Game Plan Business Plan

Some time ago, I wrote a Business Plan, Design document and Concept document for creating a game.
Unfortunately, the information is from 2011, but I think it is useful to colleagues.
The system of indicators for evaluating gameplay was invented by me, so this business plan, my whole subjective vision.

1. Introduction

Since ancient times, one of the vivid illustrations of the needs and desires of man is the ancient Roman concept of “bread and circuses”. Moreover, the "spectacle" can be interpreted in a broader sense - as in general, "entertainment". Whether we like it or not, after eating and having sex, entertainment is perhaps the main thing that worries the average consumer of any race and nationality. Therefore, the entertainment industry has long been a versatile and well-functioning business. On the Internet, one of its most noticeable branches is games: casual, browser, games on social networks and the like. On a global scale, this is now billions of dollars in annual turnover.

2. Market opportunities

First you just need to do business on the Russian Internet - this is one of the fastest growing markets. If we talk about specific business areas, e-commerce projects and services based on social connections have great potential. And of course, games, games, games. People who were previously not interested in games begin to play, for example, on a mobile phone. Games are attracting more and more new users, and this will continue. It just turned out that among the huge variety of content, games are the most popular. The combination of communication and entertainment services (especially games) works very well. (1) The
Russian Internet market is one of the few markets that did not stop growing during the crisis in all respects: advertising, domains, hosting, audience size. The web development segment is no exception.
Today in 2011, the Internet is inhabited by 43 million Russians (39% of the population). Of these, 35 million people are an active audience of Runet, and 25 million visit the Russian network daily. At the same time, 92% of users are registered in at least one social network, where there are 25 million people every month and 16 million every day. The share of Internet users in the country on average is: 92% in the category of 12-24 years old, 76% in the population of 25-44 years old, 25% in the population of 45 years or more. (2)
Figure 1 Use the Internet at least once.

1 Head of Group Dmitry Grishin in an interview for Forbes Russia.
2 According to TNS Russia, a leader in providing comprehensive media and marketing information.

Today, the turnover of the computer games market in Russia is $ 300,000,000. Of these, $ 230,000,000 are for browser games, $ 35,000,000 for games on social networks, and $ 32,000,000 for casual games. (3)
For comparison, the numbers related markets:
1. SEO: $ 200 million (search engine optimization)
2. Games: $ 300 million
3. Paid services: $ 350 million
4. Advertising on RuNet: $ 670 million (media + context + non-standard advertising)
5. E-commerce: $ 4 840 million
Figure 2 Prospects for the growth of the online games market in Russia

Russian segment of the Internet marketcould still double. By the number of users, Russia is now one of the largest countries in Europe. In addition, Runet has a large stock of revenue growth from the user. According to the audience, some Internet portals are already ahead of television channels. This is a huge additional distribution channel for various services. If earlier we could meet a user of Internet products sitting at a computer at home or at work, now you can meet him at the doctor’s office, in the subway or in a trolley bus. (4)

3. About the Russian market in 2010 - Sergey Plutogarenko (Executive Director of ROCIT - Regional Public Center for Internet Technologies).
4. The head of Group Dmitry Grishin in an interview for Forbes Russia.

The dynamics of the monthly audience in the Russian segment of social networks shows that the most attractive for creating games is the social platform (5)
Figure 3 Dynamics of the monthly audience in Russia

Almost the entire audience plays online social games, but the most active users are over 15 up to 25 years. (6) This audience dominates the social network, which also gives reason to choose this social network as a platform for developing the game.
Figure 4 The structure of the audience in Russia

5. According to TNS Russia, a leader in providing comprehensive media and marketing information.
6. The general director of the Innova company Gevorg Sargsyan in an interview for Forbes Russia.

Entering foreign markets
Once our company has successfully entered the Russian market, it will be possible to begin entering its foreign markets.

