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Designing Games for "the 43-year-old woman"
 

Designing Games for "the 43-year-old woman"

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Chris Trottier, Zynga, GDC 2011

Chris Trottier, Zynga, GDC 2011

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  • Started as joke
  • I’m old! I’m a woman!Can finally “speak for my people.”
  • True *am* old…Different arbitrary fact
  • only bc 42Conference of game developers
  • Life before workLife outside of workNot game focused
  • No game chattyFriends fascinated…Change subject
  • Grew up w/ 6-sided dice
  • Boggle zone(ms. Popularity) I love playing farmville
  • raw nerves, no tweakmany yrsStruggling. “must be something wrong”FriendlyTry on
  • Seek gamesWhether mmo or pogo.. FIND way.
  • Produce aisle“hey, I’m totally into a game right now.”You can buy here!
  • AccidentalGame comes to them: party, fbCould totes be into
  • “If women were men, they would never get laid.”Bat eyelashes, find partnerMuscles for woo
  • Quick “get inside heads”
  • 60 things I like.Oh, sure. But also-ran. Competition.
  • Computer = 20 thingsGames?Radar = LOW, noise
  • My kid!PT. SAHM 2 daysLeisure??little patience  none.plane ridekids as villianousnpc’s
  • The game
  • FailBig emotionsClumsyteethNO!geneva convention.hemmorrhage
  • “advance your kid”Tuning? Game??Suboptimal.“can’t care about this”
  • Non-linearChaosWhite noiseRemember ??
  • 101 To DoPull together.Insufficient time.ONLY time it makes sense to game = FRIED
  • Judge not.Be patient, kind, respectful. Entertainment = different
  • Savor, relax, enjoy
  • ConcreteRelationshipsFirst impressionDateCourtshipkeeper
  • Bad breath
  • Easy to walkVERY light curiosity, commitmentEasy to walkRoll-out-of-bed easy…
  • Humbling first click  first game actionTheory  seeing real #’s, sending real players packing
  • duh
  • Supercute.5 minsTuned for someone else.
  • duh
  • The 180Pastels, soft art. “condescending”No examplesNiche-y
  • Big, broad, mass successes
  • PrioritiesGuiltyReal life trumps
  • RL scheduleevents, tournaments. TSO, despite best intentions.
  • Classic moment:Damnit! Stuck! How to proceed?Not intentional. Just… pick else
  • MMO’s = social = higher % of women!!Friend guideBest-of-breedStill…
  • RL friendsSocial rules
  • Anonymous = uninhibitedjargon
  • High-performance….“this is something I don’t have to learn.”
  • Gamer moment: “awesome, what is this telling me about how it works???”“I don’t have to care.”Gradual +++
  • Orc or elf? speed offenseFun? Or stressful?
  • Function ==!Crops you like? Fiction?Free building! New gameplay!!STUCK!!Space??
  • pet peeve.Gamer moment: immersive world.No-op
  • From any spot, can tell you how to reach any other spot.
  • Bad date!Nervous when people excited about 3D
  • More fun AcademicMe  shooterBeautiful, work, sing
  • Relationship: “Is this person worth my time?”3 weeks?
