Podcast 19: How to use our Gamification Card Deck?

Rough and ready transcript of the podcast to date, just to get it out. We will improve it in the coming days with a bit of human touch.

Welcome to this week’s a Question of Gamification. And this week’s question is a question from Remco one of our clients who bought a gamification card deck. It’s our physical card deck that we designed a while ago, to help us to explain what game design is all about. For those people that don’t like games don’t play games don’t understand the beginning or the end have anything to do with game design. And also for an awful lot of people who just basically want to level up their skills and practice their game design. So both audiences buy our gamification decks, actually, to be perfectly honest.

For us, it was very much a solution to a need, because a lot of the time when I did HR workshops, and learning and development workshops, I had people in the room that actually admittedly said, I don’t like games. And I’ve never played games, or only when I had to when I was younger, did I ever play games.

In order to address that, and still bring them along on a journey, where they could actually end up doing a gamification design for their company, I needed a tool. So that’s why the gamification design card deck was born. And the first thing I always say is to find out what it is or aim your design at someone.

Now for the purpose of workshops, the other challenge was that typically, many people came with such a diverse set of audiences, that it was really hard to design something together. So I needed the card set that would address that.

So the first card sets that I would focus on is either it’s aimed at learners, in which case you have learner types. And it’s either aimed at employees, in which case you choose employee types, or the gamification is aimed at customers and then you aim it at customer types.

So let’s imagine we are working on something for our employees, which means we have the green cards in front of us. And we just decide, okay, which of these are most likely to be the employees that work for me in the company or work with me in the company. So let’s say we have the corporate career makers that work in the company. So I’ve chosen one card.

Now, typically, I say, you can choose however many that apply to your audience, and apply to the people that you have working for you. Now, so because we’re dealing across customers, learners and employees, one is ideal to start with. You can choose more than one, if you’re already a bit confident. Once you have three different types all playing together, what I would say is consider having specific experiences to suit each and every one of those audiences, because what you need for each of them for them to make sense and for it to be good and useful, maybe quite different.

So for the purpose of today, we have a corporate career climbers, so that’s our target audience, then every game needs to fit in a category. So that’s where the type of game cards come in. Now, I’ve listed 13 different kinds of games. But there are more and you know, mashups can work. So what I would suggest here is that you can pick up to maximum two of the type of game types.

If you’re an absolute beginner, you can pick only one, reason for that is you want to keep it simple when you start out, because the game mechanics once you start mashing them up makes the game more complex, makes it harder to create, makes it harder to do many things. So imagine that for this purpose. For our career makers, we have a resource management game.

Now, a resource management game is a game where you have to collect items, nurture items, and you have to make sure that you have enough resources to do everything that you need to do. So things like Sim City, things like Farmville are the types of kind of resource management games that we’re talking about here.

Now, for a corporate career maker, what could be the types of things that they would love to collect? Maybe it could be experiences, as in, you know, experience to do different types of things within the organization’s, level steps up on the ladder, because if they want to go from A to the top dog over the top position, you basically need to help them get there. And by giving them things to collect along the way, you may actually provide them that path to get you there. So once you have the game type, you know who you’re aiming it out, the next thing you need to choose is the win conditions.

So effectively, every good way game has win conditions. Now you don’t have to stick to the ones that are completely fitting to your game, you can be creative with that. And that’s why there’s a whole lot more than 13 of win conditions.

Let’s say I’ve picked winning streaks as one of my win conditions. And the second win condition is control. So I’ve chosen control. So again, up to two or three win conditions are manageable. Anything way beyond that becomes hard. Effectively, you only need one target audience, one type of game and one win condition. And you you have the bare bones of a game. So effectively, you could stop here. And you could say, well, actually, I have resource management with winning streaks and control as the leverage points and that’s enough. So in this case, what we would have is a game where if they have enough winning streaks and winning streaks are things that you get through regularity through consistency. So for example, showing up on time, every every day for six months, practicing a bit of learning every day for an expected an amount of time for an employee could be delivering all your projects in on time, on budget, etc.

So whatever the case may be that’s relevant to your end user. So always pick tied back to your end user. So our corporate career climbers will want to know what are they measured in terms of the winning streaks so that they can climb the ladder so they want transparent, so we need to be able to show, okay, if I do that I get done. So that’s something they definitely want. Now, the other wind condition I chose here was control and control is an interesting one. So it basically tells you the power to control the territory of the game or power over others. And the virtue of leveling up in the corporate career actually would mean that, you know, you gain that element of control. But it could be a lot more trivial. It could be you can deliver karma to other people as in some something good. Or you can take away some things or negative, you know, you can again be playful around that. So they do these are game mechanics that give the feeling of progress that give the feeling of achievement. That’s why they’re called win conditions.

Every simple game from a puzzle to Candy Crush to World of Warcraft, to Fortnite to Minecraft have some elements of win conditions, they may be self imposed, or they may be explicit. So for example, completing a puzzle is effectively the win condition for a puzzle game. Minecraft, it may well be that you have built a fantastic looking item and it’s you that judges and it’s built. And then you have to hope that nobody comes and crushes it. In Fortnite, it’s a lot more finite. So it’s it’s you know, you you get basically ruled out by other players being the last one standing, the one that can do the victory dance is effectively what you will want in a Fortnite situation. So as it stands, we’ve chosen a customer type. So an employee type, customer type or learner type, we’ve chosen a type of game, always chosen to win conditions. So 112 so far.

