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Notes on Game Mechanics (arpitonline.com)
3 points by arpit on Oct 17, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments

I'm not sure I'd put a ton of stock in the references the author cited. The primary reference is a book called "Game-based Marketing," which is by two authors who have never made or worked on a game. Zichermann is exclusively a marketer, having only managed game industry conferences, and Linder appears to be exclusively an author.

The "Types of Players" is based on the old "Bartle Test," which was based on research from the text-based and early graphical MUD era. The test was significantly expanded and revised as modern MMOs were developed, but Bartle didn't license out the updated version; you have to read his book and do the work yourself to figure out how to apply it.

More dangerously in these Cliff's Notes format, the Bartle types aren't classifications; rather, they're like Myers-Briggs types. You can't just say you're going to make a game that applies to one type; your video game has to have mechanics that make it accessible to all types, because we're all percentages of each.

The note on "shallow game design" is accurate, although I haven't watched the presentation linked; you can't just throw "badges" or "points" into something and expect it be a silver bullet. Scvngr's game dynamics playdeck is great reading if you already know what you're doing.

I did a workshop on adding game mechanics to an existing product (a calendar/dayplanner) and the results varied wildly. One group (Ray and Nicole) integrated social game mechanics into the application really well. Another group (Cecy and Brody) treated each mechanic as a feature, and by the end of the discussion I felt like it was "missing something." You can read the write-up of the workshop here: http://vi.to/workshop/20100426/

My own notes include a lot of references from people who actually came from the game industry, as well as images of the handouts and my own distillation of these principles: http://vi.to/gmnotes

The section on "Types of Players" is based on the Bartle Test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_Test), which is worth checking out in it's own right

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