Game thinking from Adam Clare

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Notes on Creating an Economy for a Social Game

Creating an effective game economy is hard no matter what sort of game is being created. The relationship between the economy and game flow cannot be understated.

Amit Mahajan from Zynga provides a good overview of economy and social interaction.

The Dubit Platform looks promising as a tool for creating the basis of your economy. The image at the top of this post is from their good post on designing a social game economy.

I haven’t used their tool yet, so I can’t comment on what it’s like to use it. You can access it here.

Cafe World is a Facebook game that has an economy that you can see in spreadsheet form. An obviously out of date spreadsheet of their game is available on Google Docs.

If you know of any other tools for designing an in-game economy please let me know!

Two Cool New Things for Mobile Game Developers

This past week there have been two really nifty things that have caught my eye that are relevant to people trying to get on iOS. The first is an augmented reality tool that looks easy to build for and the other is a platform that is like Zynga-in-a-box.

Aurasma is a tool for the augmented reality lover inside of all us to easily generate AR content. The future will in some way incorporate AR and the more tools like this that are bring finessed the better. Right now the company seems focused on marketing experiences to sell products but the gaming aspects that are possible with this technology are quite enticing.

But the thing is growing out of hand. Lots of people are using it in education, for example. We saw several clips, one showing a five-year-old girl holding an iPad up to pictures drawn by other kids and seeing the pictures of the subjects of these drawings. Another clever project was a puzzle, made by a teacher. When a kid puts the colored shapes together correctly, the app will then recognize it and show a short animation as a reward. Kids — apparently — love this thing


Read more about Aursama at the Cult of Mac.

Now, if you’re interested in making a Facebook-style social game on the mobile you’ll want to take a look at PlayHaven. They have updated their toolset to basically allow any company to do what Zynga does in terms of analysing their players and providing easy ways to inform players of in-app purchase opportunities.

With the monetization features, PlayHaven can help game companies maximize profits by segmenting and managing customers. The tools can generate real-time metrics and insight that are actionable. Yang said that these features can help sort customers into batches of “minnows,” who can be monetized with ads but never have to pay for anything; “dolphins,” who are regular customers who come back often; and “whales,” who make huge in-app purchases. PlayHaven says it can help convert users to pay via up-sell and cross-sell tactics.

Read more about PlayHaven at Venture Beat.

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