  • Our old reliable may not be sufficientGUILTY re: time for selfReality TV
  • Relax = building block. BBlitzNew vein, exciting
  • If FB has taught us anything…
  • Had 24 slides I had to cut!!CREATIVE PROCESS. Tap vein, unexercised.A fantasy I didn’t know I had.“better person because of you.”
  • Love you, “in a rut.”
  • Small, unexpectedExpand what’s possibleFreshness in relationship, SURPRISE
  • Same core, feels NEWSims new family = new family. I haven’t been X before.
  • Players = invested SELVES. WANT to stay. Be worthwhile.SystemsLift, updraftNested goals
  • OUT THERE fantasy. Armegeddon, space…REAL WORLD fantasy. Our world = infinitely larger than you might imagine.Relevance.
  • Embarrassinglyavatars across a # of different services
  • more “out there” = costume party
  • We pulled a marthastewart in farmville.Perfumes, soaps… nice associations.
  • Beauty pageant hostChristmas without constraints of $ or taste or storage.
  • RL friends 100X more interesting (timschaffer)Books?Movies?Reality tv?
  • light touches  long way.
  • leaderboards
  • Twilight zone. Launch, hollywood hills…Celebu-model-party girlHangs with all the FAAABULOUS peopleCharming little suburban scenarios w/ boyfriend. Exploring all the possibilities.
  • FICTIONALLY MEANINGFUL!Qualitative leap.
  • Sims first love marriage babies job, promotion, top of career
  • Many weeksBeautiful, immersive.Wanted to see THAT one.PAID OFF! (aesthetic)
  • 90% mechanic, 10% contentWANT.
  • Charming, vintage road-side signsEnergize faithful LE crop w/ mastery. Or double-points mastery.Perseverate
  • HABITFeels good.
  • SolitaireWin a hand
  • Clear group of diners, diner dash
  • Zen.Clear my mind.Sense of satisfaction.DEEP BREATH, glass o wine.
  • To do listManage for meVisible progress
  • FUNDAMENTALLY important“Fall in love.” “catch attention.”Charm. Humor. Adorable.
  • aesthetic touches.polish, humor, charm.forklift in Social City..
  • Demo’ingsimsPeeWave at cameraImagine possibilitiesExpand view
  • ATTRACTIVE, deliciousDifferent aesthetic. But multis.want to hang out. Immerse.
  • STYLEHumor, twist, charm.Simplified  approach, engage, click
  • Ask players, calibrateHave FUN.WIT. ADORABLE.
  • Farmville success = beauty of crops.2D, you are missing the point.Immerse near zoom mixed fieldSad 3d crops. 
  • richer, deeper. faux 3d pic-hunt game. MystPersonality“where to click??”
  • DeliciousJuicySatisfyingSimple click
  • Zen.Clear my mind.Sense of satisfaction.DEEP BREATH, glass o wine.
  • Yay me.Feels good. PinataGoody bag
  • PopCap = The MastersFxSoundEmotion“GOT ONE!” “GOT A BIG ONE!”
  • Old adjectives
  • Leave you New adjectives…Work w/. Mull. See where they take you.
  • Charming, delightfulWould-be guiltyRealtiy TV, knit.To relax.But betterBecome a better personDiscover new sides of selfDeepen connectionsRich design probs, VIRGIN * new core, direct target * time  more  deeper * player diversity * maps beyond 1 mo

