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Game Design Secrets

Book Description

Design great Facebook, iOS, and Web games and learn from the experts what makes a game a hit!

This invaluable resource shows how to put into action the proven design and marketing techniques from the industry's best game designers, who all started on a small scale. The book walks novice and experienced game designers through the step-by-step process of conceptualizing, designing, launching, and managing a winning game on platforms including Facebook, iOS, and the Web. The book is filled with examples that highlight key design features, explain how to market your game, and illustrate how to turn your design into a money-making venture.

  • Provides an overview of the most popular game platforms and shows how to design games for each

  • Contains the basic principles of game design that will help promote growth and potential to generate revenue

  • Includes interviews with top independent game developers who reveal their success secrets

  • Offers an analysis of future trends that can open (or close) opportunities for game designers

Game Design Secrets provides aspiring game designers a process for planning, designing, marketing, and ultimately making money from new games.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Part I: Overview
    1. Chapter 1: Market Overview: iOS, Facebook, and the Web
      1. Understanding Why to Choose These Platforms over Others
      2. Surveying the iOS Market
      3. Surveying the Facebook Game Market
      4. Surveying the Web Game Market
      5. Summary
    2. Chapter 2: iOS versus Facebook versus the Web: What’s the Right Platform?
      1. Reviewing What Works and What Doesn’t on iOS
      2. What Works Best on iOS
      3. What Doesn’t Work on iOS
      4. Reviewing What Works and What Doesn’t in Facebook Games
      5. What Works Best on Facebook
      6. What Doesn’t Work on Facebook
      7. Reviewing What Works and What Doesn’t in Web Games
      8. What Works Best in Web Games
      9. What Doesn’t Work in Web Games
      10. Summary
  3. Part II: Facebook
    1. Chapter 3: Facebook Games: The Users, the Money, and the Major Players
      1. Understanding Who Plays Facebook Games and Who Pays for Them
      2. Identifying Facebook’s Big Three in Games and Three of Its Rising Stars
      3. Getting to Know the Playing Field: The Genres Likely to Go Big, Do Well, or Stay Small
      4. Understanding the Anatomy of a Successful Facebook Game
      5. Finding Out Where the Money’s Made in Facebook Games
      6. Pitching Publishers: Who Buys/Publishes Indie Games and Why
      7. Summary
    2. Chapter 4: Facebook Game Design: Basic Principles for Growth and Revenue
      1. Gaining and Keeping Users
      2. Earning and Growing Revenue
      3. Chatting with Justin Smith of Inside Virtual Goods and AppData about Game Revenue
      4. Summary
    3. Chapter 5: Facebook Design Lessons from KIXEYE and 5th Planet Games
      1. Designing Facebook Strategy Games the KIXEYE Way
      2. Designing Story-Rich Facebook RPGs the�5th Planet Way
      3. Summary
    4. Chapter 6: Future Trends and Opportunities for Facebook Games
      1. Forecasting Future (Likely) Facebook Gaming Trends
      2. Forecasting Unlikely Facebook Gaming Trends
      3. Summary
  4. Part III: The Web
    1. Chapter 7: Deep Dive into Web Gaming: Who Plays, Who Pays
      1. Starting Out: An Overview of the Web Gaming Market
      2. Monetization Advice for Indie Developers
      3. Pitching Publishers: Who Buys/Publishes Indie Games, Why They Do, and What You Can Expect to Earn
      4. Getting Your Game on Jay Is Games, the Web Game Kingmaker
      5. Summary
    2. Chapter 8: Web Game Design: Basic Principles for Growth and Revenue
      1. Conceiving and Branding Your Game
      2. Distributing, Promoting, and Licensing Your Game
      3. Optimizing Your Game’s Web Presence
      4. Earning Revenue from Your Game
      5. Summary
    3. Chapter 9: Web Game Developer Profiles: Kingdom of Loathing, Nitrome, and Desktop Tower Defense
      1. Learning from Kingdom of Loathing, the Indie Cult RPG
      2. Learning from Desktop Tower Defense—and What Its Developer Learned the Hard Way
      3. Turning Hit Web Games into a Hit Web Game Factory, the Nitrome Way
      4. Summary
    4. Chapter 10: Future Trends and Opportunities for Web Gaming
      1. Advertising-Based Payments and Secondary Markets
      2. As HTML5 Rises, Does Flash Have a Future?
      3. The Rise of Hard-Core on the Web
      4. Twitter: A Blue Ocean of Opportunity on the Web
      5. Google+ and Chrome: A Secondary Market Worth Watching, Especially in South America
      6. Asynchronous Multimedia Sharing Integrated into Games
      7. The Continued Growth of Web-Based App Stores
      8. The Rise of Indie Development Funds
