2nd Edition

Mobile & Social Game Design Monetization Methods and Mechanics, Second Edition

By Tim Fields Copyright 2014
    240 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations
    by A K Peters/CRC Press

    236 Pages
    by A K Peters/CRC Press

    Successfully Navigate the Evolving World of Mobile and Social Game Design and Monetization

    Completely updated, Mobile & Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics, Second Edition explains how to use the interconnectedness of social networks to make "stickier," more compelling games on all types of devices. Through the book’s many design and marketing techniques, strategies, and examples, you will acquire a better understanding of the design and monetization mechanics of mobile and social games as well as working knowledge of industry practices and terminology.

    Learn How to Attract—and Retain—Gamers and Make Money

    The book explores how the gaming sector has changed, including the evolution of free-to-play games on mobile and tablet devices, sophisticated subscription model-based products, and games for social media websites, such as Facebook. It also demystifies the alphabet soup of industry terms that have sprouted up around mobile and social game design and monetization. A major focus of the book is on popular mechanisms for acquiring users and methods of monetizing users. The author explains how to put the right kinds of hooks in your games, gather the appropriate metrics, and evaluate that information to increase the game’s overall stickiness and revenue per user. He also discusses the sale of virtual goods and the types of currency used in games, including single and dual currency models. Each chapter includes an interview with industry leaders who share their insight on designing and producing games, analyzing metrics, and much more.

    The Changing Tide
    What This Book Is Not

    What Is a Social Game? Are Mobile Games Social?
    Meet Your Competition
    BBS Games and MUDs
    Just Being Multiplayer Doesn’t Make You Social
    Great Mobile Games ARE Social
    Interview with Words with Friends Creators, The Bettners

    History of Game Monetization
    What Do We Mean By Monetization
    A Brief History of Game Monetization
    Interview with Richard Garriott, "The Three Grand Eras of Gaming"

    Why Create a Social or Mobile Game?

    Social and Mobile Games Put a Lot of Power in the Hands of the Developers
    Social Games Make the Developer Responsible
    Social Games Give Power to the Users
    Used Retail Game Sales: Friend to Social and Mobile Developers
    Interview with Jason Decker of Pocket Legends, "Love Letters from Your Community"

    Industry Terms and Metrics
    Industry Terms and Metrics
    Measuring Player Population
    Measuring Monetization
    Social Network Advertising
    Mobile Terms
    General Terms
    Why These Metrics Matter
    Case Study: Ravenwood Fair and the Use of Metrics in Game Design
    Interview with Everett Lee of OMGPop, "The Science of Social Game Design"

    What Is a Social Network?
    What Is a Social Network?
    Who Is the Average Social Gamer? Who Is the Average Mobile Gamer?
    What Social Networks Are Popular Today?
    Games Are Global
    It’s All about Scale
    Using Social Networks to Extend Traditional Games
    Creating Social Networks as a Platform Holder
    Is Apple’s Game Center a Social Network?
    Interview with Janus Anderson, "Gaming and the Social Graph"

    How to Acquire, Keep, and Regain Users
    How to Build it So They’ll Come
    The Purchase Funnel
    Acquisition: How to Get Players
    Acquiring New Users on Facebook
    Acquiring New Users on Mobile Platforms
    Advertising Efficiently
    The Rising Cost of CPI
    Redirecting Users for Increased Virality
    How to Retain Users
    Tracking Retention
    Using Leaderboards and Messaging to Add Stickiness
    Using Messages to Remind Users to Return
    Only the Last Inch Matters
    Interview with Exploding Barrel: "Give Them What They Want"

    Monetization Strategies
    Show Us the Money
    Classic Premium Download Models
    Play the Numbers
    Case Study: Hunters Episode I and Different Monetization Methods
    Why You Should Avoid Giving Players Real Money
    Transitioning Models
    Which Models Fit Best for Which Type of Game?
    Interview with Ryan Cleven: "Social Platforms"

    Virtual Goods
    Fake Estates
    Selling Premium Goods
    Functional Advantages
    Game Balance Considerations
    Aesthetic "Vanity" Items
    Interview with Dimitri Delattre, Founder of Deadpan Dodo—"Indie Perspective"

    Greenspan for the Win
    Single Currency Models
    Dual Currency Models
    Closed and Open Economies
    Addressing the Matter of "Honest" Gameplay
    Interview with Ben Lamm—"Controlling Chaos"

    The Plentiful Tide
    A Fond Farewell to Friends


    Since 1995, Tim Fields has worked in the game industry as a producer, project manager, design lead, and business developer. Tim has helped small studios and top publishers, such as EA and Microsoft, run teams that create great games. He has worked on shooters, sports games, racing titles, and RPGs using talent and teams from North America, Asia, and Europe.