[PLUGIN] Clay.io (leaderboards & achievements)

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  • Wow Austin, I took a couple of weeks off since we first spoke in another thread. You apparently did not. Nice progress! Can't wait to dive into the multiplayer rooms.

    I have a question that may be off topic here. I'm coming from a mobile-only background. Web games are new to me, but I see you charge 20% for any apps sold (or in game purchases). With Ludei's CocoonJS build server coming soon, I'm really interested in the possibility of building web games that I can also build into a mobile app for iOS / Android.

    I'm making the assumption here that there's no way Apple or Google will approve a Freemium app on the store that bypasses their app stores and allows a user to do in-app purchases through Clay.io.

    Can you shed a little light on how someone selling apps through the mobile app stores, an .exe file, chrome store, etc. would be able to monetize their apps, and how that affects the 20% fees associated with Clay.io?

    Thanks for any clarification on the subject.

  • 1) will do, 2) I'll have a look when I get home, 3) logo for dark background or logo for light background

    jwilburn with the .exe, the Clay.io API (and payments) will still work since it's just a Chromium wrapper. For mobile app stores, we have it on our todo list to integrate Apple's in-app purchases in some format, otherwise it's against their terms to use another payment method (assuming you're going through the App Store rather than Safari). Once we get that in place we might be forced to up the fee to 30% for payments using that. As for Android, I'm not sure they have as strict of policies about 3rd party payment systems.

  • Thank you for the response, but I guess I'm still a bit confused.

    Say I create a game that gets 2 million active users (we can dream right), and it makes heavy use of the multiplayer functions, achievements, leaderboards, etc. Your servers would get absolutely hammered.

    The games I sell for mobile will be compiled using CocoonJS so the apps can get native-like speed from the accelerated canvas. Running the games through the browser on the mobile devices isn't an option as the games tend to run really slow in a browser on mobile.

    If I sell this game on the app store, Apple charges (and keeps) 30%. Same for selling an app on Google Play, the Nook, Kindle Fire, etc. Chrome Store also charges (and keeps) a fee for selling apps through their store. They're not going to give you any of this money.

    So how do you make money to keep the servers going if we don't sell our Clay.io powered apps through Clay.io's web site?

  • Part of that relies on us heavily promoting our platform and having consumers buy your game through our own marketplace rather than the others you listed (which is something you would likely prefer to, as it's a 20% cut vs 30%). As for the API, you might choose to do in-game transactions (buying a new level pack for example), which we would take a cut on (aside from games in the iOS App Store & on Facebook).

    A game that has 2 million users is also great for our brand name ("Hey, look who is using us", and the links to Clay.io in the API).

    Hope that clears it up some.

  • "having consumers buy your game through our own marketplace rather than the others you listed"

    I don't think you understand. This is not an option, no matter how much anyone would like it to be. Let me try explaining the scenario.

    I have an idea for a game I want to make. I have no intentions of putting it on a web site. It's going straight to mobile. I'm going to create the game in Construct 2, and I'm going to export it to CocoonJS and build a native iOS and Android app, where I'm going to sell those apps on the Apple and Google Stores. Eventually the app will make its way to Metro as well.

    Apple and Google are going to take 30% off the top, and keep it.

    I cannot sell my native mobile apps on your site no matter how much either of us would like to. There would be no way to install them on the device even if you could. Mobile apps have to be acquired through the mobile stores. If I tried to use your in-app purchase tool to bypass the App Store, the apps would get rejected in the submission process. Neither Apple no Google is going to let someone bypass their stores, that's how they make their money.

    In this scenario you're effectively footing the bill for my networking services without any payment in return, and there's nothing either of us can do about it short of de-activating my app on Clay.io after it's already in the wild, which would cause a huge backlash to me as the developer.

    I apologize if I've hijacked a thread. I'm about to get started on my next game and I'm just trying to make sure that there are no surprises for either of us down the road. It would be devastating if the network somehow disappeared out from under a developer after their game was released, and it would be bad for you too if I had a lot of success with my mobile app and you didn't get a dime for it. I just want to make sure everyone's covered.

    If I'm overlooking something, please let me know. I think this is going to be a big issue for anyone looking at CocoonJS.

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  • Is there a reason why you're not looking to the web at all and strictly focusing on mobile app stores?

    We don't really see that being the norm, so if we lose some money on your game, so be it - I can assure you we're not going to can your game just because we're not making money on it. There's not much we can do right now for apps in the iOS and Google Play stores, they are pretty restrictive as you're aware, and charging extra on the already high 30% isn't something we want to do. We're also not big fans of a recurring monthly pricing structure, that just doesn't work for successful platforms.

