December of 2014 marks the 20-year anniversary of Tekken’s original arcade release. Tekken games have sold over 41 million copies (Wikipedia), marking it as the all-time best-selling fighting game franchise.
In 1993 I wrote an important report to Namco Ltd. in Japan. […]
The best arcade games engaged players in less than two minutes. If not, there were plenty of other games in the arcade. For mobile games today, early engagement is just as important. Games used to cost $.25 per play. Now, nearly all are free to play. An average game room used to hold […]
Is it just me, or do some App Store game descriptions just plain suck? They don’t tell me jack about the game. Just a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo. Some are so bad they convince me not to download the game.
Nowadays, creating a great game is no guarantee of success. As of […]
In the summer of 1982 the Spot Tavern in Renton, WA […]
Zynga’s most successful games are built around a solid and repeatable core loop. Leaving nothing to chance, they hold the players hand step-by-step through the tutorial. Zynga teaches players how to play, and how they want them to play. And to […]
It’s the single most important part of a video game. The engine to which the rest of a game is built around. So central to a game, the core loop is how players will describe a game to friends.
The core game loop is a base action or series of actions that are repeated over and over […]
We’re all familiar with the expression, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” This especially applies to today’s free-to-play (FTP) world because in the App Store, installs are like fleeting chance meetings. The impression your game makes in this meeting will determine if and when a player will play again or decide […]
What Is An Endless Runner?
An Endless Runner is characterized as an action game, linear in design with no end, without pauses or breaks for rest and no stages or changing levels. It has one continuous level. The game difficulty starts slow and easy.
Venues include paths, streets/roads and railroad tracks. As the game speeds […]
On December 22, 1983 Judge Sweet handed down the judgment. The court’s decision dismissed Universal’s complaint of trademark infringement and unfair competition. Nintendo had prevailed due to skilled and expert counsel. An excerpt of the summary judgment reads as follows:
“A hearing was conducted on August 8, […]
Leaving for New York City
And so on August 7th I got on a plane for my first trip to New York City. I even got to bring my girlfriend Mona. Upon landing we took a taxi to the Helmsley Palace. It was an elegant hotel in midtown Manhattan overlooking Central Park. Traveling on company […]
It’s not everyday a video game player can say, “I played Donkey Kong in a courtroom.” But that’s what I did. And it wasn’t just any courtroom. It was in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York presided by Judge Robert W. Sweet. Universal’s complaint was over a […]
Two serious problems surround mobile game monetization. Less than 1% of players become paying players and mobile advertisements can’t prove they’re effective.
Less than 1% Pay to Play
Are engagement and monetization in mobile games at opposite ends of the spectrum? At times it seems that they have opposite goals. Game designers work tirelessly to create a user experience that immerses players so much, they lose their sense of time. Monetization designers, especially those who work with advertising, work at disrupting and […]
Awesome on one hand, disappointing on the other is EA’s Real Racing 3 for iPhone and iPad. To date, it’s the best looking racing game on mobile. But great graphics and excellent playability aren’t enough in today’s free-to-play world. The game must continually engage players and create revenue through player […]
It’s 1984 and Nintendo releases the innovative dual-screen arcade boxing game “Punch-Out!!” The great Genyo Takeda was nice enough to involve me in its iterative design process. I look back on that fondly because he extended the proverbial […]
“Deja Vu” is an expression used to describe a current experience that feels as though it happened before. The phrase used to define this often eerie experience is “deja vu.”
Back in the 80’s arcade games had a very unique set of characteristics to them. Games were social and brought […]
The Straw that Stirs the Drink
Engagement is the heartbeat of a game. It can be the difference between a few hundred and a few million players. Often engagement and retention are used synonymously and misused in my opinion.
It’s the most important metric and both retention and conversion do not exist without it. Retention […]
We all know what it feels like to be so immersed in a game that you “zone out” from your surroundings. This condition of high level engagement is a state of focus, concentration and immersion.
Heather O’Brien and Elaine Toms defines the engagement process to consist of four distinct stages:
*point of engagement
*period of […]