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Digital Media Adaptation Model - MRS Kids&youth2011 conference [screens+notes]
 

Digital Media Adaptation Model - MRS Kids&youth2011 conference [screens+notes]

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Based on work / models developed with Dubit, inspired by academic work, presented at the MRS annual children / youth conference. ...

Based on work / models developed with Dubit, inspired by academic work, presented at the MRS annual children / youth conference.
Cross-media adaptation into digital games
Note: this is the 'screens' version - there's one with screens + notes under 'Documents'.

Everyone's a gamer nowadays.
What's so appealing about games?
Which games are young people playing and why?
And how can stories / characters from other media be successfully adapted into game form?
Note: this is the 'screens+notes' version - there's one just with screens under 'Presentations'.

Everyone's a gamer nowadays.
What's so appealing about games?
Which games are young people playing and why?
And how can stories / characters from other media be successfully adapted into game form?

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    Digital Media Adaptation Model - MRS Kids&youth2011 conference [screens+notes] Digital Media Adaptation Model - MRS Kids&youth2011 conference [screens+notes] Document Transcript

    •                                                           INTRODUCTION  ..............................................................................................................................................................  2   KIDS  GAMING  LANDSCAPE  ............................................................................................................................................  4   INTEGRATED  MEDIA  STRATEGIES  ............................................................................................................................  10   MEDIA  PRODUCTION  MODEL  ...................................................................................................................................  15   WRAP  UP  ..........................................................................................................................................................................  20   Claudio  Pires  Franco,  Head  of  Games  and  Media  Research   claudio.franco@dubitlimited.com   Kids  &  Youth  Research  2011   SCREENSHOTS  &  SPEAKER  NOTES  
    •   Page 2 of 21 GamesLab   INTRODUCTION I  want  to  begin  by  telling  you  about  a  book  that  I  started  reading  this  week.   It’s  a  book  about  the  relation  between  games,  culture  and  society,  by  Ian  Bogost,  a  famous  games   designer  and  game  scholar.     The  book  preview  starts  with  the  following  title:       Puzzling,  isn’t  it?   This  sounds  like  bad  news,  especially  when  it  is  said  by  a  games  designer!     As  I  read  on,  it  all  started  to  make  sense...   In  recent  years,  computer  games  have  moved  from  the  margins  of  popular  culture  to  its  center.     Games  are  being  played  by  all  types  of  people,  from  stereotypical  teenager  boy  gamers,  to   grannies,  to  politicians  who  get  sacked  for  playing  Farmville  during  Council  meetings!    
    •   Page 3 of 21 GamesLab     This  is  a  picture  of  the  Bulgarian  councilor  caught  red-­‐handed.   He  excused  himself  by  saying  that  other  councilors  also  play  -­‐  and  he’s  only  on  level  40  whilst  one   of  his  colleagues  is  already  on  level  48!  Tough  competition  in  Bulgaria!     Ian  Bogost  suggests  that  we  think  about  games  as  a  medium  which  can  be  used  for  infinite   purposes,  not  just  as  entertainment  products  in  limited  formats.     I  liked  this  quote  as  it  reflects  the  status  that  games  seem  to  be  acquiring  as  a  medium  in  their   own  right.     All  types  of  games  can  be  created,  for  all  types  of  people,  and  for  all  types  of  purposes.     Games  are  being  used  for  storytelling,  for  education  and  training,  for  marketing,  for  therapy,  for   politics,  you  name  it...   As  Betty  has  shown  us,  games  are  even  shaping  the  way  we  do  research!     So  instead  of  witnessing  the  end  of  the  gamer,  we’re  living  in  a  time  where  games  are  becoming   global  -­‐  in  audience  reach;  in  their  uses;  and  in  the  influences  they  have  on  many  aspects  of  our   society  and  culture.  
