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Video: 'Metrics' and 'monetization' don't have to be dirty words

While "metrics" and "monetization" are often considered bad words among game designers, iWin developer Laralyn McWilliams believes that designers need to pay attention to this data to maintain control of their games.
The words "metrics" and "monetization" have earned somewhat of a bad reputation in game development. They're often associated with games that aim to squeeze money out of their players at the expense of good design – but is that really the case? Laralyn McWilliams, the VP of creative at online game company iWin (and, before that, the creative director of Free Realms) doesn't think so, and at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, she detailed the role metrics really play in game development, and explained why designers need to pay attention to them. "So as a designer, why should you care about metrics? Well the blunt truth is someone at your company cares... And if you are not a part of that process, if the people who care about metrics are the only people involved in the process, then they're making decisions about the game's core experience without designers," McWilliams said. "And I think that's a bad idea, because we're the ones who understand what we're trying to do in the game and what the player's experience should be... No one else should be making decisions about what happens in my game except me and my team." She noted that if designers get involved in those outside discussions and analyze metrics for themselves, they can more easily take control of their own projects, and prevent their games from falling under the influence of executives, marketing professionals, and other employees who are not designers. You can learn even more about the role metrics play in modern game design by checking out McWilliams's full presentation in the above GDC Vault video.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC and GDC Europe already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins. Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from upcoming 2012 events like GDC Online and GDC China. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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