using gamification to increase your persona engagement – WAU

This content will talk about gamification, octalysis framework, marketing processes, but mainly Tibia! If you haven’t lived the glorious 2000s in a lan house like me, you probably have no idea what Tibia is. But there’s no problem. All you need to know is that Tibia is a collective game of […]

This content will talk about gamification, octalysis framework, marketing processes, but mainly Tibia!

If you haven’t lived the glorious 2000s in a lan house like me, you probably have no idea what Tibia is.

But there’s no problem. All you need to know is that Tibia is a collective online representation game that has very bad graphics (let’s face it) and was very popular with young Brazilians, Indians and Colombians at that time.

I am not counting that I have been playing Tibia for 10 years to make small talk (although that makes great conversations at bar tables), but to contextualize you.

You see, as a Tibian at heart, I was always interested in the ability of a game – and here I speak not only of Tibia, but any popular game – to hold people’s attention and even addict them in silly repetitions, how to hit the same monster infinite times to earn a speck.

After all, why can’t a person read a two-page text without interruption, but can spend hours on end on a cell phone screen deflecting an ugly bird from pipes (yes, I’m talking about you Flappy Bird)?

You could say that, with so much information available on the internet, it is increasingly difficult to hold people’s attention, which is true. Or you can just answer that games are cooler than reading, which depends on the point of view.

But, studying the subject, I discovered that there are very elaborate factors that make a game achieve high levels of engagement from its users.

And the best part: that you can also apply these factors to your Marketing strategy and increase engagement with your audience!

So, in this article, I will share with you a framework that has helped me to think about my strategies here at WAU to increase our conversion rates.

But, as in all games, I need you to “kill” some small concepts before reaching the big boss. Come on?

What gamification is and why it works

The first phase of this content is a conceptualization phase, so let’s start with the concept of gamification:

Gamification is the application of principles, logics and concepts of games in other contexts to improve people’s experience and, consequently, increase their engagement.

In other words, it is the act of taking the game mechanisms that make them so captivating and applying them in everyday situations, such as a nutrition flow or landing pages.

There are several reasons that lead a person to a game. Some who took me to Tibia, for example, are:

  • Custom Char: I can create a character along the lines and with the characteristics I want;
  • Evolution chart: the skills I need to develop and which ones I already have are clear;
  • Strategic thought: I can create plans to level up faster, escape from strong monsters and even plot revenge against other players;
  • +1000 levels: there is no limit to evolution and the title of strongest player is always “within reach”;
  • Collectible items: Tibia offers rewards on special dates that can be sold for high prices or even saved as a trophy;
  • Universal chat: you can meet people from all over the world in the game;
  • Engaged community: there are several groups of players who keep in touch daily, talk about updates and help each other;
  • And, of course, cool spells: there are a variety of enchantments that are released according to your level.

culture shock

Some of these aspects are already used by companies, such as the personalized char. An example is the Facebook profile.

Soon I will give you other examples and teach you how to identify which game mechanisms might be interesting for your company’s Marketing.

But first, you need to better understand the figure of the player. After all, the whole point of gamification is to make the user experience pleasant. And, for that, you need to know this user’s journey and their needs.

The player journey and the four player profiles

All games have four steps players experience: discovery, onboarding, scaffolding and endgame. Together, they make up the player’s journey.

  • Discovery: the conversion. It is when the person discovers the existence of a game and, by the way it presents itself, decides to register to play it or not. In Tibia, this is the game download page. In terms of marketing, it would be our Landing Page.
  • Onboarding: learning. When the user has just entered the game and needs to understand their commands soon, to perform the first actions quickly. It is usually done by bots that guide the player every time they encounter a new feature, such as Tibia’s NPCs (robot players). Some platforms also use this feature, such as RD Station.
  • Scaffolding: building habit. When the user understands the need to perform repetitive actions to earn points and creates a routine within the game. In Tibia, for example, you have to do several missions to the same places before you can level up and access other places on the map. LinkedIn is another platform that encourages the habit of posting by increasing the reach of those who perform this action frequently.
  • Endgame: the reward. When the user fulfills a purpose of the game and needs to be recognized to continue playing. By killing a big boss in Tibia after going through several of his followers, you expect to receive valuable items and many points. Nubank, after “killing” payments for several months in a row, increases your credit so you can continue using the card.

Understanding what happens in each of these phases is essential to know how to engage the user and make them walk in the “funnel” of the game.

But for that, you also need to know what the player’s profile is – his persona -, right?

Just as there are four stages of the game, there are also four player profiles: achievers, explorers, socializers and killers.

