This is the second post in a series about my work designing a gamified loyalty at the Hungry Hippo Board Game Cafe. This post explores some of the initial decisions made in estabishing a framework and game constraints for the gamified loyalty program.
One of the first things I set out to do was establish some time and scope constraints for the program. Brendan, the cafe owner, had outlined a 6 month time frame in which he was happy to test out the idea. We had little-to-no budget, so we needed to define some constraints to avoid scope creep, however it was crucial that our structure was flexible enough to provide us with opportunities for us to fine-tune the mechanisms throughout the 6 months, in response to players feedback.
We decided to use the full 6 months for our trial, running from January to the end of June. This block of time would be referred to as a ‘season’. There would be two seasons a year: ‘Summer’ January to June, and ‘Winter’ July to December.
The distinction between the two seasons would give us the opportunity to revise and refresh the concept after analysis all the findings and lessons learnt from the completion of the first season. It also gave us some wiggle room regarding game and scoring mechanics. Tasks could be reset or rewritten, scores could be zero’d out, ranks could be reset, end of season prizes could be rewarded. While we didn't know which of these mechanics we wanted to use yet, we knew that by blocking the time into respective seasons, we’d have more control over the game environment down the line.
Next in this series: Defining player ranks, scoring and progression.