Introduction Humans require a heartbeat to live. The heart pumps blood including essential nutrients throughout the body to sustain life in a regular cycle and rhythm. Similarly, mobile games in particular require a similar concept of a "heartbeat" in order to sustain an audience and user interest in a regular cycle and rhythm. This is especially true for mobile … [Read more...] about Why Mobile Games Need a Strong “Heartbeat”
Context: Surprisingly, a large number of people in the video games industry expressed ignorance on the concept of micro vs. macro gameplay. If you're not familiar, now's your chance to learn. It's an important concept in video games and a concept that raises some interesting questions in the context of a mobile device. Stop and think: Which kind of gameplay do you think … [Read more...] about Micro vs. Macro Gameplay
Are you ready to level up your mobile app monetization? Context: In October of 2011, an article about DeNA included a number of key mobile monetization insights: High Ass ARPU: Claimed $12 ARPU (average revenue per user) - this was a strong indicator that there was a meaningful way that DeNA was designing monetization in their games not found outside of Japan User … [Read more...] about 12 Critical Mobile Monetization Concepts (Part 1 of 3)
In January of 2008, a Cal Tech and Stanford Business School research study showed that the perception of a wine can influence the actual physical enjoyment of the wine. In this study, people who drank the same wine that was priced at $90 vs. $10 did not only believe that the $90 wine was better but in fact actually experienced greater pleasure drinking the wine as measured by … [Read more...] about Psychology & Perception: How Games are Like Wine
One of the most difficult problems in designing any game is how to address complexity in the game design. For mobile gaming in particular, this is a difficult problem as the design paradigms of successful complexity models have largely been figured out on other platforms (e.g., social, console, PC, and even game focused handheld) but not quite yet on mobile (if we define … [Read more...] about Why Your Mobile Game Failed: Complexity Kills!
In 1983, a small group of entrepreneurs was hard at work creating a company that would define a new age of digital entertainment. This new company was built to fulfill a vision by founder Trip Hawkins to help enable and distribute products built by a new class of entrepreneur: the "software artist." The company was Electronic Arts. Here is the vision defined by Hawkins (the … [Read more...] about Emergence of the “Software Artist”
Context: In today's mobile game market, the most successful games must have extremely high LTV (Life Time Value). As LTV is fairly difficult to project accurately (at least in the short term), shorter term metrics around monetization (usually ARPDAU) and retention (usually D1/7/30) are more typically used to estimate LTV potential. The table below depicts the simple view … [Read more...] about Monetization-based Game Design: ARPDAU Contribution
History and Context: In the winter of 2008, I launched my first game: it was a social game on Facebook and MySpace called League of Heroes. At the time, Mob Wars and Friends for Sale had just recently launched and Mafia Wars by Zynga and Mobsters by Playdom were just launching. As many of you probably know, Mafia Wars/Mobsters were just direct rips of Mob Wars... what I will … [Read more...] about The “+1” Mobile Game Design Strategy (Gamasutra)