Why I am helping Captain Up as their Behavioral Scientist

Captain Up Gamification

So some of you might know that I recently started to get involved with Captain Up as their Behavioral Scientist, which is mostly a fancy title for an Advisory position to help them become more successful.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain why I decided to take on this role.

Why Captain Up

Many of you know that I have been using Captain Up’s platform on my own site for a long time now. At the beginning I was looking for a variety of Gamification platforms to experiment and research on, and most of them either required too much setup know-how (I am not a programmer), or is very limited in what can be customized.

My friend Andrzej Marczewski recommended Captain Up to me and since I respect his opinion I decided to give it a try.

The setup only took a few minutes, and then I spent a couple hours customizing it to create challenges and language that fits my site. I even documented my thinking process in this blogpost (as well as my upcoming book).

Too friendly and enjoyable to quit

The team at Captain Up then reached out to me and asked if I needed more support. They proactively helped me on all my questions and needs, and it actually created a lasting impression: “Wow, I would love to work with these guys at one point.”

After a while, I was ready to move on and study other Gamification platforms, but then I realized that my readers loved the current Captain Up one so much, they kept on asking for more challenges and tried to level up more. Many would say they were trying very hard to level up or reach the top of that week.

That was to some extent expected, since the design is meant for people to fall in love and stay engaged with the experience, but it nevertheless gave me great emotional encouragement, so I decided to just stick with it and use it for my blog.

Making videos for Captain Up

Eventually Captain Up asked me to make some videos to explain to people how to use their platform better, so I made a short series of Gamification Videos called the Engaging Website Design series for them.

They were made in similar style to my Beginner’s Guide to Gamification Videos, but with a strong focus on HOW to do these things via Captain Up.

It was useful because I regularly get questions from my own readers on how to use Captain Up better, so now I have a great place to refer them to.

Taking Captain Up to New Heights

Even though Captain Up is a great platform, they are still very young and still trying to cover all the amazing features that people want. Since I am using their platform and my readers all depend on Captain Up to create more enjoyable experiences, I thought I should get involved with how the product evolves and how they incorporate sound principles of my Octalysis Framework.

Because of that, when they reached out again to talk to me, we quickly reached an agreement where I would try my best to help them become a great platform and something that can implement all the Core Drives via unpredictability, meaningful choices, and social platforms.

This is an exciting journey. As my own company The Octalysis Group is growing substantially, I don’t know how long I will be able to stay committed to Captain Up, but as of now I’m looking forward to make them as successful of a company they can be. Hopefully my involvement will help turn them from a great product/platform to a great company.


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