4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#4): The Endgame

Endgame Design

Endgame: The Final Phase for Experience Design

The Endgame is the 4th and final experience phase of Octalysis Gamification. The Endgame is all about how you retain your veterans and obtain more longevity in your experience.

This is the phase where users have done everything there is to do at least once (according to their perception), and they are figuring out why should they stick around and continue to play the game (especially when there are newer more exciting alternatives out there).

Many have said that, in World of Warcraft, the real game starts when your character has reached the max level. This is not intuitive for non-gamers, because the basic assumption is that once you reach the max level, there is nowhere to go. In the case of well designed games, that actually is the beginning of a multi-year journey.

Unfortunately, not many companies design for the Endgame, which I believe is a huge mistake. Your veterans are usually your best monetization vehicles, your best community moderators, and also your best evangelists.

The problem is that they have been there as long as they can remember, so why should they still continue to stay on board? Have you designed anything that specifically keeps them engaged and motivated?

The game-term Endgame

Often times there is a misunderstanding towards the term “Endgame.”

Some people think that this means the game is about to end, and ask, “What about games that are meant to last forever such as infinite games?”

In reality, in the gaming world the term Endgame is not where the game ends. The Endgame is where a user has reached the highest level and is transitioning from the basic day-to-day scaffolding mechanics to a new set of mechanics that only advanced level players can infinitely do.

The Endgame is about endless fun

In Plants Vs Zombies, once you finish all the levels twice, the Endgame is about custom challenges that you can unlock and conquer. In the Diablo series, it’s “Diablo Runs” where players band together to defeat the final boss multiple times a day in order to get enough loot to perfect their gear. In FarmVille, it might be using all your gold and plants to create masterful artwork and take a screenshot before they all wither out.

Gamers would sometimes complain in many games that the game developers need to do more work because there’s really nothing to do in the Endgame, which means they have done everything but long for more. Some games may have the general journey (Scaffolding) of striving towards the max level, and the endgame lies in player versus player battles, or Group Quests of Max Level Players taking on extremely difficult challenges.

Differences to other Models

My terminology is also different from other gamification professionals’ last phase of a player’s journey. Kevin Werbach and Amy Jo Kim call the final phase of the journey “Mastery,” as the player has now achieved the highest level of play.

While I think the phrase Mastery is accurate, I believe that the term “Mastery” creates a feeling that it is actually the end of the journey – you have achieved mastery and are looking for something else to master now. With “Endgame,” it is still a “game” you play and try to master. It suggests that the journey keeps going.

So let’s examine how the endgame can be more engaging based on the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis

Core Drive 1: Epic meaning and Calling in the Endgame

During the end game it becomes much more difficult to install more Epic Meaning and Calling into the process. Continue reading 4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#4): The Endgame

4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#3): The Scaffolding Phase

Gamification Purpose

The 3rd Experience Phase of Gamification: Scaffolding

Earlier I have covered the first 2 experience phases of player’s journey: Discovery, and Onboarding. Scaffolding is the 3rd experience phase of a Player’s Journey.

Scaffolding starts once a player has learned the basic tools and rules to play the game and has achieved the “First Major Win-State.”

This phase is a bit difficult to cover in one writing because it’s the regular journey and activity that the user engages in, and anything goes during this stage based on what your product or service actually is. I’ve written a fairly long post here about this phase but it will be very core to my gamification concepts so for those who are learning about Octalysis and hope to design something engaging, you should read through it.

Scaffolding: the Regular Journey

Regarding the scaffolding phase, one thing to note is that more often than not, it requires the exact same (or very similar) actions on a regular/daily basis, and the Gamification designer must answer the question, “why would my users come back over and over again for the same actions?”

Rewards, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

This is where people think about Rewards.

Rewards are great because they continuously motivate people towards a goal, even if it means repetitive activity.

However, it is a bit too focused on extrinsic motivation instead of intrinsic motivation.

Therefore, there are different types of rewards to engage more core drives beyond the reward itself.

