How to Build Game Loops, Part 1 of 4

Yu-kai’s team at The Octalysis Group, which has worked with the likes of Lego and Volkswagen to create meaningful experiences for their customers, has learned from him about how to create Game Loops. Now you can too!

Yu-kai built his career based off of a deep understanding of how games work. How they work from the design side. How they work for the players. How they work for the companies that publish them.

This deep understanding needed synthesis.

Which is part of the reason Yu-kai developed the Octalysis framework. He wanted a way to not only better describe games and game-like experiences, but also to be able to tweak or even redesign them. Perhaps from scratch.

That is one of the great features of the Octalysis framework. Where other models are more difficult to make practical, the Octalysis framework is almost immediately practical from almost any stage of project or experience design, whether pre-design, pre-launch, or post-launch.

Game Loops vs Activity Loops

An Activity Loop is any repeated cycle of Desired Actions.

Game Loops are Activity Loops with Boosters.

What’s a booster?

Boosters directly change how the next loop can be played or navigated by the player.

Boosters relate directly to Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback. The player thinks? What boosters are available? How can you gain them? What strategy will you take on to acquire them?

Boosters inspire meaningful play, White Hat and Intrinsic, in other words, Evergreen mechanics.

The booster improves or changes the experience.

Play on to the next post!

4 Keys 2 Fun, Part 1/4

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.

Training the Stallion Mind to Unleash Creativity, Part 1 of 2

Here is a training video from Octalysis Prime about creativity and developing your Stallion Mind for those of you who want to let the wild horse inside you run free to make yourself even more creative.

Here is a partial excerpt from the video:

Today we’re going to explore a topic, I call the stallion mind. How we train that stallion mind is about unleashing creativity. Now, this all came about when I’m working with my team and I’m thinking about how do you become more creative. I’m seeing people come with ideas but I feel like well, they’re kind of just the same thing that we did last time. It’s not very creative. So I was wondering how to help people become more creative. What is the process actually prove that it is something you’re born with your you can actually improve it?

I believe, we’re always born with certain talents certain things right, just like we talked about in 10,000 Hours of Play you got the Talent Triangle, but then we also have the skill triangle. There are things that we can actively work on more so than others. I’m thinking about if creativity can be one of those things. In another sense, this is about unlocking Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback within us.

How Creativity Works

There’s another aspect because we know about creativity. I mentioned it is just how we connect pieces in the past, together with things were we already promised before like you know taking things that we absorb and rearranging the order and putting together in a way that no one has done before. No one has seen that order, potentially, but it actually kind of made sense. and so that blends two different skill sets that I call example recalling. An example recalling is the ability to think about example on the spot. And this has been a very, very very useful skill for me to work with my clients

I’ve always been super impressed with how amazing our subconscious brain is again, it can be. In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman calls you know the fast brain, System 1, and a slow brain, System 2, with the fast brain being more distinctive, but not precise, things like that.

So usually when I’m telling you the sentences like the sentence come out of my mouth in my head I’m not thinking about that sentence I’m not thinking about every word I was about to say, and then say it out. I already knew what I was going to say my fast brain already processes and I just have to execute on what my mind is thinking, sometimes when people ask me a question, I’ll immediately respond: Well, there’s three components to your questions and, or at least to the answers every components right and in my head I wasn’t thinking about with words like, Oh, well there’s, there’s this, and there’s this, and there’s this.

The Power of the Subconscious Brain

The subconscious brain is very very powerful and a lot of our creativity comes from there. And that’s why I kind of like to in this context call it stallion mind because it’s like a wild horse, running in the wild and running really fast and I think it’s the right type of mentality. And as you guys know I like to create fun names and maybe even cool names that have been attached to an abstract concept because I think things that have fun names make it more enjoyable to think about, play around and interact with.

So we got the stallion mind where things happen really quickly, maybe it’s not precise not mathematical but it things really quickly finds things in the past, and it really allows to be very creative, very quickly, as you know some people when they’re creative right, it’s like boom boom boom idea what to do, under five minutes you’re like oh so many ideas, and then some people are like, even maybe they’re very intelligent right but they’re like, what’s the new think outside the box, instead of the new idea what’s the new idea was nearly they’re really good at analyzing existing ideas, but they just are very good at come with a lot of random ideas.

People feel like that’s might be a personality trait. Some people are born creative their personality is creative and some people are just more logical analytical and my personal belief is, based on all the years I’ve been studying how the brain works behavioral science is that, again, we all have that stallion mind inside of us. But our logical brain suppresses it.

The Logical Brain Wants Control

The logical brain wants to be in control we want to understand what’s going on we want to know what we’re talking about. We want to know the logic we’re trained in school, to really focus on logic and execution not mindlessly exploring all these things

Okay, I’m just gonna stick to my conscious brain, the logical thing that the teachers put in front of me, and dealing with logical thinking I’m going to suppress the stallion mind.

