You are previewing Playful Design.

Playful Design

Cover of Playful Design by John Ferrara Published by Rosenfeld Media
  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?
      3. Why Us?
      4. How Can Games Benefit Us?
      5. Ready, Set, ...
    2. 2. Understanding Games
      1. Defining Games
      2. Games in the Real World
      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
      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
      2. Your Players
      3. The Conflict
      4. Duration and Lifetime
      5. End State
      6. Linearity
      7. Player Interaction
      8. Genre
      9. Putting It All Together
      10. Keeping Your Priorities Straight
    3. 7. Creating Game Prototypes
      1. Paper Prototypes
      2. Electronic Prototypes
      3. Prototyping Saves Time and Money (Really!)
    4. 8. Playtesting
      1. Classes of Problems
      2. General Guidelines
      3. Distinguishing Real Problems from Appropriate Challenges
      4. Evaluating Motivation: The PENS Model
      5. An Easy Transition
    5. 9. Behavioral Tools
      1. A Quick Guide to Behaviorism
      2. Behaviorism in Video Games
      3. What about Free Will?
    6. 10. Rewards in Games
      1. Common Reward Systems
      2. Combining Game Rewards
  8. III. Playful Design in User Experience
    1. 11. Games for Action
      1. Appraising a Game’s Efficiency
      2. Methods
      3. Reframing
      4. Real-Time Reinforcement
      5. Optional Advantages
      6. Scheduled Play
      7. Different Is Good
    2. 12. Games for Learning
      1. What Makes Games Suited to Learning?
      2. Strategies for Using Games to Support Learning
      3. Playing Smarter
    3. 13. Games for Persuasion
      1. This Is Not a New Idea
      2. Procedural Rhetoric
      3. Designing Persuasive Games
      4. Case Study: Fitter Critters
      5. Changing Minds
    4. 14. How Games Are Changing
      1. Five Trends
      2. Game On
  9. A. Acknowledgments
  10. B. About the Author
  11. Index

Chapter 8. Playtesting

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of testing in the context of game design. Because games are highly dynamic systems, any number of outcomes can emerge when real people with different skills, experiences, and expectations sit down and play. Just as UX designers benefit by seeing what happens when people actually use their interfaces, game designers benefit by seeing what happens when people actually play their games. Testing early and often sets up a cycle in which testing informs game design, which generates improvements to the experience, which in turn need to be tested. ...

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