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Design rules for free-to-play games
Designing a successful free-to-play game is different to designing a successful paid-for console game. In the same way that the moving picture industry had to adapt to the transition from the cinema to the television, so game designers will have to adapt to the new way of making money from games.
These design rules are drawn from my work on dozens of games with many different game studios over the past two years. They are not set in stone, nor does every game have to pass them all. Read them, adapt them for your own use, and improve.
And let me know. I would love it if you would share with the GAMESbrief community how you adapted these rules to make a successful free-to-play game.
Rule 1: Make it Fun
Rule 2: The Starbucks Test
Rule 3: Come for a minute, Stay an hour
Rule 4: Build complexity in Layers
Rule 5: Be Evergreen
Rule 6: Generosity
Rule 7: Be Free forever
Rule 8: Make it easy to spend One dollar
Rule 9: Make it possible to spend One hundred dollars
Rule 10: Have Pizzazz, not polish
Rule 11: No tutorial
Rule 12: No failure
Rule 13: Sell Emotion, not content
Rule 14: Experiment and learn
Rule 15: Never stop developing
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