Stories and branding should work in tandem. Stories create longevity and branding build the critical mass.
To build on the previous post, “Storytelling in Gamification”, we would now stress the importance of managing the story. Developing good content matters but it must adapt with changing circumstances. Success of a game depends on continued involvement by the organization, not limited to the initial involvement. There has to be a holistic approach to an organization’s goal and a player’s motivation.
This post takes its influence from the article by Tadhg Kelly of Tech Crunch, “Why does ‘Just Add Gameplay’ Endure?” Tadhg Kelly argues that games are funded by institutions due to strong pitches but does not really translate into real success. Games are being branded by companies, with the promise of engagement and the higher calling that games can influence positive social behaviour. This manner of creation will endure for a time but real gameplay will still triumph. Players are able to sieve through propagandistic motives for the golden gameplay underneath.
Advocating good content creation has always been core to Gamification, rewards and badges are secondary extrinsic motivations to play. Good content uses storytelling. We should not use Gamification as a branding tool. We have to understand the impact and effects on players.
There has to be proper content design and management. People play with a desire to gain mastery and to achieve personal goals. Organisations use Gamification to create a cohesive and empowered workforce. The intrinsic purpose is enhanced by games. A branded game may aid in building a following but for it to reach its intended goal with time, we have to bear in mind the objectives and motivations of players. This is where good storytelling content will play an important role in setting the course and flow of the game. Long term engagement will blossom and make the game relevant to the players. Here is the post on creating good content through good design principles.
Brand the game but have good stories lead the way. Kick start a story with these tips:
1) Take inspiration from well-known tales
Remember Goldilocks or David and Goliath? These endearing tales are able to leave a profound impact and are stories that teach important life lessons. We set objectives and the lessons to be learnt. Only then, we can lay the foundation for great stories to be told. Stories have to form a connection and give meaning to the recipient, stirring emotions and enabling remembrance.
2) Seed an idea and let it grow
Back in school, teachers would enlighten children’s imagination by telling a story through an object, like a teddy bear. The story would begin by, “There was once a teddy bear which could talk…” and then pass it round the class. Children would then continue the stories, sparking new ideas along the way. Have an idea and let your team build wonders on it!
In short, we should first brand the game for awareness and work hard on creating engaging content. Engaging content will attract and retain players. Seed ideas from your team and build it with a solid objective (end in mind).
This post was contributed by Max Ang, Business Development Mentee @ Gametize
Max is the summer Business Ninja at Gametize in 2014. He loves reading, especially on themes that deal with the modern society. A sporty person who enjoys runs in the morning and rock climbing on the weekends.