Now it’s the beginning of the fantastic story

Making games is my lifelong passion. As anything in life it’s a journey. What follows is a series of texts about things I have learned on my journey through the craft of game making. I hope at least some of it will be useful to someone else.

A lighbulb

Illustration of a wizard conjuring player retention via a wave of his hand

Retention 101

Designing for player retention is one of the cornerstones of free-to-play game design. Retention is a metric (or a family of metrics) that is defined as a percentage of players that installed a game who are still playing it after a particular number of days.

Photo by Sharosh Rajasekher from Unsplash

“Every moment of free time that a player is not playing your game he is going to spend playing someone else’s game”

  • Blurred lines between working and non-working hours — Having no physical separation between your workspace and your normal living space naturally encourages the pattern of behavior in which you jump off into the kitchen to do a quick meal, perhaps empty the dishwasher or put clothes…


Full disclosure, I am a Game Designer. I work for a major company in the games industry. My specialty is designing free-to-play games for mobile devices. I am also a father of a 9-year-old child with a vivid imagination and a healthy dose of curiosity. I do my best to balance my career with my parental duties. This is not always easy. I do not succeed 100%, but I try. My position between the two worlds gives me a somewhat unique perspective. This is…

The Defense of the Sampo — Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” — A. C. Clarke

How the choice of theme influences game design.

“The secondary gyrodyne relays in the propulsion field intermatrix have depolarised.” — Star Trek: Voyager

Rocket science

I am a lifelong Star Trek fan. I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. My head is storage of Sci-Fi trivia. I remember well when Tasha Yar died and when The Traveller took USS Enterprise to the rim of the universe. I know what “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” means, and I sure as hell know what Dilithium crystals are used for!

Stanislav Stankovic

I am a Creative Director at EA/Tracktwenty studio in Helsinki.

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