So, what is your level as a runner?

Calculating the level of players in #gamification is not easy. Here are some thoughts on how to do it.

I was thinking about this when talking to my wife about her growth in running. So, to explain how to calculate the progression and levels of your players, I will use some sports as an example. Why sports in #gamifiication? Simple, they aren’t called Olympic G-A-M-E-S because people compete from the office right?

Sports are the best examples on how to apply game mechanics. You should pay close attention and analyze them. It will make wonders for your #gamification design.

Now, defining what level you are, as a sports-person, one would say it’s impossible to put a number to it. Right but wrong. Depending on the type of WIN STATE it can be either easy or complicated to define the level of the players. I will only focus on the WIN STATE that is via GOAL since in a POINTS WIN STATE it gets tricky how to define it, specially if we talk teams (like what’s the level of a soccer player and why is that level).

When a goal has been set, it’s easy to use it as a reference and defining levels becomes really easy.

Let me explain with an image and people who run distance. 

Ok, so the image shows a graph where every KM a player runs gives them a level. It’s easy to define as most runners will train to a marathon or half a marathon.

As long as you define your goal and WIN STATE clearly, you can setup your leveling up system fairly easy if you focus on the CORE ability your players should be developing as they grow.

You can see how TIME doesn’t matter until they cross the MAX DISTANCE line. The red player is a level 46 runner (not 42) as his speed helps him move. However, the orange runner is Level 50 because she ran 50 KM and she is being judged by a longer distance metric.

Now, how to measure the level of the same runners but in terms of speed? Here is another image:

Here we have the same runners but very different results and a different scale of level progression (max level can’t be seen [Usain Bolt 9:58]).

However, in the distance graphic, there is a point where the core element of measure can be swithched to speed to make a difference between high level runners. In the SPRINT, distance is always fixed, so to increase the level the player MUST reduce the speed.

Now, decreasing speed from 30 seconds to 29 is easy but from 9:88 to 9:87 it may be nigh impossible. So you must make sure the scale matches the difficulty of the challenge.

If you are a runner, you will understand this scale immediately and define one that fits what players experience.

Simply put:

 

YOU NEED TO DO RESEARCH!!!!

If you want players to feel the real progress and experience it fairly, you NEED to know why the levels are there and why you defined such scale.

In the end the player’s profile should be something like this:

I really hope this example can help you define a proper level-up system for your #gamification strategy 🙂

May the force be with you. Let me know what you think via twitter or in the comments 😀

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of February 2017, I occupy the 18th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100! I am a Gamification Keynote Speaker & the evil mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education. I also developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content at the BLUErabbit Gamification Academy Right now we are developing BLUErabbit as a MOCC aside from all the original functions to transform the educational system. I have declared a world wide war on grades.

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