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[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
[Full] Social gaming insights and findings
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[Full] Social gaming insights and findings

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Social gaming insights and findings from the past year. This ppt contains info on some game apps/genres, niche games and optimization of virality. …

Social gaming insights and findings from the past year. This ppt contains info on some game apps/genres, niche games and optimization of virality.

Have any comments or feedback? Feel free to contact me via the my info mentioned in the ppt.

A much abridged version of the presentation would be uploaded soon.

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  • 1. Social gaming
    “Findings and insights”
    redux
    By Sriram Krishnan
    sriramkri@gmail.com
    @sriramkri
  • 2. I’ve put together some of the insights and findings I’ve come across from the past year…
    Most of you would probably know about what I’ve mentioned in this presentation:
    • “Social games – examples” is a general overview of the different types of applications out there (not exhaustive)
    • 3. The other two parts are for industry enthusiasts or followers
    Special thanks to Noah Kagen, Jerome Scola and Gabriel Weyer for helping out..! 
  • 4. Contents
    Social games - examples
    Optimizing virality
    Looking to the future
  • 5. Social games – examples
    Social games – examples
  • 3 examples of Viral applications
    iHeart by Mmkay
    Quiz creator by LOLapps
    Farmville by Zynga
  • 9. iHeart
    ~ 20,000,000 MAU, ~1,300,000 FB fans
    The goal is to obtain the highest heart beat amongst your friends by sending and receiving hearts. The more hearts you receive, the faster your heart would beat. Features: Receive/Send hearts, heartbeat leader board
    Also became viral due to good PR –> seasonal: Valentine’s Day etc. App targeted female population -> tendency to like “hugs”, “kisses”, “hearts” etc
    Monetized through advertising, and then virtual items
    Social obligation to reciprocate -> users harass their friends to send hearts -> improve heartbeat
  • 10. iHeart
  • 11. Quiz creator
    ~ 460,000 MAU, ~83,000 FB fans
    Users are able to create their own application just by filling up forms
    This app created ‘00s and 000’s of other apps
    Monetized through advertising
    3 simple steps to create application:
  • 12. Quiz creator
  • 13. Farmville
    ~80,000,000 MAU, ~23,000,000 FB fans
    Real time farming simulation game
    User creates a customizable avatar and has a farm
    Game revolves around the market where items can be purchased. As a player progresses, they can expand their farm to allow for more room for farming, animals and decorations
    View Farmville parody herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odBDAcOEKuI
  • 14. Farmville
  • 15. Focus - Farmville
    Customer acquisition
    Players need neighbours if they want to progress better. Neighbours = friends.
    • Spam friends -> peer pressure, nagging
    • 16. Creation of fake accounts just for Farmville
    Cross promotion within Zynga
    Retention
    You have to come back regularly to take care of your farm: plant the seeds, harvest the crops -> Async + Appointment gaming
    My aunt plays this game -> cross generation appeal. ie: Mafia Wars has less appeal
  • 17. Social games – examples
    Viral
    How do you develop viral apps?
    Strategy
    RPG
    Niche games + Facebook
  • 18. 6 ways to make your app go viral
    1. Utilizing all FB Platform features
    Apps can’t be too dependent on any single FB platform feature …
    ..but have to utilize all FB platform features available: publish2stream, notifications, publish pictures, become a fan, bookmarking, email
    Some features are better at acquiring users, some are better at retaining users
  • 19. 6 ways to make your app go viral
    2. Incentizing co-operation, sharing
    Apps have to encourage the user to interact with and to engage other users
    Incentives, incentives, incentives!
    • To promote in-game action, To invite new users, To get invited users to accept invitation, To become a fan – Big Thing!, To subscribe to email or bookmarking, To grow avatar, farm, land, accomplish missions etc
    Ensure that the users are obliged to engage or to reciprocate action
  • 20. 6 ways to make your app go viral
    3. Design + User flow
    Integrate non-conditional viral features in the game mechanics
    • User has to publish2stream to advance 3 levels up or to get more points
    • 21. Must invite 3 friends to unlock secret treasure box
