Adobe Max Day Two - AdverGaming

AdverGaming was all about how interactive gaming has spilled into online advertising and how you can catch the new wave.  This session covers design and technical challenges inherent to making games for advertising campaigns.  This discussion was lead by Sam Rivello, who is the director of Multimedia Development at NeoPets inc.  He has designed over 400 flash and shockwave games developed for a youth oriented audience.

Casual Gaming

Rivello first stating what type of games are advergames.  They are 100% casual games that require no long term commitment or special skills from the User.  Casual games are meant for a mass audience and continue very few, and simple rules in order to play.  Your game should lie within the 5-10 minute attention span of your audience.

Like all advertising, it should grab the User and keep them playing as long as possible, which means don't push details and information on the user.  When a user thinks fun, they don't think about reading or something informational.  Gaming is an immersive experience, so capture that.

Making an advergame

Rivello had 4 things that make an advergame an advergame.

Objective
The main objective is to generate buzz and/or influence a purchase.  An advergame is really an advertisement, so if you don't successful advertise your product, you have failed at making a successful advergame.

Target Audience
The target audience of an advergame are teens between the ages of 12 and 17, so be sure to create your game for that audience.  Teens are very active, so if your game is boring, then you're done.  Capture the User and compel them to continue with your game.

Success Metrics

Timing
An advergame is always timely and will always have strict deadlines that are along-side the product you're advertising.  Being late with your game is unacceptable.  Contrary to that, the lifespan of an advergame is incredibly short.  Most of these games stay in the market between 1 and 6 months, so budget your time accordingly.  Learn best practices and build an engine that you can switch out new characters and products with easily.

Proposal

Next, how do you sneak the idea of an advergame into your advertising proposal?

This was the part of the presentation where I simple nodded off..  This really didn't apply to me at all and it sounded a lot like a technical writing lecture than anything development related.  Of course, designers and developers have to write, but this isn't helpful to me at the moment one bit.

I'm sure it's great information for those Flash developers that are trying to pull their animations into games, but I'm not a flash developer.  I really don't care.

Thoughts

and unfortunately, that's how this whole session ended for me.  I was hoping to get inspired or learn some insight, but I gained neither from this presentation.  I should have taken something more applicable and useful.  Oh well.




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