Mechanics of Magic: Seven Lessons from Game Design


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I've added notes to my popular SXSW presentation on learning from game design to make it easier to understand.

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Mechanics of Magic: Seven Lessons from Game Design

  1. 1. TheMechanics ofMagic7 Lessons fromgame designWe don’t need nostinkin’ badgesSee notes:
  2. 2. @cwodtke#Magic7
  3. 3. These are the wise people I learned fromSome I interviewed, some I read their books, some I watched their videos, some reviewed thistalk…
  4. 4. 7 Lessons from game design 1.Find your North Star 2.Design for Emotion(s) 3.Use Player Types 4.Know Your Mechanics 5.Consider the Elder Game 6.Learn to Teach 7.Always be Testing
  5. 5. Find your North StarEvery project needs a goal that everyone agrees is worth doing.
  6. 6. FUNChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  7. 7. The Player Should Have The Fun, Not The Designer Or The Computer The algorithms were, of course, very fun to construct and interesting to discuss outside of the game. The players, however, felt left behind -- the computer was having all the fun -- so we cut the feature. From a Gamasutra Article “Analysis: Sid Meiers Key Design Lessons”Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  8. 8. EmotionYour northstar is for the heart, not the head
  9. 9. Wodtke @cwodtkeWarning: this video will make you cry. It’s awesome. Watch 4:28-7:20
  10. 10. Design for An Emotion Conversion is a crap north star
  11. 11. Are all the emotions Uxr’s have to design for Frustration Satisfaction Delight? We design in Black and WhiteChristina Wodtke @cwodtke is a world of amazing emotions in technicolor just waiting We have been designing in Black and White. There
  12. 12. A better list of words to design for Needs CONNECTION CONNECTION continued HONESTY MEANING acceptance safety authenticity awareness affection security integrity celebration of appreciation stability presence life belonging support PLAY challenge cooperation to know and be known joy clarity communication to see and be seen humor competence closeness to understand and  PEACE consciousness community be understood beauty contribution companionship trust communion creativity compassion warmth ease discovery consideration PHYSICAL WELL-BEING equality efficacy consistency air harmony effectiveness empathy food inspiration growth inclusion movement/exercise order hope intimacy rest/sleep AUTONOMY learning love sexual expression choice mourning mutuality safety freedom participation nurturing shelter independence purpose respect/self-respect touch space self-expression water spontaneity stimulation to matter (c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:  understandingChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  13. 13. PEACEbeauty communion ease equality harmony inspiration orderChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  14. 14. Boys like peace and harmony and order tooChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  15. 15. There is no shortage of “organization porn” on the web. We have a deep seated dream of a place of tidy harmony.Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  16. 16. Life with Alacrity on his itunes rating practice m/2006/08/usi ng_5star_rat.h tml What if software holding large collections made it even easier to create order?Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  17. 17. AFFECTIONATE CONFIDENT GRATEFUL PEACEFULcompassionate empowered appreciative calmfriendly open moved clear headedloving proud thankful comfortableopen hearted safe touched centeredsympathetic secure contenttender INSPIRED equanimouswarm EXCITED amazed fulfilled amazed awed mellowENGAGED animated wonder quietabsorbed ardent relaxedalert aroused JOYFUL relievedcurious astonished amused satisfiedengrossed dazzled delighted sereneenchanted eager glad stillentranced energetic happy tranquilfascinated enthusiastic jubilant trustinginterested giddy pleasedintrigued invigorated tickled REFRESHEDinvolved lively enlivenedspellbound passionate EXHILARATED rejuvenatedstimulated surprised blissful renewed vibrant ecstatic restedHOPEFUL elated restoredexpectant enthralled revivedencouraged exuberantoptimistic radiant (c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:     rapturous thrilled Photos fill us with positive emotionsChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  18. 18. Facebook ignores that we love to fiddle with our beloved objects. How could this be redesigned?Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  19. 19. AFRAID lost DISQUIET PAIN TENSE AVERSION apprehensive mystified agitated agony anxious animosity dread foreboding perplexed puzzled alarmed discombobulated As well, Game anguished bereaved cranky distressed appalled contempt frightened mistrustful torn disconcerted disturbed designers are devastated grief distraught edgy disgusted dislike panicked petrified DISCONNECTED perturbed alienated rattled hurt much more heartbroken fidgety frazzled hate horrified scared suspicious aloof apathetic restless shocked comfortable with lonely miserable irritable jittery hostile repulsed terrified wary bored cold startled surprised creating negativeFATIGUE regretful remorseful nervous overwhelmed worried detached distant troubled turbulent SAD emotions than beat out depressed burnt restless stressed out ANNOYED aggravated distracted indifferent turmoil uncomfortable web designers, depleted dejected despair VULNERABLE exhausted dismayed disgruntled numb removed uneasy unnerved who despondent disappointed fragile guarded lethargic listless displeased uninterested unsettled Mostly aim for tired discouraged helpless exasperated withdrawn upset disheartened insecure weary frustrated “happy.” But as worn out forlorn leery impatient EMBARRASSED YEARNING gloomy reserved irritated ashamed envious part of a heavy heartedsensitive ANGRY irked chagrined jealous hopeless shaky enraged CONFUSED flustered longing sequence, a melancholy furious ambivalent guilty nostalgic unhappy incensed baffled mortified pining slight negative indignant wretched bewildered self-conscious wistful irate dazed can increase a livid (c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:      hesitant outraged positive. resentfulChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  20. 20. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  21. 21. Actually, this is rather pleasurable.Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  22. 22. If I don’t log in every Obviously day, I am Mr. Right tortured with men I missedChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  23. 23. “People find role playing cheesy, makes them self conscious. The game forces you into uncomfortable situations. You take a situation and a pattern and match them up.. It might be a pattern you avoid because you aren’t good at it. And it creates much more teachable scenarios.”Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  24. 24. Types vs Personas
