Game mechanics aren't just for games anymore. Designers of all social apps increasingly depend on gameplay to motivate users, and direct them towards goals. Organizations, too, use games to engage employees and customers to encourage full participation. Many familiar game mechanics are deeply rooted in competition, pitting people against each other using familiar elements like leaderboards and zero-sum rewards. But there's an alternative: cooperative games provide a wholly different palette to product designers that want to put their users on the same side of a goal.
Cooperative games are one way to build a smarter social web, one which organizes people to work together to accomplish really big things.
In this highly interactive session we'll actually play a cooperative game to demonstrate how they work. We'll trace these dynamics as they appear in board games (Pandemic, Lord of the Rings), knowledge games used in organizations for brainstorming and planning ("Gamestorming"), and social Web apps (KickStarter, Get Satisfaction).
The session will explore the specific mechanics that make this such an effective method for inspiring group performance.
- Victory conditions
- External conflicts
- Roles & special powers
- Required sharing
- Coordination & planning
- And occasionally...Traitors!
Generally speaking, there's an assumption that casual games are a waste of time. What can playing a "meaningless" Facebook game for a few minutes really accomplish, anyways? Do I really need to "rescue" another "sheep"? Another point of view is that they're a little bit sinister, manipulating you into emptying your wallet, or giving up personal information. But perhaps both positions are missing the point. This new genre we call "Casual Social Games" represents a fascinating opportunity to better understand our own behavior, and to direct it, intentionally, for our own benefit, and for the greater good of society.
In this talk, Brian will discuss the typical social gamer and how this profile has evolved in the last year. 2009 was about introducing social gaming to the mainstream. In 2010, social gaming has gone mainstream with 65 million people playing FarmVille alone. 2009 was about introducing social gaming to the mainstream. In 2010, the quality bar has gone up with the release of games like FrontierVille, which hit 20 million users in its first forty days. This talk is targeted towards social game developers. In the talk, Brian would discuss the innovation and mechanics it takes to build fun, viral and engaging social games.
by Bill Fulton, Marina Kobayashi, Ray Kowalewski and Rich Ridlen
Learn from the experts all about Games User Research and it's ins and outs - What it is? Why to do it? When to do it? And How to do it? Use this stepping stone to return to your organization charged with energy to make better products and user experiences (not just for games!) through user research. Bonus: Learn about what can go wrong in Games User Research (and maybe laugh at the mistakes of others? Who doesn't love a good anecdote from the field :-)
11th–15th March 2011