According to the report of the eMarketer research group, in 2011, about 62 million Americans (approximately 27% of all Internet users in the USA) will play at least one game on social networks per month. In 2011, users will spend $ 653 million on virtual goods (compared to $ 510 million last year), advertising will generate another $ 192 million (compared to $ 120 million in 2010), and revenue from generating leads (encouraging users of virtual currency for subscribing, participating in surveys or paying for goods and services) will amount to $ 248 million, emphasize in eMarketer.

These data are also confirmed by our Russian companies, developers of online games - “Facebook, for example, has 20-30 times more money than social networks in Russia.” (7)

7. Andrey Fadeev - founder and CEO of Progrestar in an interview with Forbes Russia.

3. Market Watch

3.1. Competitors

Foreign Companies
Zynga is an American online game developer. At the moment, is the undisputed leader. More than 10% of the global Internet audience plays her games. It was she who created the famous FarmVille (Farm). The estimated value of the company is 53bn.dollarov. This is what we must strive for!

Russian companies
Of the 4,000 applications on social networks, 80% were created in 2010. Today in Russia there are 300-400 development teams. Large studios, numbering from 11 to 35 people in Russia, only 13%. From 6 to 10 employees account for 26% of the studios, and 61% contain a staff of 1-5 people. (8)

Largest company

Mail.Ru Group is the largest Internet company in the Russian-speaking segment of the Network and the leading player in the Russian Internet by the number of monthly unique visitors. The main source of income for is online multiplayer games.
Net profit of Group in 2010 increased by 63% compared to 2009 and amounted to $ 76.7 million. Income from online games, including social, increased by 62.5% - up to $ 99.8 million.
The Group, through the company Internet BV, owns 100% of the Internet resource, it also owns 100% of ICQ, 21.35% of the payment service Qiwi through the OE holding, 2.38% of the social service Facebook, 1.47 % of the manufacturer of games Zynga, 5.13% of the discount service Groupon. Through the structure of Newtone Rose Limited, the company controls 97% of the resource, through Odnoklassniki Ltd - 100% of the social network Odnoklassniki, and through it owns 39% of the social network Vkontakte.

TOP social developers 2011
As of the beginning of March 2011 top social developers and publishers in terms of the total number of installations on VKontakte, MoiMir and Odnoklassniki networks looks like this (9):
1. Creara - 106,076,000 installations (+5.7 million per month)
2. Mail.Ru/Astrum - 93,583 000 installations (+5.4 million)
3. i-Jet - 60 843 000 units (+0.8 million)
4. Social Quantum - 38 115 000 units (
+ 4.9 million) 5. FishSticks - 29 902 000 units (+2 million)
6. Plarium - 28,993,000 installations (+2 million)
7. PlayFlock -
18,136,000 installations (-0.1 million) 8. SocialCraft & Sarcasm - 17,488,000 installations (-0.3 million)
9. Ciliz - 16,538,000 installations ( +0.6 million)
10. Exteer - 14,954,000 installations (+0.7 million)
11. KUBA Games - 14,837,000 installations (+1.1 million)
12. Progrestar - 14,056,000 installations (+0.2 million)
13. Game Insight -
13,600,000 installations (-0.3 million) 14. Kefir - 13,169,000 installations (+1.9 million)
15. Stas Andreev - 13,075,000 installations (+1 million)
16. GVFS - 12,768,000 installations (+ 2.7 million)
17. Ok'App - 12,672,000 installations (+1.3 million)
18. Weboow - 11,830,000 installations (+0.1 million)
19. Digital Entertainment - 11,789,000 installations (+0.7 million)
20. TVX Games - 11,530,000 installations (-0.03 million)
In order not to get lost in all these obscure abbreviations, the most popular applications for companies from the second half of the list are given below.
• KUBA Games: Accurate throw, Check out boobs and more than 100 mini-games
• Progrestar: Restaurateur, FlirtMania, Dig!
• Game Insight: Mysterious House, Island, Big Business
• Kefir: Tyuryaga, Fashion Week, Saakashvili Mission
• Stas Andreev: Postcard to a friend, Radio
• GVFS: Welcome Gifts
• Ok'App: Restorer, Animator, Radar
• Weboow: Avatar, Gifts, Transfer fool
• Digital Entertainment: Mega Avatar, Perfect Couple, Psychomatrix
• TVX Games: Second Self, Favorite animals, Cradle of Magic: intrusion

Market saturation
From the point of view of business, everything that works by free to play models. As for saturation, this market has virtually no saturation. In a way, this market is rubber. (10)

8. About the Russian market for 2010 - Sergey Plutogarenko (Executive Director of ROCIT)
10. Alisa Chumachenko is the founder and president of Game Insight in an interview with Forbes Russia.

