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关于一次小小的免费游戏实验

发布时间:2015-06-19 11:23:46 Tags:,,,,

作者:Juan Belon Perez

这一实验的目的是创造一款带有广告的免费游戏,尽快完成这款游戏并在同一天或隔天发行它。

上周这一实验便完成了,我也收集了所有的信息。然后我决定与你们分享我的游戏开发经验中最具开创性的见解:创造短游戏是在拥有并不像我这样的人的主导者的游戏产业中生存下去(不被淘汰)的一种方法。你必须具有天赋能够在最短时间内创造出最佳游戏。那些能够在一周内创造出多款游戏并从中获得乐趣的业余开发者和美术师通常都能够从广告和应用内部购买中赚取收益。

根源

我之所以开始这个实验是因为我的朋友正在通过自己的免费游戏赚钱,而他推荐我去创造这些免费游戏以提高收入。我认为付费模式最适合自己,但从我开始行动时,游戏产业便教会了我一个重要的教训。

在我决定创造一些免费游戏的前一天,我正在开发另一款大型付费游戏。但我需要更多钱去支持它的开发并保障游戏质量,所以我只能停下来并承认这个悲惨的现实。如果你阅读过我之前的文章你便会知道我想要留在付费业务模式中,但很多开发者和我一样,总是为了谋生而不得不转向免费模式。

第一次实验

一开始最好可以先列出你想要创造的游戏,就像我之前所做的那样。我尝试着创造一款赛车游戏并花费一周时间去完成它,然后我犯了更多错误,即创造了其它任何人都不会喜欢的奇怪的游戏。所有的这些游戏都遭遇了彻底的失败。最后我想到人们应该会想玩较短且简单的游戏:容易玩但却难以精通的游戏,即一些已建立起来的类型:跑酷游戏,平台游戏以及模拟游戏等等。

我所创造的第一款跑酷游戏是《Frogger》,我花了不到8个小时便完成了游戏,而它一天内便赚到了150美元,超过了我之前一些付费游戏一个月内的收益。很明显免费游戏能够更快地带来收益,然后它却只能达到较短的高潮,隔天这款游戏的收益便只剩下不到20美元。

学习如何避易就难

从这时候起,我便开发了更多免费游戏,我的目标是尽快完成这项游戏并衡量它们在市场中的成绩。结果便是我收到了许多消极的评论。我尝试着去回复所有的电子邮件,评论和反馈,但是我却不可能给予所有人回复。

正是在这里创造性和盈利出现了矛盾。

我将呈现给你两款创造了我的主要受益的游戏的结果。

首先,参数并不是什么启示

funnel_sm(from gamasutra)

funnel_sm(from gamasutra)

引用:“公司并未创造游戏,是人在创造游戏。高兴的人总能够创造更出色的游戏。”—-Ignited Artists的首席执行官和联合创始人Danielle Deibler说道,同时也解释了为何他们会在尝试着开发手机游戏的同时也在努力维持工作/生活的平衡。

其次,用于实验中的压缩开发时间

f2ptitle(from gamasutra)

f2ptitle(from gamasutra)

案例研究:野生动物模拟游戏

titleLeo(from gamasutra)

titleLeo(from gamasutra)

这款游戏是针对一个游戏设计挑战所创造的原型。我在一个月内将其变成了一款完成的PC游戏和手机游戏。

模拟游戏《Leopard》在2014年12月到2015年4月的测试结果:

global_view_leo(from gamasutra)

global_view_leo(from gamasutra)

从这张钻石形状的图表中我们并不能看出这些月份所创造的收益流,所以让我们分别渲染数据:

resume_leopard(from gamasutra)

resume_leopard(from gamasutra)

我认为从中我们能够看出最初的图表所传达的内容,是否有许多人?

impressions_leo(from gamasutra)

impressions_leo(from gamasutra)

换句话说:通过变成一名免费游戏开发者,你便能够期待自己的游戏获得11.3万以上的下载量。市场是否应该隐藏这样的下载数值?这一下载数值是否会影响人们下载游戏的决定?

让我们看看每个市场感受变化:

亚马逊

a_impressions_evo_leo(from gamasutra)

a_impressions_evo_leo(from gamasutra)

App Store

as_impressions_evo_leo(from gamasutra)

as_impressions_evo_leo(from gamasutra)

在这一图表中你可以看到在最后时刻出现了更多广告网络。我们是否能够通过添加广告网络去完善“填充率”?更新后的下载情况如何?