    •   Page 4 of 21 GamesLab   Games  are  here  to  stay,  and  any  brands  and  organisations  who  work  with  kids  should  probably  be   thinking  about  how  they  can  use  games  to  engage  with  their  audiences       Today  we’ll  be  exploring  three  main  areas:   I’ll  show  you  some  fresh  data  on  the  games  that  kids  are  playing,   Then  we’ll  see  how  games  have  become  an  essential  part  of  integrated  media  strategies,  and   finally  we’ll  hear  about  some  strategic  insight  based  on  media  production  models  developed  by   Dubit     KIDS  GAMING  LANDSCAPE   Let’s  start  by  looking  at  what  kids  are  playing  with  data  from  Dubit’s  latest  ONLINE  GAMES   RESEARCH...   We’ll  be  releasing  a  lot  more  data  very  soon  for  the  US  and  UK,  but  for  now  I’ll  show  you  topline   data  for  the  UK.     Think  of  it  as  a  little  appetizer  fresh  off  the  press    
    •   Page 5 of 21 GamesLab   According  to  our  online  survey  of  1,000  kids,  99%  are  playing  some  kind  of  computer  or  video   games.   Here  the  main  surprise  is  that  the  industry  would  probably  expect  the  level  of  kids  playing  on   mobile  gadgets  to  be  higher,  especially  on  iPads  and  iPhones...     But  probably  this  expectation  is  down  to  a  bit  of  media  hype  about  these  platforms,  which   reminds  me  of  similar  hypes  about  Twitter  a  coupe  of  years  ago,  when  everyone  was  thinking   about  engaging  with  kids  via  Twitter  but  then  we  found  out  that  only  a  tiny  proportion  actually   used  with  any  regularity.     The  cost  of  iPads  and  the  like  are  still  prohibitive  for  kids,  and  parents  tend  to  opt  for  cheaper   options  for  kids  gaming.     Apart  from  games  consoles,  the  computer  is  still  the  main  platform  used  to  play  games,  and  a   platform  which  is  more  accessible  than  consoles  for  most  brands  and  IPs.    
    •   Page 6 of 21 GamesLab     This  second  chart  shows  the  top  5  websites  kids  used  to  play  games  in  October     Facebook  seems  to  be  the  one  site  that  could  cause  some  surprise...     However,  in  spite  of  existing  regulation,  we  know  from  previous  research  that  many  under  13s   using  it  -­‐  and  mostly  to  play  games!  Probably  something  to  be  discussed  later  today  in  the  ethics   panel     FB  is  followed  by  TV  channels  websites  where  kids  get  in  touch  with  their  favourite  characters,  and   then  by  Miniclip,  a  hugely  successful  mini-­‐games  portal.    
    •   Page 7 of 21 GamesLab     Now  let’s  look  at  Facebook  in  more  detail.     Facebook  gaming  is  ruled  by  Zynga  with  3  titles  in  the  top  5.   This  seems  to  reflect  the  adult  market,  which  makes  sense  as  we  know  that  typically  kids  are   introduced  to  FB  gaming  by  their  parents,  and  even  group  play  as  a  family.     Zynga  have  been  doing  extremely  well  in  the  social  games  arena,  in  part  probably  due  to  their   attention  to  games  analytics:  understanding  what  their  players  do  in  their  games  and  re-­‐adapt   their  design  and  strategies  accordingly.    
    •   Page 8 of 21 GamesLab   This  chart  shows  the  top  VWs  and  MMOs  -­‐  for  those  of  you  who  are  not  sure  what  they  are,  think   of  multiplayer  games  where  your  character  can  walk  around  different  areas...     No  surprises  in  the  top  5,  except  perhaps  for  Minecraft  finally  making  its  way  to  the  top.     Club  Penguin  and  Moshi  Monsters  continue  to  rule  the  UK  market  -­‐  by  far!  Which  may  have   something  to  do  with  their  overall  online  and  offline  strategies...  we’ll  see  later  on...      