In an earlier post, I have defined 6 Contextual Types of Rewards, including Fixed-action rewards, Random rewards, Rolling rewards, and more.

Keep note that usually extrinsic rewards are better at attracting people to participate in the first place (Discovery and Onboarding), but towards the Scaffolding and EndGame, you want to transition to intrinsic motivation as much as possible.

Let’s explore the Scaffolding Phase within the 8 core drives of Octalysis.

Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling

Continue reading 4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#3): The Scaffolding Phase

4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#2): The Onboarding Phase

4 Experiences Phases in Gamification # 2: The Onboarding Phase

The User Experience of Learning the Basic Skills of the Game

Previously, I wrote about the Discovery Phase (Phase I) of the 4 Experience Phases of a Player’s Journey. In this article, we’ll look into Onboarding, which is the second phase of a player’s journey.

Onboarding is about teaching users the rules and tools to play the game. Onboarding starts as soon as the user signs up, and ends when the users have mastered the fundamental skills needed to play the game and achieve the early stage win-states.

In the Discovery phase, the goal is to create motivation towards trying out your product through clever marketing and messaging. Generally, there are combinations of of Curiosity and Unpredictability (Core Drive #7), Epic Meaning & Calling (Core Drive #1), and perhaps Social Influence & Relatedness (Core Drive #5) if you want things to become more viral.

Onboarding, like the Discovery Phase, generally retains a weak form of Unpredictability & Curiosity (Core Drive #6), and it is the Gamification designer’s job to install other Core drives into the user experience.

Objective of the Onboarding Phase

When a user first joins, she generally just feels curious about the product. Depending on how well the Gamification designed the Discovery Phase, users could come because they just read about it somewhere (Core Drive 7), their friends told them to do so (Core Drive 5), its for a good cause (Core drive 1), their boss made them use the product (core drive 8) or because of high exclusivity (Core Drive 6).

No matter why the user decided to join the service, the most important Core Drive in the Onboarding Phase is mainly making players feel a sense of Development & Accomplishment(Core Drive #2). You want to make users FEEL smart and competent with lots of instruction, interaction, Empowerment and feedback reinforcements (Core Drive #3).

Far too often, Onboarding experiences for products feel confusing, too hands off, or too complex. This results in the user feeling stupid.

If your user feels stupid during Onboarding, then you’ll be fighting an uphill battle along with the user (think Google+).

This is why games deploy techniques such as the interactive step-by-step tutorials, the “glowing choice,” and early stage Win-States to reinforce Developement & Accomplishment in the Onboarding Phase.

Step by Step Tutorials (Game Technique #9)

Continue reading 4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#2): The Onboarding Phase

The Great Delhi Run–How FITology used an Alternate Reality Game to Break the Ice

Adventures @ FITology | #1 – The Great Delhi Run | Alternate Reality Game

This article was written by Saamir Gupta, Founder of FITology. (See bottom of article for full bio.)

Day 1: 7:00 pm, Hotel ITC, Delhi

Imagine, you have taken a long flight to India. This is your first evening in Delhi and you are having dinner with your colleagues from all round the world. You are part of this pool of 20 senior management handpicked to start a new business model for your company. And your discussions with them, as a team start tomorrow. But instead of the work agenda for the next day, at the dinner table, you are handed this brief –

Continue reading The Great Delhi Run–How FITology used an Alternate Reality Game to Break the Ice

A Comprehensive List of 90+ Gamification Cases with ROI Stats

Gamification-Stats-and-Figures

It’s all about the Gamification Case Study

Below are a list of gamification cases with ROI stats and figures, with links to the case studies, so you can see for yourself the huge impact it is causing on businesses.

Many of these examples and lists can be seen on other websites such as the Enterprise Gamification Consultancy and Barnraisers, which are great sites, but I wanted to make this list only focus on cases that have pure numbers or %s that can be measured as ROI.