Designing Games for "the 43-year-old woman" Designing Games for "the 43-year-old woman" Presentation Transcript

  • DESIGNING GAMES
    for “the 43-year-old woman”
    Chris Trottier, Zynga

  • average social gamer is a 43-year-old woman
    Information Services Group / Popcap Study, 2010
    Bejewelled 3’s Launch Party
  • I am a woman.
    I am 42.
    I am a mom.
  • more importantly…
  • I am a game designer.
    I am not a gamer.
  • When I say “not a gamer,” I mean…
  • When we invite people over…
    We do this.
    But not this.
  • In my world…
    dice have six sides.
    exclusively.
  • If there were a spectrum…
    GAMER
    NOT A GAMER
  • Touchy Ground
    This is very subjective.
    There is no ONE 43-yr-old woman.
    Most female game developers would disagreewith me.
    I speak for myself, not for Zynga.
  • We’ve experienced a sea change
    re: whose mindshare we have access to
  • Ten Years Ago…
    HARDCORE
    GAMERS
    GAMERS
    CASUAL
    GAMERS
    Passionate about games
    Opportunistic play of traditional games, consoles
    FIND games they enjoy on the web
    And break-outs were
    very exceptional
    We made games for people who were… INTO games!
  • Suddenly, we’re under the noses of EVERYONE
    “a friend of yours played a game…”
  • HARDCORE
    GAMERS
    GAMERS
    CASUAL
    GAMERS
    “ACCIDENTAL” GAMERS
    Don’t seek out games but will play them when they come to them.
    And we’re finding all kinds of people who didn’t know they were into games.
  • We’re spoiled.
    We are used to making games for a captive audience.
  • Understanding (and Respecting)
    the Accidental Gamer
  • “What should I do for fun?”
    choices, choices…
  • Computer time is also crowded.
  • (But those are people with leisure time.)
    Let’s talk about moms.
  • In the game of raising kids…
    Energy
    Brain Power
    Composure
    these are your resources.
  • Kids have Al states  behavior
    breakdown
    distress
    cease fire
    cuddly
    With a gravity well at the bottom
  • You WANT to spend resource on progressionMore often spending it on disaster avoidance and basic maintenance.
    Energy
    Brain Power
    Composure
    Resource are frequently TAPPED OUT.
  • Non-linear day
    WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
    MOM!!
    Where’s a changing table? Shit.
    DIAPER GROSS-OUT!
    Shit, why is she getting so pissy?
    Look up this rash on the web.
    Need more diaper cream!
    Need to pack pad in the bag!!!
    Clean up that spaghetti on the wall.
    Doc says try rice milk…
  • Repair
    Remember
    Regroup
    Restrategize
    This is when it makes sense for me to game.
    Naptime is special
  • When I game, I don’t want to be:
    Bothered
    Hassled
    Challenged
    I’m already good for all that stuff, thx.
  • A game for moms would be wise to…
    Pour her a proverbial glass of wine
    Expect little
    Be charming
    …be easy to love.
  • The Art of Woo
  • TOP 10 DEAL-BREAKERS
  • #10 WORK TO PLAY
  • Day 1 No-No’s
  • #9 EYE-HAND COORDINATION
  • Donkey Kong, Nintendo
    LOVE this game. (I just lose all the time.)
  • #8 DUDE FICTIONS
  • Orcs, dungeons, warfare, guns, Armageddon, space ships, sci-fi, aliens
  • #7 PINKY-PINK
  • Note: these mega-hits are not pink!
    The Sims 2, Electronic Arts
    FarmVille, Zynga
    Players quick to call things “babyish”
  • #6 RIGID TIMING
  • Mommy’s busy helping her guild right now.
  • My free time is not predictable.
    live events
    tournaments
    raid schedule
    I can’t/won’t schedule my day around a game
  • Contradiction?
    An appointment *I* make
    With a big, big buffer
  • #5 STUCK POINTS
  • Zork, Infocom
    Day of the Tentacle, Lucas Arts
    Lemmings, DMA Design
    Loved these. Got stuck. Stopped.
  • #4 STRANGERS
  • Strangers are intimidating
  • They act weird.
    And talk like they’re in secret clubs.
  • #3 GADGETRY
  • Uhhh?
    Errr?
    Or????
    Quick, grab your sword and swing while jumping!!
  • Applies to UI too
    EACH PIECE of info adds a reason to not engage.
  • #2 THE MERE SCENT OF A RIGHT/WRONG CHOICE
  • FarmVille, Zynga
    Players got stuck at this step until we REMOVED info re: # friends with that specialty.
  • #1 3D CAMERA
  • Real-life 3D navigation is not a problem.
    3D game navigation is a BIG problem.
  • Rule of thumb:
    if my BODY doesn’t rotate, the world hasn’t rotated.
  • TOP 11 TURN-ONS
  • #11 REAL-WORLD VALUE
  • What is this doing for me?
    Am I wasting my time?
    Player will ask themselves this every so often.
  • not necessarily #1 consideration for moms
    fun
  • Creative outlet
    Keep connected

