Killer Design Patterns for F2P Mobile/Tablet Games


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Presentation on Design Patterns for Mobile and Tablet games presented in July 2013 at ChinaJoy in Shanghai by Henric Suuronen, President & Co-Founder at Nonstop Games

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  • Things we do in real-life is easy to understand: Shopping, Restaurants, Real Estate, Norturing (babies, animals)Avoid too long animations that take too much time, will make the game loop lose it fun in the long-run(items/staffing/time speed up)Smart-depth and Closure are some of the key things in a killer game loops so I will go into depth of thsoe next.
  • Origanally posted on insidesocialgames guest blog-post
  • While Millionaire City was a successful title Fishville was not that much? What went wrong?Objects disappear in: Fishville, Happy Hospital, Safari KingdomNo money: un-released wooga production / MMA pro fighter Too complex -> Hotel CitySlow animations -> Happy Hospital, Pirates AhoySeveral Loops -> MMA Pro Fighter, Pirates AhoyYou can and should have s simple game loop but then you must add smart-depth on it
  • Killer Design Patterns for F2P Mobile/Tablet Games

    1. Killer Design Patterns for F2P mobile/tablet games Henric Suuronen President & Co-Founder Nonstop Games
    2. Henric Suuronen @henricgames Director or PM Helsinki/Barcelona Head of Studio Berlin Co-Founder Singapore Speaker Profile
    3. Coming Soon
    4. Fun Patterns Killer Designs Patterns for F2P mobile/tablet games Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    5. #1: Core Loop Design
    6. Core Loop is the Heart of the Game
    7. Core Loop Design Source:
    8. Good Game Loop? • Real-life simulation • Fun 1 time – Fun 1000 times • Few steps (4-6 max) • PvP or Trading element • Smart-Depth • Good Closure (session management)
    9. Smart-Depth An extra layer ON the core game loop that adds strategy and more „game‟ - Placing Units More with Thought - Placing buildings optimally (=defenses) - Planning optimal builder assignment
    10. Common loop mistakes • Object disappears at the end • User does not get in-game money from the Core loop -> focus else • Too complex/imaginary • Slow animations -> not responsive • Several Game Loops • Too simple
    11. Core Loop Confusing
    12. #2: Session Design
    13. #2: Session Design Game should encourage frequent short sessions but also allow longer sessions >10 10 min sessions per day What do you do? Can you enjoy game for longer sessions?
    14. Frequent Session Support “Supercell‟s two games are now played by 8.5 million people every day, who play the games 10 times per day on average.” APRIL 17, 2013
    15. “AC” –mechanic great Quickly becoming standard in successful games. Great for: • Click distribution • Short game session • Progression balance • “Smth to do”
    16. How to do Session Stop? Pure Facebook Energy mechanic not optimal
    17. Great Session Stop Losing units (even surviving ones) creates a GREAT session stop in addition to strategical layer
    18. #3: Made for Touch
    19. #3: Made for Touch • Touch Requires a different UI than desktop • Still too much point and click • Users expect to be able to pinch & swipe • No compromises
    20. Bad Porting UI – not touch friendly
    21. Difficult to train Troops 3 cluttered screens needed to train troops?
    22. Tailor-made for Touch Big pics that you swipe
    23. #4: The “Wow”
    24. #4: The “WoW” • Deliver NEW Emotion • Sets you apart from the 800000 other apps • Makes you memorable • Creates best virality: real word of mouth. • Can be small details
    25. “Wow” Examples: Visual Awe
    26. “Wow”: Crazy Achievement
    27. “WoW”: Pinch zoom transition
    28. “Wow”: New Mechanic
    29. “Wow”: Funny Easter Eggs
    30. Fun Patterns Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    31. #5: Progression Planning
    32. #5: Progression planning Basic Check-List • First session progression • Screenshot after first session • 1 week objective defining • The 6 month player “art test” • The “tile test” calculation • Complexity progression • Balancing, balancing, balancing Tightly related to monetization & LTV
    33. Unlock Features Progressively • Un-lock new features or resources at 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, 2 months of play • Don’t have new players overwhelmed • High-level players bulk of revenue, the new stuff will increase their retention
    34. Great support for High-level Player
    35. #6: Monetization and LTV
    36. #6: Monetization Design • When doing F2P you must know math • No money cap • Console Companies clueless • Can you spend >$5000? • LTV importance
    37. Asian Style Items Evolvement can lead to high LTV
    38. Free 2 Play – Not Pay to win!
    39. Fun Patterns Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    40. #7: Real Social Patterns
    41. This is NOT social!
    42. #7: Real Social Patterns PvP, Co-op UGC Trading Chatting Forming Alliances Sending resources Helping newbies
    43. Social is often time sensitive Great for mobile & Push Notif. PvP Fantasy Sports Trading Bidding
    44. Great Social Casino • Most social casino • Player Profiles • Gifting (real money) • Messaging • Status • “Flirting”
    45. Great Active Chat • Social Glue • Very active • Social feeling • Means of communication • Strategies, resources sending • Make new friends
    46. See the your Friends - competition
    47. #8: Events
    48. #8: Plan for Events • Western publishers suck – Asia Rules! • Events critical for long-term • Events are social • Events drive monetization • Kings of this in Asia
    49. Puzzle & Dragons events • Game Feels fresh • Special enemies that require special units to beat • Bosses • Special Item Drops • Themes Continue to monetize high LTV players
    50. Fun Patterns Economy Patterns Social Patterns
    51. #1 Core Loop #2 Session Mngmt #3 Made for Touch #4 The “Wow” #5 Progression #6 Monetization #7 Real Social #8 Events
    52. “I think game design is the new MBA” Bing Gordon 23-game-industry-legends-bing-gordon Great Times for Game Design
    53. Great Times for Game Design “The San Francisco school of making games", where "you can optimise your way to everything: design doesn't matter, you can test everything and iterate your way to the end" "Sure, they (Supercell) track analytics, but they make decisions based on what feels right from a design perspective. Instead of analysing things to death, they step back and say 'how do we make this a more-fun game?‟ KRISTIAN SEGERSTRÅLE 2013 013/may/30/supercell-kristian-segerstrale-free-to- play-games
    55. Slides available on:
    56. Henric Suuronen @henricgames Thank you! Questions?