Dictionary of Free to Play Game Design

When I was a child on the circus and carnival, my father taught me to operate games of chance. Thirty years later, I would do a PhD in digital media and psychoanalytics. These two experiences came together for me when I became a game designer, with a specialism in free-to-play behavioural economics.
The Trade Industry Games Association - TIGA - published my Dictionary of Free-to-Play Game Design in 2015.
From the Press Release:
TIGA, the network for game developers and digital publishers, and trade association representing the UK videogame industry has published an Abridged Dictionary of Free-to-Play Game Design for its members, written by Dr Charles Kriel, Founder of 12 Stories Tall and Co-Founder / Senior Vice President Consumer at ThunderBoom.
Charles is kindly sharing his guide to the language of Free-to-Play with 12 Stories Tall’s fellow TIGA members, because in the fast-moving UK videogame industry, developing a shared and mutually understood language is essential if we are to define and follow best practice.
This is especially true for relatively new game design and business models like Free-to-Play, where is good deal of debate and confusion around its terms. As such, there is a clear need for a reference.
The dictionary is intended to be a living volume for professionals in a rapidly changing field, undergoing regular change and revision. So members who wish to share their own opinion and expertise are encouraged to email their thoughts to charles@12StoriesTall.com
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA, said:
“As the network for game developers and digital publishers in the UK, facilitating the sharing of expertise and experience is one of the core purposes for which TIGA exists.
“It is also essential if our industry is to deliver what matters above all else – real value for players. Understanding how to maximise engagement in a way that enhances the gaming experience, whilst also encouraging fair and sustainable revenue streams, is critical to the fulfillment of Free-To-Play’s potential.”
Dr Charles Kriel, founder, 12 Stories Tall, added
“Free-To-Play game design is both Art & Science, and can be seen as a nexus of digital marketing and mobile expertise, which is why it is such a valuable, fast-growth sector and why it is so important for UK game developers to be as good as anyone in this field.
“After all, given the shared terminology between mobile games and other rapidly growing tech and mobile sectors, knowing what language like ARPU and Lifetime Value means is as important to the likes of Vodafone as it is to a two person indie team.
“Over the years I have benefited from the insights of numerous games developers on the subject of F2P games, so I hope my fellow TIGA members find the dictionary to be helpful. Thanks in advance for checking it out. May it lead you to epic wins.”
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