Over 500 million people a month get things done with Google Assistant on their devices, and they also want to have fun. When starting a game is as simple as saying, "Let's play!" you can reach more players and new audiences.
Learn how the Google Assistant platform includes more than your typical gamers, and how smart displays can help you draw new players into your game.
"Hey Google, let's play a game"
Starting a game with Google Assistant is incredibly simple. Unlike other game platforms, which require controllers and a level of gaming experience, anyone can play a game on Assistant. Consider how this opens up the possibilities of new gaming audiences, such as younger players at home.
The simplicity and power of spoken interfaces makes it possible for almost anyone to understand and play your game, and allows you to vary game play in ways not possible on other platforms. Consider trivia games or adventures where the whole family can participate, by varying the required complexity of responses from players. For example, present young players with specific choices for your adventure game during their turn, and require older players to explain their next move.
Design for group play
Smart displays are frequently placed in communal areas such as the kitchen or family room. So if one player is interacting with your game, it's likely that more people are hearing the conversation. This means you have the opportunity to draw a crowd to your game. With this interaction model in mind, consider these factors when designing your game:
- Design for a crowd: Build your game with the idea that more than one player can participate at a time. In a room occupied by multiple people, allow for multi-player options if more people want to join in. Invite new players to join at appropriate intervals or breaks in regular play. Repeat the invitations to include potential players arriving in the room after game play has started.
- Multiple on-going activities: Communal areas are often filled with activity. Consider how these activities can affect players' ability to respond, such as someone who's cutting vegetables and can't reach to tap the screen. Also, look for ways to incorporate those activities into your game play.
- Environment noise: Consider how quiet or noisy the play environment may be. Kitchens and living rooms, for example, can be loud and the device may pick up other conversations. Plan for noise by implementing robust error handling. For more information, see Errors on Google's Conversation design site.
Expand play time
If you have designed games for other platforms, you may have an expectation of a minimum session time required for a successful game interaction. In designing games for Google Assistant, you should expect shorter session lengths and you may need to reconsider your definition of a minimum session length.
As a voice-enabled, always-available platform, game time on Google Assistant can start with just a few words from a player and end just as quickly. This ease of entry into game play creates more possibilities for when and how long your players can participate in a game. Consider that players can play as part of other activities, such as getting a mission update while they cook dinner, or in quick sessions, such as checking on a virtual pet as they walk through the living room.
The quick and simple interaction model offered by the Google Assistant platform creates opportunities for casual gaming interactions. Players can have many short sessions throughout the day, enabling background gaming that happens in parallel with other activities, a possibility that's impractical with most gaming platforms.