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

Nicole Lazzaro
Nicole Lazzaro
Nicole LazzaroCEO XEODesign, Inc. I help #VR / #AR developers create engagement w/ the 4 Keys to Fun.

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.

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

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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
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
Social Emotions Social Tokens are better than spamming high scores to the friend feed >
Mango = 100M DAU on FB
Separated at Birth?
Vision: Gaming Together  Bring people together ,[object Object],Egypt: Mankala
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The 4 Most Important Emotions for Social Games, Nicole Lazzaro 100311

Editor's Notes

  1. Often ignored by player testing, neuroscience now proves that emotion deeply connects decision making and performance. Our research shows that players most appreciate the emotions from social interaction. More importantly these social emotions also coordinate the actions between people. Therefore the next challenge for designing games for the desktop, console, mobile, and cloud is mechanics that target the emotions that create social bonds. In addition to competition there are game mechanics that create social bonding that makes team work possible. The trick is that social emotions cannot be designed directly. This session covers how 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. Comparing examples from social media such as Twitter and Facebook to games on the web, console, and iPhone we draw out the secrets of social play and the emotions that makes something viral. Come hear the latest research results on emotions and games played on iPhones and social networks and what that means for more serious applications.
  2. I make games more fun At XEODesign we hack the “what’s fun question from the player’s perspective by watching people’s faces as they play What I am most known for here at GDC is XEODesign’s research on emotion and the fun of games. We’ve identified the 4 play styles that people like the most about games and the types of choices games offer players. It turns out that best selling games tend to offer 3 out of the 4 playstyles where as their less successful imitators do not. Using the 4 Keys to Fun I designed the first accelerometer game for the iPhone (Joe Hewitt did the coding)
  3. Alternate titles for this talk I considered..
  4. From a social emotion perspective, Wow and Farmville are really the same game
  5. What was needed was a new approach to game design
  6. I approach player testing as I do the two wheels on a bicycle UX - controls how to play PX - choice how to have fun How the feet attach to the peddles to the chain and the rear wheel make the thing go The front wheel is for steering where the fun is Together work so well together that the player soon forgets they are there Together work so well together system don’t think about it Approach player testing like a bicycle. Rear wheel for controls and how to play. Front wheel is choice and how to have fun.
  7. New Approach to Game Design We looked at what create emotion in players and mapped that to what they liked the most about games. There are seven emotions in the face and more in the body. We look at these emotions and match them to game mechanics to hack the “what’s fun?” problem from the player’s perspective. Watching emotions as people play we find that emotions are fluid and braided over time, one emotion blending into the next. Turns out that by watching people play there are over 30 emotions that come from the choices that players make in games. Designers who understand the relationship between their game mechanics and these emotions can craft these emotions as early as the concept stage rather than waiting for the end of design or even production where changes are harder to make. At XEODesign we can track how players really react to the game in context. These models can be used to diagnose problems in the player experience and connect strong emotions with the game design and not leave them up to chance. Imagine adding emotion to Google Facebook Twitter Word Processor that improves performance. Google curiosity, Social bonding to Facebook and Twitter Imagine adding emotion to games to make them more fun Audio and visuals create emotion Paint in Emotion with action, the verbs choose change the emotions users feel very true in games Engagement = attention and motivation Emotion helps us decide
