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

How to Digital Declutter with Octalysis Gamification, Part 1 of 8: Letting Go of Ownership

Post written by Erik van Mechelen, inspired by Yu-kai Chou’s Octalysis framework.

Decluttering your life isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. The power of applying Octalysis to your lifestyle improvements will be showcased today by example of digital decluttering. This article is as a complement to the previous series on lifestyle gamification.

Unless you are comfortable with creative chaos (I occasionally am), you probably could benefit from a small or large digital declutter.

Let’s get your life decluttered.

Continue reading How to Digital Declutter with Octalysis Gamification, Part 1 of 8: Letting Go of Ownership

Mattia’s Habitica Design Challenge Entry

In early 2017, The Octalysis Group ran a design challenge based on improving Habitica. Here is Mattia’s excellent entry.

Have a look at these slides!

There are more design challenges happening now! Check out the Food Heroes Design Challenge right now, and win a trip to Shang’hai or to San Francisco to meet Yu-kai Chou.

Laurel & Wolf — Product Friction

This post is by Ali Shadle. Product Friction is any obstacle that prevents a user from getting real, tangible value from a product. Learn the secrets to building the path of least resistance from popular web applications!

Understanding where products make me feel uncomfortable

Ali Shadle has created a way to teardown the user experience and offer solutions. Using a human-focused design mindset, Ali reacted and created actionable solutions to Laurel and Wolf’s homepage, funnel, and checkout.

Continue reading Laurel & Wolf — Product Friction

How FITology Used Running to Create an Alternate Reality Adventure

How can you engage your employees to a common Corporate Social Responsibility cause – in a fun and healthy fashion? Here’s how FITology created an alternate reality game to help an organization raise funds for charitable cause.

Running is the new craze

Running is the new craze today. Nearly every 35 – 45 year old white collar employee who wants to get started on her / his fitness journey starts by running. In most of the metropolitan cities around the world short and long runs are organized every fortnight or month. There are communities, organizations and associations which run together. Raising money for charitable causes via long-distance races has become a fairly common, BIG thing.

We wanted to work with this opportunity. We wanted to raise as much charity possible from a group of employees working for a multinational company who live and work all over the world. And we wanted to do it on the backdrop of a Marathon. The question was how do we design a gameful experience to motivate these multicultural, global employees.

We listed our limitations first – why might people not want to donate –

Continue reading How FITology Used Running to Create an Alternate Reality Adventure