Octalysis Group is hiring – The 2017 Octalysis Challenge!

Search for the best Gamification Designer

My company The Octalysis Group is recruiting a new part-time or full-time (remote) Trainee to help our efforts in designing engaging gamified solutions for clients around the world.

For that we launched the Octalysis Design Challenge 2017.

What you get as the top gamification designer

– the opportunity to work with the world’s leading experts in Gamification and Behavioral Design
– a great team with fun people, where only merit counts
– full transparency and full autonomy
– work from wherever you are in the world
– a full time position with a base pay and excellent bonus prospects (semi part-time openings available as well)

How to apply for the Challenge?

The challenge is to create a better and more engaging experience for the successful Habitica app using the Octalysis Framework.

Click on this link for instructions

A selected few will become finalists and present their work to me.

The good thing: every submission that passes our scrutiny will also get a Level 1 Octalysis Certificate!

Please send your Challenge Submissions to joris [at] octalysisgroup [period] com
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 3 MARCH 201

What E3 2016 Told Us About Where Games Are Headed

(This post is written by guest blogger Cassie. Cassie is a technology writer at Secure Thoughts who enjoys all things technology and gaming related. She loves seeing how shifts in technology and culture affect the gaming industry.)

E3 2016 has now passed us by and we can take a closer look at exactly what happened. While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild might have attracted the most attention, there were also several budding trends that gave the gaming enthusiasts a taste of what is to come in the near future.

More Diversity in Gaming

One very positive movement in gaming is that minorities are playing more key roles developing video games as well as being within them.

Many women took center stage at many E3 panels such as Electronic Art’s Jade Raymond and Microsoft’s Shannon Loftis. These women aren’t new to the scene, either. Raymond formerly worked as a producer at Ubisoft and created Assassin’s Creed. Loftis has worked in the gaming department of Microsoft for over 20 years, having started as a producer to climb up to General Manager in 2014. That being said, there still were hardly any people of color speaking in front of crowds besides comedian and actress Aisha Tyler during Ubisoft’s presentation. It’s clear the gaming industry still has a long way to go, but this E3 showed some positive changes.

In terms of diversity in games themselves, there was also some progress. Three AAA games – Watch Dogs 2, Mafia III and FIFA 17 – all featured African-American men in leading roles. Microsoft highlighted female characters within games such as ReCore and Horzion: Zero Dawn while Fullbright introduced an Indian-American female lead in their upcoming game Tacoma.

Virtual Reality is Not Just a Gimmick

Considering the buzz surrounding virtual reality and the releases of the highly anticipated Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, VR has captured everyone’s imagination. It’s no surprise that many developers featured an upcoming VR game. Sony itself announced the release of their own VR headset on October 13, 2016 as well as over 100 games. Some of the top games include Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission and Final Fantasy VR Experience.

Unfortunately, there’s currently a lot of fragmentation regarding the VR hardware. The cost of entry to the market might end up being too expensive for most gamers. The headsets themselves cost quite a bit of money ranging from $399 for the PlayStation VR to $799 for the HTC Vive. The headset isn’t the only cost, however, as PC gamers will need a powerful rig to play anything at an acceptable level of quality. As for the PlayStation VR, it requires a PS4 to use.

Despite this, the future of VR seems bright as consumers and studios alike are starting to pay more attention to it. While the market is still in a more experimental phase, the growing trend seems to be pointing to VR as a solid gaming market in the near future.

E-Sports Will Continue to Grow

Ten years ago the idea of playing video games professionally was a pipe dream for many gaming enthusiasts. Today, it has taken game industry professionals by surprise with its meteoric rise and now attracts large sponsorships from companies like Geico and Nissan. What started in South Korea grew to an international craze with the introduction of streaming services such as Twitch and Hitbox. ESPN further legitimized professional video gaming by airing competitions on ESPN3 live.

As the demand grows into a more recognized sport, advertisers and sponsors are now willing to put more money into marketing. This trend has led many publishers and developers to focus on competitive gaming. For example, Bethesda rolled out a new first-person shooter titled Quake Champions, which is an online arena style game based on their popular Quake series. Microsoft plans on releasing a feature on Xbox Live to manage tournaments of all sizes.

It’s possible that as the sport grows it will be harder for people to join teams and rise to the top. That being said, it’s still possible for regular gamers to join local competitions and tournaments. Increasing your skill at a game to a competitive requires a lot more practice than some would think.

The world of gaming continues to change and evolve with new technology. The demands of gamers change with the times, and so studios and publishers must adapt. What important trends did you notice at E3 2016? Is there anything else you noticed about the convention? Tell us in the comments below.

Engagement Platform Captain Up Releases New Funny Video

Captain Up is not afraid to use quirky humor and make some fun out of itself

If you haven’t noticed, I have a widget on the right side of my site that adds some fun game elements to the experience. It’s powered by Captain Up. Initially, I put it up as an experiment for PBL tools, but my readers loved it so much that they no longer wanted me to experiment me on other platforms, haha….

As you can see, you get dozens of points for various actions, but there are other Core Drives like Mystery, Meaningful Choices, Social in it, and the top users have over 400,000 points!!

Captain Up has this really quirky culture. It’s energetic, fun, and not afraid to make fun of itself. This is in big contrast to most platforms out there that must pretend to be overly professional and dull/boring. I respect that of them.

