Tactile Games’ recipe for making a successful sequel to their hit title, Lily’s Garden

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Love? Friendship? Mansion? Puzzles? YES! — Tactile Post

Making a follow-up to a successful game is a precarious task: how much should the sequel stray from the game that came before? Do players love the narrative, thematic content, or game mechanics — and which ones should you alter and which ones should you keep the same?

These are all questions Tactile Games will have encountered while developing the sequel to their popular game, Lily’s Garden.

Penny & Flo: Finding Home is a F2P tap-to-blast puzzle game, where players help Penny and Flo renovate the mansion of a former Hollywood actress by solving challenging puzzles.

As a successor to Lily’s Garden, Penny & Flo unravels a related story full of twists and turns with a cast of quirky characters, with similar game mechanics, themes, and visual aesthetics in an attempt to follow up with a strong subsequent game by making it more of the same — but different. …


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Love? Friendship? Mansion? Puzzles? YES! — Tactile Post

Penny & Flo: Finding Home is a f2p tap-to-blast puzzle game, developed and published by Tactile Games, where players help Penny and Flo renovate the mansion of a former Hollywood actress by solving challenging puzzles.

As a successor to Lily’s Garden, Penny & Flo unravels a related story full of twists and turns with a cast of quirky characters, with similar game mechanics, theme and visual aesthetics in an attempt to followup with a strong subsequent game by making it more of the same but different.

More of the Same …


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But the world shall burn no more, for you shall ascend! — miHoYo Post

Genshin Impact is a f2p action RPG, developed and published by miHoYo, where players collect and build a team of diverse characters with their unique personalities, stories, equipment and abilities to explore and unravel the fantasy-based open-world of Teyvat.

The game builds upon the chemistry engine, a term popularised by the developers of Zelda: Breath of the Wild from which miHoYo takes ample inspiration, and uses it to power the game’s core pillars: combat, exploration and reinforcing the gacha based character collection.

The Chemistry Engine


Lessons in live ops and monetization from one of mobile’s most successful casual games

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Bring warmth and comfort back to a wonderful mansion! — Playrix Post

Homescapes is a F2P puzzle game, developed and published by Playrix, where players play match-3 levels to help Austin renovate his family’s mansion, decide how the furniture and decorations look, unlock story chapters and meet amusing characters along the way.

The game has built a robust event framework over the last few years in live ops, featuring a mix of recurring events with additional game content made available for a limited period of time.

Players can find out about upcoming events and their approximate dates in in the in-game news, the game’s social media posts and update descriptions where they are announced in advance. This event framework shines light on the strategy Playrix is doubling down on — supercharging the purchase of +5 moves, the game’s primary revenue generator.


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Match & merge storybook heroes! — Big Fish Games Post

EverMerge is a f2p collect and build merge 3 game, developed by Neskin Games and published by Big Fish Games, where players sort, organise and merge combos of three or more items on the game board, like merging potted plants to generate forests, to create and grow collections, unlock characters and complete quests in order to discover and design a fairytale kingdom.

The mechanic is the message in incremental games like EverMerge, where the audience is engaged with the core set collection and completion, and the next upgrade always feels within reach — balancing processes of instant and delayed gratification for success.


Harshal Karvande, Game Design Lead at Rovio, deconstructs the hit mobile game’s season pass and XP system

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Build an army and watch it fight idle-style! — Traplight Post

Battle Legion is a F2P strategy game, developed and published by Traplight, where players collect, upgrade and customize a deck of army units that engage in quick, auto-play, bite-sized battles.

Players earn XP after each victorious battle, which advances them on the fortnightly season pass. Players also have a reserve of bonus (AKA rested) XP that grants them additional progress on this principal progression track — a key factor for keeping players coming back every day.

The Season Pass


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Race around the world! — Nintendo Post

Mario Kart Tour is a f2p go-kart racing game, developed and published by Nintendo, where players collect drivers, karts and gliders from the Mario franchise and race against other players to on courses inspired by real-world cities in addition to classic Mario Kart courses.

The Mario Kart games are primarily party games, meant to be enjoyed by an audience of various skill levels with a gentle learning curve and races in which player elimination is rare. …


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Township is a unique blend of city building and farming! — Playrix Post

Township is a f2p farming and city building simulation game, developed and published by Playrix, where players harvest crops, craft goods and trade resources as they help fun, charismatic townspeople with their orders and build and decorate their dream town.

Over the last few years, Township has build upon the standard order board style events that are common to social casual games and transitioned to an event framework that consists of playing mini-games —interesting and unique experiences with new mechanics that encourages deeper, more active involvement from its audience.

The Core Loop


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Build an army and watch it fight idle-style! — Traplight Post

Battle Legion is a f2p strategy game, developed and published by Traplight, where players collect, upgrade and customize a deck of army units that engage in quick, auto-play, bite-sized battles.

Players earn XP after each victorious battle that advances them on the fortnightly season pass. Players also have a reserve of Bonus XP that grants them additional progress on this principal progression track — a key component for habituating healthier play routines.

The Season Pass


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ARCHERO is a shoot-em-up style rogue-lite action game! — Habby Post

Archero is a f2p action arcade game, developed and published by Habby, where players make their way through hazardous dungeons defeating waves of enemies by stacking up skills, collecting loot and experience to level up and forge powerful, stats boosting equipment.

The reward-loops inside and outside of the game’s rogue-like battle loop create moments of achievement and gain, and keep the repetition feeling fun and productive. But it’s in the anticipation of getting these rewards that Archero excels in engaging players.

The Reward-Loop Inside Battles

About

Harshal Karvande

Game Design Lead at Rovio (Small Town Murders), formerly Game Design Lead at Zynga (FarmVille 2). https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshalkarvande/

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