Multiplayer games and mobile communities
1 / 19

Multiplayer Games and Mobile Communities - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Updated On :

Multiplayer Games and Mobile Communities GDCmobile: March 5, 2003 Dan Scherlis © 2003 Dan Scherlis Agenda Why massively multiplayer? Publishers & carriers 3 myths about MMOGs Challenges to MMOGs Business. Technical. Creative Learning from PC MMOGs

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Multiplayer Games and Mobile Communities' - albert

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Multiplayer games and mobile communities l.jpg

Multiplayer Games and Mobile Communities

GDCmobile: March 5, 2003Dan Scherlis

© 2003 Dan Scherlis

Agenda l.jpg

  • Why massively multiplayer?

  • Publishers & carriers

    • 3 myths about MMOGs

  • Challenges to MMOGs

    • Business. Technical. Creative

  • Learning from PC MMOGs

  • First steps: sample games

Why massively multiplayer l.jpg
Why Massively Multiplayer?

Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs)

  • Profitable

    • Players pay for these

  • Differentiated

    • Most downloadables: commodity games

  • Sticky

    • Much play/month. Many months/player.

Learning from wired games l.jpg
Learning From Wired Games

On the Internet:

  • “Basic” games lose money

    • Classic-arcade & puzzle games.

    • “Ad-supported.” Simple play.

  • “Premium” online games make money

    • Deeper play. More-involved development.

    • People pay-to-play these games.

      These “premium games” are MMOGs

3 myths about mmogs l.jpg
3 Myths about MMOGs

Myth 1. “MMOGs require broadband”

  • Don’t need hi bandwidth nor low latency

  • Must design for the network you have

    Myth 2. “MMOGs are a niche medium”

  • This generation are core FRPGs

  • The next generation will be bolder

    Myth 3. “Server costs are prohibitive”

  • No, but their development costs can be!

  • Server (and bandwidth) is low-risk, COGS

Mobile operators a better fit l.jpg
Mobile Operators: A Better Fit?

Unlike game publishers, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) …

  • Understand community

    • They know: they connect people

  • Do not fear servers & services

    • Understand the economics & operations

  • Prefer subscriptions to one-time sales

    • Optimize ARPU, not units

Mobile mmogs challenges l.jpg
Mobile MMOGs: Challenges

What problems must we address to deploy mobile MMOGs?

First, a review:The base elements of game creation (Wireless changes every element)

Holistic content strategy l.jpg
Holistic Content Strategy”

When one of these elements is changed, you must adapt the others to fit:

  • Business model

    (Consumer-revenue model & B2B deals)

  • Technology

    (Device, network, or infrastructure)

  • Creative vision

    (Game design & concept)

Business model under rated l.jpg
Business Model: Under-Rated?


  • Disappointing WAP-game biz results

    (Was lack of rev-sharing sufficient?)

  • 1995: Big changes in PC-MMOG designs

    (Online from hourly-pay, to monthly)

  • “TV shows” are not “movies”

    (Bus-model alone can define a medium)

    Bus-model drives design: Reward MO-SMS? Sub’n? Connect time? Downloads? Views?

All aspects of tech drive design l.jpg
All Aspects of Tech Drive Design

  • Every aspect will shape design concept:

    • CPU, graphics, display, input, audio-out, network bandwidth & latency …

    • [Example: fighting-game type vs latency]

  • Example: fast J2ME device + slow net

    • Fast tactical play locally, dealing with effects of player/player strategic moves

    • Compatible types: 4X games (Risk, Empire)

    • Graphical landscape as a metaphor …

Latency bandwidth l.jpg
Latency & Bandwidth

  • [Chart & examples of fighting-game types at different latency levels.]

What to learn from pc mmogs l.jpg
What To Learn from PC MMOGs

Essential aspects of MMOGs:

  • Persistence of character, of story

  • Investment by player in character

  • Social experience (community-based)

  • Gameplay-focus:What does the user do?

More about social aspects l.jpg
More About Social Aspects

  • MMOG players come for gameplay, but stay for each other.

    • Sizzle (attraction): Brand, graphics, etc

    • Steak (substance): Gameplay

    • Chocolate (addiction): Social experience

  • Two-player games, tournaments, eventsare not community

  • IM, chat, nicknames, boards, matchingare not community (they’re features)

To create community l.jpg
To Create Community

  • In-game interaction must be rich

    • Rock/paper/scissors is too ‘bot-like

  • Game design must foster interaction

    • Reward collaboration

    • Provide complementary roles

    • Balance excitement with slack time

  • Social contact must be supported

    • Not easy for mobile (and console) MMOG

Social contact what works l.jpg
Social Contact: What Works?

Perhaps the greatest challenge to MMOGs

  • Keyboard: None

  • Keypad: G1? hrd 2 use.

    • But Americans have a uniquely bad ‘tude

  • Voice: sure, but “multimodality” is rare

  • Canned or iconographic msgs: Limited

  • Out-of-game (voice,SMS): Challenging

Pc mmogs what works l.jpg
PC MMOGs: What Works…

  • Essential elements:

    • Persistence. Investment. Social. Gameplay.

  • Important aspects of MMOGs:

    • Ability to affect the world

    • Chance encounters with others

    • Multiple & overlapping social structures

    • Clear display of player status

    • Player control over player/player risk

Pc mmogs what not to learn l.jpg
PC-MMOGs: What Not To Learn

  • Bad habits of classic role-playing games:

    • Up-front character design

    • Fussing with “experience points”

    • Open-ended play with unclear objectives

    • Rewards for length play time

  • Difficult gameplay. Challenging to learn

  • Settings associated with core gamers

    Beyond core gamers… to normal folk

Example games l.jpg
Example Games

  • [Screenshots & discussion of example mobile games, showing different aspects of social, persistent, community-based gameplay.]

Appendices l.jpg

Columns from Mobile Entertainment Analyst:

  • Culture Clash(Issues in telecom/games convergence)

  • Le Jeu, C’est Les Autres(Looking for community-based mobile games)

    See for sample issue.