Winning with GamificationTips from the Expert’s Playbook                                       ...
Winning with GamificationTips from the Expert’s PlaybookYou’ve optimized for search engines           But blindly adding g...
2. Mapping Your Goals with YourUsers Interests is EssentialUnderstand your business goals               revenue, like purc...
4. Making your Point(s)Should I assign users Points for             How many point systems should                      Exp...
4. Making your Point(s) (cont.)Should users start out with                    How can users spend their points?           ...
6. Make Badges Make Sense                                            Why use badges or trophies?                  How hard...
8. But Wait - There’s More…Should I use real-time feedback?             Why use Groups & Teams?                          L...
9.  o Virtual Goods Make Sense   D   For Your Site?                                                be aspirational, high-c...
10.  obile, Social  Geo    MWhat about Mobile?                         What about social media?                           ...
Pulling it all togetherHow complicated is it to gamify?                What if they don’t want to “play?”                w...
About the Nitro   Gamification Platform                                               About Bunchball   The Nitro gamifica...
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Gamification playbook


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Gamification playbook

  1. 1. Winning with GamificationTips from the Expert’s Playbook 355 Santana Row, Suite 2020, San Jose, CA 95128 408.985.2034
  2. 2. Winning with GamificationTips from the Expert’s PlaybookYou’ve optimized for search engines But blindly adding game mechanics This guide collects many of the tipsand analytics- but are you influencing to your site may not give you the and tactics that our gamificationand optimizing how your users engage results you’re looking for. To truly experts have pulled together over thewith your site? “Gamification”- the engage users and create long-term years, providing you with a set of bestprocess of adding game dynamics to loyalty, the gamification solution you practices to guide you as you developsites and services - is an important and deploy needs to make sense for your your own gamification strategy.powerful new strategy for influencing business. Bunchball has been deliveringand motivating groups of people. gamification solutions for over four years,Using a gamification platform, you can and we’ve learned a great deal aboutoptimize for users in the same way you’ve what makes gamification successful.optimized the other elements of your siteor community- and directly influence howthose users behave. If you are just learning about gamification, and are looking for an introduction to the fundamentals of gamification, our free whitepaper Gamification 101: An Introduction to the Use of Game Dynamics to Influence Behavior is available at: Getting StartedIs Gamification the same as Why Does Gamification Work? your users. For example, no amount ofdesigning a game? Gamification works to satisfy some of gamification is going to enhance a newsGamification should never be confused the most fundamental human desires: site with outdated news.with game design. You are not creating recognition and reward, status,a deep, immersive experience like achievement, competition & collaboration, Do I need a Community?Call of Duty or Halo. Instead, you self-expression, and altruism. People Gamification usually requires a supportingare “gamifying,” or integrating game are hungry for these things both in their Community. The fundamental humanmechanics into your site, service, content, everyday world and online. Gamification desires we mentioned, such as status andonline community or campaign with the taps directly into this. self-expression, are bolstered when othersgoal of increasing participation. Since bear witness to it. It is also important toyou are enticing a user to go deeper, Can Gamification replace good have other people with whom to competedesigning a Gamification system requires content? and compare accomplishments. Ofyou start with simple rules, attainable No, your website needs to stand on course, there are some exceptions likegoals and near term wins. its own and be compelling for visitors. banking websites, where people want to Game mechanics should enhance the maintain privacy. But as a general rule, site by adding an element of community, humans want to interact and compete competition, and fun that engages with others. © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. 