You are previewing Playful Design.
O'Reilly logo
Playful Design

Book Description

Game design is a sibling discipline to software and Web design, but they're siblings that grew up in different houses. They have much more in common than their perceived distinction typically suggests, and user experience practitioners can realize enormous benefit by exploiting the solutions that games have found to the real problems of design.

Table of Contents

  1. Playful Design: Creating Game Experiences in Everyday Interfaces
  2. How to Use This Book
    1. Who Should Read This Book?
    2. What’s in This Book?
      1. Part I: Playful Thinking
      2. Part II: Designing Game Experiences
      3. Part III: Playful Design in User Experience
    3. What Comes with This Book
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. What do you mean when you refer to “video games”?
    2. Are you suggesting that UX designers should become game designers?
    3. Are video games really that important?
    4. Isn’t this just another way to say that we should try to make things more fun to use?
    5. Are you saying that everything people do should be turned into a game?
    6. How can I get involved with the best communities that are doing work in this area?
  4. Foreword
  5. Introduction
    1. Messification
  6. I. Playful Thinking
    1. 1. Why We Should Care about Games
      1. An Expanding Role
      2. Why Do Games Matter?
        1. Games Can Solve Real Problems
        2. Overlap between Disciplines Creates Learning Opportunities
        3. Games Are Vastly Popular
          1. Sales Data
          2. Demographic Data
          3. Cultural and Social Change
        4. Games Drive Innovation
      3. Why Us?
        1. One Note of Caution
      4. How Can Games Benefit Us?
        1. By Reenvisioning Conventional Experiences as Games
        2. By Drawing Inspiration from Games
        3. By Just Making Games
      5. Ready, Set, ...
    2. 2. Understanding Games
      1. Defining Games
        1. Characteristics of Games in General
          1. Objectives
          2. Environmental Constraints
          3. Formal Constraints
        2. A Very Simple Example
          1. Objective
          2. Environmental Constraints
          3. Formal Constraints
        3. Characteristics of Video Games in Particular
          1. Machine-Based Arbitration
      2. Games in the Real World
        1. The Magic Circle
        2. Living Games
          1. Ebay Is a Game
          2. Tests Are Games
      3. Finding Useful Models
    3. 3. The Elements of Player Experience
      1. Motivation
      2. Meaningful Choices
      3. Balance
      4. Usability
      5. Aesthetics
      6. What about Fun?
    4. 4. Player Motivations
      1. Common Motivations
        1. Immersion
        2. Autonomy
        3. Competence
        4. Catharsis
        5. Accomplishment
        6. Social Image
        7. Social Interaction
        8. Creativity
        9. [Insert Your Own Motivations Here]
