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Playmob & MentezSocial Games Next Generation: Creating affinitywith players by weaving compelling value intosocial Game De...
ContentsItem                                                                         Page1. Introductions and contact info...
Introductions & Contact DetailsJude @ Playmob                                            Martin @ MentezPlaymob is a revol...
Objectives for this session    During this session we will:                    By the end of this session you should:   ...
Our definition of social games “A social game is a game that needs to be played with friends in orderto get the most out o...
Common design traits and their impact onplayer’s perceptions and attitudes towards               social games             ...
There appears to be five negative design traits which are common tomany social free-to-play games. These design traits can...
Because there is an expectation that only a small percentage of playerswill pay, there is a risk that game mechanics are f...
Examples of positive design traits                                     9
This can lead to a need to discipline spenders so that they continue toinvest time and money in the game, with sometimes e...
Examples - Excessive charges to continue playingNote that all games were played from a point someway into the game, to avo...
Many social games inadequately reward the player, and those rewardswhich initially excite, are often short term and can we...
Examples of positive design traits                                     13
Synthetic game elements are often used as a means to artificially managea player’s engagement in the game, ultimately to e...
Examples of positive design traits                                     15
Passive gameplay limits the ways in which a player can interactive with and playwith the game (to simplify and make access...
In summary, what are the positive design traits?  Fairness              Emotional             connections                 ...
Enforced waiting seems to work against the desire of the player to spendtime and enjoy the game…                          ...
Examples of positive design traits                                     19
How might these design traits undermine the future  success of social games and what can be done about  it?  Players may f...
How might these design traits undermine the future  success of social games and what can be done about  it?               ...
How might these design traits undermine the future success of social games and what can be done about it?    Reduced playe...
What design principles will define themajor “hits” in the next generation of           social gaming?                     ...
So, what does “Compelling value” look like?- Social Gaming Next Generation Blueprint1                   2                 ...
What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements?                         ...
What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements?              • Joint exp...
What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements?                         ...
What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements?                         ...
So, what does “Compelling value” look like?- Social Gaming Next Generation Blueprint1                           2         ...
What practical next steps should be considered?Now                                        1-3 Months                      ...
DisclaimerThis publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute pro...
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Social Gaming & Gambling Summit_Martin Williams

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  • If you like this presentation, you may be interested in my latest blog post 'What are the major challenges facing the video game industry in 2013': http://bit.ly/UnHccc

    In Part 1, we take a more detailed look at the ethics of free to play games and in app purchases!

    - Martin@perfectaffinitygames.com
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  • If you have any questions regarding the presentation, you can reach me at martinwilliams256@btinternet.com, mwilliams@mentez.com or twitter @martingwilliams
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Social Gaming & Gambling Summit_Martin Williams

