Systems &Inputs &Outcomes &Rewards &Balance.(How to trick People into accomplishing theirhealth goals)
Why Games as asolution?- Great games mask boring and often repetitive tasks.- Great games are engaging – they require users to interact, and give them just enough reward to want more.- Great games are accessible and ‘addictive’ even though they are voluntary.
A framework toExamine/Dissect Games…- The System - What is the goal of the game? What are the rules?- The Input - What actions can the player take to accomplish the goal?- The Outcome - When the player performs an action, what happens?
…and How to get it all‘Sticky’- Extrinsic versus Intrinsic Rewards - What happens when the player performs the “right” action?- Balance versus “Fairness” - What happens when the player performs the “wrong” action? Or…?
How to beatthe game1. Press Start2. Push Buttons3. ???4. Become This :
Exposing the System- What is the System?- Goals + Rules - What is the player supposed to accomplish? - What are the boundaries the players have to work within?
It’s a-Me, Mario!- Goal: Get as far right as possible. - (and also get as many coins as possible)- Rules:
And More rules
Challenge Accepted- Enable player to form a mental roadmap to the goal.- After a few moments, player should be able to look at this:and think to themselves, “Okay, I think I know how I’m going to tackle this. “
Make the SystemObvious- Believe in yourself,player!- Makes the gameaccessible.
Getting Input- What are my options here?- Available Actions - At each moment in the game, what can the player do to affect the state of the game?
Enable Planning- Add detail/direction to mental roadmap- And empowers the player to move forward. - “Okay, this is what I can do to affect the game state”
Why important- Interaction is the key distinguishing factor of games from all other forms of authored media.- Agency - Feeling control over things that happen- Leads to engagement
The outcome- What happens when the player jumps right now?- Level is completed- Position on flagpole is assessed- Sounds play- Fireworks!- Points awarded
But how does it makeyou *FEEL*?- In the moments before: - Relief - Pride - Pressure!- The moment after: - Relief (again) - Satisfaction - Okay, now what’s next?
Why both extrinsic andintrinsic Matter
How Are Playersrewarded?- Extrinsically, sure - Nothing inherently wrong with extrinsic rewards- But, should also intrinsically remind us why we are playing. - Why do we play Mario?- Note: Numbers don’t always mean Extrinsic
How *much* areplayers rewarded?- Balance is important- Rule of Thumb - Reward extrinsically for small victories - Reward intrinsically for big victories- Analog Example - Paying for Thanksgiving Dinner
Sugarcoat things- Commend effort even if it’s the wrong effort. - Show them what they did wrong- Action -> [black box] -> Result - Black box should never be too ambiguous.- Example: Rubberbanding in Mario Kart - Designed to give/release tension.
In other words, helpthem cheat :)- Well, not ‘cheat’.- What happens when a player is not performing well? - “It got too frustrating.” - “I couldn’t find my way out.”- Beauty of digital medium is ability to respond dynamically- Fail-proof your game
But Again,not too much.- Reinforce importance of input.- Don’t lose the sense of agency
Let’s look at theframework again.- Angry Birds
Flinging Birds- Input - “Circle of Touchability”
Crushing Pigs- Outcome
Why So Angry?- This guy:
Words with Frenemies- Everyone loves Scrabble right? - But.- Problems - Limited roadmapping - Limited agency - Powerless against Scrabble word experts.
So we broke it down[ wordoff screen ]
New Dynamics- Two goals - Two ways to win.- Allows defensive play- More options for words- “Narrative”
Tying it All Together- Examining game design as a structure - Helps clarify/predict user experience - Identifies possible points for improvement/balance- Always keep agency in mind - Action/result cycle should be unambiguous- Reward the right behaviors, in the right way - Extrinsic (points) for small victories - Intrinsic (feelings) for big victories
General Tips fromGame Production- Test early, test often- Polish your tutorial or how-to- Simplify- Also, scope down
Questions?- Email: email@example.com- Thanks for helping me gain +5 Speaker points!
Activity:- Break down an existing game - What is the goal? What are the rules? - What are the available actions? - What are the results? How are “wrong” actions discouraged, and how are “right” actions rewarded? What are the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards?- Then, make it better - Identify areas where a player might be frustrated (even if it’s “part of the game.”) - Suggest improvements in the system, input, outcomes, rewards or balance that would help alleviate it.