November 08, 2007

Immersive Experiences: Intersections between Web 2.0 and Games

Sampo Karjalainen: sulake

Habbo – virtual world for teens. Self Expression/Open Play

Five Key takeaways from games

1: Points. Accumulate score; make progression obvious. Look for quantitative measures that you can report on. Ebay ratings, youtube hitcounts/ratings, digg count
2: Acheviements / Levels: Look for “completion” stages; once you’ve done something, you don’t have to go back
3: Collecting: e.g. Pokemon – a variation on Acheivement; collecting a whole set, or collecting a big set of friends on a SN sites
4: Learning: (c.f. Raph Koster: “A theory of fun”). Flow requires learning; have to be increasing your skills at the same rate as the game difficulty increases
Need progression. Imagine if every facebook app was installed in your account from day 1
5: Virtual Economy; game-in-a-game (c.f. Julian Dibell “Play Money”)

Five +1 tips for Open Play

Open play environments give users resources to develop their own games and activities without imposing any predefined idea of what the game should be

1: Something to play with. Less is more, so long as the objects are recombinable
2: Intuitive Interaction. Easy, rich interaction with a UI which is as invisible as possible. No dialogs, buttons etc. Don’t interrupt the flow and force the user to break out of their world
3: Mood for Play. Make it clear to users that play is allowable/expected
4: Foster user-created goals. Don’t impose your own goals on the system
5: Anticipate and Adapt. Watch for unexpected ways in which users are playing, and adapt the system to meet their needs.

+1: Shared Social Setting. Single-player open play doesn’t often work

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