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  • What is the metagame?

    I have avoided using the term metagame in my latest book. Metagame has many different definitions in current usage in the games industry. For some companies, it is everything that is not the Base Layer. The Retention...

    • Posted 2 months ago
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  • A word about averages

    In service-based games, averages are misleading. Humans tend to understand averages through the lens of physical properties. If I tell you that the height of an average male human is 5′9″ and ask you to guess the...

    • Posted 2 months ago
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  • The Session and the On-Ramp

    The Pyramid is a framework for the strategy of your game design. The Session is tactical. It forms the fundamental building block of service games. It addresses the questions: How will I get my players to open...

    • Posted 2 months ago
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  • Three Design Razors

    In philosophy, a razor is a principle or rule of thumb that allows one to eliminate unlikely explanations for a phenomenon. The most famous is Occam’s Razor, “among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should...

    • Posted 3 months ago
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  • The Core Loop: a motor of retention

    When I first developed the Pyramid, I used the phrase Base Game, Retention Game and Superfan Game. (And other people used the terms Meta Game and Elder Game). I avoid those terms now because there is only...

    • Posted 3 months ago
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  • Retention Layers in Board Games

    I’ve focused on the Retention Layer in video games, but we are also seeing it emerge in board games. Beasts of Balance is a hybrid digital/ physical game. The physical game is a “balance things on top...

    • Posted 3 months ago
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  • Robert Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence

    Robert Cialdini is professor of Marketing and professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. That is a dangerous combination. In 1985, Cialdini published Influence, in which he identified six principles that all compliance professionals—by which he means...

    • Posted 3 months ago
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