And then you have these lovely, I think it’s about 60 something game mechanics. Now game mechanics, is what makes the game interesting. It’s what makes you come back, it’s what makes you play more often, it’s what engages you to take that next level step. Typically, what I do in workshops is I say you can pick as many as you like, but imagine that each card and each game mechanic costs you 10,000 of whatever money you’re in. So let’s say we’re in the UK, we have pound, so 10,000 pounds per card. In the EU, it’s 10,000 euros in the US it can be dollars in you know, you take it to the currency and make it a meaningfully high number. So let’s say we can pick five because our budget is 50,000 with a bit of extra for setup, and you know, the other game mechanics that we didn’t count for. So let’s say we have played Joker, bit of a treasure hunt, we have unlocking of new items, a bit of a team quest. And then let’s say we want the boss battle. So that’s my five. That’s my budget spend.

Now, realistically, you can use all as many as you like. And what I would do in a workshop with a client is we look at Okay, what are the game mechanics that are going to attract people in as an invite to come and play your game? Then the second step is what are the game mechanics I get them started. So there may be tutorial game mechanics in is your maybe little things you get them to do to have that initial boost and happiness that comes from hoo I won.

So what is the first first next step? Then there are game mechanics in the deck here, keep people engaged and coming back for more. So you know, you may have a couple of those. And then you need to decide if there is an end game.

So for example, in Minecraft or in Lego, there is no end game unless you choose there is an end. But in games, like Fortnite, there is a winner. So there is definitely a winner or loser. So if you are designing games for work, also look at what’s the part of the loser can they play again? Is it serious? Is it just trivial? Or is it just a game that keeps refreshing every quarter every month every year. So you know, there are more than one consideration to take into account when you’re using this for business. But let’s say we have the player Joker. So in a corporate career, you may have moments where you’re so busy, that you may have to play Joker not to lose your place. And because we had these winning streaks as part of our game, it might be really important to have a joker so you can keep your position in the control sense of things.

So the player Joker is to keep your standing in the ranking as it is, then I also picked unlocking of new items. Now these can be hidden, they can be unlocked through the things you do so imagine and it’s you know, you’ve succeeded at 10 winning streaks in a row or you have achieved 10 consecutive days of achievement. And you know, guess what, that works quite neatly with the control game element that we already had as a win condition because the unlocking of new items can actually give you the control over an area for example. The same with the treasure hunt. So I like treasure hunts, I think they’re they’re kind of cute. You can do them with augmented reality, you can do them in reality with clues, you could do them on email, you can do anything any, you know, completely digital. So they actually suit a lot of good things. So if you have a new communications campaign coming out treasure hunt, could be great fun. But a treasure hunt may also be a way of earning that control in your game. And in resource management. It’s a tool that unlocks may be special effects, special boosters, because effectively you are collecting treasures on some level, because we have a resource management game. And that could be competencies, or could be very job related items that unlock more responsibility, more abilities as such.

Because we’re dealing with corporate career makers, I added in a bit of a competitive element of boss battle, who knows most or who is best. And that’s where you invite maybe a colleague to be in a duel with you. And you decide on, you know, how you battle it out how, who’s the better of the two of you in a chosen area. So it could be about consistency, it could be about control. It could be about knowledge, it could be about projects, you know, you can set it as the game master you you set the controls. But you can also leave an element of freedom to the players where you can say, well look, you know, within reason you can have a boss battle once a quarter on, you know, who knows most and it could be a tournament style.

The one I usually include in game designs for companies is a team quest, where some of the achievements that you earn to win control or to have a winning streak is that you do something for the team. Most organizations I know depend on the team to deliver and to achieve the results. So therefore, team quests work really well. So that’s my five, that’s my budget spend. So now it’s off to design studio to make the game.

That’s how we would use the gamification design card deck. I hope that explains it a little bit, what we’re going to do is we’re going to create a challenge. And once a week, we’ll post three cards or maybe more to have you decide on what kind of game would you create for those cards. That way you’ll get the flex the muscles will take part in this we’ll get my team to take part in it. And what we’ll do is we’re going to get you to post ideas, and worked out game play based on the different cards that we choose.

In this case, we would have chosen the card called the corporate career makers, we would have chosen a resource management. And we would have chosen a win conditions of winning streaks and control. And then the five game mechanics, and one was to play a joker the other was boss battle team quest, treasure hunt, and unlocking of new items.

Based on these cards, what would you make? What kind of game? What’s the gameplay? What’s the narrative? How would you make that out? Where would you use it? Your call. So each week will set a different challenge. And you can join us in our group to give your version of what you would do with those cards with those names. And you never know. There may be prizes. They may not be, you may just enjoy it. Anyway, thanks for tuning in on this week’s Question of Gamification. So thank you for listening. Thank you for tuning in. And I hope that you enjoy taking part in our challenge. And if you enjoy listening to me and to the nuggets I hopefully share with you. Let’s hear your questions. Let’s have a review of the podcast on the system that you are listening to. We’d love to hear from you. And we’d love to answer more of your questions. So if you have a burning question about games vacation, send them my way. Thank you for listening,


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