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The 4 Most Important Emotions for Social Games, Nicole Lazzaro 100311


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Social Emotions are responsible for Farmville's success and drive all of Web 2.0.
Games on emerging social platforms such as Facebook and the iPhone leverage the emotions between friends to drive viral distribution and build new player experiences. Using examples from PlayFish, Zynga’s Mafia Wars, Playdom, Nexon, and others. We'll distill their social critical success factors. We'd also cover how to apply lessons learned from these games to add social features to existing genres, and what emotions games should target to take advantage of this new era of gaming.
We will examine the 4 most important emotions for social games including new social mechanics from XEODesign's research such as Tilt our experimental iPhone game to see what kinds of choices successful social media and iPhone games offer to inspire playful interfaces that increase engagement, loyalty, and viral distribution. By adding these kinds of choices designers can drive user behavior to create more engaging experiences.
From XEODesign's latest player research we will look at:

How games create the 4 most important emotions in social games
What mechanics and emotions drive social engagement, networking, and increase social bonding
How player choices create social emotions such as Schadenfreude and Naches
The emotions and mechanics that drive viral distribution.

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The 4 Most Important Emotions for Social Games, Nicole Lazzaro 100311

  1. 1. The 4 Most Important Emotions for Social Games Nicole Lazzaro XEODesign, Inc. Game Developer’s Conference March 11, 2010 XEODesign ® ™ Follow my research on Twitter: @NicoleLazzaro Twitter: #GDC
  2. 2. XEODesign, Inc. The 4 Fun Keys “ Every designer should learn to read this language.” - Will Wright Winner Best Game 2007 Tilt the first iPhone accelerometer game
  3. 3. Social Emotions Social Tokens are better than spamming high scores to the friend feed >
  4. 4. Mango = 100M DAU on FB
  5. 5. Separated at Birth?
  6. 6. Vision: Gaming Together Bring people together <ul><li>Games in 2020 </li></ul>Egypt: Mankala
  7. 7. Player Experiences <-- UX Controls ------------------ PX Choice -->
  8. 8. The 4 Keys to Fun Paint Engagement w/ Verbs Emotions Make Games More Fun Curiosity Fiero Excitement Relaxation Amusement Naches Schadenfreude Generosity Coordinate Action Inside/Outside Social Grouping Twitter Facebook Flickr Wikipedia Brain Age Wonder Surprise Frustration Focus Attention Reward Accomplishment Challenge and Mastery Imagination Express Values Adventure Discovery Figure Out Bejeweled The Sims Create Value Basketball Halo Myst Mob Wars Who Has the Biggest Brain? Farmville Grand Theft Auto Personalize Grow Niche Interests Hard Fun Easy Fun Serious Fun People Fun Putting Emotion into Play XEODesign
  9. 9. The 4 Keys to Fun 30 emotions from gameplay Hard Fun Fiero People Fun Amusement Easy Fun Curiosity Serious Fun Relaxation emotion < choice < mechanic > choice > emotion whitepapers:
  10. 10. 4 Keys to Farmville’s Success <ul><li>Hard Fun: Score </li></ul><ul><li>Goals </li></ul><ul><li>People Fun: Friendship </li></ul><ul><li>Social interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Easy Fun: Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Imagination </li></ul><ul><li>Serious Fun: Reward </li></ul><ul><li>Collection Completion </li></ul>
  11. 11. Social Emotions are Important Why They are Fun adds to A/B Testing <ul><li>People Fun = More emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Require two people </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to A/B test </li></ul><ul><li>Drive viral distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Drive all of Web 2.0 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Massively Social Online Game MSOs use fun to drive social distribution
  13. 13. MSO Viral Design Principles
  14. 14. <ul><li>4 Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Make Games Social </li></ul>
  15. 15. [iPen] What Emotions Make Players Share?
  16. 16. Mango = Social Token symbolic in nature that increases in value with use <ul><li>Amusement </li></ul><ul><li>+ Grouping </li></ul><ul><li>Amidar </li></ul><ul><li>+ Ranking </li></ul>Amici + Grooming Amiero + Reciprocity
  17. 17. <ul><li>Amusement </li></ul><ul><li>laughter </li></ul>
  18. 18. Amusement Grouping Mechanics
  19. 19. Amusement Mechanics Grouping Teasing Friends Increases Social Bonds <ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Chat & Jokes </li></ul><ul><li>Dancing </li></ul><ul><li>Teasing </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  20. 20. Amusement Grouping Mechanics
  21. 21. <ul><li>Amici </li></ul><ul><li>Chumminess </li></ul>