  1. 1. Playmob & MentezSocial Games Next Generation: Creating affinitywith players by weaving compelling value intosocial Game Design15th November, 2012Proprietary and Confidential
  2. 2. ContentsItem Page1. Introductions and contact information 32. Objectives 43. Definition of “Social Games” 54. Common design traits and their impact 65. What can be done about the negative design traits 206. Design principles that might define the next generation of social games 237. Taking inspiration from our video game heritage 258. Compelling Value: Blueprint for the next generation of social games 299. Recommended next steps 3010. Disclaimer 31 2
  3. 3. Introductions & Contact DetailsJude @ Playmob Martin @ MentezPlaymob is a revolutionary platform connecting games to Mentez is the leading social application publisher in Latincharities. We specialise in increasing engagement and America. We specialize in helping developers promote andconversions in-game, with charity lead promotions. monetize games and other social applications on social networks, most notably Orkut, Facebook and Mobile in Brazil.My Role: My Role: •  Founder and CEO •  Director of Content & Business Development •  Business Vision and Strategy •  Game production, projects & programmes •  Partnerships •  Game Testing and QAContact me at: Contact me at: •  Twitter: @playinthecloud @playmob •  Twitter: @martingwilliams •  eMail: jude@playmob.com •  eMail: mwilliams@mentez.com •  Mobile: +44 7817 807097 •  Mobile: +47 48 22 85 36 3
  4. 4. Objectives for this session  During this session we will:   By the end of this session you should: o  Look at the design traits that have o  Come away with some valuable prevented social games from insights into the limitations and achieving their full potential (yet, strengths of the current generation of paradoxically, have so far defined social games their success) o  Have gained some fresh ideas & o  Identify design principles which can practical suggestions on future social bring real value to players and game design generate compelling profits – cornerstones for the next generation of social games 4
  5. 5. Our definition of social games “A social game is a game that needs to be played with friends in orderto get the most out of the game and is either played on a social networkor utilises a social graph or other social community system. Enjoyed by all types of players” 5
  6. 6. Common design traits and their impact onplayer’s perceptions and attitudes towards social games 6
  7. 7. There appears to be five negative design traits which are common tomany social free-to-play games. These design traits can “feed” eachother, creating a Vicious Circle that can undermine the game experiencefor players… Psychological Manipulation This approach has Passive game Disciplining play and taxing worked well in the past, players but appears to be becoming increasingly ineffective… Synthetic Inadequate game reward & elements payback 7
  8. 8. Because there is an expectation that only a small percentage of playerswill pay, there is a risk that game mechanics are focused primarily on thatgroup, in order to maximise the chance that they will spend and maximisethe amounts they will spend… These negative design traits appear to be common… …but there are positive traits too: Negative or Cooperative Excessive partial re- play & friend dependency “baby sitting” inforcement on friendsPsychological CompeteManipulation with time Anxiety Compete and/or loops with skill money Time limited missions & Positive re- other content inforcement Players may feel psychologically compelled to spend time & money in the game, leading to feelings of guilt & remorse 8
  9. 9. Examples of positive design traits 9
  10. 10. This can lead to a need to discipline spenders so that they continue toinvest time and money in the game, with sometimes excessive taxationmeasures being taken to increase the ARPPU of those players. The needfor this taxation can then undermine the sense of reward for players… These negative design traits appear to be common… …but there are positive traits too: Excessive Failure to charges to Fair pricing close loops continue for extra can coerce playing “energy” spendingDisciplining Restricted Key items Need for anand taxing excessive supply of key can be players number of items acquired by friends spending time Missions that require money to Option for complete in players to time repeat missions for a modest fee Players may feel that they are being punished for wanting to play the game, and/or for not being available to play 10
  11. 11. Examples - Excessive charges to continue playingNote that all games were played from a point someway into the game, to avoid including the first acquisition focused gamesessions which may not accurately reflect a a typical game session.Chargeable play sessions are based on buying enough energy to fill the energy bar, sometimes this was more than the costof the energy needed. 11
  12. 12. Many social games inadequately reward the player, and those rewardswhich initially excite, are often short term and can wear thin afterrepeated play. This can drive the need for synthetic game elements inorder to drive the player forward… These negative design traits appear to be common… …but there are positive traits too: Grind for Unlocking of grind’s sake new features (passive & grinding) functionality Giving with one hand, Creative taking with depth Inadequate the other reward & Saccharine Flam- payback rewards boyance Attention to Frugal detail rewarding of hard Strategies currency can be learnt leading to bigger gains Boredom, disillusionment, disengagement 12
  13. 13. Examples of positive design traits 13
  14. 14. Synthetic game elements are often used as a means to artificially managea player’s engagement in the game, ultimately to encourage them tospend more time and (hopefully) money - but this can lead to a passivegameplay experience… These negative design traits appear to be common… …but there are positive traits too: Culturally Superficial relevant story, content missions & quests Work dressed as Synthetic Illogical play rather Immersive game game rules than play game elements inhibit dressed as dynamics immersion work Non- localized content Active grinding Player unlikely to bond with the game and may feel they have wasted time/money 14
  15. 15. Examples of positive design traits 15
  16. 16. Passive gameplay limits the ways in which a player can interactive with and playwith the game (to simplify and make accessible). Players likely to treat the game aspurely amusements, fuelling the need for psychological tricks to convince aminority to spend significant sums of time or money in the game… These negative design traits appear to be common… …but there are positive traits too: Limited Skill based types of interaction interaction, (timing, often highly positioning, repetitive drag & drop) Cooperative play Forced Passive game interaction play with friends, Enforced selfishly Tactical waiting driven thinking Too few layers of Friend complexity character interaction Reduced player engagement in the game, feelings of “going through the motions”, games treated as amusements 16
