In Gambling, Game design

Back in May, the Playtech-owned slots developer, Quickspin, announced its new achievements engine, which was described as a “perfect version” of gamification.

Its Achievements Engine is specifically used in Quickspin slots and provides tokens for achievements completed over four levels. Customers use the tokens to trigger the game’s bonus features, such as free spins and re-spins, to support their progress throughout the game.

Improving player retention by implementing gamification styled game mechanics, has the potential to enhance player longevity by over 100%. Consequently, we are seeing the widespread adoption of gamification approaches across the industry, so our game development consultants have put together a brief guide showing the four main types of approaches that games should strive to include.

Progression mechanics

Players love a challenge, but more than that, the positive feeling of doing well and gaining status is a great way to encourage them to return time and time again. The player may have experienced a loss in the game, but progression mechanics that support levelling-up and awarding of badges and bonuses can contribute a positive overall experience. So, use this to your advantage. Experience points can be employed to measure advancement, set challenges that move players around your game to prevent boredom, and incentivise players with free bonuses, and enhanced status. Multi-stage maps that graphically shows players how far they have come and how far they still have to go are a great way to provide interim targets for achievement.

Social competition

It’s traditional to think of players as being individually driven, in splendid isolation. But people are social. Players engage more when they are part of a team and social play can enhance virality and player acquisition activities. So, bring co-operation and competition into your game. Create leagues and teams, to build camaraderie, and tournament play to create competition. By holding tournaments in different parts of your game you can benefit from moving players around the environment, so the game remains fresh. People form habits, and these can be good in gameplay, as it brings people back and encourages them to stay, but that only works up to a point as boredom is a key reason for player churn.

Collectables

Gotta catch ‘em all! Collectables as a means of achieving a reward can be a powerful way to ensure players return. The incentive may be to receive a card or an icon that goes towards a collectable set, which in turn triggers a reward or bonus. Random reward mechanics are often used in games to distribute a prize; like spinning a wheel or choose a prize by lifting one of three cups. Collectables, derived from achievement, can also separate a player from the herd and give them status amongst a group. Another powerful motivating force.

Appointment setting

Giving players specific reasons to return by using push notifications can be very effective, particularly for re-igniting lapsed players. One-off offers, that are highly targeted, can be very useful, but so can on-going rewards. You know that a segment of players only bets on a Saturday, try giving them an incentive to play every Sunday too. Or, if they miss a couple of Saturdays, entice them back with a Saturday incentive.

The deltaDNA game development consultancy team has worked with hundreds of games, they use play testing, data mining and behavioural modelling to advise clients on making compelling games that inspire repeated play.

If you liked this post, you may want to download our “Making Gamification Work in Gambling” guide.

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