Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
If you aren't currently in the business of making games for social platforms,
we hope that this topic has helped demystify some of the arcana around this
new business. We've sought to engage a few of the broad issues fundamental
to this discipline, such as monetization techniques and user acquisition, with
enough depth to let you understand the major concerns and issues associated
with the topics. These are constantly expanding currents of research and strat-
egy that motivate new endeavors (and job creation) within the industry. At the
same time, we've tried to dive in and look at some of the seminal, exemplary
works of the last few years in sufficient detail that they helped provide con-
crete case studies for how other games have addressed some of the challenges
we've discussed. We hope that the interviews have given you a sense of the
language used by industry professionals and the topics we spend hours discuss-
ing in those fancy hotel bar-rooms and air-conditioned corporate park confer-
ence rooms. The folks we've visited with are thought-leaders in this space, at
least this year, and the companies and products they discuss are worth watch-
ing; they're providing entertainment for literally hundreds of millions of people
every month. They are also our friends, in the main, and we hope that in read-
ing their thoughts you were able to get a sense of what a friendly, open com-
munity the game development industry can be. Generally, most developers out
there are motivated by their intellectual curiosity and interested in sharing their
thoughts via friendly debate. We play one another's games and genuinely root
for each other's success, even when our friends end up being our competitors.
Because it just never stops, this breakneck evolution of technology and
industry, there is no way we can visit with every brilliant friend, colleague,
and coworker out there who could help shed a little more light on these topics.
Nor could we ever cover every topic itself—at least not in the detail it deserves.
There are countless fascinating elements of social game design that will, for
now, have to be left unscrutinized. But we hope that this brief missive has
equipped you with enough of the tools and vocabulary necessary such that you
might explore these topics further on your own (or at least helped to sharpen
those tools you brought in with you). Because we recognize that time is work-
ing against us all, let's quickly go back and review what we've studied. Going
chapter by chapter, let's briefly look at what we've discussed, with an eye
towards timeliness and currency, calling out the bits that have at least a hope of
remaining valuable when the current crop of sand castles have all been washed
back out with the tide.
11.2 Review
We started by looking backward in time, toward the history of gaming and the
ways previously commercially successful products and networks made money
from their users. We discussed early boxed products and even heard from one
of the pioneers in the industry, his early sandwich-bag packaging, and his recap
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