One of our clients founded a cryptocurrency exchange. He focuses on students 18–25 years old. The field is quite complicated, but students already have enough workload. Therefore, the client decided to interest young people with cryptocurrency using a mobile game. A serious game.
Serious games began with the education of children and expanded to adult affairs in politics, security, and science. In fintech, serious games are used to:
Ultimately, the game is made to transfer the acquired knowledge and motivation to the world of real goods and services.
“Make a fintech game. No matter what, if only to attract people!” If you set the task like this, then the imagination of game developers will be unlimited. They will make it cooler and more expensive than PUBG Mobile, but this is pointless, and no one needs it.
In a good project, the idea is concretised: they specify what to develop, for whom and why. If you want to launch your project as soon as possible, it is better to go to programmers with a well-thought-out concept.
The game tells a story. Put yourself in the shoes of the player and describe the story from his point of view. Imagine telling a friend about the game. Specify the ultimate goal and obstacles that impede its achievement. You will get the plot.
The game takes place in a certain environment: a US bank, a Soviet factory, or an elven forest. It can be in 2050 or the 5th century BC. This is a setting, that is, time and place of action. In two mobile games based on the plot of the Into the Badlands series, the setting is the same: post-apocalyptic badlands 500 years after World War III.
Mechanics are a way to play. To capture enemy territories in the Into the Badlands hack-and-slash, the regent hero runs, jumps, and waves his legs and sword bleeding clippers of barons. To merge the opponent’s assets in Monopoly, the tycoon player rolls the dice and moves around the field as many steps as fell on the die.
It is not a matter of describing names, colours, and sizes in detail. We mean only the concept: who the main character is, who secondary characters are, how these characters influence the course of the game, and what objects they interact with. In Monopoly, objects are rental buildings; in Bid Wars, objects are warehouses, containers, pawnshops, and their valuable contents.
Also, the developers will mention the following aspects in the discussion:
The desired duration of a session also clarifies the task. It is one thing to play the game for ten minutes while you are waiting for a taxi; another is to immerse yourself in the process for three hours.
Earning is not the end in itself of a serious game, but it is also not a forbidden technique. There are at least four methods of monetisation to choose from: installation fee (one-time fee), subscription (regular payments), in-app purchases, and advertising banners.
Discuss the platforms for which the game is developed: iOS, Android, or both at once (cross-platform development).
Discuss market trends: how to saturate the gameplay so as not to be inferior to competitors and to differ from them. Discuss whether the game needs artificial intelligence, what behaviour and characters it affects.
Soul Merge Cat (called ‘Merge Cats – Get Blockchain Crypto’ on Google Play) is a fintech version of cat racing. The game was created by a Russian developer in May 2019. And he was inspired by the original Merge Cats released by a Chinese developer in February 2019.
In Merge Cats, a breeder grows cats and sends them to the track. Animals run in circles and bring game currency to the owner. The player himself chooses who to make run by dragging a rested or new cat from the paddock onto the track.
The gameplay is made in the first person. The graphics are bright. Carefree music and meowing sound in the background. There are only three settings: a house, a meadow in the yard, and a neighbouring yard. The game includes quests with rewards: you can get cats, currency, and bonuses-boosters. You can choose not to wait until the achievements are unlocked, but buy improvements for fiat money. In addition to free or purchased cats, a new runner can be brought up almost naturally — by merging, which the name of the game hints at.
The essence of Soul Merge Cat is the same, but the cats are equipped with high technology — jetpacks, which allowed flying on the track at a frantic speed. Besides, they were dressed up in funny costumes, including cosplay ones (cinematic universe heroes and more). Farms with flying cats are built in unexpected places: in a cave, a wooden hut, on a pirate ship, and even on the Moon. A new level opens access to a new place.
The developer also brought financial technology — cryptocurrency — to the game: it uses CryptoSoul, an ERC-20 token. The user reinvests the tokens earned in the game in new cats or withdraws them first to the website and then to the Ethereum wallet.
The rest is the same easy game where everything works to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Thanks to this, cryptocurrency ceases to seem incomprehensible and complicated.