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For a Fistful of Virtual Moneys

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iamvegu

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[font=arial]Man, the past few days have been killing me, i just now finished the 5th floor theme - "Mage Tower" - and it took much longer than i anticipated. Initially i was going to make a journal about wtf happened there, but i don't even want to talk about it right now, so that will have to wait til next time. I know i am a tease. Also its 3:33AM as i write this, and i am high on caffeine and giddy as a cat eating a bucket of catnip, so i apologize if this isn't that coherent.[/font]

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It makes the world go round.

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[font=arial]So, my projected release date of "sometime between Novemeber 1st and November one hundred eleventy" draws ever closer and i am scrambling to get the game to BETA by the end of September. With the game progressing ahead there comes also the decision on how to monetize it.[/font]

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The game is being built with expansion content in mind, in other words it'll be super easy to add / sell new floor themes, heroes, boss encounters etc. So on that front i am good.

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[font=arial]The question that is hanging at the back of my mind, nagging me to no end, is whether or not i want to do what everybody else is doing in this industry and also sell some form of in game currency. [/font]

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My initial reaction to the thought is "Ugh..." followed be a "Meh.".

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On one hand it seems like i have my bases covered with the content ill be able to provide as after release DLC down the line.

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That feels good

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to me. On the other hand, by not doing the ingame currency sale dance it feels like i am leaving a pile of money on the table, according to the general consensus anyways. Combine that with the fact that as someone just starting out , every cent will count, and i am facing a bit of a dilemma.

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Personally, i hate the idea of selling currency, i hate it when other games do it, and i hate the thought of doing it myself. There is no question in my mind, that unless you are very very clever about it, it absolutely messes with gameplay, and brings up the whole issue of tuning the game around people buying that currency as well.

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[font=arial]However i also realize, taking my obvious dislike into account, that i am looking at this whole thing with a very BIASED opinion. So i have an issue with peddling crystals. Does it necessarily mean that the majority thinks the same way ? Probably not, considering the amount of money that kind of strategy brings into this industry.[/font]

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[font=arial]Anyways, i have a bit of time yet to decide on this, but i was wondering what you people think of this issue and how you approach it. Am i overthinking it? Are people getting tired of buying crystals in every free game they download? It seems to me like they should. [/font]

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Thanks for taking the time to read, and respond (if you do), here is a sneak peek at the Mage Tower Dungeon Theme:

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Very interesting thoughts on the monetization issue.

 

I would say that one advantage of virtual currency is that you can give virtual money to the player for free (when he starts the game, or levels up, or whenever you think is appropriated), so the player who doesn't spend money has a limited access to options available for those who pay (so he tastes what paying can provide to him and is more likely to spend money in the end).

 

About the intrusiveness I think it has not much to do with whether the currency is virtual or not. You decide when the virtual currency matters and when not. If the player gains a few virtual coins after wining a level and then he is directed to the virtual shop where he can buy more virtual coins or spend them I'd say that the level of intrusion is about the same as if he is directed to a virtual shop where he can buy things for real money when he finishes a level. The advantage of the virtual money is that, as I said before, you can give him few coins for free so he can have limited access to paid options and, probably, will be more likely to spend real money once he has tried what he could buy.

 

Just my thoughts.

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Oh i hadn't even thought about just using virtual currency to allow buying of the content packages as well. You are right that at least that wouldnt really be intrusive in regards to gameplay, which is what was my main concern.

 

I wonder how much content i would need to release with for that to be feasible, and what the pricing / acquisition rate should be. I could probably split up the initial content packages i had planned into many smaller individual packages. Hmm something to think about. 

 

Thanks :)

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