Blog post # 4
The Addictive Candy
This week I wanted to talk about an interesting mobile game you may have heard of which is called Candy Crush. This simple connect four style mobile game has dominated the mobile gaming market for years as the highest grossing game. The question you may have is how did the creators of Candy Crush manage to do this. Well they used a simple game mechanic that creates an addictive atmosphere. This makes their users addicted to playing the game and they won’t put it down. So let me jump in on how Candy Crush makes its users addicted to their game.
The main thing that the creators of Candy Crush do is to create a dopamine effect on the users brain while they play the game. A dopamine effect is essentially the happy signals your brain gives you when you do something good. For example when you eat a nice meal when you’re hungry. So you may be wondering how game designs can trigger this dopamine effect through video games. While there are multiple ways to trigger this effect in video games and the most common one is a reward system. The creators of Candy Crush did this extremely well as they created a perfect reward system for their players. Candy Crush developers used colours and feedback loops to trigger these dopamine effects in players.
They first made everything very colourful to entice players and keep interest high. I have mentioned before how important colour theory is in the world of game design since as people we identify things in life to different colours we see. They also added a pop affect in the main feedback loop. For example when u swipe and get a match 5 there is an enjoyable pop sound that plays. This is what first triggers the dompamine effect since the players actions in the game triggered a reward. You then see a big score appear on the screen which gives more feedback to the player. With daily bonuses also added it’s no brainer to see how the developers of Candy Crush were able to keep their game on the top for so long. They used an addictive feedback loop that prays on the dopamine effect of their players.
The main takeaway of this post for game design is not to purposely make your games addictive. Rather, make every action your player does in a game worth it. Give a reward for your player for completing a task or mission in your game. Because this reward is what will keep them playing longer and for them not to get bored of your game.