Thursday, July 4, 2013

Facebookified and Zyngaficated

I've decided that to truly succeed as a game developer I have to change the way I design things. I have to design for revenue. I have to put revenue before gameplay. Here's my plan...

  1. Limit how long people can play. I know this sound crazy, but just wait. I'll limit my players to 20 minutes of play and then make them wait an hour to play for another 20 minutes - UNLESS they give me another dollar. Then I'll let them play as much as they want, but only for 24 hours. Tomorrow they'll have to give me another dollar.
  2. Start out easy, then make it impossible. Will people quit playing when it gets too difficult? No, they'll already have too much of an emotional investment in the game to walk away. They'll just have to buy a power-up that will enable them to continue. It will cost another $1. Then after that really hard level it will get easier for a little while, you know, to get them back into it before I throw in another impossible level and charge another dollar.
  3. Make you bring friends if you want to keep playing. At first you can play by yourself and multiplayer will be optional. But after a certain point, you have to play with other people if you want to continue. Something in the level won't be possible without a second player. And that second player has to buy the game too! She might not want to at first, but you'll keep twisting her arm until she does. And she will because you're friends. Then BAM! I start getting dollars here and there from her too. Brilliant!
Oh, wait. I forgot. I just want to make things that are fun. But this plan sounds strangely familiar. It sounds like the outline of every Zynga and/or Facebook game ever made.

Is this all the world has to offer? I get to choose between another pointless first-person shooter that costs me $70 up front, or an addictive puzzler that is designed to take my money one dollar at a time?

This is why I'm developing for OUYA.