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Game Design Secrets by Wagner James Au

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Surveying Upcoming iOS Trends: Experts Weigh In

As earlier chapters did with the other two platforms, this chapter takes a 1–2 year look ahead at likely trends in iOS that game developers should consider when working on projects today. The following sections describe these upcoming trends in detail.

Free-to-Play Will Remain King

Echoing the opinion of many experts, Tiger Style’s Randy Smith believes the free-to-play approach “will continue to dominate for some time.” For someone like Smith, who came from the PC/console world, he adds, “I have mixed feelings about that. There’s always been a degenerate approach to making money in entertainment media across time, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow the trends and cash in. Instead, you can be inventive about how to improve the experience players are having and thereby open a niche to design into.”

However, he suggests a way for developers to approach this new model. “It can be depressing as a designer to think of giving away the elaborate creation you slaved over, but that’s probably not the right way to think about it.” Instead, “think of gathering a huge audience of players who can support and enrich each others’ experiences, who will return to your game day after day, and although many of them won’t ever wind up paying anything, the ones who care the most will.”

The Entrance of Facebook into Mobile Will Be a Challenge to Game Developers

“Facebook is aggressively moving into mobile,” notes M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon, “and ...

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