Episode 79 – Insert Witty Title Here

2014-03-23-9f3f51b5– by Foxtrot
The Michaels are back this week, even though the day jobs are catching us all and consuming more and more time. We are feeling it in our reduction of gaming that we can do – so we followup on last week’s blog post on games Michael R. is no longer playing. During the course of our discussion, Michael M. decides that he too should post a blog post on the games that he is no longer play too. What is the tipping point that makes a game no longer fun? Should a game for work be fun, or just engaging? Speaking of engagement, we then look at how the NCAA drives more engagement into the game of basketball during March Madness. Including the crazy new contest with Warren Buffet and Quicken Loans “Perfect Bracket” game. Does basketball really need more engagement (Michael R)? Can basketball get more engagement (Michael M)?

Michael R. doesn’t really think that quarter end and tournament brackets don’t align very well, due to the winner take all / win lose situation that tournaments promote verses the quarter end drive to ship products. Michael M. looks at how this is true for traditional periodic events, however, when there is a major event (non-repeating) there are good opportunities to use a tournament push. We also look at the various different motivational / reward systems which make the most sense for the appropriate business event. When do you like to play the Grinding games verses the Big Event games? Which aligns best to your work environment? We would love to hear from you on the games that engage you the most.

Show Links:
Games I am no longer playing
World Of Warcraft – Time Travel Expansion
Time Travel Games
Nest Smoke Alarm
Systems of Engagement
The Last Perfect Bracket Fails
Hannover Messe:Industrial Automation, Energy, Industrial Supply Chain and more Conference
MacWorld Expo

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Games I am no longer Playing

As we’ve discussed on the show many times, we all play various games. Lately I’ve been re-evaluative some of the daily grind games I am playing. I tend to play the following games daily right now:

  • Simpson’s Tapped Out
  • Real Racing 3
  • Clumsy Ninja
  • Threes
  • Tiny Tycoon
  • Dungeon Keeper
  • World of Warcraft

Each of these games takes approximately 10-15 minutes out of my day, and as such can be a bit of a time sink. As such, I’ve decided to start cutting back. I have way too many things going on and can’t give-up that much time each day. On top of that I have to balance what the benefit I get from the game, verses the amount of time that it takes each day. So let’s take a look at which games are going to make the cut to keep consuming my days.

Simpsons Tapped Out – I really enjoy the show, and have been watching it since it first came out. The developers of the game have done a really good job of updating content and tying it back to the TV show. I find that the social aspects of connect to other friends’ Springfields to be cool. Everyone builds them with a different aesthetic in mind, or just to hit certain achievements. And while some of the content can only be achieved thru in app purchases, there is enough content that can be achieved without in app purchases. I’ve been playing this for a few years now.

Real Racing 3 – My day job includes working with the automotive industry and create connected vehicle platforms. The physics and the graphics on the iPad are incredible, and the choice of cars and tracks continues to open up while you play. Each race can take between 30 seconds (drag racing) and 8 minutes (long tracks). You can race in real time with a pickup race with random match ups, or virtually race with others, via time comparisons. There is a mechanism to upgrade your cars, and buy new cars, based on your winnings. Started playing this one over the Christmas holidays.

Clumsy Ninja – Leveling up a clumsy ninja requires that you use various devices to send him bouncing around, deflecting items, punching things, and jumping from great heights. The designers have used the cuteness factor along with great physics to make a very compelling experience. The grind is slow, and repetitive. You can fast past some of the grind by buying gems. I’ve been playing this one since the Christmas holidays.

Threes – Math and puzzles with a competitive bent, what could possibly be better than this? After hearing about this one, and seeing that Michael M. has been playing this one for a few weeks, I had to pick it up. Each game requires that match up multiples of three, and increase the numbers. However, you end up moving large parts of the board at a time, and when you can’t add up new multiples of three the games is over. A great feature is this games is a purchase game with NO in app purchases.

Tiny Tycoon – We’ve talked about this one for some time on the show. You basically use FourSquare information to buy properties, upgrade them, hire people to work at your locations, and then level up your own skill by doing various jobs at the locations. The game also requires you to use bucks to buy more properties or get more supplies. You can earn bucks over time, or use in app purchases to get more. I’ve been playing this game for a while.

Dungeon Keeper – A great PC game from the 90’s reimagined for the iPad. You get to play an evil builder of Dungeons and you get to build up various rooms, use your minions to build things, train up various evil creatures, raid other dungeons, and protect your own from invasion from others. This game has great sentimental value. You can speed up the game thru purchase of Gems, but you need to use gems for a lot of other activities. I’ve been playing this game for a month or so.

World of Warcraft – The mother of all good MMOs, I can’t believe it’s been around for 10 years. Blizzard keeps adding expansions, adding new races, more end game raids, and continuing the model of community for Guilds. Blizzard has recently made the game both a monthly purchase, and adding a store for in app purchases. I’ve been playing this game since 2005.

So, how many am I going to give up? I recently deleted Tiny Tycoon and Dungeon Keeper, and will probably delete Clumsy Ninja. The constant need push to get you to use in app purchases is a major distraction to any value or fun I might get from these games. I’ve also given up on the various Angry Birds games and Plants vs. Zombies. What are the games you are playing? Are you going to give up any of them and why?

Episode 78 – The Show is Already in Progress

We join the show already in progress as Michael M has finally read Kill Decision and convinces Sandy that she should go read it immediately! This week’s show becomes a bit of a review show including books, movies and games. What is your favorite? What do you think gaming will be called in 10-15 years? Will it still be gaming, will it be work, will it be something else? In the age of free culture, open source, and makers, how do we ensure that we continue to meet the basic needs of the individual to allow for the value creation of open culture?

We then flip over to a discussion of Flappy Bird and how it is the ultimate realization of the one more move game. We also discuss what games are we playing now. Threes, Disco Zoo (continues to feed Michael M’s 8-bit addiction), Real Racing 3, Tiny Tycoons, PvZ, PvZ2, etc. At what point do the games no longer give you enough dopamine to keep playing? We look back fondly at a few games that have slowly fallen off our rotation. We decide to do a bit of a game walk thru of Tiny Tycoon so you all can decide how much fun it is – NOT!!

Show Links:
Daniel Suarez’s Site
Kill Decision – By Daniel Suarez
Ant behavior and pheromones
Influx – By Daniel Suarez
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
The Lego Movie
Dan Pink’s = What motivates you
If you build it…Design Thinking
Flappy Bird – Flap
Buffalo Wings
Threes
Disco Zoo
Real Racing 3
Tiny Tycoon
Simpsons Tapped Out
1Password
Zork Adventures on iPad
Plants verses Zombies
The Roaming Gnome
Clumsy Ninja

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