How Diablo III’s Broken Auction House Defeated Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment

How can you balance an economy?

In the early 2000s when Diablo II came out, the internet was not so connected.

People would farm items and sell them on eBay for real money (the black market). This was against Blizzard’s terms of use.

We know why people spend money to buy virtual goods.

Say someone spent 500 hours for a virtual good. And you want it. What would you be tempted to do? You take your savings (labor from the past) and exchange it for those 500 hours. Spend money to save time.

In Diablo III, the developers tried to go behind the players’ back to benefit from this player activity. They designed a real-money auction house and made Blizzard the middleman.

Of course! People will love this!

Yu-kai actually knew people who worked to make hundreds or low thousands of dollars each month as a side business. Essentially, they were mining Diablo III for virtual goods.

Biggest Fail in Blizzard’s History?

But this was one of the biggest fails in Blizzard history.

Apparently, the real money auction house was destroying the game.

How could this be?

The failure of the real money auction house resulted because of CD2, the LACK of CD2.

If you can buy something, it takes away from the struggle and strategy to attain it, and actually detracts from its value.

Simón Duque’s Habitica Design Challenge

Gamification Design Challenge for Habitica

Simón Duque is a Colombian Industrial Engineer who’s not comfortable with the way the world works. Thankfully for him, Gamification came to his life on 2015 and gave him the tools to re-think the world he lives in. For more about Simón, see his credentials at the bottom of this post. 

The Habitica Design challenge was hosted in 2017 by The Octalysis Group. Simón was a finalist. 

Design summary

Habitica’s goal is to build (positive) habits, altough it is now dealing with long-term engagement issues. This Design Challenge was therefore tought out based on the pschological approach to procrastination and the means to identify solutions using the Octalysis Framework.

The analysis of Habitica ends up with different theories and approaches that build up a final list of new and improved features that reflect benefits as it leads users to stay connected to chats and other social features and even invite more friends to join them in their experience.

These social interactions are the ones that support the core desired actions within the app. It also helps improve the dynamics involved specially in CD2 and CD5 by affirming Basic Human Psychological Desires such as Competition and Altruism.

As Tyler Renelle himself said — “In case of building good habits, social accountability is essential”.


Continue reading Simón Duque’s Habitica Design Challenge

5-Hour Workshop with eBay on eCommerce Gamification (Slides)

The King of eCommerce Gamification

When people ask me, “What’s a good eCommerce Gamification example?” They often get surprised when I tell them “eBay.” ( is another great example with a very high value for 2 of the 8 Core Drives in Octalysis – guess which ones?).

If you were to think of creating an eCommerce site, it’s not obvious that the website should have a fierce bidding system, an intricate feedback implementation, nor “yellow stars,” “purple stars,” and “power-rated sellers.” This is a well-designed, well-orchestrated example of Gamification. eBay remains one of the strongest tech companies out there, being a Fortune 250 (from a Fortune 300 last year), with PROFITs in the Billions.

They’ve helped millions of people become entreprenuers (including myself! My first ever business was an eBay business), as well as made the world a better place through reused resources and materials. More relevant in this context, they made buying and selling online a lot more fun.

Continue reading 5-Hour Workshop with eBay on eCommerce Gamification (Slides)

How Gamification can help you Get out of Bed by “Killing” Time

Wake Up Gamification

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Wake Up Gamification

Gamification doesn’t always need to about Saving the World.

Tired of waking up every morning? Is getting out of bed a drag? A Japanese company decided to add some Gamification into the process and make waking up Epic and Fun!

They call it the Gun O’Clock. A Gun that is only designed to shoot a clock.

I found this thanks to the cool blog Geekologie. The idea is simple: you set your alarm on Gun O’Clock the night before, and at the designated time in the morning, on top of the usual PiPiPiPi sound (or any custom sound that you can record), a bull-eye target will come up and the “user” will need to grab a gun and shoot at the target 5 times in order to get it to quiet down.

Here’s a video of how it works (“Iz Coool!”):

Gun O’Clock: 1
Bed: 0

“Iz Coool!”

Tackling the “Waking Up” Industry with Gamification

The “Waking Up” Industry, or…Alarm Clocks, has been in a constant battle in finding out the best way to get people out of bed happily and vigorously.

Continue reading How Gamification can help you Get out of Bed by “Killing” Time

How Zamzee uses Gamification to make Running Around Epic

Offline Gamification in Action

A while ago, I covered the Playpump, which is a good example of how a physical product can use Gamification to create social good (and save millions of lives).
Equally important in the developed world, is getting kids and adult alike to exercise more. Zamzee is a physical device that tracks how people move around, and hence complete “Quests” based on their activity level.
 I’ve had the pleasure of talking to the Zamzee team about what they do, so I’ll let them explain why they are great at making running around fun and addicting! Also, the Zamzee team has generously offerred to give a 25% discount to my blog viewers, so consider going to now and input this discount code: LUVZZ2012.

1. What is Zamzee?

Zamzee is a game that gets kids moving. Zamzee uses an activity monitor and website to make movement fun and rewarding.
Zamzee Gamification

2. What was the motivation behind creating Zamzee?

The purpose of Zamzee is to make moving fun so that more kids enjoy being active. Today over 1/3 of Americans are overweight and/or obese. Research and real life, practical experience tells us that physical activity declines around ages 9 to 15, right when kids are forming lifelong habits. That’s why Zamzee is targeting this age-group with a product designed for kids (with their help, too!) that makes physical activity more fun. 
HopeLab Foundation (with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) recently completed a 6 month scientific research study on Zamzee, showing thatZamzee increases physical activity by almost 60% and reduces key biological risk factors for diseases associated with obesity. Here’s more details:

3. How does Zamzee motivate kids to be more active?

5 Tips for creating a successful Social Networking Site

5 Tips to making a successful Social Networking Site

1. Users must feel part of the group – start niche

2. Create small actions that easily connect to one another – avoid the “now what moment”

3. Always notify users of changes – keep things fresh

4. Have Community Managers – make it social

5. Pay attention to the details – user experience is EVERYTHING to the user