GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Export Schedule:

How an Indie Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Free-to-Play

Arthur Humphrey  |  Founder & Lead Designer, Last Day of Work

Location: Room 3003, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Design
Vault Recording: Video

Do you love playing wonderful, artistic indie games but dread being toll-boothed, pay-walled and otherwise nickel-and-dimed by the new wave of free-to-play games? There are others like you out there, players and designers alike. Learn ways to embrace the monetization advantages of free-to-play games without giving up your indie values, or compromising your games' designs. This session will discuss techniques to make your free-to-play game really emphasize the "free," and mitigate pushback from a growingly savvy customer base. As always, Arthur will bring hard examples and farm fresh metrics from his own game launches, as well as from competing games.


Concrete tools enabling designers to make intelligent decisions about free-to-play monetization techniques: which to use and which to forego, one versus two currencies, ads - if and when, and intrinsic advertising techniques. Finally, the idea of the gift: the player perception that an F2P game is complete and just plain free.

Intended Audience

This lecture is intended for indie designers, or really, any designers who are planning or currently creating a free-to-play game and who want to consider ways to make these new monetization techniques more intrinsic to the game design, and quite frankly, make them more hidden to the player.