Triggers and Investment Pull Players Back

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Have you seen LaVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow Kickstarter? It's a living MasterClass in effective crowdfunding design. This campaign has it all: a big bold vision paired with the warm nostalgic appeal of a beloved brand a well-written, persuasive, emotionally … [Read more]

Compelling Activities Fuel Your Core Loop


Short, compelling activities are the atomic units of any good core loop. Minecraft has building, mining and exploring block-worlds Duolingo and Lumosity have mini-games that level-up in difficulty Clash of Clans has resource gathering, training, and deploying … [Read more]

Entice Me Back: How Core Loops drive Re-Engagement


If you're anything like me, you try out a lot of new games, apps & services - but only stick with  a few. Why is that? How do digital services entice us back, over and over again? What does it  take to turn a one-time experience into a habit? For each of us, … [Read more]

Start Me Up: 5 Power Tactics for Great Onboarding

Duolingo Onboarding (5)

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Great onboarding invites you in, shows you the ropes, and helps you accomplish something you care about. It makes you feel smart, empowered, curious, and ready for more. Here are 5 design rules for tightening … [Read more]

The Player’s Journey


Yesterday I wrote about games as pleasurable learning engines that offer up skills to master, and reward you with ever-greater challenges & opportunities. Progress metrics like points, badges, and levels are icing on this learning/mastery cake. They help you gauge … [Read more]

What makes games compelling?


What is it about games that holds our interest and keeps us playing? Games are compelling in so many ways; they can make our progress visible unlock new content, experience and powers connect us socially to people we care about offer intellectual, sensory and … [Read more]

Radical Inclusiveness: Reflections on #GDC14


Last weekend, we visited Glide Memorial Church with our shul, Peninsula Temple Sholom. Glide in an amazing institution - their message of radical inclusiveness was woven into every aspect of the service, and volunteers were actively signing up people for Covered … [Read more]

A game developer speaks


"I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to … [Read more]