BlahCade #153: A Bad Case of the Smurfberries
In-app Purchases (IAP) are unavoidable in most games we play today. Let’s explore some cases in Pinball where IAP is done right, and where it destroys a game.
When you play a video game, you do it to have fun. What is fun to one person differs, but in general you usually want to either complete the game or unlock everything in it. So what happens when your experience is interrupted by a game funding model that sucks the life out of your enjoyment of the game?
You get a bad case of the Smurfberries.
We explore a few recent examples of In-app Purchase (IAP) models that are at the expense of the game experience. We also talk about the effects of an unbalanced “buy it now” model in free-to-play games. To balance it out we also give you some examples outside of digital pinball where IAP doesn’t need to be gross and distracting.
Ways to Listen
Click below for the post-produced audio of the show.
BlahCade Podcast - A Bad Case of the Smurfberries
When you play a video game, you do it to have fun. What is fun to one person differs, but in general you usually want…
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BlahCade Pinball Podcast by Chris Friebus and Jared Morgan on Apple Podcasts
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For the raw video, you can watch below.
And now… on with the show
Some warm-up banter about weather and stuff, then we get into the show…
PinSim Cabinet Build Progress
If you haven’t already, check out the Medium post Chris wrote about the Cabinet Design.
And So It Begins…
If you listened at all to our BlahCade Pinball Podcast (and honestly why would you be reading this if you haven’t?)…
Micro Cab Design Phase and Parts
In the last post regarding building a pinball controller for playing digital pinball, the adventure was just beginning…
If you’ve done that, then listen in on the Design Phase and Parts update Chris talks through.
- 08:30 — PinSim Progress
Customer Experience in Pinball Games
- 21:15 — What is Customer Experience?
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In commerce, customer experience ( CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the…
- 22:15 — What are Smurfberries?
Smurfberries: Understanding IAP and Why Free Isn't Free
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- 23:58 — What are Paywalls in Games?
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Multi-tiered pricing in Stern Pinball Arcade
- 27:30 — Stern Pinball VR and Smurfberries
- 29:05 — What Premium/LE Tables can you buy?
- 33:30 — Can you just purchase the LE version of a modern stern table?
- 34:40 — Earning tokens through challenges seems to end at a Paywall
- 35:10 — Buy 12,000 tokens for $10. No way, Jose.
- 36:00 — What is actually different in a Limited Edition table?
- 38:00 — “May have to re-adjust it”. Mmm hmm.
- 38:30 — Gameplay expectations in Stern Pinball Arcade vs the Smurfberries reality.
- 38:30 — How could Farsight make their pricing model fairer?
- 39:35 — Why are Farsight not offering Pro table version skins?
- 48:45 — Tell us your experiences with actually earning Smurfberries in SPA
- 49:40 — If you’re not having fun, you’re not going to buy IAPs
- 50:00 — Smurfberries done right: Sky Force
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Sky Force Reloaded - Apps on Google Play
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- 51:00 — Multi-tiered IAP in games is a huge turn-off
Zaccaria Pinball User Experience
Zaccaria Pinball on Steam
Zaccaria was founded by three brothers (Marino, Franco, & Natale) and was the 3rd largest manufacturer of pinball…
- 42:00 — Unlocking tables based on Achievements
- 44:00 — How much would you pay to unlock all the achievement tables immediately?
- 45:25 — Attributing value to IAP unlocks
- 46:30 — Fun modes: Lamp Hunter
- 46:55 — Fun modes: Mini Missions
- 51:55 — Stars Phoenix Remake: Voiced by Chris
Zen Pinball Honeymoon Period
- 52:40 — Physics gripes with Fish Tales and Junk Yard
- 56:00 — Flipper tricks ease across digital pinball brands.
Closing the Show
- 64:00 — Sorry YouTube Live Viewers: we weren’t deliberately ignoring you.
- 70:00 — How to Support the Show
Gifts by BlahCade: Recent Art, Design & Photography | Redbubble
Gifts Art, Design & Photography by BlahCade
- 68:00 — Merchandise Options