Multi-game Facebook Instant Games Bot (free code)

So, I decided to post the code to my Facebook Instant Games Bot to save other devs a lot of research and time. The bot is written using node.js, you will need to set up a hosting service that will run your bot. I chose Digital Ocean to host mine because Droplets are super simple to set up and cheap as chips. I service 5 games with the single bot and I never go over my $5 per month limit. If you do sign up with them then please use my referral link, you get $10 of free credit.

This bot server can handle many games at once, simply add new games to the pages.js source file. Click this link to download the bot.

Files in this archive include:

  • bot.js – The main bot which accepts requests and creates new players
  • bot_none_cluster.js – None cluster version of bot.js (can be used with pm2 -i option)
  • crawler – Crawls through the database checking for players that need to be messaged and messages them, also removes players that do not respond from the database
  • messaging.js – Sends messages out to players
  • pages.js – Stores page data

Usage:

  • node bot.js – Runs the bot which listens for connections and adds players to the database
  • node crawler.js – Periodically crawls through the database finding players that need to be messaged and sends them a message

Note that you will need to set up both node and redis on your server in order for the bot to work. Performance wise the bot is incredibly fast. I am servicing 5 games with mine and using only 1% CPU.

To help get you started see my other blogs:
Installing and running Node.js on a VPS
Installing Redis to Windows / Linux

Facebook Instant Games Category Breakdowns

I track all things Facebook Instant Games related, its a new little obsession of mine. I went ahead and calculated how many games are in each genre out of the current crop of just under 3000 available games. Below is a list of Facebook game genres along with how many games are in each:

  • Action – 577 games
  • Puzzle – 1035 games
  • Trivia & Word – 118 games
  • Simulation – 150 games
  • Board – 98 games
  • Sports – 282 games
  • Match 3 – 100 games
  • Card – 64 games
  • Slots – 43 games
  • Runner – 260 games
  • Strategy – 73 games
  • Role Playing – 91 games
  • MOBA – 4 games
  • Builders – 15 games
  • Bingo – 9 games
  • Poker & Table – 34 games
  • Card Battle – 4 games

Lets take a look at the list sorted by total MAU in those categories:

  • Puzzle – 1035 games (49116400 total MAU – avarage per game is 47455)
  • Sports – 282 games (44689600 total MAU – avarage per game is 158473)
  • Trivia & Word – 118 games (41406500 total MAU – avarage per game is 350902)
  • Action – 577 games (38617000 total MAU – avarage per game is 66927)
  • Board – 98 games (17343200 total MAU – avarage per game is 176971)
  • Simulation – 150 games (16033700 total MAU – avarage per game is 106891)
  • Runner – 260 games (14430399 total MAU – avarage per game is 55501)
  • Card – 64 games (10803200 total MAU – avarage per game is 168800)
  • Match 3 – 100 games (6334800 total MAU – avarage per game is 63348)
  • Role Playing – 91 games (4992400 total MAU – avarage per game is 54861)
  • Strategy – 73 games (4511700 total MAU – avarage per game is 61804)
  • Slots – 43 games (1562100 total MAU – avarage per game is 36327)
  • Bingo – 9 games (1474800 total MAU – avarage per game is 163866)
  • Poker & Table – 34 games (1464900 total MAU – avarage per game is 43085)
  • Card Battle – 4 games (924500 total MAU – avarage per game is 231125)
  • MOBA – 4 games (322000 total MAU – avarage per game is 80500)
  • Builders – 15 games (193300 total MAU – avarage per game is 12886)

What can we ascertain from these figures? Well, Puzzle games seem to be the most popular amongst developers, unfortunately users do not share that view with a very low average MAU per game. Trivia & Word is the leading category in terms of of average MAU per game whilst having far fewer games has an average MAU many times greater.

Facebook Messenger Instant Games Charts

I’ve been tracking the positions and MAU of Facebook Messenger Instant Games for a while now. I track them for many reasons include:

  • Get an overall picture of where all IG games are at
  • Get an overall picture of how IG itself is performing
  • Analyse which games are rising / falling
  • Guess at how much developers are roughly earning
  • Spot clones and dodgy developers
  • See how my own games and performing

I use this information to improve my own games. Whilst its not offered much success for me it may do to some. With that in mind I am posting a much stripped down version of the charts here to enable other developers can utilise some of the information and help improve their own games / track where their games are at in the grand scheme of things.

