Ingredients are the decisive factor on the nutritional value every meal provides us, so they are for games as well. In this section you can check out the different features that I’ve been keeping and the best definition i’ve found for them, as a glosary of terms. Pick the ones you want, then arrange your game!


Whales are a way to categorize players of Free to play games whose amounts of money spent are way higher than the average, reaching up to large numbers which actually makes the metrics have shifting spikes.  Whales aren’t normally higher than a 10% of the active users. Whales are usually players with a high and … Continue reading Whales


Dolphins are a way to categorize players of Free to Play games whose spending behavior is categorized as medium inside the game’s terms. Often Dolphins belonging to successful formulas represent a 10% up to a 40% of the overall users, and they’re able to find their purchasable range of items which suits their needs inside … Continue reading Dolphins


Minnows are a way to categorize players of Free to Play games whose spending behavior is the lowest of all (but still they do spend). Minnows are the largest amount of users inside the revenue charts, and their behaviors are often reinforced by offers and discounts. Minnows often spend the amounts required to surpass the … Continue reading Minnows


Though many authors have described behaviorism in pretty different ways, we could asses that it is an approach to psychology which is focused in the study of the behaviors rather than mental states or strict unobservable happenings inside people’s minds. Inside videogames, behaviorism plays a key role, being able to be a test field for … Continue reading Behaviorism

Operant conditioning

Inside the various learning methods inside behaviorist psychology, operant conditioning is referred to the one that uses rewards and punishments in order to boost learning, therefore shaping a behavior; and we owe it to B.F.Skinner. One of the key points inside operant conditioning is the reward system, made out by the combination of several loops … Continue reading Operant conditioning

Classic Conditioning

Is a method inside behaviorist psychology that involves pairing a previously neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus. This unconditioned stimulus naturally and automatically triggers a response known as the unconditioned response. After associating the neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus, the neutral stimulus will start to evoke the conditioned response. Classic conditioning operates inside the … Continue reading Classic Conditioning


Retention refers to the amount of time players spend through the game or as the amount of returning players.  Depending on the variable amount of time we can distinguish two types:  Long term: the amount of active players that lasts playing a game during a certain period of time, usually monthly or weekly.  Short term: … Continue reading Retention

Free to play

Free to play stands for a game strategy (not a genre!) which involves offering the title for free to everyone (downloading and playing). Free to play has turned, in the last few years, a fashioned and mostly a solid model to help small & medium developers to grow further by reaching a higher audience, and … Continue reading Free to play


Freemium (in videogames) is a type of free to play games which offers players the ability of making in game purchases in order to unlock special features inside it. Most games runs inside the rails of this strategy, offering avoidance of restrictions, unlocking of units or special abilities/power-ups, new modes and so on, by making … Continue reading Freemium


Flow (inside positive psychology) refers to the mental state of a person who is fully immersed inside an activity with a complete focus and the highest possible amount of absorption, assessing all the possible emotions through the process: the ultimate and greatest state every user can ever get. Defined and researched by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and … Continue reading Flow


Anxiety (inside positive psychology) is an state that results from when the subject faces an extremely hard challenge, which surpasses his skills, therefore making him unable to surpass it. In videogames, anxiety is an easy leader to frustration, therefore quitting from play. If a challenge is enough hard to match the average skills of any … Continue reading Anxiety

Social Game

For describing what a social game is, we can’t just deliberately fall into one description. Besides, I chose the definitions which I think suits better the current state of social games. Sande Chen’s definition in her article The Social Network Game Boom, as an online game in which one typically plays through a social networking site. In … Continue reading Social Game

Pay Wall

A pay wall is a constraint inside social games that makes players unable to progress unless they unlock it by using hard currency (real money). Pay walls are usually found inside the Progress gates monetization model, where once the player surpasses a wall, he will end up finding another(and possibly way bigger) one. Pay walls … Continue reading Pay Wall


DAU stands for Daily Active Users, a metric used inside games alongside MAU(Monthly Active Users) to measure the efficiency of retention techniques as well as a pivot point for shaping its features to reach higher numbers. DAU usually gets less coverage than its older brother, provided its results aren’t provided with enough consistency to make … Continue reading DAU


Layering, a term coined by Ramin Shokrizade, is the technique of replacing real money by a virtual currency inside games, therefore lowering the brain impact of spending and transaction has inside players. Tough other designers will prefer to use another terms to describe it (or perhaps none) we could establish that hardly any successful free … Continue reading Layering

Hard Currency

A hard currency is a game resource obtained through transaction of real money, and used to purchase premium items. Usually hard currency is unobtainable by any other means than paying, though some games offer lower amounts of it by doing some specific actions inside the games or outside them, such as playing other titles or … Continue reading Hard Currency

Soft Currency

Soft currencies are resources obtainable in free to play games through the standard activities of the players, without requiring to spend real money to obtain them. This currencies are often limited in their range of available things to purchase, making hard currencies way more determinant than them. Soft currencies as well can be obtained through … Continue reading Soft Currency

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