discussion about motivation and engagement

What are some ways that a game or simulation can provide player agency to increase engagement and motivation?
Your Answer:

The “Extra credits” videos provide learning experiences that are so enjoyable that I wanted to decipher a bit more about what makes my engagement go up so dramatically. Typically, I find learning videos boring. I can only watch for a few minutes. But things are different with “‘ extra credits”. For example, I watched the “quantum computing” animated video, and it gives great ideas on how characters and storytelling can positively impact the learning experience. It is written in a way that is intriguing and promotes curiosity. There are also many examples in various fields. I was surprised as I was not expecting they would talk about a subject so close to my game. The storyteller explains that quantum computers might be able to “build cities that avoid major traffic jams, with a nice “all lanes clear” road sign. Url: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWxhQKo3Vh4

Links to an external site.  (Timer: 3:39). That was so inspiring. It reminded me that game designers can get ideas from so many sources, and we ought to keep our eyes and ears open to any learning experience and figure out how to translate the best ones into our game mechanics.

Many “extra credit” videos about game design, from “Choice paralysis Too much of a good thing” to “Affordances – How Design Teaches us without words” and “The price of randomness – balancing randomness” all add to the theoretical frameworks we examined in the first course. I will remember the importance of having an outstanding balance in all things, not too much but enough of the ingredients that increase engagement and motivation. The best video I found from extra credits was “The New Player experience”. There are three components, the hook, the tutorial, and the reward. All three must act quickly within the first 10 minutes so players will keep playing. Something exciting and epic, something they do and crave. My game got this part right because a player can drive and crash the car in a safe environment. It is fun. But the narrative has to be mysterious and complex, giving the player a context so they are personally invested. The video also recommends a visual hook where “your breath is taken away”.

I knew this was still a work in progress for my game, so I did a bit more brainstorming and worked more on my NPCs and the story background. They said that the tutorial is a “training run”, comprehensive enough, how to play and the rules, so they know how to play and make progress. Scaffolding can be offered as a help button for only those in need. After the tutorial, a reward must be provided to make players feel good about themselves and excited to start the game. Later, context-sensitive tutorials will come in handy. Introducing a mystery they want to tackle next could work well for my game. For example, they could explore and envision a scenery down the road for themselves. All this inspired me to iterate my storyboard and develop a more personal story to engage my players. In the process, I finally got a better idea to provide a better “win” reward. Are you curious? You can see my updated storyboards here:

New Intro: https://xd.adobe.com/view/a8d3169d-f962-4b4c-81ad-4b50cc6dcc4e-fd80/

Links to an external site.

New Tutorial: https://xd.adobe.com/view/c28597e9-0037-4494-9e71-087c4c6115c2-97d6/

Links to an external site.

New Level 1: https://xd.adobe.com/view/426110ce-9d78-4dd6-bd12-3849003b622c-1732/



I really enjoyed the discussion of engagement and motivation. Extra Credits are a great resource and they aren’t very long which makes them ideal to pick up points quickly. The three components are always helpful with the hook, tutorial, and reward and all are dependent on emphasizing the game goal. Your updated storyboard provides some great added details and the win reward is much clearer given the complexity of the game.