    •   Page 9 of 21 GamesLab     In  this  study  we  also  wanted  to  know  what  games  really  stand  out.  Which  ones  do  kids  find  more   appealing?  We’ll  have  to  leave  their  reasons  for  a  later  date  –  this  data  is  still  being  analysed.     The  chart  shows  the  top  10  favourite  games  for  kids.     I’ll  make  the  analysis  easier  for  you:   VWs  make  up  7  out  of  the  10  games.  And  CP  and  Moshi  Monsters  alone  represent  the  preferences   of  over  one-­‐third  of  all  kids.     But  why  are  VWs  so  popular  with  kids?     They’re  the  most  complex  kinds  of  online  games  out  there  -­‐  and  they  cover  many  diverse  needs,   from  socialising,  to  role-­‐playing,  to  narrative  and  storytelling,  to  exploration,  to  user   customisation,  competition,  and  a  lot  more!     As  we  like  to  say  at  Dubit,  VWs/MMOs  satisfy  the  needs  of  different  player  archetypes,  which  as   we  will  see  should  be  taken  into  consideration  when  designing  a  game.     Safety  and  trust  are  another  important  reason  why  CP  and  MM  are  so  popular.   The  teams  behind  these  games  invest  strongly  in  communicating  with  parents,  and  in  showing   them  that  their  kids  will  be  safe  online.  And  parents  act  as  important  gatekeepers  for  what  kids  -­‐   especially  the  youngest  -­‐  can  do  online.    
    •   Page 10 of 21 GamesLab   Let’s  now  see  how  games  link  up  with  other  forms  of  media...   INTEGRATED  MEDIA  STRATEGIES       Kids  media  consumption  has  never  been  so  integrated  across  different  platforms  and  different   media.  Kids  media  has  essentially  become  Transmedia.     Kids  nowadays  read  the  book,  watch  the  film,  buy  the  toy  and  play  the  game  -­‐  they  expect  to  find   their  favourite  characters  across  all  platforms,  across  all  media.     As  Adam  Khwaja,  ex-­‐BBC,  likes  to  say:  kids  are  becoming  platform-­‐agnostic...     Online  games  have  become  an  essential  part  of  transmedia  strategies  in  the  kids  market.   And  VWs  are  at  the  centre  of  innovation  often  leading  the  way  in  the  kids  transmedia  landscape.    
    •   Page 11 of 21 GamesLab   From  established  ways  of  working  mostly  from  book,  to  film,  to  game  and  toy...   Now  IPs  travel  in  all  directions...       You  can  start  with  a  game,  a  film,  a  book,  or  a  toy,  but  kids  will  expect  to  experience  your  IP  across   all  of  these  media.     Let  me  show  you  a  few  examples...    
    •   Page 12 of 21 GamesLab   CP  and  MM  have  invested  strongly  in  their  transmedia  expansion,  recurring  to  licensing  strategies   and  partnerships  with  established  names,  for  example  in  the  publishing  and  toys  sectors.    
    •   Page 13 of 21 GamesLab   Poptropica  is  less  well  known  in  the  UK,  but  comes  up  on  the  top  3  VWs  in  the  US.  It  is  owned  by   Pearson,  who  by  the  way  are  book  publishers.   Poptropica  is  based  on  a  strong  narrative,  and  allows  kids  to  travel  to  different  islands  like  in  a   theme  park,  where  they  can  go  on  pirate  adventures,  or  cowboy  adventures,  or  play  with  knights   and  princesses.     The  Poptropica  team  also  creates  bespoke  islands  to  promote  IPs  in  other  media.  In  this  example,   kids  are  able  to  visit  Wimpy  Wonderland  and  play  a  Wimpy  Kid  adventure.     Whilst  they’re  doing  this,  they  are  exposed  not  only  to  the  IP  through  playing  a  story,  but  also  to   information  about  the  book,  film  and  DVDs.    
