Game design in life. Game Economics (Part I)

Published on September 23, 2018

Game design in life. Game Economics (Part I)

    Good day! A little about the author: my name is Maria, junior game designer. This is the second article from the series on the application of the theory of game design in life.

    Link to the first article: "Game design in life. An example of the analysis of the mechanics of the game "

    After an example of the analysis of the game, I want to take up the most juicy part of the game design - the creation / change of the economy.

    Analysis will take place on a real-life game, simply without naming names. In the first part, we will closely look at how to dismantle an existing economy and find bottlenecks. In the second - how these problems were solved and how successful.

    About the game

    Name: * Top Secret *
    Genre: Simulator
    Setting: Reality
    Platform: mobile (iOS, Android)
    Monetization Model - ftp (free-to-play)

    Economy before change


    The game came to me, having practically no implementations since its launch. Content update was ~ 8 times in 3 years. It is worth noting that the content was eventual, i.e. available in a certain period of time. After that, the players were left to themselves again.

    The genre of the game, in principle, assumed the very employment of players, however, playing on the same locations for years did not evoke violent enthusiasm.

    From here, even without having “an eye like an eagle and a scent like a dog’s,” it was clear that the game was suffering from content deficiency.

    So, we have found the first bottleneck - “Problem 1. Content” .

    Acquainted with the game closer, it became clear that the game has a surplus of currency, software currency. The players, not much straining, save it at home, without being able to spend. They bought the goods of interest to them, and then they just sit on the chests of soft currency and devour developers who do not introduce anything new.

    How do we find out there is a surplus in the game? Let's move from clumsy methods to complex ones.

    1) Manual method

    Having played the first time without the “preferential” accrual of currency, with the help of in-game methods of earning on the first day, you could not afford to change the appearance of your character so slightly and embellish the house a bit.

    After observing what the other players go about and by checking the price in the game store, it became clear that things are quite affordable for soft currency. Those. players of the highest level wear clothes of expensive brands :)

    Let's count together, the reward for the mission, where you need to spend conditional 100 units. soft currency is 1,000 units. same currency. After completing it, you happily run to the store and procured for the remaining 900 units.


    2) Simple calculation

    Here again, nothing complicated. We take the configs of the game, pull out data on rewards for quests, daily rewards, the amount of currency earned inside the game, etc. The only thing you may need to request from the analyst department (or, if you have access, make a request to the database yourself) is the average duration of a player’s session per day.

    Why do we need the duration of the session? If a player can earn / collect / win currency per day, then you need to understand how much it goes on average per day.

    How was it in our game (numbers are taken from the ceiling, only the ratio is kept)?

    Average player session per day - 1 hour.

    Ways of income:
    Title Currency soft Hard currency
    Daily reward ~ 3,000 ~ 10
    Mission 500 to 3,000 2
    Collection / Work (1 session) 150 to 300 -
    Suppose you can earn a currency 2 times per hour. Then in the line of work will be indicated the average value of the new, doubled incomes (CPEAL = (150 * 2 + 300 * 2): 2).

    For an hour in the game, the player will have time to complete 3 easy missions (the cost of one in the software is ~ 500, that is, for 3 missions = 1,500) or one complex ~ 1,500. We change the data in the table:
    Title Currency soft Hard currency
    Daily reward ~ 3,000 ~ 10
    Mission 1,500 2
    Collection / Work (1 session) 450 -
    Conclusion: for the day the player receives 4,950 soft currencies and 12 hard.

    Now, about the costs: how much expenses are required of him to complete the mission?

    When calculating the economy is worth remembering that there are paying players, but there are all the rest. In this analysis we will be equal to the majority, i.e. defaulters. Why is it important? Firstly, they will not use the mission pass for hard currency, secondly, they will try to complete the mission with minimal expenses in order to get profit.

    In the current state of the game, in order to pass the mission, the player must spend at least 150 soft currencies, we do not take into account the waiting time. defaulters are patient people.

    From the above, it turns out that for the passage of 3 light missions, the player costs will be 450 units. soft currency.

    Subtotal
    Reward - costs = surplus / deficit
    4 950 - 450 = 4 500

    On the day a player has 4 500 units. software currency in the black.

    Now it is worth understanding a lot or a little for our game. Spoiler - a lot.

    Let's step aside a little from the calculations and find out, where on the developers' idea should players spend money? In our game, this is personalization, i.e. clothes, appearance, apartment and the like. Those. here it is - the supposed bottomless barrel where players have to throw off soft and hard currency. Yes, that's just not bottomless, it was. Why? Because the average cost of things 500 units. software currency and 5 hard.

    We also recall that the content is limited and not updated, i.e. is finite Imagine that we have 300 things in all. For soft currency 250 units, for hard - 50. Buy all the software things will cost - 250 * 500 = 125 000. For what period the player can do it? 125,000/4,500 = 28 days. Just a month, Carl!

    3) Difficult calculation

    Set a task for the analytics department and ask to make a report on the amount of currency in the hands of users. Get detailed reports and graphics. Why is the method complicated? And you try to break through the heap of urgent tasks of the department :)

    The second problem we found is “Problem 2. Currency surplus” .

    With software currency more or less sorted out. Now look at the hard currency. Is she probably having problems with her too? Yes there is. Relatively speaking, in the game you can buy 5 packs of hard currency. Minimum pack costs $ 100. For him, the player is charged 100 units. hard currency. What can a player afford for this amount? 25 things from 50. Ie 50% of the store. As a result, to buy things and become the ruler of the wardrobe, he will spend $ 200

    In this case, for more expensive packs, the player can buy all the furniture and just feel like the admin. If we turn to the famous match-3 game, then there for a minimal pack you will not buy a single booster, only change the little things in the butler’s house and that’s it. The truth here is to make an amendment that in match-3 with the social component of content there are 1,000 times more, therefore, you can buy boosters not 10 or even 50 times.

    The third problem, but one of the most important is “Problem 3. Packs” .

    That's all for now. In the second part, we consider solutions to the above problems.

    PS: above is not listed one of the main hitch - functionality. For objective reasons. Therefore, all our decisions were within narrow limits of permissiveness, which did not interfere at all, and even added excitement :) Thank you for your attention, see you later!