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5.0 out of 5 stars If you need to know everything and you need to know it now then buy this book right away.
The preface of this book gives away a secret that would be detrimental in other publishing circles: It was written in under 13 weeks. However, any reader with an understanding of the current social gaming market would greet this news with a cheer, in an industry that moves so fast and where millions are made and lost it pays to have a book this up-to-date...
Published on 27 Jan. 2012 by Randomer

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3.0 out of 5 stars An extensive up to date review of social game design and monetization.
Reading this book is like having a long conversation with a veteran of the game industry: enjoyable and plenty of insights. So if you are looking for a 360 degrees overview of the social game industry, go on and get this book, you’ll get through those 200 pages with pleasure. If, on the contrary, you are interested in something more technical, then as you get to the...
Published 6 months ago by Jascha Casadio


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3.0 out of 5 stars An extensive up to date review of social game design and monetization., 5 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics (Paperback)
Reading this book is like having a long conversation with a veteran of the game industry: enjoyable and plenty of insights. So if you are looking for a 360 degrees overview of the social game industry, go on and get this book, you’ll get through those 200 pages with pleasure. If, on the contrary, you are interested in something more technical, then as you get to the back cover of this title, you will feel some bad taste in your mouth.

I’ve been suggested this book. Working in the game industry, I have already been exposed since day one to its rules and acronyms and I was merely interested in a title that focused on KPIs. This title marginally touch the subject, even if it’s about monetization.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasant book to read that, in my case, didn’t really get me any real value. I simply had the wrong expectations from it, maybe driven by the title, which could have been different, indeed.

The authors describe the many concepts that anyone into social games must know, starting with a history lesson about how the industry evolved from text based adventures to MMORPGs and games asynchronously played on the major social networks and/or on mobile devices.

This approach is used throughout the eleven chapters: all the topics are introduced first as they were in the past, when solo playing was the rule; then as they are now, in a world where everyone is connected and playing together.

Among them, I have particularly enjoyed those about the power of competition and cooperation, as well as the desire to show off success and vanity goods. The importance to quickly adapt, through A/B testing, to a fast moving cruel industry where hundreds of competitors are ready to get a piece of your cake is constantly highlighted.

There are a couple of things that I’ve particularly liked about this book: the first is that the authors often accompany the concepts with real world examples of companies and games and how they were able to exploit this or that social feature. The second detail that I have really loved is the interview with some legend of the game industry that you find at the end of each chapter. These interviews usually take up some good 4 to 5 pages and are a great mix of wisdom learned from the past and vision of the present/future of the industry.

So, this title is a good up to date read, as long as you are not expecting to get some formula or technical details about monetization. A pleasure to read.

As usual, you can find more reviews on my personal blog: http://books.lostinmalloc.com. Feel free to pass by and share your thoughts!
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you need to know everything and you need to know it now then buy this book right away., 27 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics (Paperback)
The preface of this book gives away a secret that would be detrimental in other publishing circles: It was written in under 13 weeks. However, any reader with an understanding of the current social gaming market would greet this news with a cheer, in an industry that moves so fast and where millions are made and lost it pays to have a book this up-to-date.

However, any fears about a lack of depth or quality need to be cast aside. One can only imagine the frantic typing and furious research needed to produce this book before the social gaming market changed yet again. The authors, industry veterans Tim Fields and Brandon Cotton, need not be modest about this achievement.

Social Game Design aims to target a variety of audiences: those in the industry, businesses planning social gaming ventures, industry job hunters and finally just the curious people out there. By adopting a non-technical approach and focusing on interviews, analysis and other insights, Fields and Cotton ensure such a varied audience can be accommodated within less than 300 pages. It covers all the current trends from both user and developer perspective,. Much of the terminology used in the industry is de-misted, defined and given appropriate acronyms to provide the reader with a comprehensive vocabulary for that next development meeting or job interview.

Above all, the books greatest virtue is how inspiring it can be. The eight in-depth interviews with industry leaders add personality and reality to what would otherwise be just an analysis. Many of the games covered are free-to-play and I'd recommend taking some time to play each one before you read the book to round out the experience with a hands-on element.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quite heavy going, 7 Dec. 2014
A book that covers a lot of the free to play elements, but it feels a bit like they tried to squeeze too much into a single book, which ends up glancing over an array of topics without pausing on a single one long enough for any palpable insight. A good introduction, but actually very wordy for a novice, and not deep enough for anyone beyond that. You'll probably get a few nuggets though, and the insights from industry veterans (though now outdated) are interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener for those looking to design social games, 29 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics (Paperback)
A very insightful book on game design. A real 'horses mouth' almanac on social gaming tricks of the trade. Highly recommend if you want to start with the very basics and understand the mechanics that make social games tick. Loved the interviews. Made you feel as if you had a window into the very studios that have spoken to the authors themselves!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and current, 19 Nov. 2012
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Great book that is up to date with the industry. Detailed analysis of monetization and in-game currencies. Well written. I would recommend this book to anyone that is studying free-to-play games on social or mobile platforms.
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Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics
Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics by Brandon Cotton (Paperback - 23 Dec. 2011)
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