      2. Games Are More Than Just Having Fun
  7. II. Designing Game Experiences
    1. 5. Ten Tips for Building a Better Game
      1. 1. Games Need to Be Games First
      2. 2. Playtest, Playtest, Playtest
      3. 3. Games Don’t Have to Be for Kids
      4. 4. Action Can Be Boring
      5. 5. Fit the Game into the Player’s Lifestyle
      6. 6. Create Meaningful Experience
      7. 7. Don’t Cheat
      8. 8. Skip the Manual
      9. 9. Make the Game Make Sense
      10. 10. Make It Easy to Try Again
      11. Play to Your Strengths
    2. 6. Developing a Game Concept
      1. Your Objective
        1. Common Objectives
          1. To Generate Revenue
          2. To Encourage Action
          3. To Support Learning
          4. To Persuade
      2. Your Players
        1. Classifying Player Groups
          1. Demographics
          2. Motivation
          3. Skill and Comfort with Games
          4. Access to Technology
          5. Time Available for Play
      3. The Conflict
        1. Examples of Game Conflicts
        2. Brainstorming Game Conflicts
        3. Considerations in Developing a Conflict
          1. Interest
          2. Fairness
          3. Complexity
          4. Sustainability
      4. Duration and Lifetime
        1. Time to Complete
        2. Number and Duration of Sittings
        3. Replay Value
      5. End State
        1. Win, Lose, or Tie
        2. Inevitable Loss
        3. Open-Ended Games
      6. Linearity
        1. Single Path
        2. Multiple Paths
      7. Player Interaction
        1. Number of Players
        2. Location
          1. Shared Space
          2. Remote Play
        3. Timing
          1. Synchronous Multiplayer
          2. Asynchronous Multiplayer
        4. Familiarity
          1. Friend-Based Association
          2. Open Association
        5. Stance
          1. Competitive
          2. Cooperative
          3. Neutral
          4. Hybrid
        6. Roles and Power
          1. Symmetrical
          2. Asymmetrical
      8. Genre
      9. Putting It All Together
        1. General Characteristics
        2. Conflict Characteristics
        3. Multiplayer Characteristics
      10. Keeping Your Priorities Straight
    3. 7. Creating Game Prototypes
      1. Paper Prototypes
        1. What Works on Paper?
          1. Balance
          2. Rules
          3. Puzzles
          4. Maps
        2. Building a Paper Prototype
          1. Strip the Gameplay Down to Its Core
          2. Don’t Be Too Literal
          3. Minimize Bookkeeping and Computation
          4. Replace Skill with Probability
          5. Make It a Real Game
          6. Iterate
      2. Electronic Prototypes
        1. Building an Electronic Prototype
          1. Prepare Research Questions before Deciding What to Prototype
          2. Start as Small as You Can
          3. Work from Wireframes
          4. Don’t Overdesign
          5. Squeeze as Much Use Out of a Prototype as You Can
          6. Be Ready to Throw It All Away
      3. Prototyping Saves Time and Money (Really!)
    4. 8. Playtesting
      1. Classes of Problems
      2. General Guidelines
        1. Recruit Selectively
        2. Emulate the Play Environment to the Best of Your Ability
        3. Sit Back and Stay Quiet
        4. Prepare an Observation Script
        5. Go Long
        6. Stay Flexible
      3. Distinguishing Real Problems from Appropriate Challenges
        1. Are Players Having a Hard Time for the Right Reasons?
        2. Do Players See the Challenge as Engaging or Discouraging?
        3. Is the Level of Challenge Appropriate for the Current Stage of the Game?
        4. What In-Game Actions Do Players Take in Response to the Challenge?
        5. How Do Players Reflect on the Challenge after Surmounting It?
      4. Evaluating Motivation: The PENS Model
      5. An Easy Transition
    5. 9. Behavioral Tools
      1. A Quick Guide to Behaviorism
        1. Consequences of Behavior
          1. Reinforcement
          2. Punishment
        2. Considerations in the Design of Consequences
          1. Timing
          2. Extinction
          3. Defiance
          4. Trauma
        3. Schedules of Reinforcement
          1. Continuous Reinforcement
          2. Fixed-Ratio Schedules
          3. Variable-Ratio Schedules
          4. Fixed-Interval Schedules
          5. Variable-Interval Schedules
      2. Behaviorism in Video Games
        1. Pac-Man
        2. Left 4 Dead
      3. What about Free Will?
    6. 10. Rewards in Games
      1. Common Reward Systems
        1. Praise
        2. Point Systems
          1. Many Actions, One Measure
          2. Variation and Balance
          3. Leaderboards
        3. Currencies
          1. General and Specialized Currencies
          2. Scarcity
          3. Other Important Differences from Point Systems
        4. Leveling
          1. Structuring Gameplay
          2. Levels as a Reinforcement Schedule
          3. Extending Interest
        5. Customization
          1. Levels of Customization
