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Designing for Live Games or How to be a Complete Game Designer

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Delivered at Nasscom GDC 2014, Pune.

Published in: Design
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Designing for Live Games or How to be a Complete Game Designer

  1. 1. Designing for Live Games or How to be a Complete Game Designer Anshumani Ruddra Studio Head, Tiny Mogul Games
  2. 2. A Few Questions
  3. 3. Experience – Running Games (Originally Designed by Others) As Game Design Lead at Zynga India FishVille Vampire Wars YoVille Treasure Isle Mafia Wars Café World
  4. 4. Experience – Designing + Running Games As Studio Head at Tiny Mogul Games Song Quest Shiva: The Time Bender Magic Temple Dadi vs Jellies Quiz Adda Magic Temple 2: Mage Wars Cricket Match
  5. 5. Making a Game
  6. 6. Running a Game
  7. 7. Running a Game
  8. 8. Running a Game
  9. 9. Running a Game
  10. 10. Design Challenges on Live Games Challenge #1 Unexpected Users – always a moving target • Who they are? Hello, Demographics! • Word of mouth – viral growth • Users evolve. Game evolves. Chicken and egg?
  11. 11. Design Challenges on Live Games Challenge #2 Unexpected User Behaviour • What are they playing? • Content completion • Difficulty curves! What difficulty curves? • Core experience
  12. 12. Design Challenges on Live Games Challenge #3 Reality check – It’s alive! Oh shit. • Engagement vs Retention • Lifetime value • Delight • More. More. More. • This was supposed to be easy.
  13. 13. Design Skills for Running Games Skill #1 Data – Make him your friend • Tools for analysis – GA, excel sheets • Set targets – chase targets
  14. 14. Design Skills for Running Games Skill #2 You are the voice of the players – get to know them • Demographics • Reviews • Customer Support • New users vs Old users vs Returning users – experience
  15. 15. Design Skills for Running Games Skill #3 Learn to experiment • A/B Testing • Cohort Analysis • Strong gut. Stronger numbers.
  16. 16. Design Skills for Running Games Skill #4 Learn to balance • Game economies can be complex • Players love breaking things and finding loop holes
  17. 17. Design Skills for Running Games Skill #5 Create an arsenal • Design playbook • Product playbook
  18. 18. Design Skills for Running Games Skill #6 Be pragmatic • MVP – it is an approach/ methodology – not the end result • Principles are supposed to liberate you, not hold you back

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