Does It Have To Look Good?

Often in conversations with gamification muggles, I hear comparisons with games and gamification that make me a little twitchy.

We have all seen video games and how far they have come on since the days of Space Invaders (pretty much where my journey into loving games started).  It is easy to understand why people can get a little carried away when thinking about games based solutions. I have been in meetings were clients had AAA games like Grand Theft Auto in mind when the reality was a little more Candy Crush.

The problem is, these AAA games have massive budgets and most serious games and gamification just don’t have the same kind of money available to them. As an industry, we can be guilty of setting the wrong expectations by constantly using games like World of Warcraft or GTA as examples of how games can transcend simple play. It is hard for non-experts to see those examples then be presented with a stripped bare version of Monopoly.

Yur solution doesn’t have to look like a AAA game, like the latest Call of Duty or Halo, to work. First and foremost it has to solve the problem it was designed to solve, then it needs to look as good as is feasible. This means within budget and deadlines. It is our job as games based solution designers to set the correct expectations at the start though. If the budget is Dig Dug (look it up kids), don’t show them examples of how it could look if the budget was more Minecraft!

Good games don’t have to look amazing, there are many many mobile and indie games that prove that. Gameplay is more important than graphics. The same is true with game based solutions. However, if you are going to go with low end look and feel make sure the solution nails the brief 100%!

Oh, for those interested, Grand Theft Auto 5 cast $265 Million (about £170 million) and took 1000 people about 3 years to make!

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