Game thinking from Adam Clare

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More on the Future of Gaming from PSFK

Here’s a nicely put together look into the future of gaming, they look at why games exist in their current form and how the evolving use of mechanics in games impact us.

PSFK Future of Gaming Report [Preview]

View more presentations from PSFK

From PSFK on the Future of Gaming:

PSFK’s Future Of Gaming report presents key trends emerging within the gaming space that brands, non-profits and communities can leverage to build engagement and motivate their target audience towards achieving a desired goal or outcome. It is designed to inspire anyone tasked with creating compelling user experiences, whether that be on a digital screen, in the real world or somewhere in between.

We recognize that there is a tremendous amount of research and study taking place around gaming, and this report reflects our contribution to that conversation. The report provides a current snapshot into the innovative ways that games are being used within the broader marketplace, examine their expanding role in effecting change on an individual and societal level, and highlight the new technologies that are making these experiences possible.

Some Tiny Thoughts on Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower by NimbleBit has been on the app store best sellers list for some time now and only recently did I try it out. The game is clearly influenced by so-called social (Facebook) games and directly takes some mechanics from Facebook games for monetization, the question that always comes to my head when playing gaes like this: which came first, the plan for the game or the plan for how to make money.

Either way, a good free to play game focuses on the play experience first and foremost. Only after the primary game elements have been figured out should the pay mechanics be factored in.* Essentially one should be able to play the entire game and enjoy it without ever paying a cent. The games that dont do that end up not being played for a long time or die in the market place.

What about Tiny Tower then?

Tiny Tower is similar to SimTower in that you build a skyscraper and you manage a couple resources as you build it. Tiny Tower is really simple when it comes to what you manage: money.

The money in Tiny Tower is handled like most freemium games with a ‘hard’ and a ‘soft’ currency. You can earn both in game, but the as always the soft currency is easier to get. Other than currency the only thing I felt I should care about was the happiness of my 8-bit tenants. Their happiness doesn’t matter because it’s not related to anything meaningful.

The game gets repetitive – and fast.

Somewhere in-between building floors 10-20 you’ve experienced everything the game can provide. This gives the player little incentive to keep playing, indeed the only thing that will likely keep people going is how many friends are also playing the game (thus the social aspect), but even that is unrewarding.

The only thing that kept me playing as long as I did was the theme of the 8-bit world and their tongue in cheek tone throughout the game. For example, instead of Facebook the game has BitBook that provides insight into the tenants.

It turns out that Tiny Tower is getting missions and soon. Perhaps I’ll update the game and try playing it again.

*I am fully aware that there are always exceptions. There should be or talking about games would get boring fast.

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