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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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago
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  • Product vs. Service Games

    The Pyramid and the other tools that I introduce in this book improve both product and service games. They are much more important for service games. Imagine two different scenarios: Maria has heard good things about Generic...

    • Posted 2 years ago
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  • GAMESbrief is 11 years old.

    OK, I know it’s more traditional to celebrate a round number of years, but I missed last year’s anniversary, so I thought I’d celebrate this one. I launched the blog on 1st May 2008. The announcement post...

    • Posted 2 years ago
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  • Words to ban #4: Tutorial

    Whether you call it the FTUE, initial experience or onboarding, the first experience a player has with your game is a crucial part of your retention, particularly in a F2P game. If the game is paid, players...

    • Posted 2 years ago
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