Mobile Game Industry Points of View

+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? I call it a "problem-centric" framework. What does that mean? It means that you are taking an existing design and trying to improve that design by focusing on it's core problems. However, designers should also be careful not to break the key factors in the game that already make it successful. The steps to this approach include: Pick Base Design Determine top 3 Key Problems with Base Design Determine top 3 Critical Success Factors (CSF) of the Base Design Brainstorm Solution Set that addresses both Key Problems and … [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]

What’s really going on with Facebook gaming?

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According to Facebook and the press, Facebook gaming is booming. Headlines from the media indicate: Wired: "Facebook gaming thrives" The Next Web: "last three months of game revenue are a record" c|net: "Facebook's games business stronger … [Continue reading]

Psychology & Perception: How Games are Like Wine

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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 … [Continue reading]