Genies Traits Framework: A Deep Dive on Digital Identity

Genies Traits Framework: A Deep Dive on Digital Identity

Jan 11, 2024

What if your avatar in the Genies Ecosystem encoded not only your visual representation but also who you are – your personality, quirks, and all? The Traits Framework at Genies is our approach to bringing multi-layered depth and dynamism to your digital identity: depicting not just what you look like, but also describing what your personality is like. 

Why do we want to do this?

Because we think your online persona should grow and change just like you do in real life. It's all about making the digital world more personal and responsive to who you are. There’s nowhere else where you can be part of an ecosystem that not only comes with amazing high-fidelity avatars, but a high-fidelity description of the inner-self and personality of someone in the digital world. 

We describe a little bit of this in our previous blog post, but we’d like to dive deeper into our methodology so you can understand how we’ve designed our Traits Framework and how it describes your digital avatar’s inner self. It's like giving your digital self its own unique flavor. 

The Origins of our Traits Framework

We had two initial requirements for our Traits Framework that our product team set out as goals

  1. It must be comprehensive enough to describe a person relatively accurately but also uniquely. 

  2. It must be simple & straightforward enough for developers to build innovative custom experiences based on your unique Trait profile.

Based on these two requirements, we knew we had to bring in experts to do proper discovery work in building out the foundation of Traits. Therefore, we brought in a team of psychologists to work directly with our product team in building the foundation of our innovative framework. The psychologists helped build a clinical and scientific foundation for our framework and helped audit our creative process to ensure rigor in design. The Game Designer helped provide a developer perspective in architecting this framework and is now developing flagship examples that will make it straightforward for a new genre of personality-based Experiences to be built by anyone building within the Genies Ecosystem.

We first worked with the psychologists to pull inspiration and research from other personality systems (Jungian Archetypes, the 7 Chakra System, 5 elements in Chinese medicine, and the 9 Enneagram Personality Types) but in parallel we also looked to innovate in creating our own structure that would work specifically for our ecosystem where we’re able to have a bit of creative leeway to make personality profiles much more fun and engaging especially as we need to pair them with Experiences.

Eventually our focus narrowed to combining the 7 Chakras System with a gaming approach of multi-layered Traits (i.e. FIFA’s DEF or “Defensive” stat is actually a composition of multiple subtraits each with their own values), forming the bedrock for the current Traits Framework. Clinical judgment from psychologists and qualitative research methods helped us to distill each of the 7 Chakras into 7 categories, each with three descriptive Traits that uniquely describe a different facet of that respective category. 

We then worked with the psychologists to generate a list of 21 Traits in total (3 Traits per category, 7 categories) making sure that we don’t generate so many Traits that it’s impossible for developers to build against, but making sure we have enough variety in Traits such that every individual can eventually build up a unique Trait DNA profile. 

As seen in the graphic above, these 21 Traits can also be beautifully grouped by “Mind”, “Gut”, and “Heart” type Traits where Mind are the more intellectual Traits, Gut Traits are the instinctive Traits, and Heart Traits are the emotional Traits. We’ve also color coded each category based on the chakra system to give each personality type more expression and something for both users and developers to hold on to.

As we started to leverage this framework to create custom personality-tailored experiences, our Game Designer gave us valuable feedback to simplify the system as much as possible to make the development experience as easy for devs as possible in the near term. Thus, we then worked to focus on 7 Traits to start off with - one from each category that the psychologists felt epitomized each category the best and was most accessible to users. We are not removing the remaining 14 Traits; eventually, we will want to layer in the two additional Traits within each category as we expand our Framework to create better fidelity.

These are the final starting 7 Traits that we ended up with along with their illustrative Trait stones that can be gained by users within the Genies Party ecosystem. This personality Trait dimension presents a unique opportunity for users to learn about themselves from spiritual, psychological, somatic, and material perspectives. It’s an invitation to reflect on who you are, who you want to be, and to see aspects of yourself reflected in the Genies ecosystem. 

This is not the end though! As we build out the Genies Party ecosystem, there will not only be these Foundational 21 personality Traits, but also many other Traits added that will gradually create more fidelity as more complex Traits grow from these Foundational Traits. Some of these you can start to experience in our personality quiz!

Additionally, we are looking to expand and test additional Traits like Physical Traits, which are useful for games within the Genies Party ecosystem as developers may find these Traits easier to understand. The first physical Traits that you will be able to gain for your avatar in Genies Party are “Strength”, “Stamina”, and “Speed”. 

How will a Genies Party user see these Traits?

As a user builds out their Trait profile in Genies Party, they will be able to collect and build on the Trait stones that correspond to their personality, with their most prominent Traits shown closer to their Avatar. There’s no “best” Trait value or combination for users, you are your own unique person and every profile will be a relatively unique combination of scores for each Trait. It’s like a Trait DNA that’s created for each user and constantly evolving based on your actions within Genies Party. 

