Octalysis Primers Start Consulting Business – Part 1: Daniel Schmidt

Did you know that two of our Octalysis Primers are from the same town in Germany? What a coincidence, right?

Or maybe not so much, these two handsome men are actually brothers! But Daniel and Joel share much more than a last name, they are both:

– Passionate Gamers
– Driven to make learning more fun
– Co-owners of Smithery

Smithery – Forging great learning experiences

Unlike their own experience at German university, Joel and Daniel strongly believe that “learning can and should be something fun.”


Armed with knowledge about Human Motivation, Gamification and UX Design, they started a consultancy business. It is cleverly named Smithery; a place where powerful things are forged, by the brothers Schmidt.

They started working for their first client only two days after launch!

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel, age 29, is the older brother of the two.

In the past years I have worked with many organizations in the field where two things that are close to my heart come together: Nerd Culture and Christianity.

As a leading force for e.g. Allianzmission and MainQuest, he is well-connected and respected through-out Germany.

What is it like to work with your brother?

“I have worked with many different teams, and luckily we have so far always managed to establish a family like culture. But working with your actual brother is really something different.

The age difference between Joel and myself is quite big, 7,5 years. So when I was growing up and going through early adult struggles, Joel was still a child.

In recent years we have grown very close together, and have established a deep sense of openness and trust. Which I think is absolutely necessary because our working relationship is intertwined with our family relationship.”

How did Octalysis Prime help you start a business?

Daniel joined Octalysis Prime after reading Yu-kai’s book Actionable Gamification.

“I have had six years of study and research around topics like Motivational Psychology and Gameful Design at university. But my understanding of these topics came to a new level by digging into Yu-kai’s work. It is actually even bigger than that, a whole new world opened up!

There is also a lot of merit in being part of the OP Slack community. There are some people in the community who just breathe valuable information. And it is great to share different perspectives with like-minded people.

One repeated lesson that stood out to me is to always come back to thinking about motivation – the difference between Human-focused Design and Function-focused Design. To answer the question: joining Octalysis Prime helped with everything.

Can you tell us something about your Octalysis Certificate?

Daniel mentions that he is not all about certificates, as his main focus is on the intrinsic motivation for learning. But he is very happy that he put in the effort to obtain his prestigious Octalysis Level 1 Certificate:


“It is very helpful to take something that you think you know and have studied well, and then have somebody who really knows look at your work and give you feedback that brings you back to reality.

Because the required quality thresholds of the different certificate levels are really enforced it has real value. And it provides the reassurance for myself that I have learned something well.

I know so many people who managed to get their university degree that I won’t take any advice from. Earning an Octalysis Certificates really means something.”

Fun Fact

To wrap up the interview, Daniel shared an amusing story about Octalysis Prime:

He once spent half an hour to click the ‘Defend the Castle’ button in the Challenge Section of the Island exactly 100 times. This made the dragon fly away to patrol for a hundred times, but unfortunately did not reveal any Easter Eggs.

“You may all thank me for testing this so you don’t have to!”

(Button used to say ‘Defend the Castle’)

Part 2 Coming Soon!

A big thanks to Daniel for the interview! Read more about Joel Schmidt’s perspective in Part 2. Spoiler alert: “Joel is like fluid“.

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Colin Hahn

After attending the Behavioral Design Masterclass last year, Colin signed up for a Premium yearly subscription on Octalysis Prime.

As an active user on the Island and steady participant of the weekly Live Coaching Sessions with Yu-kai, he became quite knowledgeable in Human-Focused Design.

Colin combines this knowledge with his expertise in Talent Development and often gives back as a valued member of the Slack community.

The chosen experience for his submission for the Level 1 Octalysis Certificate is his local Chapter for the Association for Talent Development. Check it for inspiration on organizing offline events!

Stay tuned for more, as Colin has already put in the hard work to submit for his Level 2!

Congratulations Colin on obtaining your Level 1 Octalysis Certificate and adding your name to the Hall of Fame.


If you want to dive deeper into Gamification, Behavioral Design and learn how to motivate your customers, your employees, your kids and yourself, try out Octalysis Prime for FREE!

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Jędrzej Lewandowski

The success of last year’s Behavioral Design Masterclass is reflected in the quality of the re-submissions we still receive for the Level 1 Octalysis Certificate.

For example from Jędrzej Lewandowski from the Faculty of medicine, Medical University of Warsaw. He took the received feedback to heart and improved his submission well beyond the certificate requirements!

Jędrzej’s chose to analyze and improve the motivation of the members of Soli Deo to organize events for this Academic Catholic Association. Curious? Check out his submission below!

Congratulations Jędrzej for achieving this milestone and adding your name to the Hall of Fame!

