Effective In-Game Reward Designs
(Photo : Human Centric Monetization)

Game designing takes a larger share of a Game Developer's time and mainly focuses on the creative designing and innovative story lines that make games successful. It involves developing compelling stories, designing relatable characters, defined goals, complex challenges, rewards etc that potentially make it a success. A good game design includes -

1.     Compelling Story - Including a clear storyline that lets consumers enjoy the game as it was meant to and would keep users engaged, rewarding them with an invaluable experience.

2.     Relatable Characters - People project themselves on various characters, and this can be seen through cosplays and costumes, which means that if you need a popular game, include relatable characters.

3.     Defined Goals - Including a defined goal and quest means that the whole player base has a general view that pushes them forward to better the game.

4.     Complex challenges - Have you ever seen an easy and popular game? No right? Because including challenges and increasing the difficulty levels makes people compete, which improves engagement resulting in an overall better-designed game.

5.     Exciting Rewards - Include exciting and sufficient rewards which can make users grind to achieve them. This results in much more satisfaction and also includes a competitive spirit among the consumers.

At the heart of this, is a delicate balance of game stories, game challenges and game rewards. Game stories and related challenges are extremely specific and vary greatly from one game to another. When it comes to in-game Rewards however, there are few standards that remain same across different game genres. (source: Human Centric Monetization)  

What are In-Game Rewards?

In-Game Rewards are anything the players can earn via playing the game. There is a general trend going on that is taking users by the storm by providing them rewards for everything, which can break the game. Hence, here are some general rules for in-game rewards:

  • Reward players for tedious quests as earning a reward are much more enjoyable than just receiving it for free.
  • Rewards, such as in-game currency, items, or something similar, are essential feedback to the community. Let the competitive game spirit be the crucial driving force of your game, and hence, it would lead to further the experience.

How to Use In-Game Systems to Reward Your Audience?

Gamers are hard-wired to have an enjoyable experience through positive reinforcement.

Here are some tips and tricks for the right way to in-game reward design:

1. Rewards from quests and challenges - The first and primary way to include rewards is through completing quests and challenges for the storyline to progress. This can be done in various forms, but the most common way is through having rewards such as in-game currency and items for beating a boss.

2. Rewards from ads - Rewarding players for watching an ad is a great way to increase revenue and include ads without destroying the experience. With the new Rewarded Video Ads services for HTML5 Games such as AppLixir, developers can incorporate optional ads for a reward, and players have the choice to watch or skip any ad that they encounter.

3. Daily login rewards - Daily login rewards are probably the safest option for guarantees a stable player base as people have to log in every day to acquire the reward. If this is done correctly, it can improve player retention and help users improve their gaming experience.

4. Special occasion rewards - Rewards for special occasions such as anniversaries, Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, and other festive events can be an excellent way to bring in new players and retain and celebrate old players.

5. Rewards for content creation - Rewards can also be given to content creators such as Youtubers and Twitch streamers as they stream the game, which advertises it to many others on the internet. Hence, rewarding content creators show that you're a good company that listens to the player base and improves the game through community suggestions.

6. Tournament rewards - Tournament and Championships are also great ways to reward your player base. It helps people engage more with the community and improve the gaming experience by building a competitive ladder and spirit for rivalry.

Example - Genshin Impact: Genshin Impact is a recently released game which hasn't even reached the 1-year mark and it still has become one of the largest game seen in the industry. This is because Genshin pulled off most aspects of the game perfectly. The reward system from Genshin proves that less is more as it only provides a specific amount of in-game reward/currency, which leads to people farming it every day.

How do you create a reward system?

Getting a decent reward system needs a few things to be taken care of, and those are:

  • Define the consistency of giving rewards
  • Know what you are rewarding for the tasks
  • Strategize and plan the events and rewards carefully

Keeping these points in mind would result in a better reward system that would help stabilize the in-game currency and normalize the graph among the free-to-play players and whales who spend a lot of money playing the game.

Robel Alemu is a frequent contributor and speaker on In-Game Rewards and Monetization at AppLixir

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