ironSource LevelUp
Published in

ironSource LevelUp

How to think when balancing a game economy

Child making a Jenga Tower
Image by Michał Parzuchowski.
Battle Legion by Trap Light has one of the pretties implementations of the Trophy Road.

General guidelines

Collecting trophies

Making assumptions

Distributing tiers

A chart with additional trophy requirements
Chart of additional trophy count needed to reach a particular tier.
Chart of cumulative trophy count needed to reach a particular tier.

Distributing rewards

Variety of rewards in Zooba Trophy Road
  • Juicy prime rewards,
  • Filler rewards.
A screenshot of a Trophy Road in Brawl Stars
Prime rewards on display in Trophy Road in Brawl Stars.


Key Takeaways

  • When balancing for long term retention, think about the time
  • Try to predict where a player will be after a certain amount of time, days, weeks, months
  • Make assumptions about player behavior
  • Derive a couple of scenarios including at least two realistic ones and one only theoretically possible
  • Use the theoretical upper limits as an ultimate sanity check
  • Reward engagement rather than skill
  • Progression along the curve is more fun than linear progression
  • Create variety of rewards
  • Place most interesting rewards in regular intervals
  • Use the other rewards as fillers
  • Establish correspondence between each reward currency and play time




Analysis and opinion from game industry leaders

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Stanislav Stankovic

Creative Director at Northern Stars studio in Helsinki. Ex-EA, Ex-Rovio.