Game Mechanics Followup

Following up on my previous post on game mechanics, I’ve seen some interesting commentary and implementations.

Dave McClure thinks “checkins” (The main ‘game’ component of foursquare and gowalla) will become a commodity within a year. It would seem to make sense – It’s an original idea, but in terms of defensibility there’s no real barrier to prevent people adding this sort of function to any software.  How useful are ‘checkins’ to more serious software? It remains to be seen.  Steve Blank’s latest post on this sort of competitive analysis driving feature sprawl has an interesting summary of why this may not be such a great strategy. It’s not just the nuts and bolts of what you do, it’s the ecosystem you build around it.

Gaming Unit Testing

Where game mechanics can be really interesting is in turning dull tasks into something more interesting. Here’s an example of using “achievements” in a unit testing framework – rewarding the user for getting their tests to pass (or fail in particularly frustrating ways).

Game Dynamics Presentation at DICE 2010

Finally, here’s a very interesting presentation on Game Dynamics from DICE 2010 (via

Xbox 360 GamesE3 2010Guitar Hero 5

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