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Game design of a "successful" game


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DiSaBor #1 Posted 20 July 2019 - 02:12 PM

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I just came across a PolyMatter video of mobile game design : how to create a good mobile game which makes money.

He took candy crush as example, and summarized 4 rules: The abstraction of money, Create dependence, Pay NOT to play, and Endless goals.

Interestingly, although this video is about mobile game, most of the rules can directly be found in our favorite game.

Let's take a tour.

 

1. The abstraction of money.

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This is quite straight forward. You don't buy stuff in Euros or Dollars. Instead you buy virtual currency with money, then spend them in-game. This makes spending way easier.

In WoT, they happened to kindly redesign the in-game store to improve our gaming experience.

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2. Create dependence.

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People who pay more play more. And they can justify the spending by "I paid a lot, but I also play a lot, so the spending is worth it"

PolyMatter was talking about creating a routine so that people can play everywhere. Well I think that's why WG created the Blitz series.

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3. Pay not to play

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Devs deliberately put uninteresting but necessary content in their game. Players have the choice to pay to skip the bad parts.

Stock grind, bad tanks in good branches There is absolutely nothing in WoT like that.

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4. Endless goals (I don't like his title so I changed it)

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The key here is not to have an ultimate goal in-game, but endless goals that players can never achieve. They don't want players to be happy so that they can leave. In the contrary they give them enough satisfaction, all spaced out. If this is not enough, they can create tons of similar games.

This is the most subtle one of the 4 rules. But I think WoT devs have this in mind from the beginning of the game development.

All those new branches, missions, reward tanks, medals...

RNG, unbalanced maps, OP tanks, +2MM so that everyone will have epic games from time to time. Spaced out satisfaction.

Random map rotation, unexplained game mechanics and endless unjustified changes (yes I am talking about AP alpha/HP buff) so that you are always learning.

Untitled.png

 

Here is the video if you are interested.

 

[Edit : added Youtube video...]

 


Edited by DiSaBor, 20 July 2019 - 09:26 PM.


VonniVidiVici #2 Posted 20 July 2019 - 02:30 PM

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Since I'm far too cynical for my own good I'd add map blocking as an example to #3. It incentivizes WG to keep unpopular maps in rotation without reworking them. Don't like one map? Just block it. Don't like two maps? Well for a small fee (premium account) you can block them both. You could see that as an additional bonus to having premium account, I see it as a paid solution for a self-created problem and I'm fully expecting WG to come up with ways for players to block more than two maps. For a small additional fee of course.

Gremlin182 #3 Posted 20 July 2019 - 02:54 PM

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I notice you don't actually say if you think its right to make games this way.

 

I started gaming a long time ago I did type games in BASIC and even remember what B.A.S.I.C stands for.

When I started buying games you did not get new content or even bug fixes you got a game with limited replayability.

The RPGs were of finite length and once completed you might want to play them again with a different character but not often.

 

Then came online games and these did tend to get upgrades and bug fixes.

You paid say £60 and got a game later you could get an expanasion for about half that.

Then came the subscription based vs free to play games.

These were endless it was assumed you would come back and play this for a very long time and they kept adding new content to keep players happy.

 

The free models usually limited access ie you could not progress past a certain level unless you paid.

The WG model is technically completely free to play, you can play any tank in the game other than premium tanks and pay nothing.

If we all did that there would be no game so they play upon out weaknesses knowing that a number pf players will pay something to progress faster.

I see nothing wrong with that.

 

Given a choice between

1 a limited content game  I have to buy

2 a subscription based game where if I do not pay a monthly fee even when not playing I will eventually lose all progress gained ie my account will be wiped.

3 a Free to download game which gives me the choice of Playing for free or paying money to shorten grinds or earn resources faster.

 

I will go with 3 every time if a 4th option comes up I may change my mind.

I do pay a fair bit to play this game.

I have bought a lot of premium tanks won some for free too and bought premium time and I have bought loot boxes.

Doesn't bother me I have spare cash at least enough to indulge a hobby without having to give up other things.

 

 



unhappy_bunny #4 Posted 20 July 2019 - 03:18 PM

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I'm not sure how best to respond to the OP. I'm not sure quite what his reason for posting is.

 

I have only played a couple of "mobile" games, The Simpsons Tapped Out being one of them, and that fits the design formula that he describes. They are designed to be played across various "mobile" devices, phones, iPads, Tablets etc, but not on PC's, and to be played in small time slots so a player can fill idle moments or longer slots like train or bus journeys. You can't play WoT, in its main format, on a car, bus or train journey. 

