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Martin

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey all. Just sharing this interesting video which is a message to game devs. My thoughts:

- Adding in-game chat in all games sounds like a great idea. Don't know if it would work well in non-real time multiplayer games though.

- I really don't agree with him about "Make an awesome game, then consider how to make money later". Nope nope nope. So so so many developers have made amazing games but they've just not had the visibility or good monetization. Also the example of Clash Of Clans is not a good one. The guys a SuperCell (developers of Clash Of Clans) absolutely considered monetization from the beginning. It was just as important as the overall game design. They also thought a lot about marketing and how to reach the top. There's no way a huge company would put millions in to a project without knowing clearly how to monetize. 
Candy Crush Saga is another example. They have developers there who carefully watch when people are making purchases in their games and I believe they update the level difficulty on the fly just at the point where the user gives up and decides to pay cash to complete the level.
These are both great games that users love and are very well designed games, but monetization was in their heads from the get go.
Any developer that doesn't consider this is either in it as a hobby, or will eventually go out of business.

Here's the video:



Happy Developing [smile]
Martin

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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Chat is fine (and probably good to add) if it's not competitive. If I'm playing against another player and we can chat, that is going to poison and divide your community. Your players will get trolled, sweared at and the rest of it. It's not a coincidence that many games will let you chat with clan mates, but either not talk at all to anyone you're playing against or only let you use stock sayings "Good Game", "Good Luck" etc. Take a look at Clash Royal to see how this is done well. Another problem with chat is that there's regulations coming (and may even be here) that you need to record everything that's being said to protect users.

His point about not monetising everything is good, from my games I'm really getting the message that overwhelming players with MTX doesn't work. My game Clicker Town shows a lot of the in-app purchases early in the game, and players don't seem to stick to that game as well as the others that are less aggressively monetised. (It might be that Clicker Town is a less good game) Having a core bit of your game that is monetized but then keeping in-apps out of the rest of it works really well. Again Clash Royal is an example of a game that's really well monetized IMO. It's already got over £20 from me.

His point about not wanting people to spend lots of money on in-app purchases to get a massive advantages (and breaking balance) conflicts with Clash of Clans as an example. Clash of Clans makes money because a lot of people do spend 1000s and 1000s of $, it has good mid-level spending too, and people stick with the game for so long that eventually most of us spend a bit. Clash of Clans is very expensive, I'm at TH 10 and if I want to purchase a building upgrade with gems, I would need to spend a lot of money (£20+) to do it. You don't need to spend money, but it makes so that if you do want to speed things up you have to spend a lot. 

I do think he's right, that we need to make better games, there is so much competition that we can't just produce one screen games or get some source code and reskin it and hope it'll make money. Not unless you already have a fan base. We're competing with big studios now who have great IP and a lot of resources.

But, yeah, I totally agree with you that Clash of Clans totally thought about MTX from the start, and so should anyone who wants to keep making games.
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #3 
hey Grumpy. thanks for the reply.

I think one of the main factors as well is keeping the players in the game for a long time, keeping them interesting to the point where they become emotionally invested. At this point players are more likely to pay to speed things up or to purchase in game items / currency.

For us we recently adjusted the balancing in our new Pachinko style game so that users can play the early levels much easier and progress faster. Initially it was just way too hard to progress and even I kept losing even though I had played the game quite a lot.

Its an interesting point about in-game chat. I do remember a lot of bad words (mainly from me lol) and abuse when I was playing Halo 3 a few years ago. It would definitely put some players off, but so long as they have the ability to mute chat then it shouldn't be a major issue. But it really depends on the type of game of course.

Martin
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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yeah FPS seems to be an exception to the rule, but I think it's because games like Halo, Modern Warfare, COD etc tend to attract younger players (mainly teenage to young adult, mainly males) who are more likely to tolerate swearing and trolling (I know when I was younger I totally embraced that kind of thing). In mobile games your big spenders are probably going to be adult players (who have money) and they're more likely not to tolerate that sort of thing. I don't really hold with the "you can toggle it off option", a player may judge your game the first time they get sworn at, a lot of players steer clear of games which have a bad community and if they get sworn at they'll assume your game has one. I think clan chat, friends chat, global chat are generally fine, but I really don't think competitive chat works unless you want to create that kind of atmosphere.

Just my thoughts, anyway. Yeah good point on emotional investment. I keep reading articles about how mobile players aren't anywhere near as impulsive as it's been said that they are. They tend to be canny shoppers these days, and will only spend money if they care about your game.
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