I want to bring this guy to your attention. Take a look at his games. Each one of them is about 100 times more developed than your average internet flash game.
He has a diablo clone on the frontpage at the moment. Now, flash clones of diablo are nothing new. Many people have made their own versions. What's noteworthy about this one is how far the game goes. It seems some of the reviewers have gone past level 50, where their set of stats and the enemies they're fighting against form a completely different metagame than what you'd experience in the first few levels. How many flash games can you point out from memory that have the quality of giving a completely different gaming experience to someone who just opened the game and played 5mins, and a seasoned player who has spent time familiarizing himself with the mechanics and advancing through the world?
All the flash games he submitted are objectively of such great quality, and yet ... there's something really underwhelming about them. His most played game sits today with 30,000 views, and that's twice higher than the second next. His games barely reach 10,000 views each, on average. Is it worth making flash games anywhere close to this level of intricacy? Usually when people start coding diablo-like mechanic, they'll stick in 3-4 different kinds of monsters, throw in a handful of short levels to play through, and call it a game. Because after all, isn't this really all the effort that's worth putting into a flash games? Who actually codes in 60 level up's for the character? 30 floors of dungeon to go through?
And all the games are very well programmed, too. The diablo game amounts to an astounding 6mb. The games all run very smoothly. There are intricate concepts such as pathfinding, AI targetting, and good difficulty balance. I played zombi attack (what a fucking stupid title) and found myself overjoyed to be able to do some unit-control techniques that I also enjoyed in starcraft: for example, using one guy as bait, having him run around in big circles with a big bunch of enemies following him, while my ranged units stand at a distance and shoot away such that none of my people get hurt.
There's is undoubtedly a certain lack of finesse to these games. I feel like he could've gotten much more recognition and attention if his games were more presentable and had better story / general art direction. But still, despite this slight short-coming, I'd categorize at least half of his games as "great flash games".
Why are they so unsuccessful on newgrounds? Could it be that, outside of NG and on the internet as a whole, they are actually fairly successful? Could it be that they bring in good money? Is the conclusion of this story merely the fact that NG is falling behind? I have a game that I made on a 10 day school break as a thirteen year old kid that has twice more views of all his 11 games combined. What's the deal with that? did NG change the way view count works, or has the site itself just gotten that much less popular? And what does it mean for the future of independent flash game dev.?