BScotch ID Jealousy

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@AlanFalcon totally get you. If I ever man up to publish something of my own, I would definitely try to avoid Game Center, or make it completely optional-ish. Might try rolling my own ID scheme, but without the Perks and the community, it loses most of its purpose.

As for Butter Ups, I think the scheme is quite fair for the player, but I don't know exactly how good it will be for whatever I might make. I do think BScotch nailed how to make free to play non restrictive and more experience enabling, even on Quadropus (except for the skip-all-the-game things).

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The ButterUp scheme isn't a very successful financial model, though. The reason that boundless IAP works so well is that some users spend so much money that the [i]average[/a] user spends >$2 even though most users spend no money at all. For us the average user spends a few cents...

But other models feel gross, which is why we're going to be giving pay-up-front a major try for a while.

As for user base: ours started with 300 people and had only about 4000 even after having it in all of our existing games for several months. Those numbers are still pretty good and came from us already having a playerbase and portfolio, but they are nothing compared to what we have now. We knew it would take time to grow, but that wasn't a reason not to do it!

Just make sure that any login system you make does something interesting so that players feel like they get something out of it. Don't require it unless it feels like it would make sense that a login is required.

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Yeah, I've been knee deep in gaming financial models. Reading all the articles, how the entire industry survives based on 1% of the market (i.e. the Whales) - and I've even gotten some inside information from game developer friends about the extent to which these developers will specifically target whales. They will create fake Facebook personas and friend the whales' friends so that they can build individual databases on each whale.(1) They might find out that one whale is a big fan of a given sports team, and so specifically add a car for hundreds of dollars of real money whose default color scheme matches that sports team - just to target that one whale who they know plays their game. It's pretty sickening the more I think about it, and I just want nothing to do with that kind of monetization. I admire your stance against boundless IAP, even though it directly affects your bottom line, and dig that you use gameplay loops as a proper tool for Good Game Design instead of another piece of ammunition in the psychological war to steal all your customer's money.

(1) I used to think that the whales were the Rich Kids of Instagram and Saudi princes and so I didn't feel so terrible playing a F2P game where there was at least meaningful progression for the non-whales to enjoy. I'm okay with my entertainment being subsidized by people with far more money than sense. But then I learned that many of these whales are actually living in trailer parks, unable to control their spending habits when they don't have the money to spend in the first place, and the games are specifically tailored to exploit their gambling addictions and bad habits and tendencies. That's plain evil. And I stand up and applaud companies like BSS who are willing to plant a flag and declare that just because "everyone's doing it" that doesn't mean that's how it has to be. It's been a hard battle, with nothing but tough fights to come, but it's a war that needs to be fought in order to save the soul of gaming, something which is precious to me.

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Location: Vegas, baby

Mr. Falcon: You're damned right.

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

@bscotchAdam Thanks for the tips! I have been following the scene for awhile (including your talks!) and I keep thinking on how to approach this well. Even knowing how bad Butter Ups did financially, I think it mostly addresses the issues for people who are completely unknown, thus unable to sell upfront, because it reaches three audiences:

1 - Legitimate players who will never spend a cent. For them, it will somewhat grindy, but with constant progression (never halting!) with few gated experience-changing content. It should be a very good game at this point. Ads for the revenue.

2 - Players that like the free game enough to want more meat of it, smoother progression, and no ads. They try, they like, they stay. This is how the game was supposed to be played, and should be even better, not necessarily easier.

3 - FTP shenanigans avert players. They pay the upgrade upfront, get premium experience immediately. No questions asked, and no ads shown.

I guess there's an uncanny resemblance to another game but I digress. I know if I did something more like traditional whale hunting, with impossible seasonal quests, energy-lives-timers, artificial crafting, scarce dual currency and game-solving consumables I may be at better odds for a greater profit, but I'll have none of it. Every time I play a game like that, I feel bad while playing, even when it is super well balanced and all. There's this emptiness and feeling of loss, like when you spend months on a MMO to find out most of those people kicking your ass were cheating with corrupted GMs and bots the whole time. I'm much better doing regular programming for a living than contributing for this kind of scene.

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