1、创意性地使用Facebook API。了解如何在技术上使用Facebook API和了解如何创意性地利用其病毒性潜能是完全不同的两件事。也就是说，API功能的互联网记录只能提供一定的帮助，只有实践才能理解其潜在的用处。那么要怎么做呢？尽量多研究Facebook上的游戏，这需要你玩过游戏中各种不同关卡，理解如何利用各种API调用来最大化病毒式效果。记住，好的游戏设计通常都是从完善的研究开始，某些优秀的游戏设计师也是劲头十足的游戏玩家。
The Anatomy of a Social Game
Here is Hassan Baig again with his thoughts on what makes Social Games tick! I thoroughly enjoyed his insight, as I am sure you will. Without further ado, I’m turning it over to Hasan:
This is confessedly a bad time to talk about social gaming – Facebook, the premier social gaming platform, is in the national cross-hair with a ferocity so extreme that any outsider can assume it’s the root of everything that is wrong with Pakistan.
However, we cannot ignore the billion dollar plus opportunity social gaming has been in 2009, we cannot ignore the high double-digit growth this industry is expected to undergo for years to come, we cannot ignore this very real opportunity to establish a Pakistani IP footprint in the global tech-space instead of being content as everyone’s fifth favorite outsource destination.
Integral in the quest for IP development in the Facebook gaming niche is to understand that social game design is going to take much more than mere software engineering skills. This is more of an artform than a technical skill. What follows is a set of guidelines a software engineer can utilize in the bid to become a social game designer:
1) Creative use of the Facebook API: Knowing the Facebook API’s technical usage, and knowing how to utilize its viral potential through creative wizardry are two completely different things. That is to say, internet documentation of the APIs features can only take you so far – to really understand the possibilities you will need to see the API in action. And how does one do that? Research as many games on Facebook as you can – that entails playing through their different levels and understanding how the various API calls are used for maximal viral effect. Remember, good game design always starts from good research. Some of the best game designers out there are avid game players too.
2) Game play that engages social graph of the user creatively: Tapping into a user’s social graph is different from multiplayer mechanics – the former is all about interacting with friends and acquaintances – the latter’s about playing with strangers. What’s the difference then? Human psychology plays out differently when interacting with friends and strangers. Peer pressure, honor and revenge are mechanics one can more readily engender among groups of friends than strangers – so social game developers have to understand these nuances before they get into designing games that tap into users’ social graphs.
3) Identifying popular genres: Social networks are not gaming portals. They never will be. Why? Users on social networks do not primarily log in to play games – no, the prime directive is to network with friends and gaming is the secondary reason. The kind of genres hot in social networking can more easily be understood if seen within the context of this fact. So for instance, games with hardcore mechanics are not suitable for these distribution platforms whereas games with casual, ‘soft’ mechanics which enable users to engage their social graphs in fun ways are the right fit.
4) Know thy target demographic: The target audience in social gaming is not males between the ages of 16-24. Far from it. So therefore, game content is going to be very specialized. A starting point to find out what your target demographic is can be found here. Caveat: This is not to say that there’s no room for niches to exist.
5) How to enhance stickiness: Social gaming content is usually very shallow – for example, a typical social game may be a farm world where users increase the size of their farms and decorate it through various means. And that’s it. So how does such a game’s designer ensure that the users keep coming back? By fragmenting their experience into appointments. Appointment-gaming is a delayed gratification mechanic where users accomplish a task in the present but get a delayed reward in the future. This ensures that users would have an incentive to return to the game – thus enhancing stickiness. There are other ways to achieve this effect too – minigames, novelty gameplay, social hooks etc. Usually they’re mixed in with appointment gaming for maximal effect.
6) Effectively monetizing: Just setting up a virtual cash shop won’t guarantee big ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) numbers. Instead, effective monetization is a product of understanding user psychology and their emotional needs. No monetization strategy is complete without additive hooks which take advantage of peer pressure, revenge, lottery and the desire to show off. So for example, users will not pay much for mere convenience items – on the other hand things which improve their image in front of their friends will sell much better. A good starting point to understand the psychology of effective monetization can be found here.
7) How to incentivize users to invite more friends: The game designer needs to engender ‘positive network effects’ in their game for users to invite more of their kind. Just like the real-life invention of the telephone – where the utility of the device was directly correlated to the number of people using it – the game mechanics should be such that users’ experience becomes richer if more of their friends are playing the game. For instance, one can have a game about a virtual hotel where each user earns more cash the more people from their social graph visit the hotel. This example illustrates a very natural, very organic way of engendering positive network effects. Game designers should pay particular attention to this mechanic in the bid to enhance their games’ virality. (Source: Tech Lahore)