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Feedback Loops and Engagement From the Perspective of a Game Designer


Charley Miller

on 11 January 2015

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Transcript of Feedback Loops and Engagement From the Perspective of a Game Designer

USER EXPERIENCE ACTIVATION (invite people) ACQUISITION RETENTION REVENUE REFERRALS (get people in the door) (deliver a good time) (make money) (more people) GAMES rules game core mechanic decisions & choice goal balance assessment an ongoing assessment that supplies incentives while providing
a fun experience, interesting decisions and clear goals. FEEDBACK a mechanism that delivers assessment FEEDBACK LOOP you're motivated to take an additional action or alter
your previous action based on the assessment BASIC
VIRAL Static Examples: Red Velvet Rope / Withholding Interaction Bonus Lives Scoring Leaderboards Trophies / Badges Open Game States Intermittent Rewards Dynamic Examples: Level Design / Scaffolding Unlocking features that provide new decisions Power Ups that provide new actions Risk Gifting so highly active users engaging less active users Power ups & unlocking associated with inviting new users (bonuses associated with friends registering) Unlock challenges for player to player engagement Viral Examples: Pacman UX ACTIVATION (invite people) ACQUISITION RETENTION REVENUE REFERRALS (get people in the door) (deliver a good time) (make money) (more people) enticing visuals
free to play vs. value for $
social challenge low barrier of entry
tutorial as you play
immediate success player progress
reward schedule
intermittent rewards
notifications downloads
power-ups (virtual economy)
3rd party installs / coupons invite a friend
challenge a friend
gifting and social obligation
sharing success externally
moving player from old game to new game Moving People: Why choice paralyzes us: "You can't regret a decision if you don't make one."
—Barry Schwartz "engagement loop" positive & negative feedback loops
positive & negative reinforcement Marc LeBlanc's basketball example conditioning Embody player growth by building customizable world Customization STATIC: incentivise / reward an action with positive reinforcement. My Favorite Metaphor: Walls = Rules
Floors = Levels
Space = Game Play Games inherently: are an aesthetic, challenging experience
are truly interactive
motivate players to stay engaged, improve
teach players how to become better
encourage irrational behavior http://charles.co/feedbackloops Send Invites Guests Tell Friends Guests Donate Play Music With A Good Beat Guests Mingle Guests Dance Guests Arrive Serve Drinks & Promise Good Time Ask For Money Ask If Guests Had Good Time What we talk about when we talk about clearly defined pursuit for players to strive constraints for the players to navigate as they pursue the goal space the place where players play, both in physical terms (the arena) and abstract terms (the magic circle) the main thing that players do while playing -- the verb of the game the autonomy given to a player to navigate and explore the game a game is a series of systems -- these systems (and their emergent properties) should be weighted to ensure the gaming experience is fair and fun feedback given to players so each can understand their performance and improve future behavior Design considerations:
core mechanic in your product's model: need vs. want
the doing - is this fun? (design from player perspective)
understanding your audience
appreciate your platform - form meets function
predict context of where experience will be enjoyed PROCESS Playtesting Constraints Optimize through user feedback:
1st playtest: what's fun?
2nd playtest: what's broken?
3rd playtest: what needs balancing?
4th playtest: how does someone learn to play?
beyond: how does experience scale? There's more to engagement than badges: a well designed game balances challenge against the player's ability, providing the essential tension that makes any experience more compelling. think of UX as a path 3 Questions for the UX path: 1st Time ACTIVATION ACQUISITION RETENTION REVENUE REFERRALS How does a designer make this decision "meaningful?" User Schedules
Reward Schedules
Notifications Schedules BASIC: confirmation without assessment. Elevator button light. DYNAMIC: Incentivise / reward an action with another action to take. SOCIAL: Incentivise / reward an action with a social action to take. Game Design = Architecture enjoyable ENGAGEMENT MOVING PEOPLE = ENGAGEMENT tactics (competitive or collaborative) Marketing Myopia Theodore Levitt Feedback Loops and Engagement
From the Perspective of a Game Designer BMUSE.com // @superfection What do players want in games? is there a balance between giving players autonomy to make interesting choices while motivating them to arrive at an end goal? how do you provide assessment to players while incentivizing additional actions? will the path teach players how to learn to play while encouraging them to improve? ? FUN Engagement isn’t simply participation.
There are levels and varieties. decay
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