 

So, with TSTO for instance, there is the basic underlying game of building and expanding Springfield, putting characters to work. Then there are the regular "special" events, usually based around Holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other events. These are time limited and although can usually be completed within the time can require more time dedicated to the playing. However, the game offers the player ways to short cut by purchasing extra characters or items and a cost in the in-game currency (doughnuts) which can be bought for real money, or earned while playing. None of these "events" are essential, they do not pause the basic game until completed, so the player can choose to participate or not, in the same way the player can purchase more doughnuts to speed things up or not. These doughnuts can also quicken some of the basic game play in bringing buildings online quicker. 

 

In a similar way, WoT offers a basic game pattern, special events, and currency that can be bought or earned (more slowly), and that shortens the grind or provides new, special items (Premium tanks, Premium Account etc). However, Wot is not designed to be played during short idle moments or on journeys. It cannot be left to trundle on in the background while the player is off-line, nor is it designed to fill a 5 minute idle moment. 

 

It comes down to what a player wants from a game. 

I am quite happy playing WoT in the basic format, randoms and at tiers or in tanks, that I enjoy playing. I like the battles, the endeavour to win. I take part in some missions and some events, but I don't place a lot of importance upon them. If I finish a mission, then fine, if I complete an event and gain the reward, then fine, but I don't then it is not the end of the world. I play FL, but again, I am not worried if I fail to achieve the top ranking, or gain the reward tank. It is the playing of the game that I enjoy, everything else, the stats, the reward tanks, the glory, are all icing on the cake 

If I want to skip a grind, or boost my credit earning with Premium Time or Premium Tanks, then I do so, but I do it in the knowledge that I am paying real money into a form of entertainment for myself. I did the same, once, in TS-TO. There was a character I wanted so I bought some extra doughnuts as a one off thing. 

 

Just my thoughts, sorry for the long post and my apologies if there was any hint of common sense in the above. I know the forum is not the place for that. 

 



PayMore #5 Posted 20 July 2019 - 03:25 PM

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View PostDiSaBor, on 20 July 2019 - 01:12 PM, said:

 

2. Create dependence.

Capture22.png

People who pay more play more. And they can justify the spending by "I paid a lot, but I also play a lot, so the spending is worth it"

PolyMatter was talking about creating a routine so that people can play everywhere. Well I think that's why WG created the Blitz series.

 

 

 

Pls no naming.....

 

 

 



onderschepper #6 Posted 20 July 2019 - 03:43 PM

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I'll just leave this here:



NUKLEAR_SLUG #7 Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:35 PM

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View PostDiSaBor, on 20 July 2019 - 02:12 PM, said:

(A whole lot of stuff)

 

Soo, what you're saying then is WG made a successful game so gg WG?



shikaka9 #8 Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:45 PM

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r00barb #9 Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:39 PM

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Business seeks to make money from product. Shock news indeed. The only surprising thing in this thread is the OP thinking this is news to anyone.



Lagalaza #10 Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:01 PM

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I understand that people feel a bit aggrieved at the money-making nature of the game but, as r00barb quite rightly states, it's a business. For me, the bottom line is to ask myself if I am having fun. Forget everything else, do I enjoy leisure time spent playing WoT? I find it a blast and have fun 90% of the time. It costs me a bit of dollar because I have bought a few tanks along the way and paid for premium time and gold, but I have my limits and will stick to them. My primary reason for playing is to get enjoyment and I do. Don't much care about anything else.

DiSaBor #11 Posted 20 July 2019 - 09:37 PM

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View PostGremlin182, on 20 July 2019 - 02:54 PM, said:

I notice you don't actually say if you think its right to make games this way.

 

View Postunhappy_bunny, on 20 July 2019 - 03:18 PM, said:

I'm not sure how best to respond to the OP. I'm not sure quite what his reason for posting is.

 

I am not saying it is right or not right for WG to do like this.

I shared the video because I find it quite interesting that every single "rule" of a successful money making mobile game, is respected by WG.

They are no idiots. There must have been many researches at WG, to make a better game. By better, they may mean "making as much money as possible while keeping a reasonable quality". Who knows.



NUKLEAR_SLUG #12 Posted 20 July 2019 - 11:47 PM

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So it was just a thread to congratulate WG on a job well done?

 

I'm sure they appreciate it. 



Element6 #13 Posted 21 July 2019 - 01:10 AM

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Pay not to play doesn't work with me, I've grinded 65t and VTU completely and used non-converted free xp on modules through extensive use of reserves I got for free.

 

The other points though...






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