Here are the key points we covered in this chapter:

  • Paul Preece, co-founder and lead designer for the successful Facebook strategy developer KIXEYE, recommends game mechanics that are wrapped in metaphors that people immediately understand. He believes the game’s tutorial should act as its sales pitch and immediately satisfy the players’ expectations raised by the art, marketing, and branding. He recommends developing a rough prototype rather than a detailed design document. For KIXEYE (and probably other developers of strategy games), speed-up boosters monetize well, but decorative items and weekly discounts do not. Preece believes that linking monetization to a player’s emotional response (good or bad) does very well, and Facebook marketing that targets your game’s desired demographic is crucial for good monetization. Finally, he recommends designing a strong “meta game,” which is a way of playing the game beyond its specific objectives and goals.
  • Robert Winkler, co-CEO of the successful 5th Planet Games, gained success from the company’s RPGs by differentiating them with high-quality art and music, and discovered that there is a market for text-heavy games on Facebook. 5th Planet drives viral growth and retention with regular group experiences in which hundreds or thousands of players can participate in a giant boss battle. For new developers, he recommends hiring a lawyer early on to help you negotiate publishing deals and protect your intellectual property in the ...

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