By Maxime Buitenhuis on Aug 09, 2023
This is a guest post by Maxime Buitenhuis. Maxime works as Content Comms Manager at GameDistribution and as Editor-in-Chief at Pixel Vault.
If you are a game developer, chances are you have heard of Defold, or maybe you’ve even worked on a game using this engine. But did you know that the Defold engine can be the ideal starting point for a GameDistribution game?
Defold is easy to use, versatile and it has a wonderful and active community, and the same goes for GameDistribution! You’re familiar with the former, but might not know the latter. GameDistribution is a broker of cross-platform casual games. Like Defold, it is free to use; anyone could send in games. When the games start generating revenue, you’ll get a significant cut of the profits.
Today, we’re excited to speak to Björn Ritzl, Product Owner at Defold, and Cathy Besse, Developer Relations Manager at GameDistribution. Be sure to read on to discover more about Defold’s compatibility with GameDistribution’s platform.
Hi, Björn and Cathy! So lovely you could meet for a chat about our favorite subject: games! First of all, let’s start with the basics. Björn, for the uninitiated, could you tell us a bit more about the versatility of the Defold engine?
Defold does do certain things a bit different from other engines, but once you get over some of these idiosyncrasies you become very efficient as a developer. We also employ what we call a zero setup policy where there is no need for any external tools to build for any of the target platforms. You can build games for web, mobile, desktop and console, which makes it a broad, all-purpose tool for any game developer.
Lastly, we have a very open, friendly and welcoming developer community where it is possible to quickly get help if you get stuck. You can join the Defold community and the dev team on the Defold forum and on our Discord server.
In 2020, the Defold source code was made widely available and transferred to the Defold Foundation. You’ve seen the change from closed to open software, and later to full open-source. How has that changed your outlook on the software, or maybe even the community?
The fact that the Defold source code is available and that the game engine is developed in the open builds trust, but it’s not a silver bullet. You still need to have a core development team to make sure the engine is developed according to technical best practices and that new functionality follows the vision of the product. The upside is that the community can help out a lot more with development. Defold uses a plugin system where integrations with third party SDKs and systems (such as GameDistribution) are available in open source repositories on GitHub. These isolated source code repositories make it very easy for the community to contribute improvements.
We’ve seen some wonderful games on GameDistribution that were created in Defold, like Fruit Mahjong. What would your advice to GameDistribution developers be, if they want to try their hand at creating a game?
The problem many new developers have (regardless of game engine) is that they start with something too ambitious. Start with a small scope and try to build something playable early. Test the game a lot and iteratively work your way towards something fun. Focus on the core game loop and think about monetization, as this is one of the core elements that makes a game on GameDistribution successful for you.
The game will monetize using ads and you need to think about a game design that caters to this. Analyze successful games on GameDistribution from a monetization point of view. How are they incorporating ads into their game? What measures have been taken to optimize the core game loop for ads? Does the game have a meta game? How does the game integrate with rewarded ads? You can also take a look at the release checklist in this blog post about Defold and Gamedistribution.
Cathy, as a Developer Relations Manager you must see plenty of games coming by! There are so many genres within casual games - is there a particular genre that does well on GameDistribution?
Yes! While any genre is welcome on GameDistribution, casual gaming audiences are often looking for other types of content than for example console gamers. Some examples of genres that generally do well within these audiences are Puzzle, Match 3, Hypercasual, Merge, IO, Mahjong and Race games. You could take a look at games like Garden Tales 3, Traffic Jam 3D, Mob Control and Butterfly Kyodai HD to get an idea of the type of games our players love. Our Top Picks selection features new, handpicked favorites every week, so that would also be a great place to start looking for inspiration.
Anything that’s trendy is also interesting for publishers as players will be on the lookout for games specifically related to the trend, such as a movie or a meme. However, keep in mind that these games will often only be relevant for a shorter time period.
What can be expected of the target audience of the games you release?
Well, GameDistribution is essentially a broker, so we work with different types of publishers all over the world. They all have their own audiences. Some of them focus on a specific audience type, while others offer a broad range of different game types on their online platforms to make sure they reach wide audiences. If you would like to cater to a specific audience, it might be best to start with a specific genre and work from there.
You mentioned that GameDistribution works with publishing partners worldwide. What does that mean for localization; is there anything developers should take into account?
English is the default and should always be included, but other languages such as German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian and Russian are always welcome.
How does the release process work at GameDistribution? Should developers send in a game idea, a full game or something else?
At GameDistribution, generally any game type is welcome. However, we do only accept complete games; this means that the game itself needs to fully work, and our SDK needs to have been implemented (editor’s note: Use the Defold SDK integration). This will allow ads to show up so we can monetize your game when it is published!
Once you send in your game, our specialized team will extensively test it and give you feedback where necessary.
Thank you so much for your time!
You can find more information about GameDistribution on their website. If you would like to meet up with representatives of GameDistribution or Defold at gamescom 2023, you can follow the links below to make an appointment!