Guest post: 5 lessons from the designer of Farmville
July 3, 2012
3/ Leverage what you learned from the past
At Barbie Team Gymnastics, he learned a lot about gymnastics - animation, theory etc. And later when he was on the team creating Aeon Flux, it was decided the lead protagonist would be much more acrobatic, and his past experience led perfectly to the new game. His lesson? Leverage what you have learned and have an open mind to new topics - they could be useful in the future too.
4/ Monetization has to be appropriate to the audience
It was interesting hearing about his experience with My Horse - on one hand an extremely popular game with over 10 million downloads for iPad but relatively speaking, low monetization. Why? Because a lot of the level grind mechanics in the game didn’t match the audience - young girls and boys. They simply didn’t “get it”. In hindsight, his opinion was that it could have been better to have designed more of a pet simulator/dress up style of experience to match those who love the game. That said, it’s hard to argue with the success of a product that has driven that much traffic and surely a good amount of revenue.
5/ And finally… every game needs a WOW moment
Raymond made the observation that the moment players fell in love with My Horse was when they first saw the horse in the field, animating and interacting with the player - truly a wow moment that emotionally hooked them (we see that when players first see their stylist interact to their touch). He recommends all games try to establish a WOW moment early on in the experience to get them engaged.
All up, some excellent tips from a very experienced and creative talent.
Guest author Simon Newstead, CEO of Frenzoo (frenzoo.com), creates 3d mobile games for women (megirl.com) and discusses game design and startup tips and strategy. Simon blogs at IteratingFun.com and can be reached at [email protected] or @simonhk