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Carry1st's Nick Murray on why game economy design is essential for the success o | Pocket Gamer.biz

Making a welcome return for 2021, the first PocketGamer.biz MasterClass sessions of the year are coming up in just a couple of weeks.

These deep-dive workshop sessions take an in-depth look at practical games design topics. The finest industry experts bring you professional, half-day activities featuring tutorials, lectures and breakout groups, all accessible from the comfort of your home office.

There are five workshops taking place on March 9-11 where you can expect to explore a range of key games design topics, from game design to monetisation and investment.

Today, we’d like to introduce Nick Murray, Head of Games at Carry1st, who will lead a session titled Game Economy Design & Optimisation on Wednesday, March 10th from 14:00-17:00 (UK time).

Nick Murray has been working in F2P games since 2009, when he started working for Aeria Games in Berlin. Since then, he worked for Rovio on monetisation and economy design for Angry Birds 2 (and others), led the BI and monetisation team for Tom Clancy’s The Division at Ubisoft and was Director of Live Ops/Product at GREE, working on midcore RPGs. Murray has been consulting for three years across a range of products from casual match-3 games to hardcore card-collecting games and everything in between.

What’s working well, what can be improved – and how?

Tell us a bit about your company

Carry1st is the biggest games published based in Africa. We have an extremely experienced publishing team to support launching games globally and on the African continent. We also provide a payment platform to the vast user base that don’t have access to credit cards.

gamesconsulting.net offers custom product and monetisation support to live/pre-launch products. Usually, this is in the form of a targeted deconstruction, highlighting what’s working well, what can be improved – and how – in order to meet the client’s goals.

What does your role entail?

As Head of Games, I oversee the portfolio performance and support the biz dev team in getting the best products to publish with Carry1st!

Is there anything you’re working on currently that you’d like our readers to know about?

There’s several exciting titles coming soon from Carry1st, so just keep an eye out for those! One of my favourites is Gebeta, a modernised take on the traditional game of Mancala.

It’s never the most exciting sounding topic, yet it’s so critical to the enjoyment/success of your game.

What topic will you be covering in your Masterclass?

I’ll be looking at the fundamentals of building a strong game economy; something I’ve had a lot of experience with in the last several years. It’s never the most exciting sounding topic, yet it’s so critical to the enjoyment/success of your game. Make a game too generous and the challenge disappears. A game that isn’t generous enough leads to frustration. Each option leads to player churn. The session will start off with theory, but will move towards practical applications, group exercises and tools which you can take with you once the session is done.

Who is this Masterclass for?

The masterclass is for anyone who wishes to better understand how they can build a more robust economy and why it works. It will provide a framework for building an economy within most game types which rely on currency driven economies (hypercasual is unsuitable in this case).

Why is it important for your games industry peers to gain a deeper understanding of your chosen topic?

Because of the profound impact on retention and monetisation. It’s rare to have someone focused on building game economies within an organisation and it often gets left with placeholder values until the last minute. I’m hoping to simplify the process so that many more people can have a strong starting point for this critical aspect of design.

The steps to design a strong economy, avoiding pitfalls and following best practices to drive significant retention and monetisation improvement.

Tell us a little bit about the key takeaways people can expect from the session

The main takeaways will be the following:

  • Why game economy design is so critical and plays a key role in defining the success of a game and its KPIs
  • The steps to design a strong economy, avoiding pitfalls and following best practices to drive significant retention and monetisation improvement
  • How to balance a game post-launch, which data is required to do so and how to not upset your community while doing it
  • How to boost the value of monetisable game content and ensure that money isn’t left on the table

Please note that if you attended the MasterClass last year, the content will be largely unchanged.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the games industry going forward? What major trends do you predict over the next 12 months?

Covid looks like it’s going to stick around for a while yet, so I expect revenue in the games industry to continue to grow as players remain in various states of lockdown.

In terms of trends, I can see some of the bigger studios being tempted to jump on the Genshin Impact train and try to build deeper, F2P, cross-platform games of comparable quality.

Consolidation looks set to continue with bigger groups purchasing studios and services. Therefore I think we’ll see some interesting new systems emerging in unexpected places as teams from different studios share knowledge and best practices.

Book today!

If you like the sound of Murray’s MasterClass, be sure to book your place now – remember tickets are limited so purchase your ticket today to avoid disappointment!

Multi-buy deals and corporate discount

Individual multi-buy discount: book for three & get fourth free (so, book for all four MasterClasses and get one of them free).

Corporate discount: a group of six or more from one company can get 30% off if booked together.

To take advantage of multi-buy or group discounts, please email sally.kevan@steelmedia.co.uk to discuss your bespoke package.

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