Game Development Reference
Make Sure the Game's Monetization is Deeply Integrated
into the Game's Design
Ask any game designer the secret to a successful game and they'll say something like “Good game design and
fun gameplay” (which would require a whole other book to explain). But ask any Facebook game designer that
same question, and the answer will be just a touch different, something like: “Good game design and fun game-
play with monetization deeply integrated into the design and gameplay.” Because all Facebook games are free
to play, and there are so many, it's not enough to create a good, fun game. Monetization options have to be de-
signed from the start, alongside all the other features that make up the game.
Without being overly obtrusive, artificial, or spammy, the goal is to always make the player aware of how
they can pay for the game, and how that payment can make the game more fun . A perfect example of this is
found in Backyard Monsters (see Figure 4-4 ), which is a resource-management strategy game. Players have to
harvest enough raw materials to build their base and army. (It's part of the core game loop.)
This is really not that different from the monetization mechanic that financed the video game industry for decades, during the arcade
era—also known as “Insert Coin to Continue.”
When players “bank” collected resources, they are sure to notice (because it's embossed in gold) the ability
to “Speed Up” the collection process. Clicking this option gives the players the ability to accelerate resource
collection with Shiny (the game's official currency, which can be bought with real money cash/credit payments).
Buying this Speed-Up is optional, and the players can have about as much fun playing the game without doing
so (as long as they are willing to wait for their harvesters.) But when players are having the most fun and are
impatient to keep the fun going, they're most likely to click the Speed-Up option.