I was walking with a friend and we were thinking about why so many f2p games aren’t good, from a design point of view. So excluding bad market research, imprecise budgets, lack of planning, and things like that.
There are games that are enjoyed by players more than other games that are essentially identical. Is it due solely to the firepower of marketing? Or is there something in the design?
For me, there is a great responsibility in game design. Game design intended as the collective effort of the whole team, from the head of product to the junior QA.
On the one hand, there is the problem of copying, without understanding why a certain type of game works. A desk is a dangerous place from which to see the World, John Le Carré said.
At the other extreme we find teams capable of empathizing, but who do not share the typical practices of free-to-play. They never spend a cent on a game downloaded for free, they don’t put themselves in the players’ shoes. Even if they have the ability to empathize, they do not.
Games that fail do so for a thousand different reasons. Those that are successful, however, have always a clear reason behind it: a team that believes in the product. And it does so because empathizes with the Players. There is a cultural discourse that must be taken into consideration.
The company culture is shaped by each person who comes in with their own energy. You can define the values you would like in your team, but people are much more complex. It’s about understanding what people are with you and what you can create with that. The empathy starts with you.
- Empathy doesn’t mean your child likes the game your company is playing.
- Empathy does not mean achieving a good D3/D1 ratio.
- Empathy does not mean that the reviews are positive.
Empathy means putting yourself in a player’s shoes and participating in the event you launched this weekend. Become a player of your game, play your game every day. Be present in playtests where unknown people try your game and also other similar games. If your team connects with people, a social casino game can be very stimulating even for a technical artist who wants to create RPGs.