Learning from games – Diablo III

Diablo III

Learning from games

The core idea of gamification is take from games the best concepts and use them in real-life/non-game contexts.

 

Learning from games is the best thing we can do as experts, as we cannot hope to reveal all the secrets on EVERY single game or think we can possibly build one super game that covers everything, we must take a good look into others and constantly analyze them and take the best ideas from them.

 

I’vee been playing Diablo III for a while and it is fantastic. I believe that the part that caught my attention the most is the balance of the system.

 

Despite what many will mention in forums and several discussions around, the game is incredibly well balanced. Now, this is NOT a game review so let’s first get started there: What do I mean with balance?

 

Balancing game systems is not about a great story vs graphics vs gameplay.

 

It refers specifically on how well every type of character in the game can perform. Meaning that it doesn’t matter if you are a wizard or a barbarian, both type of players must be EQUAL.

 

This is one of the core components in gamification success. A balanced system will let all players feel they are treated fairly while the other hand might have them feel the system is against them.

So, how does Diablo III balances all player classes?

It’s actually complex in a mathematical way but incredibly simple from a game designer point of view.

The key lies within the stats of the player. There are SO MANY stats that it becomes absurd trying to learn each of them by heart knowing how much damage your wizard can make against undead which will change completely right after you pick up that brand new wand.

Having MANY stats allow the mathematical balancing of the players be a lot easier because you have room for all player types to perform and experiment with different abilities.

Here’s a quick example:

Characters have 4 basic attributes: Strength (STR), Dexterity(DEX), Intelligence (INT) and Vitality (VIT). The easy way is to create 4 classes that depend primarily on each attribute: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Wizard and Crusader. You realte each of them with an attribute and you get certain balance. Think of it as rock, paper scissors.

 STR > DEX > INT > VIT > STR

That way you have a Barbarian beating a Demon Hunter beating a Wizard beating a Crusader beating a Barbarian loop. 

Now, as you can see, mathematically it will be complex when you get to 9,803 DEX points, however, understanding that DEX beats INT, all you need to do is a simple equation:

IF (DEX ATTACK > INT DEFENSE) { Damage Wizard = DEX ATTACK – INT DEFENSE } 

It may seem a bit to “cody” for some, but it really is a simple question followed by basic math.

Now, how does all this round up against a gamified system.

In #gamification you will be dealing with many personalities. In Diablo you think of them as Character Classes. In your office or classroom they’ll manifest in very different ways.

Since you can’t measure emotion or learning, you need to build up standard abilities of your players based on their preference and styles. Close the system down to 4 types (usually the most accepted amount in EVERY brain study ever) and make sure that there is the same type of loop. 

Reward growth of each ability based on what challenge the player faces: The four types are BLUE, RED, GREEN and YELLOW. If you finish a RED mission, you get BLUE points, you finish a GREEN one, you get RED points. Based on the same principles as before: BLUE > RED > GREEN > YELLOW > BLUE. That way, people will be free to choose their own style and then GROW and PROGRESS based on such style.

Hope I’m not too overboard with explanations here… Hope you like it.

#Gamification IS about analyzing games and making great systems. If you can play ANY game and figure out the mechanics they use and how to take advantage of the rules, you are already a #gamifier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th 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.

15 + 12 =

Gamifcation Europe is coming!

#Gamifcation Europe is coming!

- Expectation -

For some of us, being part of the #gamification industry creates a lot of expectation from the world. We want engaging experiences and strong audiences and fun EVERYWHERE.

Learning that this year the Gamification World Congress wasn’t happening (they just had an local/executive edition) was something really sad for most of us. I gotta say that the expectation was really high (at least for me for previous lines), but when Pete said he would come out and play, everything fell down into place again.

Pete Jenkins, Chair / Ambassador from GamFed, owner of Gamification Plus and Gamification Guru of the year candidate (several times!), decided to take a step into making a world-competitive conference in Brighton.

I’m thrilled and honored to be speaking at the conference this year thanks to an invitation from Pete and Vasilis who are running EVRYTHING in less than 3 months.

My expectations are high as always (with everything) but I’m really excited about sharing stage with some of the greates gamification experts in the world.

PLease go to http://gamification-europe.com to learn more about who will be there, however I can lay some spoilers: Michael Wu is back! Melinda Jacobs, Andzrej Marczewski, An Coppens, Sylvester Arnab, Joris Beerda, Nicholas Babin, Toby Beresford, Roberto Alvarez, Ahmed Hossam, Marigo Raftopoulos, Michiel Van Eunen, Ercan Altug and many more.

