Beyond The Badge: Architecting Engagement Through Game Design Thinking

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Let’s face it, the buzz surrounding Gamification has reached critical mass in the marketing industry with the bulk of attention directed to points & badges as a panacea for customer engagement and loyalty. While these tools certainly have their place in drafting an engagement plan, there’s more to unlock - much more. By examining the tools game designers use to incentivize and motivate players and mapping these tools to their psychological underpinnings we can arm ourselves with a model for architecting user engagement, directing behavior and satisfying business goals.

This presentation is appropriate for anyone looking to level up their understanding of game design thinking, the current state of gamification and how to move it Beyond the Badge.

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Beyond The Badge: Architecting Engagement Through Game Design Thinking

  1. 1. BEYOND THE BADGEArchitecting Engagement Through Game Design ThinkingDustin DiTommaso | @DU5TB1N
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION: WHY GAME DESIGN THINKING?HYPE CYCLE: 2010/11 Saw a surge in ‘gami ed’ systems& surrounding media frenzy.DEBATE: Lack of consensus on usable game-basedvocabulary, including de ning ‘game’ & ‘gami cation.’EVOLUTION: The de nition and practice of ‘gami cation’is changing & differentiating.SUSTAINABILITY: Survival of the ttest. With Evolutioncomes continued Presence.GAMES ARE A MEANS TO AN ENDAt the the Heart of It, we are designingExperiences
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION: WHY GAME DESIGN THINKING?HYPE CYCLE: 2010/11 Saw a surge in ‘gami ed’ systems& surrounding media frenzy.DEBATE: Lack of consensus on usable game-basedvocabulary, including de ning ‘game’ & ‘gami cation.’EVOLUTION: The de nition and practice of ‘gami cation’is changing & differentiating.SUSTAINABILITY: Survival of the ttest. With evolutioncomes continued presence.GAMES ARE A MEANS TO AN ENDAt the the Heart of it, we are designingExperiences
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION: WHY GAME DESIGN THINKING?HYPE CYCLE: 2010/11 Saw a surge in ‘gami ed’ systems& surrounding media frenzy.DEBATE: Lack of consensus on usable game-basedvocabulary, including de ning ‘game’ & ‘gami cation.’EVOLUTION: The de nition and practice of ‘gami cation’is changing & differentiating.SUSTAINABILITY: Survival of the ttest. With Evolutioncomes continued Presence.GAMES ARE A MEANS TO AN ENDAt the the Heart of It, we are designingExperiences
  5. 5. 7.13.2011 $15MIL SERIES B FUNDING BADGEVILLE SOCIAL LOYALTY AWARDS VENDOR 09.2010 – Founded – 4 Employees 11.23.10 – Series A Funding – $2.5Mil A set. 07.13.11 – Series B – 30 Employees SEE ALSO: Big Door Bunchball CubePoints Gamify Get Glue MindBloom Mojo
  6. 6. 7.14.2011 GOOGLE NEWS ADDS BADGESHYPE CYCLE: 2010/11 Saw a surge in ‘gami ed’ systems& surrounding media frenzy.DEBATE: Lack of consensus on usable game-basedvocabulary, including de ning ‘game’ & ‘gami cation.’EVOLUTION: The de nition and practice of ‘gami cation’is changing & differentiating.SUSTAINABILITY: Survival of the ttest. With Evolutioncomes continued Presence.GAMES ARE A MEANS TO AN ENDAt the the Heart of It, we are designingExperiences
  7. 7. 4.1.2010 GOOGLE APRIL FOOLS JOKEHYPE CYCLE: 2010/11 Saw a surge in ‘gami ed’ systems& surrounding media frenzy.DEBATE: Lack of consensus on usable game-basedvocabulary, including de ning ‘game’ & ‘gami cation.’EVOLUTION: The de nition and practice of ‘gami cation’is changing & differentiating.SUSTAINABILITY: Survival of the ttest. With Evolutioncomes continued Presence.GAMES ARE A MEANS TO AN ENDAt the the Heart of It, we are designingExperiences
  8. 8. FOURSQUARE CURRENTLY, 10 MILLION USERS 03.2009 – Launched!A set. 09.2009 – 100,000 Users 08.2010 – 1,000,000 Users BUT !!! Daily Check-ins/User dropped from 0.5 to 0.34 when growing from 2 to 8 million accounts (foursquare 2011) 21% report checking in for the Mayorship challenge and achievements 54% say they check in ONLY when discounts or coupons are involved
  9. 9. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON SHALLOW, EXTRINSICREWARDS – POINTS & BADGES –DOES NOT LEAD TO PLAYER SATISFACTIONOR SUSTAINED ENGAGEMENT.
  10. 10. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON SHALLOW, EXTRINSICREWARDS – POINTS & BADGES –DOES NOT LEAD TO PLAYER SATISFACTIONOR SUSTAINED ENGAGEMENT.
  11. 11. WHAT IS A GAME?
  12. 12. WHAT IS A GAME?A Structured, Voluntary Experience withRules and Goals that is Engaging and Fun.
  13. 13. FUN!!??!!?? O RLY??!!??
  14. 14. FARMVILLE
