First let me say a few words about <strong>Arcade Scripts</strong>, not a fan.
Have you ever noticed that so many arcades basically look the same? They are all made from generic arcade scripts. With their top members, most popular games, advertising galore, and so much crap going on.
But I can't be completely negative. They do get a lot of viewers quick with all their link exchanges, and if we are going to make an arcade we need to play nice with all other arcades.<!--more-->
That isn't even the worst part, the worst part, is when you end up purchasing an arcade script, let's say the most common PHPAS , and find out it isn't as easy to set-up as you thought it would be. Let alone it barely works.
My wife and I when thinking about a redesign for <a href="http://hoodamath.com" target="_blank">Hooda Math</a> tryed out a bunch of free arcade scripts, then I on an impulse bought PHPAS, then decided I wanted to use it for TopFiveGames, so I had to get special permission to switch domains, and in the end it was like $50 down the drain, and I eventually set up Wordpress.
Feel free to go through the process yourself, here is a good starting point, and also a Forum you should get to know well:
<a href="http://www.talkarcades.com/scripts-software/" target="_blank">Talk Arcade - Scripts and Software</a>
Why Wordpress? Well as I forgot to mention Arcade Scripts are rarely updated. On the other hand, wordpress themes are constantly being updated as well as the plug-ins. If you don't end up liking your theme, you can easily change it, and still keep all of your files. You can try out plug-ins (rating games, SEO, etc.). Themes are original looking, go directly to <a href="http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/" target="_blank">Wordpress</a> for examples.
What is also so great about Wordpress, it's <strong>FREE! </strong>The themes, the plug-ins, everything. Though it would be nice to donate, after you have made some nice money.
Also the support, almost every theme has a site and a forum. And these are used a lot, and since wordpress is used by a lot more people than flash game portal owners, the forum is visited and questions are answered a lot quicker.
So what do I look for in a theme?
Originality, I look for a theme that looks cool to me (because I will be looking at it everyday) and looks different than other arcades out there (which isn't hard, since most look like the standard arcade script format.)
Also (which hinders future originality), I choose a theme that is very very popular, normally in the top 20. Because I know it is well made, and maintained with regular updates. Also the forum will be used by a lot more people, and thus more help for little changes I want to make. And there will be a lot of little changes you will need help on. This also goes for arcade scripts, but you will be waiting for ever for help and it may not be very helpful.
I say this all as an impatient person, I want my site Now! I use wordpress, I don't like the theme because I chose it too quickly, I can always choose another without starting completely over.
<a href="http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2009/06/19/triqui-mochiads-arcade-plugin-for-wordpress-released/" target="_blank">Emanuele Feronato</a> has made a theme for arcades as well as a plug-in for mochi game feed.
So, now that you have hopefully chosen the free route, you will be able to continue using my tutorials on arcade creation.
Part 3, you spent no more money hopefully, and thus are still only about $16 in the hole, good job.
My next tutorial will be free as well :)
<a href="http://topfiveblog.com/how-to-make-your-own-flash-game-portal-part4/" target="_self">How to make your own flash game portal: Part 4 - Setting up your first wordpress arcade.</a>