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Habitica
Gamification
Challenge Jacob Bender
March 2017
The story so far
Habitica is a lifestyle gamification app that integrates RPG design to
encourage user engagement. Habitic...
Player Type Analysis
Based on a user survey conducted by Habitica, we can draw some
conclusions about the demographics of ...
Core Drives
Habitica implements several Core Drives and techniques to encourage
engagement. Most noticeable are elements f...
Anti-Core Drive: CD1
Habitica has a complete absence of CD1. There is no story, no quest, no
setup, and frankly no reason ...
Anti-Core Drive: CD2
Habitica has a lack of meaningful progression. The in-app tutorial is
scattered and unfocused. Feedba...
Anti-Core Drive: CD8
Habitica tries to implement a version of loss avoidance by penalizing
players who do not complete the...
Areas of Concern
Habitica has several areas that need addressing in terms of design and
engagement. Below are some of the ...
Major Suggestions Cont.
● Make daily push notifications more engaging
● Show players progress updates towards unlocks
● Sh...
New Game Loop
1. Each day the player receives a push notification from the
app with a message like “The Kingdom Needs you”...
Ideation: CD1
Narrative - Currently no narrative exists tying the player to the game world. I think adding a backstory, fl...
Ideation: CD2
Leaderboards - There is no social leaderboard (that I can find) for users to compare how they are doing agai...
Ideation: CD3
Milestone Unlocks - Add longer term goals for the player to meet that comes from completing a number of dail...
Ideation: CD4
Pets that need you - Make pets lose health and eventually die if you fail to complete your goals (think tama...
Ideation: CD5
NPC mail - Send the player occasional mail from an NPC congratulating them on progress and occasionally cont...
Ideation: CD6
Last Mile Drive- Remind players when they are almost done with dailies to keep pushing on (Scaffolding)
Magn...
Ideation: CD7
Rolling Rewards - Currently there is an item in the game that cost 100g and rewards you with a random item (...
Ideation: CD8
Countdown Timer - Show how much time left the player has to complete dailies before they are penalized (Scaf...
Octalysis Tool
Using the Octalysis Tool I came up with a diagram that got a score of 52
(Weak/Falling Asleep) for the curr...
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Habitica Design Challenge Finalist for Octalysis - Jacob Bender

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One of the 6 Finalists in the Habitica Challenge.

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Habitica Design Challenge Finalist for Octalysis - Jacob Bender