    •   Page 14 of 21 GamesLab     This  example  is  even  less  well  known,  and  comes  from  our  French  neighbours  Ankama.     Ankama  started  creating  MMOs,  but  have  meantime  expanded  to  other  areas  of  media  and   entertainment.     They  adopt  a  different  business  model  to  most  MMOs  -­‐  instead  of  relying  on  licensing,  all   transmedia  content  is  created  in-­‐house,  through  Ankama’s  very  own  publishing  department,   cartoon  studio,  console  development  team,  etc.     Something  else  I  love  about  Ankama  is  the  highly  integrated  way  they  weave  their  transmedia   content.     For  example,  when  you  play  the  Wakfu  game,  you  can  become  a  Wakfu  legend,  and  your   character  and  adventures  may  feature  in  the  manga-­‐style  Wakfu  magazine...     Imagine  how  exciting  that  can  be  for  the  players!     Ankama  even  have  their  own  Transmedia  quality  control  team  -­‐  forgot  what  they  call  it.   This  team  works  across  departments,  to  make  sure  that  all  their  IPs  provide  a  seamless  experience   across  different  media...  from  game  to  film  to  cards  and  books,  all  needs  to  work  seamlessly.  -­‐  as   we  will  see  next,  this  is  extremely  important!    
    •   Page 15 of 21 GamesLab   MEDIA  PRODUCTION  MODEL   I  now  want  to  give  you  a  little  bit  of  a  flavour  of  the  types  of  media  production  models  that  Dubit   have  been  developing.     In  this  highly  cross-­‐media  environment  for  kids,  it  is  essential  to  reflect  on  how  we  work.   And  on  how  we  can  produce  media  products  that  build  on  existing  IPs  in  ways  that  guarantee   brand  consistency  and  quality  of  adaptation.  This  is  how  we  can  meet  -­‐  and  exceed  -­‐  audience   expectations,  by  building  an  effective  cross-­‐media  web  of  ongoing  engagement  with  brands  /  IPs  in   an  integrated  way.      
    •   Page 16 of 21 GamesLab This  wheel  represents  the  main  areas  that  you  should  consider  when  you’re  creating  content  in  a   transmedia  context.     I  will  use  the  creation  of  a  game  based  on  an  existing  IP  example,  but  the  model  could  be  used  to   inform  the  production  of  a  completely  new  IP,  or  using  an  existing  IP  to  produce  a  cartoon  or  any   other  form  of  media  product.     There  is  flexibility  about  which  areas  are  relevant,  depending  on  what  you’re  trying  to  achieve.     My  example  is  illustrated  with  a  mock  exercise  we  did  for  the  Bookseller  conference  last  month,   where  we  looked  at  how  we  could  adapt  the  Swiss  Family  Robinson  (SFR)  IP  into  a  game.     We  invited  a  group  of  kids  to  read  the  book,  watch  the  Disney  film  adaptation,  and  work  with  us  in   the  design  of  the  basic  sketch  for  a  SFR  game.     Try  to  imagine  that  you’re  attempting  to  do  the  same  with  your  own  IP,  or  with  your  brand  -­‐  even   if  you’re  not  in  the  media  sector.       Production  Factors   Basically  this  is  the  kind  of  information  that  should  be  defined  in  any  initial  brief.   objectives,  budget,  timings,  target  audience   But  also  the  less  obvious  factors  like  editorial  guidelines,  technical  limitations  and  promotion  and   marketing  plans     Source  IP   here  we  look  at  the  IP  in  detail   We  extract  the  narrative  structure  of  the  IP,  but  also  hear  what  kids  think  about  the  characters,   which  are  their  favourite,  what  traits  they  find  most  engaging,  and  main  events  in  the  story  that   can  be  translated  into  the  game.   Here  we  also  look  at  themes  and  effects:  is  the  story  supposed  to  be  funny?  Is  it  serious?  What   feelings  does  it  convene  to  the  audience?  And  how  can  these  effects  be  reflected  in  the  game?   Often  themes  will  function  as  inspiration  for  game  mechanics.   In  the  case  of  the  SFR,  the  theme  of  team  work  could  be  translated  into  a  mechanic  whereby  