  22. 22. People Fun Cute Characters Change How it Feels to Play
  23. 23. Caretaking Emotions ~ Tilt: Flip’s adventure in 1.5 dimensions
  24. 24. Amici Easy to Start Social Grooming Mechanics
  25. 25. Amici Make Friends or Die vs.. Make Friends or Buy
  26. 26. Real Friends = More Emotion Create Stronger Social Emotions
  27. 27. Likes and Interests Feeling of being closer creates social fabric between people Winner Best Game 2008
  28. 28. Amici Mechanics Social Grooming <ul><li>People Pets Plants </li></ul><ul><li>Real friends </li></ul><ul><li>Pet, like, caretaking </li></ul><ul><li>Visit, be neighborly </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>Make it Easy to Start Friendly Interaction
  29. 29. Amici Social Grooming Mechanics Farmville
  30. 30. <ul><li>Amidar </li></ul><ul><li>Admiration </li></ul>
  31. 31. Amidar Ranking Mechanics =
  32. 32. = Amidar Epic Armor = Horse Stable
  33. 33. Amidar Friends as Important as Tools
  34. 34. Tilt the Real World:
  35. 35. Do you play “follow the leader” to increase your personal hype quotient? What would encourage idea exchange? Personal Hype Quotient
  36. 36. Players Pay for Admidar
  37. 37. Amidar Mechanics Inspiration to Play More and Compete <ul><li>Compare </li></ul><ul><li>Rank </li></ul><ul><li>Check in with friends </li></ul><ul><li>See what others do </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  38. 38. Amidar Ranking Mechanics Farmville
  39. 39. <ul><li>Amiero </li></ul><ul><li>Social bonding </li></ul>
  40. 40. Amiero Reciprocity Mechanics Healing in WOW
  41. 41. Amiero Mechanics Inspire and Reward Repeat Interaction <ul><li>Gifting </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>Offer risk to build trust </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  42. 42. Amiero Reciprocity Mechanics
  43. 43. How Will Your Game Go Viral? <ul><li>Amusement Grouping </li></ul><ul><li> Amici </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grooming </li></ul></ul><ul><li> Amidar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranking </li></ul></ul><ul><li> Amiero </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. How Will You Make Money? Keys to Viral Distribution 4 Steps to Create Social Emotions that Drive MSO Viral Distribution <ul><li>3. Tilt Factor Increase # of Players </li></ul><ul><ul><li>* Simple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Frictionless </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Monetization Connect the dots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>* Reward gameplay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Social goods + services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Max installs MTX 10% pay </li></ul></ul>PX Features to build now <ul><li>1. Gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>* Simple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Appealing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Participation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Social Features People Fun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>* Social Emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* People Fun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Social Tokens </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. How Will You Connect Friends? Tilt the Real World:
  46. 46. The Power of Play: Design Viral Distribution <ul><li>First Bay Area public XEOPlayShop </li></ul><ul><li>Why Viral Fails </li></ul><ul><li>Social Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Design a game like PacMan to Go Viral </li></ul><ul><li>Saturday March 27 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  47. 47. Tag! You’re it! Contact Us With Questions <ul><li>Nicole Lazzaro </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @NicoleLazzaro </li></ul><ul><li>White papers and slides: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Sign Up for our Beta!!! >
  48. 48. Resources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The Wonder Woman ~ Fast Company How The iPhone Accelerometer Game Tilt Taps Into Users' Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>White Papers </li></ul><ul><li>Slides </li></ul><ul><li>Choices in Games: </li></ul><ul><li>Book Chapters </li></ul><ul><li>The Four Keys to Fun, Beyond Game Design Ed. Bateman C </li></ul><ul><li>The Four Fun Keys, Game Usability : Advancing the Player Experience, Eds Isbister K. & Schaffer, N. </li></ul><ul><li>Why We Play: Affect and the Fun of Games: Designing Emotions for Games, Entertainment Interfaces and Interactive Products, Human Computer Interaction Handbook , Eds. Jako, J. & Sears </li></ul><ul><li>Are Boy Games Even Necessary?, Beyond Barbie ョ and Mortal Kombat , Eds. Kafai,Y., Heeter, C., Denner, J., Sun, J., </li></ul>Follow my research on Twitter: @NicoleLazzaro