Don't miss
  • 2,232
  • 6,844
  • 6097
  • 134

When you did you last get an emotional response to a game?

By on September 15, 2009

A lot has been written about generating emotion from games.

I found myself having a strong emotional response from a game over the weekend, and it came from the most surprising source.

My terrible efforts at drawing a butterfly in Shidonni

Shidonni is a freemium virtual world aimed predominantly at kids. The website shows a brightly-coloured world where ladybirds flutter across a hand-drawn landscape.

(Incidentally, the usability of the web site is an object lesson in how good design can lead a user through every important step intuitively and swiftly).

And something in this product triggered a strong emotion.

I drew a butterfly on the screen. It was a rubbish drawing (it’s hard drawing with a mouse, but that’s not the real reason the butterfly was rubbish).

Then I pressed a button and my drawing came to life.

It fluttered across the screen. It ate the apple I drew for it. It flew behind the tree I had drawn and soared across the house.

That act of creation was incredibly rewarding.

I showed it to my wife, and it took an hour to prise her away from the laptop.

I’m still trying to decide if the game has longevity, and whether the premium features are worth paying for.

But at the first hurdle, Shidonni delivered. And it delivered in spades.


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: