Economy of free games
and
technologies for data-driven game design
Daniele Benegiamo

Erika Vespa
December 2013

UNAgames
...
Economy of free games
Tapsteroids: the game
Tapsteroids is a throwback to retro
games which picks up on the
asteroid genera with a new fresh
and...
Tapsteroids: paid version
Free promotion days
September 5, 2011: 17,000 downloads
August 10, 2012:

4,000 downloads
Monetization models
for free games


Freemium



Free-to-play



Ad-supported
Tapsteroids v1.2
Tapsteroids v1.2
Tapsteroids v1.2
Tapsteroids: free version
Advertising networks
Advertising networks
Projections


26,500 active users



$270 ads revenue

↓
$0.0102 ARPU
Average Revenue Per User

1,000,000 MAU
to earn $1...
Technologies for Data-Driven Game Design
Data Driven Game Design
Design

Data

Analyze

Develop
Metrics
●

Problem:
–

–
●

UX / Engagement / Flow are not
quantitative traits
Unknown “cause-effect” dynamics

Solution:
...
“Hosted” systems
●

Flurry (free)

●

Apsalar (free)

●

Localytics (free community edition, open source client)

●

Count...
Analytics System
●

“What is it?”
–

Data logger (Client/Server)

–

Data analyzer
Data Logger
●

Client

●

Server

–

Lightweight

–

Stateless

–

Fault
tolerant

–

●

Database
–

Writebounded

Secure
...
Client
●

Runtime performances

●

Multi-threading

●

Data caching

●

Compressed chunks (gzip vs bandwidth vs HTTPS)

●
...
Server
●

PHP
–
–

●

Problem: database connection pooling
Solution: application server (Java servlet, …)

Tolerant to dup...
Database
●

PostgreSQL

●

Key / Value store
–

●

hstore (NoSQL)

Horizontal scaling
–

Load balancing
Data analyzer
●

Data store
–

Read-bound

●

Numerical analysis
–

CPU-bound

–

Memory-bound

–

“Knowledge”-bound
Data store
●

Re-arrange data into suitable formats:
–

Reduce loading times

–

Reduce memory consumption

–

Optimize da...
Numerical analysis
●

Mostly statistical analysis

●

R (or Scilab, Octave, Matlab, …)
R tips
●

Package “bigmemory” (allows analysis of datasets larger
than available RAM)

●

Package “data.table” (faster ope...
Problems
●

Big Data

●

Scalability of numerical algorithms
–
–

●

In the future (maybe): Hadoop, Mahout, …
Currently: A...
Thanks!
Daniele Benegiamo
daniele@unagames.com
@UNA_daniele
Erika Vespa
erika@unagames.com
@UNA_erika

UNAgames
http://www...
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Economy of free games and technologies for data-driven game design

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December, 2013 - A two part presentation:
- Free video games market analysis, from the experience with Tapsteroids (UNAgames); monetization, acquisition costs and scalability problems of the user-base.
- technical details of the proprietary analytics system by UNAgames and its usage for data driven game design, with tips to deal with a "big data" system.

Video of the lecture: http://youtu.be/Vw6MPf0l6jE

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  • Collision detection
    Motore di fisica ma anche implementazione di algoritmi fisici ad esempio per le traiettorie curve dei missili
    Game engine studiato in modo da poter prototipare le entità e quindi sperimentare velocemente il game design
  • Economy of free games and technologies for data-driven game design

    1. 1. Economy of free games and technologies for data-driven game design Daniele Benegiamo Erika Vespa December 2013 UNAgames http://www.unagames.com
    2. 2. Economy of free games
    3. 3. Tapsteroids: the game Tapsteroids is a throwback to retro games which picks up on the asteroid genera with a new fresh and different asteroid shooter. It puts players in charge of protecting spaceships from asteroids. This is done by launching missiles from the space station at the center of the screen to destroy waves of asteroids tapping on them.
    4. 4. Tapsteroids: paid version
    5. 5. Free promotion days September 5, 2011: 17,000 downloads August 10, 2012: 4,000 downloads
    6. 6. Monetization models for free games  Freemium  Free-to-play  Ad-supported
    7. 7. Tapsteroids v1.2
    8. 8. Tapsteroids v1.2
    9. 9. Tapsteroids v1.2
    10. 10. Tapsteroids: free version
    11. 11. Advertising networks
    12. 12. Advertising networks
    13. 13. Projections  26,500 active users  $270 ads revenue ↓ $0.0102 ARPU Average Revenue Per User 1,000,000 MAU to earn $10,000/m
    14. 14. Technologies for Data-Driven Game Design
    15. 15. Data Driven Game Design Design Data Analyze Develop
    16. 16. Metrics ● Problem: – – ● UX / Engagement / Flow are not quantitative traits Unknown “cause-effect” dynamics Solution: – Measure events with quantitative traits affecting the dynamics of the system – Key Performance Indicator (KPI) (DAU, MAU, WAU, Stickiness, Retention, Churn, Duration, ARPU, DARPU, ARPPU, k-Factor, Lifetime, LTV, LNV, …)
    17. 17. “Hosted” systems ● Flurry (free) ● Apsalar (free) ● Localytics (free community edition, open source client) ● Countly (hosted, open source client & server) ● Google Mobile App Analytics (free) ● Kontagent
    18. 18. Analytics System ● “What is it?” – Data logger (Client/Server) – Data analyzer
    19. 19. Data Logger ● Client ● Server – Lightweight – Stateless – Fault tolerant – ● Database – Writebounded Secure – Distributed store
    20. 20. Client ● Runtime performances ● Multi-threading ● Data caching ● Compressed chunks (gzip vs bandwidth vs HTTPS) ● Distributed “session id” (UUID, stateless server)
    21. 21. Server ● PHP – – ● Problem: database connection pooling Solution: application server (Java servlet, …) Tolerant to duplicated data
    22. 22. Database ● PostgreSQL ● Key / Value store – ● hstore (NoSQL) Horizontal scaling – Load balancing
    23. 23. Data analyzer ● Data store – Read-bound ● Numerical analysis – CPU-bound – Memory-bound – “Knowledge”-bound
    24. 24. Data store ● Re-arrange data into suitable formats: – Reduce loading times – Reduce memory consumption – Optimize data for used access patterns – In R: saveRDS(), readRDS() Data store Database Data store Data store
    25. 25. Numerical analysis ● Mostly statistical analysis ● R (or Scilab, Octave, Matlab, …)
    26. 26. R tips ● Package “bigmemory” (allows analysis of datasets larger than available RAM) ● Package “data.table” (faster operations on large data.frame) ● Package “parallel” (explicit parallelism for multi-core CPUs) ● Vectorization, vectorization, vectorization! ● http://cran.r-project.org/web/views/HighPerformanceComputing.html
    27. 27. Problems ● Big Data ● Scalability of numerical algorithms – – ● In the future (maybe): Hadoop, Mahout, … Currently: Amazon WS (large instances: 64-bits, 32 v-cores, 244 GB RAM) Most useful analysis are game-dependent – You need the right data – You have to spot the right formulas
    28. 28. Thanks! Daniele Benegiamo daniele@unagames.com @UNA_daniele Erika Vespa erika@unagames.com @UNA_erika UNAgames http://www.unagames.com

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