They released a new video that really emphasizes on their strong suite, which is how plug-and-play they are in improving engagement for games and websites. It literally took me about 5-10 minutes to setup my system, and another 30-60 min to customize the way I want – since I am a control freak for my experiences.

Anyhow, enjoy the laugh!

Woot!! Won “Gamification Guru of the Year” Award at the Gamification World Congress

         WGC2015 Keynote 1

The Biggest Gamification in Europe

Every year, the biggest gamification conference in the US is the GSummit, hosted by Gabe Zichermann. In Europe, the biggest event is the World Gamification Congress, hosted in Barcelona Spain and had 1300 attendees this year.

I was invited to do a Keynote and Workshop at the Gamification World Congress this year regarding Octalysis Gamification, along with my Managing Director and Partner Joris Beerda who also did a Keynote.

WGC2015 Gamification Joris
My Managing Director Joris Beerda giving his Keynote

My main focus was to teach the attendees at the workshop a deeper level of Octalysis Gamification Design, and to teach the Keynote attendees how the gamification industry needs to mature in order to not reach a crash.

I was delightfully surprised that, on a show of hands, over 60% of the audience had learned about my Octalysis Framework before. Many people also wanted to take selfies with me and have me autograph random items, as well as my book Actionable Gamification.

Octalysis Gamification Workshop

High interests with my book: Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards

For my book, I shipped 100 books to Europe, thinking that it would be enough for the audience at the conference with many left to disperse to the other countries I visited.

Shockingly, all 100 books were sold at the Gamification World Congress, with many people deciding to order the book on Amazon instead.

Many people walked up to me and told me they have already finished my book and loved it. All extremely flattering and I could only humbly thank them for enjoying my work.

Book with Attendee Picture with Book Picture with An Copens Book Book Selfie Actionable Gamification Book

Deeply surprised and honored to win the Gamification Guru of the Year Award

Continue reading Woot!! Won “Gamification Guru of the Year” Award at the Gamification World Congress

TA Expert Interview Series featuring Yu-kai Chou, author of the Gamification Book Actionable Gamification

TA Expert Interview Series featuring Yu-kai Chou, author of the Gamification Book Actionable Gamification

Yu-kai Chou, gamification pioneer and international keynote speaker at San Francisco CA, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on gamification. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

Yu-kai joined Buckner to discuss his book, how he ensures his team is on the same page, gamification implementation, and how gamification and B2B technologies connect.

Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: There are some CRM solutions that have an 80 percent failure rate, either because it’s not implemented correctly, or because the goals were never mapped out to begin with. How do you get your team on the same page at the very beginning to get their goals and their strategy in place?

Yu-kai: At the beginning of every gamification campaign, I always let clients to define five things— what I call the strategy dashboard.

The first one is business metrics, which lead to the game objective. What are the metrics you actually want to improve? What’s your most important metrics? What’s your number two? What’s your number three? It’s amazing how, when you change the order of these business metrics the entire experience design completely changes.

That leads to the game objectives. This is why you’re gamifying something. If those numbers go up, it’s successful, if they don’t go up, the campaign’s a failure. And then you want to define who the users are and their player types.

And then the third one is desired actions that lead to win states. Those are all the little steps the user needs to do for you to be successful. And every time they do the desired action, it needs to be a win state.

The fourth one is feedback mechanics that lead to triggers. So feedback mechanics are things people can see, in terms of communicating those core drives; each of these feedback mechanics needs to trigger the desired actions defined earlier.

And finally, its the rewards and incentives. Basically, if users hit the win state, what are the rewards that you can give them. This is a very precise and tight-knit process, but once those things are defined, the whole team is together. There’s clear language about what’s a priority.

And I don’t think I need any more than that. Usually within a few days we can get this flushed out. And then the rest is just designing a great experience.

TA: Gamification implementation with different technologies starts out very simple, and then builds. Once you understand what motivates somebody, you can use that in a way that ensures you’re going to get the desired action. What connections do you see between gamification and B2B technologies like CRM or marketing automation software?

Yu-kai: The core of gamification is delivery experience, where people will take the desired action. And we know every time they take an action is because of the 8 Core Drives.

But you need to be able to send them feedback mechanics to trigger these desired actions. So marketing automation software is very useful in this case because it provides triggers. BJ Fogg says that every behavior is because of motivation, ability, and a trigger.

So marketing automation software makes sure it’s constantly sending users the right triggers at the right time. It’s intelligent, it says, ‘Hey, it’s been two weeks!” or “This just happened!” or if something just appeared in the news, ‘Hey, don’t forget about us.’

And then the content of that email message will be the motivation part. That’s when you think about, am I motivating them to take the next desired action? ‘Hey, look, 80 percent of fortune 500s are using us.’ That, or scarcity or exclusivity— like there’s only three spaces left.

You want to think about what goes into that automated email. But as long as the user can see the email, that’s the trigger, there’s the motivation, and hopefully every email has an action item, a link or something the user can do. That’s when behavior happens.

And you can craft that experience to be fun, engaging, emotional. Woo.com for instance, is famous for using fun and exciting, and kind of unrandom, unpredictable language to sell really serious things and they make the experience playful. I recommend companies who do that a lot.

How do you add a little bit more of unpredictability to your automated marketing messages? How do you add social influence, how do you add scarcity?

To learn more about Yu-kai Chou visit Yukaichou.com.  His LinkedIn account is Yu-kai Chou while his Twitter account is @Yukaichou.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download here to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes. You can also subscribe to just the gamification category.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.