    •   Page 17 of 21 GamesLab players  can  choose  different  characters  to  complete  different  tasks.   Think  again  about  your  IP  or  brand  -­‐  is  it  funny?  is  it  serious?  What  effects  do  you  want  to  cause  in   your  audience?  What  should  the  tone  /  style  be?  And  can  any  of  the  themes  be  translated  into   game  mechanics?       Previous  Adaptations   In  the  case  of  the  SFR,  the  DIsney  film  adaptation  of  the  book  had  a  very  powerful  influence  in  the   way  kids  imagined  the  game.   For  example,  in  the  film  there  was  an  added  scene  where  the  heroes  fight  a  bunch  of  pirates  -­‐  this   never  happened  in  the  book,  but  kids  wanted  it  to  be  part  of  the  game.   How  much  you  change  your  source  IP  is  really  up  to  you  -­‐  but  don’t  forget  you  need  a  good  level  of   consistency  for  a  seamless  experience!  And  you’ll  probably  want  to  please  your  book  readers   and  your  film  watchers!       Theme  Universe   This  area  of  the  wheel  is  linked  to  a  knowledge  of  the  wider  kids’  media  universe.    If  you’re  doing  a  game  around  pirates,  it  is  worth  exploring  what  other  pirate-­‐related  media  kids   kids  enjoy.   Back  to  our  example,  the  SFR,  kids  told  us  that  the  pirates  of  the  Disney  movie  did  not  look  like   real  pirates  -­‐  for  kids,  a  real  pirate  had  to  look  like  the  pirates  in  the  film  Pirates  of  the   Caribbean.  This  shows  how  this  film  has  shaped  kids’  views  of  pirates.       Games  Universe   The  Games  Universe  area  means  that  if  you’re  creating  a  game  for  a  specific  audience  group,  you   need  to  understand  what  games  those  kids  are  playing  and  also  what  is  it  that  they  find   appealing  in  the  games  they  play.  
    •   Page 18 of 21 GamesLab The  main  point  is  to  understand  what  mechanics  and  features  can  be  used  in  your  game,  and  how   these  may  help  you  satisfy  the  needs  of  existing  gamers.  At  Dubit  we  use  the  concept  of  ‘player   archetypes’  to  help  us  guide  design.  Players  –  in  different  ages  and  gender  –  have  different   tendencies  or  preferences,  and  this  can  to  a  certain  extent  guide  your  design.       Games  Technology   This  is  the  most  geeky  part  of  the  process.  But  geeks  are  cool,  and  they’ll  eventually  rule  the   world!   This  is  where  you  look  at  existing  technologies  appropriate  for  the  game  you  want  to  create   Often  finding  a  platform  that  already  has  many  of  the  features  you  want  to  add  to  the  game  will   save  time  and  money  -­‐  which  you  can  invest  in  making  a  better  game       Transmedia  Strategy   This  is  where  you  think  how  your  game  will  link  up  and  integrate  with  the  other  parts  of  your  IP,   across  other  media  and  platforms   This  could  be,  for  example,  through  the  use  of  toys  or  cards  that  open  features  in  your  game;  and   through  game  levels  or  achievements  that  unlock  access  to  videos  of  your  new  cartoon   episodes...  or  more  complex  stuff  that  links  all  sorts  of  media  together  in  storytelling.   Increasingly,  IP  development  across  different  media  is  being  designed  in  an  integrated  manner   from  stage  one  -­‐  integrating  your  offers  means  that  readers,  TV  watchers  or  game  players  can   start  at  any  touch  point  and  move  through  your  web  of  transmedia  content.       Game  Evolution   Once  we  have  a  Game  Design  Document  -­‐  this  is  the  specifications  for  a  game  -­‐  and  some  artwork   ready,  we  test  these  with  our  audience.   And  as  soon  as  a  game  has  a  prototype,  we  invite  kids  to  play  it,  ins-­‐tudio  or  form  home,  alone  or   in  groups.  Our  little  testers  play  our  games  at  Alpha  stage,  at  Beta  stage,  at  every  stage  -­‐  in  order  