  • Achievers, the Pathfinders. They are the most cracked players, because they want to discover absolutely everything. What drives them is their willingness to dominate that game, decipher its rules and become a reference in it;
  • Explorers, the impatient. Like the achievers, these players are very thirsty to pioneer the game. But, as they are driven only by curiosity, they lose interest quickly if the instructions are not clear or if the game requires a lot of effort;
  • Socializers, the needy. As the name says, socializers hate to play alone. Therefore, they need features that encourage socialization, such as chats to chat with friends or group missions within the game;
  • Killers, the experimenters. These players don’t have much patience to dedicate themselves to a game, so they usually go onboarding and give up.

As they have different motivations, these four players respond differently to each stage of the game and need special attention. For example, a game with extremely complex onboarding can be paradise for an achiever and hell for an explorer.

For this reason, a game has stages planned according to the profile of its ideal player – in the same way that, in Content Marketing, we produce content suitable for our persona at each stage of the sales funnel.

But how do you know exactly which features to improve to deliver an interesting journey for your player? Well, now is the time to enter the octalysis framework!

The octalysis framework and the eight triggers of human behavior

Octalysis is a framework created by guru Yu-kai Chou that advocates the use of human focused design (design focused on people) to create gamified projects.

The framework was named like this because its structure is that of an octagon. Each side of the figure is based on one of the eight key triggers of human behavior – stimuli that drive people to engage.

Are they:

  1. Epic call (Meaning)
  2. Development and Accomplishment
  3. Empowerment
  4. Ownership and Ownership
  5. Social influence and affinity (Social Influence)
  6. Scarcity and impatience (Scarcity)
  7. Unpredictability and curiosity (Unpredictability)
  8. Loss and avoidance (Avoidance)

As it is extremely important that you understand them to use the octalysis framework, I will detail them one by one now using some examples, ok?

Epic call

The epic call is the trigger that refers to the meaning of life and humanity. You invite the person to be part of something bigger than themselves.

In games, this epic call is usually exercised by being part of a community of players responsible for keeping the game alive. For example, the so-called Tibia epic is to join the forums and write on the Tibia Wiki, the game’s collaborative encyclopedia.

An example of companies that use the so-called epic very well is Waze.

The application invites you to participate in a group of drivers who overlap with public agencies to build better traffic. You are not just reporting a hole in the road, you are contributing to the greater good of the community.

Development and realization

The stimulus for development and achievement is one that makes you feel that you are evolving in some aspect of your life. This growth can be personal, professional, financial, etc .; but it needs to have a positive impact on your life.

It is no wonder that most games have a progress bar. The idea is precisely that you can see your development in real time and feel compelled to leave the bar complete, reaching its maximum potential.

An example are the Tibia bars, which show various skills of your character and how you are developing each one:

A company that uses this very intelligently is LinkedIn, which makes you level up every time you enter information in your profile and still has an engagement score called Social Selling Index (SSI).

LinkedIn’s SSI gives you a score based on the number of interactions with your contacts and tells you your weekly progress towards becoming an influencer. The higher your SSI, the more impact you are having on your network.


Empowerment is the stimulus that gives you the possibility to grow by creating plans and learning from your own mistakes, through experimentation. You feel you are evolving on your own, without needing the help of the game.

This gif from Tibia illustrates in a very silly way, but that’s basically it:

tibia spider

You find a hole, you don’t know what you have, you enter it out of curiosity, you find a strong animal and you die. What did you learn? Not to enter that hole anymore or to arm yourself to go back there (preferably when you are at a higher level).

But the best example for empowerment is a sensational logic game called That Level Again!

His premise is that you are at the end of a room and need to go through a door on the opposite side, but the door will only open if you press a button that is exactly halfway.

As the name says, the purpose of That Level Again is to go through the same level over and over again. Therefore, at each stage the button must be pressed in a different way, which you need to find out which is with just a tip.

Thus, you will be testing hypotheses, learning from the game and developing your reasoning to pass the level. And when you can figure out a tip yourself, it’s impossible not to feel more intelligent and creative!

Here is a video that can help you understand better (it contains spoilers for the game, so I recommend seeing only the first three solutions, at most).

Ownership and ownership

The motivation behind the property and possession trigger is to make you feel like you own something and therefore responsible for taking care of it and making it the best possible.

In the case of Tibia, it is possible to buy houses in the game and accumulate all the items you earn on your hunts. It is due to the quantity of items, including, that we know that we are passing by the house of someone very rich in the game, so everyone wants to have many valuable items.

One company that is a successful case of this trigger is Coke, which has already launched several collections such as the gelocomics, polar bears and the famous minicrafts, the head dolls of the 98 World Cup.

