Here are the key points we covered in this chapter:

  • Know your market. Identify the ideal audience of your game, and precisely target it with Facebook ads.
  • Design for long-term aspiration. Communicate what players can do with your game 3, 6, and 12 months down the road, and they’re more likely to become dedicated, regular players.
  • Encourage viral growth by encouraging valuable sharing. Design content to be shared on Facebook walls. Player customizations are good; user-generated content is even better.
  • Include daily game features; they drive daily usage. Encourage players to log in every day by introducing fun features that unlock once every 24-hour cycle.
  • Deeply integrate monetization into design. It’s not enough to create a good, fun game. The monetization features should be designed from the start, alongside all the other features that make up the game.
  • Make buying virtual goods part of the first-time play experience. From the very start, players should have (and enjoy) the process of purchasing virtual goods for the game.
  • Price your goods (generally) high, not low. Go in search of whales (paying users who spend more than $20 on a single Facebook game per month), and lower your prices only if sales are slow.
  • Include virtual goods. Functional enhancements tend to sell well, decorations not (usually) so much.
  • Watch your monetization rates. Between 1–3 percent is typical, 5–9 percent is extremely good. Among paying players, 10 percent are generally whales. A well-designed, ...

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