How to reward your players?

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JohnDoeNews

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Do you reward your players for certain actions? And if so, how do you reward them and what do you reward them for?

I reward my players for different things:

1. Returning players
When players load up the game, they will get a little in-game reward once a day. This reward grows the more they log in in a month. The biggest reward is collected when they log in 31 days in 1 month. When the month is over, the rewards reset.

During the holidays, they receive special rewards, which can only be obtained during the right month.

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2. Promoting Streamers
Some streamers love to stream game-play. Like Ninjas Dynasty on twitch, who has played my game multiple times during their streams. To thank them for this, I made a custom card-back, which can be unlocked with a code. They can give this code to their viewers to unlock the card-back made specially for them.

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So... What do you guys do to reward your players? And what do you reward them for?
 

TheoAllen

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Easier life by powering/leveling up.
New skill/perk to try and experiment.
 

TheoAllen

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Various engagements with the game (battles, clearing stage, discovering the secret areas, etc).
 

JohnDoeNews

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Oh, those are in-game achievement, right? I mean... Reward players for things like:
- Playing daily
- Donating
- Promoting the game
- Reviewing the game
Stuff like that.

I understand why you thought otherwise, cause of the title.
 

DrBuni

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Easier life by powering/leveling up.
New skill/perk to try and experiment.
This is the worst. I hate when a game becomes easier just because I am playing it. Some people actually like being challenged when playing games.


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As for me, it depends on the promise of the game. Not the premise, the promise. What you say the players will get if they buy the game. In the case of Fae Populi, I promise fun, unique boss fights always directly connected to the story and plot of the game. There is not such thing as defeating some random unimportant lizard in a cave to progress. I also promise fun and unique jobs/classes, and another mechanic that is kinda like summoning a Stand or Persona, but not really. So how do I reward the player? By delivering on what I promised, and more. That is all.

Rewarding the game for booting the game and such is not a bad idea, but I think that works better for other kinds of genres, such as farming, survival, even roguelites. Story-based games, RPG or otherwise, have different focuses.
 

Jragyn

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This is the worst. I hate when a game becomes easier just because I am playing it. Some people actually like being challenged when playing games.
With minimal explanation as to how such rewards are achieved, it seems like a pretty aggressive and subjective statement to just flat out say its the worst.

Ultimately, most all players like to be rewarded for the time they spend on a game.
You spend a whole day trying to beat a boss, but fail, and get nothing for it except 25 more game over counts, i'd wager it wouldn't make you feel the greatest, and also like you wasted an entire day.

I think really "rewards" should not always be perceived as "making the game easier", but instead "making the game more enjoyable", however that manifests in the context of your game.

In the case of Fae Populi, I promise fun, unique boss fights always directly connected to the story and plot of the game.
Is this just a shameless advert plug for some game you made on a post that is gathering other game dev's ideas for how they reward their players?
 

JohnDoeNews

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This is the worst. I hate when a game becomes easier just because I am playing it. Some people actually like being challenged when playing games.
I think Theo thought I was asking for ways I could reward my players for clearing dungs and defeating bosses. And that is mostly done with items that make the game a bit easier. Like weapons that make you stronger or armor that make you resist more damage.

Since most RPG's become harder and harder the further you get in the game, there has to be something to counter this. Could be equipment, could be skills. Either way it makes the game a bit easier. This translates in being ready for the next stage, and being able to easily clear earlier stages.

So how do I reward the player? By delivering on what I promised, and more. That is all.
That is not really a reward though, that is delivering what they pay for. :p Which is good, but not really a reward.

Rewarding the game for booting the game and such is not a bad idea, but I think that works better for other kinds of genres, such as farming, survival, even roguelites. Story-based games, RPG or otherwise, have different focuses.
My game is a card game, even though it is RPG maker made and even though it has a story mode that plays like an RPG.

But even for RPG's I think daily rewards are very useful. Specially for browser games, where returning players are so much more important than for downloadable games. You can think of a small sum of gold or potions that can be obtained simply by running the game once a day.

You should try my demo, and you will see that a daily reward perfectly fits the theme.

I think really "rewards" should not always be perceived as "making the game easier", but instead "making the game more enjoyable", however that manifests in the context of your game.
Sure, I agree 100%. Like, I reward the streamers who stream my game with a custom card-back. That doesn't change the game-play at all, but it is fun for the streamer to see their logo on the cards when they stream my game.

