GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

View, browse, and sort the ever-growing list of GDC sessions by pass type, track, summit, format, and day. With GDC Session Scheduler you can build your schedule in advance, and access it during the show via export or with the GDC mobile app, Please note that adding sessions to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat in that session. Sessions do fill up, so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

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Export Schedule:

Economic Balancing and Improved Monetization Through Clever Sink Design

Vili Lehdonvirta  |  Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Location: Room 2020, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Free to Play Design & Business Summit
Vault Recording: Video

To ensure that a game stays balanced and in-game purchases remain compelling over time, it's important to design effective sinks, or mechanisms that remove items and currency from the economy. Drawing on examples from classic online games and recent mobile titles, the lecture covers six currency sinks and eleven item sinks, including frequently used workhorses and lesser-known alternatives. Each sink is briefly analyzed for pros and cons using elementary behavioral economics to explain why players accept some sinks more readily than others. A simple spreadsheet-based approach to simulating sink impact is also introduced, useful for guiding design and live operations.


Attendees will walk away with six elementary currency sink designs, eleven item sink designs, and a host of issues to watch out for in sink design, explained by behavioral economics. Attendees will also learn a simple approach to simulating the impact of a new sink in a spreadsheet.