Your Trait profile will be developed through what you say and do in Genies Party. Every conversation and every experience could shape your profile based on your behavior. It’s also fun seeing how your Trait profile could evolve and change over time, maybe even to characteristics you wouldn’t have expected! Don’t worry, if you don’t like your Trait profile, you can always reset your Traits and start over just as you would be able to completely change up your avatar appearance.

Because this Trait profile is a result of your actions taken in the digital world, it’ll truly become a horoscope of your personality. Through Genies Party we’d also capture insights about your inner self that you may not have been able to realize through any other platform, allowing you to compare your true self to friends and Creators. “Am I more similar to my friend John or Claire?” “Would I be compatible with Timothee Chalamet?”

Finally, the personalized experiences brought to life by your Traits in Genies Party are set to redefine avatar-based gaming. They unlock a new realm of customized games that not only enhance how you can socialize your identity but also add a whole new tailored-to-you dimension of multiplayer interactions. We’ll touch on this in the next section along with some challenges of balance that we’ve thought of between Traits.

It’s important to note that although the creation of this Framework is rooted in empirical and scientific work, our aim is to still make it fun with somewhat mystical/metaphysical leanings, rather than a more standard personality profile measure like the Myers-Briggs or the Big Five personality Traits. 

How will custom Experiences be built against these Traits?

Devs should generally not be using Traits to modify the difficulty of a game. Our recommendation for types of ways 3rd party devs can develop against Traits are as such:

  • Cosmetic - Through cosmetic changes in avatar, environment, and vfx, devs can provide unique Trait-based experiences that don’t directly impact game mechanics. This rewards players with a sense of achievement without disrupting the game flow.

  • Narrative - Through narrative changes in game flow, story, or progression, a user’s Traits can change the way NPCs interact or how the game progresses in story.

  • Shortcuts/Paths - Through specific Trait values, a user may be given a shortcut through a game experience.

  • Archetypes - If devs have created multiple archetypes of characters in their game, Traits can be used to assign an archetype to that player.

  • Things - Things are the smart interoperable 3D objects of the Genies Ecosystem. Traits can be attached to Things developers create, adding another depth and dynamism to not just avatars, but also the objects that you carry around.

For example, if users have a high Calm Trait in a Tamagotchi type game, they may be more likely to find calmer pets to raise. Similarly, if a user picks a calmer pet to raise within that same game, their Calm Trait value may increase.

 Another example is if in a racing game a user comes in with a specific Trait, they may get 3 race bonuses to pick from based on their specific Trait, whereas someone coming in with a different Trait may be selecting from 3 different race bonuses. Cosmetically, you may notice that Caring Trait users may have a pink heart-particle aura and Ambitious Trait users may have glowing red exhausts.

We do not want users to use Traits for gating or power level purposes within their games to avoid balance issues. It’s also important not to only have direct player competition within games based on Traits to not have to contend with “which Trait is better” type of questions for each game.

If you have concerns about being assigned a Trait profile that doesn't resonate with you, we have a thoughtful solution: Things x Traits. Envision this: each item your avatar equips carries specific Traits. This allows you the flexibility to customize your Trait profile to suit various experiences, ensuring that each interaction can be shaped by your choices and the items you choose to equip, giving you the power to own your gaming experience. We’ll touch on our innovative Things Framework and the intricacies of that system another time. 

How do Developers access Traits in our Developer Kit?

Reading Traits: We've integrated an API into our devkit scripting, allowing developers to access Trait values ranging from -100 to 100. While the exact number of a Trait isn't directly shown, this range simplifies the application of Traits in game logic. For instance, a developer can use a formula like `if(max(calm, 0) * RNG > 50) success! Else failure` to apply the positive aspect of the calm Trait in a random number generator (RNG) check. This approach simplifies complex calculations, making the development process more efficient.

Writing Traits: Our API allows developers to adjust Traits in terms of Large, Medium, and Small increments, either positively or negatively. For example, a period of low actions per minute (APM) with successful outcomes might prompt a Positive Medium adjustment to the Calm Trait. Conversely, high APM with few successes could lead to a Negative Medium adjustment. We're also exploring a 'batching' API for more granular games, allowing developers to accumulate Trait changes and send them in batched API calls. This ensures smoother and more efficient Trait management in our devkit. To further simplify Trait adjustments, we're considering offering developers various controllers that they can easily integrate and configure. These controllers would respond to different gameplay aspects, like APM and success rates, to automatically adjust Traits.

By simplifying Trait management through intuitive APIs and developer-friendly tools, our goal is to empower developers to create a completely new genre of more engaging and dynamic games that are effectively customized to each user's Trait profile. Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting developments in our developer toolkit and look forward to our first flagship Trait-based games built internally by Genies and by 3rd party devs in our Developer Incubator.

If you’re interested in building on our innovative Traits Framework and being an early creator within the Genies Ecosystem, apply for our Developer Incubator today