5 Design Tips For Real Money HTML5 Games

7 min read

5 Design Tips for Real Money HTML5 Games

This blog piece comes from our experience working with multiple clients on real money gaming projects worldwide.

What is Real Money Gaming?

Real Money Gaming (RMG as it’s often called) is an experience where the end user pays to play a skill-based game, with the goal of earning a higher payout in form of real cash or prizes.

Also known as prized-based gaming or skill-based gaming, RMG is a new phenomenon in the past few years, driven due to open legislation by certain jurisdictions, high growth in online casual games, and of course, the demand by players to earn real rewards for playing casual games online.

Large companies such as Facebook have acknowledged this fact and are actively nurturing a community of operators, developers and media companies to support this new ecosystem.

Familiar operators in the RMG space include Skillz (US, publicly listed), Mobile Premier League (India, close to $1B valuation), GamerSaloon, and AlphaDraft.

Design Tips

Here are 5 quick design tips for aspiring RMG operators:

1) Limit the file size to under 5 Megabytes per game

The HTML5 game should be packed into the smallest size possible, for quick loading. Every second saved, is a second not wasted by the end consumer.

If the game is running on a web based platform, it should ideally be placed within an iFrame for ease of integration. If the game is running within a native app platform, the game link should be loaded within the WebView element.

2) Stick to simple, hypercasual HTML5 games

Single player, hypercasual games tend to be games with the highest ROI (Return on Investment), because they are easy to integrate, easy to operate, and easy to maintain. Multiplayer games are not recommended because they overcomplicate the project by an order of magnitude, in terms of time, cost, and ongoing support.

Note: The single player game does not mean that it’s not social. It is relatively easy to design a tournament system on your backend server, where you issue for example 1000 players with the same tournament ID. All 1000 players will play the exact same singleplayer game, while they compete for the high score. Any competent backend engineer should be able to figure out the database schema for a tournaments system. A blog post about database design for casual HTML5 RMG games will be published soon.

3) Remove un-necessary UI and buttons

Do not allow users to click around the game too much. Instead, allow they to only focus on a single action, in their attempt to score the highest amount of points.

This includes removing any animated splash screen, removing any ads, removing the ability to pause the game, reducing the time to actually get into the game, and avoiding clutter in the game.

4) Keep the First Time User Experience (FTUE) simple

Every RMG game should literally just start with a clear command, such as:

  • “Tap to jump” with a clear hand symbol indicating a tap. Useful for endless runners.
  • “Drag and drop” with a clear hand symbol indicating a dragging and dropping maneuver. Useful for puzzle based games
  • “Tap to shoot” with a clear hand symbol indicating a tap

The FTUE sets the tone for all engagement in the game, and affects all down-funnel engagement metrics.

5) Keep the game moving

Endless runner games are the best candidates for RMG, because they are quick, easy to to learn, and difficult to master games. The user has to avoid obstacles, eliminate enemies, sidestep danger and more to keep playing. One mistake and they’re out of the game.

Setting a time cap on the user experience is also a common tactic that works for many RMG operators.

Closing Thoughts

By using the above design elements as a guideline, your RMG game operation will perform much better compared to the rest of the industry average. Contact us if you require assistance tackling the RMG market.

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About the blog

MarketJS is a company that leverages HTML5 to provide cross-platform solutions to clients. We have been serving clients since 2012.

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