Category Archives: gamification

Gamification Design and MOOC’s

I completed a seven week gamification course (in my own time) at Gamification Iversity.  MOOC’s (Massively Open Online Courses) are free online courses taught by entrepreneurial enterprises and universities.  This gamification course was written by Victor ManriqueIsidro RodrigoDr. Oscar Garcia-Panellaemiliano labradorAndrzej MarczewskiMontecarlo –Dr. Flavio EscribanoChris SolarskiCristina Pagés, and Marta García de Polavieja.   Play Jugo and DummyMedia

In reviewing the course,  I concluded that the course appealed to all learning styles: somatic (moving and doing),  auditory (sound),  visual (observing),  and intellectual (problem solving and reflection).  The course allowed learners to see their progress, which is a desirable element to have in an online course. However, there were some technical difficulties with tracking. I loved the fact that there were short videos in conversational tone and not a lot of reading required except for extra references.  The objectives and an outline were clearly stated. The course was designed to include open ended questions and practice exercises with pop quizzes. It was on a learning level for the general public.  Social media was incorporated with Google Hangout. Emails were sent out weekly and a certification was available upon completion. There were interviews with industry experts as well as case studies.  A first effort was excellent  because the information was presented. However, the second time around will be more technically polished.  Good job.

I learned the basis of gamification and how to design gamified experiences. The main goal of the course is to understand and master the principals of gamification to design experiences that make things more fun and engaging.  The course is for anyone who wants to learn game design. The course analyzed many games and provided a huge amount of resources that I could not find before taking this course.

Here are two short videos by Extra Credit, one was given in the course.   1. Creating Balance and 2. Bad Writing in Video Games. Check out their videos on You Tube and learn about game design – FREE.

I thought it great that a professional designer, Mr. Schell  of  Schell games said that it is not how many games you play that make you a good designer.  It is how many you think about and analyze in a systematic way that will make you a good designer.   Many people play over 10,000 hours of games without thinking about the physic or design system behind them.  You are encouraged to play and analyze games in this course.  I love games and played games I normally would not have played to understand what was intriguing to the many different player types.   Some games were simple and additive with no educational value.  They were stress relievers like Candy Crush, Pac-Man, or Bejewels.  I lean more toward mystery games with videos and clues.

I thought how odd, that gamification principles (with a little modification) are  the same used in instructional design.  After the course, I walked away thinking that  serious games with outcome goals  of behavior changes are designed as rapid instructional online design courses with lots of  activities and less presentation. Therefore, the systematic set of design is well placed here along with a few gamified models for player types, motivation, and rewards.

Why Gamification? :  People want the qualities that games have: engaging and positive feedback.  However,  to design  for gamification, it is best to figure out what is needed to be learned in order to design a successful gamification experience.  Games are in all industries: military, government, health, finances, education, business, technical and corporate.

Benefits: The benefit of gamification can be financial gain, more users, engagement in learning or using a product.  Games can get people to do things they do not want to do (change a behavior).  In this course, the instructors spoke of  games that motivated people to clean, save money, and change health habits.

Types of games:  Serious games (behavior changing games) , ARG’s (reality games)  and Adventure games.

Storytelling: Storytelling  in games is discussed in a webinar explored in the model of Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey-17 Stages” which was quite fascinating.  The main idea I got from it all is that storytelling answers the “Why” of it all and each character has goals.  In relation to learning, identify a handful of important points in your game that you need learners to remember and develop stories to illustrate those points.

Three key design factors were discussed by Victor then explored in Octalysus’s Framework presented on  You-Kai-Chou’s blog.

1. Collaborative vs. Competitive, 2.  Solo vs. Social and 3. Types of rewards (monetary, access next level and recognition).

Octalysus ‘s Framework  covers in-depth designs for all four phases of : Discovery, Onboarding, Scaffolding and Endgame for each factor. This model “types of players” are achievers, explorer’s, socializers , and killers.  I really liked this framework,  it gave the whole design process scalability.

