How Games Make Money is again with one other new episode. This time, Thatgamecompany director of on-line expertise Tim Nixon joins host Jeff Grubb to speak about designing Sky, which is the studio’s followup to Journey and Flower. Unlike these earlier hits, Sky is a live-service recreation that’s designed to for months and years. It has already had six seasons of content material, and Nixon explains how Thatgamecompany makes use of behavioral information to know and construct relationships with gamers primarily based on respect. Listen, received’t you:
Using information to understand your gamers
Nixon says that utilizing participant information is essential to designing Sky as a long-term product. But he additionally will get why that idea turns some individuals away.
“The instinct for a lot of developers is to assume that a live service game — because so much of it has been driven by gacha and timer mechanics — is not perceived as positive or healthy,” mentioned Nixon. “And I think that’s for very good reasons.”
But Thatgamecompany noticed a possible in having an internet world the place issues change daily. And the studio discovered a versatile enterprise mannequin that permits Sky to function in that approach. At the identical time, Nixon doesn’t assume every part ought to work backward from the info. Instead, he describes it as a collaboration with gamers.
“I do not believe that art should be too shaped, necessarily, by a market demand, but with this type of experience it’s a collaborative process,” he mentioned. “The game now belongs to the fans almost as much as it belongs to us. We put this thing out there, then came the players, and it became this process of seeing what they were drawn to. Or for those players that did return each day, why did they love it?”
The concept is to then to push again or reward these participant behaviors with new content material within the recreation. For Nixon, he thinks this can be a accountable approach to make use of this perception.
“I’d like to think that we are using all those different inputs in a fair way,” he mentioned. “And I hope that, generally speaking, the industry manages to shed some of its stigma around using data and free-to-play mechanics.”