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Systems, Inputs, Outcomes, Rewards & Balance

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Systems, Inputs, Outcomes, Rewards & Balance

  1. 1. Systems &Inputs &Outcomes &Rewards &Balance.(How to trick People into accomplishing theirhealth goals)
  2. 2. Why Games as asolution?- Great games mask boring and often repetitive tasks.- Great games are engaging – they require users to interact, and give them just enough reward to want more.- Great games are accessible and ‘addictive’ even though they are voluntary.
  3. 3. A framework toExamine/Dissect Games…- The System - What is the goal of the game? What are the rules?- The Input - What actions can the player take to accomplish the goal?- The Outcome - When the player performs an action, what happens?
  4. 4. …and How to get it all‘Sticky’- Extrinsic versus Intrinsic Rewards - What happens when the player performs the “right” action?- Balance versus “Fairness” - What happens when the player performs the “wrong” action? Or…?
  5. 5. How to beatthe game1. Press Start2. Push Buttons3. ???4. Become This :
  6. 6. Exposing the System- What is the System?- Goals + Rules - What is the player supposed to accomplish? - What are the boundaries the players have to work within?
  7. 7. It’s a-Me, Mario!- Goal: Get as far right as possible. - (and also get as many coins as possible)- Rules:
  8. 8. And More rules
  9. 9. Challenge Accepted- Enable player to form a mental roadmap to the goal.- After a few moments, player should be able to look at this:and think to themselves, “Okay, I think I know how I’m going to tackle this. “
  10. 10. Make the SystemObvious- Believe in yourself,player!- Makes the gameaccessible.
  11. 11. Getting Input- What are my options here?- Available Actions - At each moment in the game, what can the player do to affect the state of the game?
  12. 12. Moving Mario-Right-Left-Jump-Wait
  13. 13. Enable Planning- Add detail/direction to mental roadmap- And empowers the player to move forward. - “Okay, this is what I can do to affect the game state”
  14. 14. Why important- Interaction is the key distinguishing factor of games from all other forms of authored media.- Agency - Feeling control over things that happen- Leads to engagement
  15. 15. The outcome- What happens when the player jumps right now?- Level is completed- Position on flagpole is assessed- Sounds play- Fireworks!- Points awarded
  16. 16. But how does it makeyou *FEEL*?- In the moments before: - Relief - Pride - Pressure!- The moment after: - Relief (again) - Satisfaction - Okay, now what’s next?
  17. 17. Why both extrinsic andintrinsic Matter
  18. 18. How Are Playersrewarded?- Extrinsically, sure - Nothing inherently wrong with extrinsic rewards- But, should also intrinsically remind us why we are playing. - Why do we play Mario?- Note: Numbers don’t always mean Extrinsic
  19. 19. How *much* areplayers rewarded?- Balance is important- Rule of Thumb - Reward extrinsically for small victories - Reward intrinsically for big victories- Analog Example - Paying for Thanksgiving Dinner
  20. 20. Sugarcoat things- Commend effort even if it’s the wrong effort. - Show them what they did wrong- Action -> [black box] -> Result - Black box should never be too ambiguous.- Example: Rubberbanding in Mario Kart - Designed to give/release tension.
  21. 21. In other words, helpthem cheat :)- Well, not ‘cheat’.- What happens when a player is not performing well? - “It got too frustrating.” - “I couldn’t find my way out.”- Beauty of digital medium is ability to respond dynamically- Fail-proof your game
  22. 22. But Again,not too much.- Reinforce importance of input.- Don’t lose the sense of agency
  23. 23. Let’s look at theframework again.- Angry Birds
  24. 24. Flinging Birds- Input - “Circle of Touchability”
  25. 25. Crushing Pigs- Outcome
  26. 26. Why So Angry?- This guy:
  27. 27. Words with Frenemies- Everyone loves Scrabble right? - But.- Problems - Limited roadmapping - Limited agency - Powerless against Scrabble word experts.
  28. 28. So we broke it down[ wordoff screen ]
  29. 29. New Dynamics- Two goals - Two ways to win.- Allows defensive play- More options for words- “Narrative”
  30. 30. Tying it All Together- Examining game design as a structure - Helps clarify/predict user experience - Identifies possible points for improvement/balance- Always keep agency in mind - Action/result cycle should be unambiguous- Reward the right behaviors, in the right way - Extrinsic (points) for small victories - Intrinsic (feelings) for big victories
  31. 31. General Tips fromGame Production- Test early, test often- Polish your tutorial or how-to- Simplify- Also, scope down
  32. 32. Resources-Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics (Hunicke) - http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf-Formal Abstract Design Tools (Church) - www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3357/formal_abstract_design_tools.p-Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators (Predictably Irrational,Ariely)-BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits - http://tinyhabits.com/
  33. 33. Questions?- Email: robinyang@gmail.com- Thanks for helping me gain +5 Speaker points!
  34. 34. Activity:- Break down an existing game - What is the goal? What are the rules? - What are the available actions? - What are the results? How are “wrong” actions discouraged, and how are “right” actions rewarded? What are the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards?- Then, make it better - Identify areas where a player might be frustrated (even if it’s “part of the game.”) - Suggest improvements in the system, input, outcomes, rewards or balance that would help alleviate it.

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