Beyond The Box


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All too often, developers ignore what occurs before, beneath, and after the actual gameplay experience, leaving such things to evil marketers. We often take for granted that the psychological state of the gamer's brain is unique among all other leisure activities – a magical blend of zoned-out and focused-in. By applying true game design to areas outside the game itself, we can entrance, enhance, enthrall, entertain, and (since we have to make some money here) extract significantly more value out of our audience. Some examples of things we will discuss include awards, nerd-cred points, in-game ads, emergent story, theme continuity, social networking, user generated content, and alternate/extended reality games.

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  • Beyond The Box

    1. 2. The Game Beyond the Game David Fox, VP Technology,
    2. 4. Casual Games
    3. 5. Big Budget Games
    4. 6. Hard Core Action Games
    5. 7. Multiplayer Games
    6. 8. Massively Multiplayer Games
    7. 9. Let’s Get Inside…
    8. 10. The Gamer’s Brain
    9. 11. Neurological Studies
    10. 12. Brain Wave Mapping
    11. 13. Map By Brain Function
    12. 14. Map By Brain Function Boring Talk At GDC
    13. 15. Map By Brain Function Watching TV
    14. 16. Map By Brain Function Playing Sports
    15. 17. Map By Brain Function Computer Games
    16. 18. What Do We Learn? <ul><li>Game playing triggers dopamine release. 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Cerebral glucose metabolic rates initially increase. 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Brain activity while playing games is varied and deep. 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Jaak Panksepp, Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics at Northwestern University </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Haier, The University of California at Irvine </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous studies </li></ul>
    17. 19. What Do We Learn? <ul><li>[Games make you happy.] </li></ul><ul><li>[Games make you stressed.] </li></ul><ul><li>[Games deeply screw with your head.] </li></ul>
    18. 20. SO MANY GENRES!
    19. 21. Some Games Dumb Your Brain
    20. 22. Some Games Make You Violent
    21. 23. A Study Between Othello…
    22. 24. … And Space Invaders
    23. 25. Othello
    24. 26. Space Invaders
    25. 27. What Do We Learn? <ul><li>Space Invaders activated the parietal cortex and the premotor cortex </li></ul><ul><li>Othello activated the dorsal prefrontal cortex </li></ul><ul><li>Ref: “Areas of Brain Activation While Playing Different-Genre Video Games”, Keiichi Saito, Naoki Mukawa and Masao Saito - Presented at The Second International Conference on Innovative Computing, Information and Control </li></ul>
    26. 28. Translation: The Brain Changes… <ul><li>Genre to Genre </li></ul><ul><li>Among Player’s Intentions/Moods/Context </li></ul><ul><li>Within a Game </li></ul>
    27. 29. THE BOTTOM LINE…
    28. 30. Submit to the Game Brain
    29. 31. Game Brain Evolves! <ul><li>Continually and appropriately challenged </li></ul><ul><li>Achievable but challenging next steps </li></ul><ul><li>“More Knowledgeable Other” </li></ul><ul><li>“Regime of Competence” </li></ul>
    30. 32. Game Brain is Unique <ul><li>Challenged – Focused on Problem Solving </li></ul><ul><li>Relaxed – Almost Meditative </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged – Laughing, Crying, Deeply Feeling </li></ul><ul><li>Awed – “Taken to Another World” </li></ul><ul><li>All At Once! </li></ul>
    31. 33. Getting Down to Business
    32. 34. Game Brain: <ul><li>Engages Mind! </li></ul><ul><li>Lifts Spirit! </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulates Body! </li></ul>
    33. 35. Experience Surrounding Games: <ul><li>Mindless </li></ul><ul><li>Dispirited </li></ul><ul><li>Disembodied </li></ul>
    34. 36. Many Chances to Engage… <ul><li>Buzz About Game </li></ul><ul><li>First Visit To Site / Store </li></ul><ul><li>Browsing for the Game </li></ul><ul><li>Download </li></ul><ul><li>Install </li></ul><ul><li>Upsell </li></ul><ul><li>Inside Gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Around Gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>After the Game </li></ul><ul><li>Uninstall </li></ul><ul><li>Later On… </li></ul>
    35. 37. Browsing For The Game (iWin)
    36. 38. Browsing (RealArcade) <ul><li>Story </li></ul><ul><li>Theme </li></ul><ul><li>Mood </li></ul><ul><li>Society </li></ul>
    37. 39. Browsing (WildTangent)
    38. 40. Browsing (GameTap)
    39. 41. Browsing (Direct2Drive)
    40. 42. Browsing (Steam)
    41. 43. Browsing (GameStop)
    42. 44. Downloading (Most Sites)
    43. 45. During the Install
    44. 46. Upsell (PlayFirst)
    45. 47. Upsell (WildTangent)
    46. 48. Around Gameplay (Pogo)
    47. 49. Around Gameplay (PlayFirst)
    48. 50. Around Gameplay (Kongregate)
    49. 51. Inside Gameplay (Pogo)
    50. 52. Inside Gameplay (EyeBlaster)
    51. 53. More In-Game Ads…
    52. 54. When Game Closes (PlayFirst)
    53. 55. After The Game (EA)
    54. 56. After The Game (WildTangent)
    55. 57. After The Game (PlayFirst)
    56. 58. Even Later On… <ul><li>“ Community” </li></ul><ul><li>User Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul><ul><li>E-Mail Alerts </li></ul><ul><li>IM Alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Desktop/Toolbar Alerts </li></ul>
    57. 59. Even Later On… (PlayFirst)
    58. 60. So What’s Missing, Bigshot?
    59. 61. Take The Game Brain: <ul><li>Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Relaxation </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Awe </li></ul>