If you have a slight idea who this guys are you must be present. If you have NO idea who they are, it’s basically the #gamification powerhouse of the world.

This is one of the widest and broadest build of speakers I’ve seen (and I’ve been around guys) and with just 3 months to set up means Gamification Europe is a guaranteed success beforehand.

Take a step into the #gamification industry’s greatest insight of the year.

Take as step into #gamification europe.

Register now to attend Gamification Europe 2017 in Brighton, UK on 28-29th November:
https://gamification-europe.com

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th 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.

9 + 2 =

Beating up the overjustification effect

Ok, so there are many ways to overcome this challenge. However I will cover ONE. The simplest and ALWAYS the solution to it.

Never make rewards more relevant than the activity. Make the activity the reward itself.

If people want a soft drink, don’t promise them gold, diamonds or a trip to the moon. Give them something that will quench their thirst.

Now, what if I want more people to buy my soft drinks? Ha! This is the hard part, you are trying to influence other people into behave in a specific way.

Remember first finding out what motivates your audience.

So identify your targets first.

Then, build a journey the players must complete in order to reach a goal connected to such motivation (please don’t use fulfill their dreams, an International Marketing Agency sells that crap and it just doesn’t work)

Then, using reverse engineering, plan out the order of the journey. Maybe they need to collect PET bottles to build a house, maybe it’s the label in the bottle. The key is to make EVERY ACTION COUNT towards the main goal and connect them together. Maybe somethings are big and need to be divided, maybe some are so small that can be achieved while working on the big ones.

Afterwards, review your strategy looking deeply into the challenge rating of each activity. Don’t put tasks that are too hard at the begginning and also don’t make it boring.

Make sure they have to BUY some bottles through the activities but DO NOT MAKE IT ALL ABOUT BUYING (or spending more money on each round). How would you feel if there are 100 tasks to be done and each and every task requires you to go to the bank and deposit 10 dollars more than the last time? Don’t make everything about money. That’s where the enemy is sleeping (and he has such soft sleep).

You want to sell. We all want to. Just don’t try to trik people into it by offering meaningless rewards. Make sure there is a big goal after some hard work and they will gladly work with you. Treat your players with respect and treat them all as if they were masters on the game.

Everyone wants to feel powerful and able. That’s why we are here.

Rewards, behaviour and your worst enemy

AS you may have noticed, one of my favorite Gamification Gurus is Andrzej Marczewski. He said once “Rewards must celebrate achievements, not be the achievement itself”

On that regard, he posted a new article in Medium explaining that her daughters’ school decided best to reward attendance with no homework for the week.

Here is the thing. The more people trying to do bad gamification using poor techniques like this one will only result in further resistance against this trend.

Rewards are things or feelings the player receives AFTER behaving in a specific way within the rules of a system. However, the insistance on giving something to E-V-E-R-Y single action made is absolute chaos and more importantly, meaningless.

When a player behaves as expected, he shouldn’t be rewarded. That means that everyone receives a medal just for participating and we all know that generates mediocre minds and instant-reward expectations.

In case of Andrzej school, he explains really well all the little problems this “creative” solution presents. One of the things is that if a player CAN’T go to school because of health, they lose the reward and in the end, they will ONLY want to go to school IF they can go the whole week, otherwise, why go?

This last sentence refers to the worst enemy in gamification: The Overjustification Effect.

Simply put, it is what happens when the reward becomes more important to the players than the activities and they will stop doing the activites UNLESS they are rewarded.

Sounds familiar? Every loyalty program in the PLANET is based on the assumption that players will keep wanting the rewards you offer.

Human beings will NEVER be satisfied. This causes an awful loop where you try to fulfill their desiress with something, they don’t get it, feel dissapointed, you promise again they’ll be satisfied, they “play again” until they realise they never knew what they wanted to begin or why they started playing onfirst place, they don’t get it again and keep being dissapointed looking for someone who will fulfill their promise.

It’s awful.

Now, How to avoid it… well.. click here.

App 2.0 release details!

App 2.0 release details!

App 2.0 release details!

Projects will be gone but missions will take their place!
Try out Beta now!

 

App V2.0 Release Details.

As you know, we always try to improve BLUErabbit into the best tool available for teachers to implement #gamification into their classes. As a result, we are releasing our new version officially. There are some important changes we added so please review this article so you can check when the update is done all your information is safe. Very important. The one element we removed is the PROJECTS. The tool exists still but now you will create them as missions. More details on the Missions docs.