Player types:  Richard Bartlet’s player types  for gamification was simplified with  Marczewski’s Player Types for gamified systems, the Hexad model.  In this model there are four intrinsic types and two extrinsic; Achiever, Socialiser, Philanthropist and Free Spirit. They are motivated by Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose-RAMP. The other two types, whose motivations are a little less black and white are Disruptor and Player.

To create balance is the biggest challenge for game designers. The course explained to create balance you create a system that appeals to the four basic intrinsic motivations and user types. Make it social, make it meaningful and give people some freedom.  Then integrate a well thought out reward system (points, badges etc). If you do it this way around, you are creating a system that relies on the rewards to run. That way, you get the intrinsically motivated people and those that are there for rewards. Cheating is minimized by making it less important to cheat.

The Three Stages of Documentation:  Concept Paper, Design Document, and Production. Documents were discussed and gave as a reference in the blog article by Tzvi Freeman: Ten Points for a Successful Design Document.

Blogs on game design documents and examples:

Creating a Great Design Document  by Tzvi Freeman

National Stem Video Game Challenge

Gaming Conventions:from wiki:  
Here are a few of the references that were given for further reading:

The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses (2008) Written by: Jesse Schell

Business Gamification for Dummies (2013) by Kris Duggan

Loyalty 3.0: How to revolutionize customer and employee engagement with big data and Gamification (2013) by Rajat Paharia

Gamification and Game Mechanics Made Simple (2013) by Patrick Chapman

Reality is Broken (2011) by Jane Mcgonigal

Level Up!: The guide to great video game design (2010) Written by: Scott Rogers

Game On: Energize your business with social media games (2011) by Jon Radoff –

Gamification at Work: Designing Engaging Business Software (2013) by Mario Herger-

Enterprise Games: Using game mechanics to build a better business (2012) by Michael  Hugos

 Rules of Play (2003) Written by: Eric Zimmerman and Katie Salen


The gamification market is estimated at around $100 million. It will grow to more than $2.8b by 2016.” — M2Research. According to Wikipedia and most gaming sites, Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, Return on Investment, data quality, timeliness, and learning. Source:

“It’s game on, for human resource officers. Increasingly, organizations like Marriott, Deloitte, Aetna and even the Department of Defense are using gaming to recruit, develop and motivate employees.”

How to select good instructional games:

“Hong, Cheng, Hwang, Lee, and Chang (2009) surveyed educators to create a checklist of criteria that determine the educational value of a game. The seven categories they identified included: mentality challenge, emotional fulfillment, knowledge enhancement, thinking skill development, interpersonal skills, spatial ability development and bodily coordination. ” Source: Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching by M.D. Roblyer and Aaron H. Doering. p.95

Game software: How to create games:

I played around with free on-line game software and created a few simple games.  Games created on Pro Prof’s game site were amazingly simple and took less than 15 minutes to create which included reading the instructions. I found Contour 2 to be very simple and only required 3 hours to put together a shooter game following their instructions. The software, Thinking Games was the most attractive because it provides ready made 2D models but the models are not for commercial use. However, they are great to use in order to learn the software. After many hours of researching, I combined a list of resources of game software you may chose from to create your own games. These are the most popular game softwares used in the game industry.  Many of these software’s are free. Some are free but the upgraded version has a fee. My next post will feature more complex 2D and 3D games that I am developing with various software’s such as Thinking Games, Unity, Blender and Maya.

Popular game design software:
Blender Free
Construct 2
DX Studio Free
Game Maker
Autodesk Mayo
Utility 3D
Thinking Games

Here is a link to “19 Free Game Engines”. This blog really gives details and levels for you to decide which game engine is for you.


This game was created on Pro Profs game site. many games to play and many types you can create.  These games are to be used on the company website or for social media.  Total time 15 minutes.

Heres a scrabble game.


My favorite games are finding objects or words.

Here is a link to a shooter game (beginners tutorial) developed in Construct 2: Very simple,and  basic ; however, there is basic programming involved.  If and then statements. Same type of statements used in Articulates Storyline for variables Rustic 123 is my game developers name. :}.  – 3 hours.