Jesse Schell’s “The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses” is one of the most influential design books I’ve ever read. Frustratingly for me, it’s scope doesn’t encompass enough about the humans who are actually playing the game – the social. It’s wonderful at helping you figure out ways to make games better and richer for a player. But, and this is a big one, it only briefly addresses players interacting with each other outside of the scope of the game. Their motivations, hopes and aspirations.
Why are they there?
A classic unknowable. However, it is possible to build a list of things they’re NOT there to do. One such emotion spurred this post. I read this reminder that the Gmail has a really amazingly useful, but never copied, feature that you can Undo sending an email.
Think about that a second.
If that were a baseline feature of every mail program – how would the world be different today? Everyone has sent an email which they didn’t mean to.
Are there ways that users can embarrasses themselves in your apps? I’ve come up with one in mine – a feature with a lifespan measured in days not weeks…
One of the goals of good design is ensure that people interact with whatever it is, game or no. Protecting a user from embarrassment is one of those ways.
I need to re-read Jesse’s book and see what else I’ve forgotten, missed, or could contribute.