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Squad Busters beat the “voluntary play” test

Squad Busters is a great toy, for me. I noticed this is a game led by game designers. I guess that they want to prove the long tail of this concept. And I hope they will because they are making something they like.

I bet that this game has passed the first very important test of any successful game. This is NOT the D1 retention that can be calculated in at least 4 different ways to trick stakeholders.

I call this test “voluntary play”: if the team is playing the game for pure pleasure, you have a promising game.

Only 5% of games pass this test. If more people would make this test we would have fewer meaningless games in the stores. We prefer to keep working on something uninteresting because “we should check CPI”, or “Let’s see D3“.

My question is: why should the people play that crap if you won’t?

Squad Busters has a strong hook, for sure. If its tail is high enough, building the mid-experience on vertical progress should be easier than following the old playbook. And if it doesn’t work, it’s still a game related to their brand. They could also try to expand to more platforms.

I would play this on Steam, for example.

And for mobile, I would add a new control system for people like me who prefer to swipe. A system based on giving directions to the squad by swiping on the screen. With points of interest for them to act with elements in the range.

Published inGame Design

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