After reading six of my classmates gamification outlines, all of them incorporated a storyline, and I can appreciate the creativity and efforts they made with this aspect of gamification. I can not see myself doing this. I really think it distracts from game play, although some games do involve a story line, even though it might be a simple goal.
I downloaded a new version of one of my favorite arcade games of all time on my iPhone this weekend, Galaga. But it was updated in several ways, the player can choose from a handfull of fighters to use during attacks of insect squadrons, and the ammunition that is used to fire at the enemy can be upgraded from a simple “bullet” to “blasting bombs” or “rapid firing”. I also noticed that they incorporated “leveling up” by collecting coins, which are left after destroying certain insects, and some of the insects offer a “shield” that allows a player to have special abilities for a short amount of time. It was quite an interesting coincidence that I downloaded this game after learning about gamification, and specifically game mechanics. I saw these elements in the new version that was not in the original version. Even the sequence of levels were similar, but quite different in appearance.
But the “story” was still the same: Kill the insects until you die! Unfortunately, like most new games that are free, they are inundated with in-app purchases that offer more game mechanics, or abilities. It’s one of the new financial elements of games these days that is quite annoying and definitely distracts from enjoying a game.
It’s been a great learning experience this semester and I hope my gamification outline for my class is satisfactory. It is great that businesses are tackling gamification too, but they are already finding difficulty in maintaining good game play. It is mostly due to not developing the game mechanics properly, not because gamification doesn’t work. If done properly, gamification should work in any endeavor.