    Simple UI for UX
    • Complicated applications take a longer time to catch on
    • 22. K.I.S.S
    • 23. Backend: No major complicated effort required
  • 6 ways to make your app go viral
    4. Start tracking early
    Tracking + Metrics = Feedback -> Better decision making
    Listen to your users. Excellent management of community
    K factor, Click/Publish ratios, Response rates, ROIs
    5. Publicity + Customer acquisition
    Old school – PR, blogs, conferences
    Cross promotion on 6waves, own apps etc
    Ads on Rockyou, Fb etc
    6. You will also need luck on your side 
  • 24. Social games – examples
    Viral
    Strategy
    RPG
    Niche games + Facebook
  • 25. 3 examples of strategy games
    Travian
    Evony
    Kingdoms of Camelot
  • 26. Travian
    Military strategy real time multiplayer
    Aim: To reach level 100
    Choice of characters or tribes
    Each tribe has different strengths, weaknesses
    Commodities management
    Wood, clay, iron, wheat etc
    Production -> Usage for Construction, Food etc
    Military/Troops strategy
    Attacking, Defending
    Developing manpower
    Ranking (leader board)
    Alliances, clans
  • 27. Evony
    Browser based online multiplayer strategy game
    User starts as a mayor and have to increase population of city and build
    Similar to Travian: ranking, attack/defense
    Item mall – 2 types of virtual currencies
    Gold – action oriented
    Game cents – real $$$
  • 28. Kingdom of Camelot
    ~3,000,000 MAU, ~ 660,000 FB fans
    KoC = Evony, Travian + Facebook’s social graph
    Additional Features:
    Facebook friends - to speed up construction, alliance etc
    Rich/Smooth graphics
    Global chat
    Quest assistance
  • 29. Focus - Kingdoms of Camelot
    User Acquisition
    Good Facebook integration. Almost being forced to invite friends and publish streams
    Cross promotion with 6waves
    Social + Strategy – first in the business -> Niche
    Retention
    Rich design features
    Self selective audience members -> not 5 minute users
    Seamless HTML loading. 1st flash screen load takes a long time, but all subsequent loading uses html
    Monetisation
    Multiple purchase options – speed up, production, chest etc
    Requires more robust payment strategy. Mobile payments should be made more obvious, and localised according to markets – geoIP, other methods of payment to load within site, not in a separate window
  • 30. Social games – examples
    Viral
    Strategy
    RPG
    Niche games + Facebook
  • 31. 3 examples of RPG games
    Mafia Wars
    Club Penguin
    Runescape
  • 32. Mafia Wars
    Multiplayer RPG game
    Game play:
    Variables -> energy, stamina, experience points,
    Users level up when a certain experience point is reached
    3 Characters to choose from beginning
  • 33. Club Penguin
    Children use penguin avatars and explore many virtual worlds
    Users can express themselves while in the worlds
    Multiple virtual worlds – competition, races, lounges, education etc
    Safe environment for children
    Monetisation: Subscription model, free2play
    • Customers are parents not children
    • 34. Kids accumulate coins by playing the game but they can only spend or redeem them for items only if they are paying members -> nag their parents to become paying members
  • Runescape
    Largest free MMORPG in the world
    Game divided into several areas and players can travel wherever they want. Players set their own objective and goal, no story line
    Game play:
    • Real time PVP battles
    • 35. Quests
    • 36. In-game events or happenings
    • 37. Chat, Interaction with non-players
    Hard core community
  • 38. Focus - Mafia Wars
    User acquisition
    Cross promotions, Facebook fans, bookmarking, PR
    The more friends you have, the more power you have for your avatar -> Users “begging” in forums etc
    Monetisation
    Ie: Prices of items correlate to amount in user inventory. If user buys a house for 1, the next house will be priced 1.2. If the user buys the second house, the third house is priced 1.4 and so on -> User spends more
    Retention
    Asynchgameplays, social (clans, interaction, leaderboard), excellent community management, appointment gaming, cooperation between friends
  • 39. Social games – examples
    Viral
    Strategy
    RPG
    Niche games + Facebook
  • 40. Niche games + Facebook
    Niche games/genres are new to Facebook. Finding the right balance between complex, MMO vs social gaming
    • FB is a social platform and social features should always be prioritized ahead of additional game mechanics
    • 41. But higher the complexity, easier for certain type of users to get hooked to the game
