Episode 92 – Premium Currency Redux

A rare face to face episode with the two Michaels, but only one microphone. We take a look at a few of our favorite time wasters and their ever increasing pain thresholds that are trying to get people to spend premium currency. We also get a kick out of the writers over at the Simpsons Tapped Out, and their ability to not only make fun of their own game, but to go after others as well.

Show Links:
Simpsons Tapped Out – Clash of Clones
Clash of Clans
Family Guy – Quest for Stuff – Comicon Edition

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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 71 – Grinding at Work

Board Games
Episode 71, Grinding at Work was recorded Friday the 3rd of January 2014 — Happy New Year!

Phaedra, Michael and Michael start the new year off with a bang, sharing the games that they’ve been playing over the holidays, discussing the Virtuix Omni 360 degree treadmill device, and exploring how grinding gaming experiences may lend themselves to improved customer and employee engagement. A very interesting gamification idea emerges for how Kinect-like devices could provide biofeedback to call center employees to help them stay “in the zone” and be as effective as possible. Have a listen!

Selected show links:
Games we’re been playing over the holidays
Clumsy Ninja — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clumsy-ninja/id561416817?mt=8
Real Racing 3 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-racing-3/id556164008?mt=8

Apples to Apples — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples_to_Apples
Cranium — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranium_(game)
Blackjack — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackjack
Texas Hold ‘Em — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_hold_%27em

Lego Hobbit — http://www.lego.com/legogames/en-us/Products/Details/3920.aspx
Tiny Thief — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-thief/id656620224?mt=8
Mega Dead Pixel — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mega-dead-pixel/id667405556?mt=8

Association of Virtual Worlds — http://www.associationofvirtualworlds.com

Omni videos, including Minecraft, Skyrim, and much more — http://www.virtuix.com/videos/

Math before mailing (from 2008!) — http://gmailblog.blogspot.hu/2008/10/new-in-labs-stop-sending-mail-you-later.html

Simpsons Tapped Out — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-simpsons-tapped-out/id497595276?mt=8

Kinect — http://www.xbox.com/en-US/kinect

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Episode 44 – Machine Games

Michael R talks about listening to last week’s show while on a plane, and he liked the “Mother fudging snakes, on the Mother fudging plane.” And all the cool things he’s been up to lately, including how machines can be social when they all start talking to each other. While you may have had M2M communications for 40 years now, we are living in interesting times as all the machines are starting to get more social and integrations are driving cool new solutions which will start changing human behavior. Imagine the game that many people play with Usage Based Insurance and trying to drive down their car insurance rates. Michael M, however will only entertain the idea of the social machines but is it really here?

We then look at Mind Meld, a cool new social way of pulling things together by listening to your chat and conversations to pull together a mind barf of all the related thoughts. This get’s us to talking about the drinking game – Everything is related. Which takes us to drinking games at work! Check out the keggorator story!

Finally, we get to talk about last week’s episode on snake reciprocity! We’d love to get your ideas about how reciprocity and incentives could be used to drive more collaboration across a development team. Drop us a tweet or a note.

Show Links:
Connexion 2013
Augmented Reality car repair
Peter Coffee
WarpStock 1999
Facebook making an offer for Waze
Mind Meld App
Beer drives civilization

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Episode 43 – Snakes on a Game

Michael M and Phaedra discuss San Francisco Gamification Summit, the ModSim conference in Virginia and touch on gamification, loyalty, collaboration, wearable computing, ethics and much more.

Rajat Paharia’s keynote from the Gamification Summit sparks some interesting thoughts on Loyalty 3.0 — not just to products and services, but also to missions and organizations.  Harley Davidson is often cited as an example of customer loyalty and the ecosystem/community that surrounds a product, service, or in the case of HD, the lifestyle.  It will be interesting to see how games build loyalty.

Michael and Phadera riff on the idea for how gamification and business analytics could help by envisioning how a mobile device salesforce could be encouraged to take action based on what is selling when certain team members are on the floor and how to handle stock out situations in one location with available supply in another, driving a collaborative win for the company using big data and real time feedback.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is used as the jump off point for this salesforce riff, given the April-May game within a game where players collect snakes to win virtual prizes and eggs, which have no value to the player collecting them, but have high value to friends of the player, who may ‘hatch’ those eggs to collect the snakes within them.  By giving away eggs, a player may receive eggs from her friends to continue the gameplay.  Consider how a serious game designer leverage this principle for business use, where an asset for one player has no value to that individual, but to another player, that asset does have value.

Eggselent

Simpsons Tapped Out: Lots of Eggs

Google’s “a Google a day” game is an intriguing game to make you a more adept searcher, or perhaps Google a more responsive search engine, or maybe something much, much more…

Looking forward to next week’s show where we will be back at full co-host power!

Selected show links

San Francisco Gamification Summit — http://gsummit.com/sf13/speakers/

Will Wright — http://www.stupidfunclub.com

Nolan Bushnell — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Bushnell

Rajat Paharia — http://www.bunchball.com/about/management

Rajat Paharia’s new book:  Loyalty 3.0: How Big Data and Gamification are Revolutionizing Customer and Employee Engagement —  http://www.amazon.com/Loyalty-3-0-Revolutionize-Engagement-Gamification/dp/0071813373

ModSim World 2013 — http://www.modsimworldconference.com

A Google A Day — http://agoogleaday.com/#game=started 

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Episode 22 – Play for Free on Free to Play

Phaedra and Michael M discuss free to play game economics — both from the game designer and the game player perspective as well as how this changes when the game is focused on individual paying players vs larger enterprises as the target market.  With micropayments for in-game purchases being the revenue source for free to play games, Phaedra mentions that at the recent Game Developers Conference that free to play games can be more profitable than $50 boxed games.  Michael shares that he likes to avoid such in-game purchases, hence the title of the show.  🙂

 

Cross genre gameplay also gets the GamesatWork.biz treatment when Phaedra and Michael brainstorm on what may make for a good cross genre game.  An interesting idea emerges combining maps, geocashing and Habitat for Humanity Restore opportunities.

 

Some of the games mentioned on today’s episode include

Simpsons Tapped Out — http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-simpsons-tapped-out/id497595276

Tiny Tower — http://nimblebit.com

Plants vs Zombies — http://www.popcap.com/games/plants-vs-zombies/home

SimCity — http://www.simcity.com/en_US

Monopoly City Streets — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_City_Streets

Hivemind — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hivemind_(software)

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