4 Most Important Emotions to Monetize Free to Play Games


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Great casual gameplay creates strong emotions that AB testing and traditional marketing methods can't measure. Other methods can and developers that access player emotions early in game development can innovate monetization mechanics with much less risk.

Beyond level packs and ammo, players crave specific emotions in exchange for their hard earned cash. Come find out how games such as Candy Crush Saga, Bejewled Blitz, and My Singing Monsters go beyond emotions like fiero and schadenfreude to motivate players to play.

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  • Researching Candy Crush SagaJet Pack Joy RideTiny TowersFarmville
  • Tostart let me explain what we’ve learned about engagement loops.
  • Now I watch people play games that's a large part of my business. There are 5 ways emotion affects behavior and cognitionTracking the flow the state revealed many interesting thingsThe wide variety of emotions indicated multiple engagement factors
  • First.My method was was to categorize the most engaging game moments by the emotion on players faces.I took games most engaging moments and grouped by emotion.
  • Second. I Identified the game mechanics common to each emotion cluster.
  • 1. Created a map of these player actions and used it as tools to create engagement.2. Studied the interplay of one emotion to the next.3. Most interestingly the interplay give interaction designers tools for creating engagement.
  • It turns out that the player actions in games engage in 4 ways. They offer challenge, novelty, friendship, and meaning.We call this the Four Keys to FunMost Engaging Moments create emotionBest Selling Games have 3 to 4 keysEmotion came from the choices players madeWith expert help you can design choices to create the emotions of engagement
  • We don’t have time to go into detail here today,But you can download the white paper and poster on the XEODesign.com or just go to 4K2F.com
  • If we know the answer we can create new game mechanicsAppearanceFunctionalProgress (Timers)Unlocks (Levels, Missions, Extra Moves)
  • Unique approach to designing free to play monetizationInstead of AB testingUse what makes games engagingTo make purchasing engaging and enhance the funThe emotions from purchases enhance and expand the free experience4 emotionsPlus tips on how best selling games monitize customersReady?Here we go!
  • In our researchbest performing F2_ games create 4 emotions to increase player purchases.Each need features that create the emotions that help them enjoy the gameExplore (spend more time in the store)Compete(find those at skill level, show off progress, create aspirational fantasies, upgrade game, make more progress faster, out customize friends, learn new strategy, compare achievements, let me know when friend beats my score, track progress of those I know)Socialize(who’s playing what game, share and gift items with friends, features more fun to play together, embarrassment, schadenfreude, move from game to game with friends via. social media, care about me not just a buy button, more than a store with a buy button and chat, make it easy to get us together to play)Collect(collect, play with inventory, show off to friends, special packaging, show what I have and don’t have, deals on group purchases, those who just like to shop, where shopping collecting and customizing is the game)
  • CustomizeTell a Story with DescriptionsMystery PacksCreative
  • Curiosity and humorIt’s fun to tap and read all of the explanations
  • Change GameplayNew StrategyFairUnfairFill Specific Player NeedCheat!
  • Earn the right to spend, Frustration to WinFeels better because you earned itBuy opportunity for progressUnlock special moves can buy
  • Cheat upgrade doubles points.Spend $5 in the game to earn more points than your friends
  • Functional upgrades
  • Shopping for currency is a gameHow convert Tower Bucks (rare) to coins (common) money unlocks strategy to make progress in the early game faster.Hording Tower Bux to get more coins is gameplay itself
  • Share with FriendsBalance FrustrationMix and Mis-MatchNot Serious “why not try?”Promise More Giggles Once in GameAlso Generosity (extra spins)
  • AmusementWorks well in social media emotion profile matches the cute kitten break from work mindset of people on social mediaCustomize and share with friends.
  • Social Comparison drives the need for spendingSpend more to make progress against your friends
  • Social embarrassment drives purchases of “un-whither spray”
  • CollectableRareSpecialVarietyTangibleClear play to unlock these new things (encourages continued play)
  • This is the most brilliant innovationSpin Earns coins to spend Earn items in store such as boostAlso has generosityDeath is meaningless, Spin takes the sting out of player death
  • Tiny Tower Conversion Rate strategyJet Pack Joyride Store TextTell Story with Description Jet Pack Joy RideConversion Rates Tiny Towers
  • Customize and share with friends.Bee Suits Create Amusement, Tiny Towers
  • Use the Actions around Purchasing that are Full of Emotion
  • 4 Most Important Emotions to Monetize Free to Play Games