    I'd definitely recommend developing for the web as well (even if it's just the mobile web - Mobile Safari's performance is nowhere near as bad as it used to be in iOS4)

    As for the networking services we provide, it's pretty basic - just grouping players together for you, not the full shebang for a backend (back and forth communication). We are planning on a messaging API (for communication between players), but this will be limited and is more for turn-based games rather than real-time multiplayer.

  • (updated)

    1) Have you tried "On Login (From prompt action)"? That should be triggered when the close button is clicked to, because that's when we log the user in as "Anonymous".

    2) Is your browser blocking a popup?

    3) Here's a zip with vectors of our logos if you want something scalable). From my other post: logo for dark background or logo for light background

  • Thanks again for your reply Austin.

    "Is there a reason why you're not looking to the web at all and strictly focusing on mobile app stores?"

    There really is no short answer to this question that does it any justice. I'll try to be concise. :)

    I'm a home school teacher. My stack of upcoming game titles are aimed mostly at K-5, or adults who like word games / puzzlers. They're the kind of titles that don't really lend themselves well to in-app purchases. Although this is probably the most lucrative business model for app developers right now, I don't want to subject a 6 year old kid to an advertisement about ED or a popup asking him to enter his credit card number.

    This means selling the game outright, and my research has shown that parents are more likely to buy apps for their kids for mobile devices than they are web games.

    My business model is aimed more at creating fun titles that parents, especially other home school teachers, would not mind spending a nominal fee on for a mobile device. My wife and I spend a decent amount of money each year buying titles for my son to play on our tables. We've never purchased a web title.

    The flip side to this whole thing is that I'm just unfamiliar with the web game market in general.

    • How often do people purchase web games? I never have. I don't know anyone who has.
    • Say I just created a new game and put it on Clay.io. How much exposure is my game getting? How does that compare to Chrome Store? What's the benefit for me as a developer to sell through Clay.io over Chrome Store? when Chrome Store is likely getting 100x the exposure for my games?
    • How do I secure my web game? What's to keep people from stealing the code / assets and re-releasing it with a few tweaks?

    Scirra have made major efforts to give their Construct 2 developers options when it comes to exporting their games. If you look at the export options you'll see:

    • Metro (Windows 8)
    • iOS (via CocoonJS)
    • Android (via CocoonJS)
    • EXE
    • Chrome Store
    • Scirra Arcade
    • Kongregate
    • And talks of Mac OS coming soon.

    I think it's probably a bit unrealistic to expect my situation to be unique considering the amount of discussion on this site regarding CocoonJS, Awesomium, and other export options.

    Let's say I export my game to the Web, iOS, Android, Metro, and Mac OS. I sell 10,000 total, 2K on each platform. If I sold 2K of those apps through Clay.io, that means I have 8K customers using your network that you're not getting paid for. Now imagine 1000 developers doing the same, assuming we all decide to sell through Clay.io instead of Chrome Store. Those amount of gamers playing on your network without you collecting any money becomes quite staggering.

    For what it's worth, I know you said you're not interested in doing this, but I'd happily pay a membership fee for an UNBRANDED plugin that I could easily match the rest of my games looks with that provided the networking, data storage and social features you provide. I'd even be happy putting a Clay.io credits on the splash page along with my own logo. It would be more appealing to me from a design perspective to have the UI match the game, and it would be at least financially rewarding for you if you were making some profit from our non-web based customers.

    Something to consider either way. Thanks again for your responses and taking the time to read my concerns and questions. I like the idea of your service, I just don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of someone. If you offer a good service, you should get paid for it.

  • 1- I'll try that soon, I'm fairly sure it'll do the trick.

    2- Silly me! It was definetly blocking the popups!


  • I agree with jwilburn. This plugin is really awesome and I think you deserve receive for your hard work. Sometimes I think I'm stealing from Scirra, because C2 it's really incredible and I paid so little for it. That's why I'm planning in buying another C2 License to support Scirra.

    And I hope Clay.io can turn into a profitable business for you too. Maybe something like a Free Edition, with just the Scoreboards and FaceBook and Tweeter. And a Business Edition with all features. I don't know, I'm just wandering...

    A friend of mine plays Kingdom Rush, a flash game and they have premium content. According to my friend, they sell pretty good. But their game are on the Apple Store, so I think this helps the publicity. I'm planning on releasing a WebGame with Free and Premium contents using the Clay.io .

    Talking about this, Austin, I tried the Payment option and no good. I created an item, with the price 0,00. The API tells me that the item is for free. OKay, but when I choose an option, it's says the Payment process will conclude in another page. Well, the Pay Pal page didn't open neither any other page. So, the Payment system it's already functional or just for test?

    Thank for your time and sorry if said something wrong.

  • jwilburn To answer some of your questions:

    How often do people purchase web games? I never have. I don't know anyone who has.

    It's not a common thing at all right now, but that's mostly because there was never an 'app store' for web games in the past - people are used to them being free. The more common model is definitely in-app purchases, but you already said that won't work for your games, and I understand.