Facebook Messenger Instant Game Charts 2018

Shuffle Match live on Facebook Instant Games in Messenger

Shuffle Match Facebook Instant Game

Shuffle Match Facebook Instant Game

My first HTML5 Facebook Instants games is now live on Messenger. I actually finished this games a couple of months back, but because of the Facebook privacy saga all further game reviews were put on hold, so hundreds (potentially thousands) of games have been sat in limbo. Its good to finally see a product live on the platform however.

Shuffle Match is basically a memory matching game where you are shown a bunch of numbered tiles, you memorise them then they slide off screen and you have to try and remember where they all were. The game is monetised by offering the player the ability to continue by watching an ad if they run out of lives. Its a simple, fun game that’s great to play against friends.

Play Shuffle Match on Messenger Now

Just released my latest cross platform game Idle Gangsters on iOS, Android and Facebook Gameroom. The game is an experiment o see if it was possible to mix Idle Incremental and Match-3 game play styles and it seems to have worked.

Rise through the ranks of the mafia in this fun, addictive idle incremental match-3 game.

Start out as a low life punk and work your way up through the mafia ranks to Godfather using every manner of lie, trick and scheme possible.
Muscle in on cities, launder goods, build up illegal rackets and generate cash, gaining the respect of your fellow mafians and rising through the ranks of the mafia. Hire bosses, kit them out, order hits, bribe cops, fight off rival gangs and the feds and much more.

  • Launder loot for the mob using Match-3 generating large amounts of cash and respect
  • Buy into 20 rackets to earn cash without lifting a finger
  • Free upgrades for all rackets
  • Smash your way through 10 ranks of the mafia from Punk to Godfather unlocking exciting new content
  • Muscle in on and take over 10 different cities from Brooklyn to Las Vegas
  • Hire upgradeable city bosses to increase cash flow, reduce racket costs, generate cash offline and use perks
  • Equip bosses with up to 16 perks to boost city rackets and laundering
  • 20 loot laundering boosts / hazards
  • 10 global powerups which affect time and cash flow
  • Unlimited missions for big cash boosts
  • Unlimited special missions for huge cash boosts which take place across 10 unique minigames
  • Extra 5 daily bonus minigames which generate cash, respect and diamonds
  • Stats tracking, over 150 individually tracked stats
  • Around 300 achievements to earn
  • Facebook connect with invites, gifting and leaderboards
  • Cloud save game backup and restore

Idle Gangsters is available for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad

Idle Gangsters is available for free on the Google Play for Android

The game is also available for free on Facebook and Facebook Gameroom

Idle Gangsters Title Screen

Idle Gangsters Title Screen


Idle Gangsters Match-3

Idle Gangsters Match-3


Idle Gangsters Idle Incremental

Idle Gangsters Idle Incremental

Thinking of Making an Indie Game?


So, I’ve been making Indie games for years, with very little success, usually because I write obscure little games that don’t usually see much action. So I decided to write something that many gamers do love, an Idle Upgrade Cookie Clicker. I decided to go with the same format as the original by Orteil because IMO its the best and I much prefer the straight forward layout compared to modern idle games. I also decided to theme it around climate change as it’s something that I care about (hoping that it rubs off on a few others). I decided to make it free to play (because obtrusive ads are horrible and paid is DOA) with the option of video ads to generate coins for those that don’t want to spend any money on coins. I opted to integrate Facebook for backup / restore and the usual social features such as login, inviting friends, sharing, gifting, leaderboards.

So how does a cookie clicker perform these days? Lets take a look at some numbers since release a couple of months ago:

Note that the above mobile downloads required me to spend around $200 across Apple search ads and Google Adwords, so I’ve made quite a loss.

So the game wasn’t performing well, but was performing slightly better than most of my other games. With this I decided to put out a version on Kongregate and Newgrounds, (both great game portals with some pretty decent games) to boost the games visibility, which is ok as long as you can put up with the extremely toxic communities. Seriously some of the users (calling them gamers would be a serious stretch) on there were absolutely dropped on their heads at birth, if you are fine dealing with petulant kids then you can turn it into a pretty fun pass time.

Today I have:

After placing the game onto those portals I did see a nice jump in mobile installs, but it was very short lived (a couple of days), its just not an effective marketing tool, especially considering the toxicity of the community and the abuse that you will have to deal with. Also, take note, when you do place a game on a web portal, expect it to be lifted (without permission) and placed all over the place so that some blood sucker can earn ad revenue from your hard work (the word cunts springs to mind).

