Killer game-loops-case-magic-land final


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Presentation at Sociality Rocks, Kiev Ukraine 27.09.2011

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  • Hiring 2-3 per week- Think we are 110 now
  • Tower Bloxx fist with frirendshighscore listTime when scrabalous, Fight Club and Jetman were the biggest games on facebook
  • Overview of what we will talk about todayTHEORY - PRACTISEStart of with defining what is a game loopMove on to SD and ClosureDive in to Magic Land
  • Start of the theory with the Game loopFocusing on casual mass-market games, you can have more complex and different loops than discussed and make tons of money (Kabam, Kixeye) but also your retention and aboslute DAU will suffer -> smaller x-promo network as a result
  • Some people call it the Primary GrindTalking about item economy games – Not arcade games such as Bejeweled and Bubble IslandSoft currency = in-game currency
  • Example: Fishvillecause of its simplicityFascinated about it whne creating Millionaire CityGame failed due to game loop probelsm taken look at later in the presentation
  • - Added later fish fighting etc that just de-focused the game but still good example of simple understandable gameloop
  • Next Example of game loop? MC!!!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Origanallyposted on insidesocialgames guest blog-post5 rules on how to do this, check my blog for details
  • - One of the key reasons why MC beat all city builders on the market when launched (social city, my empire, hello city)- Cityville copying the boosters & magazine rolling towards the screen
  • Youtube videos usually a first sign that you have nailed smart-depth!Hundreds of videos on Café World, Farmville clicking, Millionaire City
  • Wooga’s Monster World includes Smart-Depth via a Time system that smart players use to plan production  maximize profitRoberta is also a smart-depth feature
  • Upgradable castle with area of effectNEW FEATURE: collect from castle
  • Also a very important point to game loopsBrenda from Loot Drop
  • You run out of energy, supply goods to all businesses and you FEEL YOU ARE DONE!Coming back you know:- Energy FilledBusiness, houses, farms waiting with rewardsFriends actions waitingVery limited spoiling in framing but user knows the rules of that
  • Excellentgame by my old collegues in helsinki studio of DCNot really a fair example since it is more a HC titleBut shows an example where:No rewards waitingAll is gone and user did not have any clue of what would be waiting-> bad retention: below 14% DAU/MAU-> can monetize well though
  • You come back and there are BIG JUICY rewards waitingFoodGoldFull EnergyFirend actions
  • People LOVE progress bars
  • Millionaire City with amazing closure – you can control the game state exactly like you want  too much work for casual playerClear tooltips with possible punishment rules (grace time)User must come back to same state where he left – (wooga prototype)Okay so can you change the loop after launch?
  • MMA Pro Fighter – New LoopsHappy Hospital – Contracts -> BoostingNightclub City – Energy MechanicRollercoaster Kingdom – Appointment gaming
  • Okay so it seems we have managed to include all aspects I talked about today in magic LandWe tested it and verified in closed beta etc.BUT THIS IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE GAMES!You never know how markets repsondgloballyGood to keep in mind when designing, iterating but passion, testing all FUN, LAUGHTER is not visible in checkboxes!
  • Okay so it seems we have managed to include all aspects I talked about today in magic LandWe tested it and verified in closed beta etc.BUT THIS IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE GAMES!we are lauching Magic Land today. You never know how markets repsond globallyGood to keep in mind when designing, iterating but passion, testing all FUN, LAUGHTER is not visible in checkboxes!
  • Industry around for 4 years, EARLY CHILDHOODNokia had 42% market share, first iphone came “Niche market product”Same can happen to zynga: GDC example
  • MOVE FROM THEORY TO PARCTISEExtremelyproud Production started in November 201015 person team – me as team lead11 different nationalitiesI’m gping to walk thorugh the how the game concept evolved, game loop got creafted and how the FUN was verified!
  • After first ideas of the game construct board prootypye, exmaple from Magic LandMore for concepting but can test game loop too! When explaining the game to other people
  • - Core Game Loop is tied to extended game loop (adventure game) via item/space dependency
  • Game Master with rule sets& stop watchUsers playing the loop – asking master if action allowedCash generation, shop etcIs it fun? Do people wanna play?Does not help detect long-term problems though!
  • Check tile sizeShow to users for feedback for grapchical styleDoes it look fun?When showing it to people do they start asking questions?Should be visible of how you play the gameHelp programmers/team members to know what is in your head
  • After roughly 2 months a 1st prototype/ 1stplayble to verify core city building part of the gameOne of the most important steps -> push for early!Minimal set of housesBecause too tiresome to collect many houses -> moved from variable contracts to fixed. If you lpayed MC on high levels you know the feelimg
  • One of core competences at woogaInside company / outside company20e / free movie ticketsObesrve don’t pressureTutorial and first 30min / over and over gaianOn my blog some more tips on how to do thsi
  • Launch in a small areaClose viral channelsMeasure engagement and user commentsMeasure KPIs
  • We had the game in close BETA roughly 2 monthsLaunch at GDC Cologne
  • So what has happened since then?
  • We have not turned on THE CROSSPROMOTIONAL MUSCLEWe do lead some users to it to test and keep user base stable
  • Looking at chart NOT GREAT, NOT REALLY BAD>15%>20% really goodCouple of factorsFirst session bugs still visible in the numbers Composition of traffic (Turkish playesr don’t retain that well in wooga games – more male market)
  • Should be >10% more
  • 3 main problems- Tutorial10% loss in 2min20% loss in 5minSomething is wrong. We had done all the checks, closed beta, user testing etc. WHY THIS PROBLEM?
  • Set up a 4-5 people user test 44USD/piece
  • - Why did people not complete the tree whacking goal?
  • GOALS ARE THE LEVELS OF A SG (like AKI said)Looking at data there where goals people could not completedelete, modify or move goalsTeach it in tutorial?
  • Greatest strength of wooga is iterationUsual is idustry that game reaches peak at 3-4 months, we seem to continue grow over 18months old games
  • Before movin to questions I wanna thank you for your time and hope you found my session interestingIf you wanna know more you can follow my blog or send me an email through my websiteOF COURSE if you wanna learn the most check out wooga’s available job openings, after all we are #3 in the world and only getting warmed up
  • Killer game-loops-case-magic-land final

