Our two-year research project that looked into design and evaluation methodologies of casual, multiplayer and mobile games (also considering money gaming issues) has now finished; today the good folks at Winter Assembly event provided us the rooms to feature the results from research. Pictured is project manager Janne Paavilainen; other speakers included Annakaisa Kultima, Petri Ikonen, Jussi Holopainen and Jussi Laakkonen. The final research report will be published online (forthcoming during this spring). Links:
- GameSpace project: http://gamelab.uta.fi/GameSpace
- Winter Assembly: http://www.assembly.org/winter09/
- Aakoo’s blog: http://gameslices.wordpress.com/
Edit: here are some camera-phone photos I took in the event: [link].
6 thoughts on “GameSpace seminar in Winter Assembly”
One snippet: according some of GameSpace evaluation findings, tested mobile games had more playability issues than usability issues: it might be that the developers already have rather good guidelines and check lists to get rid of basic usability problems, but those are not enough to stop them from developing bad games — mobile games that provide seriously faulty gameplay.
Petri Ikonen’s main point was that real innovation is realizable innovation — and Annakaisa commented that one has to separate incremental innovation from radical innovation. But it is of course reality that business logic often sets really tight reigns to innovation…
Jussi Laakkonen talked about “casual MMOs” and said that their key point is accessibility: these games are “MMOs for the rest of us”. Examples: http://maplestory.nexon.net/ http://worldofcars.go.com/
Jussi talked also about core, casual and social game markets and how casual is growing, and social game market is growing even more. And mentioned how Kart Rider was played at peak by more than 20 % of (South) Korean population.
In the social market, check out PlayFish: http://www.playfish.com/ – more stuff: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2998790650 (Addicting Games FB apps).
Point that I would have still wanted to make as a comment to Jussi Laakkonen’s talk was that one of the key issues in casual MMO design is focused on time investment. Even a rather casual, browser based strategy MMO like Travian can be problematic by its demands (something that I have followed rather close by…) A truly mainstream MMO might be some kind of a paradox; maybe scalable design that includes automation of play, or observer-player positions built in, might be some direction for seeking solutions?
Jussi Holopainen introduced PLEX framework (Playful Experiences) and discussed how e.g. sadism is an important form of playfulness. Not all that is playful need to be ‘cute’ or ‘positive’ in itself…
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