Google Play

gp_impressions_evo_leo(from gamasutra)

gp_impressions_evo_leo(from gamasutra)

基于浏览量和平均eCPM(游戏邦注:每一千次展示可以获得的广告收入),我们是否能够衡量收益?让我们看看这一模拟游戏的最终结果:

adsRevenuePerMarket_leo(from gamasutra)

adsRevenuePerMarket_leo(from gamasutra)

我们并不能衡量收益,因为eCPM会随着市场,广告发行商等等因素发生改变。这是一个全新的问题,并且因为大部分表面的改变,我们很难去回答该问题。我在自己的游戏中所看到的最佳eCPM是基于Chartboost广告网络的450美元,但这是因为它一天只管理了几个用户。

以下是在这几个月间游戏eCOM的发展图表:

亚马逊

Amazon_eCPM_Evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

Amazon_eCPM_Evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

App Store

AS_eCPM_Evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

AS_eCPM_Evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

如果我们比较App Store中来自印象所呈现的结果,我们便会觉得AdMob想要专注于在游戏中呈现广告,这也是最佳eCPM时段。

Google Play

GP_eCPM_Evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

GP_eCPM_Evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

尽管这并不是一个必要的数学问题,但是在每个市场中eCPM却是不同的。基于收益发展图表,我们可以发现如果重叠之前的图表,结果几乎都是一样的。例如亚马逊。

amazon_earned_evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

amazon_earned_evolution_leo(from gamasutra)

叠加图表:是否有可能eCPM/印象/收益的高潮有时候是相匹配的?

overlapped(from gamasutra)

overlapped(from gamasutra)

对于任何想要从自己的作品中赚取收益的游戏开发者来说,看到eCPM随着下载量的提升是合理的情况,但事实上情况并不是如此。你可能数周拥有同样的下载数据并收到非常低eCPM,所以你可能几乎赚不到多少钱。

奇怪的结果

花一个月创造一款游戏并且每隔四至六个月对其进行更新是可行的,但这却是一个糟糕的想法。用户总是能够猜出你的意图(快速赚钱)并在评论中发出抱怨。

然而我并未因此停下来,在六个小时内我又创造出一款《Frogger》的复制游戏。以下便是其结果:

案例研究:跑酷,程序上的,没有止境的游戏

froggerTitle(from gamasutra)

froggerTitle(from gamasutra)

3D《Frogger》般的游戏在2014年12月至2015年4月的结果:

global_view_frog(from gamasutra)

global_view_frog(from gamasutra)

注意在钻石中间的不同处(亚马逊的印象),现在让我们使用一张人型图表:

impressions_frog(from gamasutra)

impressions_frog(from gamasutra)

现在的收益数据是:

adsrevenue_frog(from gamasutra)

adsrevenue_frog(from gamasutra)

是的,基于少量的下载,这款在六个小时内完成的游戏赚到了比我花了一整月时间去开发的游戏还多的钱,这只是关于带有广告的亚马逊版本。

这两款游戏的不同结果在于广告印象数值:《Leopard》是35.5万,《Frogger》是24.6万。

结论:

data_frogger(from gamasutra)

data_frogger(from gamasutra)

随着免费游戏时代的到来,我们可以从一些更出色的游戏中学到的教训是,用户粘性能够带给我们更出色的eCPM,同时创造出更多收益。当然运气元素也很重要,我甚至不能想象只要花6个小时去创造一款游戏便能够帮助自己赚到1300美元。

从这一实验中我感受到了很大的乐趣,这能够帮助我们测试实现最小可持续成功的方法。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转发,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

A little F2P experiment

by Juan Belon Perez

The goal of the experiment was to make one f2p game with ads every day, and do it as fast as possible, to publish it on the same day or the next.

Last week, this experiment ended and I collected all the info. Then I made the decision to publish what might have been the most groundbreaking insight of my game dev experience: Making short games is a way to survive (and do not disappear) in the game industry where the leaders are not people like me. You must be talented to make the best game you can in the least time possible. Amateur devs and artists who create various games a week and have fun with it typically get revenue from ads and in-app purchases. .

How I got here

I started this experiment because my friends were making money with their f2p games and they recommend me to make these free games instead of my typical paid games in order to improve income. I thought that the paid model was the best for me, but instead the game industry taught me one of the biggest lesson since I began.

