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Idea explosion #1: sex sells (feedback needed)

By on July 29, 2011
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I’m experimenting with the idea of 52 game idea explosions: small, perfectly formed ideas that you can pick up and go – aha, that helps me think of ways of improving my online game (social, mobile, browser, whatever).

I’ve been working with the talented Tom Naylor, a freelance artist and graphic designer, on some ideas. Here are three versions of Sex Sells: how hard can it be?.

Please could you give me feedback? I’d love to know which design you like, if you like the overall concept, whether you would consider buying it? Does the image carry the idea alone, or does it need a page of extra text? Does it get you thinking or does it make you go "Huh? What?".

Comments, tweets, email, snail mail and carrier pigeons all welcomed.

Sex sells: Games advice version 1

Sex sells: version 1


Sex sells: Games advice version 2

Sex sells: version 2


Sex sells: Games advice version 3

Sex sells: version 3

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
  • Yes. It’s about giving people something funny to post on their walls.

    The clever thing Zynga did here is make the player feel like THEY’RE the ones being funny by spotting the smut and that Zynga has made an innocent mistake.

  • #2

    I Would like a little text.

  • I prefer the first one. 🙂

  • I like version 3 best, but there are features I like from all three designs:

    Top 1/3 – Version 2 has fewer colours which is less appealing to a visual person like me. I prefer version 3’s large bomb graphic as it’s eyecatching and having the fuse spark run off the corner of the card creates the excitement that the graphic is popping off the page.

    Middle 1/3 – I like version 1’s black border and gradient background. The gradient means the white text is easier to read on the blue ground than for version 2 and version 3. The black border also makes the drop shadow more subtle, whereas with a red border the grey and red next to each other, I find that jarring.

    Bottom 1/3 – Version 2 has an additional horizontal rule between the three central panels and the speech bubble at the bottom. I prefer this not being there as in version 1 and 3, as it breaks up information that is actually related.

    All – I prefer the paper background effect on version 1 and 3 to its absence on version 2.

    I’d have a look at Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head! deck of cards (bit expensive to order now as they’re out of print) and, tho’ I’ve not seen them, Jesse Schell’s Game Design Lenses deck. Decks of cards for spurring ideas are attractive tho’ as they can be used in a playful manner which is great for creative thought! If the price point was right I’d consider buying a set, yeah.

  • Arowx

    3rd One, but why not do a black/white title bar/content.
    TOO MUCH CAPITALISATION, it is harder to read, the images all have the same background colour blue but the 2 on the right should have green, or just go with white.

    Rocket could be way more phallic, and red!

    What about orange melons not green!

    And little man could at least go for sexier outfit!

    Bomb symbols should all match, be fused!

    The Chopper could look smaller think hand axe.

  • the 3rd one. its lighter on the eyes, leaving room for the message you want to get across

  • I’d say number 1, i don’t like the red one as it is to much in your eyes.

  • Number 2 🙂

  • Number two – the bolder / flatter colours are better.  I would also lose the drop-shadows on the middle three images and make the red borders around them the same width as the other lines to add simplicity and coherence.

  • I’m with Adam on this. Looks more like it should be “crude puns sell” though that obviously doesn’t sell as well as alliteration.

  • That’s an interesting point. These are definitely smutty, not sexy. I wonder whether the clickthrough rate would have been so good if I’d said “Smut sells” in my tweet though. Should have thought about A/B testing that.

  • Adam Russell

    Is it sex that sells or just humour? I’d be tempted to say the latter.