  15. 15. THE PROBLEM WITH FUN IT’S TOO DILUTED OF A CONCEPT It doesn’t distinguish the unique psychological experience of gameplay that leads to SUSTAINTED ENGAGEMENT. SEE: RAPH KOSTER – A THEORY OF FUN IN GAMES NICOLE LAZZARO – FOUR KEYS TO FUN MARC LEBLANC – EIGHT KINDS OF FUN
  16. 16. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORYSDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if thesepromise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs:
  17. 17. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORYSDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if thesepromise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: COMPETENCE
  18. 18. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORYSDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if thesepromise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: COMPETENCE AUTONOMY
  19. 19. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORYSDT argues that human beings seek out (and continue to engage in) activities if thesepromise (and succeed) to satisfy 3 intrinsic motivational needs: COMPETENCE AUTONOMY RELATEDNESS
  20. 20. COMPETENCETHE PATH TO MASTERY:+ The “Path To Mastery” is an Experience over Time+ Nested, short-term achievable goals that lead to and support success of the overarching long-term goal.+ Wherever a player is on their quest there should be a next goal just around the corner.+ Design Appropriate Challenges and Rewards for All Players along Player Experience Lifecycle. N00B – Enthusiast – MasterMAKE PROGRESS VISIBLE:+ Provide Real-Time Granular, Sustained and Cumulative Feedback on Overall Performance+ Utilize Reward Mechanics to Light a Blazed Path of Accomplishment.+ NOT About Shiny Digital Trophies, or Badges+ Ensure that Rewards are Meaningful to Player Competence, during immediate play and long-term engagement.
  21. 21. COMPETENCEEXPERIENCE OF CHALLENGE+ Build Player Skill Through Challenges That Cause Them To Reach Just A Bit Out of Their Level+ Optimal Challenges Stretch Player Ability But Don’t Overwhelm+ Allow Players to Fail, if they can Learn and Grow from it (Gami cation does NOT do this)+ Still, a High Success to Fail Ratio Works BestEXPRESSION OF MASTERY+ After Hard-Earned Rewards, Allow Players to Enjoy and Express their Dominance+ Ease-Off Dif culty for a Short Term+ Provide Social Outlets for Bragging & Peacocking+ Big “Juicy Feedback” for a Job Well Done.
  22. 22. AUTONOMYTHE GAME BELONGS TO THE USER+ Choice, Control and Mastery lead players to Deep Engagement and Loyalty+ Provide the Right Information for Players to Best Make Use of their Autonomy+ Operant Conditioning Tactics such as Time-Based or Loss Aversion Mechanics are a Turn-Off to those who recognize them and simply Predatory to those who don’tOPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION!+ Goal is to Maximize Opportunities for Action+ Provide a Variety of Ways to Play (Competitive, Cooperative, Solo)+ Provide a Variety of Available Actions (Challenge, Social, Side-Quests, Secrets, Unlocks, etc.)+ Allow Multiple Paths through Nested Goals that still lead to Overarching Goal
  23. 23. IMMERSION & FLOWFlow is completely focused motivation..It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessingemotions in the service of performing and learning. - Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (1990)
  24. 24. RELATEDNESSTHE SPARK OF CONNECTION+ We are intrinsically motivated to seek meaningful connections with others+ Data shows that in multiplayer situations, allowing players to connect with others and build relationships energizes, motivates and sustains ongoing engagement.+ Focus on mechanics that allow players to both give and receive support of their goals+ Provide for Communities of interest beyond one-on-one connectionsBEYOND OTHER PLAYERS+ Tap into content that people are passionate about (Health, Wealth, Career, Arts, ProSocial)+ Allow users to inject their own short & long term goals into the system (Think Mint Goals)+ Support your players with Informational Feedback that they care about
  25. 25. RELATEDNESS
  26. 26. RESEARCH INSPIRES DESIGNCRITICAL STAKEHOLDER QUESTIONS:1. What is the main reason for Gamifying your product / service?2. How does it bene t the user?3. Will they enjoy it?BUSINESS QUESTIONS:What Actions do you want your players to take?What are the goals of the business?How do you get the users to ful ll those goals?PLAYER QUESTIONS:Who are your Users?What are their needs and goals? Why are they Playing?What is their Primary Play Style? (Solo, Competitive, Cooperative)Who are they Playing With?What Social Actions do they nd enjoyable – and why?What Metrics do they care about?
