A Call for Guest Authors

i want you as a guest writer A Call for Guest Authors

This is a call for writers to author guest posts that focus on motivational design and Octalysis analyses.

As you’ll see on Wednesday’s post from Steven Egan, we’re looking for authors that are just as excited and thorough at understanding the intricacies of good human-focused design and want to share this knowledge with the world.

If you are interested in authoring a post or sharing your Level 1 Octalysis certificate analysis, get in touch with my colleague Zen Trenholm at zen@yukaichou.com

Game Design Analysis of Diablo II through Level II Octalysis

Diablo II game design Game Design Analysis of Diablo II through Level II Octalysis

(Below is an unedited manuscript snippet of my upcoming book, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing list on the right to order the book when it becomes available. This post may be removed after a certain period of time). 

A Quick Analysis Diablo II through the 4 Phases

Now that we have a basic understanding of the 4 Experiences Phases, lets see how a game like Diablo II uses the 8 Core Drives within the 4 Phases.

Discovery Phase

Since Diablo is a well-known franchise by Blizzard Entertainment (among many), the Discovery Phase, or why people would want to try out the new game, is fairly straightforward.

One of the key reasons for any sequel to be played is Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession. If you have committed yourself to many hours of the previous game, you feel like its part of your own and you naturally want to acquire and collect the rest of it. This is similar to naturally wanting to watch new Star Wars movies to complete the story, even though you hear from everyone that it is a huge disappointment.

Another reason is Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness. When the new Diablo game comes out, even if you wanted to keep your old resolve of not playing Diablo anymore, old gaming buddies will likely get it and push you into playing with them. This of course attaches to Loss & Avoidance (Core Drive 8) when you feel like you are no longer spending time with friends because they have their gaming parties that does not include you.

There’s also a bit of Scarcity & Impatience (Core Drive 6) for those that waited over 10 years to play the next game, as well as Unpredictability & Curiosity (Core Drive 7) for those that want to know how the new game is better or for people who keep hearing about the game.

Onboarding Phase

Continue reading

How Digital Payment Transforms Customer Loyalty Programs

Digital Payments How Digital Payment Transforms Customer Loyalty Programs

A Guest Post by TechnologyAdvice.com

At the Intersection of Loyalty, Digital Payments, and Mobile Apps

Barry Kirk and Ashley Tate, VP of Loyalty Strategy for Maritz Motivation Solutions and Director of Marketing for BigDoor, respectively, were interviewed by Clark Buckner, podcast host for TechnologyAdvice. In this interview summary excerpt, Kirk and Tate discussed digital payment options like Apple Pay and Google Wallet and how these transformative technologies will change customer loyalty programs.

The Convenience of Digital Payments in Loyalty Apps

Continue reading

4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#4): The Endgame

Endgame Design 4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#4): The Endgame

Endgame: The Final Phase for Experience Design

The Endgame is the 4th and final experience phase of Octalysis Gamification. The Endgame is all about how you retain your veterans and obtain more longevity in your experience.

This is the phase where users have done everything there is to do at least once (according to their perception), and they are figuring out why should they stick around and continue to play the game (especially when there are newer more exciting alternatives out there).

Many have said that, in World of Warcraft, the real game starts when your character has reached the max level. This is not intuitive for non-gamers, because the basic assumption is that once you reach the max level, there is nowhere to go. In the case of well designed games, that actually is the beginning of a multi-year journey.

Unfortunately, not many companies design for the Endgame, which I believe is a huge mistake. Your veterans are usually your best monetization vehicles, your best community moderators, and also your best evangelists.

The problem is that they have been there as long as they can remember, so why should they still continue to stay on board? Have you designed anything that specifically keeps them engaged and motivated?

The game-term Endgame

Often times there is a misunderstanding towards the term “Endgame.”

Some people think that this means the game is about to end, and ask, “What about games that are meant to last forever such as infinite games?”

In reality, in the gaming world the term Endgame is not where the game ends. The Endgame is where a user has reached the highest level and is transitioning from the basic day-to-day scaffolding mechanics to a new set of mechanics that only advanced level players can infinitely do.

The Endgame is about endless fun

In Plants Vs Zombies, once you finish all the levels twice, the Endgame is about custom challenges that you can unlock and conquer. In the Diablo series, it’s “Diablo Runs” where players band together to defeat the final boss multiple times a day in order to get enough loot to perfect their gear. In FarmVille, it might be using all your gold and plants to create masterful artwork and take a screenshot before they all wither out.

Gamers would sometimes complain in many games that the game developers need to do more work because there’s really nothing to do in the Endgame, which means they have done everything but long for more. Some games may have the general journey (Scaffolding) of striving towards the max level, and the endgame lies in player versus player battles, or Group Quests of Max Level Players taking on extremely difficult challenges.

Differences to other Models

My terminology is also different from other gamification professionals’ last phase of a player’s journey. Kevin Werbach and Amy Jo Kim call the final phase of the journey “Mastery,” as the player has now achieved the highest level of play.

While I think the phrase Mastery is accurate, I believe that the term “Mastery” creates a feeling that it is actually the end of the journey – you have achieved mastery and are looking for something else to master now. With “Endgame,” it is still a “game” you play and try to master. It suggests that the journey keeps going.

So let’s examine how the endgame can be more engaging based on the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis

Core Drive 1: Epic meaning and Calling in the Endgame

During the end game it becomes much more difficult to install more Epic Meaning and Calling into the process. Continue reading

5 Psychology Books That Contextualize Gamification Design

Image of brain 5 psychology books 5 Psychology Books That Contextualize Gamification Design

The obvious and ultimate point of creating games is to satisfy players. But to do this successfully requires a complex process to develop a game that adequately anticipates and meets its target audience’s motivations. As you’ve seen reflected in previous posts, people are not always driven by logic alone, which makes this development process all the more difficult.

What we might assume to be true about human motivation and thought processes may require further examination and analysis.

While the Octalysis framework focuses on the core drives of players, these principles are expanded upon by other fields. These include behavioral science, human cognition, and other areas that focus on how and why we make decisions or naturally think the way we do. A holistic understanding of cognitive behavior will deepen your understanding of motivation, drives and how to shape experiences for desired responses.

Without further adieu, here are five insightful psychology books that will expand your perspective on the workings of human cognition.

Considering this information within the context of game design will further your ability to create truly winning experiences for players.

Continue reading