Saturday, September 7, 2013

Casual Connect 2013: How to Design and Operate a Successful Live Event in Mobile/Social Games

by Chris Plummer, Head of Ideation and New Development Strategy, DeNA
·         Abstract: This talk covers the essential features of running a successful Raid Boss event.
·         Events are not a sale, not a pushing of new content, not just for whales, and not just for an ARPDAU spike. Credible events add something special to the game.
·         Events will dramatically inflect game performance week to week. It doubles or triples engagement day after day, and can 4x – 10x your daily revenue.
·         Common event frameworks include solo progression, PvP, and the raid boss.
·         Event harness essentials – start and end, changes the rules of the game, introduces a new mode, unique scoring system and currencies from the main game, rewards systems that are more rewarding than normal play, content tools, promotion and description UI, KPI analytics, and event-specific affinity.
·         Event designer’s checklist – clear premise (episodic content), exclusive content and UX design, clear progression design, KPI targets, base rewards for everyone that are very generous but not overkill, elite rewards for the whales, and all references players would need.
·         Raid Boss framework – unique energy to power your attack on a raid boss, ability to buy more battle energy, call for help, and earn tickets to redeem rewards (this gets people going to the store as a habit, where they’ll run into other items they want to buy). Consumables are not valuable, so give people something they’ll desire such as a permanent upgrade or cards.
·         Raid Boss features – invasion premise, unique instance (we group together to attack the boss), event-specific battle energy, call for help, victory rewards (give stuff away for what players did, who discovered the boss, who did the most damage, who did the most healing, who did the killing blow, etc.), limited lifespan, boss progress (becomes harder to find and harder to defeat), rewards that are cumulative across raids, leaderboard rewards (give crazy awesome rewards for the top 100), pay for advantage/affinity that are specific to that boss (and no longer work after the raid is over).
·         Raid Boss KPIs – participation rate, daily EP totals by engagement cohorts, revenue, DAU, win/loss ratios for the boss, number of help requests and response rate.
·         Tips – tune event so that high users finish the event and light users get through about one-third of it. All players should get something cool so it drives participation rates. Tune the events daily, make the rewards worth it, and tune the progression pace. Tune supply of energy first and rewards engagement before tuning the boss difficulty. Be very careful about tuning boss difficulty because the entire event is based around it, so tune everything else first. Offer insanely powerful rewards for top leaderboard positions.

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