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Game Design Secrets by Wagner James Au

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Learning from Leading Designers—Lessons You’ll Need When You’re Ready to Design

I hope this book has answered a lot of your questions about the business side of game design on the world’s three biggest platforms. But it occurs to me it hasn’t answered the two most crucial questions:

  • Why design games when the market is already so saturated?
  • What’s going to keep me going at night, when it seems like success is impossible?

These are queries worth pondering. Because as I think I’ve made clear, even if you were to follow all the advice in this book, the odds of succeeding are still against you. Even the few Facebook games that manage to attract millions of players can sometimes be classified as failures. Thousands of web games are played just a few hundred times, making their developers a few dollars at most. When hundreds of iOS game developers were asked how much money they made from their games, only 15 percent said they’d reached the six-figure range.

So why take the risks and keep pressing on?

Fortunately, the many developers I’ve talked with throughout this book have some answers, as do I. Their concluding thoughts, and mine, appear in the following sections.

Design Now Because Success Usually Comes from Unexpected Places

Nabeel Hyatt founded a social game company, sold it to Zynga, and went on to become a venture capitalist whose firm funded OMGPOP, a small New York studio that created a quirky and inventive game called Draw Something. As you might know, Draw Something unexpectedly ...

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