  27. 27. MAN THE PLAYERCURRENT PLAYER TYPE MODELS1996Richard Bartle: 4 Type Model & 8 Type Model2005Nick Yee: 3 components, 10 subcomponents2006Klug, Schell: 9 Player Types2010Kallio, Mayra and Kaipainen: 9 Types of Players
  28. 28. BARTLE’S PLAYER TYPES
  29. 29. BARTLE’S PLAYER TYPESEXPLORERGets positive experience by nding new things in the world around them(Secrets, Unlocks, Easter Eggs)LIKES TO:Find own route around the game systemEngage in Open-Ended PlayLearn or acquire information during gameplayAchieve their Goals in their own way on their own time (Autonomous Play)DESIGN CHALLENGE:Prefers to play at own pace. Likes to customize their experience and feels restrictedwhen game forces them to move on before they are ready.
  30. 30. BARTLE’S PLAYER TYPESACHIEVERMotivated by a Sense of Progress and Mastery of the SystemLIKES TO:Measure Objectives in the GameMake Progress towards objectivesGain Recognition for their successesComplete Collections of RewardsAcquire Unique or Rare Objects or StatusAnalyze and Understand Game MechanicsDESIGN CHALLENGE:Can be hard to design proper level of challenge for these folks. Flow State.
  31. 31. BARTLE’S PLAYER TYPESKILLERSimilar to Achiever, except play Win/Lose game and want to show others”Look at Me, I Won!”LIKES TO:CompeteWinShow-OffTrash Talk, TauntDESIGN CHALLENGE:Hitting the right dif culty levelKeeping them in Check from Hacking the System or Disrupting the Community
  32. 32. BARTLE’S PLAYER TYPESSOCIALIZERPlay games mostly to connect with other peopleLIKES TO:Gain Friends and In uence PeopleJoin or Lead GroupsOrganize Cooperative ActivitiesComment, Share, AwardBe LikedGain PrestigeDESIGN CHALLENGE:Building a sustainable community for interaction among players
  33. 33. CONSIDER THE CONTINUUM
  34. 34. BONUS TIPS FOR ENGAGEMENTENGAGEMENT IS A JOURNEYDesign the Experience Over TimeCreate Journey Maps (Timelines of player actions, reactions & emotions)What does that Journey Towards Mastery look like?ONBOARDINGFocus on N00B and First Time ExperienceThe First 60 seconds are crucial to show First-Time Users how it worksGet In, Get Busy, Tell People, Come BackGuide the Player Experience - N00B Can’t Lose, Give them endorphin releasingactions to perform.GIVE THEN GETProvide Value immediately when users arrive.Give them the opportunity to engage, personalize and express preferences beforeasking them to register.
  35. 35. BONUS TIPS FOR ENGAGEMENTPICK THE RIGHT REWARDS AND FEEDBACKKnow your audience intimately and create enough Juicy Feedback for all levels ofthe Journey (N00B, Regular, Master)Light the Path of the Journey with Progress MechanicsAchievable short term goals that work towards overarching long term goalsSOCIAL HOOKSIf you’ve created the RIGHT Rewards/Achievements then your Players will WANT toshare their Status with others.DESIGN ETHICALLYAddiction is not the same as EngagementThere is certainly ‘Click-Whir’ Behavioral Psych at work behind many mechanics.Use them Responsibly.
  36. 36. REFERENCES: A PATH TO MASTERY GAME DESIGN THINKERNic Kelman, “Yes, but is it a game?” from Games : Required essay from a not sorequired book.Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun for Game Design : Fun arises from Learning & MasteryJames Paul Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning & Literacy :Pairs nicely with Koster’s bookMihály Csikszentmihályi, Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience : Manyimplications for creating engagement architecturesJohan Huizinga, Homo Ludens, A Study of the Play Element in Culture : “It is ancientwisdom, but also a little cheap, to call all human activity ‘play’.”Ryan, Deci, The Handbook of Self-Determination Research : Perhaps the most wellresearched psychological theory of intrinsic motivation
  37. 37. REFERENCES: A PATH TO MASTERY GAME MAKERHunicke, Leblanc, Zubek, MDA a Formal Process of Game Design : Origin of theMechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics frameworkJesse Schell, The Art of Game Design – A Book of Lenses : Tactical and practicalBateman, Boon, 21st Century Game Design : Pragmatic approach to Game DesignJane McGonigal, Reality is Broken : Serious Games will Save the WorldZicherman, Linder, Game-Based Marketing : Enthusiastic, Behaviorist Argument forGami cation Pro teering. BONUS PLAYBartle Player Type Quiz : http://www.game-on-book.com/bartleJesse Schell, Visions of the Gamepocalypse [VIDEO] : http://bit.ly/jT6LvD
  38. 38. Portsmouth | Boston | LouisvilleWe deliver research-inspired design Dustin DiTommasoaimed at improving the experiences Experience Design Directorpeople have with technology, Email: dustin@madpow.netorganizations, and each other. Twitter: @DU5TB1N

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