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52 games idea bombs

By on July 18, 2011
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I’ve been working on an idea over my holiday.

It’s for a short, punchy book that will give you 52 ways to improve your free-to-play game. Currently it merges ideas from social games, from free-to-play, from mobile and from traditional games. It consists of the illustrations and examples that I use in my consultancy practice and my masterclasses to make my points.

I thought it would be useful to put them into a book (and possibly a calendar, a deck of cards, a commemorative mug).

Here’s one example:


Would this be useful? Would you want an accompanying volume with more description, or is this punchiness enough? Should I do different ones for mobile, Facebook and browser? Or a general one with "add-ons" that are platform specific.

I’m still considering ideas here, so any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
  • Anonymous

    You’ll be pleased to know that I heard somebody quote this tip (and attribute it to you) in a panel session at Develop this week in Brighton. I think cards are great reminders or marketing tools, but it’s hard to really sit down and read them or learn from them. Personally, I’d rather read a book that argues each point with good examples and explains the implications of it, than a pack of cards that only has space for the headlines and forces me to think through the rest. 

    Also I think a book probably has higher perceived value. It’s very hard to get people to pay £10 for 2500 words, no matter how much thinking is behind them. It’s much easier to get people to pay £10 for a book covering the same ideas, because people understand the value of books already (even short books). (Although creating physical cards, like a real pack of cards, would be an interesting way to make something that can’t be easily pirated).I’d probably download the cards for free, though, or buy them after reading the book if I thought they’d help me to use the ideas in it. And it’s good for any author to use any differentiating tools possible today. Personally, I wouldn’t read this on Facebook. Something like the Creative Whack Pack app might be good, though.

    I’m not sure I’m your target reader for this particular publication, I should add, though. So I’m commenting more generally on publishing formats I’d be prepared to buy, than necessarily as a potential reader of this particular book.

  • I’m considering a simple version and a companion book with more details. What do you think?

  • I think that’s a great idea. Not I need to work out how to fit those questions into a deck of cards

  • Mark

    Would be great to include short examples of what you are talking about too!

  • This looks great! Hopefully it’ll be available for “less” that regular books. People who are still starting off in the industry (and who would profit most from this) might have trouble reaching the content otherwise.

  • Will you have a “free to read” model for this?

    You can access a basic set of cards for free, but if you want to […..] then it’ll cost you?

    I like the “questions to ask” section in Jesse Schell’s lenses. What questions about my game should I ask to ensure I’m doing TV and not movies?

  • Davidjmcclelland

    Great Idea! I have been creating cards on the application of game mechanics to eLearning as an exercise at my site for the last few weeks. 

  • Matt Spall

    I’ll buy a mug! 🙂