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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignHow to design Cosmetics in a Free2Play game to be both fair and engaging
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Author Topic: How to design Cosmetics in a Free2Play game to be both fair and engaging  (Read 4737 times)
Schrompf
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« on: March 09, 2023, 01:34:59 PM »

I'm reevaluating my plans concerning "How to gain Cosmetics" in my dormant Free2Play multiplayer game Snake World.

a) I want it to be fair and not-annoying.

I occasionally play on Mobile, and I noticed I centered almost completely on OpenSource games. Because the usual bunch in AppStores is literally unbearable. Anything in a game is now OneArmedBandit, chests with random items or similar. I want to do better.

b) It should be engaging.

Simply buying the hat with in-game tokens might be simple and direct, but is probably too boring. The player buys the two or three things she wants to equip, and then has no interest in going on.


Do you think this is a serious threat to retaining players? Or should I keep treating people as adults?

One approach, inspired by the early Rocket League:
- you find tokens while playing
- you can by a random item from one of the cosmetic categories (e.g. a Hat)
- items come in Tiers
- you can merge three items of the same tier to get one random item from the next tier.

Slightly altered approach:
- The tokens you can find immediately advance the count towards a random cosmetic category
- Say: you collect one token, dice says "a hat", it increases "random hat progress" from 2/4 to 3/4.
- Another token randomly assigned to "hat" advances the count to 4/4 and you get a random hat of "basic" level.

The merging allows to hand out the same items over and over again, so I can tune the rate to one item every half an hour or something and still manage the launch with ~20 items in every category. Allowing to buy items directly puts a hard limit to the time range in which getting tokens feels meaningful. Random items and merging smoothes the limit to a asymptotic curve - it's less and less interesting to get tokens, but never useless.

The first approach obviously allows to work towards a specific category, the latter is less controllable.

Can you think of any other approach to Cosmetics? It should both treat the player fairly and not immediately cut off the incentive to get more cosmetics.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2023, 09:13:30 AM »

I think roblox lets players design and sell cosmetic items in a market place allowing people to make their own stuff. That could be a good idea?

That said, I don't think I've ever purchased an IAP in my entire time on the market. I think CSGO gave me a free loot crate (which I never bought the key for) which I traded for a nice gun upgrade that according to the market value system were both worth about 50 cents.

Really, to me, it seems like monetization isn't too difficult once you get a product that people love. They say people would do anything to get minecraft running on their computer, so it was easy to just charge 10 bucks for it and that's that.

The design challenge is getting a game or service that people want to check in with every day. Then you can make some money.
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