Transcript of "FGS 2011: So You Want To Make A Facebook Game?"
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Building Successful Social Games for People Who Hate Social Games but Didn’t Know Who to Ask<br />Will Harbin, CEO<br />David Scott, Executive Producer<br />Paul Preece, Executive Producer<br />
Legacy Flash Games<br /><ul><li>Strong early, but fading usage
You own your users (ex: capture email addresses)</li></li></ul><li>Product Model<br />Unique, Engaging Game Design<br />Virality<br />Monetization<br />Paid User Acquisition<br />
Gameplay<br />Persistence<br /><ul><li>Give the user something to invest in and build upon over time</li></ul>User Expression<br /><ul><li>Allow users to customize content and express themselves through your game to other users
Allow users to compete with one another to encourage more playing time and/or spending
Leader boards work</li></ul>Competition<br />Fun Factor<br /><ul><li>More on this later…</li></li></ul><li>Virality<br /><ul><li>Key for profitable user acquisition
Helpful for growth, but not necessary if your game monetizes and retains users
Stream posts result in more installs than invite requests
Viral hooks should be integrated into core components of gameplay:
Game mechanics should be naturally enhanced with the more friends you have playing</li></li></ul><li>Monetization<br /><ul><li>Our games are completely free to play – all content can be unlocked over time
Impatient users will always pay if they are engaged
Game gets increasingly harder to play for free – don’t disappoint users early</li></li></ul><li>UA: Sample Campaign Metrics <br />19.2mm Impressions<br />
UA: Virality is Key to Profitability<br /><ul><li>With no virality, primary installs costing $1 (that have an ARPU of $0.75) equate to $0.25 net loss per install
With strong virality (K factor ≥ 1) however, the ARPU of $0.75 has a multiple of 2, essentially doubling revenue with a net gain of $0.50 per primary install</li></li></ul><li>Backyard Monsters<br />Disappointed with the shallowness of the base building and the poor fighting mechanics in traditional RTS web games.<br />We asked ourselves: <br />“Why can’t a Tower Defense maze persist and become the base, and what’s stopping us from making and sending creeps to other peoples mazes?”And so Backyard Monsters was born<br />
BYM: Execution<br /><ul><li>Where I put my buildings has to matterIf I put cottages next to the front door and barracks at the back I should be punished!
Defensive buildings have to actually defend Not just count towards some sort of global defense number
If I want to attack someone I should be able to attack them instantlyNo waiting hours for my army to march from A to B
I should see the battle, guts-n-all! I mean, that’s the best part of an RTS right?</li></li></ul><li>Unique Gameplay = Defensibility<br /><ul><li>Many studios are setup to make light-weight social games (farming, gifting, collecting, rinse, repeat)
The attitude in the industry is one of fast following, innovation = risk</li></ul>Kingdoms of Camelot<br />Dragons of Atlantis<br />Glory of Rome<br /><ul><li>Not everyone can get 100’s of monsters to attack and navigate a free-form base while taking fire from defensive buildings and units ;o)
We’ve had plenty of practice making Flash based TD gamesFlash Element TD 1 & 2, Desktop TD, Desktop Defender, Circle TD, Vector TD I, II, X, The Space Game, TSG: Missions.</li></ul>As traditional Flash Game Devs YOU can make the next big hit because you are the ones making real games.<br />
Battle Pirates<br /><ul><li>What is BYM missing? How can we make it more epical?