3.2 Game Thinking
Think like a game designer
Shell’s 5 words: “I am a game designer”
oReminds us that game design is a state of mind and something we’ve done before
We can cultivate game-making skills
Think about your problems as a game
Di$erent than being a game designer
Di$erent than thinking like a gamer
oYou need to think about the structure of the game
You don’t care about the experience. You need to think about the components to put it together
The game is not the experience.
Think about people who are involved in your game as players: Your participants as players
(customers, employees, community, target population)
Players are the center of a game- the game revolves around the player.
Players feel a sense of autonomy/control, that they can make meaningful choices, and that the
world revolves around them
Players play- play is a sense of free motion within a set of constraints that doesn’t necessarily have
The goal of a game designer is to create that sense of game for a sense of purpose
The purpose is to get your players to play- make it enticing, easy, and smooth for someone to get
into the experience
And to keep them playing- not how do I trick them? But how to engage them for an extended period
3.3 Design Rules
Rule 1: The player journey- the player is going through an experience
oThe journey doesn’t have to be 3D, just a conceptual path that they follow throughout the
game. You want a beginning, middle, and end.
oBeginning: Onboarding- how to get the player in the game as quickly and easily as possible
oMiddle: Sca$olding- how does the game provide training wheels that helps the player
oEnd: Pathways to mastery- does the game give the player the ability to conquer and give the
player some real skill?
Plant v. Zombies
Guides that tell you what you do by
Gives feedback and reinforces that you did the right thing
Limited options- so it’s dumbed down. You need the simpli;cation or it’s too hard to
Limited monsters- only 1 so that it’s
Impossible to fail. It’s automatic that you’ll level up at the ;rst level.
oThese 2 processes make it easy for anyone to ;gure it out and move onto the 3rd level where
you get the full experience
Rule 2: Balance- games must be constantly balanced in terms of di=culty for everyone, # of
oNeeded at every stage
The game has to give you money because of balance, otherwise players would run
out, and the game would end.
If the game gave you more money at the beginning, it would be too easy
oIf you’re trying to encourage people to do something on your site or encourage your
employees to do something, you can’t make it too di=cult or easy or not favor one thing
Rule 3: Create an integrated experience
oi.e. Turntable gami;ed the experience of listening to music