Aside from the ten minute talk at Critical Proximity that I posted yesterday, I spoke for an additional six minutes at GDC2014 (yes, that’s unusually low commitment for me!). It was a microtalk on retention tips for free to play games in the “build and invest” genre — stuff like farming games, city games, all those isometric games where you plonk down little objects. You can find the archived presentation here.
Quests work against self-expression. They force you to build what the developers want, not what you want.
So I presented on the topic of the real ways to get greater retention, like on the order of months. After all, we forget that SimCity, The Sims, Minecraft, and Dwarf Fortress are also “build and invest” games, and have much to team those on the more casual side of the spectrum. (Anyone else remember when SimCity was the casual side of the spectrum??) For anyone who found yesterday’s talk academic and vague, this one is very straightforwardly concrete.
Some of the questions after the presentation were also quite good. One was on the issue of borrowing techniques from one genre into another, and the answer given by Teut Weidemann was “steal from MMORPGs,” which I think every panelist agreed with. I also got someone asking me whether we would see cryptocurrencies hooked directly into games, with games serving as miners and so on. My answer was, not until all regulatory fears are removed, at least as far as larger publishers are concerned.