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How to successfully release games on Poki with Defold

By Björn Ritzl on Jun 01, 2021

Tagged as: Developer case studyInterviewPoki

In this series of developer case studies we continue to cover the success of HTML5 game developers using Defold. This time we got the chance to interview Alexey Davydov, founder of Flazm, to learn how they use Defold to ship popular games on Poki.

Alexey, could you please tell us about yourself. What is your background and when did you first start out in the video game industry?

Hello, my name is Alexey Davydov. I started developing games in 2006. In 2008 I sold my first Flash game for 250$ (that was a big deal for a student back then). In 2010 Flazm studio was founded.

Can you tell us about the history of Flazm and the games you are making?

Initially, there were just 3 of us. The main focus of the studio was web games development. Over five years, Flazm has created more than 30 games, including such popular titles as Truck Loader, Bob the Robber, and Money Movers, which were played more than 1 billion times. In 2014 We released our first Steam game called Train Valley. After that were Scrap Garden, Train Valley 2, and right now Time Loader.

How long have you been using Defold and how did you first hear of it?

In 2020 we decided to form a new experimental team under the 7Spot Games brand and create projects for web portals again. Flash died (RIP), but HTML5 has become a robust platform to support physics in games. We discussed several options with our partner Poki and decided to use Defold as the base technology for our physics platformers.

How many games have you released so far with Defold?

9 games are ready, and 8 of them are released. And we are prototyping some more.

Your series of Duo games seem to be doing really well! Could you tell us more about the games?

Thanks! It’s based on our previous experience. In the past we did some games in this genre of puzzle platformers for two players on one screen. They were always popular on web portals. Sometimes it was the only kind og multiplayer games players could run on their school computers. And even today, in the age of Fortnite, it is still great to play those little co-op games in a browser on one keyboard.

What does the development process look like for the Duo games?

First, we developed a sort of game engine or framework. It took us some time to create a quick and responsive platformer based on Box2D physics. After that, we are thinking about characters and their unique abilities, motivation, enemies, and progression through the three games of each series.

Each series of Duo games consist of two or more stand alone games. They start out easy but in later levels there are some tricky puzzles. What is your strategy for level design?

We need to remember that our players could start playing our game not from the first part in the series, so we are making a soft onboarding during the first five levels, and after that, tricky puzzles appears. After the first 10 levels we usually introduce some new enemy or new mechanics to keep the players engaged. And we always have a bonus level to motivate players to collect all stars on the campaign levels.

What made you choose Poki as the platform to release your games on?

Well, we met at a conference (my last offline conference in November 2019), and the guys from Poki offered a great opportunity to jump into the HTML5 segment. So the platform was a part of the deal, so to say.

From a developer perspective how is the experience of releasing a game on Poki?

Very smooth. Actually, the main problem with web games was always a great variety of APIs of different portals to integrate. But if you are working exclusively with one platform, you know all the requirements and guidelines in advance. And I should say that the Poki team has a really quick and informative QA process. It is a pleasure to work with them.

What is your monetization strategy for the games you release?

Ads! The web is primarily about ads (like a lot of mobile games nowadays). We are showing ads between levels and have several rewarded videos that can help to get some additional stars in the game.

What are your predictions for the next few years when it comes to web games?

We see great potential in the HTML5 segment. It is an excellent place to quickly try new mechanics and grow up new franchises that can later appear on more mature platforms like mobiles, Steam, and even consoles. High quality HTML5 games can have a long tail of passive income, which is also great.

What are you working on right now?

We are prototyping several games in new genres but with physics of course. Hope to show it soon!

Thank you! How can the community follow your progress and learn of new games and developments?

Thanks for your interest! We have a website: https://7spot.games/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/7spot2. Stay tuned!