At the same time, because they are sharing the code to unlock the card back with their viewers, they might draw their viewers towards my game. It's a win-win.
 

TheoAllen

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This is the worst. I hate when a game becomes easier just because I am playing it. Some people actually like being challenged when playing games.
According to this statement. Your favorite games are either arcade games or roguelike games or both. Which is not a small demographic.

But think of it this way, if I slay your goblin enemy 100x times, it's proof that I already beat the enemy. If I'm not getting rewarded by easier life (for example, now they die from one hit instead of two hits), then I'm done with your game and move on. Because there might be something else worth checking instead of just worrying about a goblin, maybe more challenging enemies, maybe some secret, maybe the lore. Except your game is all about slaying goblins (in that case, I've seen the whole game and I have no reason to invest more in the game). This is also why I don't play arcade/roguelike games.

To get this back on track.
I do think the term "reward" needs to be defined here. Because rewards should feel "rewarding", which usually contributes to the fun factor of the game. However, this "reward" does not seem to tie to the fun factor of the game. But as a token of gratitude to the players (tribute in-game as a cameo or something else, or maybe "writing in the credit list") for helping the game grow. I would say, the thread title would be better be "How to thank your player".
 

deus69xxx

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the reward for RPG's is... the story... unless you're making a game focusing on micro transactions/donations/whatever and some sort of PvP interaction that makes you want those extra things, and you front people small doses of an in game currency (i'm very much pointing at things like Vampire's Fall: Origins), you are rewarded for playing by getting level ups, item drops, gold, shops with upgrades, more spells as you level, etc.

even if you go with a no-level game (ie, you get rid of level, balance all the damage around the only increases being gear) the reward for playing is... story progress and gear.
 

ZombieKidzRule

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Interesting question. I never really thought about it with "normal" games that I usually play. My "reward" is playing and enjoying the game.

I don't mind "rewards" with time-filler mobile games on my phone. Because I generally have time throughout the day to play enough to get the rewards.

However, that is probably the reason why I don't really appreciate those things for games I play on my computer. I don't always have the time to log in and play on my computer everyday. And as a player, I would sort of resent being left out of something because I couldn't do a daily type reward.

But...I do get the concept. Missing out would probably bother me about as much as missing out on pre-order content. I don't pre-order games. So if I can't buy the pre-order content later on as a DLC or something then I won't get it. And that wouldn't prompt me to change my mind about pre-ordering.

If it is cosmetic, then fine. If it is something cool, then I am less happy.

I will have to contemplate this a bit more. I don't necessarily think I would want to develop some sort of "reward" system for an RPG based on number of days played or number of hours played or anything like that. But it isn't anything I have really contemplated before so I will have to ponder it.
 

JohnDoeNews

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I do think the term "reward" needs to be defined here. Because rewards should feel "rewarding", which usually contributes to the fun factor of the game.
I think the term is defined in the actual post. :p I have the feeling you mainly reply to the title, am I right? :p (It's fine, I have made that mistake myself once or twice)

However, this "reward" does not seem to tie to the fun factor of the game. But as a token of gratitude to the players (tribute in-game as a cameo or something else, or maybe "writing in the credit list") for helping the game grow. I would say, the thread title would be better be "How to thank your player".
Well... If you read the topic, you would have noticed the question is: "What do you guys do to reward your players? And what do you reward them for?"

I asked that in the very first and the very last line of my post, so no-one would miss it. :p

the reward for RPG's is... the story...
Yeah, that is not a reward. It's not that you release a RPG without a story, and just those who donate or those who share your project will get a story, right?

unless you're making a game focusing on micro transactions/donations/whatever and some sort of PvP interaction that makes you want those extra things, and you front people small doses of an in game currency (i'm very much pointing at things like Vampire's Fall: Origins), you are rewarded for playing by getting level ups, item drops, gold, shops with upgrades, more spells as you level, etc.
Why would rewards not be useful unless you focus on micro transactions? Loot, potions, gold, equipment, upgrades, powerups, EX, buffs... All usefull rewards you might gain for something you did outside the game.

Bot other than useful items, there can be skins, special BGM, an alternative ending.

I can think of plenty rewards that can be used in a RPG that isn't focussed on micro transactions. :p

even if you go with a no-level game (ie, you get rid of level, balance all the damage around the only increases being gear) the reward for playing is... story progress and gear.
Story is not a reward. Story is default in any RPG.

