Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Clash Royale continues

Meanwhile we are getting bigger and smaller on Clash Royale. There are good days when we win a ton of trophies. There are bad days when we get thrashed. We spend time discussing various battle strategies (and this is where I love how games make children think).

There is a cheapo strategy - that seemed to work well, until we lost a few times. And then tweaked it.
Then there is a attack from both sides strategy.
Then there is a 'Prince' strategy.
Then there is a 'Defense' strategy - worked beautifully once and then never thereafter.
Then there is an 'All out offense' strategy - ditto.
Then just for kicks, we tried out an aerial route only strategy - this one was an out and out disaster.

Now the best part of it is that - there is very little that is useless in the battle deck. And that makes us all think (adult brain, child brain alike) about how we are going to do it.

There is discussions on options, choices, priorities, limited gold or gems (both always seem to be in short supply and the VC is not funding the 60 rupees yet). There are learnings. There are moments of triumph. There are Eureka moments. There are moments when the younger one wins three battles on a trot and the dad loses and vice versa.  The younger one has learnt the virtues of donating cards (we get gold and points), part of being a clan (though it is a clan which doesn't interact - thankfully) and has asked her friends to join the clan as well...

And recently one kid was explaining to another how a vaccination is similar to a Clash Royale game.

Given the richness of all this - how can one ever argue that games don't add value to people?
Every word said here in this TED video rings true:

Writing and Speaking

A few years ago, I was at a panel discussion. And I realized that I was able to articulate my points way better than I perhaps did a few years ago. The difference? At first, I patted myself on the back and gave myself extra brownie points for the growth of my intelligence, articulation and felt smug about it.

But when I analyzed it further, I realized that the process of writing it out had made the process easier.

And the cause for it was my blog. This blog.

I realized this unconsciously, but it just struck me how writing enables the speaking process.

The fact that I had written about various kinds of learning experiences over the few years made a difference. When we write, we are channelizing our thoughts (which are unorganized, in a cloud) into a more tangible means. This is a far more stickier process than thinking about it or reading about it (atleast for me). And as you write more, more of thoughts are taken out of the waiting queue and newer thoughts (hopefully better evolved and shaped) take their place.

Most of us face times when you are called upon to say a few words about the industry or learning in general and a mike is thrust in your face. It can be unnerving.

But since I had written about it (and written about it after some thought process), it made that process way more easier, because a distilled set of thoughts were available with me to talk about it. And it made the process far more easier...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Design Thinking

If I were not a trainer, I would have been a designer.

Hey, but I am also a training designer.

So, when the countries premier design institute announced a Design Thinking workshop, I decided to give it a go. Also, having done a little bit of work on 'Design Thinking' approaches in my work, I thought it was worth exploring further...

Design Thinking, Creativity, Insights...

And it was an interesting session. With immersive experiences on gathering user insights and so on...

Hope to do a longer post on it someday!

Clash Royale

We have been fans for Clash for Clans for a while now. Clash of clans was and continues to remain an interesting game. But the truth was that many found it quite complex and too involved. And perhaps Supercell recognized that. And came up with Clash Royale.

Having played both CoC and CR, I can say that the thought of Clash Royale has been incredible. This is not an easy path.

There are quite a few who have tried. But following up on one success, retaining some elements of it and still making a playable game that is as engaging and does not cannibalize the earlier version (among other things) is not easy. But they have done it.

From the earlier format of CoC, they have come up with a simpler format. This is easier to play. No elaborate building. No waiting for troops to get experience, but it is not instant. And with all this there is still an interesting element of gameplay strategy.

Indeed, the gameplay strategy is so unique that I don't think I have seen anything like this (yes, personal incredulity is a logical fallacy), but well, I am impressed.

So, here we are, father and daughter, playing in Clash Royale. Bring it on!