Services & Software

Next level: Tower Defense creators build new game company

Together at last: The developers or Flash Element TD and Desktop Tower Defense launch yet more games.

Two superstars of the casual gaming world--David Scott, the author of Flash Element TD, and Paul Preece, who wrote Desktop Tower Defense--are collaborating to create a new games company, Casual Collective.

Updated versions of Flash Element and Desktop Tower Defense are among the games offered at the new service, as well as new marquee titles Minions and Desktop Armada. These are multi-player games, and Scott and Preece hope they will bring users back to the games to hang out with (or conquer) their buddies. The games are monetized through in-game ads served by Mochi Media.

I lost a lot of hours to this stupid game (Desktop Tower Defense).

While an important key to success in casual games is distribution--getting the game embedded in as many games portals as possible--Casual Collective will also have special features for fans who come to the Casual Collective site itself. Upgrades and other extra features will be available for sale on the main site. But the grail, the founders realize, is distribution; Flash Element TD was embedded on more than 12,000 sites, I was told. Desktop Tower Defense, while still successful, did not get the same number of embeds as Flash Element since it redirected users to its hosting site.

The two hit tower defense games that Scott and Preece developed were both the freshman efforts of their creators--Scott's game was the first game he developed for himself (not on contract), and Preece's version was the very first Flash game he wrote. It remains to be seen if this team can bring the same magic to their new games. I've played them, and while none have yet hooked me the way the tower games did when they appeared in 2007, I believe Scott and Preece are off to a good start.