Perfectly Balanced Game Economy Design:
A Guide to Action
The concept of economy in game design often confuses developers. What is this about? Who is in charge of economy in game development? Why is it so important?
The game economy is a separate microcosm, consisting of numbers and a perfectly adjusted monetization scheme. Any game has a reward system, be it coins, points, or valuable items. Some also include in-game currency that can be spent on purchasing useful things. The well-thought-out economy makes all monetization procedures in the game natural and subtly encourages the player to make purchases.
To make money transactions seamlessly and naturally integrated into the game, there are a few things to think about. The first is how the game currency is related to the characteristics and genre. The second is how exactly the currency is mined or bought. And the third is how much is needed to keep the player motivated to continue. Any concept art company that has been working in the gaming industry for a long time knows how to combine all this into an ideal picture.
Let's try to figure out how to approach a well-balanced economy design for any game.
Define Goals and Time Frame for Their Achievement
Each game is time. Your goal is to captivate players with the product so that they do not consider the time in the game wasted. And play as long as possible.
You can't blindly create an entertainment product. When working on the levels and the reward system, you should roughly understand how long it will take for the player to reach a certain milestone. The number of resources that can be found should be balanced, that is, there should not be a deficit, but also not a surplus. If there are too few of them and you force the player to make purchases at every step, they will leave the game. If there are too many of them, it will make the gameplay too simple, the players will lose interest in it and leave too.
Hard-to-find resources should be of much greater value than more available ones. The same goes for items that are bought for real money: they must be so useful that the player has no doubts about the necessity of buying.
Identify Primary and Secondary Resources
It is important to understand the difference between these two options. We have already mentioned that there should not be too many resources so as not to negate the entire challenge of the game. But this only applies to those resources that simplify the progress. It can be hit points, additional armor, weapons, or some magical ability to avoid some kind of obstacle. The calculation of the availability of these resources must be very accurate. If they can be purchased additionally, then their number should be limited. And in order to get them in the game itself, players need to perform some non-standard action of increased complexity.
Secondary resources do not affect game progress in any way. Therefore, their number can be freer. Typically, this category includes decorative items such as clothing, new tunes, or the ability to change the hue of the user interface. They do their bit to add variety to the game, but they do not help the player to overcome the obstacles and solve puzzles.
Think Over a Pricing Policy
Price formation is another major challenge that cannot be approached at random. At the end of the level, players get a certain amount of currency or points, for which they can buy something. Their number can vary depending on how well the level was completed.
You can't set prices that are too high, beyond the reach of even the best players. Finding that even with a perfect game they cannot buy anything worthwhile, they will lose interest in the game's economic system. The same applies to prices that are too low: it is wrong if the player can buy everything at once.
Establishing a balanced system of the game economy is just as important as providing the product with a good storyline, characters, and graphics. If you are not yet sure that you can think it over by yourself, an outsourcing game design studio may be the best option. Kevuru Games is a company that has developed dozens of games for mobile and Pc with a wide variety of monetization techniques. The team knows how to attract players using a balanced economy and make them active participants in in-game currency processes.
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