Interesting question. I never really thought about it with "normal" games that I usually play. My "reward" is playing and enjoying the game.

I don't mind "rewards" with time-filler mobile games on my phone. Because I generally have time throughout the day to play enough to get the rewards.

However, that is probably the reason why I don't really appreciate those things for games I play on my computer. I don't always have the time to log in and play on my computer everyday. And as a player, I would sort of resent being left out of something because I couldn't do a daily type reward.

But...I do get the concept. Missing out would probably bother me about as much as missing out on pre-order content. I don't pre-order games. So if I can't buy the pre-order content later on as a DLC or something then I won't get it. And that wouldn't prompt me to change my mind about pre-ordering.

If it is cosmetic, then fine. If it is something cool, then I am less happy.

I will have to contemplate this a bit more. I don't necessarily think I would want to develop some sort of "reward" system for an RPG based on number of days played or number of hours played or anything like that. But it isn't anything I have really contemplated before so I will have to ponder it.

Okay, so dailies are not your thing. But you like cosmetics.

How does that reflect in the games where you are not the player, but the developer? Not all rewards have to be dailies. Maybe you like to reward your players for liking your facebook page, or something.
 
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TheoAllen

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Well... If you read the topic, you would have noticed the question is: "What do you guys do to reward your players? And what do you reward them for?"
Yes, I answered that. For doing a certain action in-game. Does that not count?
 

ZombieKidzRule

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Okay, so dailies are not your thing. But you like cosmetics.

How does that reflect in the games where you are not the player, but the developer? Not all rewards have to be dailies. Maybe you like to reward your players for liking your facebook page, or something.
I wouldn't say I like cosmetics. What I meant was that if I am going to miss out on such "rewards" then I hope they are more cosmetic so I won't really miss them.

For any game I develop, my gut reaction is that I wouldn't "reward" anyone for something like checking out my Facebook page, or my YouTube channel, or following me on some platform. But that is because all the games I am interested in making are more traditional, D&D type, RPG games and I guess I am very ancient school. It just smacks of pandering to me, which I know is not your intent or motivation so that is a terrible word to describe it and I am not accusing you of doing that. But that is what it seems like to me. Just a personality quirk of mine probably.

Now, I have played some games that incorporate stuff like that, but I have always skipped it to be honest. I think I might have clicked on something like check out our Facebook page or something, but it wanted me to log in and I was too lazy.

So unless I can think of a way to incorporate something into the type of games that I like, in a way that wouldn't bother me as a player, then I probably wouldn't incorporate anything like those types of "rewards."

But again, I am still approaching this as a hobbyist who is interested in making something that I want to play and not generally for others so that definitely influences my perspective on it.

So I guess my official answer to your OP would be No, I wouldn't reward the players for such things. But if I were, the rewards would be purely cosmetic and definitely nothing that had any influence on game play.

But that is just me.
 

deus69xxx

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so tell me. what is the last console RPG you purchased that had rewards just for logging in? i seem to recall having played all the final fantasy's up until 12, and none of those had any reward except for the story. same thing with all the dragon quests up to IX, though that did have some DLC content, and extra quests. which amazingly, are sort of like side quests. i also don't recall secret of mana, legend of dragoon, legend of legaia, xenogears, xenosagas, etc etc ad infinitum having any kind of log in or play time bonuses, because the intent of the games is... the story... and those were all games you'd pay 40-60 bucks for.

awesomely, i have DQ3, 4 and 8 on mobile, and none of those have log in or play time rewards either.

now, you play games such as raid shadow legends, state of survival, vampire's fall, etc, you start getting rewards. those are free to play (pay to win) games. when you purchase an RPG, you are implicitely buying the story that you don't know yet, and are going on a journey to learn.

and when it comes down to it, learning how to do things faster, figuring out what you can and can't do with certain stuff all the way to speed run level is another reward that you find yourself. you could consider grinding for rare drops a 'reward' if you'd like, but the moment you give someone to log in and get rewards, you make it less necessary to play your game. if i can log in every day for a month to buy that sword instead of grinding out the cash on monsters, i now have no reason to do anything for a month, opening up time to do other things, and forget what i was even doing in your game.
 

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For a traditional RPG, there are not many things to "reward" your players. It's just a tribute (if it ends up being a cameo, and I personally did not count that as a reward tbh).

