Game Development Reference
Web Game Deployment Principles to
Maintain an Audience—and Encourage
Them to Pay
There are many web game deployment principles to consider. To begin, distribute your games on as many sites
as possible to get them in front of as many potential players as possible. To build a regular audience around all
your games, create a recognizable brand they can look for. Integrate monetization features deeply into the game,
so they are easy to find and use. Optimize your website so games are easy to play and advertising revenue is
maximized; maintain engagement among your hard-core users with an online forum.
Also, be sure to monetize virtual goods and upgrades that give the user more convenience in their gameplay
or offer exclusive access. For example, virtual goods that come in a set (like a deck of cards or figurines) can in-
spire a “collect them all” itch. Price your items high and adjust prices downward as needed; don't cap spending
with subscriptions, because some players will prefer to pay more. Finally, if you're a new developer, consider
licensing deals before advertising—you can usually make more money from the former.
See Chapter 8, “Web Game Design: Basic Principles for Growth and Revenue,” for more information.
Web Game Design Lessons from
Developers with KIXEYE, Nitrome, and
Kingdom of Loathing
Players will exploit game resources in unintended, unanticipated ways, so be prepared for them to work against
your own design. Power users will also play against your intentions, defeating your assumptions by putting
more time and effort into your game than you probably imagined.
A good way to increase user retention is to give established players new ways to play (game modes, leveling
mechanics, and so on). Revive a niche game genre you love, because there's probably a market of people who
love that niche, too. Don't fall in the “it's not good enough yet” trap, and launch your game early. That way, you
can improve the game after you get real user feedback.
Early on, prepare for success and ways for your game to make money. People like owning the stuff they
really love, so make sure they have a means to do that with your game.
From the start, find ways to generate gameplay data, so you can figure out how players are really engaging
with your game and iterate around it.
See Chapter 9, “Web Game Developer Profiles: King of Loathing, Nitrome, and Desktop Tower Defense,”
for more information.