Game Development Reference
proportionately popular in Brazil, Turkey, and other developing nations where English is not generally spoken
as a primary language.
Grow a Community of Players
One force multiplier is so significant that it deserves a section of its own. Consider creating an online forum for
fans, which generally helps boost retention, since it gives players a place to discuss game tips and brag about
recent accomplishments. Reeve says the online community around Tyrant is the most important factor for in-
creasing the game's retention and engagement.
Good for the community; good for Synapse's bottom line.
To foster that community, Synapse created a Faction Wars game mode (see Figure 8-6 ). “Players group into
teams of up to 50 players and battle each other to climb the Faction ladder. As groups of players battle each
other, inevitably you will see some tight alliances and heated rivalries. This almost always leads to drama or in-
trigue on the forums, which is actually fantastic for the health of a community ,” says Reeve. “As soon as players
begin interacting socially, either in a Faction or just posting on the forums, they are vastly more likely to stick
with the game for a very long time.”
Figure 8-6: Tyrant's Faction Wars game mode
Besides game-related drama, of course, you also want to encourage players to post strategy guides, answer
naive noob questions, and perhaps even develop a user-run wiki. Most of this activity will bubble up naturally
through the passion of the players, but a developer can subtly enforce positive behavior with achievement
badges and other virtual rewards.