  25. 25. Grace (62/ female/ widowed/ Little Rock, AR.) “I like playing my favorite games online, but if I can play with friends, well that’s even better!”    Personal Background: Her husband has passed on. She has two grown kids, both of whom live far away. She misses the kids, but has a fairly large circle of friends that she spends time with.   Technical Proficiency : Limited. Can use her browser and her email. MS Word confuses her, and she doesn’t like using it. Doesn’t know what an OS is. Tends to click yes if the browser prompts her to do anything, and will click wildly until things work. History with games: Plays crossword puzzles daily and saves them. Plays card games, PhotoJam, but is offended by South Park cartoons Game’s opportunity: If Grace can be convinced to 2001 participate in community activities, she will become a loyal user of the site. She needs to be sheltered from the sick and twisted content, however.    Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  26. 26. Richard Bartle Drawing: Frank Caron http://frankcaron.comChristina Wodtke @cwodtke and what features support the behavior desired is also useful. Understanding behavioral patterns in player types, Maybe more useful.
  27. 27. 4 Key Engagement Styles in Social Gaming Express Compete Explore Collaborate Copyright Amy Jo Kim
  28. 28. Satisficers Socializers Optimizers Self-discoveryChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  29. 29. The Core Loop And the Mechanics
  30. 30. This is a core loop for a very simple game. I’m actually shocked we don’t map this on other projects. Amazon’s isChristina Wodtke @cwodtkeSeek, evaluate, buy.
  31. 31. Will Wright on Game Design:Christina Wodtke @cwodtke Watch 30:27-33:27
  32. 32. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  33. 33. SHOP REVIEW BUY Loop for amazon, but also tripadvisor and YelpChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  34. 34. SHARE REACTION CONSUME Loop for most social sites, from facebook to instagram to flickChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  35. 35. MechanicsSome of the more sleezy gamification gurus use this term as mind-control tricks. But really they are just whatmakes games tick.
  36. 36. Sometimes they are rules
  37. 37. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  38. 38. Just in case you need it Wodtke @cwodtke
  39. 39. Sometimes they are constraints
  40. 40. PinchThe pinch is the place where you run out of something. I.e. You run out of lives in the arcade,and you reach in your pocked for a quarter. Or twelve.
  41. 41. When you run out of energy, you have to A)Spend money for more energy B)Ask friends for help (virals) C)Go away and come back laterChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  42. 42. Cityville has a natural pinch; as your city grows you need more landChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  43. 43. Castleville has a pinch for explorers and decorators; unclaimed land is full of mysterious cluesChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  44. 44. Sometimes they are manipulations But it’s ok because I feel something?
  45. 45. 6 key principles of persuasion by Robert Cialdini Reciprocity  Social Proof Commitment and Consistency  Authority Liking  Scarcity Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  46. 46. We’ve got scarcity here, plus a sense of what you have missed, and away to keep you coming backChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  47. 47. Acheivements Reward me
  48. 48. Celebrate microwins! Actions taken successfully create mini-rewards in the form of doobers (stars and slot- machine sounds).Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  49. 49. Leaderboards There is a certain satisfaction in kicking a friend’s rear. However, if you have a place where not much social is happening, be sure to motivate me by making me beat my own high score. Don’t make me feel lonely.
  50. 50. MasteryCrafting in Castleville, and many other gamesis all about repetition. No real skill is gotten bythe player. Is the user really feeling masteryhere? In Bubblewitch saga, like many match- three games, it’s all about beating your own score as well as others. You can see and feel your improvement.
  51. 51. Celebrating
  52. 52. CELBRATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  53. 53. The Elder Game
  54. 54. Christina Wodtke www.eleganthack.comFTUE (first time user experience) and elder game at a minimum. Almost All game designers I’ve met talk about @cwodtke no web/app developer I speak with discusses these much if at all. Is a tutorial enough?
  55. 55. Yahoo rewards group managers with customization toolsChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  56. 56. Okcupid invites you to be a moderato r once you’ve been an active member for awhileChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  57. 57. Process
  58. 58. A pleasant lieChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  59. 59. From Art of Game Design, by Jesse Schell. This his process diagram, and looks accurate to me. Game people often talk about “wandering in the wilderness”: the time while you are trying to achieve fun.Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  60. 60. AestheticsBeginning Middle and End
  61. 61. How most web site makers view designChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  62. 62. Grace and Glory enemy concept designs by Yusuke Hashimoto. From the upcoming video game Bayonetta. Graphic design in games is Concept design by Min Zhou begun day one, and informs and inspires all product choicesChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  63. 63. MeasurePretend you have OCD.
  64. 64. Playtestlike you mean it
  65. 65. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  66. 66. Sid Meir, Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong. Watch 18:40-23:53Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  67. 67. Learn how to teach
  68. 68. To play Dance Central, you have to learn the movesChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  69. 69. They make the learning into a game too– if you can decode the picture, you can get a diamond and skip the practiceChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  71. 71. Networkers Partyers Learners Fame HosChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  72. 72. Nap in Panel Party Check twitterChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  73. 73. A good mechanic might be collecting.
  74. 74. A good pinch,private parties.
  75. 75. Now Playtest!
  76. 76. @cwodtke The #sxswinning Me: Thank You! cq1