As I was writing the post about gamification in healthcare, it got me thinking about what I’ve learned about gaming especially in today’s device centric world. [As a side note, I certainly wouldn’t take advice on gaming strategy from someone who doesn’t play games.]
Whenever I go on vacation, I always pick a new game to download to my iPad and iPhone to play with. My devices have things like:
- Tiny Wings
- Temple Run
- Doodle Jump
- Tiny Tower
- Subway Surfer
- Sunday Lawn
- Torpedo Run
- Battle Nations
- Clash of Clans
- Candy Crush
- Angry Birds
As I think about the games, they fall into several buckets:
- Quick Hits – I play them a few times then delete them.
- Interesting – I play them on and off when bored usually with a one week spike at the beginning.
- Long-Term – I play them multiple times a week (or day) for months.
But, in the end, most games fail to keep you engaged long-term. But, based on what gets the best engagement, here’s what I’ve learned:
- Games need to be relatively simple to understand and play. There can’t be much to learn or read about them.
- Games have to constantly be upgrading and evolving – new levels, new upgrades, new things to earn, new challenges.
- Games should be able to be played online and offline.
- Games should offer you rewards to keep you coming back every day.
- Games need to be social so you can compare yourself to others, compete with people, and collaborate.
- Games can’t be too easy or they are boring.
- Games can’t be too hard or they are frustrating.
- Games that have you build things get you to come back and check status, but the build time can’t be too long (e.g., 6 days to wait for something to be ready).
- Good games will create a user community for sharing ideas and discussing success with challenges.