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I have implemented with 3 friends a gamified system at my work (development company) which builds an fantasy rpg game over scrum project methodology. Generally, the tasks are the missions, each player is represented by a character. They earn XPs for completing tasks and they advance to the next levels which gives them badges, titles and (this is in planning phase) new privileges (e.g. priority in choosing tasks).

Since the very beginning we try to do everything to avoid rivalisation between players because it would ruin the project if the players started to compete. There are no explicit leaderboards, we also plan to give bonuses for helping other players.

I have a feeling that this is still not enough to really encourage cooperation. I would like to ask You for any ideas that come to Your mind that would help.

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If I was working somewhere that decided they wanted to give me "XP," award "levels," and present "badges," for what is fundamentally just doing my job, I'd quit and get a real job for a real company that was doing real work which brought about real rewards. I mean, honestly. Do they realise that they're paying you to do this? –  Trevor Powell Jan 1 '13 at 19:13
    
Yeah, it sounds like a terrible place to work, but why the downvotes? I'd be interested to hear the answers, from the perspective of how to encourage cooperation with strangers in multiplayer games. –  Anko Jan 2 '13 at 14:20
    
Actaully I won't tell You what my company is but I guess if You're curious, google can tell You that. Implementing gamification in our project was accepted by my direct manager, and his boss so Yes, they know very well what I am doing. To be honest, this does not take me more than 1 hour / week once we spent some time to initially set this up. We're doing periodical anonymous surveys and as for now team likes this very much even those guys who wasn't convinced at the beginning. –  Grzegorz Sławecki Jan 2 '13 at 15:46
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The clue is that we're not substituting real rewards, real payments. Nobody from the team is forced to play. They can do what they wan't to do and do not even bother with the game. But the real added value is that they do more than expected to gain in the game - and this gives them real rewards outside of the game. We're working closely with the managers and they know that they cannot treat in-game achievements as a substitute for real recognition. The game just helps them to see who's doing what and who deserves real recognition. –  Grzegorz Sławecki Jan 2 '13 at 15:51
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@GrzegorzSławecki For the record, I paid the rent working as a programmer in the games industry for almost fifteen years. I led teams, I made hiring decisions, I worked the long hours. And my feeling is that when any company decides it would be a good use company time to award and track employee 'avatars', 'XP', and 'badges', that's a bad sign. That either the company doesn't know what it's doing, or that they have a major problem with downward communication regarding performance in any other way. And either of those is, in my opinion, a very good reason to find a better place to work. –  Trevor Powell Jan 3 '13 at 1:52

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Perhaps make it so that:

  1. Players can trade tasks with others to get assignments better suited to their interests or skills. As pointed out in the comments, this could lead to players gaming the system by taking good tasks and sitting on them for trading later. To prevent this, perhaps a task could have something like a "timeout" and if it sits in a player's queue for longer than that timeout it becomes "up for grabs" again and they are docked points. Similar to what might happen if you promise to finish X tasks for a sprint but fail to do so. This will stop people from pulling good tasks and sitting on them. Players can avoid the point loss by trading their task to another player and in this case the timer resets for both tasks. This should encourage interaction with other players,e.g. p1 and p2 are both about to lose points on a task so they trade tasks in order to start fresh.

  2. A player can decide to share a task with another player such that both of them working to complete it. When it is completed they both earn a percentage of the reward.

You might award specific badges or privileges for "number of assists" to benefit players who invest time working with others.

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1. I cant actually see how this would work. I'm afraid it would lead to players taking tasks as fast as they can to reach something through trading. Maybe You could write something more on this idea? –  Grzegorz Sławecki Dec 20 '12 at 15:01
    
2. I like this idea, we'll need to discuss this one. –  Grzegorz Sławecki Dec 20 '12 at 15:02
    
I added some more details on 1, hopefully they will be helpful. –  Ryan Maloney Dec 20 '12 at 15:29
    
Great! Thank You, i like this idea of timers very much. –  Grzegorz Sławecki Dec 20 '12 at 15:39
    
In point 1, how do you keep players from eternally trading around tasks to reset their timers without ever actually doing said tasks? –  sarahm Mar 18 '13 at 10:11

You can use a "party system" that allow the player invite another player to help him in your quest. Who invite gets a bonus and who is invited too. This kind of approach (mutual bonuses) help the players to work together. Its good ask for help and is good be "asked for help".

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I will also discuss this idea with my team. It might be helpful. Thank You. –  Grzegorz Sławecki Dec 20 '12 at 15:06

Only a small idea, but maybe you could make the complete sprint backlog a (team) quest and when all tickets are finished in time they all get experience?

Or like when the bug backlog is empty at the end of the day, they get some additional experience or badges or whatever your RPG includes. This would make them fix bugs rapidly.

I guess generally team quests are a feature to make them work together.

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Yes, such a common resonsibility should increase cooperation. This, however arises second problem, cause if each memeber of the team earns the same amount of experience, the only benefit would be faster development of their character. Our current gamification implementation has another flaw, that actually levelling leads to nothing really attractive. –  Grzegorz Sławecki Dec 20 '12 at 15:05

Here is one idea which have worked since the begining of my experimentation: since we work with Agile, one of our Skills on the character profile is the Agility, and you can gain points on this by finishing the task in a pre-set time; for example, the estimation of the whole task (not brokendown) is 15h, and the character finish it in 10h, so he/she gains some agility.

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Please update your profile to include your contact info –  ashes999 Jan 1 '13 at 16:02
    
This is not a place to solicit. Please read the FAQ to learn how to use this site. This is not an answer to the question. –  Byte56 Jan 1 '13 at 16:24
    
@ashes999 That's not how the site should be used and you shouldn't be promoting it. –  Byte56 Jan 1 '13 at 16:33
    
@Byte56 here is a new user who cannot post a comment. I am basing this precedence on other questions which mentioned "I have removed contact information from your post since it's against our terms of use, please add it to your profile if you wish to be contacted." I also try to benefit people who came here for help, even if this is not the best place or way to help them -- at least let them leave with something, even if it includes some DVs and mean comments from other users. (Not criticizing your above comment) –  ashes999 Jan 1 '13 at 16:37
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I think that promoting of finishing tasks earlier in such an explicit way isn't a good idea. This might lead to intentionally wrong estimations. –  Grzegorz Sławecki Jan 2 '13 at 16:26

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