ExPlay 2012: Mediatonic's Paul Croft explains how to create games with character
Croft was also keen to emphasise the importance of crafting experiences that open up to players quickly, revealing their themes, tone and gameplay as soon as possible even before the point of sale.
"How you position the game in the store is super important," Croft said, going on to explain that the name, app icon and app store description can all be used to convey tone and help set audience expectation.
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"You want a premise that can be summed up in a few lines," Croft continued, "and the shorter the game session, the more instant the premise needs to be."
Naturally, this is particularly important in freemium titles, where a player has no financial incentive to keep playing a game that doesn't open up right away.
Indeed, Croft explained how content and business models are necessarily interlinked.
"It seems like the business model shouldn't affect the story, but it does and it's crucial in determining the theme of your game," Croft said,
"In a low ARPU genre, you need a broad theme," for instance. "In a high ARPU hardcore game, you can obviously have a narrower, more targeted theme," Croft explained .
Croft's talk also stressed the value of attention to detail, internal coherency and hidden rewards for your most dedicated players.
"The personality of your game's main character should influence every aspect of the game," Croft said.
In this way, you can create a game with a real and distinctive personality.
"A lot of games have great designs," Croft continued. "But they're not lifted above the noise. Character can help lift you out of this sea of games."