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Killer Design Patterns for F2P Mobile/Tablet Games

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Presentation on Design Patterns for Mobile and Tablet games presented in July 2013 at ChinaJoy in Shanghai by Henric Suuronen, President & Co-Founder at Nonstop Games

Presentation on Design Patterns for Mobile and Tablet games presented in July 2013 at ChinaJoy in Shanghai by Henric Suuronen, President & Co-Founder at Nonstop Games


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  • Things we do in real-life is easy to understand: Shopping, Restaurants, Real Estate, Norturing (babies, animals)Avoid too long animations that take too much time, will make the game loop lose it fun in the long-run(items/staffing/time speed up)Smart-depth and Closure are some of the key things in a killer game loops so I will go into depth of thsoe next.
  • Origanally posted on insidesocialgames guest blog-post
  • While Millionaire City was a successful title Fishville was not that much? What went wrong?Objects disappear in: Fishville, Happy Hospital, Safari KingdomNo money: un-released wooga production / MMA pro fighter Too complex -> Hotel CitySlow animations -> Happy Hospital, Pirates AhoySeveral Loops -> MMA Pro Fighter, Pirates AhoyYou can and should have s simple game loop but then you must add smart-depth on it
  • Transcript

    • 1. Killer Design Patterns for F2P mobile/tablet games Henric Suuronen President & Co-Founder Nonstop Games
    • 2. Henric Suuronen @henricgames Director or PM Helsinki/Barcelona Head of Studio Berlin Co-Founder Singapore Speaker Profile
    • 3. Coming Soon
    • 4. Fun Patterns Killer Designs Patterns for F2P mobile/tablet games Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    • 5. #1: Core Loop Design
    • 6. Core Loop is the Heart of the Game
    • 7. Core Loop Design Source: www.deconstructoroffun.blogspot.com
    • 8. Good Game Loop? • Real-life simulation • Fun 1 time – Fun 1000 times • Few steps (4-6 max) • PvP or Trading element • Smart-Depth • Good Closure (session management)
    • 9. Smart-Depth An extra layer ON the core game loop that adds strategy and more „game‟ - Placing Units More with Thought - Placing buildings optimally (=defenses) - Planning optimal builder assignment
    • 10. Common loop mistakes • Object disappears at the end • User does not get in-game money from the Core loop -> focus else • Too complex/imaginary • Slow animations -> not responsive • Several Game Loops • Too simple
    • 11. Core Loop Confusing
    • 12. #2: Session Design
    • 13. #2: Session Design Game should encourage frequent short sessions but also allow longer sessions >10 10 min sessions per day What do you do? Can you enjoy game for longer sessions?
    • 14. Frequent Session Support “Supercell‟s two games are now played by 8.5 million people every day, who play the games 10 times per day on average.” APRIL 17, 2013
    • 15. “AC” –mechanic great http://henricsuuronen.com/blog/the-ac-mechanic/ Quickly becoming standard in successful games. Great for: • Click distribution • Short game session • Progression balance • “Smth to do”
    • 16. How to do Session Stop? Pure Facebook Energy mechanic not optimal
    • 17. Great Session Stop Losing units (even surviving ones) creates a GREAT session stop in addition to strategical layer
    • 18. #3: Made for Touch
    • 19. #3: Made for Touch • Touch Requires a different UI than desktop • Still too much point and click • Users expect to be able to pinch & swipe • No compromises
    • 20. Bad Porting UI – not touch friendly
    • 21. Difficult to train Troops 3 cluttered screens needed to train troops?
    • 22. Tailor-made for Touch Big pics that you swipe
    • 23. #4: The “Wow”
    • 24. #4: The “WoW” • Deliver NEW Emotion • Sets you apart from the 800000 other apps • Makes you memorable • Creates best virality: real word of mouth. • Can be small details
    • 25. “Wow” Examples: Visual Awe
    • 26. “Wow”: Crazy Achievement
    • 27. “WoW”: Pinch zoom transition
    • 28. “Wow”: New Mechanic
    • 29. “Wow”: Funny Easter Eggs
    • 30. Fun Patterns Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    • 31. #5: Progression Planning
    • 32. #5: Progression planning Basic Check-List • First session progression • Screenshot after first session • 1 week objective defining • The 6 month player “art test” • The “tile test” calculation • Complexity progression • Balancing, balancing, balancing Tightly related to monetization & LTV
    • 33. Unlock Features Progressively • Un-lock new features or resources at 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, 2 months of play • Don’t have new players overwhelmed • High-level players bulk of revenue, the new stuff will increase their retention
    • 34. Great support for High-level Player
    • 35. #6: Monetization and LTV
    • 36. #6: Monetization Design • When doing F2P you must know math • No money cap • Console Companies clueless • Can you spend >$5000? • LTV importance
    • 37. Asian Style Items Evolvement can lead to high LTV
    • 38. Free 2 Play – Not Pay to win!
    • 39. Fun Patterns Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    • 40. #7: Real Social Patterns
    • 41. This is NOT social!
    • 42. #7: Real Social Patterns PvP, Co-op UGC Trading Chatting Forming Alliances Sending resources Helping newbies
    • 43. Social is often time sensitive Great for mobile & Push Notif. PvP Fantasy Sports Trading Bidding
    • 44. Great Social Casino • Most social casino • Player Profiles • Gifting (real money) • Messaging • Status • “Flirting”
    • 45. Great Active Chat • Social Glue • Very active • Social feeling • Means of communication • Strategies, resources sending • Make new friends
    • 46. See the your Friends - competition
    • 47. #8: Events
    • 48. #8: Plan for Events • Western publishers suck – Asia Rules! • Events critical for long-term • Events are social • Events drive monetization • Kings of this in Asia
    • 49. Puzzle & Dragons events • Game Feels fresh • Special enemies that require special units to beat • Bosses • Special Item Drops • Themes Continue to monetize high LTV players
    • 50. Fun Patterns Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    • 51. #1 Core Loop #2 Session Mngmt #3 Made for Touch #4 The “Wow” #5 Progression #6 Monetization #7 Real Social #8 Events
    • 52. “I think game design is the new MBA” Bing Gordon http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-07- 23-game-industry-legends-bing-gordon Great Times for Game Design
    • 53. Great Times for Game Design “The San Francisco school of making games", where "you can optimise your way to everything: design doesn't matter, you can test everything and iterate your way to the end" "Sure, they (Supercell) track analytics, but they make decisions based on what feels right from a design perspective. Instead of analysing things to death, they step back and say 'how do we make this a more-fun game?‟ KRISTIAN SEGERSTRÅLE 2013 http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2 013/may/30/supercell-kristian-segerstrale-free-to- play-games
    • 54. RETURN GAME DESIGNEROF THE Mobile Wars
    • 55. Slides available on: www.nonstop-games.com
    • 56. Henric Suuronen @henricgames Thank you! Questions?