Not just playing Games on Bluemix
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Here is a preview of an article that I've stated to write on Gamification, called:
Not just playing Games on Bluemix
Developing Mobile apps that keep users engaged with Gamification
Introduction: Green Stamps, Frequent Fliers and Mobile Apps.
Incentive programs have been around since the late 1800s. Growing up in NYC, I can remember my relatives seemingly possessed as they traded Green Stamps, collected from supermarkets, gas stations and department stores, for the ultimate goal of being able to earn a prize from a catalog. While I’ve never been into stamps, I’ve personally been greatly and sometimes irrationally motivated by similar incentives like Frequent Flyer programs. Heck, such programs lead me to even do crazy things, like take a longer 2 hop flight, versus a shorter 1 hopper, because I get points from the 2-hop airline. Much of the psychology that makes such incentive programs addictive is at the cornerstone of quality game design. Game design further draws on social psychology introducing the element of competition using mechanisms like leader boards, achievement levels and badges- keeping players possessed, and sometimes irrationally coming back for more.
Gamification is the act of creating an incentive program within your application. Gamifying is a form of user-centered designed that applies gaming mechanics to software, using some of the techniques just mentioned, making software more “sticky” and even addictive. A gamified application will keep your users engaged and an engaged user will increase the likelihood of a positive business outcome for the application provider.
With capabilities like location awareness and instant notifications, Mobile applications enable a new level of heightened engagement between user and app developer. It’s for this reason that gamification and mobile application development go hand-in-glove. A gamified mobile app holds the promise of further engaging distracted users, driving higher conversion rates, and keeping the app sticky and top of mind, which can be a growing struggle for app developers as the number of apps in the Apple app store and Google Play continue to grow.
IBM Bluemix has added a Gamification Service that allows you to simply gamify a web or mobile application. This article examines some examples of gamified applications, as well as introduces some of the concepts and APIs found within our Bluemix Gamification Service.
Gamify It: Motivating users to stay engaged.
There are a wide variety of business apps that would benefit from being mobile and gamified. By introducing game elements into your mobile app design, you can provide incentives for your users to stay engaged and ultimately drive better business outcomes. There is a set of common techniques used across apps and web sites for all industries, including insurance, retail, health-care, travel apps and many more...
Here are some of my favorite examples:
Gamification Service in Bluemix
The Bluemix Gamification Service provides a Designer tool and a set of APIs used to define a Game Plan and put a game plan in play in the context of your specific application. The service also provides a Gamebar widget, which displays the player's game status.
A Game Plan consists of variables, events, missions and achievements. These elements are defined using the Gamification Designer.
Variables for creating elements of points and levels
Events impact (increment and decrement) the values of points and levels
Missions are tasks assigned to users, and they get a reward if they accomplish the mission
Achievements are game elements that reward a user when they complete a mission or when the value of a variable exceeds a threshold
With these constructs, a program can use Gamification APIs to work with these constructs. The following table contains the REST APIs and description of the Bluemix Gamification service:
The Gamebar user interface widget shows your users their game status, such as their points, badges, and ranking compared to other players.
Summary and References:
A gamified mobile app will keep your users engaged and motivated to stick with your app. As discussed gamifying is a form of user-centered designed that applies gaming mechanics to software, using leaderboards, points, achievements, and missions, that when applied correctly can possess your users and make your app addictive.
The Bluemix Gamification service provides a straightforward set of APIs, a designer tool and a gamebar widget to gamify applications. Give it a try and Gamify your app or site today!
And finally, I would like to reward my teammates 100 hundred points each, and advance them to Platinum status. Thanks Frank Lu, Binh Nguyen, Stephanie Wilkerson, Raymund Lin and the team from IBM Taiwan, for being the drivers behind the Bluemix Gamification Service.