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Crushing Candy: The Saga - What is a Skinner Box?

03-15-2014, 12:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Happy Daddy
Posts: 1,991
Crushing Candy: The Saga - What is a Skinner Box?

I came across a great short video on youtube which I'd like to share with anyone interested here at TA.

The video explains what a skinner box is and how it's used in CCS. The most important thing I want to highlight is how successful Candy Crush Saga is, and the reason. All of this is explained by Anthony Carboni in the video. In the video description you will find more links which explain a lot of what Anthony is saying.

Here's the link:


A few interesting links:
Behavioral Game Design

King: 93M daily Candy Crush Saga players, 500M installs, and $568M profit in 2013

Candy Crush Saga: Why you play and why you pay
03-15-2014, 01:42 PM
Skinner box mechanics in games have always left a bad taste in my mouth; usually because the usurp any and all other mechanics.

As a quick example I loved the first Diablo, still do, and it's got Skinner Box mechanics, loot drops etc..., but it also has meaningful progression. On the other hand, I don't much care for Diablo 2, that sense of meaningful progression seems stagnated for the sake of the Skinner Box, the gameplay felt usurped. For games, which are essentially just graphical rogue-likes, it's amazing how pacing so heavily affects every other mechanic.

Freemium games intentionally break pacing to encourage purchasing, a practice that saps any interest I could ever have away.

As a contrary there are "just one more turn games", like Alpha Centauri, that keep me playing, and effectively addicted, because I'm engaged in my interaction with the mechanics; I'm invested in the long-term plan which the mechanics have allowed me to layout.

*To preface. My analysis of Diablo is shallow, at best, I've discussed it in greater depth elsewhere and think the series is a fascinating study for Skinner Box mechanics and it's interaction with gameplay.