3.2. Our product

The essence of any Internet project is not just to create a good product, but also to show it. Social networks allow you to do this without having a marketing budget. You create a product, upload it to the network without paying anything, and inform your friends on the social network. On the normal Internet, this is impossible, only on social networks.
But social networks need virality (a viral reaction). Only this allows you to gain an audience without large investments. But you can get it only under certain conditions.
First of all, the difference lies in guarantees of a high probability of successful implementation of the idea. Direct guarantees of success cannot exist in principle, but guarantees that all the necessary conditions for increasing the likelihood of success exist and must be fulfilled.
Many developers begin to make "original" games, BUT they release raw unprocessed products. As a result, the user does not want to invite friends. And without virality, this does not work.
The idea may not be the most original, it’s enough to pay attention to the themes of films, series and programs that loaded our television channels to the eyeballs. You just need to translate this into the language of the social game. (11) The only thing is that the game should not repeat another game in this social network.

Our advantages:
1. A new game on social networks
2. Compliance with all conditions to increase the likelihood of success (for a detailed description, see the Implementation section of the business plan)

11. Andrey Pryakhin, head of Kefir company

3.3. Game idea

Our first game will be created on the basis of the popular game for the iPhone platform, socialized and supplemented. This is a strong idea based on a product that people are willing to pay for. An idea that satisfies an existing need.
The game meets the basic requirements:
1. Novelty in the market - there is no such product in this market segment, the game is only on the platform for the iPhone.
2. Addictive gameplay (which we will create)

Next is the description of the game ...

4. Implementation

The second and main task is implementation. There is a lot of literature on creating games, but the social gaming market is quite new. We have our own vision of the approach to project implementation - a systematic approach to the creation of social games. This business plan describes its key points.
The systematic approach involves the consideration of the object as an integral set of elements in the totality of relations and relationships between them, that is, the consideration of the object as a system, revealing patterns and relationships with a view to their more efficient use. As a result, we expect to get a system effect - such a result of a special reorganization of system elements when the whole becomes more than a simple sum of parts.

For the successful implementation of the project, it is necessary to take into account all the criteria for the success of the product:
1. The key role is played by the gameplay system (we will consider it in more detail below)
2. In second place is the quality of execution . Here, more implies graphics, music, internal balance and stability of the application. You need to think through everything in advance and launch the game to take care of the user, preventing the servers from falling.
3. Monetization. It does not matter what the game will be, the main thing is what to sell in it and at what price. This moment needs to be approached especially carefully. Monetization will be carefully configured, it is important to withstand the moment when the user is already ready to pay and provide him with convenient means for making a payment (time management of purchases ).
4. Community . This means the organization of quality technical support, care for the user.

Let us dwell in detail on the gameplay . We describe how the company plans to effectively develop the game. More precisely, the principles of creation.

To begin with, we will determine the products:
The final product is the emotional satisfaction of the user.
Purpose of the game- with minimal labor costs the player bring him great emotional rewards.
Emotions go hand in hand with the development of conditioned reflexes: the repetition of the same emotion that appears in connection with a particular event or object, over time, turns into an emotional predisposition to this event. The “playful” mood that we want to evoke in the player is a long-term consequence of the emotions experienced during the game. The game should cause the player positive emotions.
This is achieved, for example, by rewarding, when we constantly “monitor” the achievements of the player and reward him even for the seeming trifle. Secondly, it is a pleasant surprise when, along with standard rewards, you get an unexpected bonus in the form of an interesting new thing or unexpected gaming opportunities.
All this is achieved through an intricate innovative gameplay that creates the emotional involvement of the player, i.e. self-expression through communication . For social players, knowing their current status and progress in the game (awareness of their own coolness) is no less important than knowing their next in-game goal and methods for achieving it. A social game should compress the gameplay (12) in a few clicks, and talk about the rest.

