Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
the game becomes more popular.) As you move on from this topic, we encour-
age you to keep in mind the question posed at the end of Chapter 3: “What
business models make sense in a world of two billion gamers?” Be the first to
figure out the answer to that question, and you'll be able to become richer than
Donald Trump.
We moved on to discuss the rise of social gaming and why these games
quickly became so popular, especially for developers. Many of the design-
ers we interview mentioned their attraction to the space, and in Chapter 4 we
looked at some of the reasons why this new area was so appealing. The ability
to directly transmit a game to a consumer and, more important, to study every
intimate detail of how users interact with a game quickly became foundational
elements for thinking about this type of game design. Finally, we built on this
key notion, discussing how to use analytics and A/B testing to ensure that you
know what your users most want and that you're able to give it to them.
We briefly skimmed over the technical advantages of modern distributed
computing using “the cloud” and why social games of any type migrated in
this direction. As bandwidth increases and Moore's law continues to close in
on atomic-scale problems, this sort of network topology will become increas-
ingly more important. Moreover, without fundamental improvements in battery
technology—a development that seems unlikely in the absence of breakthroughs
in the core sciences—mobile devices too will ultimately be forced to lean more
on the cloud. Your smartphone's processor can only get so much better before
it starts to consume your battery in just a few minutes, but it can easily send
instructions to a vast cavern filled with computers in Norway, then happily dis-
play the results for you.
In this chapter, we also began our discussion of why reducing user friction
in initial user experiences is so critically important to social games. Users need
no longer sit through lengthy install processes—moreover, they won't. As social
games grow in production polish, and more and more seek to provide immer-
sive 3D experiences (currently the province of console and PC gaming), the
technical challenges of keeping install footprints small should be on the mind
of every development team. An entire community of social game players, many
of whom were never gamers before, have been taught that they can expect rich
entertainment within seconds of the moment they first hear about a game—and
for free.
We stopped and peered down an interesting cul-de-sac and considered
what the rise of social gaming means for the retail sector. We discussed ways
in which developing social games could help offset some of the financial pain
of the used games market, and we looked at how major retail gaming chains
are beginning to respond to this threat to their bottom line. In so doing, we
touched briefly on some of the new models of new distribution networks,
such Kongregate, which are beginning to form and may well evolve into new,
exploitable ecosystems for game developers.
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