1 element that makes Godus sticky, but suck as a game

I love god games, games where you get to influence the development of a world. Sim City, Civilisation and of course Populous we all favourites as I grew up. Now the original designer of Populous, Peter Moleneux, has given us a new vision of god games in the form of Godus. The story behind the development and the campaigns run to get it started are almost a "how to" of gamification really. It started in around 2012 with the release of the iOS "game" Curiosity. This had people clicking on squares on a 3D cube to clear layers. All people were told was that the person who cleared the very last square would win a prize of a lifetime! Clearing cubes gave you coins. Coins could be used to buy better tools to clear squares more efficiently. There was also a series of in app purchases (IAPs) that allowed you to get access to these for real money. A few months later a chap called Bryan Hednerson opened the cube and discovered he would not only get a revenue share of a new game called... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski GamificationGamingLoyaltyRants ,,,,,,

I love god games, games where you get to influence the development of a world. Sim City, Civilisation and of course Populous we all favourites as I grew up. Now the original designer of Populous, Peter Moleneux, has given us … Continue reading

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4 tips for creating viral content #gamification #icebucketchallenge

A couple of days ago I got nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  For those of you who don't know what this is, it is a viral awareness campaign that has been knocking around the internet for a few weeks now. A person is challenged to pour a bucket of ice water over their head, film it and nominate others to do the same. If they don't want to do that, they can donate to the ALS (or in the UK Motor Neurone Disease) charity. The video above is my contribution. This challenge has been massively successful, raising millions for the charities and also making millions aware of the disease. But what has made it such a success? I decided to use my User Types Hexad Analysis tool to look at the types of people that may get the most out of this campaign. I had assumed it would be the philanthropist / altruist types, but was a little wrong. What elements and motivations are at play then? For me the following: Elements (click to see more) 9) Narrative /... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,

A couple of days ago I got nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is a viral awareness campaign that has been knocking around the internet for a few … Continue reading

[Updated] Defining fun – some research results

UPDATED 27/08/2014 After a few more responses, I have realised I missed off Learning as a type of fun!!! As many of you will have seen by now, I am running a short survey on what people find fun. So far I have had 155 results, for which I am truly grateful! Of course, I need more - so tell your friends, I am missing any answers at all from the 17 or younger age group! However, I thought it would be fun to share some of the findings so far, show those of you that have answered so far that there is something happening with your answers. I have been categorising the answers into various types of fun, creating new types as I find answers that don't fit into those I already have. So far this has given me 20 types of fun. Part of this process is to get your feedback on the types I have so far - are they all separate for example, or can I group a few. Also, can I group them generally beyond what I have already. I really need your feedback to help this process! But, until... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski GamificationGaming ,,,,,,

UPDATED 27/08/2014 After a few more responses, I have realised I missed off Learning as a type of fun!!! As many of you will have seen by now, I am running a short survey on what people find fun. So … Continue reading

Just rewarding activity is not gamification: stop it!

I have promised in the past not to write about the dangers of extrinsic rewards anymore. However, can't stand reading about gamification being a failure anymore, when the articles proclaiming this almost always start with "gamification is about awarding points, or physical rewards to people for doing dull tasks". No quoting from Dan Pink or Deci and Ryan this time, just facts based on experience. If you offer a reward, especially a material reward that has value to people, you are setting yourself up for failure. Every time I have seen a 'gamified' campaign that offers someone like an iPad as a prize for participation, it has had problems. The worst culprit is when the prize is offered for nothing more than activity (so no actual creativity needed). This carrot approach leads to one of two main outcomes. The first, rubbish input from people wanting the prize. Offer a reward for commenting, and you get hundreds of "Great. Awesome. Amazing." type comments. Offer rewards for... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski GamificationRants ,,,,,,,,,

I have promised in the past not to write about the dangers of extrinsic rewards anymore. However, can’t stand reading about gamification being a failure anymore, when the articles proclaiming this almost always start with “gamification is about awarding points, … Continue reading

S.M.A.R.T Gamification – Goal Setting

In one of those "D'oh" moments, it occurred to me that management types have been promoting one of the core components of gamification since at least the 80's! We all agree that one of the main aspects that forms good gamification is good goal setting (at least I hope we all do by now). Well The Management have been told to do this for about 30 years now - ever since a concept called "SMART" was first given air. SMART is an acronym (of course, we all love one of them), that generally stands for; Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound Specific It is important in gamification to make goals clear.  "I want to lose weight", is not a specific goal! "I want to lose 10lbs" is specific. This is where you ask the "Who, What, Why, Where" type questions. Measurable If you can't measure progress, how do you know you are heading towards your goal? Set sub markers to your goal. You also have to have a win state - in this case "I have lost... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,

In one of those “D’oh” moments, it occurred to me that management types have been promoting one of the core components of gamification since at least the 80′s! We all agree that one of the main aspects that forms good … Continue reading