12. Gameplay - a term that is used in the field of computer games to refer to the actual game process from the point of view of the player.

When creating a gameplay for our game, we will be guided by the mechanism of the game for a social network, based on the followingпринципах (13)геймдизайна (14), призванных дать игрокам ощущение воплощения их желаний, явных и скрытых:
1) Социальность
2) Спонтанность
3) Символическая осязаемость
4) Повествование (изложение событий)
5) Асинхронность (перерывы в геймплее)

Рисунок 12 Механизм работы игры для социальной сети

Социальному круговороту способствуют награды и чувство прогресса в игре, легкость освоения вкупе с бесшабашным подходом, «игривые» средства коммуникации и обмена вещами, возможность для игрока выстраивать себе репутацию и поощрение привлечения в игру друзей.
Orange arrows - looping gameplay; with each new round of the spiral, the player receives an increasingly higher status among his friends and in-game metrics.
The design of key mechanics is an essential part of design. Key mechanics are those that players repeat over and over.
Combinations of game mechanics serve to achieve the goals set by the designer by the player . A feedback is a service that monitors the player’s fulfillment of goals and comparing his results with the results of other players, and the reaction of the community (other players) to the player’s actions.

13 Principles - a combination of facts.
14 Gamedesign - the process of creating content and game rules; a subspecies of communication design that facilitates player-game interaction. Design is a creative activity, the purpose of which is to determine the formal qualities of products. These qualities include the external features of the product, but mainly those structural and functional relationships that turn the product into a single whole, both from the point of view of the consumer and from the point of view of the manufacturer.

The above principles of game design are achieved through the following game mechanics:

1. Sociality - the game should be completely social, that is, a kind of single player using friends as an additional resource, which means communication and interaction with friends (for example, the ability to steal from friends, go to them on farms or stupidly send gifts)
1.1. An invitation to a game that you can’t refuse (not literally, of course)
1.2. Online and offline friends (or members of an interest group) - game teams / clans
1.3. Content and information in the "profile" of the player, focused on social connections.
1.4. Formation of groups of players should be simple and intuitive
1.5. Relations. The game should support player friends and encourage. Helped a friend - get a coin, brought a friend - hold two. Married a friend inside the game - keep five more!
1.6. A competitive element of the game - you always want to be “cooler than friends”
1.7. Intentionally not too serious (“frivolous”) means of communication
1.8. Ability to create content based on the content of other users
1.9. The exchange of things is a structured form of social relations inherent in people since ancient times

2. Spontaneity - the ability to actively act under the influence of internal motives
2.1. "Casual" gameplay (random, fleeting, less demanding on the cost of energy for the game) and exploration of the world (in one or two clicks) - allows you to attract the largest possible number of players from different audiences. You need to clearly adhere to the border - the user came to see your game, and not play! If everything is simple in it, he will be late to play. If everything is complicated in it, he will leave the game.
2.2. Constantly complicated gameplay to keep paying players as long as possible;
2.3. A mixture of genres - the use of the arcade part, strategy and RPG, which brings an element of novelty in the exploration of the game world;
2.4. Attraction and addiction. The game should be built in such a way as to attract the player and make him constantly enter the game. As options, this is a promotion at the entrance or an element of loss (friends will steal the crop).
2.5. Infinity of the game - the game should not have an end. For example, you can make rating leaders feel obligated to come back and check if someone has managed to break their record during their absence. Achieving a record, therefore, does not become the end of the game, but a pause until the next session.
2.6. Visual display of the in-game progress of the player (set points)
2.7. Customization - the more a player changes his character / world "for himself" (invests time and effort), the more difficult it will be for him to leave. “Automatic” customization, depending on the user's actions, works just as well as personal. The more the user can change the profile on the social network, the better.

