Game
The basis of game starts with a concept and ends with an objective. Game design is particularly important because it dictates how the players interact in the entire gaming experience. While a meaningful objective is not crucial to a chatbot game campaign, there should be a clear sighting of an ending in each game round. The ending is usually a prize redemption or a scoreboard.
Right Medium or Right Experience
The game design, just as any concept, is limitless. However, a set of rules or a narrative must be created to control how the players interact with the game. One must consider carefully from how consistent and relevant is the experience to the medium the game is presented. For example, Monopoly can be played without a board. Instead, the entire game is played in card format. Players trade cards with each other instead of throwing dices to determine how many steps they move on the board. Hence, the game design and rules of the original Monopoly are changed to fit the medium. You always decide the best medium or else, let the medium decide for your game.
Conversational Game
Chatbot can also be a game. Some of the most popular games are played in conversational format, such as Truth or Dare, 20 Questions, Make it or Break it. If a chatbot can conduct a conversation, then the most difficult part is just to think of one and program it out. Before getting creative, one must be aware of the technological limitation as well as the potential of a chatbot conversational design.
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UI/UX Design
Since chatbot’s introduction in the 60s, the technology has gone through years of fine-tuning and market adaptation. It has now transformed into more than a text-to-text communication programme. Depending on where you want your chatbot to be deployed on, the UI/UX of your chatbot can be vastly different.
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For example, Facebook Messenger offers a considerable variety of message types including interactive buttons, quick reply buttons, media template and even carousel. In comparison, WeChat can only support text and images. Instead of using Chatbot as a gaming medium, WeChat encourages developers to use WeChat Miniprogram to create games.

Most platforms which support chatbot usually have more advanced UI/UX like buttons. If you want to make your game more versatile, interactive and interesting, better choose one that supports more than just text and images.

Rule-based Chatbot
Remember, you are not creating an AI human here. This is just a game. Instead of being frustrated about training the best chatbot in language learning capability, you can just program a simple and direct rule-based/option-based chatbot. Imagine the chatbot is a game master that guides you through the game by following the unique set of rules. Instead of having a randomized conversation which leads the user to nothing, a set of predetermined chatbot path must be designed to reach the objective of your game. One good way is to make use of buttons:
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However, you must also beware of making your game too easy. For example, Carousel in Facebook Messenger allows user to click it multiple times. If you are asking a question with only one correct answer, users can just randomly click all of the answers until they answer the correct one.
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In that case, you can make use of Quick Reply buttons. All the other buttons will disappear once the user has selected one of the options.
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Furthermore, you should always give users a second chance or let them continue the game in order to make them feel less frustrated.
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Guide them back to the game flow when they answered it wrong.
Best Application of Chatbot Game
On a personal level, game can always be just for fun. From an enterprise perspective, the end goal of game is always about meeting certain marketing, sales or training KPIs. Let’s take a look into social media marketing. In the past, reaches, impressions and number of likes were the kings & queens of social media KPIs. Nowadays, these statistics can easily be bought by advertisements or boosting posts. What really matters is conversion. The real question is how to quantify and identify users who have really made a purchase after reading your online ad placement.
The answer is chatbot. Within the chatbot environment, the designer has total control on the conversation flow and it is easy to set a predetermined path for user to perform a certain action. Driving online-to-offline (O2O) O-to-O conversion is particularly effective in Chatbot. For example, the bot can guide users to an offline store to redeem a coupon. With proper ad placement strategies, brands can make use of their established online social presence to drive users to activate a chatbot game. While your chatbot becomes a virtual game master that guides players through the game, players can reach the end by completing all the virtual challenges in the offline checkpoints.
The End Goal
Naturally, when the game is not just for fun, players are less willing to complete a game. Incentives are particularly effective in making players to feel obligated to finish the game. Our study shows that over 80% of users will complete a chatbot game with over 10 questions if there are incentives involved. Brands can also make use of offline prize redemption to drive offline store visit.
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This article is also published at Medium.
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