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What social gameplay can offer to different player types

In Gamasutra's latest feature, research undertaken by usability studio Vertical Slice and developer Relentless (Buzz series) uncovers what motivates players
In order to better understand the dynamics behind its popular Buzz party quiz franchise, Relentless Software joined up with user testing firm Vertical Slice to discover what factors motivated players. Gamasutra's latest feature shares those results. Many player dynamics were categorized by the team. Here are some examples: Shared Awareness. Shared Awareness includes building a shared awareness of the game state, and can include collaborative working out, giving hints, or making another player aware of something within the game, such as game mechanics or "what to do." It can also include reporting to other players what activities you are performing within the game. Shared History. Shared History includes discussing what happened earlier in the game, or in a prior play session. May include links to other games, or with players not present. Team Optimization. Team Optimization includes discussing the group dynamics, or negotiating an individual's contribution to the group. It can include assessing the ability of others, and discussions over who is leading or in control. Can also include denying players the chance to join in. Once these dynamics -- and many more -- were identified, and the players split into Bartle types, the testing revealed just which mechanics of Buzz engaged them and why. Some of these results are part of the latest Gamasutra feature, which is live now.

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