    •   Page 19 of 21 GamesLab to  optimise  gameplay  and  unveil  any  usability  problems  which  could  cost  us  dearly  after  launch.   Launching  a  game  is  not  the  end  of  the  story   Games  are  a  bit  like  organic  creatures  -­‐  they  are  born,  they  grow,  evolve,  change  -­‐  often  informed   by  what  your  audience  is  doing  in  them.   Games  have  one  great  advantage  in  terms  of  audience  insight  when  compared  to  other  types  of   offline  media  -­‐  they  allow  you  to  collate  live  data  on  how  kids  are  using  your  game!   You  can  know  what  characters  are  more  popular,  which  levels  kids  find  too  hard,  where  they’re   getting  stuck  and  where  they  seem  to  be  getting  back  for  more  fun.   Game  Analytics  allow  you  to  take  informed  decisions  to  develop  your  game  in  the  right  direction   A  piece  of  advice:  besides  analytics,  try  to  involve  your  audience  in  decisions  about  future   developments,  for  example  which  new  places  to  create,  or  which  new  characters  to  bring  on   board  -­‐  kids  will  love  to  take  part  and  use  their  creativity  to  help  you.         END  OF  THE  WHEEL...   That’s  the  brief  overview  of  our  approach  to  creating  transmedia  integrated  games.     Over  the  next  couple  of  years  Dubit  will  be  taking  part  in  a  UNESCO-­‐sponsored  project  looking  at   how  books  and  stories  can  be  translated  into,  and  integrated  with,  new  media  forms  -­‐  we’re   representing  the  games  industry  perspective.     We’ll  be  part  of  an  international  team  of  academics  and  industry  practitioners  that  will  study   current  practices,  develop  models  and  create  new  media  products  based  on  the  insights  gained.     We’re  looking  for  partners  who  want  to  embark  with  us  on  a  journey  of  discovery  about  the   adaptation  of  stories  into  new  digital  forms.   We’d  love  to  involve  storytellers  from  other  media  because  we  think  that  the  games  industry  can   benefit  from  existing  story-­‐telling  skills  and  better  narratives...   Our  dream  is  to  create  games  that  feel  like  interactive  cartoons...  we  want  to  be  the  Pixar  of   Gaming!...     And  we’re  also  planning  to  bring  together  an  informal  group  of  people  who  may  be  interested  in  a  
    •   Page 20 of 21 GamesLab less  hands-­‐on  involvement  -­‐  but  still  want  to  follow  developments  and  get  insight  through  informal   meetings  and  our  project  blog.   WRAP  UP   Today  we  started  with  a  question:  are  we  witnessing  the  end  of  the  gamer?   To  a  certain  extent,  the  answer  is  yes,  we  are...   We’re  moving  away  from  gamer  stereotypes...  and  evolving  towards  global  gaming  -­‐  gaming  at  a   planetary  scale!  In  many  shapes  and  forms.     But  we’re  also  seeing  games  as  part  of  wider  nets  of  media  consumption.   We  live  in  a  new  era  of  transmedia,  where  kids  are  platform-­‐agnostic  and  expect  to  find  the   content  they  like  across  every  media  -­‐  in  a  seamless  way.     We’ve  seen  how  VWs  and  MMOs  form  an  integral  part  of  transmedia  strategies,  and  how  they’re   often  leading  the  way  in  innovation  and  creativity.     Finally  we  also  explored  some  rules  of  thumb  for  creating  games  in  this  transmedia  environment.     Above  all  -­‐  and  here  I  put  my  big  researcher  hat  on  -­‐  we  think  we  should  be  involving  kids  in  these   processes  of  media  creation.     Think  of  kids  as  our  little  media  experts  -­‐  we  can  obviously  come  up  with  brilliant  creative  ideas,   but  it  is  important  to  involve  our  audiences  in  pretty  much  every  step  of  the  way.     If  we  do  this,  everyone  is  going  to  win  -­‐  It’s  a  WIN-­‐WIN-­‐WIN  situation  -­‐  for  game  developers,  for   brand  owners,  and  for  gamers,  who  end  up  having  better  games  to  play.     I’d  love  to  discuss  these  things  in  more  detail  -­‐  please  come  and  grab  me  during  the  breaks  or  get   in  touch  after  the  event.     Thank  you!     THE  END  
    •   Page 21 of 21 GamesLab