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An Analysis of „Fun“ for Casual and Social Games Roberto Dillon, Ph.D. Chief Game Designer Kentaura Pte.Ltd.

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Presentation on theme: "An Analysis of „Fun“ for Casual and Social Games Roberto Dillon, Ph.D. Chief Game Designer Kentaura Pte.Ltd."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Analysis of „Fun“ for Casual and Social Games Roberto Dillon, Ph.D. Chief Game Designer Kentaura Pte.Ltd.

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3 Overview How to analyze games? MDA ( Mechanics – Dynamics – Aesthetics ) The „6-11 Framework“ Players‘ typologies Examples in Casual and Social games Reference: Hunicke, Le Blanc, Zubek: “MDA: a Formal approach to Game Design and Game Research”. Available online at: Reference: Roberto Dillon: “On the Way to Fun: an Emotion Based Approach to Successful Game Design” AKPeters / CRC Press, 2010 Reference: Richard Bartle: “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who suits MUDs” Available online at :

4 MDA: Game Components Break down a game at different levels: Mechanics  Game rules, the basic elements/actions by which the game is played  How to play the game Dynamics  Gameplay, what happens by applying the rules  What to do in the game, Player's behaviour Aesthetics  Emotional response by the player

5 Aesthetics The most difficult part to understand and master How do players feel when they play? What do players really want? What triggers „Fun“?? MDA own Aesthetics model: 8 Kinds of Fun

6 „6-11 Framework“ Alternative Model for analyzing game aesthetics : Alternative Model for analyzing game aesthetics : „Fun” as an outcome from engaging the player through basic emotions and instincts „Fun” as an outcome from engaging the player through basic emotions and instincts 6 Basic Emotions 6 Basic Emotions 11 Instinct 11 Instinct Their correspondences/relationships Their correspondences/relationships Easy to relate these to game dynamics and mechanics Easy to relate these to game dynamics and mechanics

7 6 Emotions Fear Anger Pride

8 6 Emotions Sadness Excitement Joy

9 11 Instincts Survival Revenge Curiosity

10 11 Instincts Self Identification Aggressiveness Competition

11 11 Instincts Protection / Care Greed Collecting

12 11 Instincts Communication Color Appreciation

13 In general:  Emotions can trigger instincts  Instincts push the player to act in the game  Easy to link instincts to game dynamics and mechanics Analysis Framework Fear Anger Survival Aggressiveness Escaping Avoiding danger Chasing Fighting Hiding Running Kicking Casting a spell

14 Angry Birds (Rovio 2009)

15 Understanding Players: Dr. Bartle’s taxonomy Achievers Regard points-gathering and rising in levels as their main goal –Bragging rights Core Instincts: Collecting, Greed, Competition Explorers Want to know everything about the game and its world/possibilities –Check everything it has to offer Core Instincts: Identification, Curiosity

16 Understanding Players: Dr. Bartle’s taxonomy Socializers Interested in knowing other people –Sharing/listening/empathizing with other players Killers Want to impose themselves on others –The more massive the distress caused, the greater the killer's joy at having caused it Core Instincts: Communication, Protection Core Instincts: Aggressiveness, Revenge, Competition, Survival

17 Back to Angry Birds Explorers Achievers Socializers Killers

18 Millionaire City (Digital Chocolate) Identification Curiosity Greed Communication CompetitionJoy Excitement Real Estate CEO What happens next? You can do better than your friends! Share results Pride We’re getting rich! Dynamics Build and upgrade stuff Plan Development Find presents and rewards Mechanics Buy properties Sign contracts Grab money and gifts Etc. Collecting New daily prizes!

19 Millionaire City / Typical Social Game Identification Curiosity Greed Communication CompetitionJoy Excitement Pride Collecting Explorers Achievers Socializers Killers

20 Empires & Allies (Zynga 2011) Difficult to balance? Identification Curiosity Greed Communication Protection CompetitionJoy Excitement Invade and loot Pride Collecting Aggressiveness

21 Horse Master

22 Identification Protection Collecting Pride Joy Color Appreciation Communication Curiosity (Subtle/Hidden) Competition Excitement

23 Horse Master Identification CollectingGreed Competition Excitement Pride Joy

24 Identification Protection CollectingGreed Competition Excitement Pride Joy Color Appreciation Communication Curiosity FUN! Action Strategy/Farming (Subtle/Hidden) Competition Excitement Explorers Achievers Socializers Killers

25 Conclusions Importance of a pragmatic approach to game analysis and design to effectively engage audiences and provide a fun experience Need to address the ‘instincts’ of different player typologies: –Casual games strong on Achievers and Explorers –SNG clearly expanding also to Socializers Allow players to communicate and share effectively –“friendly” Killers? Easy to strike back Negative effects offset by some positives

26 Thanks for your Attention!


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