UX Week / Nicole Lazzaro / Play Workshop

Nicole Lazzaro: Play Workshop

Exercise: tap, clap, snap, snap. Say game, sport, or toy. Next word that starts with last letter of previous word. On snap.

Exercise: Quest blindfolded up to fourth floor to identify fruit of the day. Engenders feelings of trust from perfect stranger. 10 minutes. Eg. Passengers on a bus who go through an accident together... Instant community. I know more about a person from an hour of play than a lifetime of conversation. --Plato

Social token... The Mango. Something that is symbolic in nature but embodies a bigger experience. "ack the shrimp". We're laughing and you're not. Further engenders social bonding.

As a game designer, you don't create emotions directly. You create features and events that mediated the emotions.

Exercise: Pacman
Features (verb) ==> Emotions

Exercise: Emotion words on people's backs. Guess what word you have. Lessen inhibition. Embarrass ourselves. Pressure.

Common ground, agreed on principles, ideas. Game can't happen without this framing.

Miller's Magic Number (from cog sci): 7 (Seven)
Memory: Remember what came first (primacy), what comes last (recency). Things in the middle fall out.
Bigger list? Chunk into groups of 5

Best selling games tend to have 3 out of 4 of these emotions: hard fun, easy fun, serious fun, people fun.

Second life: can do lots of easy fun, but not enough structure (hard fun)

Design for non-games: Design for leveling up (may not be explicit). At most 7 (-2) choices at a time. Revealing over time. Accommodate different levels of users. Users still facing a challenge: how do I master sorting my grocery list?

Fun to master things
Fun to accomplish, show up your skill. Boss monster (hard fun). Once you finish the boss monster and you level up, we drop the challenge level and you're back to easy fun (exploring). Heightens sense of mastery.

Power-up: temporary change in gameplay. Move them emotionally, embedded reward. Completely changes the game!

Diner Dash: stockbroker opens greasy spoon. Waitressing game.

Levels: longterm goals broken up into achievable steps.

Hard Fun & Tilt Factor
Increase the number of players by keeping the game mechanics simple, mobile, and frictionless.
Temptation is to add features and take advantage of friends, spam friends to max installs and create illusion of social capital.
Winning mechanic should reward depth, not play to edges (fringe)-- people who don't play

Viral Distribution
What you're doing with the game mechanics requires invitation of people in my network to participate.
Sample - try, free to play, free layer
Invite friends
Convert friends (2-10% will convert to paying customers)

Easy fun
The joy of figuring it out
#1 reason people start games is because they're bored.
So easy, so rote = boredom

Huffington Post: badge to grow the population. Community badge (earned by flagging as inappropriate that the official moderator agrees with; percentage correct). Badge to get community to self police. Make sure badge really encourages the behavior you want... Can't game the system. Leveling up: after you reach the level 2 badge, you can police the level gardeners. WikiGardening

Easy fun
Imagination Creates Curiosity
Balance btw Expected and Unexpected.
Too predictable (disinterest). Too novel (disbelief).
Explore, experiment, fool around, role play, ambiguity, detail, fantasy, stepping stones, uniqueness
Enable fun failure states. Will Wright does this with SIMs (blowing up the nuclear reactor). Encourages discovery by removing fear of bad consequences.

Easy fun gameplay for everybody
Offer small simple and appealing gameplay with drop dead simple participation
- single concept
- simple mechanic
Appealing & easy participation: Zombies

Barbie, GI Joe (lack of detail) - allows you to impose more of yourself, your imagination

Serious Fun
Badging - social fun, easy fun
Repetition & Rhythm - Tap Tap Revolution

People Fun
Separate players, decrease the emotion. If playing in different room, less connection.
Share doesn't equal spam. Offer features that foster social emotions to weave social bonds btw players.
People fun have more emotions than the other 3 keys combined.
Create shared experiences, not eyeballs.
Make part of game making/maintaining friends
Game is the message passed between friends

ARG Alternate Reality Game

Friendship =/ capital money =/ facts

Web 2.0: It takes 2 people.

3 Laws of Social Play for social games:
Friends / Messages / Actions
Connect: it takes 2 people
Feedback: draw circles back, not one-way lines
Social Tokens: symbolic in nature that increases with value with use. Requires open meaning. Amusement (just about us, btwn us, private joke). Social Grooming (keeping in touch, periodic refreshes to maintaining that friendship). Admiration and Ranking (you get it when 50 of your friends deem you worthy -- social mechanic, social gameplay. I can't buy my own harness, but you can get me one.). Reciprocity (pleasure & pride in someone you helped succeeding).

Social emotions drive viral distribution. Metcalf's Law: the value of a network increases with the number of nodes

*** In social media, the relationship is the message. *** Riff off McLuhan
Gratitude, reciprocity, trust, embarrassment, "cool" is a social emotion

Stepping into a game. Step into this circle of magic. Suspend normal rules: can just thrash you're friend. Causes you to focus: your whole brain in one place.

Sent from my iPad

Posted via email from Pete's posterous

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