How we Design Coins on Octalysis Prime

Creating unpredictability and curiosity

Creating unpredictability and curiosity through a shiny chest of coins seems simple enough. Everyone loves gold. And loves spending it.

But what if you couldn’t spend your hard-earned money?

Collection before utility

The coins on Octalysis Prime were implemented before they could be used.

This was a risk.

Motivationally, you could wonder what to do with these coins. You could discover there is no use for them (yet) and get angry or demoralized. Why do I keep coming back for these stupid coins?

Or, you could be motivated. If there is enough curiosity about what the coins might be used for, you might go on collecting them. Here, the effect is a combination of Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity and Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession.

Meanwhile, though, the user will be ready for feature releases which allow those coins to be used.

Maybe, in a perfect world, the user will even be able to generate ideas on how those coins could be used in the gamified economy. That would be some pretty strong Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness combined with Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback.

Who knows, maybe we will give some of the Octalysis Prime pioneers a say in this coin-based creation!

How to get coins (the mechanics of an activity loop)

The coins are awarded by checking back into the Island after 20 hours have passed. (The chest magically fills with coins after you return from your other adventures on the island 20 hours later, but not a second before!)

Clearly, this is part of a habit-building activity loop. Just for returning to the learning environment, you are rewarded. Hopefully, you continue to learn while you’re there!

To learn how to implement coin-based activity loops and other designs (even before they have explicit utility), check out the ongoing conversations in the Octalysis Prime Slack community.

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