Enterprise Gamification Case Stats and Figures

1) SAP: The SAP Community Network regamified its already-mature reputation system, increasing usage by 400% and community feedback by 96%

2) SAP Streamwork: added gamification in brainstorming groups and grew generated ideas by 58%

3) Onmicare: introduces gamification to its IT service desk, getting a 100% participation rate from teams members

4) Astra Zeneca: gamified medicine training gets 97% of their large network of agents to participate, with a 99% Completion Rate

5) CaLLogix: reduces attrition by 50% and absenteeism by 80%. The company saves $380,000 per year

6) Slalom Consulting: participation of employee name recognition program increased from 5% to 90%, and recognition scores improved from 45% to 89%

7) Galderma: pharmaceutical company, uses gamification to train their sales division regarding new products. Despite the voluntary participation, nearly 92% of targeted employees ended up playing

8) Spotify and Living Social: replaced annual reviews with a mobile, gamified solution with over 90% of employees participating voluntarily

9) Objective Logistics: the company motivates the employees through behavioral rewards and increases their profit margin by 40%

10) Inside View: gamifies their employee social media usage and increased Twitter updates by 312%

11) Keas: employment wellness program that increased employee engagement with healthy activities by 10,000% (100x)

12) Danske Statsbaner: through their “Engaged” platform, employees share their actions that support the value and strategy of the company, resulting in 92% positive ratings in content

13) Google: designed a Travel Expense System resulting in close to 100% of employee compliance for travel expenses

14) Deloitte: training programs that are gamified took 50% less time to complete and massively improved longterm engagement

15) Engine Yard: increased the response rate for its customer service representatives by 40% after posting response-time leaders to all employees

16) Nextjump: uses gamification to get 67% of their employees to go to the gym

17) Bluewolf: gamified online conversations and posting increased employee community activity by 57%

18) Ford Canada: gamified it’s learning portal for employees and increased actions per user by 100% within 5 weeks

19) Blueshield’s Wellivolution: Team gamified system resulted in 80% of employees participating in at least one wellness program, and 50% of employees dropped smoking behavioral

20) Idea Street: the Department of work In UK used game mechanics to get 120,000 people to contribute 4000 ideas, with 63 of them implemented in the marketing department

21) EMC RAMP: with their gamification platform, the company rewarded positive behavior from employees, partners and customers which led to a 10% increase in documentation, 40% more videos watched and 15% more discussions

22) DirecTV: uses gamification to overcome the fear of failure

23) HCL: decrease new hire “Pre Join” drop out rate by 90%

24) T-Mobile: dials up employee engagement by 1,000 percent

 Sales Gamification Case Stats and Figures

1) Autodesk: gamified the free trial, incentivizing users to learn how to use the program and offering both in game and real word prizes, increasing trial usage by 54%, buy clicks by 15% and channel revenue by 29%

2) ePrize: increased the participation in their sales event by 10% by creating a participation-based point economy 

3) LiveOps: call center reduces call time by 15% and increases sales by over 8%

4) Step2: children’s retailer used PowerReview’s social loyalty scheme to boost up sales with a 300% increase in revenue from Facebook and 600% in contents uploaded

5) Domino’s Pizza: created the gaming app Pizza Hero and increased sales revenue by 30% by letting customers create their own pizza with an app

6) Moosejaw, clothing company, that used an innovative gamified system that saw 76% of sales revenue come from gamified activities, including 240k social media impressions, resulting in a 560% ROI from initial marketing expenditures

7) Silver Grill Cafe: received a 66% Return on Investment for having its waiters/waitresses play a cross-selling game

8) Cisco: used gaming strategies to enhance its virtual global sales meeting and call centers to reduce call time by 15% and improved sales by around 10%

9) Popchips: uses games to personalize mobile advertising and has seen its sales rise 40% leading to $100 million in sales.