    • 42. High MAU, Low ARPU vs Low MAU, High ARPU. Ie: Kingdom of Camelot
    • 43. Discussions, arguments between game designer/producer and product manager for social features, monetisation -> normal
    Scenarios with simpler game play needed to cater to mass market -> Takes time to convert new users to active, engaging users.
    Mouse only = Simple
    Mouse + Keyboard = Complex, Difficult
  • 44. Contents
    Social games - Examples
    Optimizing virality
    Looking to the future
  • 45. Those days…
    Those days, apps relied on notifications, forced invitations and publish 2streams
    These days, more emphasis on publish2stream; incentivizing cooperation
    These days…
  • 46. Question:
    What’s the most important tool you can use to make your game viral on Facebook?
    Answer:
    Publish2stream
  • 47. Why do users publish2stream?
    To show and tellleveling up, win/loss in battle, sending/receiving, challenging friends, obtaining items, finding items
    To seek favours, to make requests
    buildings get constructed faster, to grow your farms, fertilize crops, to fill up clan, to fill up homes, hiring friends in Hotel, survey questions about user, to join as clan members, to join as neighbours
  • 48. Incentivizing publish2streams
    User s encouraged to publish2stream -> More publish2streams
    User 1 Publishes/Invites -> If User 2 clicks -> Then, User 1 gets incentives -> More nagging and pleading
    User 1 Publishes -> User 2 clicks -> User 1 + 2 gets incentives -> Win-win
    Pop-ups can have a variety of incentive strategies
  • 49.
  • 50.
  • 51. Ask yourself…
    Would you rather click on …..
    Get a sign on bonus?
    Continue to Zoo paradise?
    Play Tiki resort?
    Save [your friend’s] cottage?
  • 52. Tips for Publish2Stream
    Use a cute picture. 
    Incentivize the small bottom right link
    • Friends would be able to click and get something in return
    Credits/points, more information about friend etc
    “Get sign on bonus now”, “Answer XXX’s questions now”
    Use “call for action” headers instead of general statements
    • Most of the published shares use general statements for headers but use call for action statements as explanation
  • Publish2Stream analytics
    Variables to track
    Date or Cohort
    Type of stream post
    Designs or styles for a/b testing
    # of times pop-up gets shown to user (a)
    # of times pop-up gets published to stream (b)
    Published/shown ratio = b/a
    Total # of clicks from all users for published pop-up (c)
    Clicks/published ratio = c/b
  • 53. Publish2Stream analytics
    • Click breakdown – Where did users click your publish2stream post?
    • 54. 1 – Picture (d), % of total clicks = d/c
    • 55. 2 – Header (e), % of total clicks = e/c
    • 56. 3 – Small link (f), % of total clicks = f/c
    • 57. Actions completed (republish, redeem, join game, install game, invite friends)
    • 58. 1 – Action 1 – g
    • 59. 2 – Action 2 – h
    • 60. 3 – Action 3 – I
    • 61. Total action completed = g+h+I = j
    • 62. Total ROI = j/c or j/b or j/a depending on what you’re tracking
  • 63. Other general tips
    Actionable data = very important
    Relatively Easy - Tracking metrics at the backend
    Requires some effort - Showing the metrics on dashboard on frontend etc
    Important - Analysing data, checking which one works better
    Most important - Acting on it by re-developing, re-designing
  • 64. Other general tips
    Social gaming = A “doing” industry
    • Focus on doing -> design, develop, test, feedback, iterate, design, develop …
    • 65. driven by data, NOT intuition. Avoid idealists, scatter brains at operational level
    Good Social game = Excellent product management = monetisation + social/viral + game balance
  • 66. Contents
    Social games - examples
    Optimizing virality
    Looking to the future
  • 67. Looking to the future…
    Traditional social gaming market getting crowded
    • “5 minute” games too crowded -> Almost a zero sum game -> Consolidation is happening
    • 68. Birth of more complex, niche games
    • 69. Dancing, FPS, Strategy, RPG, Racing etc
    Social games to have stand alone sites. Separate sites -> better community management and communal feeling
    • Less dependence on FB platform
    • 70. Social games could utilize Facebook Connect
    • 71. Stand alone sites monetize better compared to FB
    • 72. Owning the users in the stand alone site
    • 73. Zynga with farmville.com, CMUNE with paradisepaintball.cmune.com
  • The END
    Any comments?
    sriramkri at gmail com
    @sriramkri
    http://cn.linkedin.com/in/sriramkrishnan

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