SoPlay Ends – Triangle Starts

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello everyone,

The SoPlay research project has officially ended. We would like to thank every and all of You who have been part in this research project. We are continuing our research in the new Triangle project ( which focuses on revenue models, game design and player experience.

A short description from SoPlay results can be found here. It is a short report from fall 2010, describing our work in the project. Although the project is officially in its end, we are currently writing research papers based on our interview data. We expect to publish three-to-four papers in fall 2011 conferences (MindTrek 2011 most probably).

The work on SoPlay heuristics will continue in Triangle. Currently the heuristics are being revised based on the feedback from the MindTrek 2010 workshop and from a university course where 19 students evaluated social game based on the heuristics and other tools. In Triangle, we aim to merge the heuristics with behavioral economics and see what comes out of it.

We are attending CHI 2011 Workshop “Social Games Studies” which is organized by the group. From the Triangle side we have also participant in the Gamification workshop.

We will update this website till the end of the year. Thank You for being with us.

Have a nice day.


Call for Participation: Social Game Studies at CHI 2011

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment

A one-day workshop at CHI 2011, May 8, 2011, in Vancouver.

NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE: Submissions are due January 28, 2011. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out no later than February 25, 2011.

“Social games”, defined as games played and distributed on Social Networks, have become a digital gaming phenomenon. The most popular games boast tens of millions of users each month, using simple mechanics to reach a vast audience apparently under-served by traditional digital games. This enormous success raises important questions about game design, interface design, psychology and the social power of online networks.

This one-day workshop will convene academics and practitioners in the HCI community and other fields to share and discuss the state of the art in social games design and research, and how it connects to HCI as a field. Papers and workshop results will be published on, and contributors will be encouraged to participate in the growing community of researchers and practitioners.

We invite you to submit a 2-4 page position paper that reports current work, contextualises social games in existing (HCI) fields, systematizes research approaches and questions, or otherwise relates to social games. Papers will be selected based on relevance and potential contribution to a vivid discussion.

Accepted papers are invited to submit an amended version to a special issue of Entertainment Computing.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

* Interfaces for Social Interaction
* Play Practices in Social Games
* Design for “Freemium” models
* Social Games Audiences
* Player Behavior in Social Networks
* Psychology of Social Games
* Social Mechanics in Social Games

Please indicate how many authors will attend the workshop (places are limited). At least one author of each accepted position paper must register for the workshop and for at least one day of the conference. For more information, visit the workshop site at
Submission Details

* Format: 2-4 pages, in ACM CHI Extended Abstracts format
* Submit: by email to
* Deadline: 14th January 2011
* Notification: 11th February 2011
* Workshop: 8th May 2011

Interesting Presentation on Social Games

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Here are two interesting presentation on social games. Enjoy!

Categories: news, social games

Thank You for Successful Workshop!

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

SoPlay project arranged a full-day social games design workshop at the MindTrek 2010 conference on Friday 8th October. 11 international participants interested in social game design participated in the workshop, and based on the attendees’ feedback, everyone learned something new and considered the session as a success. Thank you all for attending and special kudos for the invaluable feedback!

The workshop was tutored by SoPlay project manager Janne Paavilainen, who briefly introduced the project  for the attendees. After introducing the project, focus shifted into the current state of SoPlay heuristics, which were used in the workshop. As a design exercise, the attendees formed groups of two-to-three members and selected a well known game as a base for the design process, which goal was to produce social game concepts with the help of SoPlay heuristics.

The design process started by defining the game fundamentals, considering the key features, interaction loops and offline progress mechanic to name a few. After pinning down the core fundamentals, the attendees worked with the SoPlay heuristics, defining how their social game concept addressed each heuristic. At the very end, the attendees worked a bit with business perspective issues such as acquisition, retention and monetization.

After the design process, the attendees presented their social game concepts which were briefly discussed. The workshop concluded with a questionnaire survey and closing discussion. Based on the survey and discussion, the attendees were pleased with the heuristics but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Thank you all!

Click here to download the workshop presentation.

Click here to download the workshop design form.

Workshop: Designing Social Games with SoPlay Heuristics

September 21, 2010 1 comment

SoPlay project will hold a social games design workshop in MindTrek-conference on 8th Oct 2010. The workshop focuses on using SoPlay heuristics for designing social games concepts. The workshop will be tutored by SoPlay project manager Janne Paavilainen. See workshop details below.

Workshop brochure.

Workshop concept as PowerPoint slides.

Designing Social Games with SoPlay Heuristics is a one-day workshop where the participants will learn how to use SoPlay heuristics effectively in designing social network games (i.e. “social games) concepts for online social networks, such as Facebook.

The workshop features an introduction, a two phase design exercise and an evaluation discussion. First the ten SoPlay heuristics (Spontaneity, Interruptability, Continuity, Discovery, Virality, Narrativity, Expression, Sharing, Sociability and Competition) are presented with examples from current social games.  The workshop continues as the participants choose one AAA retail game title, which is used for ideating the theme for their social game concept. The work continues by following the SoPlay heuristics as each heuristic is taken under closer examination and design questions relating to that particular heuristic are presented. After ten heuristics and series of design questions, the participants should have a solid social game concept to be briefly presented and evaluated by others. As this workshop is part of the SoPlay research project, the heuristics and the methodology used in the workshop are also evaluated with discussion and questionaire form.

Tentative schedule:

  • 10.15          Introduction to the workshop and participants
  • 10.45          Introduction to SoPlay heuristics
  • 11:30          Design exercise, first part
  • 13:00          Lunch
  • 14:00          Design exercise, second part
  • 15:00          Discussion and evaluation
  • 16:00          Workshop closing

User Experience in Social Games

July 14, 2010 Leave a comment

I gave this presentation in Games Convention Online 2010, Leipzig, Germany. These are the tentative results from SoPlay survey and in-depth interviews with social network users who have or had encountered social games in one form or another.

Prototype Cards for SoPlay Social Games Heuristics

May 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Categories: social games, social media