Increasingly, you can see casual products released not only by large players and small studios but even by individual indie developers. What is the reason for the popularity of casual games among developers? Of course, the main, and often the only, unfortunately, the reason is the commercial benefit. Casual games are aimed at the broadest audience, which generates considerable income for developers. But this does not mean that among casual games you cannot create your indie project, which will not only warm your soul with its lamp-like quality but also bring income. What if you are destined to create such a masterpiece?
You need to start with the concept of casual games in art outsourcing in general. There are different interpretations of this concept and I will try to combine them into one. The casual game is a game for the mass player, the distinctive features of which are simplicity of rules and controls, as well as the absence of the need to have any special skills or have a lot of time to play.
Distinctive features of the casual game:
- Simple gameplay. Simple in this case does not mean primitive. If you look at the profile of any high-level casual game company, you probably need a couple of hours to figure out all the nuances of the game at this stage. The simplicity of casual gameplay lies in the fact that its basic rules are very simple, for example: “If you collect three pebbles of the same color in a row, they disappear, and you get points. You have to collect 100 points to win. ” Later, combinations can become more complicated, for example, five in a row, a square of monochrome chips, specials. Chips. There may be some powerups or skills, but they all obey the law of “simple gameplay”;
- Simple controls. As a rule, in casual games, one mouse button or several buttons on the phone is enough to control;
- Short gaming sessions in-game art outsource.
So we come to the most interesting part. There are the following ways to monetize casual games.
- The most popular model now is free-to-play games. Its essence lies in the fact that the user installs the game free of charge and can still play it for free indefinitely. But inside the game itself, there is paid content, game goods that the player can purchase for real money. In theory, the player does not have to make purchases in the game: the content that is sold for money is not key in the gameplay, you can do without it. But the game itself is balanced in such a way that the comfort level for the non-paying player is greatly reduced.
- The second, slightly less popular, but still quite viable model is freemium – a combination of the two words free and premium. If you want to play a freemium game from a game outsourcing company, then you can download a demo version of the game for free, for example, with a limited number of levels, or the first free chapter of the game, but to get the next parts of the game, you will need to buy them. That is, unlike free-to-play games, where only a fraction of the content is sold, which is optional, is a freemium game you don’t get any content until you purchase it.
In general, this method of monetization is more pleasant for indie developers, because when developing a game it is not necessary to implement “cynical” free-to-play mechanics and build the whole game process around them. The game designer with outsource animation here has more freedom to implement his ideas. But this business model is suitable for a limited range of genres, for example, it is completely unsuitable for a farm, the entire gameplay of which is built around microtransactions, but is perfect for a visual novel or an arcade game with packs of levels.
- And, perhaps, the slightly less popular of all three models are paid games. Everything is quite simple here, to download the game, you must first buy it. There are pitfalls here, since distributing such a game is much more difficult than in the first two models, when the player can either install the game quickly and for free, or first look at it and decide if he likes it.
This option, like freemium, is not suitable for several casual games from game outsourcing companies, but just like freemium, it provides many more opportunities for creativity. So, when developing free-to-play, a team must be well versed in modern free-to-play trends and marketing features of development, and to create a game with a paid distribution model, a team with an interesting and creative idea is needed.