Just one day before I decided to make some f2p games, I was developing another big paid game. But I needed more money for its development to ramp up the quality, so I had to pull the plug and admit the sad reality. If you read my previous posts, you knew that I wanted to stay with the paid business model, but like me, developers are being forced into this model to make a living.

First experiments

To start, it is best to begin by making a list of games you would like to make, beyond the primary instinct of doing without thinking, like I did before. I tried to make racing games that took 1 week to complete, then I made more mistakes doing other kinds of weird games that nobody liked to play. All those games were total failures. Finally, I thought people would want to play short and simple games: Easy to play but hard to master games, within well-established genres: runners, platformers, simulators, and so on.

The first runner game I made was a frogger, developed in less than 8 hours, and it made 150$ in a day, more than some of my previous (better) paid games would ever raise in a single month. It was clear then that f2p games could generate quick revenue, however this was only a short peak, and revenue went down the very next day to less than 20$.

Learning the hard way

From this point on, I developed more f2p games, with the goal of finishing them as soon as possible and measure the results in the markets. Consequently, lots of bad reviews came in. I tried to reply to all the mails, comments, and feedback, but it is impossible to reply to everybody.

Where creativity and monetization clash.

I am going to show you results from two of the games that generated the majority of my revenue. There is no space here to do it with all the games I made.

First, The metrics aren’t the message

QUOTE | “Companies don’t build games, people build games. And happy people build better games.” – Ignited Artists CEO and co-founder Danielle Deibler, explaining why they are developing mobile games while trying to maintain a work/life balance.

Second, the compressed dev time used for this experiment in charts

Case Study: Wild Animals Simulators

This game was prototyped for a game design challenge. I fleshed it out within a month into a full game for PC and mobile devices.

Test results from December 2014 to April 2015 – Leopard Simulator game:

From this diamond-shaped chart, you can’t tell much about the revenue stream during the month, … so let’s render the data differently:

I think that’s where you’re seeing the previous crazy chart translated, is that too much people?

In other words: By becoming a f2p developer, you can expect 113k downloads and more. Should markets hide download numbers? Does the download figure influence people’s decision to download a title?

Let’s see the impressions evolution per market:

· Amazon

· AppStore

In this chart you can see more ad networks being added at the end of the period to add more data. Can we improve the “fill rate” adding ad networks? What about downloads after updates?

· Google Play

With the amount of views, and the average eCPM ,can we measure revenue?, let’s see the finantial results for this simulator game:

We can not measure the revenue because the eCPM changes with the markets, the ads publishers, etc. It is a whole new question that emerges and can’t be answered from largely and superficial changes. The best eCPM I saw in a game of mine was 450$ with the Chartboost ads network, but that’s because it only manages a few users a day.

These are the charts for the eCPM evolution during those months for that game:

· Amazon

· App Store

If we compare the results from the impressions in the AppStore, it looks like AdMob wants attention to display ads in the game, it’s the best eCPM of the period.

· Google Play

Though that isn’t necessarily a math question, it is a conflict of the eCPM for each market. With the revenue evolution charts, it is almost the same if you overlay the previous charts. For example, Amazon

Overlay chart: Is it possible that the eCPM/Impressions/Revenue peaks match in time?

To any game developer who has struggled to get revenue from their work, it must seem incredibly logical to see a raise in eCPM with a raise of downloads, but that is not the case. You can have the exact same download numbers and receive a very low eCPM for weeks, so you almost get no money.

The bizarre outcome

Making a game a month and updating it every 4-6 months can work, but it’s a bad idea. Users can almost invariably tell your intentions (make quick money) and call you out in the reviews.

I however did not let that stop me, and in 6 hours, I made a frogger clone. These are the results…

Case Study: Runners, Procedural, Non-Ending games

Test results from December 2014 to April 2015 – 3D Frogger game:

Notice the difference in the middle of the diamond (Amazon impressions), now let’s use a fanzy people chart where you can notice that:

And now, the crazy part, the revenue data:

Yes, with a smaller number of downloads, this game made in 6 hours earned more than the one that took one whole month to develop (even with game design award, best looking graphics and better gameplay), just from the Amazon version with ads.

The difference between both games results is the number of ad impressions: 355k for the Leopard and 246k for the Frogger.

To summarize:

In the wake of f2p generation, lessons may yet be learned, with a better game, the users engagement give us a better eCPM, therefore, better revenue. Luck is important too. I could not even imagine that making a frog game in six hours could make me get $1.3k ,nowadays.

I had fun with this little experiment,to test a way to achieve the minimum sustainable success.(source:gamasutra)

 


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