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Session Name:

Life is a Social Game: Lessons Learned Bringing The Sims to Facebook


The Sims Series has sold over 150 million games in 10 years. But in just six months, 70 million players have already played The Sims Social. This transition from a AAA franchise into a successful free-to-play social game was a major design challenge.

Drawing on this experience, this talk looks at how designers new to "social" have to adjust their approaches and design philosophies. We'll also discuss the paramount importance of clear communication in free-to-play games, building a strong ranking system, and the conflict of design and monetization.

Finally, learn how the "human element" makes The Sims Social stand out amongst its peers, why in-game relationships could be the next big trend, and how you might harness these things for your games.

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  • GDC 2012
  • Ray Mazza
  • Playfish of Electronic Arts
  • free content
  • Game Design
  • Design