Selling On FlashDen – Part 2

In part 1 of this post I talked about the reasoning behind my transition to selling some of my files on FlashDen. In this post I’m going to talk about my experience so far with the site and what it took to sell my first file (or list it, at least).

I had made a video player that I wanted to sell on FlashDen so I set out and organized my files properly and documented them as well as I could for people that usually download files from a site like that. I went through their nice little submission form and pressed submit only to find that the server timed out while I was trying to upload my files because I had some videos included in the download. I then edited my XML file to run the files off of my server so the download was much smaller. I didn’t think there was any issue with this considering that the video files are mine (made by me) and I wasn’t necessarily keen on letting everyone download them with the FlashDen download files. I have to point out at this point, however, that FlashDen does supply video files to include in your projects but I don’t think they are encoded properly (at least they didn’t work for me properly) because I couldn’t get the files to fire off an event once they were finished. So I uploaded the files to the server with links to my server for the video files and hoped for the best.

REJECTION #1: Unfortunately your preview files are not named correctly. Please refer to section 7 of the following page to learn more about how your files should be named: http://flashden.net/upload/help?type=flash

OK, so maybe I misread the instructions, no biggie. I went back and renamed my files properly and re-uploaded everything. The error was actually that my programming structure puts all SWF files in a folder called /swf and the html file just links into that folder to grab the swf (more organized if everything is not sitting in the root).

REJECTION #2: Unfortunately your preview files are not named correctly. Please refer to section 7 of the following page to learn more about how your files should be named: http://flashden.net/upload/help?type=flash

WHAT? I just went over the instructions and renamed everything as it should be… What is wrong this time? Well, apparently I didn’t name my file index.html rather named it preview.html. Mind you, you could (as the reviewer) give me a BIT of slack and rename it (takes 1 second) and just go on with the review. But ok, I can respect that you want everyone to follow the rules and so I went ahead and re-uploaded.

REJECTION #3: Please attach your demonstration videos to your preview upload — please do not link to videos on any external site, including your own site. Upload again in the normal way once this has been addressed. Many thanks! 🙂

So wait, you couldn’t include that in the original e-mail as well? (I should not at this point that these are different people usually doing the reviews, although it seems the same 3 or 4 were reviewing my files after each upload) Basically, the first guy didn’t look past anything except opened my zip, saw the index file was named preview.html, closed it, and rejected it. At this point I e-mailed support to tell them that my files were too large and the form was timing out when I tried to upload. I was simply told to use their provided videos or use different ones that are smaller (3 days later, for the record). Fine, I’ll upload the videos again and just take out the ones that were too big in the original to lower the size and hopefully the upload form doesn’t time out this time.

REJECTION #4: Sorry, your preview file did not work — none of the videos loaded when we clicked the thumbnails. Please ensure your preview works correctly before uploading again in the normal way. Many thanks!

Are you kidding me? I won’t even go into this further… I just re-uploaded the same exact files again chalking this one up as the guy being, well, a moron (by this time frustration levels were starting to get a bit high).

REJECTION #5: Unfortunately your preview files are not named correctly. Please refer to section 7 of the following page to learn more about how your files should be named: http://flashden.net/upload/help?type=flash

AWESOME! The same guy from rejection #1/2 is back! I re-read the instructions and everything was named properly, so what gives? NO IDEA, ignored this and uploaded again with the SAME EXACT FILES.

REJECTION #6: Your preview doesnt seem to be working… Email me on the address below and i will send you a screenshot. thanks

This is the same guy from #1/2/5 again, except this time he sent this message. I e-mailed him directly with this nice e-mail:

Jason,
I would really appreciate talking to you about this file. I’ve uploaded it just about 6 times now and it is being rejected once after another time. I tested it locally on my machine as well as online to make sure everything works and is up to spec and on my end i have absolutely no issues with it. Do you have AIM or something like MSN where we can chat in real time and you could walk me through the issues you are having with this file and why it keeps getting rejected? I’d really appreciate that as this is my first FlashDen file and the process has been, well, rather frustrating as I get cryptic messages on why it is rejected from support with very little detail. Thanks.

To that, I got this reply with a JPG attached:

See screenshot.

jay

Now, at this point, I don’t want to be a dick, but what the $%^&? I was very nice in my e-mail and asked nicely. What exactly is the point of sending me a screenshot of the file not working if you already said it doesn’t work? It’s a Flash file, not a graphic, so if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work (although it does, as I tested it on 4 different machines and had friends test it…) What good am I going to get out of this screenshot? I e-mailed him back asking to speak with him again and got no reply. I e-mailed one more time with a zip file of the files (after having tested it on several different environments) that was linked off of my server just in case the FlashDen upload was corrupting my files in any way. No reply, again.

Whatever, I uploaded again and hoped someone else will review the file next time.

REJECTION #7: Hi, I am sorry to reject this time again your file. Everything is fine except that you are using greensock’s tweening engines and you need to provide us your email which you have used to purchase the corporate license from greensock because without corporate license you cannot use greensock’s tweening engines in commercial products. Please read more about this requirement here: http://blog.flashden.net/general/source-code-packages/

please provide us the email as explained above so that we can verify your purchase of corporate license of greensock’s tweening engines. If you don’t have corporate license then use alternate tweening engine like Tweener or fusekit.

