Social Game Design

Kwalee Programmer, James Munro, recommends another good read for game developers, Social Game Design.

This month I finished reading Social Game Design by Tim Fields and Brandon Cotton. The book goes into some depth through the murky, potentially lucrative world of social games and provides a solid overview of the main concepts and jargon. User engagement metrics and monetisation strategies are covered particularly well and it’s interesting to see how different business models have worked for other companies.

The book has helped to improve my understanding of designing social games and there are some potentially interesting strategies that I would experiment with in future Kwalee games in order to drive user engagement. If you’re interested in the book, it’s worth reading now because as the authors state at the beginning, the social and mobile game development industries are in a constant state of flux. What holds true today may in fact be completely irrelevant in 12 months time!

Analytics aside, you can’t beat great game design. I strongly believe it’s important to let a fun, intuitive design form the core of a gameplay experience, which can then be tailored with feedback from analytic services and other gameplay metrics. Don’t lose sight of the fun factor and get bogged down in graphs and charts – you might destroy the soul of your game!

Social Game Design is an informative book which is very useful if you are planning to integrate social features into any game, be it on mobile, browser or console.