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(Short version) Building a Mobile, Social, Location-Based Game in 5 Weeks

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A 5-week experiment to practice Lean methods in game development by testing and iterating concepts around mobile, location-based social gaming and apps. (Short version for Where 2.0)

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(Short version) Building a Mobile, Social, Location-Based Game in 5 Weeks

  1. Creating a social, location-basedsmartphone game ...in 5 weeks Jennie Lees Google Mobile Apps Lab @jennielees leangamedev.com
  2. Principles of Lean Startups1. Fail fast.2. Pivot.3. Minimum Viable Product.
  3. The 5-week experiment
  4. Testing Assumptions
  5. Idea 1Walking Tours
  6. Interviews • Talk to people who will validate your assumptions • Find the right location context • Learnt that people hate walking tours and don’t like using their phones!
  7. Making Interviews Work• Find people who fit your target• Focus on finding the right context• Ask them outright if they would use your product!• “What do you enjoy playing?”• “What problems do you have?”• Find out what makes them tick!
  8. Learning 1No amount of whiteboarding is asvaluable as talking to real people.
  9. Learning from feedback... and acting on it
  10. Idea 2Travel Flashmobs
  11. Surveys • Mass response gives a big picture • Ask for email address: instant mailing list • Can bribe people with giveaways • Of 300 people, only 27% said they would try our app • 98% click through rate!
  12. Learning 2Everything you “know” is wrong.
  13. Learning 3Sometimes you just gottatrust your gut.
  14. Refocus
  15. Idea 3Location-based gaming
  16. Key tests• Location based context: waiting in line plus games.• Incentives relevant to location are attractive.• This specialism appeals to businesses as well as end users.• We could create a compelling game experience that lasted less than 30 seconds (fits the context).
  17. Storyboarding • Walk users through potential gameplay • Paper prototypes • Easy to get feedback on multiple ideas • Coupons element turned out to be more important than we expected
  18. Learning 4Finding a compellinghook is important.
  19. Playtesting • Fake it - in the right context! • Test out core mechanics • Learnt which types of game worked best • Learnt which viral elements would be successful
  20. ‘AdWords’ testing• Imagine you have built the game. How would you promote it?• Create a landing page for your brilliant game idea.• Track every metric possible.• Obsessively A/B test.• “Enter your e-mail address to beta test!”
  21. Learning 5 You can sell something youdon’t have (yet).
  22. Prototyping
  23. Idea 4Viral trivia
  24. Twitter trivia• Low barrier to entry• High viral coefficient• Test core mechanics: • Viral/referral behaviour • People enjoy core trivia concept• However, can’t test location
  25. “Concierge” testing• Why code if you don’t have to?• Use a human until scale means you need to automate.• Write code in parallel.• A human “Wizard of Oz” ran our trivia quiz!
  26. Learnings• You can learn a lot about behaviour by talking to users in context• Manual testing can lead to valuable insight• Sometimes you have to test parts in isolation• Trivia game lacked virality, but location and incentive hooks were compelling
  27. Can you fail fast?
  28. Thank you! Jennie Lees jlees@google.com @jennielees

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