Dynamic teams: Learning from the kids

The other day, I had the joy of taking my eldest daughter to a theme park (Chessington World of Adventures). We had an amazing time, finished off with a visit to what I thought was a sort of soft play area. It turns out it was way more awesome than that. It was a steam punk themed ball shooting arena called Temple of Mayhem. The arena was 2 floors high, with walkways laid out in a horseshoe around the edges. Each of the walkways had a bank of guns, whilst the ground floor had 2 large cannons. The guns and the cannons fired tennis ball sized foam balls (as many as you could get in them). Also dotted around were various mechanisms to get the foam balls from the ground floor up to the first and second levels. The basic idea was to grab a gun and start shooting across the arena at other people. That is what the parents did anyway! The kids had other ideas. They started to fall into distinct roles. Some started to make sure that the balls in the arena were being fed up... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski GamingOpinionTechnology ,,,,,

The other day, I had the joy of taking my eldest daughter to a theme park (Chessington World of Adventures). We had an amazing time, finished off with a visit to what I thought was a sort of soft play … Continue reading

Altruism: Kindness begets kindness

One of the ideas that has always fascinated me is altruism within random groups. The idea that if you do a good deed and others see it, they will also be more likely to do a good deed. I have been testing this idea on my drive into work for a few months now. In a totally non scientific way, I have been alternately allowing people to cross past me at a junction and not letting them. When I let them cross, I keep an eye on the car behind me to see if they then let the next person through. I would estimate that about 7 times out of 10, the person behind will let the next car through. When I don't do it, then the car behind almost always follows suit and won't let the someone past. I got me to thinking if there is a psychological study on this out there and low and behold discovered something called the "Multiplier Effect". An article at Psychology Today talks about research that suggests generosity is contagious. The researchers actually set up a game where selfishness made... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,,

One of the ideas that has always fascinated me is altruism within random groups. The idea that if you do a good deed and others see it, they will also be more likely to do a good deed. I have … Continue reading

Gamification is sh1t. Let’s make it better.

I thought that might get your attention. Excuse the contrived use of the 1 in shit there as well, firewalls can be so jumpy about certain words. Now back to my point. Gamification, in far too many cases right now,  is indeed shit. I am not saying gamification itself is bad, just a lot of the uses and applications of gamification that we are seeing out there falls into that particularly odorous category. It's as if gamification has become the duct tape of user design. "The user experience is a bit off, what should we do? Add gamification". "The system is not great, people get stuck and don't like using it, what should we do? Add gamification - points and badges will fix it!". "We need to improve efficiency in the department. How can we do that? A leaderboard you say? Let's do it!" Rather than using gamification as part of the overall design, to help enrich the user journey and experience, it is used to patch bad design - making it ultimately worse. Gamification is not a... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski GamificationOpinionRants ,,,,,,,,

I thought that might get your attention. Excuse the contrived use of the 1 in shit there as well, firewalls can be so jumpy about certain words. Now back to my point. Gamification, in far too many cases right now,  … Continue reading

Gamification: The users perspective

As a gamification designer, it is easy to get hooked up on the intricacies of the system. The feedback mechanics, the game mechanics, the economy and the cleverness of it all. It is also easy to think, "this is going to be great" when you have a new idea and then spend waaay to long making the idea real. What we need to to is step back from time to time and say "How will this actually impact the user". For example. You have this fabulous animation that you want to make use of. It fits the overall theme of the gamified solution you are building and think that it adds a little bit of playfulness to break up part of the process. Great. However, what does it really give the end user? If it is used once and adds some greater value to the process they are going through, by giving a new understanding or insight - then brilliant. If it really does give the user a break for a particularity complex part of the process, then okay. If it sits there and forces them to watch it, possibly... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski GamificationGaming ,,,,,,,

As a gamification designer, it is easy to get hooked up on the intricacies of the system. The feedback mechanics, the game mechanics, the economy and the cleverness of it all. It is also easy to think, “this is going … Continue reading

Playful design vs Game inspired design

When I first started to describe Game Thinking, I talked about gameful design or game inspired design. Part of me was always split about what I really meant. In my mind, these ideas were based on user interface more than anything. So creating menu systems that mirrored ideas seen in games, or creating slightly more fun look and feel. It wasn't until I was messing around with the Snapchat interface that I realised what I was really thinking about - playful design. Design ideas that add to the pleasure of using something whilst not necessarily altering the functionality. The example that Snapchat gave me was something I discovered just by playing with the interface. If you go to your chat stream and slide up, the image at the bottom becomes an animation. At the moment it is of the Snapchat ghosts playing football. There is no need to do this, it is just a bit of fun. It is a playful reward for exploring and messing with the interface and one that I... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,,

When I first started to describe Game Thinking, I talked about gameful design or game inspired design. Part of me was always split about what I really meant. In my mind, these ideas were based on user interface more than … Continue reading

A small gamification victory with my daughter!