    1. 1. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. XEODesign: Putting Emotion in Play The 4 Most Important Emotions for Free to Play Games: Increase Purchasing with Emotions from Play www.xeodesign.com ©2013 XEODesign Inc. 1@NicoleLazzaro Nicole Lazzaro XEODesign, Inc. Casual Connect, San Francisco July 31, 2013
    2. 2. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 20 Years of Player Experience Research and Design 2 100 Million Player Experiences XEODesign
    3. 3. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 3 Player Experience Consulting Player TestingDesign Reviews PlayShopsGame DesignMobile Apps
    4. 4. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Free = Downloads x 1,000 www.xeodesign.com 4 The Good News About F2P
    5. 5. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. < 1% $ www.xeodesign.com 5 Trouble is…
    6. 6. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. • Engagement loops to drive purchases • These are the same action>emotion pairs that drive play www.xeodesign.com 6 What’s Working
    7. 7. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. • Multiple loops increase the number of engagement points • Keep players engaged in activities related to purchases www.xeodesign.com 7 Emotion Increases Engagement
    8. 8. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 8 Emotion Increases Engagement Curiosity Fiero Amusement Desire Let’s pull out 4 of these loops and examine the emotions that drive them
    9. 9. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. The 4 Keys to Fun Create Engagement with Play 9 XEODesign
    10. 10. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Emotion During Play Depended on Type of Activity CuriosityFiero Watched Player Emotions to Measure Kinds of Engagement DesireAmusement Emotions 1. Focus 2. Remember 3. Decide 4. Perform 5. Learn
    11. 11. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Categorized Most Engaging Moments by Player Emotion 11 Player’s Favorite Moments Created Many Kinds of Emotions Wonder Surprise Curiosity Relax Desire Excite Schadenfreude Amusement Naches Frustration Fiero Relief Positive Engagement
    12. 12. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Identified Actions that Created Engagement Mechanics 12 Player Choices Create Many Kinds of Emotions Wonder Surprise Curiosity Relax Desire Excite Schadenfreude Amusement Naches Frustration Fiero Relief Positive Engagement Actions Actions Actions Actions
    13. 13. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Created Map of Action > Emotion Pairs for Designing Engagement 13 How Game Mechanics Create Engagement Wonder Surprise *Curiosity Relax *Desire Excite Schadenfreude *Amusement Naches Frustration *Fiero Relief Positive Engagement Hard Fun People Fun Easy Fun Serious Fun
    14. 14. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 4 Keys To Engagement Novelty, Challenge, Friendship, Meaning 14 1. Easy Fun: Exploration Fantasy Creativity 2. Hard Fun: Goal Obstacle Strategy 3. People Fun: Communication Cooperation Competition 4. Serious Fun: Collection Rhythm Completion 4 Kinds of Player Actions that Create Emotion that Drives Play
    15. 15. 15 Free to Download: 4K2F.com
    16. 16. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 1. Appearance 2. Functional 3. Progress 4. Unlocks $ www.xeodesign.com 16 Why Do Players Spend Money? Best Performing Games Design the Emotions Around Sales
    17. 17. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Let’s Look Deeper Emotions from Gameplay that Drive Player Spending 17 Psychology of Fun Understand What Makes Spending Fun
    18. 18. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Players Spend to Explore, Compete, Socialize, and Collect 18 4 Emotions Increase Player Purchases
    19. 19. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Players Pay in Order to 19 These Emotions Trigger Purchasing Behavior in Different Ways Wonder Surprise Curiosity Relax Desire Excite Schadenfreude Amusement Naches Frustration Fiero Relief Emotions Engage Players to Purchase Compete Socialize Explore Collect
    20. 20. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 1. Curiosity Encourage Exploration of Store 20 Easy Fun of Exploration and Role Play Curiosity
    21. 21. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 21Tell Story with Description, Jet Pack Joy Ride
    22. 22. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 2. Fiero! o/ Opportunity to Compete and Win 22 Hard Fun of Challenge and Mastery Fiero
    23. 23. www.xeodesign.com 23Earn the Right to Spend, Candy Crush
    24. 24. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 24Cheat! Counterfeit Machine, Jet Pack Joy Ride
    25. 25. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 25Buy More to Unlock More, Jet Pack Joy Ride
    26. 26. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 26Shopping Missions, Jet Pack Joy Ride
    27. 27. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Shopping for currency is a game www.xeodesign.com 27Conversion Rate Strategy, Tiny Towers
    28. 28. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 3. Amusement Money Erodes Trust 28 People Fun of Friendship and Social Bonds Amusement
    29. 29. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 29Bee Suits Create Amusement, Tiny Towers
    30. 30. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. • Social comparison drives need for spending in game • Make this amusing to encourage sharing www.xeodesign.com 30Compare Friends, Tiny Towers
    31. 31. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Make Fun to Share www.xeodesign.com 31Amusement and Embarrassment, Farmville
    32. 32. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 4. Desire Increase Perception of Value 32 Serious Fun of Meaning and Value Desire
    33. 33. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. 33 Serious Fun: Create Meaning Increase Value: Tactile Impressions of Worth
    34. 34. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 34Free Coins and Items, Jet Pack Joy Ride
    35. 35. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Summary 35 The 4 Keys to Fun
    36. 36. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. www.xeodesign.com 36 1. Make the Store Fun Easy Fun: Curiosity Hard Fun: Fiero
    37. 37. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. • Candy Candy Crush Saga 1. Earn the right to purchase 2. Can play through www.xeodesign.com 37 2. Play to Progress (as Well as Pay) Hard Fun: Fiero
    38. 38. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Tiny Towers 1. Avatar and World Customization 2. Role Play www.xeodesign.com 38 3. Customization People Fun: Amusement
    39. 39. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Jet Pack Joy Ride 1. Generosity 2. End of Level Spin Unlocks Coins and Items www.xeodesign.com 39 4. Show Player You Care Serious Fun: Desire
    40. 40. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Make Purchasing Part of the Play XXX 40 In Other Words The 4 Keys to Fun 1. Explore 2. Compete 3. Socialize 4. Collect Emotions 1. Focus 2. Remember 3. Decide 4. Perform 5. Learn
    41. 41. www.xeodesign.com © 2013 XEODesign, Inc. Use Emotion to Drive Purchases Nicole Lazzaro • Email: nlazzaro@xeodesign.com • Twitter: @NicoleLazzaro • Blog: NicoleLazzaro.com • Game: TiltWorld.com The 4 Keys to Fun Poster Free Download • xeodesign.com • slideshare.com/NicoleLazzaro • 4k2f.com <- Downloads www.xeodesign.com Download Tilt World An iOS game that plants trees!
    42. 42. www.xeodesign.com 42