What I’ve learned from building and running one
<ul><li>Relatively low production costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(compared to conventional games) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prov...
<ul><li>Tens of thousands of Facebook applications </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands of games </li></ul><ul><li>Games need to: <...
<ul><li>Write developer monetisation tools </li></ul><ul><li>Headliners (banner ads) for Social Cash </li></ul><ul><li>Dev...
<ul><li>I wrote a handful of ZX Spectrum adventure games </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
<ul><li>Focusing on the area between casual and hardcore social games </li></ul><ul><li>Create long-term engagement </li><...
<ul><li>Football management : </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge teams </li></ul><ul><li>Buy and sell players </li></ul><ul><li>P...
<ul><li>Aka   Things I’ve learnt from building Soccer Stars and how I should have built it </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential...
<ul><li>5 things I’ve learnt, and how these have turned out in Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Assuming: </li></ul><ul><li>...
<ul><li>1. Be easily defined </li></ul><ul><li>Use an established game type or theme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Something users...
<ul><li>1. Be easily defined – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>“ Football Management” is an easily understandable subject <...
<ul><li>2. Recognise reasons for playing games </li></ul><ul><li>Types of players (from R.Bartle): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E...
<ul><li>2. Recognise reasons for playing – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Explorers: stadium and facility upgrades </li></...
<ul><li>3. Enable playing with strangers </li></ul><ul><li>Add a social element </li></ul><ul><li>Users may only have 1 or...
<ul><li>3. Enable playing with strangers – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>League structures and a challenge system </li></...
<ul><li>4. Give reasons to share </li></ul><ul><li>Viral mechanisms rarely work on their own </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users n...
<ul><li>4. Give reasons to share – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Invite friends to get them to join your team as players ...
<ul><li>5. Build for monetisation </li></ul><ul><li>Create a need and provide a monetisable way to satisfy it </li></ul><u...
<ul><li>5. Build for monetisation – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual currency </li></ul><ul><li>Player transfer mark...
<ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>1. Be easily defined </li></ul><ul><li>2. Recognise reasons for playing </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>twitter.com/karlbunyan </li></ul><ul><li>apps.facebook.com/soccerstars </li></ul...
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Five Ingredients For A Facebook Game

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My five ingredients for a successful Facebook game, from the London Facebook Developer Garage in June 2009

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Five Ingredients For A Facebook Game

