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Reading List: The F2P Toolbox

Reading List: The F2P Toolbox

Demonstrating an ability to shift from industry-wide considerations to more specific advice, The F2P Toolboxis something of a guerilla publication from Gamesbrief's Nicholas Lovell.

We reviewed his 'proper' book The Curve: From Freeloaders to Superfans  earlier in the year.

The F2P Toolbox, written in collaboration with analyst Rob Fahey, is a DIY checklist for designers of free-to-play games.

That's the way to do it

Less of a 'book' per se, it's a collection of 54 techniques that designers should be considering when they're making F2P games.

Some are fairly basic - #1 Make Your Game Free, or #11 Show Me My Friends.

And some are even contradictory - #2 Make Your Game Paid.

The wider point, however, is that not all techniques will be relevant to all games.

Yet reading through all 54 techniques, which are explained in a single sheet of A4, often using released games as examples - does provide a comprehensive overview to the key areas of F2P game design.

Still, it needs to be pointed out this isn't a game design book.

Anyone with deep industry experience of designing and operating these sort of games isn't not going to be surprised by the advice provided.

The F2P Toolbox  doesn't delve into how to balance energy-based systems or when to introduce secondary progression-based in-game currencies.

However, as something that frames the wider discussion of F2P games for an engaged audience, it hits the spot.

The F2P Toolbox is available in various forms from a £40 PDF to a £75 physical booklet to a limited edition £160 signed hardback.


A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at PG.biz which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.

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