*pop*

Once again, Soren Johnson reads my mind and regurgitates it much more eloquently than I could ever wish to.

I can’t even quote it as it is a collection of quotes, but I do have to comment on:

Zynga’s Mark Skaggs, formerly of EA, praised metrics as the answer to most game design problems. Much has been made about their discovery that pink was the best color for advertising Zynga’s other games, but the telling point was when Skaggs said that “if a player repeats something, it’s fun.”

I hadn’t heard that before. It’s so wrong that it is almost obvious. I ride the subway every day. It isn’t fun. I scanned every item in Metroid Prime in fear I’d miss something. It wasn’t fun. I walked A LOT in Grand Theft Auto. I drove aimlessly a lot in Far Cry 2. I scanned every planet in Mass Effect. These weren’t fun.

You know what? That explains the popup barrage you get in Farmville every time you load. A player clicked to get rid of the popup, therefore popup dismissing must be fun! So let’s give them more popups! Oh, they dismissed those too! MORE POPUPS ALL AROUND! *pop* *pop* *pop*

2 thoughts on “*pop*”

  1. I think (hope!) he means that if a player chooses to repeat something despite the game not forcing him to. But that clarification proves that his metric is not as simple as it seems. How can you tell if you’ve forced a player to repeat something?

    Suppose a repeatable quest produces some reward. With 100 such rewards, the player gets to unlock something. He may do the quest 100 times and all that keeps him going is the hope that the thing he unlocks will be fun. Well, if it is, the whole thing may be fun in retrospect. If not, it may all be seen as a waste of time.

    I do think it’s more or less fair to say that if a player doesn’t repeat something, despite the game maintaining the incentive for him to do so, it probably was not fun.

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