#Gamemechanics – Teamwork Relationships Category

#Gamemechanics – Teamwork Relationships Category

Teamwork Category #gamemechanics

A permanent relationship between players that allow them to attempt challenges together.

Building teams, guilds or any sort of group that will keep the players together facing challenges is an awesome way to promote cooperation and develop professional relationships within the system.

It occupies a different dynamic as teams can compete against each other and it’s very different to define the rules on how players can cooperate with others than if they face challenges together or against each other.

Teams must give the players a sense of belonging. Wether you are a citizen in a country or you subscribed to a fanclub you share the same objectives. This is the type of relationship you want to develop with teamwork in gamification.

We all have friends right? As a #gamemechanic, FRIENDING is used to show the players they have people they can call any time to help them. In the category description it’s stated that teamwork is a form of permanent relationship. Think of your friends in facebook and how the relationship work:

  • Only your friends can see your posts and photos
  • Only your friends can send you messages
  • You can only invite YOUR friends to your events, or maybe friends of friends

The point is that nobody is in constant contact with ALL their friends on facebook, however, you know that you can contact them as long as you are friends with them.

The same concept applies, the difference lies on how to use such friendship.

  • Only friends can buy your products
  • Only friends can see you online
  • Only friends can trade items
  • Only your friends can hire you

Remember: everything is more fun with others.

It matters not how you call them: TEAM, GUILD, GROUP, ASSOCIATION, COMPANY, WHATEVER. Guilds should always represent a common goal. Players who are part of the same team must share the same objectives. Usually, each player fulfills a different role in the group and so their job is always required to do something.

In guilds players not only share their views but may find friends, mentors, students and many other rewards that cannot be found outside.

The relationship between the players in the guild can be tricky. The environment can be of cooperation or competition (Rule number 1 of Fight Club)

In the end we all want to be part of something bigger. This mechanic appeals A LOT to purpose in the RAMP model.

Oh. Almost forgot. Players can belong to multiple guilds unless stated otherwise, because, why not?

Ever wondered if the kid who always got the homewrk right could be hired to do it for you?

How about we exchange some virtual money that was earned through 10 different tasks and now can be used to give other players some money so they can buy a better grade or get that new item they want?

Hiring can be VERY powerful but must be used with caution. You could end up with the “rich” kid wanting to REALLY py other players fr their work, however, if done right, it ends up becoming something as self-regulating as E-BAY or Air B&B.

This mechanic is connected with the POWER reward from the SAPS model. If a player CAN hire others, it means they have the power to do OTHER things and develop whatever they are on to.

Now, the KEY challenges each player MUST face shouldn’t be “hirable” (if that’s a word). Make sure that players’ challenges are balanced and the key elements in the journey are done by who must do it.

 

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O. (Mind Behind the Operation)

6th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote Speaker & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

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#GameMechanics – Alternative Progression Category

#GameMechanics – Alternative Progression Category

Alternative Progression Category #gamemechanics

Progression achieved from different directions and paths.
Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O. (Mind Behind the Operation)

6th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote Speaker & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

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#GameMechanics – Linear Progression Category

#GameMechanics – Linear Progression Category

Linear Progression Category #gamemechanics

Progression that the player feels in one direction and offers no alternative path to achieve the goal.

Think of this type of progression as moving either forth or back. This feeling of MOVEMENT is what will put all prior dynamics to work. If the progression is not felt by the players in their knees they just won’t have the drive to push forward. Always help players have a sense of advancement when achieving ANYTHING, even if they lose at some point.

In #gamification linear progression is how MOST systems start. Using alternative progression requires a lot more work and attention.

I always recommend a combination of the two. Start always with your MAIN line and then develop a few alternative routes that will offer some choices for the players.

I always love to make reference of this particular mechanic with LinkedIn’s progress bar.

Once they implemented this on their website, they drove the completion of curriculum from 20% to 80%. It’s a simple bar that took (literally) five minutes to code. However, the power of a progress bar that shows the player how much work is LEFT, gives them a sense of advancement so fulfilling and relaxing.

We’ve all experienced this with many tutorials or shopping carts that show us how many steps we have left in that process and it help us relax and know there isn’t much left (or if there is how long it will take)

Be wise when using it. Make sure the progress it reflects is relevant to the players.

 

Progression Unlock can be one of the most fun game mechanics out there.

Showing your players that they CAN’T go further until they’ve accomplished certain things is the easiest way to get them do those tasks they just won’t do.

By using this mechanic, you are using the CONTENT of your system as a currency. They have to pay with growth in order to progress. It is simply beautiful.

When I implemented this in my classrooms using BLUErabbit, I just had to put the best jobs locked and ALL players would rush into the not-so-pretty to unlock their prize. They didn’t even worry about the rewards of the new challenge, the content was great for them so they had no other choice than doing whatever the quest required.

