Why we chose not to create a gamified app for the Hungry Hippo
- 2 minute read
This is the fifth post in a series about my work designing a gamified loyalty at the Hungry Hippo Board Game Cafe. This post introduces discusses my decision to create an analogue gamification solution instead of creating a digital app.
A question I've been asked a bit recently is, why not just create this gamified summer season pass as a mobile/web app? While I agree, the nature of such a project with quests, points, ranks, and a personal passbook to track your progress does lend itself to an app format quite well, I am intent on keeping the season pass an analogue artefact for a number of reasons:
An analogue, tangible artefact is more aligned with the theme of board games.
The Hungry Hippo doesn't have a budget for the design, build and ongoing maintenance of any digital applications.
One of our initial goals was to minimise costs wherever possible.
A physical artefact makes for great promotion of both the summer season program and the cafe, even when the players are away from the cafe.
It is my hypothesis that as players progress through the game they will develop a feeling of ownership towards their season pass booklet, it will age and become worn as they continue to bring it with them each visit. As they work their way through the ranks they will be awarded new coloured covers for their booklet, they will form an emotional connection with the artefact and this will continue to serve as a powerful motivator for players to continue to engage with the season game and therefore visit the cafe.
Gamification projects are often criticised for being expensive and time consuming, I wanted to demonstrate an idea that was both thrifty, easy to implement and agile enough that we could change aspects of the design and implementation on the fly.
While the Season Pass artefact will be tangible, it will be supported by the Hungry Hippo's web and social media channels for promotion and communicating with current and would-be season players.