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Deconstructing Free to Play is a talk I delivered at Phoenix IGDA. It's long, so here is an outline of the topics covered:
- How Jetpack Joyride Jacked Learning
- The Pay Wall Dynamic
- How successful F2P games create situations to compel real money spending.
- Jetpack Joyride, Real Racing 3, Candy Crush Saga, Puzzle and Dragons examples.
- Gameplay Depth & Monetization
- How monetization techniques are really independent of gameplay depth.
- How PAD's basic gameplay design is good, deep and accessible despite coercive structures.
- How random factors can dismantle a game's depth.
- Puzzle and Dragons' Compulsion Devices
- How manipulations of resource availability confound players' impressions of abundance.
- How free rewards actually catalyze player anxiety and subsequently lead to real money purchases.
- The effects of complex special limited-time event schedules.
- The conventional F2P Stamina/ Energy meter and how it psychologically works.
- How the true nature of various systems are deliberately obfuscated.
- Concluding Thoughts
- Buyer's Remorse.
- F2P as dopamine hacks.
- Learned Helplessness.
- Long term implications, Q&A.