Whilst I spin through a really busy time, I wanted to share with you a minor gamification victory with my daughter. Anyone who has read my blog in the past, will know that I have been trying to use gamification around my daughters behaviour for a few years now. Not all (any) attempts have been 100% successful. The most gut wrenching failure was the use of the reward chart! However, in March, I decided to try a slightly less rewards based system - the Behaviour Meter. This was a simple chart that displayed numbers 0 to 10, with an arrow pointing to the value that best described my daughters behaviour at the time. Whenever I felt her behaviour changed, I moved the arrow - simple! Anyway, fast forward to this weekend. Daughter: "Daddy, how come I am on an 8 on my chart. I thought I had been naughtier than that" Me:  "Well, generally you have been pretty well behaved" Daughter "I can't wait to get a 10 on there" Me: "That's great, but you know there is no prize for... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,,

Whilst I spin through a really busy time, I wanted to share with you a minor gamification victory with my daughter. Anyone who has read my blog in the past, will know that I have been trying to use gamification … Continue reading

Flow & gamification: a misunderstanding

Flow. A popular concept in gamification, goodness knows I have spoken about it often enough - just last week in fact.  It was that article that actually made me realise that there is a distinct misunderstanding of flow as Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes it. The image below is how we in gamification tend to view it, our simplified version. We talk about the Flow Channel, the point where skill level and challenge level are in a good balance. So this would mean that Flow could be achieved when you have a balanced low skill and low chalenge. However, when we look at how Mihály Csíkszentmihályi originally described it, that would actually be apathy - not a state we want for our users! I think and I know this is true of me, that we are actually talking about a balance of skill and challenge over time. Flow theory is about a particular moment in time - a snapshot. For gamification to work, we want to increase the level of challenge in line with the level of skill our... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,

Flow. A popular concept in gamification, goodness knows I have spoken about it often enough – just last week in fact.  It was that article that actually made me realise that there is a distinct misunderstanding of flow as Mihály … Continue reading

User Types – an expansion to consider

I have not mentioned User Types for at least a couple of blog posts - so though it was time to mess with your heads a little. When I first started the user types, there were four intrinsic types (Socialiser, Free Spirit, Achiever, Philanthropist) which represented the four intrinsic motivators I speak about in RAMP (Relatedness, Autonomy, Master, Purpose). There was also one extrinsic type called the Player. I later moved to eight types by expanding the player into four basic types that mirrored similar actions to the intrinsic types, but for rewards. These new types were; Networker, Exploiter, Consumer and Self Seeker. Finally, I settled on six types - the Hexad. This contains the original types as well as Player and Disruptor. This now makes up the core of my types and everything I speak about in types. However, me being me, I can't just leave it at that. In reality I have never stopped evolving the types and adding too them as I observe new and interesting behaviours. So... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,,,

I have not mentioned User Types for at least a couple of blog posts – so though it was time to mess with your heads a little. When I first started the user types, there were four intrinsic types (Socialiser, … Continue reading

The Flow Shift and Bounce

This is more a thought and possibly even a question to those who know more than me about the Flow concept.  I have spoken about Flow in the past and use it as a core principle to engaging long term design. However, recently it occurred to me that long term exposure to extremes in frustration or boredom, could alter our perception of flow. For instance, you spend months in the boredom phase. You have little to no challenge. It seems reasonable that you would need to boost the level of challenge to help improve engagement and in turn try and get closer to this idea of flow. Below is the "ideal" mix of skill and challenge as described in flow theory - only this time plotted against time. Now, if the challenge levels off, the likelihood is that your related skill level will begin to level off or possibly dip a little (due to lack of being pushed to develop it). According to flow theory, this would put you smack bang into the boredom area. But what happens if you... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,,

This is more a thought and possibly even a question to those who know more than me about the Flow concept.  I have spoken about Flow in the past and use it as a core principle to engaging long term … Continue reading

Non-Competitive Leaderboards

Leaderboards are evil. They create competition in environments that may not benefit from competition. They make more losers than winners and only engage the top 10 players on the board.  Right? (out of context quotes ahoy!) Well, yes and no. In reality it is not quite as simple as that. It all comes down to intent, presentation and interpretation. If the point of your leaderboard is to create unnatural competition between groups of people, then you may find you don't get the results you expect. Not everyone wants to compete, so if that is your intent you will often find very short lived engagement. As soon as people find they are not in the top ten, you tend to find they lose interest. The competition then revolves around the top players, leaving the rest actually disengaged from the process. The example above is from the Gamification Gurus Leaderboard run by Leaderboarded. The intent of this leaderboard is to show people who is active in the world of gamification. It... Read the full article...

Andrzej Marczewski Gamification ,,,,,,,

Leaderboards are evil. They create competition in environments that may not benefit from competition. They make more losers than winners and only engage the top 10 players on the board.  Right? (out of context quotes ahoy!) Well, yes and no. … Continue reading