  1. 1. What I’ve learned from building and running one
  2. 2. <ul><li>Relatively low production costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(compared to conventional games) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proven revenue generators </li></ul><ul><li>A living wage can be made with a few thousand daily users </li></ul><ul><li>No sign of user-appetite drying up </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Tens of thousands of Facebook applications </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands of games </li></ul><ul><li>Games need to: </li></ul><ul><li>Gain users </li></ul><ul><li>Retain users </li></ul><ul><li>Make money </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  4. 4. <ul><li>Write developer monetisation tools </li></ul><ul><li>Headliners (banner ads) for Social Cash </li></ul><ul><li>Develop applications: </li></ul><ul><li>Soccer Stars (20k MAU, 3k daily) </li></ul><ul><li>Six Degrees of Separation (75k MAU) </li></ul><ul><li>Which Vegetable Are You? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plus “Which Car…?”, “Which Biscuit…?” etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combined 750k installs, and then sold on </li></ul></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  5. 5. <ul><li>I wrote a handful of ZX Spectrum adventure games </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  6. 6. <ul><li>Focusing on the area between casual and hardcore social games </li></ul><ul><li>Create long-term engagement </li></ul><ul><li>A lifespan per user of months, not days </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual world/virtual economy game types </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  7. 7. <ul><li>Football management : </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge teams </li></ul><ul><li>Buy and sell players </li></ul><ul><li>Progress through a league structure </li></ul><ul><li>20k MAU, 3k DAU </li></ul><ul><li>>15 pages/visit </li></ul><ul><li>27% visit >200 times </li></ul><ul><li>Makes around $1k/week </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Aka Things I’ve learnt from building Soccer Stars and how I should have built it </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  9. 9. <ul><li>5 things I’ve learnt, and how these have turned out in Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Assuming: </li></ul><ul><li>A small team or solo effort </li></ul><ul><li>Virtually non-existent marketing budget </li></ul><ul><li>No tie-in license </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  10. 10. <ul><li>1. Be easily defined </li></ul><ul><li>Use an established game type or theme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Something users can easily understand even before they play </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And will have emotional appeal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Choose a descriptive title </li></ul><ul><li>Strongly appeal to a minority rather than trying to suit all </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1% of 250 million users is enough </li></ul></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  11. 11. <ul><li>1. Be easily defined – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>“ Football Management” is an easily understandable subject </li></ul><ul><li>Could appeal to anybody who likes football (or soccer, given the US bias of the web) </li></ul><ul><li>Recognised game type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But not over-crowded on Facebook, and no “big name” competition </li></ul></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  12. 12. <ul><li>2. Recognise reasons for playing games </li></ul><ul><li>Types of players (from R.Bartle): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explorers, Socialisers, Achievers, Controllers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to the learning curve and player progress </li></ul><ul><li>Create a feature roadmap </li></ul><ul><ul><li>and be prepared to throw it away as soon as you launch </li></ul></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  13. 13. <ul><li>2. Recognise reasons for playing – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Explorers: stadium and facility upgrades </li></ul><ul><li>Socialisers: discussion boards, player rivalry </li></ul><ul><li>Achievers: move up the league system </li></ul><ul><li>Controllers: an active transfer market </li></ul><ul><li>Soccer Stars is biased towards the “achievers”, but has elements of the other types: </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  14. 14. <ul><li>3. Enable playing with strangers </li></ul><ul><li>Add a social element </li></ul><ul><li>Users may only have 1 or 2 Facebook friends in the game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Playing with strangers is the primary mode </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aim to become a niche social network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stickiness – users return </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defensibility – harder to copy the game </li></ul></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  15. 15. <ul><li>3. Enable playing with strangers – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>League structures and a challenge system </li></ul><ul><li>Try to place beginner teams in the same league as friends </li></ul><ul><li>League discussion boards add a social element </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  16. 16. <ul><li>4. Give reasons to share </li></ul><ul><li>Viral mechanisms rarely work on their own </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users need some help, don’t assume they’ll share just because they want to </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Incorporate virality through interaction into the gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Build level-up accomplishments that users want to publish </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  17. 17. <ul><li>4. Give reasons to share – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Invite friends to get them to join your team as players </li></ul><ul><li>Recruiting fans for a team increases match income </li></ul><ul><li>Feed stories to promote achievements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>moving up the league </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>winning promotion </li></ul></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  18. 18. <ul><li>5. Build for monetisation </li></ul><ul><li>Create a need and provide a monetisable way to satisfy it </li></ul><ul><li>Design a system where wealth is (generally) proportional to time invested </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spending money shortcuts the time investment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use the possibility of loss as a motivator </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  19. 19. <ul><li>5. Build for monetisation – Soccer Stars </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual currency </li></ul><ul><li>Player transfer market </li></ul><ul><li>Stadium upgrades and coaching staff </li></ul><ul><li>Reject hostile bids for your players </li></ul><ul><ul><li>some of which may be your friends or partner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enable buying of virtual currency </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  20. 20. <ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>1. Be easily defined </li></ul><ul><li>2. Recognise reasons for playing </li></ul><ul><li>3. Enable playing with strangers </li></ul><ul><li>4. Give reasons to share </li></ul><ul><li>5. Build for monetisation </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
  21. 21. <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>twitter.com/karlbunyan </li></ul><ul><li>apps.facebook.com/soccerstars </li></ul>11/12/09 Confidential. Copyright (c) 2009 by SocialCash.
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