4 Keys 2 Fun (Game Design Framework by Nicole Lazzaro) – Part 1 of 4.

This series looks into Nicole Lazzaro’s work. As a game designer, Lazzaro worked on Tilt, Myst, Sims, and Star Wars Unleashed. Lately, she’s working in VR, AR, and MR.

Gameful Design in 4Keys2Fun

Nicole runs a company called XEODesign and they published the 4Keys2Fun.

Hard Fun, Easy Fun, Serious Fun, and People Fun are the 4 Keys.

From the 4Keys2Fun blog, we see:

These four main reasons why people play games are how best sellers create more emotions for more captivating play. Each key unlocks a different set of play experiences. Because players alternate between them during a single play session best selling games offer at least three of the 4 Keys 2 Fun. Only XEODesign’s methods take advantage of the 4 Keys 2 Fun to heighten player emotions.

Types of Fun

Hard Fun is about Mastery, “The Brass Ring”, and when one succeeds in this area, one feels fiero.

Easy Fun is a vehicle for imagination

Serious Fun provides meaning and value and we feel excitement upon success.

People Fun is experienced with others, where we experience amusement upon accomplishment.

Player Experience

As you read the 4Keys2Fun chart, notice that the visualization attempts to focus on the Player Experience (PX). Some experiences will move between the 4Keys, for example between Hard Fun and Easy Fun, or from Serious Fun to People Fun.

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Sameh Ibrahiem Emam

The New Level I Octalysis Certificate

In 2020, we have massively revamped our Octalysis Certificates. We have raised the bar in terms of what is required to obtain a Level 1 Octalysis Certificate.

The intention is that, if you have a Level I or II Octalysis Certificate, you are capable of applying the Octalysis Framework and principles to projects, much like what consultants at The Octalysis Group does.

For those who don’t know, here are the requirements for the Level I Octalysis Certificate.

Also, here is the list of amazing individuals who have obtained their Level 1 and Level 2 Octalysis Certificates

“Plastic Water Bottles & Water Bottling Industry” from Sameh Ibrahiem Emam.

We like to showcase the work of people who have obtained their certificates to showcase the standard of quality required to get the Level I Octalysis Certificate, as well as get a taste of things people will learn in my Octalysis Prime mentorship platform.

Sameh obtained his level 1 Octalysis Certificate with his submission “Plastic Water Bottles.” Sameh designed his own plastic water bottle with an accompanying app in an effort to reduce plastic waste. Check it out!

Congrats Sameh. Your future in gamification and behavioral design is bright!

Preparing for the Post-Covid Resistance

How bad is the Covid-19 Corona Virus

So there are two issues to consider here:

1) virus/health/quanantine (natural disaster)
2) lockdown/economy/social unrest (man-caused issue)

For (1) the question is how bad is it and are the human actions overreacting. If you look at this graph, if countries don’t take extreme measures, it grows radically fast.

With all the underreporting I think things are way worse than it is (many places even if you have symptoms you can’t get tested due to resources. A governor in Mexico said that the data shows confirmed cases only have rich people and therefore poor people aren’t at risk, without thinking it may be that only rich people can get tested.

I think there is an issue with people comparing historical disaster numbers (that have ended) with CURRENT COVID damage (oh look, this historical thing was 12x worse). But COVID is still doubling every few days and we might just be seeing the beginning.

Also, counting deaths to confirmed cases is also an illusion because based on exponential growth, the deaths today are from the much smaller population of confirmed cases a few weeks ago, so match with the denominator of TODAY it appears small.

Perhaps an interesting comparison would be with “resolved” cases, namely deaths vs recovered ratios.

Many regions show numbers closer to 1 death for every 2 recovered people.All this is to say, don’t underestimate it please. The power of exponential curves means that in one day it could cover more ground than the whole previous month. It’s a life or death situation that should be treated seriously.

Yea, we lose a lot of freedom, but if each person has an invisible fused bomb on him/her, I’m sure we would agree losing that freedom temporarily until the bomb threat is resolved would be a prudent move.

Most nations are doubling between 2 to 10 days. Some people say that our lockdown measures are like an elephant getting attacked by a house cat, and in panic, jumped off a cliff (the reaction was more dangerous than the threat).

Well, look at New York. New York was a “calm elephant” that didn’t take strong measures until much later, and now it’s the new Wuhan with some describing it as an apocalyptic war zone.

