No Stinking Badges: Better Lessons from Game Design

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The web world is agog over game design as the next silver bullet, slapping badges and progress bars over every annoying things they wish users to do. As user hit progress fatigue, "gamification" has come under fire. But why throw the baby out with the bathwater? Game design is to web design what rocket science is to car mechanics, and just like Tang and Velcro, there is plenty in game design we can use in our every day life. Come and hear how mastery, irregular reward schedules and meaningful choices can make your site a pleasure for your users.


Better lessons from game design

When badges aint enough7 Lessons from Game DesignSee notes:

These are the wise people I learned fromSome I interviewed, some I read their books, some I watched their videos

7 Lessons from game designFind your North StarPlayer TypesPlayer JourneyKnow your mechanicsAesthetics Learn to TeachMeasure the f*ck out of everything

Find your North StarEvery project needs a goal that everyone agrees is worth doing.What is a north star? It is the goal, the thing you are aiming for, and when you arrive, you can launch.,

FUNGame designers have an inherent North Star because they are building a game. Its FUN. Game designers constantly ask Is it fun yet and if the answer is no, they dont launch. And their team doesnt launch. Even when its late late late. Because there is no point in launching an un-fun game.

The Player Should Have The Fun, Not The Designer Or The ComputerFrom a Gamasutra Article Analysis: Sid Meier's Key Design Lessons The algorithms were, of course, very fun to construct and interesting to discuss outside of the game. The players, however, felt left behind -- the computer was having all the fun -- so we cut the feature.Game designers are very user centered. They have to be.

EmotionYour northstar is for the heart, not the headSo when you are working on your project, your northstar should be a strong emotion.

Brenda Braithwaite Warning: this video will make you cry. Its awesome. Watch 4:30-7:20

Design for An EmotionConversion is a crap north star

We have been designing in Black and White. There is a world of amazing emotions in technicolor just waiting

Needs(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:www.cnvc.orgWe are often facile when discussing needs in wed design. If we tap deeper into basic needs, we can get moresatisfying products.

CONNECTION acceptance affection appreciation belonging cooperation communication closeness community companionship compassion consideration consistency empathy inclusion intimacy love mutuality nurturing respect/self-respectCONNECTION continued safety security stability support to know and be known to see and be seen to understand and be understood trust warmthPHYSICAL WELL-BEING air food movement/exercise rest/sleep sexual expression safety shelter touch waterHONESTY authenticity integrity presencePLAY joy humorPEACE beauty communion ease equality harmony inspiration orderAUTONOMY choice freedom independence space spontaneityMEANING awareness celebration of life challenge clarity competence consciousness contribution creativity discovery efficacy effectiveness growth hope learning mourning participation purpose self-expression stimulation to matter understanding

(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:www.cnvc.orgWe are limited in how we talk about emotion in Wed Design. We talk about delight, and frustration. But there are many more words we could be designing for

AFFECTIONATE compassionate friendly loving open hearted sympathetic tender warm

ENGAGED absorbed alert curious engrossed enchanted entranced fascinated interested intrigued involved spellbound stimulated

HOPEFUL expectant encouraged optimisticCONFIDENT empowered open proud safe secure

EXCITED amazed animated ardent aroused astonished dazzled eager energetic enthusiastic giddy invigorated lively passionate surprised vibrantGRATEFUL appreciative moved thankful touched

INSPIRED amazed awed wonder

JOYFUL amused delighted glad happy jubilant pleased tickled

EXHILARATED blissful ecstatic elated enthralled exuberant radiant rapturous thrilledPEACEFUL calm clear headed comfortable centered content equanimous fulfilled mellow quiet relaxed relieved satisfied serene still tranquil trusting

REFRESHED enlivened rejuvenated renewed rested restored revived

(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:www.cnvc.orgAs well, Game designers are much more comfortable with creating negative emotions than wed designers, whoMostly aim for happy. But as part of a sequence, a slight negative can increase a positive.

