15 Rules on F2P game design from @gamesbrief

The F2P Summit is running (as I type) in London today. We couldn’t make it down but we’re capturing golden nuggets of game design/marketing goodness via the Twitter-stream (search for #F2PSummit)

Nicholas Lovell (@gamesbrief) has just finished a session giving his take on the rules for F2P game design which we thought we’d share here for your reading pleasure…..

  • Rule 15 from @nicholaslovell on F2P games making: ‘It never ends’. What to do and what to learn is an ongoing process.
  • Rule 14 from @nicholaslovell: Experiment. But know what you are looking for when doing so, don’t risk too much, and learn from it

  • Rule 13 from @nicholaslovell: ‘Sell emotion, not content’. Grant players self expression, status, power, gifting etc.
  • Rule 12 from @nicholaslovell: Don’t let the player fail in your F2P game, especially early on. Hit players with something that matters within minutes. We make TV not Movies. F2P audience is akin to channel hoppers.
  • Rule 11 from @nicholaslovell: Kill the tutorial. F2P games should be designed so as not to need them, and they turn off players.
  • Rule 10 from @nicholaslovell: Implement ‘pizzazz, not polish’. In other words focus on the things that reward players’ senses.
  • Rule 9, here it is: ‘Make it possible to spend $100’
  • Rule 8 from @nicholaslovell: Provide a $1 ‘no-brainer’ in-game item; a big cheap boost to the player to get the IAP ball rolling.
  • Rule 7 from @nicholaslovell: Make your F2P game free forever in some way.
  • Rule 6 from @nicholaslovell: ‘Be generous’. The more generous you are, the more people will stay and see what can be bought.
  • Rule 5 from @nicholaslovell: Your F2P game must ‘never end’.
  • Rule 4 from @nicholaslovell? F2P games need many layers of ‘complexity’ (see Jetpack Joyride; constant reinvention of core game).  Easy accessibility with depth behind it is key to all F2P games.
  • Rule 3 from @nicholaslovell? Make a game people play for far longer in each sitting than the total length of the game.
  • You can’t play Bejewelled Blitz for more than a minute. Average play session is 43 mins.
  • Nicholas Lovell says every mobile game should be playable in a minute but that minute should pull you back for an hour
  • Rule 2 from @nicholaslovell? Let your players get a meaningful experience from the game in the time it takes to make a coffee
  • Rule 1 from @nicholaslovell is a fundamental one. ‘Make your game fun’. That’s an important one, but not everyone does it.

So, do you agree?

ADDITION: It’s worth noting these are very brief tweets I collected from the twitter conversations (and mildly edited) – check out the www.gamesbrief.com web site for where Nicholas explains his rules in full.


Posted on September 26, 2012, in Free to play games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on 15 Rules on F2P game design from @gamesbrief.

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