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Game thinking for rapid innovation

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Learn how to use Game Thinking to innovate smarter and drive deep engagement from the ground up

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Game thinking for rapid innovation

  1. 1. Game Thinking innovate smarter with design techniques from hit games
  2. 2. Is this you? • I want to reduce churn and engage my customers more deeply • I want to tune my ideas with the right people and find product/market fit • I want better innovation outcomes with a process based on real-world success
  3. 3. Amy Jo Kim, Ph.D.
 Game Designer Startup Coach Entrepreneur
  4. 4. I help startups, game studios & global brands build deep engagement from the ground up
  5. 5. I’ve worked on a diverse set of innovative worldwide hits
  6. 6. online marketplace
  7. 7. Massively multuplayer RPG
  8. 8. Multi-player rhythm action game
  9. 9. PC simulation game
  10. 10. mobile fashion game
  11. 11. digital mental health app
  12. 12. online toy rental service
  13. 13. Some teams I worked with created breakthrough hits
 Others didn’t cross the chasm
  14. 14. What’s the difference between 
 teams that succeed & fail?
  15. 15. Game Thinking 5 steps to product/market fit
  16. 16. Game Thinking Hypothesize & plan your experiment articulate your product strategy and prioritize your assumptions
  17. 17. Game Thinking Quotes “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” Linus Pauling Scientist Don’t fall in love with your first idea
  18. 18. Game Thinking Quotes Stage Kill Gate Concept Bank Kill Gate Kill Gate Stage Stage Stage Stage Gate Theory
  19. 19. Game Thinking Quotes Stage Kill Gate Concept Bank Kill Gate Kill Gate Stage Stage Stage Stage Gate Theory
  20. 20. Game Thinking Quotes Stage Kill Gate Concept Bank Kill Gate Kill Gate Stage Stage Stage Stage Gate Theory
  21. 21. Game Thinking Quotes Stage Kill Gate Concept Bank Kill Gate Kill Gate Stage Stage Stage Stage Gate Theory
  22. 22. Game Thinking Quotes Plan your experiment with the MVP Canvas
  23. 23. • x evergreen hit game
  24. 24. Discover Your Personal Style Glamorous Trendsetting Understated
  25. 25. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice
  26. 26. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women 
 (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational 
 dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking
  27. 27. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women 
 (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational 
 dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games Like/Dislike metrics via interviews with hardcore fashion gamers
  28. 28. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women 
 (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational 
 dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games Like/Dislike metrics via interviews with hardcore fashion gamers Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist
  29. 29. Game Thinking Empathize with your Superfans identify your hot-core customers and design for their needs, habits and frustrations
  30. 30. Game Thinking Quotes “Build something just a few people want - even if most people don’t get it right away” Paul Buchheit Partner, Y-Combinator Find your early hot-core customers
  31. 31. Game Thinking Quotes Innovation diffusion theory EVERETT ROGERS, 1961
  32. 32. Have you ever listened to the wrong customers?
  33. 33. Finding your cearly customers
 can determine whether you thrive - or fail
  34. 34. This innovative gaming platform didn't make it across the chasm
  35. 35. This innovative mobile health service became a hit
  36. 36. Game Thinking Quotes Crossing the Chasm GEOFFREY MOORE, 1991 HASM
  37. 37. Game Thinking Quotes Crossing the Chasm GEOFFREY MOORE, 1991 HASMSTART NOT 
  38. 38. Who to listen to - & who to ignore?
  39. 39. don’t rely on friends & family
  40. 40. or people in your ultimate target market
  41. 41. increasing value over time
  42. 42. Game Thinking Quotes MVP Test Speed Interview How do (the most successful) innovators
 find & leverage Superfans?
  43. 43. rhythm action nerds who know the basics
  44. 44. simulation enthusiasts who love to make things
  45. 45. Lego-loving families who enjoy sharing photos
  46. 46. Mobile-savvy fashionistas who love to play dress-up
  47. 47. How did the Covet Fashion team identify & leverage their Superfans?
  48. 48. bVisionary Leaders Superfan Screener
  49. 49. Speed interviews
  50. 50. Concept Playtests
  51. 51. Game Thinking Quotes How can YOU do this? MVP Test Speed Interview
  52. 52. Game Thinking Quotes Super Fan Funnel MVP Test Speed Interview Screener x
  53. 53. Game Thinking Quotes Super Fan Funnel MVP Test Speed Interview Screener
  54. 54. Game Thinking Quotes Super Fan Funnel MVP Test Interview Screener
  55. 55. Game Thinking Quotes Super Fan Funnel Playtest Interview Screener
  56. 56. Game Thinking Quotes If you want to cross the chasm…
  57. 57. Game Thinking Quotes Early adopters Start Here
  58. 58. Game Thinking Quotes Early majority Expand when ready
  59. 59. Game Thinking Design your Customer Journey sketch out how your customer experience will evolve over time
  60. 60. Game Thinking Quotes Make people better at something they want to get better at. Kathy Sierra Author, Headfirst Series Upgrade your user, not your product
  61. 61. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY What is this? Is it right for me?
 What’s the value proposition?