So in summary, paid ads do drive installs works, but you will need a LOT and I cannot stress this enough a HUGE AMOUNT of money to get your game noticed. Web portals like Kongregate and Newgrounds help the game initially but once the toxic community has done with you, your game will have 0 visibility, so any visibility gains will be short lived. Take a look at the ratings for my game:

  • iOS – 5 stars
  • Android – 4.5 stars
  • Facebook – 4.8 stars
  • Kongregate – 2.65 stars
  • Newgrounds – 2.68 stars

Indie game development for making money is dead, will I still continue to make indie games? It’s fun creating games, so maybe, do I expect to ever earn money from it? No, very unlikely.

If you are thinking of becoming an Indie game developer, I recommend only doing so if you get enjoyment from it, if you expect to earn a living then try something else.

Big List of Popular Flash, HTML5 and Unity 3D Web Gaming Portals

Big list of web game portals / sites that accept games mainly from Flash, HTML5 and Unity 3D developers:

Facebook Alexa rank 3
Y8 Alexa rank 761
Kongregate Alexa rank 1375
Miniclip Alexa rank 1750
Kizi Alexa rank 1816
Newgrounds Alexa rank 2624
Poki Alexa rank 2985
itch.io Alexa rank 3449
Armor Games Alexa rank 3472
A10 Alexa rank 4164
Pogo Alexa rank 4955
Big Fish Games Alexa rank 5113
AGame Alexa rank 6009
Addicting Games Alexa rank 6657
Paco Games Alexa rank 8024
Girls Go Games Alexa rank 9280
Zepak Alexa rank 9516
Ninja Kiwi Alexa rank 10681
io Games Space Alexa rank 11295
NotDoppler Alexa rank 14516
Games Games Alexa rank 15194
Yepi Games Alexa rank 21526
Nitrome Alexa rank 24779
KHBG Games Alexa rank 24690
Game House Alexa rank 28541
Free Online Games Alexa rank 28628
Games Freak Alexa rank 35802
MAD Alexa rank 36964
Box10 Alexa rank 43227
One More Level Alexa rank 48128
Mouse Breaker Alexa rank 52226
Games 2 Girls Alexa rank 54837
io-games Alexa rank 56104
Fun Brain Alexa rank 57127
Frip Alexa rank 60455
Puff Games Alexa rank 65496
Crazy Monkey Games Alexa rank 68705
Flash Games 247 Alexa rank 72799
Game Gape Alexa rank 76718
Mind Jolt Alexa rank 78550
Bubble Box Alexa rank 80294
Cool Games Alexa rank 90502
Zapak Alexa rank 95136
GameZ Hero Alexa rank 109726
Spil Games Alexa rank 152091
Game Garage Alexa rank 1295785

* Alexa rank accurate as of 2nd October 2017

Cookie Clicker Save the World free game for iOS, Android and Facebook Gameroom

Just released my latest mobile and Facebook game Cookie Clicker Save the World targeted at raising awareness of climate change in a fun and challenging gaming environment. Gamers playing the game are gradually introduced to various climate issues and what can be done to help, such as recycling, using wind power etc..

The game is an idle builder / tapper based in the near future where current day currencies have been replaced with a new cryptocurrency called cookies. Players have to research and buy new technology to reduce carbon emissions reducing mankind’s impact on the environment.

Game features include:

  • Bake cookies by clicking on the cookie moon, use cookies to purchase items and technology that help the climate and produce more cookies.
  • Use cookies to buy over 200 upgrades and mods to speed up carbon reduction and cookie production.
  • Earn over 200 achievements.
  • Use powerups to speed cookie cooking production.
  • Evolve your cookie mastery to gain extra benefits.
  • Daily bonus awards.
  • Login with Facebook, invite friends, share progress and compete with friends in the cookie master leaderboards.
  • Offline cookie cooking.
  • Random blessings boost your play.
  • Deal with random curses such as striking workers, maintenance shut downs and more.
  • Endless play allows you to play an indefinite amount of time

Cookie Clicker Save the World is available for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad

Cookie Clicker Save the World is available for free on the Google Play for Android

The game is also available for free on Facebook and Facebook Gameroom

You can find out more about the game at the official Cookie Clicker Save the World website.