Social & MobileGame PrimerFocused Game DesignFor a Mature Market
Birth of Social Games: Reach – Spam Spam Spam Retention – Endless Cheap Content Revenue – Energy, Blocking Mechanics“...
PlayersEasy to learn but challengingProgression and new abilitiesPlay with or against friendsPopular and relevant gamesWil...
Most primary retention strategy. Is it “fun once, fun always?”Prototype! Fail faster and follow the fun!Examples: Timi...
Mechanics creating long term value. The “core loop.”Hint: Simply adding more of the same won’t work long term.Examples:...
Multiplayer mechanics and community management.Engaged users are your best buds. Give them what they want.Examples: He...
Mechanics that increase reach by providing: A compelling incentive to invite new user An enticing invitation An obviou...
What will people pay for? Fun and Story (Quest Unlocks, Hard to Sell) Decoration and Identity Primacy and Exclusivity ...
All of these mechanics drive each other.The key is elegance. Beware the “Pizza that nobody wants.”Perform a cost-benefi...
Games are now a Service industrySeamless and platform agnosticMultiplatform, not Cross-PlatformSocial (Integrated)Sna...
Focused Game Design for a Mature Market
Focused Game Design for a Mature Market
Focused Game Design for a Mature Market
Focused Game Design for a Mature Market
Focused Game Design for a Mature Market
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Focused Game Design for a Mature Market

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Focused Game Design for a Mature Market

  1. 1. Social & MobileGame PrimerFocused Game DesignFor a Mature Market
  2. 2. Birth of Social Games: Reach – Spam Spam Spam Retention – Endless Cheap Content Revenue – Energy, Blocking Mechanics“Casual” and “Midcore” is now a thing The term “Gamer” doesn’t really apply anymore. 200+ App submissions daily - more gaming options than ever Bad or Treadmill Games won’t cut itSocial and Casual Revolution
  3. 3. PlayersEasy to learn but challengingProgression and new abilitiesPlay with or against friendsPopular and relevant gamesWill pay for a ‘good’ gamePlayers vs Developer NeedsDevelopersFun FactorInvestmentEngagementViralityMonetization
  4. 4. Most primary retention strategy. Is it “fun once, fun always?”Prototype! Fail faster and follow the fun!Examples: Timing / Action Mechanics Blissful Productivity, or “Fun Pain” Emergence – Games As Toys Slot Machines - Random LootFun Factor(Short Term Experience)“World of Warcraft players play on average 22 hours / week (a part time job),often after a full days work. They’re willing to work hard, perhaps harder than inreal life, because of their blissful productivity in the game world.”– Jane McGonical, SuperBetter Labs
  5. 5. Mechanics creating long term value. The “core loop.”Hint: Simply adding more of the same won’t work long term.Examples: Progression Dynamics - Player Levels and Statistics Opportunity Space - Expansions Collections – Puzzle Pieces Appointment Dynamics and Interval Reward Schedules Nested Contingencies – Quest: Kill 10 Orcs.Investment(Long Term Experience)I have spent ten hours playing Farmville. I am a smart person and wouldn’t spend10 hours on something unless it was useful. Therefore, this must be useful, so Ican keep doing it.”– Jesse Schell, Schell Games
  6. 6. Multiplayer mechanics and community management.Engaged users are your best buds. Give them what they want.Examples: Head to Head Competition Leaderboards – Global, Local, or Social Reciprocity – Tend my Crops, ROYGBIV Gems Clans, Guilds and Point Systems – Realm vs Realm Everyone vs World – City of Heroes Aliens Contests and GiveawaysEngagement(Player to player Experience)“Engagement is the heart of your game.”– Roger Dickey, Zynga
  7. 7. Mechanics that increase reach by providing: A compelling incentive to invite new user An enticing invitation An obvious, low friction channel to share the invitationExamples: Pyramid Schemes and Visiting Friends - Farmville Contact Farming and Suggesting Opponents - Words With Friends Gifting your App – Tricky Messaging Techniques Marketing Tricks – User Segregation & RatingsVirality(Auto-Marketing)Protip: When new installs and reactivations become improbable, focus on cateringto your most engaged, loyal users. They’re most likely to pay anyway.
  8. 8. What will people pay for? Fun and Story (Quest Unlocks, Hard to Sell) Decoration and Identity Primacy and Exclusivity (Seasonal Items) Chance and Rarity (Grab Bags, Mystery Boxes) Competition and Social Value (Sharable Power) Stat Progress and Vanity Scarcity and Consumables (Bullets, Food, Energy) Space and ExpansionMonetization(The Business)“Your game is a store, treat it like one.”– Jon Walsh, Fuse Powered, Inc.
  9. 9. All of these mechanics drive each other.The key is elegance. Beware the “Pizza that nobody wants.”Perform a cost-benefit analysis of every feature. It costs much less to spend time in the design phase.Example: Collections – Collect X Things to Receive Y How do I get the things? For simply playing? Grind, Spam, or Pay What do I receive? Coins – Yay? / Premium Coins – Better, but limited. Consumable, Mystery Box – Repeatable New Ability – Investment, AddictiveThe Whole Package(Connecting Influences)
  10. 10. Games are now a Service industrySeamless and platform agnosticMultiplatform, not Cross-PlatformSocial (Integrated)SnackableAsynchronous, turn-based works!Value ReignsFree (Mostly)Current and Future Games“If you want to work in games, go make something.”– John Comes, Uber Entertainment

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