This is my theory based on what I understand, at least I haven’t found any proven science that talks that complete system one system to data from there’s a lot of supporting surrounding stuff there’s enough, I haven’t seen any science that directly says this is the answer. But I think, because the implications of it can be really, really useful and helpful impact all right and if people are actually able to, let’s say, train the stallion and make the stallion better and therefore people are better at creativity and example recalling, I do want to share this in case you know this does end up these these for you because I know it’s been useful for me. And everyone’s different so how do we train the style and how do we let go and let it run.

Supercharging Employee Motivation

It has now become common knowledge that using Gamification in the workplace supercharges employee motivation significantly. We already shared some great ROIs from one of our award-winning applications earlier, here. We regularly achieve improvements in productivity and sales measurements of 60% and more. So Octalysis Gamification works. And HR (Human Resources) departments are taking notice.

More people also start to realize that Gamification can engage people in the long run. But only if it is designed well and optimized for long term motivation. The Octalysis Group prides ourselves in doing just that. We strongly believe that the way we design and develop Gamification solutions will become the norm for companies in the next 5 – 8 years. Companies that do not incorporate such design will find it harder to sell products and more difficult to attract and retain highly skilled employees.

But do people actually like to have (part of their) workplace gamified? Let’s have a look at what a new survey has found and see how your colleagues actually feel about having (more) Gamification in their professional environment.

To get the survey, read the full article by Joris Beerda on the Octalysis Group Blog.

How to use Gamification to Influence Your Friends

How to use Gamification to Influence Your Friends

You can usually tell when someone is trying to persuade or influence you.

However, I actually like the idea of being influenced or persuaded to do things that I want to do. 

Is this true for you?

In general, it feels good to be included in interesting, unusual, or fun events or gatherings. It piques your curiosity when a friend who knows you well sends you information or a book or a gift that makes your life better. And when your friends forget to invite you, you get upset.

So, if you care about being influenced, then your friends do too. It’s part of our makeup as humans. We are nodes in social spheres of influence: individual to family to friends and society. And you are a node across many of these networks.

Continue reading How to use Gamification to Influence Your Friends

Why Seller Motivation Needs a Makeover

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This guest post was written by Jonathan Palay, Co-founder of CommercialTribe

Why Seller Motivation Needs a Makeover

From the time we entered the cognitive revolution in 70,000 BC, the human species set off on a more prosperous course, largely driven by our ability to work together.  So it should come as no surprise that sales can be considered one of the oldest professions in the world, because from the time we started to cooperate, we developed the need to persuade.

By some estimates today there are more than 10 million sales people in the world, also known as professional persuaders.  Today, the sales organization exists to organize and drive those sellers toward the actions needed to transact revenue, leading to the creation of what has been described as a coin-operated, compliance-driven culture.  

In this article, let’s explore why that is, why this model has stood the test of time, and why it may finally be ripe for a makeover.

Continue reading Why Seller Motivation Needs a Makeover

Inbox Gambling: Why People (Not You, of Course) Really Live in Their Inbox

Inbox Gambling: Why People Really Live in Their Inbox (Hint: Gamification Example)

You’re bored but you decide not to check Facebook for once.

Congratulations on remarkable discipline. (Let’s face it, maybe  you were just scared of being frightened by another cat video.)

Fortunately, your inbox is still ready and waiting.

You hover your finger over the icon on your phone, that pretty little icon.

Inside that digital envelope, not much more than a thumbnail on your screen, waits a world of wonder.

If you’re an Octalysis student, you’ll recognize Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity.

A Mix of Good and Bad News (and in Between)

Whether you get good or bad news, or something in between, doesn’t matter.

The inbox provides an abundance of curiosity.

Even before you open it, you are probably receiving a small dopamine hit.

In gamification terms, you are staring at a massive mystery box.

But it is better than that.

The email inbox is an entire list or group of mystery boxes within the larger mystery box. I like to call this the Meta Mystery Box (Or, if you like, the Epic Mystery Box.)

The Meta Mystery Box is so powerful that I’m predicting the email inbox will survive for a long, long, time.

Other Core Drives in the Inbox

Core Drive 8: Loss and Avoidance: Changing your email address, losing contacts, and the hassle of merging to other email clients all make us tend to stay with whatever client you have.

Loss and Avoidance also plays into not wanting to miss important news from your boss or friends.

This plays at the micro level. When you consider pressing that tiny unsubscribe button after the fourteenth email this month from a once-useful-but-now annoying spammer, you still wonder if you might miss out on something useful from the sender in the future.

This, by the way, is anticipatory regret. It is real, and that is probably for the next post.

Let me know if you visited the Meta Mystery Box today and why you did! No harm if you did, just curious to know why you tapped the icon or opened a new tab. For more advanced game techniques and discussions applied to real projects, join the vibrant community of learners at Octalysis Prime.