Podcast 15: Reality in Gamification Project

Welcome to A Question of Gamification, a podcast where gamification expert An Coppens answers your questions.

Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host and chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is a build on on last week’s question of what are the processes that we use? What are the deliverables that we have? And this week is what about project reality? Because last week, we went through the five step phases, so business specific user research, gamification, design, development, and support. And this week, I want to delve deeper into what is the reality like in a gamification project.

Now, we just finished a major project took us nine months to get where we are today. And I have to say, I’d love to say it was a smooth and easy process and everything worked according to plan. But hey, that’s not reality. In fact, we had from day one, a delay of a number of months, actually, in terms of contract negotiation and setup negotiations. So that’s what that was one. So that’s something that in a lot of cases, and a lot of projects is forgotten that, yes, procurement typically, has I say about everything, commercial terms, we may have a say about too, because in gamification and game design, what we aim to do and how we work is we aim to retain the IP so that it’s a win win for everyone so that we’re not because of one game design that we used for one client, that we’re tied down to never ever be able to use that, again. It would be crazy for us to sign away. Let’s say the intellectual property for a crossword or an unlocking of content game mechanic, and then to never be able to use that again with future clients.

So obviously, we’re kind of tied to what we want to create, when we are looking at game design and intellectual property, obviously, anything like branding, graphics narrative that we take from the client or that the client already has, even content that the client already has, obviously, that is retained by the client. We just put that into different shapes and formats.

So there is always negotiable there. So that was one thing. So the reality of a project may mean that you spend a lot longer in the procurement and negotiation of terms phase. Then we do before we start to the fact that we had, like, originally, we had nine months, and then that got shorted down to five months. That meant some of our design processes had to really work concurrently and in very rapid succession.

I remember doing the business scoping phase in two weeks, at the same time, we launched the user research phase, which had already been started, but because nothing had been signed off, we didn’t have access to the clients people. So yeah, there is a lot of factors in there. So did it compromised the level and depth of research? Absolutely. And, you know, that’s reality. You know, I’d love to say for every project, we do user research with 10% of the target audience, or idealistically, that’s fantastic. In reality, we may only get a fraction of that because of time, because of budget, because of due date.

I come from the broadcast sector and in broadcast sector, you often have a go live date where already promotion has started for a program or a movie or a production to go live on a certain date, even a channel at times. And you know, everything else has to backward fit into that timeline. And that’s not very dissimilar in a lot of our game design processes and project. Often the client has a very definite time. So I recall one of the board games we designed, there was a definite conference date. So we had to work backwards from there and say, okay, which printer can still deliver on what time? How far can we push the deadline before it has to go to print? And how quick can we work then to make sure that we deliver, so it’s fine. And it’s a great achievement when we do deliver in those le. phas started for hass fine. And it’s a great achievement o cls. That meant some of5

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