  8. 3/4 best selling games, 3/4 players like most People Fun is where we focus today. The 4 Fun Keys is a PX model for how games create the emotions people most like. This is review for some of you. For those of you who are new to the concept. I will condense the past 5 years into 7 mins Game designers cannot design the emotions that players feel directly. Instead they design the mechanics that offer players choices (in the center of the diagram). It is in the making of these choices that players feel the emotions coming from gameplay. It is this new way of creating emotion that separates games from other media. What is most important here is designing the center to create emotion in at least 3 of the 4 quadrants. Turns out that by watching people play there are over 30 emotions that come from the choices that players make in games. Designers who understand the relationship between their game mechanics and these emotions can craft these emotions as early as the concept stage rather than waiting for the end of design or even production where changes are harder to make. At XEODesign we can track how players really react to the game in context. We looked at what create emotion in players and mapped that to what they liked the most about games. There are seven emotions in the face and more in the body. We look at these emotions and match them to game mechanics to hack the “what’s fun?” problem from the player’s perspective. Watching emotions as people play we find that emotions are fluid and braided over time, one emotion blending into the next. We’ve taken this emotional response analysis and developed player experience models or PX to map out the relationship between player and choice. These models can be used to diagnose problems in the player experience and connect strong emotions with the game design and not leave them up to chance as we have here. There isn’t a language for many of these emotions or how to create them. Where required I will use the language we use at XEO to describe how players react to their favorite parts of games.
  9. Social emotions are what will create an MSO What would it take to create a game that 6B people would play? Based on our research, mastering the keys to social play and design emotion that drives viral distribution and this may be your next game The market has shifted (Perfect Storm) players now want empowering games that connect friends challenge, imagine, value, connection Use fun to drive social distribution There are four emotions are the secret sauce to social games. As social networks mature, the ability of social games to deepen friendships will drive success more than spamming a friend’s news feed. Game mechanics built around these emotions leverage social interaction to drive the viral distribution required to make Massively Social Online games (MSOs) attracting tens of millions of players. Even with all this success the mechanics that create these emotions have yet to be tapped in a deep way. The game that does this will create an MSO that billions play through viral distribution. Therefore the next challenge for designing games for the desktop, console, mobile, and cloud is to target the four emotions that create social bonds. http://www.greatdanepro.com/Blue%20Bueaty/index.html
  10. MSO / Social Media Ability to Connect Feedback Personalize The question remains what causes one game to go viral and another not? How monetize something that’s free? What makes media social is this ability to generate social emotions MSO Design Principles 1. Connect and make friends 2. Feedback to keep the ball in play 3. Personalize play as well as avatars
  11. “ The iPen version of Tilt: Flip’s Adventure in 1.5 Dimensions” To go Viral answer this question: What Emotions make Players Share? Example: Over the shoulder demos and Social Media feeds can create emotions that players like sharing. Even for single player games. Targeting the right emotions will increase distribution on Social Networks Game: Tilt original web demo 2 web pages, 1 YouTube video = 250,000 visits
  12. Do an action in the game that make player laugh. What can you do to do that more in your game?
  13. Amici is the feeling of being friendly Social Grooming such as picking fleas off each other is something that primates do to maintain contact. Players in social games groom their animals like a Tamagochi Players of social games can touch base with each other like visiting or likeing their Facebook wall posts. Social games need a one button simple way to start social interactions that feels good. One button to say hi, then a gradual curve with more complex ways to interact
  14. What are other ways to increase the friendly feeling? Round Small cute
  15. Simple social actions create Amici
  16. Amidar - leads to competition Amidar: The admiring respect towards the accomplishment of others. This emotion also fuels the desire to compete and out rank them. Amidar is behind mechanics such as competition, ranking, and desire to achieve. This facilitates the meta game, provides opportunities for leadership. Shapes social interaction and leads to other emotions such as trust and gratitude.
  17. WOW Epic Armor is like Farmville’s Koi Pond
  18. Farmville Horse Stable you buy the frame Friends have to pitch in to help you finish it Reason to reengage Settler’s of Caton anyone?
