Kicking off the Live Ops Landscape track at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital, ZeptoLab head of live ops Francisco Bravo gave a talk on designing your game with live ops in mind.
Bravo began by looking at determining whether your game could benefit from live ops, suggesting developers consider if their game is actually scalable, if the game has any amount of d30 retention, and if your game is actually selling content.
He also noted that developers should be identifying whether players are paying for IAPs in the soft launch phase, which will then help them decide if a wider user base will continue to spend money in a full launch.
Not all sunshine and roses
Bravo then turned to the harder, technical parts of live ops, particularly that server-side development must be important, developers need to pay attention to security and anti-cheating solutions, and that the client development will be slower as all teams will need to coordinate at every point in the development journey.
"You need to know what the key players are doing," said Bravo on the subject of determining what live ops you need to be running. He also recommended doing some audience research on your game, evaluated your current game economy, and consider how live ops will then impact that economy.
As for what kinds of live ops developers should run, Bravo identified three key types of operations; Conversion, Player's Journey, and Seasonal. Player's Journey, he explained, can be seen in games that unlock extra missions whenever a player unlocks a new character, for example.
Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital is the best of our Pocket Gamer Connects conference in an online form, with an entire week of talks, meetings, and pitch events taking place from September 14th to the 18th. You can read up on all the tracks taking place throughout the week here.