It’s not often that I will part with money straight away. Especially on things that I determine are more wants than needs. But when a couple of good financially savvy friends mentioned how good it was (and a happy coincidence where I found a couple of “close to expiry” gift cards, meant I could do some rather urgent shopping), I finally caved and got it. But that’s not where it stopped. This was the first step, into something that’s long been forgotten.

1. Progressive upgrades

The city was never locked to you at all. And it wasn’t like they made the enemies in that other location extra hard to keep you in one spot (something that Assassins Creed: Origins did really well). Furthermore, as you got better with the little things, the game actually got easier. Then, you got a thrill out of executing the fancy moves. And then all of a sudden, I was gunning to get the extra bonuses for each random side mission.

2. The little things

When you were swinging higher amongst the skyscrapers, you don’t hear as much, but when you’re down near the ground, then you can hear everything – the walls of the buildings, really amplify the sound. And as you’re falling, the world get’s more blurry. It was just amazing. And when you’re higher, you don’t hear a thing – the sound just, kinda switches off. And time actually slows down too – all part of the charm.

3. Battles had in-built bonuses that made you learn how to play the game better

Each of these bonuses gave you tips into how to play the game and make you a much better player. I can say, unequivocally that I have become such a better player from the start versus who I am now – it’s insane. I am calm during the most intense battles (in comparison to where I started from and would freak out at the bigger thugs) and execute things with precision (irrespective of the thug types or the types of guns they have), precisely because I know how to play the game.

4. The art of the swing

Now, they made sure that the very basis of what you do – like 90% of the time – was the most beautiful thing you ever saw. And I know, I could (and) have spent hours just swinging from one side of Brooklyn to the other. It was just simply delightful. And you could do random tricks as well. And you are rewarded for it. Even better – there are tricks and extra moves for going continuously in one move. Good heavens you need to see them for yourself.

5. Just when you think you’re done, you’re not

When I wrapped a part of the storyline, I surely thought, this game should be ended and then all of a sudden – BAM. A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF STORY UNFOLDS

6. The storytelling

Insomniac have created some great games and many in my childhood that was just a joy to play. And I didn’t think the company could master it anymore. As a gamer, my tastes have evolved and I thought maybe, just maybe the same formulas were used. After amazing games like Uncharted, Beyond Two Souls and Final Fantasy, I didn’t think they could top it. But this one – it stood on its own two feet. And the story was masterful. It’s well written, got some quips in from the comics and pays homage to the Marvel Universe.

7. The Mods are based on your play style

Whatever your play style, there are internal (but limited) modifications that help you amplify those strengths. And if you wanted a balanced gameplay, well it’s a payoff that you must endure.
So how can this be applied to everyday work?

A. Ensure that the everyday item is flawless (as much as it can be)

Make it a delight to interact with the thing that you’re building. You’re day to day should be fun with your product. And if you get this done, you will have word of mouth, just like my friends did to me, to get this game.

B. Make upgrading and moving through your process easy

Once your user knows the steps to progress, then people automatically want to move up that ladder. There is something inherent in every human to proceed and feel like they are making a progress – so could this be a visual item for the user?I will test this and get back to you on it.

C. Have inbuilt items to help your users get better at working at your product

I’m still working on this segment, but I think that it would be super useful to have items built into your product to show the user how to get better. Does this mean, instructions within the panel? Or a help section that will pop up in case you need to learn more. I’m still A/B testing this aspect but the initial tests seem quite fruitful.

In the end, who knew that playing a video game could provide so much insight into work. Inspiration really pops up from the most random of places.

I hope you enjoy my musings – I’ll be talking more about data and product management. And if there is anything I can help you with – don’t hesitate to reach out.

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