It is a lot of fun to design and develop Interactive Flash games for clients and these interactive games can accomplish a number of important things such as education and awareness, viral marketing for the end client, or they can just be a fun enhancement to a Web site that provides stickiness and return visits.
Here are four important things to keep in mind when designing your Flash game:
1. Make it difficult, but not impossible
Players like a challenge, but they like to be able to envision victory. A game shouldn't be so easy that you can win it every time, but don't go to the other extreme by making it so difficult that it is very unlikely that someone could win it without the computer gods intervening on their behalf. No one likes to feel foolish for trying to play an impossible game.
If the game is very hard, build in small rewards along the way that keep the user engaged and keeps their spirits up while they get better and train to become a champ. Many times this is done by starting off with an "Easy" level, or by creating different modes of difficulty that a user can choose before starting the game. For instance, you can give them the ability to choose between novice, intermediate and expert modes. This way, they know that they might not have a chance to win at expert mode until they've practiced up a bit.
2. Make it easy and rewarding to play again
Even if a player wins your game, make it a rewarding experience for them to play again. Randomize some elements of the game, or give them the chance to play a slightly different version somehow, each time they start. Think about other ways to give your players an incentive to play multiple times. This is an easy way to encourage your Web site visitors to come back often.
While you're at it, think about what else you can put on the Web page that the Interactive Game is on that might benefit them, or cause them to want to browse the rest of your Web site.
3. Make it easy to share
When the player wins (or loses) the Flash game you designed, what happens if they had fun and want to tell their friends? Make it easy on them to share the game. Now it's very easy to add a bookmarking button (such as AddThis or ShareThis) to the page that has your game on it. Try to think of some other creative ways that will encourage your game players to share it.
4. Don't let technical hurdles get in the way
Try to design and develop your Flash games in a way that ensures the maximum number of people will be able to use them and get the most out of them. For instance, did you know that users of Internet Explorer will not be able to reload a dynamic XML file you load in your Flash file unless you use what's called a "cache buster?" It took me a couple minutes to figure that one out myself. Try to use the correct version of the plug-in, depending on the audience as well. More tech-savvy users will probably upgrade to the latest Flash Player, but some less experienced users might be stuck 1 or 2 versions back.