Social influence and affinity

The trigger for social influence and affinity refers to the impact that you can have on other people and teamwork.

The motivation behind it is that you will stay on top of trends, receive support from a group and meet people with common tastes.

Tibia invests in Social Influence through various world quests, missions that need the help of hundreds of players to complete and that rewards the whole world if the group succeeds.

The piece of cake is my favorite! That world quest puts players to fight monstrous cakes and use their bodies to build a bridge to the cake island, where there is a giant cake that must be devoured.

From the beginning of piece of cake quest, players have five days to devour the cake. If they succeed, the world they play in receives seven days of experience (50%), life and mana (25%) bonuses.

MaxMilhas is a very cool case of a company that uses this same tactic with World Miles Day, when thousands of people come together to get discounts for travel.

The idea is that the more people who sign up on the site, the greater the discount received by everyone. In other words, a real team effort is needed to attract new subscribers and increase the prize.

Another example of the influence trigger is the Amazon review program, which allows any buyer to give their opinion on a product, help the community and be recognized by it.

Shortage and impatience

The trigger for scarcity and impatience is based on the assumption that people crave things that are exclusive and unique. That’s why it motivates you with the feeling that something is limited, but you can do it now.
In Tibia, the number of monsters is limited and in some places, only one player is enough to kill everyone. Therefore, the player who arrives first at the location wins the prize.

Thus, the trigger makes you want to enter the game as soon as possible and keep the hunting ground just for you.

Candy Crush is a game case that uses scarcity to monetize. The game is free, but you have a limited amount of lives. When you’re done with all of them, it gives you the opportunity to get others immediately – if you pay for them.

Another case is phone companies, as in this example from Tim, which limit internet access and, when the limit is reached, offer an extension for a fee.

Unpredictability and curiosity

This is easy to guess, right? The trigger of unpredictability and curiosity says that you can always be surprised by something, even if you already know the subject in depth.

It feels like playing on a slot machine: you know how it works and that your chances are minimal, but who knows how your luck changes?

Due to the daily server save, Tibia’s worlds are restarted regularly. This means that a cave opened before the server save will appear closed soon after, as the changes made by players are undone.

Proof of this is an area called Sunken Mines. It is flooded most of the time until a player arrives with a good (and expensive) amount of coal and drains all the water, opening a secret passage to a cave full of monsters.

Every day after the server save, the area reappears flooded and a new drain is needed. Since poor players are unable to pay for the drain, they need to try their luck daily by going to Sunken Mines to see if it has been drained by another player.

The same is true in Pokémon Go. You may be surprised to find large areas where Pokémon are being fought or find rare Pokémon along the way just by luck – but you need to walk a lot and check various places to test your luck.

The Facebook feed is another example of this game of luck.

We all know how it works and we know what to expect, but we still have that hope of finding a post that will change our lives (and that makes us enter the social network every day).

facebook feed

Loss and evasion

The trigger of loss and avoidance is related to precaution. The motivation here is that you will pass up the opportunity of your life if you don’t take action. And nobody likes to lose, right?

Tibia offers some rewards of limited duration, such as seven days of free premium account. And when you earn that reward you end up logging into the game every day, even if you’re not too keen on hunting, just so as not to waste the remaining minutes of the premium account, which are on a dial.

The same is true in Super Mario Bros. Every time we pass a brick marked with a question mark, the reaction is the same: we jump to hit our heads on the brick and check if there are any prizes.

There may be none, but we need to check them all out so we don’t miss out on opportunities.

An example of a company that does this well is Booking, which shows the accommodations with the greatest demand. Thus the user is encouraged to make his reservation as soon as possible so as not to lose his place.

How to fill the octalysis framework

Knowing the eight triggers of human behavior you can now fill the octalysis framework with the characteristics of your business and better understand the engagement of your users.

Think of examples of how each of the triggers is used by your company and, based on this survey, evaluate your use from 0 to 10. You can do this at this link.

If your company has several channels that encourage communication and teamwork, for example, it means that they are very good at social influence and can put a 10 on it. Now if you do not provide any kind of interaction between users other than an email, the score can be 2.

Each case is different, but the important thing is that you critically evaluate which points your company is referring to and which it is lacking in

Waze, for example, is quite strong in its epic and achievement call, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of scarcity and empowerment. Thus, the Waze team knows that they can bet on these triggers to increase the volume of people active in the app.

White hats and black engagement hats

Reading about the eight triggers of motivation you may have realized that in practice, some are not so cool, right?

After all, even if the trigger of unpredictability makes you go to Facebook always, nobody likes to keep rolling the feed every day to