We have various frameworks and processes that deal with the problem of designing interactive products and services in a customer-centric way: design thinking, user experience design, user-centric design, customer development etc.
The empirical game design framework is based on validating the design in practice. We define clear goals for the game and the solution to reach that goal emerges during the process. The practical work involves making and playtesting game prototypes based on the current vision of the game, called the game concept. Each play test attempts to validate the prototype against one facet of the goals we have set.
The goals specify the gameplay experience we strive for – in playtests we validate whether the current concept reaches those goals. This goal-oriented empiric validation process ensures that we have more knowledge to refine the game concept to better reach our goals after each iteration. This makes the framework empirical and well-suited for game design.
However, games are unique in terms of design: they pose a second-order design problem. On one hand the properties of a game that makes it great can only be assessed by playing the game. On the other hand the designer cannot directly influence the gameplay experience — she only has access to the mechanics and the interface of the game.
That is why we need a unique design framework for game design for effectively designing games. The empirical game design framework is my proposal for such a framework. Continue reading
Yesterday I ran a little validation experiment over on Twitter and Google+: I could use a new game to show how and why #LeanStartup and #CustomerDevelopment work. Please RT if you agree. — Antti Kirjavainen (@anttiki) July 18, 2012 The result was fairly positive. Even though I did not get a ton of RT’s or … Continue reading
I had targeted the first prototype test of First Scrum, my online game to support learning of agile principles and practices for people new to agile on their own, to Play4Agile 2011. I set up a short session to demo the game. I talked a little about my goals for the game, in short a … Continue reading
Game design is unique as a design task. The properties of a game that makes it great can only be assessed by playing the game. The designer cannot directly influence the gameplay experience. That is why it is recommended to design games in an iterative fashion — to make a prototype of the design and to playtest it. Continue reading
What is a game? That’s a question thinkers from different disciplines have tackled ever since Aristotle. Most notable definitions of a game have been formulated by Johan Huizinga, Roger Caillois and lately by Chris Crawford and Jesper Juul (for links see the end of this post). I hosted a session in Play4Agile 2011 on the … Continue reading
So, I’ve got a target to reach and a fortnight until Play4Agile 2011 to reach it. That may seem a short time but actually I think that after developing this thing on a back burner for a while it is actually good to have some pressure to create a proof of concept in a limited … Continue reading
I’m developing a prototype for a game about software projects. My current game genre to experiment with is interactive fiction. With game’s basic premise set I’ve started to reflect on the types of problems presented in traditional interactive fiction games. The standard template looks like this: Motivation (the door is locked, the avatar cannot get to the other side) Material … Continue reading