The reward was the content. NOT the coins. Sometimes I wouldn’t even give them XP from the unlocked quest.

I would say with confidence that almost every single game in the planet has a level system. It’s the easiest way to show players their progress and if it doesn’t show it to them, it’s within the code somewhere so MATH can kick in and simplify everything for the GAME MASTER.

Levels are one of the game mechanics that give players an immediate sense of achievement without giving them anything else.

Imagine that when you graduate highschool they tell you that now you are a Level 10 expert in Chemistry and that allows you to take advances classes in College. Or that the requirement for X job is to be level 45 in X abilities. This is an utopia that I know won’t be achieved anytime soon, however, this line of thought can show you how simple a LEVEL can give you a sense of progression and a very simple goal to target.

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O. (Mind Behind the Operation)

6th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote Speaker & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

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#GameMechanics – Goal Category

#GameMechanics – Goal Category

Goal Category #gamemechanics

Defeat an enemy or get an item. Reaching the goal does not care about points.

It’s vrey different to win by points rather than goal. It’s not the same to say whoever crosses this line first wins instead of whoever gets this many points. However, the goal may be to reach X amount of points (like volleyball or tennis), in that case, you would be combining both mechanics.

Setting up goals is a very easy way for your players to know if they are moving forward. Sometimes gathering points won’t tell you much but, knowing that you got rid of this barrier and now can explore another city or unlocked a new floor in a building will give much more feedback.

ENEMIES are usually a VERY easy way of setting the WINSTATE of the system. You put a face to a big bad guy that players must defeat. The player level becomes totally unimportant, they will try to get as many abilities to defeat this guy and some might even try it with the lowest level to test their own skill and feel how far they are from achieving the goal.

The second element of the PBL tradition. Badges are E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E. This icons/patches/stickers/trophies/whatever-that-shows-evidence-of-accomplishment work as a simple way to know if you reached the goal or not.

The tricky part about badges is that unless they actually MEAN something emotionally worth to the players then they must not be issued. The badges will only become an obstacle or one more meaningles thing in the system like it happens with FOURSQUARE. Checking in a place and getting a BADGE just because you got there has ABSOLUTELY no meaning and are completely superficial.

Now, if you think about the BOY SCOUTS for a second, every patch they sew into their uniforms mean something. Whether it is they learned how to use a swiss knife, set up camp or setting up a fire with a single match. The meaning of the badge is so huge emotionally that it makes the player proud to wear them.

Yes, we might be stealing the concept from chess. Oh no wait, we are stealing it from chess, maybe checkers, whatever is older. The concept reffers to a transformation the player goes through after a lot of HARD WORK.

Think of pawns in chess… they are the weakest and must go ALL the way through the board to become a more powerful piece in the game. The work of the piece is rewarded that way and most likely, by crowning, the player CAN win the game (it’s not the goal but the concept is in the same neighbourhood)

Think of the hero who becomes king after defeating the great demon or the princess that becomes queen after saving the world or the clock that becomes a human being again after helping Beauty.

The achievement of the player is rewarded with the transformation of himself into something better. It’s not only a recognition of power but, an actual powerful growth from witihin.

BOSS FIGHTS do not have to be enemies or characters or figurines. They are challenges so hard to overcome players will use all their abilities and skills at each encounter.

The BOSS FIGHT consists of making sure the challenge the player is facing is at a different level and IT WILL BE HARD. The feeling you want to cause in the players is the feeling of “UUUFFF, we made it” or “AAAAHHH Almost made it”.

In gamification, retrying a challenge is a good option to offer the players a safe space for failure and growth. Usually, if the challenge is too complicated, like in a BOSS FIGHT, always consider the possibility to offer retries (like lives in Mario Bros)

Now, the hard part, DON’T MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE. It’s easy to lose track of the ability you are tracking from your players.

Usually boss fights will challenge more than one ability and, if they come back often, they should challenge one [ability] at the beginning and then accumulate more on each further encounter.

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O. (Mind Behind the Operation)

6th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote Speaker & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

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8 + 3 =

#GameMechanics – Competition Category

#GameMechanics – Competition Category

Competition Category #gamemechanics

An environment where players must defeat others to progress.

Getting players competing against each other can be really fun or really frustrating. However, in gamification, when you allw your environment to offer threats that not only come from the system, players can be motivated to prove their worth.

Comptetition is a good way to fire things up within a system and most of the time it will feel great to beat other players. Look at the olympics. Try to always find the activities where the players WANT to defeat others and use them for that.

There is only one rule when using mechanics in this category: Make sure the environment is FAIR for everyone. If not, you’ll get flooded with complaints.

 

Part of the traditional PBL design, leaderboards are one of the most OVERUSED game mechanics.

For too long people has thought that putting a ist of the position you have compared to other players is a great way to keep people motivated, however, it’s been proved over and over that leaderboards DEmotivate most of the time, not because the tool is a wrong but, because its ofently used in unfair situations.

