How to motivate players? Presentation of Svyatoslav Kholod at WeGame 4.003 July 2018
How can game developers reach out to their target audience and build a truly popular product? Svyatoslav Kholod, a game designer from Zadzen, highlighted the issue at the fourth WeGame festival.
He believes that game developers often do not understand their audience and botch initially successful projects. Sometimes they hit the spot by chance, for instance, the product was intended for fans of epic battles, but gained recognition among social players.
happens when authors do not perform a thorough investigation of players’ needs. However, an unexpected success in another category of users is rare. Is it reasonable to count on that? To increase the project’s chances for success, you need to understand your audience, goals, and preferences of gamers.
Why do people love games?
Basing on reasons, appetites, and motives to play, four types of gamers are distinguished:
- killers love difficulties and overcoming obstacles;
- achievers find rewards, recognition, medals important;
- researchers value everything new, unexplored, exclusive;
- social players look for communication in games.
The audience can be also classified by complexity level and game engagement. For instance, casual gamers are interested in simple entertainment, it is important for them to escape from reality and enjoy playing.
Mid-core gamers prefer something more interesting, but do not like to bother themselves a lot. Hardcore gamers know the game inside and out and love learning nuances. Free to play monetization model mainly relies on the activity of hardcore players that comprise 10% of paying players. However, mid-core gamers also often invest in games.
A person gets satisfaction through playing. The brain produces hormones of happiness for successfully solved complex tasks. The subconscious does not differentiate real situations from virtual reality. An engaging storyline and well thought out details immerse players in the state of the greatest concentration and efficiency possible. A balance between game complexity and skills of a gamer is needed to achieve such a state. People will not play the game if it is too simple or too complicated for them.
How to grab attention of the audience and interact with it
To achieve the abovementioned state, a gamer should have a clear goal (global, local, educational) and a set of required incentive tools. Players that spent time and effort on a game usually stay in the game for a long time, as they value their efforts. It is also important not to forget about bonuses and rewards for gamers.
So what does a specific audience want? It can be monitored in several ways:
- read feedbacks of your target group in social networks, on pages of games;
- talk to the public at forums and events like WeGame;
- organize a playtest.
The latter is considered the most effective, as players can test games before they are released as well as influence the process of their development. In particular, they can make comments and pay attention to details unnoticed by the developer.
In game development, it is important to know what interests people, understand your end users and satisfy their needs. For this purpose, you can analyze similar products, monitor social networks, run AB tests and special campaigns for every stage of the game.
Only active interaction with gamers before the game release will give most of the result. Moreover, in such a way, you can form your audience (potential customers) at the development stage and get inspired for the creation of new projects.
You can also read on our website: Secrets on how to turn a hobby into a business from Mariya Karpenko