Evaluating Monetization Early in Development (GDC 2017)
As promised, here are the slides from my talk at GDC 2017 on Evaluating Monetization Early.
A Quick Summary:
- Define Your Core Monetization
- Monetization’s root comes from a long lasting urge to progress.
- The most successful monetization mechanics come from speeding up pacing to progress. So adding and tightening pacing systems is the key to improving monetization opportunities.
- Pacing systems which can be monetized on usually come in 4 forms: Time, Stats, Currencies and Luck. Find where in your core loop you can add additional pacing systems which make natural sense.
- Ensure your game can scale for years
- To be in the top grossing you need games which take years to progress, and can withstand tens of thousands of dollars of spending
- Watch out for red flags in your prototype that it won’t scale:
- Map out a vision of your progress over years. Do you think it will be enough?
- Do the mechanics break? How large is your scope of stat upgrades?
- Do the sessions break? In the mid and end game, are you asking too much of your players?
- Does your Content scale? Can you effectively produce enough content to retain top players?
- Does your Economy scale? Does your tight currencies remain valuable?
- Design & Tighten Triggers for spending
- Record down for your game the various trigger points you see players spending. Can you add more? How can you tighten these reasons?
- Triggers Usually come in the form of these 6 forms:
- Loss Aversion: Protecting what players believe they’ve earned
- Vanity: Showing off to other players in the game
- Competitiveness: Wanting to dominate the game or other players
- Impatience: Wanting to make progress quickly
- Investment: Investing a small amount early which reaps greater rewards in the future
- Social: Spending for the benefit of others
- Which of these triggers does your game have? How do you tighten these?
- Prototype with Monetization & Pacing
- Prototype with your pacing & monetization included to avoid misleading fun early in prototyping
Thanks for all that attended, and I hope this is useful for everyone!