Free-to-play without pay-to-win

01-14-2014, 01:58 PM
#1
Free-to-play without pay-to-win

Hi there, we're the indie developer behind Sprinkle and Granny Smith. We're about to release our next game "Smash Hit", previously discussed here.

We have only been working with paid games before and wanted to try something different for this title. However, we're not a big fan of the traditional free-to-play mechanic where you get a gameplay advantage from in-app purchases. We also don't like the "content unlock" model, because then you can't play the whole game without paying.

The game is a seamless journey where you travel in a straight line, throwing balls at obstacles to break them and avoid crashing into them. Every 2-3 minutes of gameplay you reach a checkpoint where your progress is automatically saved.

Our idea is to offer the game for free, but in order to restart from checkpoints you need to unlock the premium version with an in-app purchase. If you don't unlock it, you need to play the game from start every time, much like any endless runner.

This way one can check out the game for free. If there is a strong desire to practice a certain level or the frustration from playing from start every time gets annoying, there is an option to unlock. We are trying to make a free-to-play game without a paywall and without the pay-to-win mechanic.

Does it sound like an appealing model? Have you seen it in other games?

Here is some gameplay footage to give you an idea of what the game looks like:
01-14-2014, 02:12 PM
#2
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 935
I think that is a good pay model.

01-14-2014, 02:13 PM
#3
Wow, this looks so good. I like the sound of that pay model
Side question: what devices will this game run on?
01-14-2014, 03:19 PM
#4
This is the first game I've ever seen this type of model being the IAP the sole buy... Hmmm it does seem intruiging. But to be honest, I would personally never buy it because I could deal with restarting the level each time to save a few bucks, and I'm also a perfectionist so either way I'd probably try to do the whole thing in one go.

Although I'm glad you're doing this. Way more likable than consumable restarts
01-14-2014, 04:48 PM
#5
Thanks, that's good input. Our (valid) concern here is of course that nobody would pay. I'm surprised nobody seems to have tried this model before. Our option would be to make a regular premium game.

Bronxsta: The game runs on iOS and Android. iPhone 3GS and above, but for a smooth 60 FPS experience you need a 4S or iPad 2. We have three graphics settings to cater for the vast plethora of Android devices, but it runs smoothly on most current mid- to high end devices.
01-14-2014, 05:19 PM
#6
Well your other titles seem to have performed relatively well, so putting a big banner "CREATORS OF SPRINKLE, GRANNY SMITH, AND SPRINKLE ISLAND" and assuming you get featured I think it'll do well. (Also if it's fun that tends to help.)

If not, then there's no harm in trying out some new neo-IAP (did I just coin a new term? Savvy.) schemes. Jet car stunt's 2 did well, and I have nothing against a premium unlock. It's like the old AppStore days that had a pay and lite version, except bundled into 1
01-14-2014, 05:30 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Gustafsson View Post
Thanks, that's good input. Our (valid) concern here is of course that nobody would pay. I'm surprised nobody seems to have tried this model before. Our option would be to make a regular premium game.

Bronxsta: The game runs on iOS and Android. iPhone 3GS and above, but for a smooth 60 FPS experience you need a 4S or iPad 2. We have three graphics settings to cater for the vast plethora of Android devices, but it runs smoothly on most current mid- to high end devices.
Will definitely be supporting you, then. The game looks really fun
01-15-2014, 02:58 AM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Gustafsson View Post
Hi there, we're the indie developer behind Sprinkle and Granny Smith.
Hi!

Quote:
We also don't like the "content unlock" model, because then you can't play the whole game without paying.
But if you played a good part, you can know if you like it and then pay for the rest. Gaming is not a civil right or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCho133 View Post
But to be honest, I would personally never buy it because I could deal with restarting the level each time to save a few bucks, and I'm also a perfectionist so either way I'd probably try to do the whole thing in one go.
Yeah, I would be worried about this. I think it would be better if people had an additional reason to buy the premium version. I assume you are planning on adding ads that are also turned off by buying the premium version?