2. Mapping Your Goals with YourUsers Interests is EssentialUnderstand your business goals revenue, like purchases, page views or to be “fan x.” What does it mean to a musicAfter you have taken into account ad impressions. Or they may indirectly fan? A sports fanatic? A news junkie? human nature, quality content and affect business value, like inviting community, it is time to think friends, sharing content, or registering. Mind the gap! about how gamification can Mind the gap! When creating your align with and impact your Understand your users gamification solution, make sure you business goals. Specifically, Everything you are creating ties back into design something that fits in the middle you should focus on the understanding your user; who they are, between the user experience and your activities on your site that what they do, why and how they do it. business goals. drive business value. These Understand the drivers that get them to take might be directly connected to a specific action, and profile what it means3. What do you want your users to do? Actions Relative Value Prioritize the actions you want your strategy you’ve put in place is working. users to take It’s always a good idea to run in silent The best way to approach this is with a mode before the program launches, Register 10x standard ranking system. Once you have so you can begin to establish baseline identified the Actions for your program, metrics to measure against. Connect 9x you will want to rank them in order of value. Start with the least valuable action and Why run in silent mode? Watch Video 8x give it a factor of ‘1.’ Working from there, For baselining purposes, you may want to assign relative values to everything else. track user actions completely behind the Share 8x For example, commenting on a blog post scenes before you launch your program. is relative value of ‘1’ while registering is Once you have established baseline 10x more valuable. Included is a sample metrics to compare against, you can begin Watch Slideshow 5x ranking system. awarding points and badges, reflecting these achievements on leaderboards Complete Profile 4x How do I determine success and newsfeeds, and measuring the uplift metrics? that gamification provides. In addition to Upload Video 3x Make sure you have all measurement creating a set of baseline metrics to use in infrastructure in place on day one. measuring the success of your Gamification Comment 1x This way, you can track user behaviors program, all this initial groundwork will help and be assured that the gamification you decide the best tactics. © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. 4. Making your Point(s)Should I assign users Points for How many point systems should Experience Pointstheir actions? I use? Earned by participation, Experience Points are a great way of rewarding This depends on what your specific Points are constantly increasing and the a user for doing something business goals are. There are different point total is never deducted. Experience that is of value to you (i.e., kinds of point systems used for different Points are not spendable. purchase, download, share). business purposes, including: Of course, points can also be Premium Points a way for users to reward each Basic Points Only available via a cash transaction, other. Ultimately, they should Basic Points are earned by participation Premium Points are usually spendable on work as a way to give users and are usually spendable on virtual or “premium” virtual or physical goods. some form of spending power. physical goods.How do I name my Points?The most important consideration is topick a name that makes it clear whetherthe points are spendable or not (forexample: credits vs. points, bucks vs.tokens). Also, if you are using multiplecurrencies systems, the naming systemshould reflect which one is more valuable(i.e. silver tokens vs. gold tokens). How do I create a point scale system? How many points should I give for A “point scale” represents the specific point each action? amounts you reward to users for completing Keep in mind the absolute number specific actions. When you are thinking does not matter. What matters is the about your point scale system, large relative value of the action to you. Refer numbers are always good. They are more to the system referenced earlier when likely to communicate a sense of worth and prioritizing actions as a way to scale weight with players. However, when the everything appropriately. numbers get too big (i.e. lira, yen), they start to lose meaning for players. The increments should be intuitive instead of randomly selected, so think in denominations of tens, hundreds or thousands. © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. 4. Making your Point(s) (cont.)Should users start out with How can users spend their points? What are Current Points vs.any points? The common executions are virtual Lifetime Points?Always consider starting users out with goods, digital goods (i.e. music Current Points usually refers to anan initial point bank so they are able to downloads) and physical goods. Points immediate, spendable balance. Lifetimeimmediately experience spending power. can also be used to unlock access to Points is how many points the user hasIf you have historical data, you can give special content, often times with a time- earned in their lifetime. The Lifetimethem credit for participation before the limited twist. Points number never decreases and is‘game’ began. an indicator of status and seniority in a Can users buy points and how community. This is also often used as aShould points ever reset? should I sell them? basis for Levels.Some programs may be finite, such as If you are considering selling points, makeones tied into a marketing campaign or sure you are offering users somethingTV