Anticipation Loops

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Anticipation is everywhere. We constantly are driven by it in unsuspecting ways. When you feel your phone buzz – is that a text? Who is it? Is it important?  When you are listening to a song and that favorite part is about to come on. Why is that exciting?  When we played hide and seek as kids, the seeker is constantly anticipating finding someone, and the hiders are constantly nervous about being found.  I would like to dig further into the biology(Fast and slow dopamine), psychology(Loops) and design considerations for understanding and using Anticipation.  Aren’t you excited?  That’s Anticipation at work!

Hybrid Games

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The islands of game development – videogame, boardgame, physical activities are starting to blend together in many new ways.   This often includes and physical and digital element combined in a novel way.  Cataloging the various hybrid games can be helpful to find patterns, and document new combinations that haven’t been explored.  Some examples:

  • Boardgames that use a mobile device
  • Location based gaming
  • Osmo – iPad that sees physical pieces
  • Augmented reality card games

Formalizing Boardgame Development

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Boardgames have been around much longer than videogames, but videogames already seem to have more vetted processes to design and develop them.  It would be valuable to collect learnings and best practices from several sources and synthesize some effective methods for designing, iterating, testing and publishing boardgames.  Sources and structures may include:  large boardgame publishers (inventor/developer pairs), videogame development(vertical slice, beta testing), software development(agile, etc), and processes of solo designers.

Imaginative Play

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What do the real life trends of cosplay and LARPing, escape the room and haunted house experiences, location-based and alternate reality gaming have in common?  Adults are craving imaginative play more than ever.  Wanting that uninhibited fun we had as children.
But many social stigmas and self-awareness impede us from letting each other have fun.

  • What are ways that we can allow each other to have more silly, indulgent, imaginative play?
  • Can we frame systems, rules or even just present games in a way that is disarming?
  • What new types of play will compelling enough to make it irresistible to join in?
  • What parts of these games should be physical or digital?