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The Mechanics of Magic


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The web world is agog over game design as the next silver bullet, slapping badges and progress bars over every annoying thing they wish users to do. As users tire of everything looking like a game, "gamification" has come under fire. But why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Game design is to web design what rocket science is to car mechanics, and just like Tang and Velcro, there is plenty in game design we can use in our every day work. Come and hear how mastery, irregular reward schedules and meaningful choices can make your site a pleasure for your users.

Published in: Design
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The Mechanics of Magic

  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. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  10. 10. Design for An Emotion Conversion is a crap north star
  11. 11. Frustration Satisfaction DelightChristina Wodtke @cwodtke is a world of amazing emotions in technicolor just waiting We have been designing in Black and White. There
  12. 12. 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. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  15. 15. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  16. 16. Life with Alacrity on his itunes rating practiceChristina 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 thrilledChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  18. 18. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  19. 19. AFRAID lost DISQUIET PAIN TENSE AVERSION apprehensive mystified agitated agony anxious animosity dread perplexed alarmed anguished cranky appalled foreboding puzzled discombobulated bereaved distressed contempt frightened torn disconcerted devastated distraught disgusted mistrustful disturbed grief edgy dislike panicked DISCONNECTED perturbed heartbroken fidgety hate petrified alienated rattled hurt frazzled horrified scared aloof restless lonely irritable hostile suspicious apathetic shocked miserable jittery repulsed terrified bored startled regretful nervous wary cold surprised remorseful overwhelmed FATIGUE worried detached troubled SAD restless beat distant turbulent depressed stressed out burnt out ANNOYED distracted turmoil dejected depleted aggravated indifferent uncomfortable despair VULNERABLE exhausted dismayed numb uneasy despondent fragile lethargic disgruntled removed unnerved disappointed guarded listless displeased uninterested unsettled discouraged helpless tired exasperated withdrawn upset disheartened insecure weary frustrated forlorn leery worn out impatient EMBARRASSED YEARNING gloomy reserved irritated ashamed envious heavy hearted sensitive ANGRY irked chagrined jealous hopeless shaky enraged CONFUSED flustered longing melancholy furious ambivalent guilty nostalgic unhappy incensed baffled mortified pining wretched indignant bewildered self-conscious wistful irate dazed livid (c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:      hesitant outraged resentfulChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  20. 20. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  21. 21. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  22. 22. “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
  23. 23. Types vs Personas
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. 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.
  26. 26. 4 Key Engagement Styles in Social Gaming Express Compete Explore Collaborate Copyright Amy Jo Kim
  27. 27. Satisficers Socializers Optimizers Self-discoveryChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  28. 28. The Core Loop And the Mechanics
  29. 29. 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.
  30. 30. Will Wright on Game Design:Christina Wodtke @cwodtke Watch 30:27-33:27
  31. 31. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  32. 32. SHOP REVIEW BUY Loop for amazon, but also tripadvisor and YelpChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  33. 33. SHARE REACTION CONSUME Loop for most social sites, from facebook to instagram to flickChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  34. 34. MechanicsSome of the more sleezy gamification gurus use this term as mind-control tricks. But really they are just whatmakes games tick.
  35. 35. Sometimes they are rules
  36. 36. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  37. 37. Just in case you need it Wodtke @cwodtke
  38. 38. Sometimes they are constraints
  39. 39. Pinch
  40. 40. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  41. 41. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  42. 42. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  43. 43. Sometimes they are manipulations But it’s ok because I feel something?
  44. 44. 6 key principles of persuasion by Robert Cialdini Reciprocity  Social Proof Commitment and Consistency  Authority Liking  Scarcity Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  45. 45. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  46. 46. Acheivements Reward me
  47. 47. Short term: Actions taken successfully create mini- rewards in the form of doobers.Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  48. 48. Leaderboards
  49. 49. MasteryCrafting in Castleville, and many other gamesis all about repetition. Is the user really feelingmastery here? In Bubblewich 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.
  50. 50. The Elder Game
  51. 51. 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?
  52. 52. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  53. 53. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  54. 54. Process
  55. 55. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  56. 56. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  57. 57. AestheticsBeginning Middle and End
  58. 58. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  59. 59. Grace and Glory enemy concept designs by Yusuke Hashimoto. From the upcoming video game Bayonetta. Concept design by Min Zhou Wodtke @cwodtke
  60. 60. MeasurePretend you have OCD.
  61. 61. Playtestlike you mean it
  62. 62. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  63. 63. Sid Meir, Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong. Watch 18:40-23:53 Wodtke @cwodtke oOY&feature=BFa&list=PL8E8E672C0031DC3A
  64. 64. Learn how to teach
  65. 65. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  66. 66. Christina Wodtke @cwodtke
  68. 68. Networkers Partyers Learners Fame HosChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  69. 69. Nap in Panel Party Check twitterChristina Wodtke @cwodtke
  70. 70. A good mechanic might be collecting.
  71. 71. A good pinch,private parties.
  72. 72. Now Playtest!
  73. 73. @cwodtke The #sxswinning Me: Thank You! cq1