Mobile Game Industry Points of View

Mobile Game Design: Iteration vs. Planning, MVP = Dangerous!

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Mobile game design typically follows two primary schools of design philosophy: Iteration based design = Just get some core mechanics in and then keep iterating until you get something fun; some initial but not extensive design before development Planning based design = Think through all of the features, every key screen, all of the dependencies and interactions between primary features before beginning any development Generally iteration based designers often come from the PC world where folks are used to selling pre-packaged non-F2P games that have a high fun factor for a fixed one time fee. They also often come from the casual design space working on games with high retention and often low monetization. In my view, we have way too many people who have taken iteration based … [Continue reading]

China Mobile Game Market: What You Need to Know!

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China’s mobile gaming market has been experiencing explosive growth and and is projected to soon overtake the US market by as early as next year in 2015. Independent research firm Niko Partners estimates China’s mobile game market to grow 93% to … [Continue reading]

+1 Game Design: A Problem-centric Framework

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I was recently asked about the best approach to come up with a +1 mobile game design and wanted to cover this topic. In my view, a very specific approach and process to maximize your chances for success should be considered. What is that approach? … [Continue reading]

Mobile UI and Game Design: Screens vs. Flows

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Context: Mobile game design by flows refers to the concept of mapping out the entire set of screens a user can tap through in a mobile game: the user flows. While many of the larger mobile game studios such as Zynga or GREE routinely design UI/UX … [Continue reading]

The Compulsion Loop Explained

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A man can surely do what he wills to do, but cannot determine what he wills. - Arthur Schopenhauer Since the introduction of the concept of the compulsion loop applied to video games was introduced as early as 2001 by John Hopson (while a … [Continue reading]

How Complexity Domain Impacts Software Development Process

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Should your software product development team be agile? The answer I almost always hear (especially in Silicon Valley) seems to be "of course, yes", but the right answer should be: "it depends." These days there seems to be a bit of religion and … [Continue reading]

Implications of “Alpha” and “Beta” in Mobile Gaming

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Bear with me on this post. There will be some financial jargon and a bit of math but the conclusions drawn I believe will be worth your read (at least I hope so!). Let's first start with some financial theory which will form the basis of the … [Continue reading]

Why Mobile Games Need a Strong “Heartbeat”

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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 … [Continue reading]

Micro vs. Macro Gameplay

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Context: I've been surprised by the number of conversations with people over the past few years in the video games industry who were not familiar with the concept of "micro" vs. "macro" gameplay. If you're not familiar, now's your chance to … [Continue reading]

12 Critical Mobile Monetization Concepts (Part 1 of 3)

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Are you ready to level up your mobile app monetization? Context: In October of 2011, an article about how DeNA leads Japan's mobile gaming market included a number of key monetization insights: High Ass ARPU: Claimed $12 ARPU (average … [Continue reading]