season. In this instance, a reset will desirable to buy with them. Also, if pointshelp promote an urgency to spend. If are being sold in different packages, offeryour points have a dollar value attached, discounts for the bigger package.and you need users to spend them, thisis another instance where a deadline forpoint spend should be considered.5. Levels Keep Users Coming Backfor MoreWhy use Levels? How do people Level Up? How many points should I useThe concept of levels is easy to grasp One way users can level up is through between Levels? for users as they are also used in their lifetime points. Once they reach a When spacing the levels out, consider the “offline” world. Karate belts, set number of points, they progress on to making the first few in fast, easy job titles, and Frequent Flyer the next designated level. Alternatively, progression. This is a great way to get programs are just some of you can select internal criteria or a task users engaged quickly. After that, the the examples. They are a specific to your business objectives as level should be spaced out further and shorthand indicator of status a milestone to progress to the next level. become harder to achieve. When plotted in a community and show that Another option is a hybrid approach, on a graph, your level structure should you should be afforded respect mixing points and tasks to allow the users resemble a hockey stick. for your accomplishments. to progress. What should I name my Levels? Try to select labels that distinguish the prestige between each level. While using numbers is the easiest, clever, intuitive names tied into the theme of your program can be very effective. What else can I do with Levels? One suggestion for keeping users engaged is offering unlockable content and abilities once they reach a certain level. Another idea is making users work to maintain their position within that level. Similar to a Frequent Flyer Program, this will require users to participate in order to maintain their status and encourage them to come back and engage with your site or service. © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. 6. Make Badges Make Sense Why use badges or trophies? How hard should it be to earn Badges should tie directly into your badges and trophies? business goals and to what users care Similar to levels, badges should start off about and are proud of. As a game being easily obtainable. As the game mechanic, they deepen engagement with progresses, they should get progressively users. They also encourage exploration of harder to earn. Some badges can your site, even mastery. They provide that be “aspirational,” requiring certain sense of achievement we have already prerequisites such as achieving a certain discussed as being a core human value. level or owning another badge or virtual Like other core game mechanics, Badges good. can also be used to encourage users to take a specific action. What should badges and trophies look like? When designing a badge or trophy, make sure it is visually appealing and eye-catching. The badge should also be relevant to the audience and the theme of the program. For example, the badges earned on casual gaming site POGO would never have the same look and feel as those earned on Q&A programmer site Stack Overflow.7. Getting the Rewards RightWhat defines rewards? After X Times - After you watch 10 videos, the Community. Excited users are likely you get a trophy. to share information with each other and After X Times in Y Hours - Watch 24 socialize, getting participants more videos in 24 hours, and receive the deeply involved in the community “Vidiot Badge.” elements of your gamification solution. Score Higher than X - Score 90 or more How do I prevent users fromA reward can be anything that on the quiz, and receive 100 points. gaming the system?motivates your users: Points, Badges, Time Limited - Scarcity drives completion. The more excited users are aboutTrophies, Virtual Items, Unlockable The clock is ticking! Now or never… rewards, the more incentive they will haveContent, Digital Goods, Physical to try and game the system. You canGoods, Coupons, etc. prevent this upfront by designing a Surprise and delight with rewards system that takes fraud into account andWhen do I reward a user? Don’t be afraid to create an “information puts some controls in place like time-This is based on your business objectives gap” with a few special “Easter Egg” based limits (hourly, daily, etc.). Also,and creative planning. Here are some rewards that don’t explain the actions consider the natural frequency for thereward examples: required to earn them. These “surprise Actions you put in place. Extend that by and delight” rewards are powerful X% for certain extreme cases and then motivators because they tap into ourEvery Time - Every time you watch a communicate these reward limits in your natural tendency toward curiosity andvideo, you earn 10 points. rules. Most importantly, enforce these hope. Surprise rewards also help nurture rules on your site. © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. 