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Massively multiplayer online role-playing games

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The concept of badges and medals seems, in theory, very straight forward – reward users for completing specific benchmarks. So why are certain games titans of innovation adding incredible value through their rewards system while others leave their users confused and apathetic? I’m convinced it stems from the very basic human concept of achievement and our desire for it to be relevant. Relevancy will be divided into social and solitary categories.

Let’s start by understanding the broad objective of gamification. Ultimately as a marketer, community manager or designer you want to add value to your game. If done correctly you can also provide structure and direction for gamers (often something many games lack), but this is a tacit result of successful gamification design. The value added comes by attributing quantitative representation of qualitative accomplishment. It gives explicit validation for intrinsic accomplishment or simply put, you have something more tangible to look back on to herald your success and give you something to work to accomplish.

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These are some concrete examples to illustrate how randomness influences player experience. It is a companion post to the previous post: "Emotions and Randomness - Loot Drops"

Includes Ni No Kuni, Castlevania: SotN, WoW, Demon's Souls, Binding of Isaac

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Social games have been improving, but the social mechanics behind these systems have not evolved. In this post, I lay down the foundation of what true social gameplay is, and why you would want to create a true social experience within your product.

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TEDxEdmonton - Aaryn Flynn - Where Innovation Comes From

Aaryn Flynn is the Studio General Manager of BioWare in Edmonton & Montreal, Canada, one of the world's most acclaimed video game studios. An employee of BioWare for almost 11 years, Aaryn has contributed to almost a dozen award-winning games including Baldur's Gate 2, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age, before taking on the Studio GM role in 2009. The studios Aaryn currently manages have won six "Canada's Top 100 Employer" awards in their collective history. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Computing Science in 2000. His hobbies include running, watching sports, and (of course) playing computer games. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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A thought experiment on how to better accommodate solo MMO(RPG) players. What would such a game look like, and how much different would it be from today's games? Sometimes, a little change can go a long way.

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The rise of the free-to-play business model has drastically changed the landscape of game development, and in this feature, designer Pascal Luban takes a look at the design elements which free-to-play elements designers can address and looks at future trends.

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Crafting systems have become a fixture in modern game design, but not all such systems are created equal. In this article I ask some fundamental questions about what benefits crafting brings, and provide case studies of both good and bad examples.

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