The RAMP to Fun

RAMP to Fun The RAMP to Fun

A while back I started talking about FUN again. In that post I mentioned the RAMP to Fun, but never actually posted it! So here it is in full PowerPoint diagram glory 😀

This is obviously based on my RAMP, but also on some research I did a long time ago on what people find fun.

The idea is that you need to include elements, mechanics and concepts that people will find fun – even if these do not look fun to you on the surface. As they all hook into core intrinsic motivators – some will find them fun! The more you can link together and embed – in a way that is sympathetic and sensible to the design, the better. Read More ...

The Engagement Channel Model 2.0: Fun, Flow and Engagement

Engagement Channel Model 2 0 The Engagement Channel Model 2 0 Fun Flow and Engagement

Fun. A three letter word you won’t hear me mention often when discussing gamification! Why? Well, fun is really subjective. What you find fun, I may not. However, for the purposes of this blog, we will assume I like fun as do you and when I mention fun – it means something you will find fun!

With that out of the way, here’s the thing. If you look at Flow or my Engagement Channel stuff, you will see that to enter flow and be truly engaged, the challenge of whatever you are doing should match or slightly exceed your current skill level.

As with my Engagement Channel model, you can soften the impact of a challenge being too much by adding meaningful rewards and you can soften the impact of your skills being greater than the challenge, by adding personal challenges.

However, in games I am seeing more and more games that drop you straight into a scenario where the challenge instantly far outweighs your skills. By all our models, this should lead to instant frustration and most likely disengagement – but it doesn’t always. For some reason, there are some games that I play, that no matter how tough they are and how far off my skills are from the challenge – I keep coming back over and over again. Why? Because they are fun to play!

Does this mean there is another dimension to the Engagement Channel or the our view on Flow?

BJ Fogg

If we look at BJ Fogg’s famous Behaviour Change Model, we can see that there are three main dimensions in his B=MAP formula. Behaviour = Motivation x Ability x Prompts.

Basically for a behaviour to happen, motivation, ability and prompts all need to align. If a task is hard, but you have high motivation to do it – the right prompt will start to encourage the behaviour. If the task is easy, your motivation can be lower with the correct prompt. A third factor can influence the outcome without anything else changing.

So, how can I steal this idea and start to add a new dimension to my Engagement Channel Model. Well, I’m glad you didn’t ask!

The Engagement Channel Model 2.0

To simplify the original concept, what I am now proposing is that fun can act as a buffer between engagement, frustration and boredom, essentially widening the Engagement Channel.

Now, I am not trying to tell you what your users may find fun, what I am saying is the older I get, the more I realise that fun makes a huge difference to your motivation to do things, even if they are really hard or if they are slightly boring. Adding that element of fun can make all the difference.

Free Printable Games

Wraith King Screen Free Printable Games

Hi all.

In this crazy time, I thought I would share a few games that I have made over the last couple of years to either entertain myself or the kids! They are all very simple but might help kill a few hours. Any feedback on them would be also greatly appreciated. They are all very simple looking btw, no fancy graphics!

There will be one more soon, once the kids have had a chance to play it. But head to the gamification hub on Facebook if you want to get a try now. It is a simple escape room type puzzle game.

Wraith King

This is the most complex. It is a solo or co-op tile-based dungeon crawl. I enjoy playing this from time to time when I am stuck for something to do. The world evolves as you play to try and defeat the Wraith King in his lair.

Download Wraith King

Shortcut

This is my favourite (and the kids). It was born on a napkin in a restaurant when my youngest was very board. I wanted something more interesting than snakes and ladders. I bought some drywipe pens and some drywipe sleeves to make the game reusable.

Pens: https://amzn.to/2XkkxEL

Sleeves: https://amzn.to/3bW1qoC

Download Shortcut

Driver

The simplest game, with 2 difficulty “settings”. Just race around the track!

Download Driver

Encourage Play, Don’t Force Fun

Pool table 1570703002 Encourage Play Don t Force Fun

I’ve said it here many times, you can’t force people to have fun. Putting a pool table in the coffee room, forcing everyone to play an online game and join a leaderboard, team building games during inductions etc. All generally seek to force you to have a fun experience. However, as soon as something becomes mandatory or forced, it is very hard (but not impossible) to find it enjoyable.

Of course, if the experience is well designed, even if you are forced to engage with it, it can be fun. There are times during some of those “ice breaker” games that I hate so much, that despite myself I find I am having fun. But those tend to be the ones that create an environment that encourages play – even if it is a little bit structured.

Let Them Play

Rather than the whole experience being dictated down to the last action, the ones that are most enjoyable offer a few key opportunities

  1. You feel safe to get things wrong (psychological safety).
  2. Participants are able to express themselves in their own way (self-expression).
  3. You don’t feel you are being patronised or belittled.
  4. Often the rules set have room for “interpretation”.

Basically, whilst there is a set task, you get to play with it. Lego Serious Play is an amazing example of this. The tasks are set, the outcomes are explained – but how you get to them involves an awful lot of play and creativity!

So, next time you are thinking about forcing your employees or your workshop attendees to engage in something you think is fun, consider how you could encourage them to play a little instead. Maybe my Practical Play Framework will help you.

Whilst you are here – if you don’t have it already – I am still selling my Book, Toolkit and Card bundle. You get Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play (Digital) Unicorn Edition, My Gamification Design Toolkit and a digital copy of my gamification inspiration cards. Bargain!!

[purchase_link id=”7087″ style=”button” color=”orange” text=”Buy it now!”]

Play Games, Enjoy Games and be a Better Gamification Designer

Video game 2154473 Play Games Enjoy Games and be a Better Gamification Designer

Over the year my opinion on the need to love games to be a good gamification designer has fluctuated. In the early days, I was more flexible on the idea. It was all about psychology in a nearly pure form, understand behaviour and use that understanding to encourage the behaviours that you want. The “game” aspect was less important as gamification is not making games!

However, as I work on more and more projects it becomes clear that this is rubbish. Anything beyond the most simple of applications of gamification needs a solid understanding of games. It is not necessary to be a games designer as such, but having a good idea of what makes games work is an essential. If I was not a gamer, I would not be able to do my job at this level! I would have no inspiration for a start. After that, I would have no idea what worked and why. Finally, I would not have the love of play that is so desperately needed in good gamification implementations.

As I look at more and more examples of projects that have been successful, they all fall have more in common with games than with “traditional” gamification. It is rare to find a good case study that relies on a completely non-gamelike experience.

So play games, study games, understand games, read game design books (Art of Game Design and A Theory of Fun especially!), make games and most of all enjoy games!

On a sort of related note, my latest SlideShare of the next set of Core Principles is now available.

Gamification Elements and Mechanics.

Gamification Elements and Mechanics from Andrzej Marczewski