Monday, September 2, 2013

Casual Connect 2013: Adapting Mid-Core Gameplay to Casual Platforms

by Mike Goslin, General Manager, Rebel Entertainment
·         Summary: To make a successful mid-core game, your game needs to support evergreen content (user-generated content, PvP), challenge with stats (leaderboards, player matching), and social features (guilds, forum).
·         Mike started his career bringing casual games to hardcore platforms, but has since been working on the opposite.
·         The three tenets of mid-core gameplay to focus on are…
1.     Time – core gamers play more and faster than a casual gamer, so they’ll chew through game content really quickly. Trying to add new content to keep up will end in a perpetually losing race. Some solutions to this are to add an RPG treadmill (but this may be boring), include user-generated content, and add competitive PvP. In terms of operations, your infrastructure should support persistence, multiplayer, and moderation of user-created content and online multiplayer.
2.     Challenge – challenge is often split between your core and casual players. Core players want difficulty right away, while casual players need easy levels upfront to guide them into the game. The trick is to make your game easy to learn and difficult to master. Include leaderboards (both global and with friends), player matching, and real-time stats.
3.     Community – guilds will extend the lifetime of your game dramatically. You will need strong community management and moderation.
·         Theme matters. Your game has to look like it’s for the audience or they won’t even try it.
·         The major pitfall of core games on mobile is the lack of reach. However, core gamers will eventually move into the space and it’s worth making games for them since they have higher LTV.
·         Cross-platform real-time multiplayer for twitch-based games are tough. If you don’t have the infrastructure, you need to make your game turn-based or not cross-platform.
·         Don’t shove leaderboards into player’s faces because it will turn some casual players off.

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