The ten best social gaming articles of 2011 – Part one

Matthew Warneford
1
July
2011

We’ve been publishing our This Week in Social Games (TWISG) newsletter for six months. It’s our weekly e-newsletter that contains that week’s most insightful articles on social games and virtual worlds and delivers them as a digest into our subscriber’s inbox.

But that’s not meta enough for us at Dubit. So now we’ve scoured all the issues of TWISG and produced this list of the top ten articles (based on clicks). It’s a bit like those annuals you used to get as a kid but you don’t have to wait for Christmas.

Want the week’s most insightful social gaming and virtual world articles sent to your inbox every week? Then sign-up to receive TWISG.

1 . Do you speak metrics? (free sign-up required)

Do you know your WAU from your ARPU? What’s the K-Factor? If this makes no sense to you then you have been one of the many people who clicked this story. Unfortunately it requires registration to Games Industry Biz but if you’re not signed-up already, now’s the time.

2. Social gaming statistics jamboree

We all love social gaming stats, which I guess is why this proved so popular – it’s got 80 of them! What makes it even better is that the list also comes with links to the source of each stat. Great if you’re trying to convince anyone of the benefits of social games.

3. Top 10 tips on social games success

Presented as a check-list for crafting the perfect social game, this list from GameDuell Co-Founder Michael Kalkowski proved so popular we’re expecting nothing but perfect social games from now on. We don’t expect to be let down.

4. Zynga’s Castle On Social Game Metrics

Social game metrics are always popular on TWISG but this interview with Zynga’s Lou Castle has been the most popular yet. In it he explains why social game project managers may have “more practical design experience” than many seasoned game designers; maybe that’s why it was so popular.

5. Virtual currency – an overview of the law

We’re sure that plenty of developers and publishers clicked this article to make sure they were doing everything above board. Whatever the reason, this post was a handy crib sheet for anyone wanting an overview of what can and can’t be done with virtual currency.

6. What do the top 20 virtual worlds have in common?

This post was by Dubit’s own CTO, Matthew Warneford. In it he dissects the top 20 virtual worlds and examines the results to see what traits they share. A bit like a virtual world autopsy. Read the article to see what they have in common and how these traits change with the player’s age.

7. Five ways developers can be less dependent on Facebook

As a platform, Facebook’s roads aren’t paved with the same gold that they were when Farmville first came on to the scene. Now they’re made from some form of gold plated tungsten. This could explain why so many readers clicked this post – a five point plan on how to be big in social games without relying on big blue (that’s Facebook now, not IBM).

8. Saatchi & Saatchi – Gamification for business, brands, and loyalty

The purpose of the Saatchi and Saatchi survey was to show how gamification can play a role in business. In the process of doing this they unveiled a host of tasty social gaming stats. Want to know what social games single people play? What about the most educated gamers? Go take a look at the presentation.

9. CityVille’s viral growth hooks : Levels 1-3 deconstructed

Digg founder and angel investor, Kevin Rose, is a Farmville addict! So when Cityville came on the scene he had to get involved and that inspired this blog entry – deconstructing the viral growth hooks from the game’s first three levels with a handy flow chart. We all know Zynga want you to share your accomplishments but seeing it in flow chart form really do emphasise their importance.

10. CityVille goal funnels – Game Mechanics and Overview (pt1/5)

Going in to more depth that Kevin Rose’s blog post was this article (from a series of five) by Kontagent. Here the author examines the game’s viral, engagement, retention and viral engagement funnels. Take a look at the other posts in the series for a deeper breakdown.

(This blog post has since been removed by it’s author, Kevin Rose)

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