AFRAID apprehensive dread foreboding frightened mistrustful panicked petrified scared suspicious terrified wary worried

ANNOYED aggravated dismayed disgruntled displeased exasperated frustrated impatient irritated irkedCONFUSED ambivalent baffled bewildered dazed hesitant lost mystified perplexed puzzled torn

DISCONNECTED alienated aloof apathetic bored cold detached distant distracted indifferent numb removed uninterested withdrawn

EMBARRASSED ashamed chagrined flustered guilty mortified self-consciousDISQUIET agitated alarmed discombobulated disconcerted disturbed perturbed rattled restless shocked startled surprised troubled turbulent turmoil uncomfortable uneasy unnerved unsettled upset

YEARNING envious jealous longing nostalgic pining wistful

PAIN agony anguished bereaved devastated grief heartbroken hurt lonely miserable regretful remorsefulSAD depressed dejected despair despondent disappointed discouraged disheartened forlorn gloomy heavy hearted hopeless melancholy unhappy wretchedTENSE anxious cranky distressed distraught edgy fidgety frazzled irritable jittery nervous overwhelmed restless stressed out

VULNERABLE fragile guarded helpless insecure leery reserved sensitive shaky

AVERSION animosity appalled contempt disgusted dislike hate horrified hostile repulsed

FATIGUE beat burnt out depleted exhausted lethargic listless tired weary worn out

ANGRY enraged furious incensed indignant irate livid outraged resentful

People find role playing cheesy, makes them self conscious. The game forces you into uncomfortable situations.

You take a situation and a pattern and match them up.. It might be a pattern you avoid because you arent good at it. And it creates much more teachable scenarios.Dan Browns Communicating Design Game. Sometimes stress can teach.

aggravateddiscouragedincensedperplexedburnt outinvigoratedencouragedsereneempoweredgiddyDesign exercise: what could be made to create these emotions?

Well, I didnt expect that.

Types vs Personas

Grace (62/ female/ widowed/ Little Rock, AR.)I like playing my favorite games online, but if I can play with friends, well thats even better!Personal Background: Her husband has passed on. She has two grown kids, both of whom live far away. She misses the kids, but has a fairly large circle of friends that she spends time with.Technical Proficiency: Limited. Can use her browser and her email. MS Word confuses her, and she doesnt like using it. Doesnt know what an OS is. Tends to click yes if the browser prompts her to do anything, and will click wildly until things work.History with games: Plays crossword puzzles daily and saves them. Plays card games, PhotoJam, but is offended by South Park cartoons

Games opportunity: If Grace can be convinced to participate in community activities, she will become a loyal user of the site. She needs to be sheltered from the sick and twisted content, however.

2001This is a classic persona my old company CarbonIQ made for a casual gaming site. It was useful. But.

Richard Bartle Frank Caron http://frankcaron.comUnderstanding behavioral patterns in player types, and what features support the behavior desired is also useful.Maybe more useful.

4 Key Engagement Styles in Social GamingCompeteCollaborateExploreExpressCopyright Amy Jo KimAmy Jo Kim has developed different player types that you find in Social Games. Each one has his or her own play style. Knowing these needs shapes the feature set and core loop.

The Core LoopAnd the Mechanics

This is a core loop for a very simple game. Im actually shocked we dont map this on other projects. Amazons is Seek, evaluate, buy.

Will Wright on Game Design: Watch 30:27-33:27

Backyard Monsters takes the classic tower defense loop (build defense, get attacked, redo) and adds complexity by letting you also attack and build offensive as well as defensive tools.

MechanicsSome of the more sleezy gamification gurus use this term as mind-control tricks. But really they are just what makes games tick.

Sometimes they are rules

Paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper. The game of rock paper scissors lizard spock addsIn two more elements for added complexity. And nerdity.

Just in case you need it

Sometimes they are constraintsA constraint is usually about resource management. How much energy/money/stuff you need.

PinchThe pinch is the place where you run out of something. I.e. You run out of lives in the arcade, and you reach in your pocked for a quarter. Or twelve.

Energy is a typical social game pinch. You can solve with money or with being social i.e. begging from friends.

In cityville, real estate is an excellent pinch. You could just buy more land, but you could also upgrade to better buildings, rearrange your items, or store something. More options + more fun play.

In Castleville the pinch is also part of the play. New land is shrouded in shadow, so you may discover new mysteries as you look to expand.

Sometimes they are manipulationsBut its ok because I feel something?Manipulation is tough. We go to the theater to be manipulated. We like a certain amount of orchestration of our feelings. But we sure dont like being taken advantage of.