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24. Activity Loops


Two types of activity loops in a gamified system:

  1. Engagement Loops (micro level; individual user action)
  2. Progression Loops (macro level; broader structures of activity throughout the course of the game)

1. Engagement Loops


  • Motivation
    • The game gives the user some reason to be motivated
    • If the motivation is strong enough, user will take an action or to overcome a challenge, else the loop dies and another motivator arises to provide the same effect
  • Action
    • User performs the action to accomplish the goal (e.g. get points, complete quests)
  • Feedback
    • Seeing the accomplishment through the action becomes a motivator
  • Example: Four Square
    • Action of checking in produces feedback (information on how many points, badges etc) which then motivates user to engage in some other action such as checking in elsewhere, looking at what your friends are doing, or reading something on your current location
    • A well designed gamified system will keep this process going so that each piece reinforces other pieces

2. Progression Loops


  • Instead of getting the players to move one big leap which seems overwhelming, break the process into multiple smaller progressive steps


  • Alternatively we can think of this as a player’s journey
  • First step of onboarding allows players to quickly understand the basics of the game and moving on to higher levels
  • Next, to prevent the game from being too challenging and allow exhausted players to take a break, there is a rest point before they start moving on to a higher level
  • This cycle repeats till a harder challenge (boss fight)
  • After defeating the boss, the cycle continues again
  • When looking back, players have a sense of competence which motivates them to go further

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