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hiigara

Online Browser Games Registration Design

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Why is that most games force you to type your email address and user name even before you actually have seen any screenshots or know what the hell is the game about?
Example:
http://www.hobowars.com

Why not start playing with an anonymous account and then register after?
This really pisses me off. Is it just so they can harvest emails and then send those annoying "You haven't logged in for a long time. Your kingdom needs you" messages to the players who haven't shown interest from the start.

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When you buy a game you invest your money, so you give it a try and want it to be fun. When you play online you invest your "register time" only (not huge investment). This gives the game like a minute to show it's worth instead of mere seconds. Without this there would be only heavy gfx games without gameplay, the rest would not survive.

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Why not start playing with an anonymous account and then register after?
This really pisses me off.

Probably so that you don't lose any progress you made the first time. That really pisses people off too.

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Probably so that you don't lose any progress you made the first time. That really pisses people off too.


Just because it's an anonymous account it doesn't mean the progress is not being saved. For example if you are using PHP start_session() sets a session id cookie in the browser, and you can save the progress using as anonymous id the id of the session. Then if after 10 minutes the user is still playing, then prompt him "You must create an account now or your progress will be lost".
A few games do exactly what I described, but most don't

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I agree that screenshots should be provided pre-signin. It is poor design to not have this as it will often keep players from signing up.

But wIth email, bbgs suffer greatly from multi-account abuse. Ie, a player gets multiple accounts, and funnels money from the majority of the accounts into a single account. To prevent this, email authorization is often requested. The hope is that most people only have 1 email address. In reality, this never works.

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Well that can be avoided by disabling certain actions such as trade for unregistered accounts.

hiigara, I think Evony, Runespace, etc could get away with it because there was much less competition at the time. (Similar to harsh death penalties in early MMOs).

What Acharis said definitely applies. Downloadable games are going to have a little more time to hook the player, at the expense of less total players trying it. I don't think it's worth the trade for web-based games, but metrics could say otherwise.

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When you buy a game you invest your money, so you give it a try and want it to be fun. When you play online you invest your "register time" only (not huge investment). This gives the game like a minute to show it's worth instead of mere seconds. Without this there would be only heavy gfx games without gameplay, the rest would not survive.



That's it. They prefer less people trying it, but willing to spend more time trying to give the game a chance, since they have spent 5 minutes in registration already.
I did not understand your post at first, but typedef's comment made me get back to it.

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I would bet that it's an intentional marketing thing and not necissarily a bad design decision. Idea being that if a person is so curious to find out what the game is about, have them actually find out what the game is about. How many game screenshots or boxes or descriptions have you looked at for literally 2 seconds and made up your mind about whether or not you want to play it? Can anyone really make a proper judgement in 2 seconds? It's after playing the game and giving it a chance to get its hooks into ya that you'll be able to make a proper decision. And since the first taste is often free but the extra goodies are gonna cost ya, it seems like a reasonable way to do business.

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