3. Symbolic tangibility - the ability of the game to be perceived by the user
3.1. Collecting things
3.2. The application should not “punish” for experiments - the user should have the right to research and the right to make mistakes
3.3. Game awards that you can share (which you can give)
3.4. Symbolic actions, such as the “drink from X to Brudershaft” button, “smack Y on the cheek”
3.5. “Friends” in the social network, as a kind of necessary goods and services

4. Narration
4.1. A story about the actions and results of the player’s actions to him - the player should not guess what to do next, he should smoothly go through “difficult moments of the game”.
4.2. Notifications of actions and results of actions of a player to his friends - draws attention to the game
4.3. Using the statistics generated by the game to attract players.

5. Asynchronous gameplay
5.1. Asynchronous gameplay allows multiple players to play in turn, not simultaneously. Time to move can vary from game to game. You can play on one computer, device, one console or several.
5.2. Some degree of constancy. To work asynchronous gameplay requires a game world that is common to all players and always accessible; all players can influence events in it; in turn, it saves at least part of these events and changes the state of players in accordance with them (as in MMORPG).
5.3. The main feature of asynchronous multiplayer games is the gameplay, divided into many small gaming sessions. In good asynchronous games, the breaks between the “moves” are not a tedious obligator, but the central part of the gameplay. Since everything rests on “breaks” in such games, the gameplay is by default more casual, it allows players to be more flexible in their decisions (unlike the fussy RTS and multiplayer shooters). In addition, since asynchronous games are designed for constant pauses in gameplay due to the player’s affairs in the real world, some of them “take into account” what is happening in the real world; for example, if it’s winter night in the yard, then the game world will be dark and snowy.

As a result, evaluating the game according to this system and maximizing all indicators, we will get the most competitive game.

5. Backtack analysis

We show how the theory of principles of successful implementation developed by us is applied to indicators of the past in order to evaluate its “predictive” ability to future events in the past. In general, we prove that the rating system works!
We will take two games as a basis - bright representatives of varying degrees of success in implementation and conduct an expert assessment of all indicators from the "Implementation" section.
Bottom line: the rating system showed that the actually more successful game in the “Dig” market is more successful according to our rating system.
Table 1 Backtrack analysis based on expert judgment on a gameplay scorecard

6. Business model

Business model - free-to-play: you can play for free, but for additional benefits: armor, weapons, tips - players need to pay.

The main product is virtual goods that give advantages in the game.

The game at the beginning should be with an extremely simple interface, elementary control (with one mouse button), rules that can be learned immediately after launch.

For example, you start a game. And do the insidious first click. Then, partly from above, you delve into the essence, grunt - “it's too easy” to make sure, launch another level, the next. But what is it? Thirty minutes passed. The end of the free "first dose." Here the monetization system enters the battle, giving you the opportunity to acquire additional energy or weapons, making you "cooler" than friends or speed up the gameplay. And you, just like a 14-year-old schoolboy, are already sending sms to the coveted number. Spit on these 170-200 rubles of payment.
The average bill — how much a player is willing to pay per month — is less on social networks than in regular online games: now for Russia this figure is $ 5 per month per payer. The number of paying players is 3% of the number of people who installed the application. (fifteen)
Not difficult calculations show that monthly income with a different percentage of paying users from 1% to 5%, brings tangible profits.

Figure 13 The monthly income of the game depending on the number of users who installed the game

15. Andrey Fadeev - founder and CEO of Progrestar in an interview with Forbes Russia.

6.1. Costs

Naturally, in order for the game to make a profit, it needs to be created, launched and maintained.

It will take 5 months to develop and launch. The calculation was based on the terms of reference.

The main costs:

1. Salary fund
2. Rental of premises
3. Rental of servers
4. Operating costs
5. Marketing (advertising)

6.2. Production Plan

Figure 14 Project Gantt Chart

7. Financial plan

In general, that is, a separate Excel file in which the calculations.

7.1. Sources of financing for the project and their use

Estimated financing scheme for investments:

Investments - 2 million rubles.