Alright, this was my mistake, as I had just gone over the use of Jack’s classes with him a couple of days ago and we were discussing how he is setting it up for use on FlashDen. I went ahead and e-mailed support with my corporate license e-mail and two days later I was told that I have to re-upload the file again because it does not stay in the queue after a rejection. Sweet! I went ahead and re-uploaded everything and put my corporate license e-mail in the “Message to reviewer” field.

I guess eighth time is a charm as it FINALLY got approved!

So what is my feedback for FlashDen at this point:

So will I make more files for FlashDen? Probably, at least now I’m fully well versed in how to save my preview files to say the least. I’d like to say the process wasn’t painstaking, but I’d be lying. I was very frustrated a couple of times when the upload errors weren’t on my end and even considered contacting Collis (the guy that runs the whole Envato Marketplaces) directly to tell him to hire people who are more knowledgeable and will actually take the time to look the files over and give better feedback, but I’d probably be wasting my time doing that so I just continued on chugging along like a little trooper. This whole process of getting my file approved took literally about a month (I’m not even exaggerating on that) which is, well, sucky. Hopefully someone from FlashDen will find this post and take my feedback into consideration at some point but until then, be warned of the perils that lie ahead.

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6 Comments

Hi Matt.

Interesting article. But I can’t find the link to flashdens reply with the attached jpg. Did you forget to link it?

Cheers!

@Ole Fredrik: the screenshot was just basically the app looking “broken”, nothing really to show. i was just showing the email replies just so you could see what i would be referencing in my post 😛

Hi Matt,
Sorry to hear that uploading your files was such an ordeal. We do try to make it as easy as possible, but there are some things we just can’t work around. For example, we can’t accept anything with TweenMax without proof of license. I know the file naming seems silly, but if it’s uploaded without the proper name and we approve it, it breaks. We used to change the name for people, but too often that would break the file once it’s online. Also, with 50 files uploaded a day, tiny changes add up. That being said, we’re working on some improvements to the upload page to make it easier for authors with fewer seemingly trivial rejections. We’ve already implemented a new file upload system that should have solved the video issues. Again, sorry your first experience wasn’t as good as it could have been and I hope that in the future it’s better.

Cool file by the way. I like how it resizes to the video.

Thanks for stopping by Lance. I understand where you are coming from. I know some people aren’t as organized as others and trying to edit their files is a pain in the ass.

I do hope though that you read my feedback for you (especially the notifications part) so that I don’t have to keep going back to my file and seeing if someone has posted a comment or not on a daily basis. I think it would help the author to get an email when someone posts a comment so they can reply in a timely fashion rather than possibly forgetting to go look at it (like i do a lot) and seeing if there are new comments or not, then taking longer to reply which frustrates buyers.

and thanks for the kind words about the player. i do wish to create a bunch more files that i have written down ideas for but i just have been very busy lately with work (hence why my posting on the site has slowed to a crawl lately as well).

Hi Matt,

I joined Flashden not too long ago, and got pretty much the same experience as you did. Ever since I joined, I gather flashden’s support doesn’t care too much about actually helping the developers, especially if you’re just staring out or don’t have the high sales number. Considering the cut they get for each sales, they should probably treat their developer community better. The message I get from their support emails is that if you don’t like how we operate, then leave.

One of the first file I posted there was rejected because it was too similar, I argue a few times about taking a better look and seeing all the functionality carefully and ask them to show me which exact file looks like mine. Finally after my arguments, they let put it for sale.
Ever since, that file has been consistently one of its best sellers in its category every week.

I really hope they clean up their act, flashden can’t really attract serious developer making good flash components if they continue this way and alienate developers, I think that’s one of the reason why you see very poorly made flash components on sale there.

Hi mr. Matt,

Google pointed me out to your article.
Apparently your post very well summarizes the current picture at Flashden – ActiveDen now. I had a very similar experience with one of my recent uploads (one month ago or so), which i gave up on uploading. The good old “one-lined” reviews linked to comments of non existing points in articles, explained a need for naming files in a non-documented way and finally in the end one of the reviewers indirectly said that script does not look good and i should take a good example of their so called “top-sellers” elite.

“So what is my feedback for FlashDen at this point:
…”
Well this is the same unchanged picture almost nine months later.

I think that the upload system is flawed (and dated) on many levels. I also think I clearly understand and support Flashden’s policy of carefully selecting the best works out of the best, but my guess is that the reviewers have a very simple instruction…, that if something isn’t just good enough for some not so obvious reason (for example it simply does not look good to their eye or a specific font), then they should try to find reasons to reject the project in any way possible i.e. finding ways of indirect reasoning so to pursue the uploader to give up. 😉

Overall they are wrong if they think that if a developer joins their domain, then he must be desperate to sell and agree with the deals they offer.

Btw I like your site very much, very well organized.
Keep up the good work.
Luke

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