      9. Summary
  5. Part IV: iOS
    1. Chapter 11: Quick Survey of the iOS Game Market
      1. Surveying the iOS Market: What Players Spend, What Developers Earn
      2. Purchasing Revenue from In-App Payments
      3. Purchasing Advertising and the Negligible Benefit of Offer-Based Acquisitions
      4. Pitching to and Working with Publishers
      5. Summary
    2. Chapter 12: iOS Game Design: Basic Principles for Growth and Revenue
      1. Getting Started: Some Basic Concepts
      2. Monetizing Freemium Games: Design Considerations
      3. Closing Thoughts and Advice for Starting Out
      4. Summary
    3. Chapter 13: iOS Game Developer Profile: Tiger Style and Hatch
      1. Learning from the Style of Tiger Style
      2. Preparing to Hatch: Lessons Learned from Designing a Virtual Life iOS Game
      3. Summary
    4. Chapter 14: Future Trends and Opportunities for iOS Gaming
      1. Surveying Upcoming iOS Trends: Experts Weigh In
      2. Understanding the Future of iOS Games in China: Overview and Advice from Yodo1’s Henry Fong
      3. Summary
  6. Part V: Funding Your Game
    1. Chapter 15: Is Your Game Ready to Get VC or Crowdfunding?
      1. Weighing the Promises and Perils of Financing Your Game through VCs or Crowdfunding
      2. Understanding How to Sell VCs on Your Game, Part I: Nabeel Hyatt, Spark Capital
      3. Understanding How to Sell VCs on Your Game, Part II: Jeremy Liew, Lightspeed Venture Partners
      4. Understanding Best Practices of Crowdfunded Games, Part I: Overview and General Advice
      5. Understanding Best Practices of Crowdfunded Games, Part II: Advice from Adrian Hon, Developer of ZOMBIES RUN!
      6. Summary
  7. Part VI: Game Design Documents and Final Thoughts
    1. Chapter 16: Game Design Documents: Tiger Style’s Spider and Waking Mars
      1. Excerpts from Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor
      2. Excerpts from the Waking Mars Design Documents
      3. Summary
    2. Chapter 17: Concluding Thoughts Before You Start Designing
      1. Learning from Leading Designers—Lessons You’ll Need When You’re Ready to Design
      2. Summary
  8. Part VII: Appendixes
    1. Appendix A: Resources for Designers
      1. Where to Go Next: My Blog and Contact Info
      2. How to Contact the Venture Capitalists Interviewed in This Book
      3. Game Industry Analysts and Other Online Resources
      4. Remote Game Developer Resources
      5. Facebook Game Resources: Analytics
      6. Facebook Game Resources: Publishers
      7. Web Game Resources: Publishers
      8. Web Game Resources: Monetization
      9. iOS Game Resources: Analytics
      10. iOS Resources: Publishers
      11. iOS Game Resources: Chinese Distribution
      12. Using Prototype Sketches, Storyboards, and Art as Design References
    2. Appendix B: Design Principles
      1. Best Reasons to Develop Low-Budget/Indie Games for iOS, Facebook, and the Web
      2. Games That Do Best on iOS
      3. Games That Do Best on Facebook
      4. Games That Do Best on the Web
      5. Facebook: Games That Will Do Well in the Near Future
      6. Facebook: How to Determine a New Game Is Probably Successful
      7. Facebook: How Many Paying Players Can You Expect?
      8. Facebook: How to Find an Audience and Grow Your Game
      9. Facebook Game Design Principles
      10. Facebook Monetization Principles
      11. Facebook Game Design Lessons from KIXEYE’s Paul Preece
      12. Facebook Game Design Lessons from 5th Planet’s Robert Winkler
      13. Features You Should Consider in Future Facebook Games
      14. Web Games: Who Will Pay to Play Your Game?
      15. Web Games: How Low-Budget/Indie Developers Can Make More Money
      16. Web Game Design Advice from the Jay Is Games Editorial Staff
      17. Web Game Design Principles to Attract an Audience
      18. Web Game Deployment Principles to Maintain an Audience—and Encourage Them to Pay
      19. Web Game Design Lessons from Developers with KIXEYE, Nitrome, and Kingdom of Loathing
      20. Future Trends Web Game Designers Should Watch for and Take Advantage Of
      21. iOS Games: How Large the Market Is and How Much You Can Expect to Make from It
      22. iOS Games: How to Find Players and Get Them to Pay
      23. iOS Games: Design Principles for the Platform
      24. iOS Games: Design Principles Through Analytics
      25. iOS Games: Design Principles for Monetizing Goods
      26. iOS Game Design Lessons from Tiger Style’s Randy Smith and Impending’s Phill Ryu
      27. Future iOS Trends Game Designers Should Watch For
      28. What Venture Capitalists Nabeel Hyatt and Jeremy Liew Look for in a Game Project
      29. How to Pitch Your Game Project on Kickstarter
    3. Appendix C: Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
  9. About the Author
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. Introduction