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Session Name: Motivating Casual Players: Non-Traditional Character Progression and Player Retention
Speaker(s): Laralyn McWilliams
Company Name(s): Sony Online Entertainment
Track / Format: Business and Management
Overview: RPGs and MMOs rely on leveling up, stat increases, and item unlocking for the carrots that retain players. Multiplayer shooters and fighting games rely on competition and a skill ramp that encourages players to fight for positioning on ladders and leader boards. Traditional single-player games rely on new areas, new abilities, and storylines to encourage continued play. Yet all of these things are forms of progression.

This presentation presents examples of alternative player progression, using games like Free Realms, Pogo and Halo for development examples. It compares and contrasts progression at both ends of the spectrum to develop a methodology that steps you through the usual and some unusual choices in progression. It also takes a critical look at how casual games, social games and large brands are innovating in progression.

GDC 2010

Laralyn McWilliams

Sony Online Entertainment

free content

Business and Management

Business & Marketing