  1. 1. Habitica Gamification Challenge Jacob Bender March 2017
  2. 2. The story so far Habitica is a lifestyle gamification app that integrates RPG design to encourage user engagement. Habitica is well received and has good brand awareness, but is struggling to retain users after the novelty of an RPG style interface wears off. Although gamified to some Degree, Habitica falls short in some key areas. I think with some new mechanics and some fresh interaction, designing for Core Drives could help Habitica really engage it’s user base in a way it hasn’t yet. Business Metrics/Game Objectives Increase Daily Active Users Increase Returning Users After Six Months Increase Social Engagement Inside The App And On Social Media Increase Onboarding Completion Rate Increase Weekly Tasks Completed Per User
  3. 3. Player Type Analysis Based on a user survey conducted by Habitica, we can draw some conclusions about the demographics of its user base. User Demographics/Player Stats* http://blog.habitrpg.com/post/51894160513/survey-feedback-concerns-quotes-graphs From the survey we can conclude that the avg. user of Habitica is 25 years old, is already into gaming to some degree, and uses it primarily for Health and Fitness purposes. They are looking for a more fun and engaging way to form better habits and meet personal goals. ● Players range in age from 5 to 62+. ● 1 in 5 users do not identify as gamers. ● Those who identify as non-gamers rate the app higher for overall impact. ● Health and Fitness are the most popular things the app is used for. ● Education and Work are a close second/third ● Popular for Exercise, diet, and sleep. *Survey is from 2013 but contains the most recently available demographic information.
  4. 4. Core Drives Habitica implements several Core Drives and techniques to encourage engagement. Most noticeable are elements from CD2, CD4, CD5, and CD8. Currently the App should appeal most to Achievers and Socializers. Achievers will be happy with the engagement of setting goals and habits and then completing them (earning in game rewards) and Socializers will enjoy the Tavern, Guild, and Party systems. Lacking however are Core Drives meant to attract Explorers or Killers. Anti-Core Drives Unfortunately, several factors in Habitica can be considered Anti-Core Drives. These are things that take away from the player experience and make it less likely players will continue to engage. CD1 This core drive is mostly absent from the design of Habtica CD2 Current design lacks appropriate feedback and a clear tutorial CD8 Players may be tempted to avoid marking bad habit or may pause dailies to avoid health loss
  5. 5. Anti-Core Drive: CD1 Habitica has a complete absence of CD1. There is no story, no quest, no setup, and frankly no reason for your avatar or you to care. It would be very easy to make Habitica into “The world of Habitica”, adding both narrative and Destiny Child. As a user, I currently have zero motivation to engage with the world itself, and there is no reason why monsters even exist in Habitica beyond it “being an RPG” The lack of CD1 is easily the biggest Anti-Core Drive for me. What can be done ● Give the world of Habitica a story and a reason to exist and push this during discovery. ● Make the player feel important by saying Habitica needs them to help save the kingdom. ● Add lore to the world, let players envision themselves in a land of fantasy. ● Provide a “Big Bad” that both provides motivation and an End Game goal. ● Show a clear sense of progression in promotional material (Noob -> Knight -> Epic Ninja). ● Integrate the story inside the app in the form of quests, notifications, and feedback.
  6. 6. Anti-Core Drive: CD2 Habitica has a lack of meaningful progression. The in-app tutorial is scattered and unfocused. Feedback is always the same when leveling and it is not clear what items do, what is coming up, or why the player should care. What can be done ● Revamp the tutorial to provide a step-by-step guided tour. ● Make leveling up more exciting, currently the exact same message is given every time. ● Show what items come next in the shop. ● Provide progress bars for things like “Check-ins until next reward”. ● Milestone unlocks should be added. ● Let the player choose an item to work towards from a set of three. This can even be cosmetic only.
  7. 7. Anti-Core Drive: CD8 Habitica tries to implement a version of loss avoidance by penalizing players who do not complete their goals with a health loss. However currently this system has two glaring flaws: It is just as easy to avoid tapping a negative/to lie about tasks to avoid taking the penalty in the first place and it is incredibly easy to cheat the system and avoid any real consequences (you can tap a positive habit repeatedly to get gold/level up extremely quickly) What can be done ● Provide a more serious warning like “You are in danger of failing several quests!”. ● Have the app check to make sure you are not spamming a reward habit. ● If the player acts suspicious ask “Are you sure? Heros don’t dishonor themselves”. ● Add more micro rewards and in game positive feedback. There is very little external incentive to complete tasks.
  8. 8. Areas of Concern Habitica has several areas that need addressing in terms of design and engagement. Below are some of the issues that turned me off to Habitica as a player. Major Suggestions (Broad) ● Revamp website ● Engage in social media campaign ● Send out success stories as press releases ● Reach out to schools with “classroom edition” ● Teased Content that cannot be accessed (but also doesn’t provide a clear progress towards unlocking) ● Lackluster discovery experience on website ● Poor quest design ● Not enough to do ● Stale Feedback ● Easy to “game the system” ● Poor Onboarding Experience ● Complete lack of Narrative (CD 1 in general) Discovery ● Provide story and a reason for the player to care ● Revamp new player tutorial ● Provide clear paths forwards ● Revamp quest interface to provide clearer objective on how to complete ● Add more interactions with the game, such as the shop glowing if you can buy a new items Onboarding
