In Part 2 of this series, Yu-kai continues to explore World of Warcraft’s remarkable Game Loop.
When Battle of Azeroth came out, Yu-kai gave World of Warcraft a shot. After about 900 hours, he’s dissected what makes WoW work. Now, he understands why it works on the human brain.
One of Yu-kai’s key attributes in the 10k HP framework is his Learn-Use conversation rate. In only a few months of playing WoW, Yu-kai was able to apply what he learned from analyzing WoW’s Game Loop to help a client build a reputation system for a client of The Octalysis Group.
Then he wanted to learn even more. Now he is sharing it here with all of us!
This survey was shared by Gustavo Tondello in the Octalysis Prime Community.
Do you play games?
We are looking for volunteers to take part in a study to find out preferences of a particular person when playing different games based on the player traits scale. This research intends to validate a questionnaire to find out what is a user’s preferences with games. The goal is to improve our ability to design better games.
If you decide to volunteer, you will be asked to complete a 20-minute online survey. Survey questions focus on your preferences while using games. Upon completion of the survey, you will be able to find out your player traits profile.
Optionally, you will be invited to a 5-minute follow-up survey after one month of completing the original questionnaire.
Please note that you must be 15 years or older to participate in this study. In appreciation for your time, you can enter your name into a draw for one of two USD $50 international Visa gift cards.
This research is conducted by the HCI Games Group. This study has been reviewed by and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee. However, the final decision about participation is yours.
The 3rd Experience Phase of Gamification: Scaffolding
Earlier I have covered the first 2 experience phases of player’s journey: Discovery, and Onboarding. Scaffolding is the 3rd experience phase of a Player’s Journey.
Scaffolding starts once a player has learned the basic tools and rules to play the game and has achieved the “First Major Win-State.”
This phase is a bit difficult to cover in one writing because it’s the regular journey and activity that the user engages in, and anything goes during this stage based on what your product or service actually is. I’ve written a fairly long post here about this phase but it will be very core to my gamification concepts so for those who are learning about Octalysis and hope to design something engaging, you should read through it.
Scaffolding: the Regular Journey
Regarding the scaffolding phase, one thing to note is that more often than not, it requires the exact same (or very similar) actions on a regular/daily basis, and the Gamification designer must answer the question, “why would my users come back over and over again for the same actions?”
Rewards, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
This is where people think about Rewards.
Rewards are great because they continuously motivate people towards a goal, even if it means repetitive activity.
However, it is a bit too focused on extrinsic motivation instead of intrinsic motivation.
Therefore, there are different types of rewards to engage more core drives beyond the reward itself.
Keep note that usually extrinsic rewards are better at attracting people to participate in the first place (Discovery and Onboarding), but towards the Scaffolding and EndGame, you want to transition to intrinsic motivation as much as possible.
Let’s explore the Scaffolding Phase within the 8 core drives of Octalysis.
The User Experience of Learning the Basic Skills of the Game
Previously, I wrote about the Discovery Phase (Phase I) of the 4 Experience Phases of a Player’s Journey. In this article, we’ll look into Onboarding, which is the second phase of a player’s journey.
Onboarding is about teaching users the rules and tools to play the game. Onboarding starts as soon as the user signs up, and ends when the users have mastered the fundamental skills needed to play the game and achieve the early stage win-states.
In the Discovery phase, the goal is to create motivation towards trying out your product through clever marketing and messaging. Generally, there are combinations of of Curiosity and Unpredictability (Core Drive #7), Epic Meaning & Calling (Core Drive #1), and perhaps Social Influence & Relatedness (Core Drive #5) if you want things to become more viral.
Onboarding, like the Discovery Phase, generally retains a weak form of Unpredictability & Curiosity (Core Drive #7), and it is the Gamification designer’s job to install other Core drives into the user experience.
