What is Gamification and you should get involved
Gamification sounds like a new-ish thing, but when you look at it closer, it has always been part of our lifes. It has just been called differently, or we have been using it, without actually being aware of it. As an example, parents always try to sell chores as a fun thing to do and promise small rewards if their offspring gets the jobs done (in time). By doing so, they are selling a task as a game and link a potential reward – they are gamifying!
Nowadays gamification has become far more obvious and the best example outside video games is the gamification of monotonous sports exercises. Companies like Fitbit wouldn’t sell as many of their sport watches, if gamification wouldn’t be a main part of their product DNA. Walking 10.000 steps each day becomes a fun exercise, as you want to stay at the top of the leader board and if you continue doing it, you might even grab the last missing achievement badge in a few days. Sounds familiar? Or looking at video games, achievement hunting became a real thing when Steam, PlayStation and Microsoft added their achievements to all games. It’s not only about enjoying the experience itself, it’s also about beating the extra challenges and unlock all available badges. Why? Because It’s cool to show off rewards and trophies, of course!
Get ready for the next challenge
Now that we understand the general concept of gamification, why are we all obsessed with it? The answer is pretty simple: Humans love to play games! And gamification is exactly this – games, challenges, friendly competition in bitesize portions, usually attached to something else, sometimes completely different.
And since we at 4Players also love challenges and rewards, we developed and launched SCILL, our unique Gamification as a Service platform. With SCILL, challenges can be added to pretty much any application, including but not limited to video games, mobile apps, websites and intranets. The intuitive admin panel allows challenge creation with just a few clicks, also offering the combination of challenges into full-fledged Battle Passes. The latter are a well-known and proven retention and monetization tool in various video games, the most prominent being Epic’s Fortnite for example. In a nutshell, Battle Passes offer a combination of challenges, combined with exclusive rewards spread across levels.
SCILL enables developers and publishers to leverage the power of gamification without the need for time-consuming and expensive software development. All it needs is the implementation of the SCILL SDK, definition of game events and the creation of challenges via the SCILL admin panel. Once set up, challenges can be added, tweaked and combined with just a few clicks, helping to increase user retention and offering new ways to monetize them. And all this without sharing any personal data and being 100% GDPR conform!
Our experience shows that gamification with challenges and rewards serves a wide range of different trigger points users show across all services:
A path to follow / Reminder
By offering the right challenge at the right time, we can use them perfectly as a tutorial / guide to understand the core app mechanisms, or offer them throughout the full product, guiding users on every step of their way. In both cases – which are not mutually exclusive – challenges will always act as a clear path to follow, preventing them to get lost, getting frustrated and eventually churn out.
Fun at your own pace
Nothing can be more frustrating than being pushed through a product at a pre-set speed. We all have different skills, more or less time to spend or just a different approach. Utilizing challenges lets users actively decide on their next goal and their own pace. Real-time tracking always keeps challenges updated and a clear picture on their progress.
And for those who want a friendly competition, timed challenges add the little extra to reach the goal ideally ahead of time.
Accomplishments and Rewards
Getting out of your comfort zone can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time. Especially the latter is something to avoid, preventing low retention rates and high churn.
Have you ever played a shooter or racing game, which was fun, but your skill wasn’t good enough to make a frag or finish the lap, leaving you at the bottom of the score board? It can be fun for a couple of matches, but if you don’t see any progress, it soon will be your last match and time to move on to the next game.
By offering accomplishments and rewards at the right time, users will have a much better experience. So in the example above, why not offer a challenge for surviving a certain amount of time, finishing a lap without damage or other achievable goals, giving the user a sense of accomplishments, which they wouldn’t have otherwise? These rewards will usually be enough to retain the user and offer enough time to improve their skills – which will be the base to enjoy the game as initially indented. Plus, it will not mess with any game mechanics or general progress.
Gamification is an extremely powerful – and fun – tool for pretty much any application and any situation. It will add the extra layer of engagement, developers and publishers are looking for, and it can be used as a short-, mid- and long-term motivator to keep retention high and churn rates low. And by combining challenges and rewards in a clever way, they can also be an optional and non-intrusive way to monetize the users.
To sum it up in one sentence: “Gamification is a winner, which can turn the most monotonous task into a fun and rewarding experience.”
Add your own gamification layer today with SCILL – for free!