Category Archives: Social Games

XCOM Should Have Been Free to Play

XCOM: Enemy Unknown was released to critical acclaim last month and reached a global all-formats chart position of 10th at its highest point. It has since dropped in price to £22.99 less than a month since release. Perhaps XCOM should … Continue reading

Posted in Design Discussion, F2P, Social Games, Zynga | Tagged | 44 Comments

Improving player experience through signposting

As a designer, you should always know what you want the player to do, but just because you know what the player should be doing doesn’t mean that they do. Making sure that a player doesn’t get lost is an … Continue reading

Posted in Design Discussion, Social Games, The Legend of Zelda | Tagged | 1 Comment

How to Excel in Excel

While artists have Photoshop and 3D Studio Max as their key tools, a designer’s most important program is far less glamourous. Microsoft Excel is probably something which we’ve all used but not perhaps thought of as an essential game design … Continue reading

Posted in Design Discussion, Music Festivals, Research, Social Games | Tagged | 1 Comment

Tutorial Design: An Experiment

This post was originally written for the Soshi Games blog, which can be found here Tutorials in games are often left until the end of development, and are written by someone who has spent months if not years with the … Continue reading

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When is an Adventure not an Adventure?

When it’s Adventure World by Zynga. Zynga’s latest game, Adventure World, is a step away from their tried and tested Ville series, perhaps in a bid to attract the more traditional gamer. Unfortunately, they’ve made so many terrible and bizarre … Continue reading

Posted in Design Discussion, Social Games, Zynga | 2 Comments

Make It. Break It. Fix It.

After spending months designing a game, it’s time to test it. Although QA is a dedicated role in itself, pretty much all departments will be pitching in with bugs, and the designer is in the best position to see when … Continue reading

Posted in Design Discussion, Metrics, QA, Social Games | Leave a comment

False Achievements

Everyone likes to be praised, complemented and told that they’re a hero. It’s one of the main reasons we play games. The sense of achievement we get when we finally work how to beat that puzzle or when we put … Continue reading

Posted in Achievements, Design Discussion, Social Games | 1 Comment

Google+ Hangout= Amazing Social Games?

After getting an invite to Google+ yesterday and playing around with the service my games design brain started buzzing with possibilities. The most exciting thing for me in terms of game design potential within Google+ is the Hangout. The Google+ … Continue reading

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Leaderboards

Leaderboards have been prevalent in games since the early arcade days. The appeal of incorporating leaderboards in your game is obvious; it encourages repeat plays as the player strives to climb the leaderboard and improve their score, while also competing … Continue reading

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First Play and Viral Hooks

Recently at Soshi I’ve been researching viral hooks within the first play of five of the top games on Facebook (Cityville, Deep Realms, Happy Island, Monopoly Millionaires and Monster World). So rather than keep this information to myself I thought … Continue reading

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