N G Submit Tips For Flash Authors 2004-11-07 14:08:13
Hi Flashers. I've been ironing out & adding to this with some help from the BPers in Wi/Ht. Suggestions and comments seem to have dried up over there, so as originally intended, I'm putting a copy here in the Flash Forum. Please refer new Flash Authors to it as you think suitable.
Also, if you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to post them in this thread. Thank you.
NG Submission Tips for new Flash authors v1.1
Flash Authors: This is not a definitive guide. These suggestions are here for you to take or leave.
This is also not a thread to teach you how to use Flash, or how to create a great movie. It's solely about the submission process.
You've created your first Flash. You've shown it to a few friends, who have all patted you on the back and told you it's cool. You've got yourself a Grounds Gold account, you've clicked the big 'SUBMIT' button on the Portal, you've filled in all the necessary details, and you're hovering over the second 'Submit' button. But wait....
1) OK. First off, lets fill you in on what happens once you upload your file.It gets assigned a PID number, and appears on the top of the left-hand column on NG's Flash Portal (50 Most Recent). The first period of your .swf's NG life is spent in the Judgement Zone. During this time, it will be subjected to a period of voting which decides whether it will stay on the site (get saved), or be deleted (get blammed). According to the NG Help file:
Movies are (currently) deleted if they fall below the listed score at the listed number of votes:
100 votes - 1.0
150 votes - 1.25
200 votes - 1.60
2) You should be aware that a large number of the people who see your Flash first are seasoned Blam/Protectors. These people are interested in their BP Rank, and most of them
a) have seen and voted on several thousand Flashes, and have a very good idea of what's good, and what's crap
b) have pretty high Voting Power. Which means they can have a big influence on your movie's destiny
(Note: I am speaking as a member of these BP'ers, and also as a Flash author; I state these facts purely so that you don't think I'm talking crap)
3) Let's start with the movie. I'm not going to write too much about this. Instant turn-offs are:
Handwritten text (what do you think the Text tool in Flash is for? Decoration?)
Dodgy preloaders or no preloader (get the NG Preloader here)
(Note: If you're using the NG Preloader, DON'T have a white background. Why? Because it makes the loading bar invisible, and therefore pointless)
Crappy drawings during the preloader. If in doubt, leave it clean.
Large filesize for no good reason; usually due to uncompressed audio (see this page for optimization tips)
Excessively small filesize (<50kb). There are some really good 'kb games' out there, but usually tiny=rubbish.
Double-submits. Don't bother, the second one will almost definitely get flagged. Double-submitting will also probably lower the score of the first one.
4) What else? Well, what's the first impression viewers get of your work, besides filesize and name? Yes, the Author's Comments...
• DO NOT leave the comments blank. When I see 'Authors Comments: none', I'm already thinking: 'Well, if they can't be bothered writing something about their movie, it must be shit'.
• DO NOT mention 'sticks'. There are some VERY good stick movies around, but they're few and far between. The same thing applies to the word 'skate', particularly if it's spelled 'sk8'.
• DO NOT say 'This is my first movie' or 'I got Flash 3 days ago', or anything along those lines. First movies are almost invariably utter shite. If your first movie is actually any good, you'll immediately lower the score by adding comments like that. Shoot yourself in the foot, why don't you?
• DO NOT say 'pls don't blam', or even mention the word 'blam'. I can guarantee that this will automatically put viewers into a 'blam' mentality.
• DO NOT tell viewers how old you are. They're not going to give you sympathy points because you've just stopped wearing nappies.
• DO NOT tell viewers how they should vote, why they shouldn't vote low or should vote high. The majority of them are more than capable of making their own minds up
• DO NOT tell viewers 'not to view' or 'not to vote' because your movie has sprites/sticks/DBZ/Korn/clocks/etc. They ARE going to view & vote; comments like that are just going to annoy them. Even if they don't like the style, they'll still vote high on it if it's a good Flash.
• DO NOT say: 'I made this project in school'. There are exceptions, but most movies with this in the comments are tripe. Another one to avoid is 'I was bored'.
• ALWAYS avoid using bad language. Most people just don't like it.
• ALWAYS run your comments through a spell-checker. Bad spelling and/or grammar instantly puts people off.
• ALWAYS fill in lots of intelligent, well written, informative detail. You can up your score by 1+ by following this step. It shows that you're serious about your Flash, and not just submitting it as a joke/test.
If I think of anything else, I'll add it to this thread later.
If anybody else has any suggestions, feel free to post in this thread. Please try to keep it concise.
To the Authors: I wish you every success with your Flash work.
Sprite page list by different
Very useful links for Flashers by Otacon (now -taco-). Look for the 9th post on the page.
Flash tuts list by AGH
Xenosteel's guide (very informative Flash movie)
Avoiding Blamnation (HNT)
Thanks to MPA, -Mazza-, merlinspark & Sakurazukamori for their input