I know there is a lot of different info out there and perspectives, but for you and your own family I would urge you to be cautious. I already know over a dozen people in my own personal network (none of them Asian) who have COVID. It’s pretty bad and doesn’t just effect the elderly.

Even if you recover it could leave permanent lung damage.
No need to panic, but take cautious steps. Having a calm mind with active (and cleanly washed) hands is good.

There is an estimation that if no or late extreme measures happening, this will end up with about 10 – 50 Million deaths worldwide. The range is pretty large and I believe in it (IF countries and people continue to act the way they are).

In that effect, locking down economies and the DEVASTATING impact MAY be still worth it. Which leads us to (2)

(2) The human-caused economic crisis due to a lockdown…I think would be way worse than previous recessions. Previous recessions were usually about the financial “elite” (as a convenient word but not saying they are better) using too much leverage and suffering: bankers, financial firms, investors, technologists, even home owners. But the foundational economy could still run pretty well.

Waiters, cashiers, and factory workers were obviously indirectly impacted but still made money and spent it at grocery stores. The financial “elite” later on uses this foundation to build back their wealth.This time around the foundational economy is being wiped.

Most restaurants, manufacturers, airlines would go bankrupt in 2-3 months of this lockdown (which is why the US Gov approved $2 Trillion to try to keep them alive). I think this would lead to massive unemployment.

Case in point, Nevada’s historical high in unemployment/week was 8,945 in 2009. A couple weeks ago their unemployment claim was 92,300.

Just for the last week of April, California received 533,568 unemployment claims. I still think this is still just the beginning of the iceberg (unfortunately…)

With this MASSIVE amount of unemployment, there is going to be social unrest, desperation, racial aggression and more. It is for this reason why I left the US as this would not be good for my twin daughters Symphony and Harmony. (Taiwan has a stable society and I believe the worst is already over here).

So onto the (semi) good news:

The Post-Covid Resistance: Beginning of the Heroes Journey.

I believe the virus issue will be dealt with in 2-8 months. I believe the economic issue would last for 3-5 years.

But during this time there is a huge reshuffling too.

Political structures, power and influence distribution, old way of doing things – all this stuff would be shuffled up.In stable times, a lot of things are locked up in Ice and move extremely slowly.

In chaotic times, things become fluid like water (before they stabilize and becomes Ice again). This means that better than any time in history, we are able to hustle and strategically position ourselves to make an impact in the Post-COVID world, replace broken systems in the old world, and achieve things that were never possible before.

In my mind this is like after the Terminator Judgment Day, the remaining humans (who were NOT in power nor respected prior) need to come together and protect humanity against new threats (hmm…like AI-powered robots taking over).

At least for myself, this new sense of purpose at least fills me with hope and drive (instead of just doomsday survival mentality).

I immediately think about 100 things I need to do to make this positioning happen for myself during this 3-5 year reshuffling period.

I plan to share this journey with everyone in hopes more people get inspired and join me on this too.Of course, if I’m the only person passionate about this, I would still do it as it is providing me many benefits. I just hope more people can be on this journey with me too.

We can be part of the Post-Covid Resistance together.

How to become Irreplaceable in your Company

In Times of Crisis, all the rules change

In times of change, it’s often a good idea to think about how to become more irreplaceable in your company. Many organizations use times of crisis as an opportunity to “trim the fat” – looking at people that are just doing okay things at okay levels but usually not bad enough to let go.

In times like these they start to evaluate who in a company actively takes the company to new levels or at least increases the chances of the company surviving.

And the unfortunate thing is, most of the time the people who are doing the best work are not recognized compared to the people who are good at getting credit.

Case in point (I literally just thought of this as I am writing this email): many years ago I helped my wife who was working at a big bank write an email to her VP.

He immediately printed it out and asked to meet with her. In the meeting he exclaimed that she saw everything that he is worried about so clearly and he decided to give her a lot more new responsibilities on an important project.

The project my wife spearheaded turned out to be the only project that was launched within the deadline AND within budget in her seven years of being there.

Now here’s the kicker, a year later the VP met with her again, and he said, “If you had not written that email to me a year ago, you would have actually been laid off…failure to recognize talent is Management’s fault but I’m glad we didn’t make that mistake.”