The rabbit button

This component is the hero of our new version. When in doubt, please click the rabbit button and check the options. Everything is there. EVERY SINGLE THING. The menu adapts depending on the screen you are and wethere you are a game master on the current class or a player.

The Main Menu

The main menu has changed into a more dynamic component for the app. When it pops, it will show relevant options depending on your role in the class and wether you are inside a class or not.

 

The Classes Dashboard

As you can see, the app dashboard looks very different from before. All classes can be PUBLIC (if you desire them to be) so anyone in the world can join. Most teachers will want to keep their classes private, something that can be simply selected in the class editing page.

 Multi-language

Just go to your profile and select what you want to read all the options in!

Yes!!! We finally translated our platform into (so far) 2 languages. The good news is that BLUErabbit supports now multi-language and if anyone is interested in helping with the translation into further languages, please help us!

Class Intro

You can now add a fully html custom class intro that will show the first time players log into the class (think of it as the class rules!)

 New Class Homepage

Now introducing a timeline to see all quests available with a progress bar to see which ones you’ve done. Use missions as you would introduce a new unit to the game. Create Quests, Sidequests or Challenges as you’ve always done.

This and many more features are now available!! 😀

Try out the Beta

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th 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.

6 + 1 =

How school should be

How schools should be.

So... you wanted a fully gamified school?
READ THIS NOWThe actual school link

The point is simple.

We want BLUErabbit to make all schools like this one. The concept is so fantastic many ideas went through our heads and will be working towards them.

The #gamification of #education is actually possible. It’s not a matter of hopes and dreams.

École 42 is a french school with NO teachers and NO tuition fees. Oh… and it’s the best coding school in the country.

Thinking that the students need to be guided every step of the way is actually only GETTING in the middle of their education. School is a place for LEARNING to happen, not for teachers to force it into the players’ heads.

When I presented BLUErabbit to a Venture Capitalist a couple of months back, I was asked if we could show a quantitative measure for learning. Truth is that no one can. You cannot display how much a person has learned from something. How many bits of information were properly embedded into a human’s mind. At least not yet (and I know the future is already yesterday but I believe that we are still far from having an accessible way for everyone to see how much bits each of us have in our minds).

Now the point of this school is to develop great developers in the simplest and neatest way possible. They are faced with a problem and must solve it. THAT’S IT!!!!

No more curriculum.

No more guided learning.

No more grumpy teachers.

Just.

Plain.

Creativity and skill.

More about it here. Trust me. You’ll want to change career once you know you can learn like this.

I really hope more people share this so schools move themselves into this thought.

I’ll close with a short video by the World Economic Forum…

This innovative coding school in France has no teachers

Students decide how they want to work. Read more: http://wef.ch/2f056Kz

Posted by World Economic Forum on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th 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.

10 + 6 =

Games aren’t always fair

Games aren't always fair

A review of an AmAzInG article
Original Article HERE

Ok, first of all, I DIDN’T write the article, I’m just posting this short review as a reference. It’s so good, any #gamification designer must read and be aware of these flaws before building ANYTHING!

Full Article: https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/8/16263050/game-design-magic-tricks

Author Blog Profile: https://www.polygon.com/users/Gaohmee

The author touches neuroscience briefly to explain how the chemicals in our brain work, she even quotes:

You are a deeply flawed, irrational being who is terrible at truly understanding chance, distance, time and numbers. Don’t feel bad, everyone else on the planet is in the same boat.

She explains various #gamemechanics such as ACCOMPLISHMENT, BONDING, FAKING IT, FAIRNESS and MULTIPLAYER. The greatest part of it is that she is not the one explaining and giving examples, great game designers from fantastic killer games are.

Stop messing around and click here to read it. You can thank her later.

I’ll end up pulling a short cv of her

Jennifer Scheurle is an award-winning, world-traveling game designer and speaker with six years of industry experience. She is most known for her work on Earthlight, a game created in collaboration with NASA as well as Objects in Space, which is to be released in 2018.

An amazing article for sure. Please read!! 😀

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th 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.

3 + 2 =

Why #gamification matters

Why #gamification matters

I am watching the new Netflix series “Dad of Light” which shows a kid whose Dad just got retired and uses Final Fantasy XIV (a MMORPG game) to try and connect with him.