8. But Wait - There’s More…Should I use real-time feedback? Why use Groups & Teams? Leaderboards are certainly not a “one-Real-time feedback is a great way to size-fits all” game mechanic. There areinstantly recognize and respond to several types to consider, based on theyour users’ accomplishments. These design of your site:notifications can be used to suggest thenext action and draw users down the Site-based - Comprises the entire siteparticipation chain. Real-time feedback and all members. Keep in mind, this canalso helps reinforce the path of the intimidate “newbies” who may be worriedprogram and reminds them of things to about their chances of competing withwork towards. top performers. Friend-based - A leaderboard that isShould I use Newsfeeds? When you get users to compete and comprised of just the users’ friends and collaborate as part of something social circle. bigger, it increases the stakes, adds another level of accountability and is a Time-based - A time-limited board that dynamic motivator. In a best-practice focuses on a set time period such us one implementation, a user’s individual day, one week, etc. achievement should be rolled up Me-based - The most inclusive form, under the group or team’s success and this focuses on just the user and highlighted in inter and intra Group approximately 5 or so users above and leaderboards and newsfeeds. below them.Newsfeeds are a great way to promote thecontent being consumed by particpants, Why use Leaderboards?the activity on the site, and the most Leaderboards give users the feeling ofactive users. As a best practice, consider “fame” and “status.” They also give usersmaking your newsfeeds clickable and in a the chance to compete and compare withhigh-traffic, high-profile area. other members or players. If this is a core focus of your community or program, they can be very powerful motivators to get visitors to take the actions you want them to. © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. 9. o Virtual Goods Make Sense D For Your Site? be aspirational, high-cost items that are vehicle to do so. Users also feel obligated highly-desirable and encourage ongoing to return the favor and complete the loop. participation on the site. Throughout the process of gifting, users will be exploring your site further and Don’t forget gifting! increasing page views as they look for this feature, discover new areas, and engage in the community Can I make money selling Virtual Goods? Realistically, you are not likely to make a substantial amount of revenue with virtual goods. Virtual Worlds and online games typically see the most revenue from virtual goods. The purchase of itemsWhy use Virtual Goods? for an avatar or the sending of virtual giftsA key consideration to your gamification is often the core of these sites, wherestrategy is whether or not virtual goods fit meeting people, equipping your avatar,with your objectives. Virtual goods are great and dressing up your virtual self helpsfor point “burn” – something for users to put drive the “game.”their points towards. When adding virtualgoods to your program, be prepared to go Should I have a secondary market100% with your commitment. You will need for virtual goods ?to manage inventory, merchandise goods If your site is having phenomenal successand keep your virtual stock moving. with the virtual goods portion of your program, you may consider a secondaryHow should I price my Virtual When thinking about virtual goods, don’t market where users can resell theirGoods? forget about gifting. Gifting allows users to virtual goods to each other. One of theWhen pricing virtual goods, make sure send virtual gifts to each other. This is an key benefits is a secondary market oftenyou are matching the scale of how you incredibly powerful mechanic as it drives drives the value of the primary.are rewarding points. If you have limited reciprocal interaction as a way to signaledition and special items, these should friendship or “interest.” People also valuecome with a higher value. There should also being altruistic, and virtual gifting is a © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. 10. obile, Social Geo MWhat about Mobile? What about social media? Social Media is a great way for users to Facebook or Twitter. Earning a badge for broadcast their achievements to their sharing with a large number of friends is social circle, while potentially expanding one way to encourage users to spread your Community. You can also tie rewards the word. Increasing that reward for users directly into social missions, such as whose friends come back to the site and rewarding users for sharing content on register promotes relevant social sharing. What about geo-location? also reward participants for user-generated Gamification tools content such as posting their own tips, and platforms are recommendations, ratings and reviews for now available that the places they visit.Mobile is great addition to your program allow you to designwhen you can tie together the entire and develop your own You can also create a mobile check-inexperience cross-platform. social applications rewards system using QR Codes, a two- to incent and reward dimensional matrix barcode that can be activity at specified scanned by smartphones. Scanning the geographic locations. You can now have QR code can take the user to a URL, add users “check in” at