Objective of the Onboarding Phase
When a user first joins, she generally just feels curious about the product. Depending on how well the Gamification designed the Discovery Phase, users could come because they just read about it somewhere (Core Drive 7), their friends told them to do so (Core Drive 5), its for a good cause (Core drive 1), their boss made them use the product (core drive 8) or because of high exclusivity (Core Drive 6).
No matter why the user decided to join the service, the most important Core Drive in the Onboarding Phase is mainly making players feel a sense of Development & Accomplishment(Core Drive #2). You want to make users FEEL smart and competent with lots of instruction, interaction, Empowerment and feedback reinforcements (Core Drive #3).
Far too often, Onboarding experiences for products feel confusing, too hands off, or too complex. This results in the user feeling stupid.
If your user feels stupid during Onboarding, then you’ll be fighting an uphill battle along with the user (think Google+).
This is why games deploy techniques such as the interactive step-by-step tutorials, the “glowing choice,” and early stage Win-States to reinforce Developement & Accomplishment in the Onboarding Phase.
The Endgame is the 4th and final experience phase of Octalysis Gamification. The Endgame is all about how you retain your veterans and obtain more longevity in your experience.
This is the phase where users have done everything there is to do at least once (according to their perception), and they are figuring out why should they stick around and continue to play the game (especially when there are newer more exciting alternatives out there).
Many have said that, in World of Warcraft, the real game starts when your character has reached the max level. This is not intuitive for non-gamers, because the basic assumption is that once you reach the max level, there is nowhere to go. In the case of well designed games, that actually is the beginning of a multi-year journey.
Unfortunately, not many companies design for the Endgame, which I believe is a huge mistake. Your veterans are usually your best monetization vehicles, your best community moderators, and also your best evangelists.
The problem is that they have been there as long as they can remember, so why should they still continue to stay on board? Have you designed anything that specifically keeps them engaged and motivated?
The game-term Endgame
Often times there is a misunderstanding towards the term “Endgame.”
Some people think that this means the game is about to end, and ask, “What about games that are meant to last forever such as infinite games?”
In reality, in the gaming world the term Endgame is not where the game ends. The Endgame is where a user has reached the highest level and is transitioning from the basic day-to-day scaffolding mechanics to a new set of mechanics that only advanced level players can infinitely do.
The Endgame is about endless fun
In Plants Vs Zombies, once you finish all the levels twice, the Endgame is about custom challenges that you can unlock and conquer. In the Diablo series, it’s “Diablo Runs” where players band together to defeat the final boss multiple times a day in order to get enough loot to perfect their gear. In FarmVille, it might be using all your gold and plants to create masterful artwork and take a screenshot before they all wither out.
Gamers would sometimes complain in many games that the game developers need to do more work because there’s really nothing to do in the Endgame, which means they have done everything but long for more. Some games may have the general journey (Scaffolding) of striving towards the max level, and the endgame lies in player versus player battles, or Group Quests of Max Level Players taking on extremely difficult challenges.
Differences to other Models
My terminology is also different from other gamification professionals’ last phase of a player’s journey. Kevin Werbach and Amy Jo Kim call the final phase of the journey “Mastery,” as the player has now achieved the highest level of play.
While I think the phrase Mastery is accurate, I believe that the term “Mastery” creates a feeling that it is actually the end of the journey – you have achieved mastery and are looking for something else to master now. With “Endgame,” it is still a “game” you play and try to master. It suggests that the journey keeps going.
So let’s examine how the endgame can be more engaging based on the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis
Core Drive 1: Epic meaning and Calling in the Endgame
Adventures @ FITology | #1 – The Great Delhi Run | Alternate Reality Game
This article was written by Saamir Gupta, Founder of FITology. (See bottom of article for full bio.)
Day 1: 7:00 pm, Hotel ITC, Delhi
Imagine, you have taken a long flight to India. This is your first evening in Delhi and you are having dinner with your colleagues from all round the world. You are part of this pool of 20 senior management handpicked to start a new business model for your company. And your discussions with them, as a team start tomorrow. But instead of the work agenda for the next day, at the dinner table, you are handed this brief –