Leaderboards are WRONGly used when you have an ongoing table showing who’s better all along without helping players who entered late into the system. Think of the sales department where this has been used for ages, way before the word gamification was invented: The salesman who’s been there for 10 years and has the best clients and longest experience is easiy the one who beats all other players and the new ones will feel completely out of league when trying to be the best one.

Since this is something that NATURALLY happens with a leaderboard, a good way to use it is by  making sure everyone starts at the same spot. Everyne has the same conditions and opportunities to grow and everyone CAN reach the goal. When the difference between all players is only their ability, the leaderboard will prove to be a really effective tool.

Contests usually use leaderboards to show who is better, however not always the case, the rule here is that someone must win. This connects to Core Drive 6 in the Octalysis framework SCARCITY.

The key to a contest is that the reward has to be valuable to all players and it MUST be scarce. If everyone can get the reward, it’s not a contest. May the reward be the glory of having beaten all other players and be considered the best or may it be 1,000 coins, it doesn’t matter as long as the players need it.

A good idea around contests is that players may compete against each other but, it can also become a source of income for them. When they run out of money, they can go to the ARENA to test their skills, get some money and come back to finish their journey. So a contest can be used as a grinding system for players to progress.

Finding a rival is one of the best things that can happen to you. They aren’t enemies, they become a reflection of our own skills being used by someone else. A rival is someone we recognise the (aproximately) same level of skill and gives us a reason to defeat them. IF they pose a threat to the players, they can become an ENEMY, however the goal of this mechanic is to promote competition, not defeating the game.

Think of a movie where the main character finds someone he needs to beat to keep going but, it’s not that they are the enemy, they just want to go in the same direction and defeating them is art of the progression. Most of the time, rivals become allies beacause they share the same goal temporarily and they are excellent reference to our own abilities.

Get the players to find their rivals. May them be NPCs (Non Player Characters) or other players. Make sure they share the same goal but, not necessarily the same point of view. Also a very simple way of making sure they can be rivals is by pairing them up by level with opposite player-types/learning-styles.

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O. (Mind Behind the Operation)

6th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote Speaker & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

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14 + 7 =

#GameMechanics – Cooperation Category

#GameMechanics – Cooperation Category

Cooperation category #gamemechanics

An environment where players need the help of others to progress.

It’s definetely not the same thing to play with your friends than agaiinst them. This category refers to the environment of the system and NOT the relationship between the players.

In terms of cooperation, players can attempt challenges together or receive help from them in order to advance. The goal is to allow the players to beat the system together and promote a “safer” environment. Specifically, you won’t feel a threat from the players around you but only from the system.

You are beating the system, not other players.

The multiplayer mechanic reffers to playing the same attempt between several players. The other player is your ally through the attempt, but once it’s over, everyone goes back to their individual life.

It MUST NOT be a permanent mechanic, TEAMS or GUILDS are the mechanic to define a more permanent solution.

As an example, think of the arcades, you are playing a game and suddenly an unknown person comes along, puts in a token and starts playing WITH you to beat the game. YOU’RE NOT EVEN FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK. Another example would bein an online MMORPG when you build a party with tons of people you really don’t know of and once that’s done you keep moving or even go back to your guild.

In this time, the multiplayer mechanic allows for strangers to team up temporarily so BOTH of them have  a shot at something.

Being a mentor is always fun. Having someone that knows the road ahead of you is always great. Getting points and progressing by helping others is even better.

There is a place, a beautiful place, called Quest to Learn in New York where student PLAY through midleschool and highshcool. Without getting into details with the school it in this post (yeah! wait for it later on!), players here have acces to a platform where there is virtual player that is programmed to know LESS than the player.

Yes. LESS.

When you become a teacher, you realize that you are learning more by explaining things to others than you could ever think. Mentorship as a game mechanic will always be a great way to build trust between players.

This mechanic is incredibly powerful with Philantropists. Being part of a bigger cause than only your little backyard project is one of the most powerful motivators on the planet. If you build your own garden to harvest your own food is one thing, but when connected through social media to a movement around the globe it suddenly becomes one thing to stand for.

Allies are those people who believe in the same things as you do. Alliances are temporary, but that will depend on the movement or objective the alliance is pursuing.

If an alliance is looking for something more permanent, then it might turn into a guild, but still, there could be multiple guilds pursuing the same goals and the might build alliances to advance further and break it when it’s no longer needed.

Bernardo Letayf

Bernardo Letayf

M.B.O. (Mind Behind the Operation)

6th position in the Gamification Gurus Power 100!

Gamification Keynote Speaker & the mind behind the operation @bluerabbit, a gamification platform for education.

Developed three frameworks to teach/learn how to create gamification systems and build gamified content

Declared a world wide war on grades.

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