  9. 9. Major Suggestions Cont. ● Make daily push notifications more engaging ● Show players progress updates towards unlocks ● Show more items in the shop (even if you can’t buy yet) ● Add more things to do ● Make pets act more like tamagotchi and not just trophies ● Add App wide quests that call on users to participate ● Make leveling up more fun, provide different messages for feedback. ● Have an evolving UI instead of just giving the player everything, especially since much cannot be used at first. Scaffolding (retention) ● Have not reached, cannot say. ● Unsure if End Game exists End Game Up next….. A new game loop Areas to improve per Core Drive
  10. 10. New Game Loop 1. Each day the player receives a push notification from the app with a message like “The Kingdom Needs you” or “Don’t forget to claim your check-in bonus!” 2. The user opens the app. If it is the first check-in, they receive either a reward or a progress mark towards their next daily check-in reward. 3. Occasionally users get to spin a wheel for a random item when they first check-in. The chance of this happening is related to the amount of goals the player has consistently met. Feedback should make the player feel important, such as “The High King of Habitica has noticed your commitment as has decided to reward you with a spin on the Wheel of Wonder”, etc. 4. Next, the user is shown a status update containing information like “X dailies till next reward” or the progress towards a party quest (currently you have to navigate to the party menu to check). 5. If the user has earned enough gold to unlock a new item, they should be notified that the shop has new inventory. 6. As the user checks off items, they should be frequently reinforced with a High Five message. Here are my thoughts for an improved game loop that keeps the players engaged and coming back 7. When a player levels up, the feedback should be variable and show progress towards a new goal/item (leveling up should create a new goal to work towards) 8. The social share feature is currently lackluster and should provide more incentive, even if it’s just “Let your friends see your progress!” - there is no real trigger to share currently. 9. Since more social interaction is a business metric, provide feedback encouraging the user to visit the tavern (there is room for a much more robust social system) 10. If the user opts in (or out), send daily emails with progress reports to encourage engagement (the Todoist App does this) 11. When a user clears out their dailies a message like “The kingdom rests peacefully, but a new day awaits” should be shown to both show the player they completed a set of desired actions and prime them for the next day.
  11. 11. Ideation: CD1 Narrative - Currently no narrative exists tying the player to the game world. I think adding a backstory, flushing out the world, and giving the player a reason to want to be in the World of Habitica would help increase engagement and retention (Discovery/Onboarding/Scaffolding/Endgame) Elitism - There really isn’t a sense of elitism at all. While this can be a good thing in some cases, there are no areas, content, or guilds that are locked to players beyond a level/gear requirement. There do not seem to be any user titles reward those who make their goals for a long term that can only be earned this way. There is no status for long term players that identify them in the chat as veterans. (Scaffolding/Endgame) Humanity Hero - Habitica offers no tie-in incentive to the real world. Adding an app wide quest that works towards a real world goal would help with this. If X amount of users complete Y dailies/todos/etc then Habatic will donate something to a good cause. There is no feeling that what you are doing really benefits anyone but you and does not make you feel like you are part of something larger. (Discovery/Scaffolding) Destiny Child - Tying in with Narrative, there should be some indication that your avatar is special or why Habitica need you. (Discovery)
  12. 12. Ideation: CD2 Leaderboards - There is no social leaderboard (that I can find) for users to compare how they are doing against their peers. If Habitica feels this would make the game competitive in a negative ways, simply showing the user what percentile they rank in for various areas would be a good way to add feedback and another thing for players to intrinsically focus on. (Onboarding/Scaffolding) Badges - There is currently to my knowledge no “Achivements” page. Many games implement badges when you complete certain in game tasks. Adding such in game unlocks for things like “Logged in x times” or “Completed 100 dailies” are a nice thing for users to see and track for themselves. Habitica claims to have badges but I have yet to find them. (Scaffolding) High Five(s) - There seems to be a complete lack of “Good Job” and “You Rock” type messages when a user completes goals on Habitica. Even simple positive feedback can go a long way in making a player feel valued and welcome. In fact, this is currently on of the biggest things that stands out to me (alongside the lack of CD 1) (Onboarding/Scaffolding) Step-by-Step Overlay Tutorial - I mentioned this in my analysis, the current tutorial is very hap hazard and offers no sense of progression or momentum for new players. (Onboarding) Progress Bars - While some progress bars exist, I think more should be added to track other forms of progress. These include progress to next unlock (items/gear), progress to unlocking new areas, etc. (Onboarding/Scaffolding)
