A lot of info spread through the web about what flash games must have or not. Here’s our take on it:
…a mute button
Although everyone will scream their hearts out that a mute button is a must have, I beg to differ. Since Atomik Kaos that we changed the mute button (or key) for an entry screen that asks if the player wants sound and music. We did it because it personally annoyed me to enter games with bad audio and music and have to wait until the place where the developer decided to put the damn mute button.
We received a lot of feedback praising such a decision and one rant about it because the sponsor intro sounds played because the decision screen was after the sponsor intro… that one negative feedback completely forgot that even with a mute button, it would hear the sound way before the usual mute button showed up.
Some games need saved games, others don’t. But saving data is more important than just saving your game state. You can present the player with a lot more stuff if you get used to gather statistics.
I won’t go to long with this since it’s very game specific but you can do some very nice things, such as present end-level or game-over statistics that will keep the player going.
…right mouse button context menu
Someone mentioned this in the FGL chat. I personally only took it off twice, both times by request. I understand that it is something that I’ll probably address now that I’m conscious of it, but I never felt or received any feedback about it for our games.
…the right instructions
Don’t throw all the instructions at once at your player. As he progresses through the game, give him the info he needs for that task.
Often instructions are loads and loads of text that no one reads. Everyone did that mistake at least once.
…pause on lost focus
Some games have it, others don’t. For the download market it was a feature that every portal asks for, in the flash market I honestly prefer not to do it.
This is quite easy to explain. Most flash games take a small area of the whole web page where they are embedded. Usually and unless the mouse is the input of the game, the mouse is taken off the game because it’s pointless to be there and it is just covering something.
In my opinion, catch and pause the lost focus event only if your game is time dependant and the mouse is the player’s input to the game. Appart from that it can be pretty frustrating.
…user input customization
Some developers do it. Most don’t. Give the user the option to configure keyboard input that feels most natural to them. You can then leverage the ’save data’ feature to store those preferences locally. Thanks to Phil Peron for pointing it out.
Nothing else occurs right now, so feel free to pop up something I might have forgot and I’ll write it here!