This is the fourth post in a series about my work designing a gamified loyalty at the Hungry Hippo Board Game Cafe. This post introduces the 'booster pack' artifact which allowed us to inject new quests into the game community.
The original season pass launched with 22 quests. Even after launching the Hippo team continued to have new ideas for quests and as events such as TableTopDay edged closer we started to think about how the season pass would intertwine with these events.
My solution to this problem was the idea of a Quest Booster Pack. Booster packs consist of a one or two page supplement to the season pass that can slot into the season pass and contain anywhere from 4 - 10 quests that contribute to their season rank.
These booster packs can have an expiry date or can simple just form part of the season they are released in.
Having the booster packs in our arsenal allowed us to both keep player progression on track throughout the season and amend any mistakes we have made in previously releases. I expand on both situations.
As mentioned in my previous post, before we launched we outlined a created a scoring model which defined what each player would need to do (and therefore how many points they would accrue) in order to progress to a new rank. After we had to cancel the March and April tournaments we were left with a problem. Tournament attendance awards players 30 points for each tournament they participate in. By removing 2 tournaments from the season there were now 60 points fewer available within the game. As such players were not advancing to the rank of silver as quickly as I had planned, they were falling further behind as the first two months of the season went on.
To combat this we used the Quest Booster Packs to inject available points into the game to replace those lost by the cancelled tournaments. Thus giving players additional avenues to progress through the ranks, thus maintain the projected player progressions we had defined before launch.
We admit it, we’re human, we make mistakes, heaps of them! One of the early mistakes we made in the launch of the summer season was assuming that a majority of our customers were active on Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare. In truth, we knew Twitter and Foursquare adoption would be low, but we expected that most players would have an account on at least one of these channels, thus allowing them to unlock any social media based quests. However as we’ve gotten to know our player base we’ve learnt that a growing number of them are not active on any of these channels. While some were happy to pick up these new channels, some were either unwilling, unable to (no smartphone), or too young to sign up for some accounts. And thus whenever a social media based quest was presented they were rendered unable to complete it.
So to combat this situation we used unique quests within boosters to offer a fun alternative to these tasks that would be used by these individuals so they were still able to obtain 100% completion without being forced into signing up for a social account on a platform they didn't use. For example in the Community Choice Booster the quest “But I’m not on Instagram” allows users to bring in a printed out photo of themselves and stick it on the way, to unlock both that quest and the original Instagram quest (they wouldn’t receive double points though).
Booster packs are each themed, for instance the very first booster pack we created was the Community Choice Booster. We asked the Summer Season Facebook group to brainstorm ideas for quests they would like to see included in the summer season. Within 72 hours we had 86 quest suggestions. After validating each one using the above criteria we produced a list of 35 quests which the community ultimately voted on to produce a 10 quest booster pack. The subsequent quests were used for future event and supplementary booster packs.
Next in this series: Why we chose not to create a gamified app for the Hungry Hippo