  17. 17. In summary, what are the positive design traits? Fairness Emotional connections Balanced competition system Player Immersion 17
  18. 18. Enforced waiting seems to work against the desire of the player to spendtime and enjoy the game… 18
  19. 19. Examples of positive design traits 19
  20. 20. How might these design traits undermine the future success of social games and what can be done about it? Players may feel psychologically compelled, feelings Players may feel punished for wanting to play the of guilt, remorse game, and/or for not being available to playReal World Rewards Real World Incentives Time spent playing is a valuable Less time driven and more action commodity focusedGive players gifts and incentives Connect players to good causes to Supporting causes and helping, or Focus on tasks and actions withinfrom partner brands: show how they can make an learning: games and not punishment for impact: failure to ‘mow the lawn’- Incentives and offers from brands - Give back to causes via virtual - For giving back and helping - Tasks and time must be set in- Personalisation gained from data/ goods and time causes contextactions - Allow players to set goals to - For learning - Emotional connections i.e. Village - Share rewards with friends (not fundraise - ‘Time Well Spent’ Lifegifting) - Include friends in fundraising - ‘Babysitting’ - Rich/wholesome experience - deeper engagement 20
  21. 21. How might these design traits undermine the future success of social games and what can be done about it? Boredom, disillusionment, disengagement Player unlikely to bond with the game, feelings that time/money has been wastedTask Accelerators Compelling rewards Constant Novelty Emotional connections “Culturalize” the gameProvide task accelerators Offer rewards which have Frequently surprise with Lead players to fall in love Make the game culturallywhich: real value, e.g. novel features: with your game: relevant:• Properly fit the context of • Have utility • New ways to interact • Create personalities & • Language tailored to thethe game • Are interactive • New mini-games relationships target market• Are rewarding to see • Are rare/valuable • Interaction with external • Compelling collections • Localized assets,• Surprise the player • Support charities organisations • Personal content characters, objects• Charity-based accelerator • Strong attention to detail • New characters • High production values • Reflect local charitiesgifts • New skills to learn • Allow “bad” actions 21
  22. 22. How might these design traits undermine the future success of social games and what can be done about it? Reduced player engagement in the game, feelings of “going through the motions”, games treated as amusementsDeliver real value content Provide Offsetting facilitiesMake purchases count, focusing on Enable players to “offset” the timetrue value rather than superficial and money spent through charity“sugar” rewards, e.g.: donations. For example:• Offers competitive advantage • Sponsored Friends• Enables new ways to play • Charity bundles, including charity• Creates opportunity for new based content & donationstrategies • Charity based gifting• Emotionally stimulating• Charity based content 22
  23. 23. What design principles will define themajor “hits” in the next generation of social gaming? 23
  24. 24. So, what does “Compelling value” look like?- Social Gaming Next Generation Blueprint1 2 3 4 Positive Counter- Inspiration Social design traits measures to from games gaming from current negative from our next generation design traits heritage generation 24
  25. 25. What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements? 25
  26. 26. What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements? • Joint exploration • Emotional connections • Task cooperation • Task cooperation • Continual novelty • Item competitiveness • Item competitiveness • Character evolution • Interactive breadth • Active Grinding • Attention to detail • Continual novelty • Simple creativity • Education / self- • Relationships • Work dressed as play improvement • Scalability • Emotional connections • Harnessing of social bonds • Mini games • Personalities • “Schadenfruede” • Collectability • Interactive Breadth • Simple creativity • Emotional connections • Player generated content • Collectability • Deep creativity • Joint exploration • Continual novelty • Player generated content • Task cooperation • Active Grinding • Item competitiveness • Mini games 26
  27. 27. What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements? Compelling Novelty Progression High Emotional Production connections Values Harnessing Creativity social bonds 27
  28. 28. What inspiration can we take from great games fromour heritage which have strong social elements? Harnessing High Novelty social production bonds values Harnessing Emotional social Emotional connections bonds connections Creativity Compelling Creativity progression 28
  29. 29. So, what does “Compelling value” look like?- Social Gaming Next Generation Blueprint1 2 3 4 Positive Counter- Inspiration Social design traits measures to from games gaming from current negative from our next generation design traits heritage generation Fairness Context (Time & Actions) Novelty Lower ARPPU Emotional Connections Real world links Emotional connections Higher Conversion Balanced competition Share rewards Harnessing Social Bonds Player immersion Wholesome design Compelling progression Deeper engagement Personalised experience High production values Emotional experience Creativity 29
  30. 30. What practical next steps should be considered?Now 1-3 Months 9 Months +Identify player profiles, lifetime value Design and build new content to reflect Create 12 month update plan of real(surveys, data mining) cultural, emotional needs of players world links, keeping these fresh and and A/B test excitingAssess cultural fit of the game, Test brands (after profiles are identified Review and refine content strategyincluding real world links (if any) and tested) for coming months (based on lessons learnt)Determine emotional needs of Test a Charity-Led promotionplayers (positive & negative) andidentify rewards, systems & effectsCreate or revise content plan for next Build and maintain detailed player3 months to reflect cultural & emotion profiles creating deep, long-term,needs (prioritised based on player life player relationships)time value) 30
  31. 31. DisclaimerThis publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professionaladvice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professionaladvice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of theinformation contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, neither Mentez or Playmob, or theiremployees and agents accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you oranyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decisionbased on it. 31

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