However, for more competitive games, you can actually reward your players by making a contest. $100 for the winner with the highest score, for example. But I wonder how many people are actually making a competitive game here.
 

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Aren't these types of rewards typically reserved for F2P and/or games with microtransactions?
Talking about stuff like dailies, login bonuses, promotions.

These "rewards" are usually used to hook players and keep them playing.
You know, to keep playercount high and get them to spend $ on your game.

For all other games, you pay the cost of the game upfront.
The "reward" in this case is the privilege to enjoy the game however you want without
annoying things like ads or microtransactions.
 

JohnDoeNews

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Yes, I answered that. For doing a certain action in-game. Does that not count?
:p I guess... It is very vague and foggy, though. :p

I wouldn't say I like cosmetics. What I meant was that if I am going to miss out on such "rewards" then I hope they are more cosmetic so I won't really miss them.
I see. I would make any rewards important to the game either though. Just some extra gold and potions (or in my case, gold and cards) which you can normally easily get in the game anyway.

so tell me. what is the last console RPG you purchased that had rewards just for logging in?
Uhm... Yu-Gi-Oh. Modern Combat. GTA V? I don't know. I don't make console game, though. And I assume you do not either?

i seem to recall having played all the final fantasy's up until 12, and none of those had any reward except for the story.
Story is not a reward... Story is the base of an RPG.

Just know: That Final Fantasy didn't do it, doesn't mean it is a bad idea. Final Fantasy didn't birds at pigs with a catapult either, and that was huge.

you could consider grinding for rare drops a 'reward' if you'd like,
No... Grinding is a task, one that not many players will see as a reward. "You like my facebook page? Cool, now you have to kill 100 slimes before you can craft the key you need to continue." :p

For a traditional RPG, there are not many things to "reward" your players. It's just a tribute (if it ends up being a cameo, and I personally did not count that as a reward tbh).
A cameo? Isn't that when a character from outside shows up? Like when Stephen Hawkins would show in The Big Bang? (Or do I understand Cameo wrong?)

However, for more competitive games, you can actually reward your players by making a contest. $100 for the winner with the highest score, for example. But I wonder how many people are actually making a competitive game here.
:p Yeah, $100! That would be a nice reward! But if they have to win it, it is a prize. :p

Aren't these types of rewards typically reserved for F2P and/or games with microtransactions?
Talking about stuff like dailies, login bonuses, promotions.
True... Doesn't mean they are not useful for other games. I'll explain below. ;)

These "rewards" are usually used to hook players and keep them playing.
You know, to keep playercount high and get them to spend $ on your game.
Right. Since my demo is a browser game, I do drive on views. The more plays I get each day, the higher I end up in the rankings on Itch. So when my players return daily for the reward, I will quikcly raise to the top most popular games. At least... I hope. :p

Then, when my demo is getting popular, I hope some of the players will actually play buy the full game.

For all other games, you pay the cost of the game upfront.
The "reward" in this case is the privilege to enjoy the game however you want without
annoying things like ads or microtransactions.
Well, you don't pay for all games. Some games are just free. And if you buy the game, then enjoying the game is not a reward, it is what you pay for. You can't buy rewards. That is not how rewards work. :p
 

richter_h

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Do you reward your players for certain actions? And if so, how do you reward them and what do you reward them for?

The stuff the players get after clearing a dungeon, finishing a side quest or simply exploring a certain corner of some areas is a reward of its own. The reward is not always something worth the in-game currency, may it be a revelation of lore/storyline is also a reward, a scenery or even an easter egg.

Why, you may ask?
Well, here I'm talking about game as an experience, not as a service.
 

deus69xxx

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should have said console style. also, yu-gi-oh is the closest to an RPG of the three. moden combat has in app purchases, which likely means you can log in and do a bunch of tasks over a week or month to get one thing someone else spent 4.99 on. GTA V sounds like it's system is like this galaga-esque game i was playing for a while with all sorts of 'leader board' stuff.

a story is 99% of the reward for an RPG. which is pretty much the basis of RPG MAKER strangely enough. the story is the reason you purchase the game/pirate the game/whatever.

and yes, some people may make their game totally free. this still gives the same reward for that type of game. the story. experiencing it. the only 'reward' i work for in any of the games with adds in them is shutting adds off, omfg. i want to experience the story i am playing. that's why i play a game with story.
 
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