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Video: Candy Crush Saga uses luck in the right places
March 29, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff

March 29, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff
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In a postmortem at GDC 2013 for wildly popular casual game Candy Crush Saga, King.com's Tommy Palm shares that while luck plays a part in keeping his players entertained, luck played no part in the game development process.

This Candy Crush Saga talk quickly filled to capacity, with hundreds of other attendees queued in GDC's halls. Courtesy of the GDC Vault, this lecture is now free for everyone to watch.

Those at GDC 2013 interested in more Candy Crush Saga may want to attend Cracking the Cross-Platform Challenge: How Candy Crush Saga Became a Smash Hit on Facebook and Mobile today from 5:00PM - 6:00PM in room 135 of the North Hall.

Session Name: Candy Crush Saga Postmortem: Luck in the Right Places

Speaker(s): Tommy Palm

Company Name(s): King.com

Track / Format: Free to Play Design & Business Summit

Overview: Luck. Does it exist? The question is at least as old as Aristotle, as he examined the differences between chance and luck. If he were alive today, he would agree that luck is certainly an important factor in casual games. Luck, as opposed to skill, is important in order to make casual players enjoy hundreds of levels of a game without getting too frustrated. Of equal importance, is to remove luck out of the equation of making great games.

In any hit-driven business, good methods of removing risk will increase the likelihood of having long-term success. This postmortem will walk the audience through the making of Candy Crush Saga, one of the most successful casual games in the world. The talk will describe how King.com removed luck from the game making process, while sprinkling it in balanced proportions throughout the map and levels of the game. This process led to one trillion candies being crushed in less than a year's time, with the game becoming the number one social game by DAU, and one of the top 5 monetizing games on mobile in the top 10 markets.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.


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Comments


Michael O'Hair
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I know I've seen this somewhere before...
It's one of those newfangled "Fruit Machines"!

Tommy Palm
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The video does not seem to work with Chrome?

Simon Carless
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We think this is fixed now, Tommy...

Mario Santos-Ramos
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The video is having some issues on Chrome but it works on Firefox without issue. Great talk btw. :)

Hitesh Jasani
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The video doesn't seem to work with OSX/Safari either.

R. Hunter Gough
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I thought this was going to be a more technical talk about balancing "random luck" with metering out rewards at a controlled pace. Oh well.

I'm glad the person at the end asked about the lack of in-game currency. I don't think I would have thought about that otherwise.

Eric Finlay
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In summary, luck and "I can't talk about that".


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