    1. 1. Killer Game LoopsCase: Magic Land<br />Henric Suuronen<br />Head of Studio at wooga<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Henric Suuronen<br />
    4. 4. 4<br />Today’s Agenda<br />Game Loop<br />Smart-Depth<br />Closure<br />Case: Magic Land<br />Post-Launch Iteration<br />
    5. 5. KILLER GAME LOOPS<br />
    6. 6. Game Loop?<br />The chain of actions you do over and over again<br />Usually to generate soft currency<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8. BUY FISH<br />SELL FISH<br />GROW FISH<br />
    9. 9.
    10. 10. BUY PLOT<br />BUY & PLACE ITEM<br />WAIT INCOME<br />COLLECT<br />INCOME<br />
    11. 11. Common loop mistakes<br />Object disappears at the end<br />User does not get in-game money from the Core loop -> focus else<br />Too complex/imaginary<br />Slow animations -> not responsive<br />Several Game Loops<br />Too simple<br />
    12. 12. Good Game Loop?<br />Real-life simulation<br />Fun 1 time – Fun 1000 times<br />Few steps (4-6 max)<br />Requests tied to it <br />Smart-Depth<br />Good Closure<br />
    13. 13. Smart-Depth<br />An extra layer ON the core game loop that adds strategy and more ‘game’<br />
    14. 14. ITEM INTERDEPENDENCY<br />
    15. 15. FLOW PLANNING<br />
    16. 16. TIMING - PLANNING<br />
    17. 17. SMART-DEPTH<br />
    18. 18. SMART-DEPTH<br />Un-fog optimally<br />Utilize Outposts<br />
    19. 19. Game Closure<br />“I will define closure as the ability to leave the game with a feeling of certainty that one has done all one can do and that things will be okay until one returns[..]”<br />(Brenda Brathwaite)<br />
    20. 20. GOOD CLOSURE<br />
    21. 21. BAD CLOSURE<br />
    22. 22. CLOSURE<br />
    23. 23. CLOSURE<br />Timers & bars<br />Blinking Icons<br />
    24. 24. Loop Closure<br />All actions done rewards waiting<br />Variable / fixed times<br />Energy Re-fills - timer<br />Knows punishment rules<br />Same state when returning<br />
    25. 25. Change Loop after launch?<br />
    26. 26. Checklist<br />
    27. 27. Checklist<br />THIS IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE GAMES!<br />
    28. 28. BE HUMBLE<br />
    29. 29. 29<br />
    30. 30. BOARD GAME<br />
    32. 32. LEGO PROTOTYPING<br />
    33. 33. Concept Shot<br />CONCEPT SHOT<br />
    34. 34. Prototyping / early 1st playable<br />GAME 1st Playable<br />
    35. 35. User Testing<br />USER TESTING<br />
    36. 36. Closed Beta<br />CLOSED BETA<br />
    37. 37. LAUNCH 15th August<br />
    38. 38. POST-LAUNCH <br />ITERATION<br />
    39. 39. week 1 week 2 week 3 week 4 week5<br />First 5 weeks show promise<br />
    40. 40. Focus: Improve Retention<br />
    41. 41. Problems Identified<br />Too many dropping even before seeing the game.<br />
    42. 42. Problems Identified<br />- Too few completing tutorial<br />- Too many dropping L2  L3<br />- Way too many dropping L3  L4<br />
    43. 43. Data will show you there is a problem but very rarely suggest why.<br />
    44. 44.
    45. 45. USABILITY<br />
    46. 46. OBJECTIVE & STORY<br /><ul><li>Goals to support Objective (becoming ruler)
    47. 47. More & Better Story Goals</li></li></ul><li>RE-SHUFFLE GOALS<br />
    48. 48. Extending Tutorial<br />EXTEND TUTORIAL<br />
    49. 49. BALANCING<br />Resource& RewardAmounts<br />Progression Speed<br />Energy& Level-up<br />
    50. 50. Solved Problems?<br />1-day retention: +3-4 percentage points<br />7-day retention: +3-5 pp.<br />
    51. 51. Work continues…<br />Iterate, validate, iterate<br />validate, iterate, validate<br />iterate, validate, iterate…<br />
    52. 52. WHAT IS POSSIBLE<br />
    53. 53.<br />
    54. 54. Thank You!<br /><br />Twitter: @Henricgames<br />