Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
between these types of products, and what design elements can be harvested
from major successes in each area to be applied to other types of games. You'll
understand the interplay between Asia and the West and why different types of
design features work better in different territories. You'll know about the also-
ran social networks that pioneered the model that Facebook currently owns,
and you'll be familiar with the newcomers worth watching, both in North
America and in emerging markets like Brazil and Turkey. Finally, you'll have
been exposed to a dozen or more game design techniques for making your
social games attract users; you'll know how to make money from them by pro-
viding superior play experiences and how to retain those players so they don't
lose interest and go spend their dollars elsewhere. When you're done, we'll
point you to a website and (of course) a Facebook page where you can visit
with other designers, product managers, and investors interested in continu-
ing this discussion in an online forum so that the conversation can continue to
evolve as new trends and new games appear on the scene.
1.2 What This Topic Is Not
This is not a book that will teach you how to program games. Even if you are
already a skilled engineer, this topic will not teach you how to write code for
social games. There are many fine topics on the market that deal with these
types of topics.
This is not a book about project management (though we have written
those). In order to build high-quality social games, you need expert producers,
development managers, and skilled team leads. You also need a process that
works for your staff, be that Scrum, Lean, old-school waterfall, or something
altogether different.
This topic will not teach you how to lead teams effectively. (We've written
a book on that topic, as well.) You'll need to know how to do this—to have a
blend of intelligence, charisma, and wisdom that would do a cleric proud—in
order to successfully build social games. But we simply don't have the room to
teach those skills here.
This is not a book that pretends to teach you how to build a social game
in three days or even three weeks. Although such a feat may be possible, we
doubt it. In any case, we believe the best games are built over time by teams
led by expert professionals who have a proven track record in making great
However, if you are new to game development, do not despair. This topic
will teach you a great deal about how to think about games as products, how
to consider design choices as both a game designer and a businessperson, and
how to evaluate your game against the market.
Finally, it's worth mentioning as a caveat that this is an incredibly rapidly
evolving space. In the time between when we began writing this topic and the
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