    To make $1-$5 games more of a norm (like it is on mobile devices) the process has to be dead-simple (similar to Amazon's 1-click checkout...which is patented, so we can't get that simple). If I had to go through a four step process, or even have to deal with going through PayPal for a $1 game, I'm a lot less likely to purchase it. This is where we can come in and provide as close to a 1-click experience as possible (without violating the patent) for Credit/Debit card transactions to hopefully make paid games a bit more common.

    Say I just created a new game and put it on Clay.io. How much exposure is my game getting? How does that compare to Chrome Store? What's the benefit for me as a developer to sell through Clay.io over Chrome Store? when Chrome Store is likely getting 100x the exposure for my games?

    The Chrome Web store certainly has more exposure overall - if they feature your game at the top of their store, it will get more downloads/purchases than if we were to do that no doubt (at this point in time). However, according to this there are 44,000+ apps, so a lot of games aren't going to be noticed much.

    The exposure on Clay.io is more targeted (people actually looking for games) and not as diluted (far fewer games available to play). Of course, we are still growing to, and are putting a lot of effort into the growth of the site.

    You're not restricted to selling your game in *just* Clay.io, or *just* the Chrome Web Store. Feel free to put it up in both.

    How do I secure my web game? What's to keep people from stealing the code / assets and re-releasing it with a few tweaks?

    The obfuscation and minification is enough to halt that some (they'll be able to un-minify, but all the variable names won't make sense, there won't be comments, etc). The big thing is having a backend for your game. They won't be able to steal that, thus the code won't be complete. The same can be done for Flash games, but I haven't seen any blatant copies of, say, Farmville tossed up on somewhere.

    I think it's probably a bit unrealistic to expect my situation to be unique considering the amount of discussion on this site regarding CocoonJS, Awesomium, and other export options.

    What I think would be unique is the fact that you're not planning on a web release of your game at all (which I do understand in your case).

    As for the rest of your comments, I'll keep it in mind and discuss it with my co-founder and advisory board but like I said before, I'm not a big fan of a model where developers have to pay for 'features' even if there game isn't successful. There are other means of revenue down the line like an Ad API or charging for premier placement in the store.

    Zanuff - $0 items can't be purchased, so that error message should show, but the other text (awaiting response from paypal) shouldn't have been. That's fixed. The API has just been tested by myself - it's not currently used in any of our games, so there might still be some bugs here and there. If you find any, let me know and I will get them resolved ASAP.

  • Ok, thank you for this. I sent you a pm. Gonna make some experiments. :D

    Edit: I don't know if it helps but the version i'm using is VERSION 0.2.0.

  • Austin, I tested using the condition "On Login" for restoring the user's mouse control. It worked fine, however if the user closes the window by clicking the "X" on the top right corner, the condition is not completed.

    *edit* Typing a name also works!

    *edit2* I also noticed that, upon allowing Clay.io to post on your behalf on facebook, the button is labeled "Play Game". It sounded a little weird :P

  • Try now. It wasn't calling it when you closed because you were already logged in (either into Clay.io, or as 'Anonymous' from clicking the close icon once before). I changed it up so it always calls it, even if you're logged in and try re-logging in, so it should work for you now.

    The Facebook button should show up as "Login with Facebook" now

  • austin One thing I ran into is that I have my game in Chrome WS aqnd in Clay.io, but unfortunately I have no idea, how much Views/Plays are coming from CWS and how much from Clay.io.

    I really would like to keep the game use only one "game profile" not one profile for all platforms in Clay.io, and keep the Leaderboards centralised.

    I do publish to Clay.io, ChromeWS, and to my self website now, but plan to push out to other gaming websites and Android, probably iOS in the future...

    It could be very useful to have something that may let me know what platforms works best, have separate views/plays stats for them.

    My only idea is to have a global variable stores the "Target platform" what I can change when exporting to a specific platform. It could be very helpful to have a Clay.io setting to set on game start, what stores and sends the platform info with every log.

    This "Platform variable" is an unavoidable, cause for example if place a "Rate this app" button in my app, in CWS publish it needs to send the user to CWS Ratings/Comments page, but if Clay.io publish, it needs to use the Rating function of CIO.

    Do you plan to handle platform diversity in this way, or do you have any other solution for that?

    About jwilburn 's question:

    I use the Playtomic stat service in paralall with Clay.io for the time being. This guys have a great builded system with lots of features, but now are in a business dead end with minimal income and really huge server load.

    I think that the only thing jwilburn want be sure is if you will have the same server load (I read about 500 000 concurrent connections) You will have the server to handle it.

    There are lot of possibilities from % of payment trought monthly fee and usage-based fee to Kickstarter... And there are several users who care about you, and want you to be success! :)

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