Increase Monetisation with the Rich Kids of Instagram

We slip into cognitive biases when making games, the easiest of which is to design and build for ourselves. This is generally dangerous, but especially so when it comes to monetisation design. The majority of your game’s income will come from a very small and specific demographic: You can expect to see around 3% of…

Video: Paula Neves on the Psychology of Game Design

Gazeus Games’ CMO, who has a psychology background, talks about building games based on the underlying emotional needs of subsets of players, often called psychographics. I used this tool for setting vision early on in a project and it can equally be applied later to help ideate features and prioritise a backlog. The foundation for Paula’s…

How Fortnite & PUBG Work

Like almost everyone else on the planet, I’ve been playing a lot of battle royale games and asking: Why are these so good? I think there are a few unique things happening in the genre: The games push skill and are willing to punish players for making mistakes, which goes against the trend in game…

Build Better Game Products By Asking Why Not What

Note: Much of the thinking in this article has evolved from my practice of the thoughts and theories described by Simon Sinek in his excellent book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. When talking about our projects we often start with “what” we are making: What the gameplay is, what…

Think Product Not Design

When I interviewed at A Thinking Ape I remember saying “I am a designer” a lot. Often accompanied by “I’m not an analyst” and “I’m not in marketing”. Fortunately for me the interview panel felt I had a decent enough grasp of what I claimed I didn’t know to offer me the Product Lead position.…

In F2P You Aren’t At War With Your Players

Too often the free-to-play model is seen as cynical. That businesses are at war with “users” for their wallets. That users are like cattle to be herded in to the pen of your game and their teats hooked up to the IAP machine and *slurp-slurp-slurp*. If the cattle disobey then you prod them, whip them,…

F2P Ethics: Jon Jordan at F2P Summit

I’ve previously tried to avoid talking about the ethics of F2P because, whilst I believe the vulnerable need to be protected, I don’t think it’s a serious issue and mostly the reaction and anger it invokes is somewhat silly and overblown. However, I did just write a piece for GamesIndustry International (nee GamesIndustry.biz), which is…

Office of Fair Trading Investigating F2P

In the UK the topic of children and IAPs has become a mainstream news topic in the last month. Now the Office of Fair Trading (the governmental UK consumer protection organisation) has said it will investigate if some F2P games targeting children are “misleading, commercially aggressive or otherwise unfair” or in other words “unlawful”. Well…

Free-To-Play Is Not The Only Way

Freetard (noun). A freetard is a unyielding proponent of free Source: Urban Dictionary I like to think that I am not a freetard, despite being such a champion of the F2P model that I wrote a book about it. I believe that F2P is the best business proposition for most games: It grants access to…