotes offers big insight from all parties involved in the process.

I especially enjoyed the topic that talked about not showing your game to sponsors before it is really 100% complete, it really is important that you refrain yourself from getting your game approved for sponsor viewing, most times you think the game is complete but it isn’t. All the quotes and tips about the bidding process and building a good relationship with sponsors are also very helpful.

So is it worth buying? I’m tempted to say “yes” because if you’re just starting to make games this will help you a great deal, if you’ve sponsored some games already it might help you improve your business skills and get more for your games and even if you’re an experienced developer a book that talks about your business is always worth reading, even if its just to get another point of view or learn 1 small tip.

Overall I’m really happy I’ve read it and I hope Ryan does well on sales because that will mean lots of developers just got the help they were looking for. If yu want to read more about it or buy it, visit the book’s page.