  62. 62. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY How do I learn the ropes? 
 How do I start giving & getting value?
  63. 63. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY What urge pulls me back? What am I getting better at?
  64. 64. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY What skills & knowledge have I mastered? How can I leverage that?
  65. 65. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers internal situational external engaged MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers Learning Loop
  66. 66. Game Thinking Quotes Discovery is for Visitors Social discovery via friends and colleagues
  67. 67. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers internal situational external engaged MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers Learning Loop
  68. 68. Game Thinking Quotes Onboarding is for Newbies Learn the ropes with a friendly bot
  69. 69. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers internal situational external engaged MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers Learning Loop
  70. 70. Game Thinking Quotes Habit-building is for Regulars Customized group chat with emojis, bots, and integrations
  71. 71. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery Path skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers internal situational external engaged MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers Learning Loop
  72. 72. Game Thinking Quotes Mastery is for Enthusiasts Launch a channel, program a bot, integrate your app
  73. 73. Game Thinking Quotes Build something people love Create an experience that gets better as your customers become more skillful MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY
  74. 74. Game Thinking Quotes How does this work in practice? MVP Test Speed Interview
  75. 75. Distil. Key Customer Insights with Job Stories When _________ I want to ______________ so I can ______________ trigger activity + goal Job Story desired outcome
  76. 76. Focus on you Habit Stories = 
 Job Stories Built Around a Habit
  77. 77. Fashion Browser stay up-to-date on fashion trends Co-Creator shop & dress with a buddy Armchair Stylist tell other people how to dress
  78. 78. “When I’m tired after a long day at work, I want to kick off my heels, flop on the couch, & immerse myself in a beautiful world of high fashion. I just wish it was more customized to me and my taste.” BEHAVIOR: Fashion Browser Existing Habit
  79. 79. BEHAVIOR: Fashion Browser Habit Story
  80. 80. Fashion Browser stay up-to-date on fashion trends Co-Creator shop & dress with a buddy Armchair Stylist tell other people how to dress
  81. 81. BEHAVIOR: Co-creator Existing Habit “Patti told me to put these shoes and belt together with this outfit – I’d never think of that combination but it TOTALLY works. I wish I had her advice all the time.”
  82. 82. BEHAVIOR: Co-creator Habit Story
  83. 83. Fashion Browser stay up-to-date on fashion trends Co-Creator shop & dress with a buddy Armchair Stylist tell other people how to dress
  84. 84. “I LOVE to get my friends together at my place before heading out, so I can critique their outfits and tell them how to dress better. Those girls NEED me :-)” BEHAVIOR: Armchair Stylist
 Existing Habit
  85. 85. BEHAVIOR: Armchair Stylist
 Habit Story
  86. 86. Game Thinking Playtest Your Learning Loop bring your core functionality to life by testing with high-need early customers
  87. 87. Game Thinking Quotes “In a loop, you’re learning a skill & updating your mental model. That’s what leads to player delight.” Dan Cook co-founder, Spry Fox Games
  88. 88. Game Thinking Quotes What’s the right MVP 
 for your engaging product? MVP Test Speed Interview
  89. 89. Fake 
 landing page?
  90. 90. Fake 
 landing page? X
  91. 91. Operant Conditioning AKA 
 Skinner Box?
  92. 92. X Operant Conditioning AKA 
 Skinner Box?
  93. 93. Self- Determination Theory
  94. 94. Game Thinking Quotes MVP Test Speed Interview Skill-building makes customers more awesome
  95. 95. Game Thinking Quotes “Fun is just another word for learning.” Raph Koster author, A Theory of Fun
  96. 96. “finding the fun” = building engagement from the inside out
  97. 97. Game Thinking Quotes skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers internal situational external engaged MASTERY HABIT-BUILDING ONBOARDING DISCOVERY skill-building feedback repeatable, pleasurable activity progress & investment cues & triggers cues & triggers Learning Loop Learning Loop makes customers more skillful
  98. 98. identify your core social actions
  99. 99. identify your core social actions
  100. 100. Game Thinking Quotes all updates & messages read read & respond to updates customize your communications & channel FOMO — check updates FOMO — check updates TRIGGER ACTIVITY
  101. 101. Game Thinking Quotes all updates & messages read read & respond to updates customize your communications & channel FOMO — check updates FOMO — check updates SIMPLE FEEDBACK
  102. 102. Game Thinking Quotes all updates & messages read read & respond to updates customize your communications & channel FOMO — check updates FOMO — check updates SIMPLE FEEDBACK
  103. 103. Game Thinking Quotes all updates & messages read read & respond to updates customize your communications & channel FOMO — check updates FOMO — check updates PROGRESS TRIGGER
  104. 104. Game Thinking Quotes MVP Test Speed Interview Design your Learning Loop to make customers more skillful
  105. 105. Early Majority Closed Beta Friends & Family Team & 
 Department typical play-testing progression 

