26 Jan IGO Tips & Tricks: Editing Invitations to Online Games

It’s important to write a “good” email invitation letter for your online games — one that includes all the essential information needed for your players to access and play the game. Our default invitation letter includes tags that auto-populate the letter with game information like player name, planner name and the game link. However, most of our game producers and facilitators often tailor the invitation. Here’s some tips on how to make successful edits, along with an explanation of tags and which ones must be included in the invitation.

First, let’s review with the default invitation letter for a Buy a Feature game:

Dear %name%,

%plannername% has invited you to play the Innovation Game® %gametype% to better understand what you’re looking for in future products and services.

To play the game, click on the link below. This link will open a website that will present you with a list of features. Each feature costs a certain amount of money. You will be given some money to spend on the features that you want to purchase. Since you probably won’t have enough money to purchase everything you want, we encourage you to collaborate with other players to purchase features that you can’t afford.

Here are the details of the game.

Game: %partyname%
Date: %date%
Time: %time% %timezone%
Click on this link to play the game: %playlink%

You have been registered for this game with the following e-mail address: %email%. Please use this e-mail address when you join the game.

Sincerely,
%plannername%

Words bracketed with % symbols are called tags. Tags are replaced by the system with information before the email is sent to your players. The complete list of tags are as follows:

Tag Replaced By
%name% The name of the player from the guest list.
%plannername% Your name.
%gametype% The type of game you’re playing – either Prune the Product Tree or Buy a Feature.
%partyname% The name of your party.
%date%, %time%, %timezone% The date, time, and time zone you specified in the first step of the party.
%playlink% The URL that the system will automatically generate and send to your players. While you can edit text of this message as much as you like, this tag is required if your want your players to play the game. ** REQUIRED **
%email% The email address the player must use when joining the lobby. This is the email you entered into the guest list. We strongly recommend including this because players often forward emails between email accounts.

Most edit this email (paying close attention to the tags) before sending it players. For example, here is an edited letter that we used when we were facilitating some online Speed Boat games for the Cisco Flip. Note the additional game description to help orient the players to the game prior to playing:

Dear %name%,

The purpose of this game is to identify what might be holding you back from using your Flip at work or in professional environments.

In this game, you’ll be presented with a picture of a boat along with some anchors in the top left hand corner of your browser. The boat represents the Flip video recorder. The anchors represent what is holding you back from using the Flip at work or in professional environments.

Your job is to drag anchors onto the image. Place “Somewhat Bad” anchors near the boat. Place the “Really Bad” anchors lower to the bottom.

We’ll be exploring three areas for potential anchors: 1. Capturing / creating video. 2. Editing / preparing video. 3. Distributing / sharing video.

I will be in the game as your facilitator to help you.

Click on this link to play the game: %playlink%

You can share this email or this URL with your friends at Cisco if you’d like them to join this game.

You have been registered for this game with the following e-mail address: %email%. Please use this e-mail address when you join the game.

Here are the details of this game.

Date: %date%
Time: %time% %timezone%

Sincerely,

%plannername%

As you can see, only a few modifications were needed to the basic template to make sure all of the players of this online game had the critical information needed to play the game. You can also supplement these invitation letters from our system with additional information on the games you intend to play.

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