Game Development Reference
Facebook Design Lessons from KIXEYE
and 5th Planet Games
In This Chapter
• Learning Facebook design from designers who learned the hard way
• Designing Facebook strategy games the KIXEYE way
• Designing Facebook RPGs the 5th Planet way
Although it's all well and good to talk about general design principles for building engagement and revenue in
Facebook games, it's perhaps even more important to see how they've been applied in specific, successful titles.
In this chapter, we will analyze the success of two developers who've managed to prove there's a market for
hardcore games on the Facebook platform: the strategy games of KIXEYE and the adventure RPGs of 5th Planet
Designing Facebook Strategy Games the
GigaOM ( www.gigaom.com ) delivers the latest technology news.
Before Paul Preece could help launch KIXEYE, he first had to get fired. That happened after his boss, who ex-
pected him to put more energy into his day job as a Visual Basic coder, noticed a widely read GigaOM article
about Desktop Tower Defense, the breakout success Flash game Preece developed after hours. His boss, Preece
told me then, “was not a happy chappy.” (This put me in an awkward place, because, you see, I was the one who
wrote the GigaOM article.) But the game was also noticed by someone else: Lightspeed venture capitalist Jeremy
Liew, who put $1 million in seed funding together to fund and launch the company with Preece and his develop-
ment partner, David Scott.
CROSSREF To read more about Desktop Tower Defense, see Chapter 9, “Web Game Developer Profiles:
Kingdom of Loathing and Desktop Tower Defense.” Read more about Jeremy Liew in Chapter 15, “Is Your
Game Ready to Get VC or Crowdsourced Funding?”