Are there any geeks in the room? The geek test has been out I think since 1999. Has anyone done it? When I did it, many years ago, I scored 53.7% and what I can tell you for sure is that being a Geek only gets worse with age.
As a true geek, I used to play FFXI and one of the very first questions I asked after logging in was if there was a player who would be considered a legend. Kind of someone who was unbeatable in the game. I was obviously looking for an adventure and to become a true hero and got backed to an answer that started the gears turning in a completely different direction.
I was introduced to the concept of the Gilsellers. The currency in FFXI is Gil so this players would log in, play the game to farm money and sell it online. What you are looking at is a screenshot of a website that shows the exchange rate for GOLD vs US Dollars. I used to tell my friends what the world and the game would be like if doing virtual tasks could get you impact in the real world somehow. And I believe that Gilsellers are part of the beginning of this industry.
To put in context what I just said, here is a short memo of what the revenue from Candy Crush was 10 years after that. 1.3 Billion dollars where spent by players in 2014.
So there is where the new arcade was born. We used to have to move from our places to get quarters to spend in machines, now it’s all connected directly to your credit card and you still pay by the attempt…
So I was impressed by this new industry, I was concerned that companies would do it as well and we just saw the result… so Fast forwarding to 2010 when I was introduced to the concept of gamification
I started watching a video by Jesse Schell whose magic words still sound powerful in my head. Before I remind you all of them, I heard it from this complete stranger the same ideas I had when I first thought of the power the Gilsellers had. He explained how the world would be more and more becoming like a game where you would get rewarded just like in Final Fantasy.
I’m SOLD. I want this. Where do I start? And right there I heard it for the first time.
I AM A GAME DESINGER.
I dreamt about this for a very long time… how do you do that? And Jesse Schell in 5 words gave me the answer
However becoming a game designer and a professional one is a very different thing. And I kept wondering what that line was made of. There is a difference between skill level, difficulty and stages. Its not the same to be a pro in the local, national or international market and there are level of pros. But really being a Pro is about one word.
You want to be a pro, you have to do this every single day.
It is a choice. I will defend this industry and work to improve it every single day. And you really don’t know what’s ahead of you.
So I want to share with you 5 teachings I learned from my journey so far.
1) Always bring something clients can touch. People lack imagination, we can thank the department of education for that one.
I can’t remember how many clients I lost for not testing BLUErabbit before the presentation and have the game crash right before my eyes. Always test for at least 10% of the time.
The importance of neuroscience and psychology in gamification is absolute. This is not childs play and you shouldn’t treat it like such. It is a serious industry that bases its success in data and science, not make belief and kudos. One of my favorite quotes says “If you aren’t spending the majority of your time at the beginning of each project identifying what motivates your audience…
Which takes me to my next point.
Players will ALWAYS come before ego. Before ANYONE’s ego, yours, the client, one single player. We are doing this for them! Not for us. We are the heroes of the players saving them from boredom and disengagement so
Remember you are the hero, and as such, you
Must be ready for everything
Heroes depend on their skills, Skills refined through daily work and truly hard word. Remember: Hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
So how has my journey looked like?
Full slide 27 seconds
Becoming a Pro has been about finding a community where you can thrive, making life changing choices, learning everything I possibly can (never stopping) and changing the world
Some of the other experts might have already seen the resemblance. We do have a name for those in gamification.
You’ll never know less than the day before. Remember that our brains are wired to NEVER STOP LEARNING. Thankyou