stores, restaurants, points to their account, or send a discount events, and other locations, and give them coupon to their phone for use at the site. points or badges for doing so. You can © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. Pulling it all togetherHow complicated is it to gamify? What if they don’t want to “play?” which types of game mechanics drivesThe complexity of your program depends People who don’t want to participate, which valuable actions, and drive aon factors including your content, your won’t. Designing a system that appeals to gamification strategy that maximizesaudience, your business goals, and what a variety of personality types within your your ROI. If you’ve standardize on onegamification tactics you want to use. demographic will help ensure adoption. consistent user ID for online activity and offline purchase, you can capture a richHow do I get people to register? If everybody uses it, will users get set of behavioral data, and create a 360Registration is one of the most common tired of gamification? degree consumer goals. There are a couple It’s a similar story to the evolution of socialof Gamification tactics you can use media. For example, some New York What can I expect to get out ofto encourage visitors to register. For Times site visitors may choose to use using gamification?example, track and reward unregistered their Facebook and Twitter social features If your program is well-executed, expectusers. Then, notify them of their rewards, to engage in discussions, comment and an increase in key metrics like time onand let them know that unless they share. Other site visitors may read articles site, page views and return visits. Basedregister or sign in they will lose them. of interest and leave. The same basic on your vertical, this can also meanSince we’re all inherently loss averse, concept applies for gamification. metrics like subscriptions, customerusers are likely to join to continue earning. acquisition or products sold. You are How important is it to analyze data? also creating a customer base that isHow do I get people to come back Extremely! You should always be willing to engage with your content andmore frequently? tracking and monitoring the important brand, something your competitionOnce they have taken the leap and User Actions that are closely tied to may not yet have. And when doneregistered, you want to make sure they your business goals. Use that to identify right, Gamification provides real-world,come back and come back often. The user patterns, and make adjustments to actionable insights; data you can useappointment dynamic is a technique to optimize your program. to continue to optimize your program.encourage repeat visits; requiring them One of the key things to keep in mindto come back at certain times in order What else can I do with the data? is Gamification is an emerging marketto receive rewards. Use features like Once a user has chosen to register and and you have the ability to use it as anewsfeeds and real-time feedback to participate, you can identify metrics such true differentiator for your site, service,remind users of new features or the next as number of actions completed, points content, community or campaign.badge or level. And if there is a team earned, type and sequence of missionsor group involved, remind them of their completed, how users spend points, andongoing obligation to do their part to what they buy. With this information incontribute to the success of their team. hand, you can do things like segment and profile your audience, understand For up-to-the minute gamification news, views and insights visit our blog: © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. About the Nitro Gamification Platform About Bunchball The Nitro gamification platform is a highly scalable and Bunchball is the leading provider of online gamification reliable Cloud-based service for gamifying websites, social solutions, used to drive high value participation, engagement, communities, and mobile applications – it has served loyalty and revenue for some of the world’s leading brands over 80 million unique users and 4 billion transactions to and media. Customers including Warner Bros, NBC/Universal, date. Nitro’s flexible architecture enables our customer’s Bravo, Comcast, USA Network, ESPN, and Hasbro use engineering teams to get up and running quickly, while our Bunchball’s Nitro gamification platform to create compelling, powerful administration tools empower the site production meaningful and enjoyable experiences for consumers, and marketing teams with real-time control over online employees, and partners. Based in Silicon Valley and user behavior. The platform delivers the industry’s most founded in February 2005, Bunchball’s investors include comprehensive set of game mechanics. Granite Ventures and Adobe Systems Incorporated. For more information, visit Bunchball online at www.bunchball.comAll of the images used in this document, including but not exclusive 355 Santana Row, Suite 2020, San Jose, CA 95128to screen shots and gamification program components, belong to therespective site owners and may not be copied or reproduced. 408.985.2034 © 2011 Bunchball, Inc. All Rights Reserved