Customizing Datagames for visual engagement
Using Datagame increases engagement in your surveys through its gameplay and interaction. However, there are steps you can take to make your game even more engaging than a typical Datagame. Visuals matter, and they can make a big difference with how people respond and engage with your game. Customizing Datagames is a great way to improve engagement in your games. Here are a few ways you can customize the look and feel of your games:
- Create custom card images for the fronts and backs of your cards.
- Use a custom background image.
- Change the color of your question text and board label text.
- Use custom text for your board labels.
Create custom card images
The most impactful way of customizing Datagames is to use custom artwork for the card backs and fronts. Both the MaxDiff Rankifier and Prefer! preference testing games use a card game metaphor. You can design a custom card back for all cards and individual images for the front of each card. Using custom images can take a game from bland to engaging.
One easy way to spice up the visuals for your game is to design a custom card back. Give your cards an interesting design, or put your logo on them for a branded experience.
The front of each card can be customized using either text or images. Formatting for using text on cards is limited, however. To get the most out of your cards, you should create a custom image for each card. By creating a custom image, you have full control over the font style and size for any text and the visual appearance of each card. This can be essential if you have attributes that involve a lot of text–for example, if using a game for message testing where each attribute is a complete sentence (or longer). Datagame will attempt to scale the text as much as possible to fit in the margins of the card, but text may get too small to read.
Card images should meet the dimensions for the game type: 176×246 for MaxDiff Rankifier and 525×750 for Prefer. Include a minimum 4 pixel transparent border all around the card so that there is space between the cards when they are dealt in the game. We recommend you download an image from the library to use as a template and modify it. The card templates will be the proper size and include the recommend transparent border around the outside.
Use a custom background
Customizing Datagames with a new background is a great way to make your game stand out. Datagame comes configured with a library of several background images, but you can truly customize your game experience and take the visuals to another level with a custom background. Both the MaxDiff Rankifier and Prefer games use the same size for the background, 1920×1080. This is a standard widescreen desktop wallpaper size, so finding images of this scale is easy.
Creating a custom background is easy, too. Find an image you like that would make a great background. Keep in mind that your question text and the cards will be displayed on top of this background. The MaxDiff Rankifier background is a bit more complicated, with designated areas for certain things. It may be easiest to save an image from the library to use as a template and modify it, taking note of the special areas that indicate where text and cards appear.
Change the text color
You can change the color of the question text or any of the board labels using some simple markup. To specify the color of a string of text, enclose it in brackets and precede the text with the hexadecimal RGB color code. You can look up common color codes here. Customizing Datagames by changing the text color can also make text stand out more and make it clear what the respondent should do next.
For example, if you want the text MOST to appear in green, you would enter [#00ff00MOST]. Here, #00ff00 is the hexadecimal color code for green, and MOST is the text that should be displayed in green. Make sure you choose a text color that contrasts well with your background so that text can be read easily.
Use custom board label text
One easy way to customize your game and make it more immersive is to personalize the board labels to match the subject of your game. Word Search Meta and MaxDiff Rankifier both have several board labels that can be modified. While “Deck” is certainly an accurate description, wouldn’t it be more if your car-themed game called it the “Garage” or your sports-themed game called it a “Roster”? Adjust all of the labels to match your theme. This little touch can go a long way towards customizing Datagames and creating a more engaging experience.
Free image resources
Don’t have a designer or any design tools? Here are some free tools and resources that might help you with customizing Datagames.
- Canva is an online image editor. Its Desktop Wallpaper template is the perfect size for a game background, and it also allows you to create images using custom dimensions. You can upload your own images that can then be integrated with your designs. It also has multipage designs that allow you to copy pages, so you can keep your designs consistent across all of your cards. Note, however, that you will need a paid account to download images with any transparency.
- GIMP is a free, open-source image editor available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s a full featured image manipulation application, with most of the features you would find in a commercial application.
- There are tons of free stock image sites. Many of these have breathtaking landscape photographs or other patterned designs that make great backgrounds. We’ve had good luck with Unsplash, Morguefile, and Picjumbo.
This sample Datagame uses card back designs created using free images in Canva. Which design do you like the best?