7.2. Forecast profit and loss statement

Table 2 Forecast profit and loss statement

7.3. Forecasted balance

Table 3 The forecasted amount of equity on the balance sheet for 3 scenarios

7.4. Cash Flow Forecast
Table 4 Cash Flow Forecast

8. Team

8.1. Organizational structure of the enterprise

Work format: all in one office open space. Only such a model allows you to quickly respond to events that happen daily. For example, the mechanics of interactions between people in social networks are changing rapidly, and an application - even a game, at least a service - should always provoke a response.
8.2. Key responsibilities are roles.

One person can perform the functionality of several roles.


1. General management of the company
2. Management of the financial and economic activities of the enterprise
3. Organization of work and effective interaction of all employees
4. Development of an enterprise development strategy

Technical Director

1. Taking part in the organization of work and effective interaction of programmers
2. Development of the technical architecture of the game
3. Management of the effectiveness and quality of the technical part of the development of the game


1. Development of the client and server parts of the game with a three-level architecture.
2. Support


1. Creating graphics in the game
2. Forming a general concept and supporting the art style of the project

Sound engineer

Game designer

1. Development and maintenance of the concept and design of documentation
2. Writing technical tasks for programmers
3. Selection of references and setting tasks for artists
4 Development of game mechanics
5. Market monitoring, the search for new ways and methods of monetization
6. Finding the optimal balance in the game, pricing
7. Monitoring the gaming economy, making decisions based on statistical data

8.3. Executive Summary Executive Summary

8.3.1. The initiator of the project
8.3.2. Partner and CTO

9. Risks

9.1. The most important risk: what if the idea does not “shoot”?

Direct guarantees of success cannot exist in principle, but guarantees that all the necessary conditions to increase the likelihood of success exist, we have formalized all of them and will do everything possible to fulfill them. In the section of this business plan, “Implementation” is described in more detail, but if in a nutshell:
1. The audience is maximized (for example, due to the simplicity of the game and taking into account the wishes of the players)
2. The probability of a viral reaction is maximized (many indicators, including such as exchange of items, the use of friends as resources for a personal game)

9.2. In second place: the risks of technical implementation

of 1,000,000 users is not a joke to you!
Not many people suspect the pitfalls of large projects. That is, a game that works well with 1 user can, if implemented incorrectly, stop working already at 50,000, not to mention 1 million users.

Here is an example: in case of poor implementation, to update the value of the number of user points, the program accesses the server once every 10 seconds. This is invisible with a small number of users. But now imagine that 1 million. every 10 seconds, users access the server only to check if their score has changed. Naturally, the server will not withstand the load and the game will fail.

Experienced personnel, led by an even more experienced technical director, will protect us from such risks.

9.3. Copyright infringement

It is believed that the developer of the original game "Game" may sue for copyright infringement, because we use it as a base model for developing our own game.
I hasten to reassure - this is a rather time-consuming process:
1. To prove this is extremely difficult, because most models will be greatly changed, the plot is changed, only the basic mechanics of the game are taken.
2. Secondly, it would be very financially expensive for a foreign company that is a developer of Game to conduct legal proceedings here in Russia.
3. If even a forensic examination during the consideration of the case on the claim of the copyright holder against us establishes that our program is a processing of someone else’s program + if the copyright holder has any know-how on this program or copyright, then in this case the rights will be recognized violated (use of someone else’s design, photos, drawings, etc.), then we may be charged compensation for violation of the rights of the copyright holder in the amount of up to 5 million rubles. This is the maximum amount that is usually charged much less, based on the violation for each intellectual property. But since they will be interested in the game only if it becomes popular, then by this time we will earn much more.

9.4. Financial risk

This refers to the accuracy of the calculations financially, how much all expenses are taken into account and whether there is enough money to implement, launch and support the project.

1. Firstly, this is not my first project in this social network, all the nuances of work in this area are taken into account as much as possible.
2. Secondly, the technical part and scope of work was evaluated by a high-class specialist, very experienced in such matters.

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