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Social Gold: The Design of FarmVille and Other Social Games (Web2Expo 2010)
 

Social Gold: The Design of FarmVille and Other Social Games (Web2Expo 2010)

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Amitt Mahajan discusses common game design techniques used within Zynga's popular social games to create experiences that encourage user acquisition, retention, and investment.

Amitt Mahajan discusses common game design techniques used within Zynga's popular social games to create experiences that encourage user acquisition, retention, and investment.

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    Social Gold: The Design of FarmVille and Other Social Games (Web2Expo 2010) Social Gold: The Design of FarmVille and Other Social Games (Web2Expo 2010) Presentation Transcript

    • Social Gold: The Design of FarmVille and Other Social Games
      May 5, 2010
      Amitt Mahajan - Zynga
    • Questions to answer
      How do I get people to play my game?
      How do I get people to tell their friends?
      How do I get people to stick around?
      How do I get people to invest?
    • Why do people play social games?
      Alleviate boredom
      Connect with friends
      Competition
    • Appealing to a wide audience
      Choose a broad non-offensive theme
      Keep core gameplay simple
      Consider international players
    • Choosing a theme
      Broader the better
      Appeal to something folks already know
      Avoid offensive subjects
    • Simple design wins
      Maintain a natural gameflow
      Increase decision points
      Reduce UI complexity
    • Inventory
      Capturing a player
      Hidden but effective tutorial
      Gradually introduce complexity
      Focus on non-design challenges as well
      More Complex
      More Complex
      Treasure
      Fruit
    • Cater to different play styles
      Players find different types of fun in your game
      Provide several ways to win
      Get them to interact with each other
    • One Playstyle
    • Another Playstyle
    • Product clarity
      Single strong voice
      Have a long-term vision for gameplay
      Consistent art direction
    • Art direction
      Appeal to a fantasy
      Bright and colorful
      Avoid excessive detail
      Humor adds character
    • Appeal to a Fantasy
    • Sound
      Music adds atmosphere
      Sounds should be un-intrusive
      Capture a movie to provide direction on sound
    • Growing through social
      Forcing social causes negative reactions
      Integrate social elements into core gameplay
      Surface social actions by friends
    • Different types of social
      Light
      Pokes, “Likes”
      Heavy
      Comments, Wall Posts
      Have a mixture
    • Growing through metrics
      Metrics help you figure out what works
      3 core metrics
      Reach
      Retention
      Revenue
      Test your ideas and see what sticks
    • Increasing retention
      Leave your audience wanting more
      Remind the player to come back
      Let their friends help
    • Play sessions
      Keep them short
      Provide a goal for the player
      Link sessions together
      X
    • Sustaining players
      Regularly scheduled updates
      Long term value
      Events
    • Moments of joy
      “Cool” events in your game
      Make the player feel good
      Leverage art to create these
    • Moments of Joy
    • Play, invest, express
      Engage users first
      Make it easy to convert
      Surface the value they are receiving
      Play Currency
      Paid Currency
    • Allow the reversal of mistakes
      Status symbols
      Social ROI
      Enable expression
    • Wrap-up
      How do I get people to play my game?
      Have a simple design and a theme that is relatable
      How do I get people to tell their friends?
      Make social part of your core gameplay and not forced
      How do I get people to stick around?
      Give them a reason to come back and something to aspire to
      How do I get people to invest?
      Engage players and provide an easy way to express themselves
    • Questions?Twitter: @amittmBlog: www.amitt.com