We hope that Soli Deo will implement some of your Brainstorming ideas, especially those that emphasize on the already existing Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning cause.

Now it is clear for me how much more additional value I gain from doing the certificate, gaining the knowledge that I didn’t previously gain from just reading and listening. I am very glad that you spent so much time and gave me the output.

Jędrzej Lewandowski

You can find the workshop videos from the Behavioral Design Masterclass, and many more, on Octalysis Prime!

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Eva Deutsch

Primers on Octalysis Prime often times are very successful in their work or business already. Take Eva Deutsch with 20 years of consulting background who owns the independent game design and development studio BrainBrosia Entertainment.

BrainBrosia covers the entire range of game design, development, art/graphic, and production. While focussing mainly on mobile games, they developed for other platforms as well.
From this position, Eva decided to join Octalysis Prime to level up her skills even further.

Eva’s submission covers the MVP (minimal viable product) of a recruiting app that her company BrainBrosia is testing with medium-sized companies. The candidates go through a Story-driven Swiping app where they learn about the company while engaging with tasks related to the new job.

Eva took the feedback on her first submission to heart, and delivered a great resubmission qualifying for the Level 1 Octalysis Certificate. Congratulations, Eva. Well deserved.

Thanks for your profound feedback. I have tried to include everything you suggested (even have drawn all Octalysis frameworks and redraw slides for transparency).

Eva Deutsch

Do you want to join a community of learners and bring your knowledge of Human-Focused Design to the next level?
Don’t hesitate to try out Octalysis Prime for free!

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Ashley Nielsen

One of the most rewarding things about the Octalysis Certification process is seeing people learn and progress with feedback. Ashley is a good example of someone who learned a lot in little time.

For her Octalysis Certificate submission, Ashley tackled the Epic! children’s reading app. This app encourages children age 12 and under to read more books and allows teachers to track the activity of pupils.

Ashley also has her own Learning Architecture Consulting company. With a total of 20+ years of experience in the field of Education Design, Learning Architecture helps the best among educators and institutions to desgin educational processes that make their vision a reality. They create customized designs for each system of education.

After only one round of feedback, Ashley delivered a quality submission. Especially her Analysis of the Current Experience is worth taking a look at.

Congratulations, Ashley! Your Octalysis Certificate is well deserved.

“Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback. I am slowly making my way through it and making improvements. This process is certainly clarifying many of the concepts. So glad I did it!”

Ashley Nielsen

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Sufiz Mohd Suffian

Oftentimes, our Primers are learning Octalysis because they want to excel at their work. Like Sufiz Mohd Suffian. Sufiz has his own company, RecurConsult, a behavioral design and gamification consultancy that specializes in creating impactful experiences, and driving desired behaviors through design and engagement.

With RecurConsult, Sufiz has worked with Fortune 500 companies, Multinational Corporations, Local Conglomerates, Government Agencies, and SMEs across various industries, including human resources, retail, oil & gas, financial services, and more. Despite these accomplishments, Sufiz wants more and is a life-long-learner.
So Sufiz submitted for his Octalysis Level 1 Certificate.

“Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to earn this distinguished certificate. Even after being part of the gamification industry for several years now, I was still able to learn so much from this experience. I am excited to apply these valuable lessons to my own work and future projects.”

Sufiz Mohd Suffian

We were impressed with the growth Sufiz showed after the received feedback, as well as with his Brainstorming.

Congratulations, Sufiz! We hope to see more of you in the future.

Do you want to join a community of learners and bring your knowledge of Human-Focused Design to the next level?
Don’t hesitate to try out Octalysis Prime for free!

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Sébastien Dostie

Sébastien Dostie (LinkedIn) is one of the many people who attended the 2020 Behavioral Design Masterclass to up his Human-Focused Design skills.

As a part of the Masterclass, Sébastien decided to take it one step further and submit for his Octalysis Certificate. In his submission, Sébastien analyzed Hardbacon, a financial app from FinTech startup Hardbacon Inc. The app’s mission is to help the user take control of their personal finance.
Although Hardbacon is successful at presenting your financial status, Sébastien feels the app falls short in helping users control their finance by using the stock market.

Sébastien Dostie: “I believe that putting Hardbacon through the Octalysis lens has the potential to shine lights on how to improve the experience.”

Wow! Thank you for this new round of feedback. Makes me want to review it again as you bring very interesting questions and observations.

Sébastien Dostie

Well done on your submission and attaining your Octalysis Certificate, Sébastien. Congratulations!

Do you want to join a community of learners and bring your knowledge of Human-Focused Design to the next level?
Don’t hesitate to try out Octalysis Prime for free!