Game Mechanics are tools, techniques, and widgets that are used as building blocks for gamifying a website or application. Utilizing them correctly can build a highly motivational user experience around existing website functionality or content.
This page is a compilation of Game Mechanics and Game Dynamics Theories and Examples. It is our goal to make this page the ultimate resource for Game Mechanics by collaboratively documenting their definitions, implementation examples, best practices, relevant metrics and strategies, etc. Each Game Mechanic is categorized by various attributes which you can also use to search for them by. See the Usage section for details.
The Gamification Process takes long term dedication, careful planning and the right tools and expertise. Keep in mind this page should be only a first step to understanding Gamification and should not be seen as a magic bullet to increase Engagement in and of itself.
Game Mechanics Shortcuts
|Achievements are a virtual or physical representation of having accomplished something. Achievements can be easy, difficult, surprising, funny, ... More info|
|Appointment Dynamics are game dynamics in which at a predetermined times/place a user must log-in or participate in game, for positive effect.|
|Behavioral Momentum is the tendency of players to keep doing what they have been doing.|
|The idea that playing in a game makes you happier working hard, than you would be relaxing. Essentially, we're optimized as human beings by working ha... More info|
|Bonuses are a reward after having completed a series of challenges or core functions. Can be from completing a Combo or j... More info|
|The theory that information should be released in the minimum possible snippets to gain the appropriate level of understanding at each point during a ... More info|
|Combos are used often in games to reward skill through doing a combination of things. This also can add excitement or incentivize doing another actio... More info|
|The game dynamic wherein an entire community is rallied to work together to solve a riddle, a problem or a challenge. Immensely viral and very fun.|
|The dynamic in which players are only given a certain amount of time to do something. This will create an activity graph that causes increased initial... More info|
|Also called Exploration, players love to discover something, to be surprised. This also can be seen in the Game Feature, Discovery. Discovery encour... More info|
|Players will be highly motivated if they believe they are working to achieve something great, something awe-inspiring, something bigger than themselve... More info|
|A dynamic in which a player feels that they are getting something for free due to someone else having done work. It's critical that work is perceived ... More info|
|Games that do not have an explicit end. Most applicable to casual games that can refresh their content or games where a static (but positive) state is... More info|
|Levels are a system, or "ramp", by which players are rewarded an increasing value for a cumulation of points. Often features or abilities are un... More info|
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|A game dynamic in which the winner is determined solely by chance. This creates a high level of anticipation. The fairness is often suspect, however w... More info|
|Ownership is a powerful Game Dynamic that creates Loyalty.|
|Points are a running numerical value given for any single action or combination of actions.
+1 Knowledge of Points!
|A dynamic in which success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing itemized tasks.|
|Also known as Challenges. Challenges usually implies a time limit or competition whereas Quests are meant to be a journey of obstacles a player must o... More info|
|The timeframe and delivery mechanisms through which rewards (points, prizes, level ups) are delivered. Three main parts exist in a reward schedule; co... More info|
|The rank or level of a player. Players are often motivated by trying to reach a higher level or status. Also relates to envy.|
|Extreme self motivation. The desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle combined with the belief that we have a reasonable hope of success.
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|A game element that requires multiple people to play (or that can be played better with multiple people)|
|Game Mechanic: Title
|Type||Progression, Feedback, Behavioral|
|Boosts||Engagement, Loyalty, Time Spent, Influence, Fun, SEO, UGC, Virality.|
|Personality Type(s)||Achievers, Explorers,
|See Also||Points, Levels, Game Design|
Each Game Mechanic is categorized by 3 Attributes:
There are three Game Mechanic Types: Progression, Feedback and Behavioral.
There are four Personality Types: Explorers, Achievers, Socializers and Killers.
There are nine Boosts: Engagement, Loyalty, Time Spent, Influence, Fun, SEO, UGC and Virality.
SCVNGR originated some of the following mechanics as part of a real life card deck http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/25/scvngr-game-mechanics/.
- Reward Systems that Drive Engagement (A presentation covering and discussing a substantial number of game mechanics and their uses)
- Lostgarden.com - What are Game Mechanics?
- Game Mechanics on Wikipedia
- The collected game design rants of Marc LeBlanc. Good content on Game Dynamics.
- Gamasutra.com - Anatomy of a Game Mechanic.
- MetaGamify - Game Mechanics Questions and Answers