The kid gives his dad a PS4 and a FFXIV game as a gift.

I won’t spoil anything. I’m also only on episode 5, though what I do have to say isa beautiful insight on why #gamification matters.

The series is a reflection of the power of #games in real life. These two characters in the series are completely isolated from each other and the goal is to connect through the game. It reminded me immediately of the project World of Warcraft in the clasroom which inspired me to buid BLUErabbit a couple of years ago.

Now, what hit me the most is how easy the son starts learning new things from his dad by teaching him how to play a game. Though the parent doesn’t know who his son is in the game his wisdom and maturity shows up naturally and can’t be hidden.

My dad (Dr. Jorge Letayf) has worked in professional training for over 40 years and a long time ago he taught me that people can’t hide their tru nature when playing, that’s why I use games in my courses, to show everyone who everybody is truly like and stop being surprised when such behavior shows in the workplace.

The connection both characters in Dad of Light show reminded me of why I’m doing this.

#Gamification matters because it gives purpose to people, it reveals our true nature and it help us become stronger by overcoming challenges in a more dynamic way. Life CAN be as good as a game. Life can have moments of fear and glory and heroism and no need for it to be a full time drama. It all needs is a good system and a clear objective.

We must continue this endeavor and connect with as much people as possible.

#Gamification is much more than just PBL’s or Great mechanics combined in harmony. #Gamification is the way to change everything into a clear definitive plan that will help players overcome everything.

#Gamification is the way.

Deepest RAMP analysis

Deepest RAMP analysis

#gamification core analysis... level 3

Yes, I know… more crazy stuff?  Just a deeper analysis and an explanation on where this is taking my frameworks 🙂

Now, you can download the image on the left and give it a try.

The idea here is to start some combinations on the player types. Not that it will take us anywhere in terms of a perfect definition of them and to develop a new theory around it. What I was doing (and discussed with Andrzej) is that this can grant you a deeper understanding on how players will behave through their gameplay.

Someone who wants to be a specialist might be craving for Autonomy and Mastery. A leader might seek Purpose and Relatedness.

This way you can plan ahead in your #gamification design a bit more focused on what your audience wants. Trying not to preconfigure things too much but to choose the game mechanics that best apply to the situation.

According to this validation there are mechanics directly connected to each player type in the HEXAD. Making a cross between two or more player types will show a larger number of options.

What I’m trying to achieve is to generate a system that will allow you to define how many RAMP points each mechanic gives to your system in each core concept so you deploy a more accurate solution.

In the end, I know it’s not possible to have it 100% accurate, but if we manage to deliver a more quantitative approach it will prove to help build better #gamification systems than ever before.

Imagine building your system with a set of cards that look like Magic: The Gathering, so much fun and so precise you can just focus on the creative part a lot more.

 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th 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.

12 + 9 =

A deeper RAMP analysis

Deeper RAMP analysis

#gamification core analysis... level 2

Ok, So what’s with this image:

I was talking with #gamification guru Roman Racwitz during his last visit to Mexico about how I believe that Purpose is the most important component in RAMP. He then countered by saying that Mastery is better.

In the end we both agreed that all 4 core elements are important, but our preference is way towards both Mastery and Purpose. However it got me thinking that Mastery and purpose feed each other constantly. And that’s what the image above is about.

According to the HEXAD, each player type is related more to a component of RAMP, however the more I use them this proves a bit off (not really wrong but more like weird)

Achievers have a clear relationship with Mastery, Free-spirits with Autonomy and Socialisers with Relatedness. The trick lies in the Philantropist and a post by Andrzej on his website. After discussing things with @RomanRackwitz and the misconceptions I started walking a dark path. What if we release the player types from the RAMP elements? 

I know right? Sacrilegeous!

Before I burn, let me say a couple of things. All player types are motivated by all four RAMP components, not just one specifically. If we release the HEXAD from RAMP, then the philantropist, the socialiser, the free spirit and the achiever get their intrinsic motivation from more than only ONE core concept and this opens a path for many things to come.

It’s just an idea, however, I like to think we can take the player types to an infinite number of combinations that allow us to understand the players in more depth than before.

I believe that even if the trend in #gamification says that an achiever will look for mastery over altruistic purpose, what if the achiever wants to be a master in helping others? What if the socialiser wants to help people be more independent? 

Anyhow, I’d lobe to hear from you guys! 😀

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

E.M.B.O.

As of October 2017, I occupy the 14th 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.

11 + 9 =