10) Teleflora gamified its store with a social engagement scheme offering points for actions, increasing traffic from facebook by 105% and conversion rates by 92%

11) America’s Army: 30% of americans age to 16 to 24 had a more positive impression towards and has recruited more people than all the other methods combined while costing a fraction of the marketing cost

12) Extraco Bank: raised customer acquisition by 700% through gamified system

13) Lawley Insurance: with a 2-week contest, the company closed more sales than the previous 7 months combined

14) Playboy: in its Miss Social game, 85% of their users play more than once, with 50% returning a month later, resulting in a 60% increase in monthly revenue

15) Kill The Paper Invoice: increased website visits by 108.5%, and a conversion rate of 9.38% through a gamfiied system

16) Sneakpeeq.com: increased their conversion rate by 18% with a 3000% lift in total numer of click-per-buy

17) Ford Escape Route: with this game, Ford’s customers bought over $8 million in vehicles, with 600% increased likes on FB page, and over 100 million impressions on Twitter

18) Investorville: with a property-investing game, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank created 600 new loans

19) Hewlett Packard: launched Project Everest to give rewards like holidays and other goods to the best reseller teams and saw a 56.4%.

Product Gamification Case Stats and Figures

1) Microsoft: improved it’s translations for Windows OS through the Language Quality game with over 900 employees completing 26,000 tasks with 170 additional errors reported

2) Leadership Academy: within three months, daily visitors increased by 46.6% with one user earning the Leadership Academy Graduate Badge, which was expected to take 12 months

3) Microsoft: obtained 16x more feedback by people through its Communicate Hope gamified system

4) EMC2: increased the amount of feedback it received by 41%

5) Dosomething.org:  got a 26% response rate from teen audience to a scavenger hunt game

6) OpenText: implementation of a leaderboard contributed to a 250% increase in business usage and adoption

7) Volkswagen: got 33 million webpage hits and 119,000 ideas through its People’s Car Project that lets people design their “perfect car”

8) Samsung Nation: 500% increase in customer product reviews, and 66% increase in site’s visits when using a gamified system

9) Beta One: Microsoft’s Testing Division get a 400% increase in participation for the pre-release testing

Lifestyle Gamification Case Stats and Figures

1) OPower: reduced measurable energy consumption by over $100M

2) Aetna: increased daily healthy activities by 50% with an average engagement of 14 minutes on the site

3) ClinicalAdvisor.com: embedded a social platform that improved user submission by 300%, comments by 400%, and Slideshow Visualizations by 53%

4) Bottle Bank Arcade: gamified bottle bank was used 50 times more than conventional bottle bank.

5) The World’s Deepest Bin: 132% more trash collected compared to conventional bin

6) Piano Stairs: 66% more of people use the stairs, if they can produce music with it

7) Speed Camera Lottery: a lottery system that causes a 22% reduction of driving speed

8) Toilette Seat: 44% of increase in lifting the toilet seat when urinating

9) Nike: used gamified feedback to drive over 5,000,000 users to beat their personal fitness goals every day of the year

10) Recycle Bank grew a community of 4 million members by providing a gamified recycling platform.

11) Chevrolet Volt: uses a green/amber indicator to give drivers visual feedback of their driving style and reduced the number of people exceeding the speed limit by 53%

Consumer Behavior Gamification Case Stats and Figures

1) MTV My Chart: lets users create their video chart based on various game dynamics, and obtained 500,000 votes and 150,000 videos viewed within 3 months

2) Joiz: a Swiss television network increased sharing by 100% and social referral traffic by 54% with social infrastructure and gamification technologies

3) Muchmusic.com: increased their music userbase by 59%

4) Marketo: layered a game platform on their community and saw a 71% lift in daily activities, 36% increase in ideas submitted and 48% increase in question replies.

5) Interscope Records: the company obtained a 650% increase in engagement and interaction with the website

6) Verizon: users spend over 30% more time on-site with social login games versus a regular site login

7) Allkpop: during the week long promotion of game mechanics, the online news site experienced a 104% increase in shares, 36% in comments, and 24% in pageviews.