    60. 62. & Apply to Meta Game (i.e. Real Life): <ul><li>Buzz </li></ul><ul><li>First Visit To Site </li></ul><ul><li>Browsing for the Game </li></ul><ul><li>Download </li></ul><ul><li>Install </li></ul><ul><li>Upsell </li></ul><ul><li>Inside Gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Around Gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>After the Game </li></ul><ul><li>Uninstall </li></ul><ul><li>Later On… </li></ul>
    61. 63. In A Holistic Way: <ul><li>Global Story </li></ul><ul><li>Deep Theme </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous Mood </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-Game Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Full Social Network </li></ul>
    62. 64. What For? <ul><li>Stickiness </li></ul><ul><li>Return Quickly and Often </li></ul><ul><li>More Revenue Models </li></ul><ul><li>If Not You, Who? </li></ul><ul><li>Make the World a Better Place! </li></ul>
    63. 65. Some Current Experiments
    64. 66. Customization & Collection (Pogo)
    65. 67. In-Game Messaging (XBLA)
    66. 68. Achievements (XBLA)
    67. 69. Virtual Worlds (Sony Home)
    68. 70. Community (Sony Home)
    69. 71. Customization (Sony Home)
    70. 72. Play (Sony Home)
    71. 73. Gaia Online
    72. 74. Gaia Online
    73. 75. Flowplay
    74. 76. Flowplay
    75. 78. What’s Next?
    76. 79. The Best Ideas <ul><li>Academia </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul>
    77. 80. Marketing Isn’t (Quite) Evil
    78. 81. It Isn’t Even Stupid
    79. 82. Marketing Is A Game… <ul><li>…where the goal is to get as many people to spend as much money as possible. </li></ul>
    80. 83. Marketing As Game Design <ul><li>Wear the Hat </li></ul><ul><li>Take Control </li></ul>
    81. 84. How to Do It?
    82. 85. “Viral” Marketing <ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Exponential </li></ul><ul><li>Win-Win-Win </li></ul>
    83. 86. Scrabulous
    84. 87. Transmedia <ul><li>Sounds cool. </li></ul>
    85. 88. Transmedia <ul><li>Console </li></ul><ul><li>Web </li></ul><ul><li>TV </li></ul><ul><li>Book </li></ul><ul><li>Movie </li></ul><ul><li>Toy </li></ul><ul><li>Broadway Musical </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines, Newspapers, Festivals, Billboards, Blogs, Live Events, Email, Podcasts, Seeding, Direct Mail, Radio, Voicemail, etc. </li></ul>
    86. 89. Transmedia <ul><li>More than Adaptations … </li></ul><ul><li>One masterpiece, different canvasses. </li></ul>
    87. 90. Social Networking <ul><li>Social Graph </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul>
    88. 91. ARGs <ul><li>Transmedia Meets Social Networking Meets Viral Meets Gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Physical & Virtual Scavenger Hunt </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Fake Web Sites </li></ul>
    89. 92. ARGs <ul><li>Google as Text Adventure Game Parser </li></ul><ul><li>Real World as Photorealistic Game Level </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong Paths as Interesting as Real Paths </li></ul>
    90. 93. ARGs <ul><li>Stolen shamelessly from Raph Koster </li></ul><ul><li>Data from </li></ul>
    91. 94. Why Isn’t Everyone Doing This?
    92. 96. Why “Viral” Is Hard <ul><li>You’re a corporation. </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody trusts you. </li></ul><ul><li>Lucky accident. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually lame. </li></ul><ul><li>Culture already saturated with idiocy. </li></ul>
    93. 97. Why Transmedia Is Hard <ul><li>Got deep pockets? </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to think big across simultaneous media. </li></ul><ul><li>User generated content nightmare. </li></ul><ul><li>Crown jewel: Fan fiction? </li></ul>
    94. 98. Why Social Is Hard <ul><li>Critical Mass Needed </li></ul><ul><li>Real People = Real Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone Already on MySpace & FaceBook </li></ul><ul><li>FaceBook Apps = Jumped The Shark? </li></ul>
    95. 99. Why ARGs Are Hard <ul><li>They’re Free, Stupid! </li></ul><ul><li>Drill down: Few addicts vs. tasters. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Experiments = Failure ( Majestic ) </li></ul>
    96. 100. This is Not Unscary! <ul><li>Expensive proposition </li></ul><ul><li>Giving away a lot of FREE content </li></ul><ul><li>Interacting with real people! </li></ul><ul><li>Unpredictable </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of control </li></ul>
    97. 101. Hey, Welcome to Game Development! <ul><li>Creative vision </li></ul><ul><li>Technical innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Large teams </li></ul><ul><li>Risky! </li></ul>
    98. 102. Solution? <ul><li>Provide something nobody else can. </li></ul><ul><li>Let them cluster around what they love. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it cheap. </li></ul><ul><li>Hold larger picture in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to your theme! </li></ul>
    99. 107. WWWD? (What Would Walt Do?) <ul><li>Brand, brand, brandbrandbrand… </li></ul><ul><li>Woven into the fabric of life </li></ul><ul><li>Characters more real than most adults </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional </li></ul><ul><li>Focus-tested </li></ul>
    100. 108. WWWD? (What Would Walt Do?) <ul><li>Planning The Trip </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing Tickets </li></ul><ul><li>Arrival </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Wandering Around </li></ul><ul><li>Waiting in Line </li></ul><ul><li>Buying Stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at Photos Later </li></ul>
    101. 109. Your Challenge: Beat the Reigning Game Brain Masters!
    102. 110. PCs and consoles are boxes. Open up the box. [email_address]