Kriti Sawa | kriti.sawa@gmail.com

Against the Dying of the Light: Sustaining Live Social Games

Guide Gayatri Menon
Sponsor Zynga Games Network.
 
Keywords gameplay;game structure;player personas;, sustainable

Live social games are like television series; the former too comes in seasons. One needs to keep adding interesting episodes to increase its span, hold on to the target audience and attract more. Introducing new experiences will interest current players. An improvised game structure will help induce more players to play for a longer duration. This will make the games sustainable by increasing their life span.

Being an existing game, it houses a huge player family that enjoys particular tasks and game actions and dedicatedly follows them. Its active player community has moulded itself to the gameplay mechanic.
Research analysis categorised them into nine player personas: achiever, decorator, casual socialite, escapist, maximiser, super social, nurturer, and competitor. Three game features were proposed for existing social games: YoVille and Mafia Wars; these are estimated to improve the active social network ensuring that the “gameness” is not lost while meeting the final business goals.


‘Craft Music’ for YoVille aims at composing a track by requesting friends to play some music and together complete a desired track. This is done by collecting music notes from friends and building a personal music library that can be used for renting purpose as well. ‘Hell in the Cell’ is a new PvP (player vs player), live synchronous fighting system introduced to the game, Mafia Wars. ‘Mission Chain’ for Mafia Wars, is a new system of chained quests that caters to various player behaviours in a single game. A player can choose a quest and master it to get various rewards to benefit their game profile.


The project not only helped understand new opportunities of the virtual world, but also in developing an attitude through which the virtual world would still make a big difference to the real world.
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