作者：Lahettanyt Michail Katkoff
Zynga加强并修改了这个部分，但说到核心玩法，它与经典老游戏《Bubble Witch Saga》和《Bubble Island》的如出一辙，其实甚至不如后者。一方面，关卡难度提升太快（游戏邦注：刺激玩家使用增益道具、购买或请求好友赠送增益道具；关卡失败，玩家会损失精力，于是还是要购买或请求好友赠送精力）；另一方面，玩家在地图上无法看到好友的进度，这就影响了玩家留存率，因为缺少竞争元素。
甚至是纯赚钱的方面，《Bubble Safari》也做得相当好。这款游戏出售只能用真钱购买的能量道具（便宜但消耗量大）、精力和立即重玩功能。为了在保持低单价的情况下获得高收益，Zynga使用了双重货币系统。所以即使玩家需要的Safari钱的还不值1美元，但Safari钱的较高单价会刺激玩家成包成包地购买，于是购买的总量就会很大。《Bubble Safari》也出售Safari金币，但根据我的经验，与硬通货相比，出售软通货通常收益不高。
Dissecting Bubble Safari
by L?hett?nyt Michail Katkoff
Facebook is pretty much saturated with bubble shooter games. Yet Zynga decided to take a piece of the action with its latest title Bubble Safari. Now what new did the big boy of social gaming brought to the table that king.com or wooga missed?
Oh and in case if you want an actual game review of Bubble Safari check it out here, because this blog is pretty much about the monetization mechanics of the game.
Playing the game consumes Energy. If player completes the level, Energy is given back accompanied with some XP and Coins. Now getting more XP levels you up while leveling up opens up new power ups. And power ups are purchased mainly with Coins (soft currency). There are though some powerful power ups that are purchased only with premium currency (hard currency).
Now once the player is out of Energy there are those three well known options: wait, request or buy. Players are driven back to the game via timer mechanics (wait for Energy to recharge) and a cocktail of virality. And Zynga’s virality cocktails are something worth checking out!
The Virality Cocktail a’la Zynga
Starting with the Level Passed and Level Up popups you know you’re playing a Zynga game because it’s just so easy to share and request – even if you didn’t ment to.
“Share and Continue” – how can you not press that?
But it’s not about super polished popups with misleading buttons. Players are actually rewarded for inviting friends (rewarding for virality is something Facebook frowns upon if you’re not Zynga).
And in case player is not aware just how cool it is to play with friends, Bubble Island gives you 2 monkey friends once you unlock the first power up. The monkey friends then give you friend specific power ups (bubbles) that you are forced to use in the next level. Awesome!
Here you go! Some monkey friends to hook you up with Bubbles. Now INVITE and REQUEST!
Now to perfect the virality Bubble Island ditches the typical top ranking bar and instead replaces it with an invitation bar. This is a great implementation for a new game and new users, though once player progresses and has plenty of friends I think they will replace the invitation bar with the typical ranking bar, which allows sending requests to plying friends.
A cherry on the top of the virality cocktail was the Booster Spinner. The Booster Spinner is visible when playing a level. Player spins the slot for a random power up. Once the spin is over, player clicks on use button and that opens up a feed post window saying that you won “this-and-that” power up and now you’re sharing the power up with anyone who clicks on the post. In addition you can re-spin the power up slot, though that uses some of your premium currency. So the whole feature is a pretty perfect combination of virality and monetization. Sharable, clickable and purchasable.
Zynga enhanced and revamped the virality part but when it comes to the core game, it’s pretty much the same what good old Bubble Witch Saga and Bubble Island are offering… Actually it’s even a bit worse. The levels get hard really fast (incentivize to use booster > buy or request boosters) (fail level > lose Energy > buy or request Energy) and you can’t see how far your friends have progressed on the map, which really hinders players retention because a lack of competitive element that good old race to the finish brings.
Progression is map based. Leveling unlocks new power ups.
I like the fact the Zynga didn’t go too heavy on the power ups by starting a selling campaign right from the get go. Instead power ups are gradually earned by completing levels. First power ups are accompanied by a step by step instructions making it natural to use one or two power ups for each of the levels. Also the fact that you lose Energy if you don’t pass the level really pushes the player to use all the help they can.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, there are three currencies player can pay with: return to the game daily, bring friends to the game or pay with hard currency. Now with all the virality amped under the hood of Bubble Safari, I’d say that this game is monetizing pretty well.
Continue? Well the pay 4 Safari Cash son! 10 sec to make up your mind….
But even purely moneywise Bubble Safari is doing pretty well. The game sells Premium Power Ups (consumable though very cheap), Energy and Instant Retries (check out the image above), which are all bought with game specific Premium Currency. To ensure higher revenue with pretty low price points Zynga uses dual currency system. So even though player would need only less of a dollar worth of Safari Cash (yes, super lame name for Premium Currency), the price points for Safari Cash are high and incentivize players to purchase large amounts by giving far more Safari Cash (just love writing that) in bigger bundles. Bubble Safari sells also Safari Coins, but according to my experience, sell of Soft Currency is usually very marginal when compared to Premium Currency.
High price points for bundles allow to keep low prices in the actual game without compromising on average revenue per user.(source:deconstructoroffun)