          2. Pricing
          3. Social Rewards
        6. Item Drops
          1. Play Dynamics
          2. Drop Locations and Schedules
          3. Item Types
        7. Collections
          1. Means of Collection
          2. Size and Difficulty
        8. Achievements
          1. Flexibility
          2. Cheap and Easy
          3. Skill Level
          4. Known versus Hidden Objectives
        9. Unlockables
          1. Common Forms
          2. Maximizing the Benefit of Unlockables
        10. Metarewards
          1. Easter Eggs
          2. Cheats
        11. External Rewards
          1. Risks
          2. Games Must Be Intrinsically Rewarding
      2. Combining Game Rewards
  8. III. Playful Design in User Experience
    1. 11. Games for Action
      1. Appraising a Game’s Efficiency
      2. Methods
        1. Human Computation
        2. Other Examples
          1. Games with a Purpose
          2. Yahoo! Answers
        3. Best Practices for Design
          1. The Game Experience Must Stand on Its Own
          2. Bolster Quality
          3. Watch Out for Cheats
      3. Reframing
        1. Examples
          1. Foursquare
          2. Epic Win
          3. HiveMind
        2. Best Practices for Design
          1. Make It Easy to Play Along
          2. Create an Alternate Existence
          3. Focus on Varied and Fresh Rewards
      4. Real-Time Reinforcement
        1. Examples
          1. Honda Insight Eco Assist
          2. The Pokéwalker
          3. Nike+
        2. Best Practices for Design
          1. Specialize
          2. Take Advantage of Reinforcement Schedules
      5. Optional Advantages
        1. Examples
          1. CityVille
          2. Zynga Charitable Initiatives
        2. Best Practices for Design
          1. Build Investment in the Experience
          2. Keep Options Optional
          3. Create Disproportionate Rewards...
          4. ... but Don’t Allow Cheating
      6. Scheduled Play
        1. Examples
          1. Amazon Gold Box
          2. CityVille Daily Bonus
        2. Best Practices for Design
          1. Validate the Schedule through Testing
          2. Offer Suitable Rewards
      7. Different Is Good
    2. 12. Games for Learning
      1. What Makes Games Suited to Learning?
        1. Advantages to Learners
          1. Agency and Mastery
          2. Failure-Based Learning
          3. Learning by Doing
          4. Role Playing
        2. Advantages for Training and Instruction
          1. Built-in Assessment
          2. Scaffolding and Differentiation
          3. Higher-Order Thinking
          4. Strategic Thinking
          5. Systems Thinking
          6. Working with Scarcity
      2. Strategies for Using Games to Support Learning
        1. To Impart Content
          1. Remember That It’s a Game
          2. Specialize
          3. Factor Duration into the Design
        2. To Introduce a New Mind-Set
          1. Require Transformation
          2. Tough Is Good
          3. Usability Is Really Good
        3. To Guide Experiential Learning
          1. Get off the Beaten Path
          2. Create an Adventure
          3. Work with the Space
        4. To Develop Skills
          1. Be Forgiving
          2. Step It Up
          3. Mix It Up
        5. To Foster Collective Intelligence
          1. Force Collective Action
          2. Pool Individual Strengths
          3. Use Mystery
      3. Playing Smarter
    3. 13. Games for Persuasion
      1. This Is Not a New Idea
        1. Historical Precedent
        2. Games for Change
        3. Developer Incentives
      2. Procedural Rhetoric
        1. Meaning in Games
          1. Monopoly
          2. The Sims
        2. Persuasive Messages in Games
          1. The Landlord’s Game
      3. Designing Persuasive Games
        1. Define a Core Message
          1. Write It Down
          2. Be Specific
          3. Get Everyone’s Buy-in
          4. Be Patient
        2. Tie the Message to the Winning Strategy
        3. Offer Meaningful Choices
        4. Keep It Real
        5. Enable Self-Directed Discovery
      4. Case Study: Fitter Critters
        1. The Core Message
        2. The Winning Strategy
        3. Meaningful Choices
        4. Rooted in Reality
        5. Discovery
      5. Changing Minds
    4. 14. How Games Are Changing
      1. Five Trends
        1. 1. Mobility
          1. Touch Screens
          2. GPS
          3. Cameras
          4. Microphones
          5. Accelerometers
          6. Connectivity
        2. 2. Social Interaction
          1. Shared Presence
          2. Collaborative Communities
        3. 3. Casual Play
          1. Short Learning Curves
          2. Short Engagements
          3. Short Completion Times
          4. High Replay Value
        4. 4. Radical Interfaces
          1. Motion Control
          2. Linked Displays
          3. Experimental Interactions
        5. 5. Emotional Engagement
      2. Game On
  9. A. Acknowledgments
  10. B. About the Author
  11. Index