Game Loops in World of Warcraft, 1 of 2

How does World of Warcraft really work from an Octalysis Gamification design perspective?

In this previous series, Yu-kai discussed how to create meaningful game experiences by adding Boosters which upgraded plain Activity Loops to the more powerful and engaging Game Loops.

For years, Yu-kai didn’t want to touch World of Warcraft because of his obsessive personality. If he had started WoW when it first came out, he might not have created the Octalysis Gamification framework at all! (Because WoW can suck a lot of hours from your life.)

But eventually, in 2018 and 2019 Yu-kai went on to analyze how World of Warcraft achieves these seductive Game Loops inside its system and players’ minds.

How to Build Game Loops, Part 4 of 4

Last one in the series! (At least until the World of Warcraft followup!)

Did you miss Parts 1-3? Go watch them: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

In this last part of the series, Yu-kai talks about how Geomons work within the Game Loop of Octalysis Prime.

Yu-kai also discusses how to create value and in-game currencies that matter to the user, just as he has done with Chou Coins in Octalysis Prime.

A glimpse of an old Game Loop for Octalysis Prime

How to Build Game Loops, Part 3 of 4

Did you miss Part 1 and Part 2? Go watch them: Part 1 | Part 2

Or Skip to Part 4.

By teaching and mentoring his team at The Octalysis Group, Yu-kai has helped his consultants help the likes of Lego and Volkswagen to develop meaningful customer and loyalty experiences. Now you can learn how this is done, too!

To this day, Yu-kai works hard to understand how experiences affect their players, how users are engaged, and what brings people back through what he calls Game Loops.

Let’s get back into the discussion now.

Now, continue on to Part 4 of 4.

How to Build Game Loops, Part 2 of 4

In this post, we continue our study of powerful Game Loops, which are activity loops improved by the addition of one or more Boosters.

These Boosters transform an experience into a Game Loop through the addition of Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback, arguably the most important Core Drive for a player’s meaningful experience.

The Bandwagon Streak (and Extension) is the first example Yu-kai covers in this episode.

The second example is the Daily Tipper.

The key in both is that because of the Boosters, the experience does not end for the user. There are always additional actions the player can take. More strategy to consider!

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!

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.

Why Anti Core Drives Often Derail Progress on Your Goals

In Octalysis Prime, we often get member questions during our weekly  Town Halls. While we can’t share all member-discovered insights, here is an important introductory concept to understanding the Core Drives…the Anti Core Drives. For more on Anti Core Drives, read this article or this one about Loss & Avoidance specifically related to building ecosystems.

Student: Can anyone share examples of anti-core drives? I read they cause the player to not complete the desired action but I still don’t quite understand…

Guru: Yes! That’s what these Town Hall meetings are about!

Continue reading Why Anti Core Drives Often Derail Progress on Your Goals