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A Comprehensive Model for Behavior Change Game Design: My Own Design Journey


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This presentation covers ideas concerning designing videogames for health behavior change based on my experiences designing and advising such projects since 2004. It is by no means the final say on this, but describes an interesting evolution and overall pattern that may prove useful to other developers.

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A Comprehensive Model for Behavior Change Game Design: My Own Design Journey

  1. 1. A Comprehensive Model for Behavior Change Design My Own Journey Ben Sawyer Digitalmill, @bensawyer Inc.June 2012 Games for Health Conference
  2. 2. Behavior Change My own design journey
  3. 3. Disclaimer...
  4. 4. The beginning...
  5. 5. Skepticism...
  6. 6. The horror oftemplating & recipes
  7. 7. Time & Work
  8. 8. Games for Health
  9. 9. Play2Prevent
  10. 10. Play2Prevent• Avoiding the obvious & “catch the fruit”• Enabling procedural rhetoric & “translational game design”• Creating parsable statements that become games & gameplay (written long hand)• Breaking apart contextual narrative, and “situated, acceptable, practice”
  11. 11. Play2Prevent• “mini games” and repetitive practice and spectrum• Exertion, grit
  12. 12. What does this mean?
  13. 13. Hub & Spoke
  14. 14. SuperBetter
  15. 15. Health Month
  16. 16. MeQuilibrium
  17. 17. Elbrys Networks
  18. 18. Leadership Game
  19. 19. Phone’s
  20. 20. What’s the model?
  21. 21. Hub & Spoke
  22. 22. Four models...• A single tight game• A one-game hub & spoke model • Game of mini-games • how well integrated and interrelated?• A collection of mini-games• A external hub & spoke model
  23. 23. A Single Tight Game
  24. 24. Internal Hub & Spoke mini-game contextual narrative
  25. 25. Collection of Games mini-game mini-game mini-game They can be very different experiences mini-game mini-game mini-game
  26. 26. External Hub & Spoke mini-game mini-game mini-game Manager/Meta-Game mini-game mini-game mini-game
  27. 27. Single Tight Requires focused Hard to design Game topicInternal Hub Handoffs key Common look & & Spoke Player orientation feelCollection of Portfolio There’s alway a Games approach runt or twoExternal Hub Requires good Hub is critical & Spoke hub & backend
  28. 28. Why hub & spoke?
  29. 29. Why?• Discreet components and targeted gameplay translations• Separates contextual game experience from skills and practices needed and allows you more flexibility to vision
  30. 30. Dosage?
  31. 31. 10X15x 5x6x 3x 15x
  32. 32. Gamespace that exists between points of device based input where everyday activities and dataexhaust can drive remote inputs thus expanding the game temporally and physically to previously untouched situations and affect player behaviors Passive SpacesThe point where decisions are affected outside of gameplay between sessions of gameplay
  33. 33. “Passive Space”
  34. 34. My Model?
  35. 35. Comprehensive?• What’s your hub? How does it orientate the user, define their narrative, mark progress, and bring shared progress together?• What are your spokes? Are they cool things to do or lighter weight?• What’s the handoff or roundtrip process?
  36. 36. Additional Smaller Things
  37. 37. Exertion“do I do everything I can do?”
  38. 38. Reducing the Delta
  39. 39. Delta 1
  40. 40. Summary• See your game as distinct components• Identify how those components form your high level model• Adjust those components for guided dosage• Beware of handoffs and roundtrip interfaces