  106. 106. Early Majority Closed Beta Friends & Family Team & 
 Department Super-fan Community super-fan play-testing progression 

  107. 107. Common Testing Artifacts prototype your product with increasing fidelity
  108. 108. Concept Storyboards Visualize how customers use your product over time
  109. 109. 3-Part Playtest Script 1) warmup 2) test your artifact 3) debrief
  110. 110. Game Thinking Quotes “You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledgehammer on the construction site.” Frank Lloyd Wright Architect
  111. 111. Game Thinking Quotes Want clear, actionable data? Playtest Interview Screener with Superfan Cohorts
  112. 112. Game Thinking Validate your assumptions distill your test results and create your product roadmap
  113. 113. Game Thinking Quotes MVP Test Speed Interview How do (the best) game designers and product leaders validate ideas and
 bring an MVP to life?
  114. 114. Game Thinking Quotes “MVP is a liquid, not a solid” Steve Vassallo Partner, Foundation Capitol
  115. 115. we imagined living out a rock star fantasy…
  116. 116. and started by tuning & iterating a single song
  117. 117. we imagined a doll house come to life…
  118. 118. and started with tiny world-building experiments
  119. 119. we imagined a cooperative dress-up game…
  120. 120. and piggy-backed our ideas onto existing habits
  121. 121. we imagined a science-based happiness game…
  122. 122. and built a simpler UX that delighted early customers
  123. 123. Game Thinking Quotes MVP Test Speed Interview now it’s your turn
  124. 124. Who should I listen to?
  125. 125. Who should I listen to? What should I build?
  126. 126. Who should I listen to? What should I build? At what development stage?
  127. 127. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  128. 128. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  129. 129. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  130. 130. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  131. 131. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  132. 132. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  133. 133. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  134. 134. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap
  135. 135. Game Thinking Quotes MVP BETA LAUNCH EXPANSION ONBOARDINGDISCOVERY HABIT-BUILDING MASTERY Game Thinking Roadmap START HERE
  136. 136. How did Covet Fashion come to life?
  137. 137. Pleasurable Daily Habit: browsing & rating outfits I love seeing what’s new, browsing designer clothes – it’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day
  138. 138. I love raiding my friend’s closet to borrow shoes for my outfit — it’s like real life, only better Patti’s Closet OPEN SLOT OPEN SLOT Tops Bottoms Shoes Bags Jewelry Scarves IntimatesDresses 23
 items Social Hook: raiding your friend’s closet
  139. 139. is for Enthusiasts Discover Your Style Attend an Event Make a Collection Browse Your Stream Mastery Path: Get ahead by putting together great outfits
  140. 140. Invites Waiting Browse New Content Dress for the Event Get Social Feedback Raid your friend’s closet Browse your Style Feed Choose an Invitation Learning Loop: dress up for aspirational events
  141. 141. Game Thinking Quotes Stage Kill Gate Concept Bank Kill Gate Kill Gate Stage Stage Stage Prototype to Learn
  142. 142. Game Thinking Quotes Stage Kill Gate Concept Bank Kill Gate Kill Gate Stage Stage Stage don’t fall in love with an idea; fall in love with solving a problem & learning from your customers Prototype to Learn
  143. 143. What can Game Thinking do for you? • Create a high-learning MVP* for exactly the right customers • Build an experience people come back to, again and again • Dramatically improve your innovation outcomes *Minimum Viable Product
  144. 144. gamethinking.io want more?

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