Multiscreen app for a multiscreen world

Changes emerge, from a Google’s study, about the use customers make of the devices they own. The direct effects from this study concern a new use of television and the “Cross-Platform”. Here’s some hints about the uses on new technologies related to gamification, through reprocessing data.

Google inc., has recently published a study about multi-screening, the use of a multiplicity of monitors in our life. The focus on this research is to define a profile of this new tecnique, and try to track new guidelines to report it for the final consumer.

The research took account about the fact that people spend like 4.40 hours on monitors for activities not related to work, and that the role of TV has been declining facing smartphone and tablets.

The results are interesting: every device (the research compare smartphone, tablet and PC) got a precise destination for his utilization (PC is used for work or to seek information, Tablet to play, smartphone to make connections), but it’s common to multiscreening the platforms. This can be horizontal (changing the device to complete the task) or simultaneous using a plurality of devices, for the same operation (complementary) or more tasks (multitasking).

As written above, the role of TV has changed: the media is still the first for utilization, but now is not dominating the market. In the study, the TV is used like a start point for the research we will made on other devices.

A fact that the research don’t consider is the advent of “Smart-TV”, that can connect to Internet and manage apps and interact with the world.

The cross platform presents himself like an exellent opportunity to develop Gamified applications, using the devices to expand the gamified experience to a large amount of users, and to allow a continuos relation with the customer (think about the possibility to switch from a smartphone to a tablet, without losing your progress or interrupt the application). This would allow a better retain of customer (provided you’ll have a great design) or allow for more usability experience, since the user can carry it with him.

In conclusion, Google’s research print a photo of a grounded reality, that can give us some hints to develop some app shared on multiple devices

If you would take a look on the complete research, you can download it

Social Games and Rewards

The Social Games work with a “effort-reward” system, generating what is called “compulsion loop,” or “engagement loop”: when a player gets a small reward for each action performed, he will be motivated to act continuously, in a “gratification loop”, or a “involvement loop”.Read More

Behavioral Design

Videogames are designed around a core element: the player. The player’s role is to carry out actions aimed to get a reward, within the limits set by rules of the game. John Hopson has coined it “contingencies“: a set of rules under which the player acts, getting rewards and reinforcements. Experiencing different ways of rewards, different patterns of player’s response can be found.Read More

Needs and Motivations: why Games exist

Our brain evolved in order to encourage the personal success of each individual, through out a system that rewards purposes; and these purposes get beyond the mere concept of survival, although it is basic element for animals. Games and fun activities, therefore, see their Raison d’être in correlation with our ability to adapt, and the evolution of this ability: we play in order to unravel in everyday life, metabolizing rules, limits and targets, in order to grow as individuals and coping with hardships.Read More

Reciprocity Effect in Social Games

The third of the series of posts about the new objectives of game designers: today, game designers have to consider revenue issues and business models since the beginning of their creative processes.

Exploiting the power of “give and receive” social pattern certainly contributes to the strengthening of viral and attractive phenomenon and behaviours.
Reciprocity is a deep-rooted instinct in the human mind and many experts argue that it has played an important role in the development of modern society.
In social contexts, people interact with each other in similar ways: when someone gives a gift to you, you not only feel grateful and almost obliged to return the favour, but also your opinion of that person improves. Following this behavioural pattern is perceived correct; breaking it may cause a sort of confusion in the relationship between people.
In social games, players tend to behave according to this principle. Beyond enjoying the gifts received, doing the same can improve the personal image of the player. So, this creates a circle of strong viral and attractive reciprocity.
To fully exploit this type of dynamics, it is required to make the player’s actions observed – and therefore judged – by the other players. As game designers, it is particularly important to establish a clear sequence of in-game actions, which can create reciprocity expectancy, like “ Send gifts to your friends, and ask them to send one in return”.
Anyway, it is absolutely necessary to calculate very carefully this cycle: the feeling of “obligation” doesn’t always lead to expected results, particularly in long term, when it is perceived as a burden. The reciprocity effect is a double-edged blade with a great potential, but game designers should use it with attention and above all, with the skill to trigger it implicitly within the game.

Game-Design Evolution – Introduction

This will be the first of a series of posts about the new objectives of game designers.
Today, in fact, social-game designers have to consider revenue issues and business models since the beginning of their creative processes.

Games are one of the main reasons why people visit Facebook. In fact, it is estimated that about 40% of users are online to play social games. This means that more than two hundred million people enjoy playing on Facebook every month, and that the top ten titles on social network can boast over twelve million users each.

In the same way as the entertainment industry is rapidly moving toward online business models, for example cloud gaming, digital delivery and social gaming, so game designers need to adapt to this situation too. They have to develop their technical-cultural knowledge in order to link creativity with market laws, which have to be more and more aggressive and innovative; so, today, game designers have to find the perfect mix between fun factors and revenues.
This does not imply a leveling of gameplay in favor of monetizing for its own sake: in fact, gameplay is gaining importance even more than before, because of the fierce competition and the staggering growth of the sector. However, gameplay is increasingly focused on simplicity and on the emotional stimulus rather than on actions to do or on th aesthetic depth of the ludic architecture.Read More

Three social gaming trends for 2011 | Gamasutra: Joost Rietveld’s Blog

Social gaming, both expanding and diversifying the gamer population, has been maturing at rapid pace resulting in heavy consolidation, while at the same time leaving room for innovation. Drawing in part on 2010’s social gaming summit, consultancy activities in the social gaming sector and academic interests, in this article I look at three broad social gaming trends for 2011.

Trend 1. Mobile Social Gaming

’2011 will see the rise of mobile social games, both on Facebook as well as on other platforms such as iOS (Apple), Android Market and HTML5.’

Trend 2. Location Based Social Gaming

‘Backed by location based services, 2011 will see the rise of niche products in which cohesive communities will be served with innovative and meaningful products.’

Trend 3. Social Advergames

When properly executed, advergames are an extremely effective marketing tool. Disney acquired social game developer Playdom in July 2010 with the likely rationale of brand proliferation of Disney’s intellectual property rights through Playdom’s games and reach. McDonalds was one of the first and most visible to actually engage in social advergaming by taking over Farmville for a day in the form of a gigantic in game dynamic advertisement. Whereas Frima has attempted to iterate on the success of Farmville in favor of Mazda by developing Mazda’s DriverVille.
‘As companies have become aware of the strength of social media in 2010, 2011 will see the rise of holistic social advergames.’

Read More: Gamasutra: Joost Rietveld’s Blog – Three social gaming trends for 2011.

Game-mechanics and game-dynamics of the gamification process

The process of gamification is based on the integration of typical game components into websites, online communities, content portals or business services and, in general, others non-gaming contexts.
But what kind of techniques is needed to obtain the desired results?
There are two different aspects to be considered during the gamification process: they are called game-mechanics and game-dynamics; the former are the tools needed to create the gamification infrastructure that lies under any game, the latter represent the human needs and desires that are inherently in everyone of us and can be satisfied taking advantage of game-mechanics.

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Gamify your business – main goals

Gamification has a couple of very interesting objectives that we are going to explain in details in this post.
The first one is “to encourage an active and measurable behavior”. The implementation of gaming mechanics is one of the most efficient way to involve people in activities on the site or service. It’s a really special participation because it’s an active one: the user does something!
It’s obvious that an active contribution is more efficient than a passive one because the communication message is connected to the action itself and is melted in the context of the experience.
In this kind of environment lies another fundamental advantage: the behavior of the audience is measurable, gathering data based on actions that users do inside the game. In this way, it’s possible to profile the audience, focusing better on the target user or expanding the target audience.

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