Hatchlings Games

Web Gaming 2.0 Revolution

Gamey web vs. Webby game

Apologies for not posting yesterday – I didn’t had a dream to report because I hadn’t slept. Slade and I went out to KLCC in the morning to meet a programmer. After two hours and falling sleep twice, we went to watch Blood Diamond (Yes I know it was shown in the US last month, but it was only released here a few days ago), without knowing beforehand what it was. Fortunately, the movie wasn’t as disturbing as I thought it’d turn out to be… I’m a chicken when it comes too gory stuff.

So that was yesterday, I went home and slept for 14 hours after that.

Back to work. Now that we’re almost starting on coding the real deal, we’re just finalizing some things on the design side. So we’re going through the design of the website for the fourth or fifth time (maybe more, I didn’t keep count), and I’m writing a document for it. Nothing is finalized before the document comes out… ahahah.

Encephalon is a web-based game. Originally we planned to run the game within the browser using AJAX, but that proved to be too hard and time-consuming, considering that we aim to launch in early March. So we’ll be going back to the old Flash pop-up, for now. Now there’s an issue of consistency when you want to do a web game from a pop-up, especially if the website is an extension of the game. How I summarize it, it’s the ‘gamey web’ versus ‘webby game’.

How did these terms come about? A game, in more recent years, is cutting-edge 3D, flashy, and its design fits well in a theme. A website on the other hand is a lot simpler, especially the newer Web2.0 ones.

A gamey web is a website that works like a conventional game. You’ve seen those before – The bad ones have half-minute load screens, glitter-trail cursors, and don’t work in Opera. The good ones could be really impressive, and just looking at their cool effects could be bliss.

On the other hand, there are websites that offer total simplicity. Take Google for example, search engines couldn’t be any easier, just type into only bar and click ‘Search’ (Most people press Enter anyway). Now these websites aren’t very gamish, but peple enjoy using them because the basic functionality is so simple, yet there’s a lot of other features once users feel comfortable to explore around.

So what about comfortability? Readers of motiational books would often read about leaving the ‘comfort zone’, and users of technology do have a comfort zone of their own. I still remember some years ago when my dad called me over to fix a problem, apparently he was typing his email (which I taught him how to check his mail and compose), and he accidentally clicked outside the Message field and didn’t knw how to get back to typing. While this may be amusing to some, creators of technology should keep in mind that some poeple’s comfort zones are smaller than others, and too ‘high-tech’ (‘gamey’) websites might leave visitors confused.

Webby games are games that are simple to understand and play, and have next to no effects that clutter up the interface. Again, Web2.0 games do this very well, but the games are limited to simple things like typing words or clicking buttons. Show anyone the above game and World of Warcraft, or even just a card game like Magic: the Gathering, I’m pretty sure most poeple would choose the latter. That’s for good webby games; at worst, webby games might turn up unpolished and ‘lazy’.

As a card game, Encephalon doesn’t really need that many flashy effects, however there could be some simple ones to spice up the game a bit. While the cards don’t really need to be animated, I suppose it would be nice to have the buttons and thumbnailed cards wiggle a bit when they’re clicked. It would be better if the website could be consistent with the game ie. all buttons in the website wiggle when they’re clicked. A user would receive the complete experience when he could seamlessly move around his game and web ‘comfort zones’ without moving out of any one of them. Some call it ‘user experience’, some call it ‘immersion’, I just call it… I dunno, webgamey webgame.

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January 20, 2007 - Posted by | Encephalon


  1. […] Gamey web vs. Webby game by Nowing […]

    Pingback by When the tough gets grinding… « Hatchlings Games | January 20, 2007 | Reply

  2. Maybe you could come up with a few design concepts for your site, in terms of effects and animation that the players will see on your site, and the player can choose the one that he/she likes. But having subtle and minimalistic effects work best, since they’d load faster.

    Comment by Ganaesh D. | January 20, 2007 | Reply

  3. We are minimizing on the effects and animation. They will occur a little inside the game itself, which is developed in Flash.

    The Card Editor will be created in either in Flash or AJAX. Either way we will not use a lot of effects.

    The main website will look like Facebooks, Flickr, Consumating.

    Comment by Slade | January 21, 2007 | Reply

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