Archive for April, 2008

lessons from the music industry

Based on an article in MCV 25th April 2008

  • The consumer sets the price – piracy, rapid discounting and trade-in schemes prove the consumer options on what they pay for product.
  • It’s all about experiences – live music or premium social events
  • The music industry is thriving, it’s the music companies that are stuffed – music and games have not been more popular
  • Profits come from secondary sources – and revenue from alternative sources
  • The nature of distribution is changing – physical to digital
The trend is to free; free to try, ad funded, micro-payment expansions, free to play basic version and simply free as marketing.

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trigger imagination through story


Real Characters – you have to identify yourself in the characters
Mystery – it triggers the imagination
Rhythm – there are some timings which the experiencer expects a certain reveal or change
Questions – create more insight in to yourself or the world
Anticipation – triggers the imagination
Surprise – shake up the experience
Depth – creates the illusion in the imagination that the world exists
Contrast – makes the original richer and more valuable. Contrasts are the basis of good story
Climax – pays off the anticipation

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wired on crackdown

“…and I was rewarded for it! Not just with the sheer joy of the act itself — even though that would have been, for a while, reward enough. No, the more you explore and leap, the more your powers increase, and the higher and farther you can go. Rewards are so frequent that it keeps you hooked, because there’s always “just one more” thing to do before you take a break. You never take a break.”

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it’s all about outcomes

Outcomes vs. Activity

“…all about outcomes — and not activities.
Focusing on what really matters is a difficult-to-achieve skill in our “attention deficit disorder” world.
…we tend to look at both activities and outcomes as accomplishments.”

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design language: instructional literalism

“…to interpret statements in their literal sense”

Simple, direct and clear instructions that can be easily understood by the player.
The player will often have a number of things on their mind, and everything is open to misunderstanding and miscommunication. Write and review instructions in a very literal manner, and assume they will be followed by an average 6 year old.

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under promise, over deliver

“…a law client who was promised something in two weeks but received it in one was vastly happier than a client who was promised something in one day but received it in four. ‘Under-promise, over-deliver’ became her mantra.”

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the right time is just before you forget

“…the insight that there is an ideal moment to practice what you’ve learned. Practice too soon and you waste your time. Practice too late and you’ve forgotten the material and have to relearn it. The right time to practice is just at the moment you’re about to forget. Unfortunately, this moment is different for every person and each bit of information. Imagine a pile of thousands of flash cards. Somewhere in this pile are the ones you should be practicing right now. Which are they?

Fortunately, human forgetting follows a pattern. We forget exponentially. A graph of our likelihood of getting the correct answer on a quiz sweeps quickly downward over time and then levels off. This pattern has long been known to cognitive psychology, but it has been difficult to put to practical use. It’s too complex for us to employ with our naked brains.”

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