The Dark HEXAD – Star Wars has inspired a new HEXAD!

Dark hexad The Dark HEXAD 8211 Star Wars has inspired a new HEXAD

I was having a think about the User Type HEXAD and it occurred to me that I have never considered Star Wars and how that might fit the HEXAD! You know, as you do 😀

As I did so, I was reminded of the fact that when I started building the user types, I used to split based on whether they interacted with people or a system AND if they acted on people or the system – I.E. imposed themselves on them rather than working within them.  This got me thinking about light and dark side HEXAD types. If you have seen my DODECAD you will know that there are actually 12 types in my overall taxonomy – but I really like this idea of a Dark HEXAD! Read More ...

Why Is Everyone Losing Their Minds Over Loot Crates?

Bank 1238322 1920 Why Is Everyone Losing Their Minds Over Loot Crates

If you had not noticed, loot crates have been making some waves in the gaming world of late. Bonus containers awarded at the end of a game, these boxes deliver mystery rewards to the player when they finish. Most games use them to give the player “vanity” items, such as new clothes or gestures, but some use them in less welcome ways.

Recently EA and DICE drew serious hear from gamers when it transpired that all progression in Battlefront 2, the latest Star Wars blockbuster game, was managed through loot crates. At the end of each game, the player would “randomly” be rewarded with items and scrap in a loot crate. Scrap could be used to purchase new upgrades, whilst other items and heroes are bought with the in-game credit currency. This currency is awarded to the player through hours of play and through loot crates. A third type of currency can be purchased directly with cash, which can then be converted to loot crates. Get that? Basically, you can hope that luck brings you new items, time brings you more money or you can just buy stuff with real money.

There are a few places where people start to get a bit upset. The first is the amount of time it would originally have taken to unlock heroes by playing the game straight. One Redditor estimated the average player would take about 40 hours to unlock Luke or Vader.

The next bit is a little more complex. Gambling. You see, buying a loot crate does not guarantee that you get what you want, the content is random. The gambling commision in the UK and several other EU states and Hawaii are now investigating if this constitutes real gambling or not. Pay money, randomly get a reward that may or may not be valuable. The argument is that you always get a reward, even if it is not worth much – so is therefore not gambling, but not everyone is convinced.

Another issue is that many feel paying £50 or more should entitle you to the whole game and a fair chance of winning. Whilst it may be common in free to play games on mobile devices, they cost nothing up front. Console games are expensive and it is a bit of a cheek expecting people to then pay more to be able to win!

This leads us to the core gamification lesson here. Fairness. If people feel that the system is not fair and that they do not have a fair chance of winning, they will revolt. EA and DICE have already had to suspend the microtransactions and reduce the time needed to unlock heroes (by 75%!!). Oh and don’t rip people off. That’s another big lesson!

Who knows what the future holds for Loot Crates. I for one hope that they have now jumped the shark and will go back to just being about non-game affecting vanity items, but sadly with the greed shown by many companies, this may still be some way off.

What do you think?

Some further reading on loot crates and gambling 🙂

The Hero’s Journey of the User

Player Heros Journey The Hero 8217 s Journey of the User

What follows is a little bit of fun, but one that may help you take another look at how you are planning your user journey in gamified systems. In storytelling and therefore in games there is a structure that is well known and well used called the Hero’s Journey or Monomyth.  It was first described by Joseph Campbell in 1949 to show how many myths all followed a very similar structure.  In the modern world, it can be seen in stories such as Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. It can be seen in video games as well, one example being the Zelda games.

The basic idea is that a normal person is given a calling to go on an epic adventure. They may refuse, or just go along with it.  Before they get too far they are helped by a mentor of some sort. Soon they leave their normal life and enter the world of their adventure.  Along the way, there will be trials and temptations, ups and downs, loss and gain. Eventually, the Hero will have gained enough skills to achieve their goal. After this, they will have to return to their original “normal” live. This may also be filled with new trials and need more help, but when they return they will never be the same. They will have to come to terms with being one foot in their old world and one foot in their new world. With this, they master their new understanding and can share it with others.

The original Monomyth contains 17 steps across three distinct phases. This has been reduced and changed by others. Below are the original steps – check out Wikipedia for the details though.

  1. Departure
    • The Call to Adventure
    • Refusal of the Call
    • Supernatural Aid
    • The Crossing of the First Threshold
    • Belly of The Whale
  2. Initiation
    • The Road of Trials
    • The Meeting With the Goddess
    • Woman as Temptress
    • Atonement with the Father
    • Apotheosis
    • The Ultimate Boon
  3. Return
    • Refusal of the Return
    • The Magic Flight
    • Rescue from Without
    • The Crossing of the Return Threshold
    • Master of Two Worlds
    • Freedom to Live

For our gamified User Hero’s Journey, I have chosen to use just nine steps of these steps. Also, for added enjoyment  -I have merged it with Amy Jo Kim’s Player Journey!


How does this translate to gamification? Glad you asked!


  • Call to Adventure
    • Your entry into the system. The moment you get an email with a link to click on, or a tweet that looks interesting.
    • Read More ...