  19. Friend collecting and comparison and used as tools to accomplish player’s goals
  20. Real world interaction brings more emotions
  21. Twitter has an issue with following PHQ: Personal Hype Quotient by Kalia Hamlin and Mary Hodder The emotion of someone following you overpowers the emotion from having a stream of interesting people to read. Social emotions drive behavior * Rewarding # of friends, PHQ Overshadows Other actions Spam Befriending Unbalances Game
  22. Maple Story What Players buy * Gifts * Weapons * Personal Enhancements These create the most emotion Have a way to earn through gameplay, otherwise devalues item, and can feel greedy (bait and switch on the free to play promise) Actions: Maple Story social interaction creates value In the game Maple Story (published by Nexon), it is the social value that justifies someone spending $5 for colored contact lenses for their avatar or additional emotes. There are a lot of design decisions used to support enjoying the game more in this way.
  23. What kind of social achievement can you reward your players for?
  24. Amiero: Feelings of deepening social bonds, the feeling of liking another person a friend. The feeling of being closer to someone. Social interaction creates this feeling of closeness that lasts after the laughter subsides. The Amiero emotion is the social counterpart to fiero. Amiero can be as strong as fiero and lasts much longer as the feeling gets tied into social bonds and becomes part of the relationship. Amiero is the strength of the bond players feel, not the number of friends. Lack of Amiero creates the mismatch between adding a friend in social networks and someone you feel very close to. Amiero can be felt strongly between friends, even when the friends do not feel Amici or the feelings from chummy social interaction.
  25. Gifting and Reciprocity Repeat interaction builds trust Risk embarrassment You have to ask, put yourself out there Take time to prune your friendships as well as your trees, Who gives the most? WOW Kill Dragons and Heal Farmville you Fertilize Send Valentines
  26. As a system these work together Friend feed creates more than Amidar also amusement Connect mechanics that create Amusement, Amici, and Amidar all lead to Amiero Amiero mechanics create social bonding more directly
  27. I’ve given whole talks on this slide elsewhere, the thing to remember is…. Connect players, game, their friends, and store Support Keys to Social Play Create social game not just customizable avatars > Maple story contact lens > Puzzle pirate boat > Farmville, Facebook interaction between players
  28. Real world interaction bring more emotions
  29. I look forward to playing your games next year! Stay in Touch.
  30. [Lazzaro07] Lazzaro, N. (2007) . Editors Jako, J. & Sears, A. Why We Play: Affect and the Fun of Games: Designing Emotions for Games, Entertainment Interfaces and Interactive Products, The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications, (pp 679-700) Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. [Lazzaro08a] Lazzaro, N. (2008a). Eidtors Kafai,Y., Heeter, C., Denner, J., Sun, J., Are Boy Games Even Necessary?, Beyond Barbie ョ and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming [Lazzaro08b] Lazzaro, N. (2008b). Editors Isbister K. & Schaffer, N. The Four Fun Keys, Game Usability: Advancing the Player Experience (pp. 315-344) Morgan Kaufmann [Lazzaro04a] Lazzaro, N., & Keeker, K. (2004). 展 h at's My Method? � A game show on games. (pp. 1093 – 1094) Proceedings Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction Conference (CHI), Vienna, Austria. [Lazzaro04b] Lazzaro, N. (2004b, Winter). Why we play games. (pp. 6-8) User Experience Magazine, 8. [Lazzaro04c] Lazzaro, N. (2004c). Why we play games: Four keys to more emotion in player experiences. Proceedings of the Game Developers Conference, San Jose, California, USA. Retrieved December 28, 2005, from www. xeodesign . com/whyweplaygames .html [Lazzaro05] Lazzaro, N. (2005). Diner dash and the people factor. Retrieved March 2, 2005, from www. xeodesign . com/whyweplaygames .html [Lazzaro07] Lazzaro, N. (2007) . Editors Jako, J. & Sears, A. Why We Play: Affect and the Fun of Games: Designing Emotions for Games, Entertainment Interfaces and Interactive Products, The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications, (pp 679-700) Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. [Lazzaro08a] Lazzaro, N. (2008a). Eidtors Kafai,Y., Heeter, C., Denner, J., Sun, J., Are Boy Games Even Necessary?, Beyond Barbie ョ and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming [Lazzaro08b] Lazzaro, N. (2008b). Editors Isbister K. & Schaffer, N. The Four Fun Keys, Game Usability: Advancing the Player Experience (pp. 315-344) Morgan Kaufmann [Lazzaro08c] Lazzaro, N. (2008c). Halo vs. Facebook: Emotions that Drive Play. Proceedings of the Game Developers Conference, San Jose, California, USA. Retrieved April 13, 2008 from www. xeodesign . com/whyweplaygames .html