Today we had a guest lecture from Per Strömbäck of Dataspelsbranchen, the trade organization for Swedish game development. He wanted us to discuss two specific questions which all in all are quite important when it comes.
How can the game developer interact with the audience?
There are multiple ways of interacting with your target audience as a game dev. The easiest to come up with are probably through public forums, a wiki, social media and/or some other kind of web based communcation. However, I think the most important interaction comes from other settings though.
Perhaps you perform some usability tests on your game, meaning you pick some testers and perform interviews of them. Perhaps you play the game together with them and communicate through the game you have made? Perhaps your dev studio attends fairs or arranges workshops of different kinds (hackathons?), where you need to physically interact with players etc.
Usually when it comes to games, there is always a lot of feelings involved. Therefore I think it is really important to be honest with what goals you have with the game and what purpose it has. Otherwise you might end up having a really let-down playerbase since you introduced PvP in starting towns and did not discuss it with your player. Sure it is your game since you made it, but don’t you have some kind of responsibility towards your playerbase?
Why does not in-game ads work?
I think In-game ads don’t work because the amount of time a player spends in a game is minimal. At least when it comes to mobile games. I do think in-app purchases are a lot better. At least if they are done in a good way.
British technology magazine Wired has released an article on in-app purchases in Plants-vs-Zombies 2 1. The article explains extremly well how I think in-app purchases shouldn’t work. I do not think that in-app purchases should give the player any advantages compared to when not having done them. I usually end up quitting these games immediately since they ultimately favor the player with the largest wallet. Which is insane.