Flower Stand Revision – Brainstorming Underlying Themes and Goals

This post fleshes out some more ideas about Flower Stand, a short educational game about small business concepts that I’m in the process of revising. You can read an earlier post about my first iteration of the game by clicking here.

I like the idea of short educational games that act as gateways into new experiences by sparking the user’s interest and helping to build a basic schema of knowledge for later. That’ what I’d like my user to take away from Flower Stand – enough knowledge and interest to explore further.

Underlying Themes and Related Actions

My initial conception of Flower Stand was that it would be a game that would familiarize the user with the basic mechanics of buying perishable stuff (in this case, flowers) and then successfully selling it to people. Here’s a somewhat expanded list of themes and related actions that I want to address in my second version:

  1. Observe and respond to the needs of potential and existing customers
    a) Adjust prices based on customer actions and feedback
    b) Stock appropriate inventory based on customer actions and feedback
  2. Experiment and take calculated risks
    a) Select appropriate marketing
    b) Select appropriate locations
    c) Decide on new product mixes
    d) Decide how to handle various one-time issues and opportunities
  3. Plan for the future, both short-term and long-term
    a) Save money for particular investments that help to build the business
    b) Save money in case of unexpected troubles
  4. Be aware of the actions of your competition and adapt accordingly
    a) Observe competition
    b) Adjust prices
    c) Adjust other business decisions

User Goals

In the original version of the game, the user would start by selecting a goal:

  1. Build Sales – Sell at least 2,000 flowers in a week
  2. Earn Money – Have at least $5,000 in available funds
  3. Gain Customers – Have at least 200 loyal customers

The goals are somewhat randomly numeric. In the second iteration, I’d like to try to link these goals to more story-oriented business goals. So, earn money could revolve around earning enough money for a specific purpose, such as a down payment on a storefront. Gain customers could be targeted at becoming well known enough to target a specific larger customer. I’m still finalizing my thoughts around these goals. I’d also like to include an opening back-story for each of these goals, probably just a couple of sentences, but something to tie together the entire experience as a coherent whole.