Kongregate gets a proving ground for game assets

Kongregate's got a new place for fledgling music makers and art creators to flaunt their stuff in hopes of getting in built in to Flash games of the future.

Flash gaming site Kongregate has a new service launching on Wednesday called the Collabs that lets musicians and artists share their work in the hopes of getting it used in upcoming Flash games. Content creators upload their works directly to Kongregate where it goes into a directory that's curated by several of the site's power users.

The Collabs are not just for developers though. Kongregate users can listen to music and view animations, as well as rate them the same way they're able to do with the service's games. In a phone interview, Kongregate's CEO Jim Greer told me that he wants it to be a place for users to explore and discover new designers and musical artists before they go mainstream. Their input also has the power to get some of the ideas turned into games that they can later play, or sound creations that can go into their favorite games, since the highest rated submissions win cash and the chance to get free home game studio tools.

The new sounds section lets music creators share their work with potential developer clients who can preview a track and maybe license it, or hire them to work on game music. CNET

Casual users who have a game design idea will also soon be able to publish it directly to the art Collabs using built-in tools from Aviary. Using special versions of Raven and Phoenix (Aviary's vector and image editors), which run right on the page, users will be able to create new art that can be sent directly to the Collabs. This functionality won't be live on Wednesday, but Greer says it will be there in a week or two.

To handle all the licensing, each item can be set to one of three creative commons licenses--both for acceptable use and acceptable modification. There is no integrated purchasing system though. Instead, each submitter can be directly contacted by those who are interested in their creations or services. There's also Kongregate's "hook up" forum for developers to hire talent or find testers, or for people looking for work to match up with their skills.

Kongregate continues to grow since launching three years ago. Greer says the site is now adding around 1,000 new games a month, which are entertaining more than 7.5 million monthly unique users. That audience is doubling every six months. The site is still driven by ad revenues, although has recently built in a micropayments system which developers can include in their games. This new system will hopefully generate more Flash game development, which should augment those numbers even more.

User created art, as shown off in Kongregate's Collabos. CNET
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