  13. 13. Ideation: CD3 Milestone Unlocks - Add longer term goals for the player to meet that comes from completing a number of dailies or habits. (Scaffolding) Boosters - Either as an in game item or a variable reward, provide boosters that give extra gold/exp if a player's tasks are completed for that day. Demon Pacts - An item the player can commit to. If they complete all dailies for a week they get a bigger reward but there is a penalty for failing to complete it. (Scaffolding) Choice Perception - Let the player decide what unlock they want to work towards, but make the difference cosmetic/flavor only (Scaffolding) Now you do it! - Provide sample/template habits for users to build on and encourage them to make their own (Onboarding) Player Housing - This is a big draw in many games. Let the player have a small house (grid based) that they can fill with furniture and other items they get from question. Make the items snap to the grid and rotate so each player can customize their own space. (Scaffolding/Endgame)
  14. 14. Ideation: CD4 Pets that need you - Make pets lose health and eventually die if you fail to complete your goals (think tamagotchi). Infact, creating a system of rewards and penalties that are pet specific might tie into the same demographics that engages in a game like Neopets. (Scaffolding) Item Durability - Make it so that players equipment takes damage if they fail to complete goals and require gold to repair (Scaffolding) Pet Names - There is currently no way to name your pets or mounts. (Onboarding) Beyond Cosmetics - Currently pets are cosmetic only, but if you take care of them long enough they should provide a bonus (Scaffolding)
  15. 15. Ideation: CD5 NPC mail - Send the player occasional mail from an NPC congratulating them on progress and occasionally containing a small reward. This will encourage players who have not yet made friends to start using the social features more. (Onboarding/Scaffolding) Friend Party Bonus - Give the party a bonus when members are made of friends recruited from outside the app. This will encourage friends to sign up to Habitica together (Discovery/Onboarding/Scaffolding) Brag Button - Streamline the current “Share” feature when leveling up to broadcast your might achievement to the Tavern or make it easier to share to Facebook (Onboarding/Scaffolding) Auto Sharing - Provide an opt-out feature that integrates with social media and posts to your friends when you level up - “Bob just reached level 5 in Habitica, join him in the quest for Epic Loot” (Discovery) All for one - For guilds, have each members individual goals add progress to larger guild goals that when met reward users who participated and provide bonuses to the guild itself (to be enjoyed by members) (Scaffolding/Endgame) Party Fever - Reduce steps needed to join party.- I should be able to hit “Join Open Party” (Onboarding)
  16. 16. Ideation: CD6 Last Mile Drive- Remind players when they are almost done with dailies to keep pushing on (Scaffolding) Magnetic Caps - Only allow a certain amount of Habits to be checked each day, this should help with players cheating (Scaffolding) Dangling - Showcase a cool items that takes a longer amount of commitment to earn (A week of dailies, etc) (Scaffolding/Endgame) Evolving UI - Lock away parts of the UI players cannot use (Onboarding/Scaffolding) Torture Breaks - Add a daily Gold/Exp cap consistent with the amount of items a player has added (Scaffolding)
  17. 17. Ideation: CD7 Rolling Rewards - Currently there is an item in the game that cost 100g and rewards you with a random item (I got a wand followed by some cheese) - Instead of this, consider adding an item that acts as a token, which you can take to a lottery wheel that give random rewards. This way you can create a more complete loop (make the wheel actually spin instead of just giving out an item): Get gold -> Buy coin -> Spin wheel -> Receive variable reward -> Magnetic Cap (can only spin once per day) -> Come back the next day. To increase the likelihood of completing the loop, each time you spin the wheel you might earn progress towards either a free spin or a spin on an even more special wheel. An even better implementation would be to occasionally reward the player with a token for the wheel when they complete all their dailies/todos. The Magnetic Cap prevents users from spamming todos in an attempt to earn a token. Visual Storytelling- In addition to “normal quests”, once in awhile a quest should be available the advances the Story of Habitica and ties in with the overall narrative. These can be locked by various requirements (Level, amount of tasks done, etc) but should come up as a reward in themselves where completing them unlocks more of the story/lore about the world and the peril the kingdom is in.
  18. 18. Ideation: CD8 Countdown Timer - Show how much time left the player has to complete dailies before they are penalized (Scaffolding) Progress loss - Reset the user's check-in progress if they do not check-in daily (Scaffolding) Status Quo Sloth - Require the user to try to create new positive habits after they have been successfully completing old ones by reducing the continued reward for habits they have already mastered (Scaffolding/Endgame) Rightful Heritage - Remove an item from the player that was given as a free lunch if the player fails to check-in a number of times in a row (“While you were away some evil Rat Monks broke in and stole your hat!” - provide a quest to get it back) (Scaffolding/Endgame)
  19. 19. Octalysis Tool Using the Octalysis Tool I came up with a diagram that got a score of 52 (Weak/Falling Asleep) for the current design of Habitica. By increasing Meaning, Empowerment, Ownership and Accomplishment the score was raised to 146 (Good Motivation). By adding better Unpredictability and greater Social Influence we get a score of 191 (Proud of You/Good Motivation). This suggests that with some minor improvement and the addition of CD1 Habitica could easily double its current Octalysis Score. Focusing on Meaning, Accomplishment, Empowerment, and Ownership drastically improved the score Adding better social integration and unpridicicality further boosted the score
  • DngHongMinh

    Jun. 13, 2020
  • bobchoat

    May. 31, 2017

One of the 6 Finalists in the Habitica Challenge.

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