Here’s the thing. My wife has financial engineering skills that is way beyond me. She will often discover calculation flaws in a large institution that would take three months to mathematically prove to coworkers! However, she’s not good at empathetic writing, human motivation, and behavioral design. That’s where my strengths came in handy.

Now I didn’t think I would actually save my wife’s job when I wrote that email, but based on the motivation profiles of her coworkers, I thought it would be a helpful thing to do (and yes I do listen carefully to my wife when she talks about her day).

Again, just because you are good at your job doesn’t mean your value is recognized by your company.

Another one of my talents is to create visual models and frameworks (here’s an Octalysis Prime video about how I figured out my strengths).

This one up here is the 2×2 Corporate Matrix. While I don’t want to spend a lot of time going through this in detail, they key here is that some people try to thrive in an organization through strong political skills, while some try to thrive through strong performance. Of course there are people who have both.

The key here is that, during times of peace and stability, political skills often get rewarded. After all, since everyone is comfortable, the motivation to not disturb/anger others exceeds that of delivering great work.

But that suddenly flips around during times of crisis. It’s a do-or-die situation for both the organization and the managers that make career-affecting decisions. They are not going to risk performance/survival just for those that make them emotionally feel good (employees that go golfing with them and do mutual home BBQs)

Ever wonder how startups with only twenty people and very little money can beat huge companies with twenty-thousand people and billions of dollars? (Often these large corporations simply give up and buy the startups for a Billion Dollars).

It’s because for a startup it is ALWAYS do-or-die. Every startup employee needs to constantly learn new skills and unleash their full potential because… the default is death.

If one team member performs mediocrely, that’s 5% of the organization being mediocre! As a result, everyone NEEDS to be Performers and Stars in the above 2×2 framework, and there is no room for Politicians. 

This compared to big companies in peaceful times – most people just work hard enough to get a paycheck, and then they stop. Extra energy is dedicated to playing politics as that gets rewarded the most.

Few people go on to learn disruptive new skills, take on innovative new projects (after all, why risk all this comfort for a chance of failure?), or come up with new systems to mobilize their workplace. 

During a crisis, just like working in startups, EVERYONE has to become a Performer or Star. This means that everyone should look at doing these things:

  1. Learn brand new sellable skills for the new economy
  2. Go beyond your responsibilities and start innovative projects that could increase your value or the strength of your organization (potentially more importantly – be recognized for it)
  3. Improve on persuasive and empathetic communication skills to guide Management and help them feel secure BECAUSE of your involvement
  4. Start taking initiative and coordinate with other departments to help them charter through new challenges (such as working remotely)

For myself, I immediately looked to innovate in the Remote Work space and created the REMOTE Work Cultural Framework. It has drawn a lot of attention (virtual speeches, podcasts, book request) in just a week!

Of course, I’m not stopping there. There are a hundred things I want to do and learn in order to come out 5x stronger than before the crisis started.

What about you? What have you been doing to ensure that you are making yourself more irreplaceable in your workplace? Or at least, what is your game plan for this? Because business-as-usual is not going to work. Doing the exact same thing and hoping things will work out is not a winning strategy.

Would love to hear back on your plans to survive and thrive through the COVID Crisis and become multiple times stronger in the Post-Covid Economy.

Quick Reminder: the Tier II 30% Early Bird Discount to my 30-day Behavioral Design Masterclass expires April 10th

I’m sending this reminder because I keep getting emails from people that tell me, “Ah! I missed the cutoff for the early bird discount! There just wasn’t a trigger to remind me about it! Could I still get the discount?”

The Tier II Early Bird discount of 30% off expires at midnight on April 10 (depending on your timezone but we usually give a small grace period). So if you feel like you may end up getting these tickets sooner or later, it would be a good idea to get your ticket today and save: http://bit.ly/yu-kaichou

I’ve already said plenty about the 30-Day Behavioral Design Masterclass so won’t boggle you down here besides that I’ll be sharing the best skills and practices currently available to me, and you will get plenty of guided hands-on practice.

Also, if you need more time to decide, don’t worry either because after April 10 it would only drop down to the Tier III Early Bird Discount (25% Off), so you’ll still be able to get it at a comfortable discount.

Here’s another big text link that takes you to the 30-Day Behavioral Design Masterclass. 

(Cuz you probably were just skimming through this blogpost)

It’s time to Upgrade Yourself and Create Next-Level Stuff!