I need a flash animator
June 6, 2008 5:25 AM   Subscribe

I need to know: a) how much a good flash animator costs, b) where to find one and c) how long it would take to develop some simple flash based games.

I have a client who needs some simple flash based games created that are much like the ones on these sites:





After looking them over, most of them appear to be fairly simple, but I'm not a flash guy. I could spend an intense week learning flash at my own expense then developing a (probably very crappy/rough) simple game for a demo (since that's all he needs right now), but I'd like to know how much a good flash designer would cost, where I could find one (if I could get one on here, I'd love that!) and about how long it would take to develop a simple game like the ones above.

Alternatively, is there a flash-game creator that could be used to create simple games like that? The content of the game is un-important at this point, but will likely be similar to the games on the sites above.

Cost is, as it usually is, important here, so I'd like some realistic numbers. Pessimistic is always better than optimistic, at least for estimations like these.

(Registration is required for some of those games, but I think the last link is registration-free.)

Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by omnipotentq to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I just learned flash for the purpose of creating similar games (hot market) and if you have any programming experience, especially Java, you pretty much already know how to program flash games. ActionScript 3 is basically Java with 2d graphics/animation built into the system. Just go to the store/library and get something like Actionscript 3.0 Cookbook and you're good to go.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 6:15 AM on June 6, 2008

The going rate for a good flash guy is like $75+/hour (you can get someone for like 25-50 if you don't care about experience, etc.). Craigslist is pretty swamped with freelancers and the like. Something simple would probably take up to a week of time.
posted by shownomercy at 7:38 AM on June 6, 2008

The company I work for specializes in flash based games. They're not exactly inexpensive to produce, though.

$75/hour is probably a decent rough estimate for a freelancer depending on region. However, freelancers vary wildly in quality.

Do you know more specifically what kind of a budget you have? Send me MeFi Mail if you like...
posted by twiggy at 7:48 AM on June 6, 2008

Oh yeah, I should point out: Time needs to be spent on actually coming up with and refining a concept for the game too.. not just programming the flash... which ends up being a more costly process than you might think, unless you already have a solid concept drawn out and just need someone to implement it.
posted by twiggy at 7:52 AM on June 6, 2008

Just to note: you're looking for a flash developer. Someone who describes themselves as an animator is likely to be able to use the timeline in flash to make simple, minimally interactive animations. For games you need someone who speaks actionscript.

Where to find one: same place you find any freelancer. mefi jobs is worth a shot, there do seem to be a lot of us hanging around.

How much it costs: depends on how complex the game is, how complete the spec is, whether you'll be supplying the art assets or not, how soon you need it, how talented the developer is... etc. So, again, just like any other freelance job. If anyone gives you even a rough a time estimate before they know the details, they're wrong. If someone tells you there's a going rate, they're wrong about that too: freelance prices range dramatically based on a lot of different factors. The market for flash work is even less settled than that for html.

How long it takes: see above.

The more you have your shit together before you talk to a developer, the better: a detailed spec means they can give you a realistic estimate, but more importantly it signals to them that you know what you're doing, so they don't have to plan a lot of extra educating-the-client time into the estimate.
posted by ook at 10:34 AM on June 6, 2008

This post is to advertise to whoever wants to copy the games on MindHabits or SelfEsteemGames.com that these are patent protected by Mindhabits and McGill University, and if any games are released that violate patents covering these games, we will issue a cease and desist and seek injunctions against the website owners. Also, no publishers will touch any games you create using these games as a base as we have informed them of our patent rights. If you have any questions, email me at matthew.mather@mindhabits.com
posted by matthewmather at 11:55 AM on June 6, 2008

Try Scriptlance.com - you can describe what you want and then the people with the skills will bid on your project. I've used it in the past and it worked out great. Lots of opportunities to give newbies a break and build up their portfolios.
posted by giddygirlie at 12:43 PM on June 6, 2008

Response by poster: To matthewmather: I would hope that you would be proud that your games are being held up as an example of games that are good and that someone uses as an example of how to create a game. Notice how I said in my post that we would like games "much like the ones" on those sites, not "copies" or "replicas". If we were planning on copying them, we certainly wouldn't post that on MeFi.

To everyone else: thanks for your replies! All of you were extremely helpful. I hadn't done any other looking yet since I just got this work, so I figured that MeFi would be a good starting place, and it was!
posted by omnipotentq at 1:38 PM on June 6, 2008

This is post is to advertise that I'm coughing while saying 'kneejerk' at the same time.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:59 AM on June 7, 2008

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