Do you find yourself playing mobile games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga long after you know you should have stopped? If so, then there may be real scientific explanations for your addiction. The Guardian has an interview with psychologist Dr. Simon Moore and some developers at Lumo Developments in which they all discuss the secret tricks that game developers use to get you hooked on what are surprisingly uncomplicated, low-graphics games.
The biggest key for developing an addictive mobile game seems to involve understanding the typical behavior of a mobile gamer and designing a game that revolves around what they want to do and not the other way around. Since smartphone and tablet gamers tend to be “distracted” gamers who will want to do other things on their devices, it’s wise for developers to create games that let users take long breaks from what they’re doing and then let them come back to the game whenever they most feel like it.
Moore also tells The Guardian that studios shouldn’t try to make games too emotionally exciting but should instead keep gamers on an even keel of doing relatively repetitive tasks with slightly different variations. As anyone who’s ever played Flappy Bird or Pet Rescue Saga can tell you, you certainly aren’t in danger of being overstimulated while playing them.
Moore also tells The Guardian that successful mobile games don’t just involve quick decision making but also long-term strategic decision making that can be especially helpful with getting people to spend money on in-app purchases.
“So, quick decisions like: ‘Stand and fight or run and hide?’ are exciting system one decisions, whereas those involving questions like, ‘How will I earn enough money to buy that jewel-encrusted fluffy horned helmet?’ are pleasing, as they give us a sense of purpose and achievement,” Moore says without any hint of irony. “Skyrim does this quite well, as does World of Tanks.”
The Guardian’s full list of tricks for creating an addictive mobile game is well worth your time and can be found by clicking the source link below.