Integrate mobile apps with desktop games.

Sigony

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Idea
This is a unique idea, I think. Let's say that a PC gamer has to leave the cuddly warmth of your game for the harsh world outside.

They walk to the bus stop. Their phone was counting their steps. Every step they took contributed toward some benefit in the game of a cosmetic nature. Maybe they can "go for a walk" with a character, and at a certain point they unlock 'hidden' dialogues, or side quests in the actual game.

They get to the bus stop, open your app, they see what they've earnt. They could watch an ad, or post to social media about the game to triple their reward. You could send out referral links this way. There can be referral-only rewards.

They're on the bus. They're looking at their phone, because their game has determined that it is a blood moon, meaning rewards are more likely to appear. If only they could be in the right geophysical location. Every referral code entered increases their chance that week of finding a reward by a good amount.

Execution
Naturally, you need to be able to code an app for this to work. You could also just make it a PWA. React + Express.js would be a pretty easy way to build such an app. Naturally, you need to have networking with your server and all that.

Share your mobile-integration ideas below. I'd love to read them. :kaoblush:
 

Sigony

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The OP focuses a lot on the benefit to the developer, but yes you can/should use this as an opportunity for an invested player to learn more about the characters, learn more about the world, and feel more grounded in the setting of the world.

The extra resources it would take are also a consideration. It would benefit the developer to make something simple, quick, easy, but that doesn't scream mediocrity to the player.

It should impress the player. A lot of that has to do with the skinning of the app. There's no need to re-invent the wheel. I'd say that the actual game is most important. Many of the devs here are one-person shows. I'd say this would be best suited to a team.
 

Dororo

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I don't own a smartphone. And I don't want to own it.

I'm guessing why the game shouldn't be originally staged entirely on the smartphone...

Anyway, being this the starting premise, one thing to avoid is to have such features necessary to get true and valuable rewards.
MAYBE (and just MAYBE) alternatives, but never mandatory or high tiers stuff.
Not speaking how easy (and quick: even the same release day) someone will share a crack. Now you walked 1 billion steps, it's always full moon and you own all rewards. Without playing the game. That can break the game balance and a broken game is near death in a matter of days.

That said, I like vertical expansion - for example training a creature in a standalone mini-app and use it as companion in the actual game.
I don't like the gacha trend, where you get gazilions of drops just to have you feel rewarded and incited, with the need of purchasing stuff for the REAL deal. And everything is just an excuse to notify you again and again to force you at spending (low quality) time within the game.

Final words: can you afford the servers? You need some server to host player data, if everything stand on his own device you'll be prone to profit zero.
 

Sigony

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@Dororo I agree mostly, I was referring mainly to a mini-app like a pokewalker, but there's many things that could be done to add a little bit of flair and uniqueness to your game.

There's many ways that one could make a distasteful system with this premise. I think the main thing is to only do things that excite the player. Yes, they might know that the company benefits from the interaction, but there can be majority content that the player benefits exclusively from, so they feel like they're getting a good deal. And when they do something that benefits the owner of the game, they should also be excited about that. Hopefully they actually like the brand.

Certainly, you'll need to have some kind of validation of the data that is sent from a device, and that's a whole struggle, I agree.

I suppose, really, this is the possibilities with networking. You can run events, send news updates, inter-player interactions.

There should be a server solution that works, because they often scale with the user. I haven't looked too far into it, but AWS and the like are probably feasible. So long as there is SOME monetization model to pay for it.
 

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