Game design has found its way into other branches of entertainment. An article in the Los Angeles Times looks at how the aesthetics of streamers such as Netflix has taken cues from gaming:
“Long before Netflix unveiled interactive shows like “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” and “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale,” the service was experimenting with game-like techniques to keep viewers on its site. The very act of navigating the streamer was itself an elaborate strategy game…”
The article elaborates on the technicalities of this ‘game’:
“Navigating the service from scratch after years of cultivation became an elaborate action game of scrolling and selecting while trying to avoid [unwanted features]”
The point is that in a now crowded streaming market, the ease of content exploration can make or break your service and this all boils down to presentation and design. Veteran developers should be proud of their contribution to the evolution and influence of game design, while budding developers now have plenty of tips to borrow from.
Anatomy of a Game’s Icon
“I often compare a game’s icon to the logo on a superhero’s chest,” writes game designer and USC lecturer Scott Rogers in his game textbook “Level Up! The Guide to Great Game Design.” “Make it memorable, cool, or funny — whatever you think will best sum up your game. Because your icon will become your game’s identity.”
This comment likens successful iconography to an “illusion of ownership” for the user. The icon, along with the name, are the first impressions your game will have on potential users. Our mobile devices have now become our identity, with information held on it that could inform strangers about our private lives better than any form of communication ever could.
The apps and games we have in our pocket represent who we are and designing an icon that belongs will translate to downloads, retention and virality. An icon that shares a screen filled with other carefully curated identity tools, yet stands out when needed. Identity, belonging and ownership are simple human desires and developers should aim to address these desires, or at least conjure up an illusion of them, through design.