Izzy’s Rant about Obvious VW Depth

  1. Backgrounds should NEVER look like backgrounds/backdrops, etc. (If you know what that means, then you’re ahead of the battle)
  2. Locations in a virtual world should never feel cold or empty.
  3. CONTENT CONTEXT, PEOPLE.
  4. Obvious without Insult.
  5. However you feel when making the world ABOUT the craft – then that’s what your audience will feel at the max – if not less.
  6. The more difficult to accomplish the simple/obvious, the less users will engage.
  7. You needs GOALS for nearly everything.
  8. Story DOES NOT happen right away.
  9. The amount of time a user engages with an activity matters (both quest planned, or randomly) – think about it in creation and see how it fits in your production schedule against things that could keep entertainment lasting longer!
  10. Organic play patterns in an “oh, well duh” simplicity

Okay: kids/tweens? They want to slip into a virtual world and feel like they belong instantly – or at least have enough encouragement and enticement to be willing to put forth effort in the participation of a virtual world. The more accepting and non-obvious easy you can make their transition from clueless noob – to interest peaked participant – to returning user – to eager member, the easier you’ll find your audience becoming proud users, evangelists, and recruiters >> which are all typically paying members (if registration is your thing).

If you want your audience to have enough respect in your product to encourage a 3rd party source (parentals with lock down on wallet & credit card) to buy in… then you have to respect every aspect of your product.

Sigh.

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  1. mogwog
    December 3, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    very good points !! Sadly many of these game developers are juts seeing kids virtual worlds as a cash cow, make some pretty graphics toss in some content without thought and believe they will come, But as quickly as they come they will leave just as fast.The quality of alot of the newer kids virtual worlds as far as content and continue play-ability is slipping fast. I wish more developers would read your blog and take notice !!

  2. December 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks, Mogwog!!

    I have this conversation about daily and it just doesn’t sink in with some people. Needless to say, it gets frustrating.

  3. December 12, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Izzy

    I think these are great points and you might think about expanding this for a conference topic or white paper; these topics need attention.

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