8) SessionM: offers mobile publishers a platform for adding game mechanics into apps, increasing 35% in retention and reduced bounce rate by 25%, all while seeing 40x increase in engagement rate in social activities

9) Buffalo Wild Wings: the campaign generated more than 100 million social impressions on SN, as well as a 500% increase in participation rate

10) Green Giant: generated 420,000 likes on Facebook through their gamified system

11) NickTV: introduces a game-based role-playing platform as heroes and within 2 months obtained 750,000 pages views (200% the amount of the usual traffic for the entire nicktv.it website), over 50,000 users and over 4,000,000 sessions on the website, with an increase in time spent on site by 25%

12) More than a Game: The interviewer changed the formulation of surveys, obtaining a 98% response rate and a 87.5% in descriptive words within answers

13) BlurbIQ: introduced Interactive Video Interruptions and within two weeks obtained 915% more interaction, 1400% increase in click through rate and 95% increase in recollection

14) Bell Media: increased customer retention by 33% by incorporating “social loyalty” rewards on its website

15) Club Psych USA: saw a 130% jump in page views and a 40% increase in return visits towards the game 

16) American Express: the company has gotten over 2 millions likes on Facebook through their Nextpedition gamified system

17) Boyd Game: the casino gets over 700,000 visits each month by introducing gamification on its website

18) Verizon Wireless: more than 50% of site’s user participate in this gamified environment and spend 30% more time on the site

19) Topliners: introducing the gamification in the community lifted active users by 55%

20) SAP ERP: introducing game mechanics improved user participation with telepresence increasing by 29.75%

21) GetGlue: Has build a community of 2 million users around a gamified t.v. feedback platform, 20% of all social media posts to dedicated t.v. show pages during primetime come through GetGlue. (Link in Italian)

22) Ask.com uses game mechanics to increase user engagement through real-time notifications and activity streams, increasing answered questions by 23% and votes by 58%

23) MuchMusic.com implemented a social loyalty program, rewarding users with tangible gifts such as concert tickets and led to weekly activity increase by 59%

24) Badgeville & Kendall-Jackson: increase customer engagement by 65%

25) Patient Partner: uses gamification to improve medication adherence

Education Gamification Case Stats and Figures

1) Beat the GMAT: students increase their time spent on site by 370% through a gamified system

2) OTT, an e-learning provider, increased by 65% user engagement, with some users peaking at over 300%, by adding a reward system

3) Deloitte Leadership Academy, an executive training program, increased by 46.6% the number of users that returned daily to their platform by embedding gamification mechanics into it

4) Stray Boots & A.L.Penenberg: the professor taught journalism through gamification and saw student grades increase by more than a letter grade

5) Devhub: a place for Web developers, added gaming feedback and watched in awe as the percentage of users who finished their sites shot up from 10% to 80%

6) Foldit: gamers have solved a 15-Year AIDS Virus Protein problem within 10 days

Scientific research related to the effect of Gamification

1) Research findings support the impact of levels, badges and a (dummy) feedback system connected to a study course, results were significant, with 18.5% higher average grade for students enrolled in the gamified course. 

2) Research findings support the impact of levels, points, leaderboards, streaking and visual storytelling to improve participation in crowdsourced assessments. Results were significant with an increase of 347% of participants returning for recurrent participation. (compared to control group)

3) Research findings support the impact of point based levels (Status titles) and leaderboards to IBM’s internal social network service. Short term impact showed 92% increase in comments posted, within this research long term engagement was also measured and  an increase of 299% more comments posted was found compared to the control group. 

4) A subsequent research in the same social network service above showed the effects of removing the point based levels, status titles and leaderboards. The removal of the game mechanics showed a significant result as across the board activities on the social network service dropped by 52%. 

5) Research findings support the impact of narrative, leaderboards and countdown timers to an online training. Results were significant with a 61% increase in participation for an online training.

6) Research findings support the impact of narrative, levels, quests, countdown timers, immediate feedback, guidance systems, visual story telling, surprise events and flow (matching ability and difficulty) to an online tutorial. Results were significant with users learning via the gamified tutorial showing increased ability by finishing tasks 135% faster compared to the control group. Additionally the users expressed much higher satisfaction in regards to using the system.

For a more detailed approach to gamification and human-focused design, try Octalysis Prime, the gamified mentorship journey.