What are the keys to game development for talent?

What are the keys to game development for talent?

Games are becoming popular approaches to help create deeper relationships between the company’s audience and their brand. The creation of contagious experiences can tell stories about their brands with varying degrees of goals. In recruitment, the most popular goals are:

– To educate the audience about what it’s like to work there

– Mind share of the career opportunities

– Assessment tool to get the right candidates

But with any game, website, or social engagement, there are principles to follow before development begins. And the first step is to ask, what are our goals and why do we need a game?

This is a loaded question and it is not meant to be an idea crusher. In looking through the eyes of your target audience, they will ask the same question. “Why are you making me go through this experience if all I am getting is something that I can get from your website?”

Your audience will make decisions whether or not to play the game based on relevance and value. So whatever your goal is, you need to make sure your game has a strong measurable goal, it delivers unique value to the audience, and it takes full advantage of gameplay.

This question, that the audience asks, is rooted into why people play games in the first place. In a white paper from xeodesign, their research stated that people play games not so much for the game itself as for the experience the game creates: an adrenaline rush, a vicarious adventure, a mental challenge; or the structure games provide, such as a moment of solitude or the company of friends. People play games to create moment-to-moment experiences, whether they are overcoming a difficult game challenge, seeking relief from every-day worries, or pursuing what Hal Barwood calls simply “the joy of figuring it out.”

Taking all of this into consideration is critical because even though you may have developed a killer idea that tells your story, you are competing against all other types of amazing games that people play. And yes, that means Angry Birds.

For the most part, your audience is busy.
Know where your audience is in the candidate lifecycle. Your audience reacts to content in context to their situation. So if they aren’t even looking for a job, that plays into how they will or will not engage with your game.

Understand the “playability” factor of your game.
There are specific types of game genre. And sometimes, games can be hybrids of different genres. The genres are important to understand since it will dictate the game play you are developing. And there are specific genres that are more practical and successful for recruitment.

– Casual games are short session, highly addictive games that have an extremely simple interface with little or no learning curve. Game play elements become metaphors of your story. See how Amazon engaged their audience using a popular gaming model: http://game.amazon.jobs/ or the addictive brain games of Lumosity: http://www.lumosity.com/

– Adventure games are story-based games that normally rely on puzzle solving to move the game along.

– Strategy games require players to manage a limited set of resources to achieve a predetermined goal

– Simulations are games that emulate real-world scenarios. See L’oreal’s Reveal game: http://www.reveal-thegame.com/

– God games are games that have no real goal, other than to encourage the players to fool around with things to see what happens

Develop sustainable strategies for your game. Game development can be a pricey investment. But it can pay off with a strategic sustainable development model. Plan for how this game will evolve, refresh, and end.

Understand the paradox between having someone play a game and someone looking for work. People often play games to escape work, and to challenge themselves as mentioned above. Keep the core elements in mind of why people play games in the first place as you develop your concept. Remember, you need for people to want to play the game.

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Russell Miyaki
Written by Russell Miyaki

Russell Miyaki is Sr. Vice President Global Creative Director for TMP Worldwide and leads innovation initiatives for our clients and development teams while overseeing the development and creation of all interactive media. He is involved with ensuring that the highest of standards and best practices of interactive development are applied to all interactive projects. At the same time he is constantly focused on exploring new navigational schemes and information design that involves audiences deeper into the context of the message. His experience and knowledge of interactive media and human factors allows him to bring a strong balance of sound usability and intuitive exploration to each solution. Russell is one of TMP’s visionaries. He is the leader of a company think tank known as TMP Labs which is comprised of TMP visionaries tasked to stay in the forefront of innovative new media solutions and trend indicators in talent acquisition. Russell has over 20 years of experience in advertising and design working for agencies such as FCB, Landor and as Creative Director for The Sharper Image.

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