作者:Zoya Street

King是一个高效的游戏公司,已经推出了不少长踞游戏收益榜单前列的产品,该公司业务 开发副总裁Jong Woo在最近采访中分享了其中的秘诀。

King.com网站运营已有十年之久。它最初以Midasplayer的名称于2003年上线,关注的是带有现金奖励的小型竞争性益智游戏。《Candy Crush Saga》似乎是一夜成名的现象,但也是该公司十年努力的结果。这家公司曾两次转型以适应社交和手机游戏崛起的市场现状。这家网站目前运营游戏超过150款。他们的开发过程听起来也许有点客观和平淡无奇,但其核心却是所有开发者都应该学习的经验。


Candy Crush Saga(from games.com)

King自2009年起进军Facebook和移动平台,当时这家网站就开始转变角色,其中搭载的大量游戏并不只是一种吸引用户的营销工具,更是一种试验床。他们挑选出其中最成功的游戏,将其转变为投放到Facebook的Saga系列游戏,添加留存元素和社交功能。例如《Candy Crush Saga》就是这些小小的益智游戏试验之一。


King现在开始进军产品授权领域,创造了一系列基于Saga游戏的实体商品(注:这一业务始于Candy Crush袜子)。在Jong Woo看来,这是另一种用户体验,“我们以授权来回馈粉丝,我们希望以实体形式创造一种游戏之外的神奇时刻。”


Nicholas曾于上周《华尔街日报》的采访中提到了为何你无法创造出下一款《Candy Crush Saga》的话题。我们确实难以在King之外的框架中复制这种精细严密,针对社交益智游戏而完美优化的生产过程。但你可以从King身上学到如何制作一款成功游戏的经验。




Understanding King.com’s production line

By Zoya Street

King is an efficient games factory that has learned how to churn out successful online titles that top the Grossing Charts. Zoya Street met Jong Woo, VP of Business Development  to discover the secrets and share them with you.

The King.com site has been running for ten years. Since its launch in 2003 as Midasplayer, it has been focused on small, competitive puzzle games with cash prizes. Candy Crush seems like an overnight sensation, but it is the product of a decade’s work. The company has pivoted twice, to adapt to the rise of social and mobile gaming. The site now boasts over 150 games in its portfolio. Their development process may sound impersonal and unromantic, but at its core is a lesson that all developers need to learn.

As King moved onto Facebook and mobile platforms since 2009, the site itself has  taken on a different role. That large portfolio of games is not just a marketing hook about consumer choice; it is a testbed. The most successful games are skimmed off the top and turned into Saga games for Facebook, adding retention hooks and social features; Candy Crush Saga, for example, began as one of those little puzzler experiments on King called simply Candy Crush.

King.com’s puzzle games are made by small teams of 2-3 people, who quickly build and iterate on 3-4 prototypes a year. When a King.com game is to be Saga-ified, it gets passed to a specialist team that applies a tried and tested process, again iterating and optimising for high retention and virality. The most successful Saga games are then passed on to another team for porting to mobile, with social graph and synchronised user data so that the same player can continue the same journey on Facebook and on their phone.

King is now moving into merchandising, creating a range of physical goods based on the brand identities of its most successful Saga games (starting with Candy Crush socks). For Jong Woo, this is another part of the same user experience. “We’re using merchandising as a way to delight fans,” he said. “We want to create those moments of magic in physical form outside the game.”

The iteration, testing and specialist teams behind King games and Saga-ification indicate a development process that is rational and scientific. Play is a set of datapoints to be processed and optimised.

Last week, Nicholas gave an interview for the Wall Street Journal about why you can’t make the next Candy Crush Saga. King’s finely-tuned production line is designed to churn out perfectly optimised social puzzle games, and that can’t be easily replicated outside of the structure they have built. But you can learn some lessons from King about what makes a game successful.

Learn to retain players to build a passionate base

Build a pyramid of retention loops and social features on top of a fun, free core loop

Test, iterate and learn about what makes your players tick.( gamesbrief