social games design workshop

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My slides from the workshop I tutored at the MindTrek 2009 conference in Finland. The workshop showcases methods and findings that will be published in my forthcoming book on social games.


  • Workshop: Game Design for Social Networks @ MindTrek, Oct 2nd, 2009 Aki Jrvinen, PhD / IT University of Copenhagen
  • Akis Background Resume at
  • The focus: 50 million active monthly users
  • Concept design process for the day
  • Idea production: Quantity breeds quality
  • From Idea evaluation to Concept design & iteration
  • Design template to structure your concept design task
  • Takeaway: High level documen- tation to communicate your idea
  • Concept presentation: Articulating your design & reflecting on your decisions
  • 10.00: Introduction to workshop and participants Programme 10.15 Lecture: The Design and Business of Networked Play 11.00 break 11.15 Exercise: Brainstorming social network game mechanics 11.45 Exercise debrief & Introduction to design templates 12.00 Lunch Break
  • 12.30 Introduction: Design Drivers & Patterns for Programme Social Games 13.00 Exercise: Social Game Design 13.30 Exercise: Designing the Service Aspect 14.00 Coffee break 14.30 Iterating the Game Concept & Preparing game concept presentations 15.00 Concept presentations & Evaluations 15.45 Workshop debrief & closing
  • Concept design process for the day
  • Lets get it done
  • The Design and Business of Networked Play
  • Focus of the day Not: the games people play in social networks Yes: Game applications for social networks In particular: Facebook
  • Business of social Zynga, the market leader in social game development, games aims at 1 million $ revenue per day Reportedly they are half way there
  • Success For a social game, he said success is driven by by factors virality, engagement, and monetization. Each of these variables you can effect over time. None of them are fixed [variables]. - PlayFish COO
  • Top Applications 2009-09-30
  • Top Games Applications 2009-09-30
  • Top Game Application Developers 2009-09-30
  • Social Networks There are also other big fish in the sea
  • A companys success on Zyngas Facebook revolves around recipe for three factors: success ability to maximize viral channels (to drive new users), the ability to create an effective internal engagement loop within an application, and access to an open communication channel with Facebooks platform people.
  • Networked Play Motivations, Qualities, Design
  • What is game design is the process of designing the content and Game rules of a game. Design, also used to describe both the anyway? game design embodied in an actual game as well as documentation that describes such a design. This is indeed what the workshop is about, but...
  • Social Game Design goes Into the realm of Interaction beyond game design: design as we Interaction design is the art of know it facilitating interactions between humans through products and services. (Dan Saffer) And, furthermore...
  • Social Game Design goes Into the realm of Service Design: beyond game design as we A service is a chain of activities that form a process and have know it value for the end user. service design focuses on context, i.e. the entire system of use.
  • Motivations Social connectedness, for social Psychological well-being, media use Gratification, (Benkler) Material gain All these can be facilitated through designing play, and games
  • Four Peter Kollock (1999) has motivations defined four motivations for contributing in online for communities: contributing in online Reciprocity, communities Reputation, Increased sense of efficacy, and Attachment to and need of a group.
  • Designing opportunities for players to = designing social game mechanics as means of express their interaction that allow players motives to express their motives
  • Playful Inherent Sociability qualities of Spontaneity network use (adapted Symbolic Physicality from Rao) Narrativity Asynchronicity
  • Inherent sociability
  • Spontaneity
  • Symbolic Physicality
  • Narrativity
  • Asynch- ronicity
  • Social Game Design Framework
  • Designing Networked, Social Play: Beyond game design
  • Design: Breakdown
  • Design: Breakdown
  • Design: Breakdown
  • Design: Breakdown
  • Design: Breakdown
  • Design: Breakdown
  • Designing Social Game Concepts Getting it done
  • Exercise #1 Add description of your game mechanic here
  • Design: Breakdown
  • Identifying motivations-> designing mechanics in a way that allows them to become ways for players to express and enact their motivations
  • http://gamelab.uta./gamespacetool/ VNA gives you starting points for designing your mechanics
  • Social game mechanics: Designing interaction loops where players use verbs towards goals, and the network responds
  • Exercise #1 Add description of your game mechanic here
  • Exercise #2 Designing for the network, for the casual mindset, and how it is virally engaged into play even how do you copywrite your notifications might matter substantially