Gamification Expert &

Behavioral Designer

Octalysis Prime Community Game Techniques: January 2018

Octalysis Prime Community Game Techniques: January 2018

Every week in Octalysis Prime, members share game techniques they find in the wild. 

Each week, a game technique is selected to the Short List for 2018 OP Community Game Techniques.

Here are January’s…

Fog of War

This is an approach to anything represented by a map, a technique used in strategy games and some RPGs.

In it’s most simple form, the entire map starts hidden by the Fog of War.
When the player moves himself or his pieces, the fog disappear, revealing the map underneath.

Adds an element of unpredictability (CD7) and choices regarding exploration with instant feedback (CD3).

In the settings where there is an Epic Meaning (CD1) to explore the world, this mechanic strengthen it.

Variations: Partial Fog. You know what the landscape look like underneath the fog, but you don’t know if there are enemy units, cities, resources etc.
The partial fog returns as soon as player units leave the area.

In modern RTS (Real Time Strategy) games (like Starcraft 2), single player missions begin with most of the map covered in Fog of War.
For multiplayer games, the map is covered in Partial Fog, to remove the possible advantage of one player remembering what the map looks like from earlier games.

Thanks to @Bo for this submission!

Fast Forward

So in this game called “4 Pics 1 Word”, I think I’ve discovered a new game technique that I call “Fast Forward”.

In the game, you’re shown 4 pics and a series of blanks below them — and you have to fill in the blanks to form a Word, which describes all the 4 pictures simultaneously.

Now sometimes, you can’t guess the word, and you get “stuck”. In this scenario, after a few hours, the game sends a “push” notification to your phone, and automatically fills in the first letter (or first 2 letters) of the word. In this sense, it takes decisive action on behalf of the player and “Fast forwards” the game 🙂

I think this is a new game technique because although it may seem similar to “Glowing Choice”, “Desert Oasis” or “Blank Fills”, the element of the game ITSELF taking action is unique, and therefore, I think this may be a new game technique 🙂 Comments?

Thanks to @Mayur (winner of the latest Octalysis Gamification Food Heroes Design Challenge)


The key point here is that you are trying to do something, rather than just trying to absorb knowledge out of context.

Usually you will be constructing something from scratch, which can be an object like a homepage, or a more abstract result like a calculation.
Seeing the result of each action is CD3: feedback. Experiencing progress is CD2. Reduce friction by having the instructions as part of the product rather than in an external document.

How do you do tutorials for a class, in using external software (like Excel)? You show them your own screen on a projector, and let everyone complete each step before going to the next one.

Please notice that this is a highly efficient way of training any skill, since it only require a simple understanding to apply knowledge in the same context as it was received. Applying knowledge from a different context – like a lecture – to a practical situation require a more advanced understanding, which is more difficult and time consuming to obtain.

Thanks to @Bo!

Red Flag

Indicates a new available action or information.

Drives high urgency with CD7 and CD8 trying to avoid the obvious red flag.

Also CD4 wants to maintain a clean interface and some CD2 for removing all red flags.

Thanks to @Slithus!

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