Games As A Service

Today we are going to talk about Evergreen games. Some games get away with being both Evergreen and Consumable like Call of Duty and Halo with their consumable single player campaigns and evergreen multiplayer service. I got some of this idea from reading an article written by Daniel Cook about playing a single game as a lifelong hobby. He put into words several ideas that had been bouncing around in my head for a few months about the kind of game I would eventually like to design.

I am a (Fill in with Game Name) Player

Many non-digital games are often played many times over the course of ones life. And often people get associated as a player of that game. He is a chess player. She is a soccer player. He is a basketball player. She is a poker player. And the list could go on.

The idea is to create a game that people enjoy playing over and over and make playing it part of their identity. This is where a lot of the E-sports games come from.

Game as a Service

There are a quite a few examples of games as a service out there, just pick almost any E-sport game and you have one. Almost all of them share a common set of attributes.

  • There is a low barrier to entry. Usually free or a small one time purchase.
  • The game is easy to play but hard to master.
  • The community is stable and there are competitive events around the game.
  • There is some sort of cycle of new content or regular changes that keep long time players interested.

A lot of these attributes are focused on the Strategy and Hooks section of the 10 things every game needs. You need the hooks like a low barrier and a large community to get players interested. Then the slow influx of new content and the deep strategy or at least slightly evolving strategy based on the changes keep the players interested.

The Connection

With my current game, I want to design an experience that people can play in an evergreen way. So I need to study what kinds of things make for a good evergreen play experience. In addition to writing the article that inspired this post, Daniel over at Lost Garden games also worked on Steam Birds and wrote an article that talks about how they designed it to be more evergreen.

I plan on using these insights to better design my as yet unnamed game to be able to be played over and over again.

I Want to Be a Better Developer