    Good for others
    more than 80 percent of social gamers [report] that playing social games strengthens their relationship with friends, family and colleagues.
    Information Services Group / Popcap Study, 2010
    Good for me
    Relaxes me
    Brain Age, Nintendo
    Wii Fit, Nintendo
  • #10 HELP ME EXPRESS MYSELF
  • Could be really simple
    An impressive score
    A clever name
    An aesthetic preference
    CityVille, Zynga
    Bejewelled Blitz, PopCap Games
    FarmVille, Zynga
  • FarmVille, Zynga
    The Sims Online, Maxis/EA
    Hard to beat a satisfying deco play
  • #9 KEEP EVOLVING
  • The Sims 2, Maxis/EA
    The Sims, Maxis/EA
    FrontierVille, Zynga
    Continued surprise
  • FarmVille, Zynga
    Mafia Wars, Zynga
    Same core, different twist
  • This is not yet being solved well.
    This is a problem for game designers.
    Happy long-term committed relationship!
    And, yes, Deeper Mechanics
  • #8REAL-WORLD FANTASY
  • Skype
    IMVU
    vSide
    Pogo, Electronic Arts
    The Sims 2,
    Electronic Arts
    My avatars: me, with a stylist
  • YoVille,
    Zynga
    FrontierVille, Zynga
    FarmVille,
    Zynga
    YoVille,
    Zynga
    “Fantasy” = real life + costume party
  • what I’m grinding on in FarmVille right now.
  • Beauty Pageant? Really?
    Over-the-top Christmas
    The Sims Online, Maxis/EA
    FarmVille, Zynga
    Life, unbound
  • #7REFLECTS MY PEOPLE
  • Cool, I hired Mark Pincus!
    Thanks, Mags.
    FrontierVille, Zynga
    Restaurant City, PlayFish/EA
  • sister
    ???
    Friend from spore
    ???
    Friend of friend
    ???
    Former boss
    ???
    High school nemesis
    ???
    Fascinating
    Totally boring
  • Bijou Phillips
  • #6BIG-DEAL MILESTONES
  • The Sims 2, Maxis/EA
    The Sims 2, Maxis/EA
    The Sims 2, Maxis/EA
    FICTIONALLY meaningful = as important as functionally meaningful
  • FrontierVille, Zynga
  • #5WANTING, GETTING, HAVING
  • Wanting and not having is wonderful
    But getting is also bliss
  • FarmVille, Zynga
  • Important: has to be something I can actually **WANT**!
  • FarmVille players are DEEPLY motivated by crop mastery signs.
    (Newsflash: not because of the buff.)
  • #4SATISFYING CORE ACTION
  • Fairway Solitaire, Big Fish Games
  • Diner Dash, PlayFirst
    Moments of “all done.” “All’s right.” Chaos management.
  • FarmVille, Zynga
  • A “to do” list where I make actual progress
  • #3 SIMPLE PLEASURES
  • Social City, Playdom
    CityVille, Zynga
    FarmVille, Zynga
  • Sims jealousy hack got more mileage than any other piece of AI
  • #2 YUMMY ON THE EYES
  • Chuzzle,
    PopCap
    STYLE
  • Plants vs. Zombies, PopCap
    Petville, Zynga
  • FarmVille, Zynga
    Gorgeous, juicy, happy
  • Mystery Case Files,
    Big Fish Games
    “Intriguing”
  • #1 NICE TO TOUCH
  • FarmVille, Zynga
  • FrontierVille, Zynga
  • Zuma, PopCap Games
    Chuzzle, PopCap Games
  • Wrap-Up
  • Games for Gamers
    Wind-me-up
    Challenging
    Intense
    Realistic
    Fast-paced
    Competitive
    Hard-core
    Twitchy
    Complex
  • Games for Everyone
    Collaborative
    Charming
    Beautiful
    Useful
    Satisfying
    Relaxing
    Rewarding
    Expressive
    Connected
    Intuitive
    Intriguing
    Unstressed
  • We can do better.
    unwind
    rewarding over time
    feel good about
    essential appeal
  • | thank you!