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Session Name What Really Makes Social Games "Social"? Demystifying Social Mechanics in Online Multiplayer Games, from MMOs to Farming Sims
Speaker(s) Matthew Ricchetti
Company Name(s) Kabam
Track / Format Game Design
Overview

"Social games" is an often heard buzzword, originally used to refer to casual games on Facebook. But as gaming platforms become increasingly online and mobile, multiplayer social interactions become increasingly integral to engaging and monetarily successful experiences. Understanding social mechanics and how they affect business and user goals is critical for today's game designers, producers and PMs.

This talk will explore three useful heuristics for understanding social mechanics in free-to-play online games: synchronous/asynchronous, symmetrical/asymmetrical and strong tie/weak tie interactions. Numerous examples of each will be provided to illustrate the effect of these mechanics on player acquisition, retention and monetization.

The talk will conclude with a case study analysis of the Facebook game Kingdoms of Camelot, applying these heuristics to the social mechanics featured in the game. Attendees will leave the talk with a new set of tools for analyzing and implementing great social features.

GDC 2012

Matthew Ricchetti

Kabam

free content

Game Design

Design


UBM Tech