A Full-Day Advanced Octalysis Gamification Workshop Instructed by Yu-Kai Chou (26th October)

Gamification is a field that is substantially taking off in today’s world. The premium research firm Gartner not only predicted that 70% of Fortune 500s will utilize gamification by 2015, there are hundreds of Gamification Case Studies with ROI stats in the double or triple digits. However, there still are many misconceptions and misunderstanding on gamification, especially when it comes to actually implementing good gamification design into your own projects. In fact, Gartner also predicted that 80% of gamification attempts would fail due to bad design. How much would you do to ensure that you are part of the 20% who gets it right and takes your business metrics to the next level?


Overview of the Workshop

This workshop will be about how to implement great gamification design that drives numbers through Yukai Chou’s Octalysis Framework. Published in late 2012, the Octalysis Gamification Framework has become a global phenomenon, being translated into over 16 different languages, and transforming many businesses throughout the world.

The premise of Octalysis is that an experience is not motivating simply because it has “game mechanics” and “game elements” in them. Every single game in the market has game mechanics in it, but most games are still boring and unsuccessful. It is unrealistic to think that, once you take those game elements (such as Points, Badges, and Leaderboards) that are even found in boring games and plug them into your project, your project will automatically be fun and successful.

Instead of focusing on various game mechanics and game elements, Octalysis focuses on the 8 Core Drives, which are our inner drives that motivate us to do anything. Everything we do is based on one or more of these 8 Core Drives; which means that if none of these 8 Core Drives are present, there is no motivation, and no behavior happens.

A great gamification designer must not simply understand how to create motivation, but also to design for the nature of that motivation – is it Black Hat or White Hat? Extrinsic or Intrinsic? Long Term Empowerment or Short Term Urgency?

This workshop will focus on how to use the Octalysis Framework to design motivating experiences that bring out our 8 Core Drives to completely meet your business objectives, whether it would be to close quick sales, motivate employees, create obsessive users, or motivate yourself towards good habits.

Why Should I Sign Up For this Workshop?

You should take the workshop if you:

  1. Want to reduce your product-market-fit runway by half (very tangible for any company with a burn-rate)
  2. Have problems with retaining users at the onboarding process
  3. Are managing people that are not excited about doing their work
  4. Have customers who are not engaged in your marketing campaigns
  5. Feel like you could use some extra motivation in your own personal improvement
  6. Want to incentivize veteran users to contribute to your ecosystem instead of leaving for your competitors
  7. Want to be more persuasive in all types of communications

About the Speaker

yu-kai-chou (1)Yu-kai Chou is a Pioneer and International Keynote Speaker on Gamification, and the Original Creator of the gamification framework: Octalysis. He is the Founder of The Octalysis Group and the Behavioral Scientist at the Israel-based gamification platform Captain Up. He has been a regular speaker/lecturer on gamification worldwide, including at organizations like Stanford University, Accenture, Tedx, SxSW, Gamified India, Huawei, the Innovation Center in Denmark, Kingdom of Bahrain, and many more.

Yu-kai was one of the earliest pioneers in Gamifcation, starting his work in the industry in 2003. In 2014, Yu-kai was ranked the “#1 Gamification Guru” by the World Gamification Congress based in Spain, as well as the UK-Based organization Rise.Global. He has helped a variety of companies, from seed stage startups to Fortune 500 companies such as eBay, Huawei, Fidelity, HP, Cisco, Wells Fargo, and more.


Yukai is at the cutting edge of the field of behavior design.”

          -Nir Eyal, Author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products


“I’ve been following Yukai’s work on gamification for years and have enjoyed his deep insights and actionable recommendations. Octalysis is a powerful and pragmatic framework to understand human nature and positive motivators that encourage people to do their best work. It’s great that Yukai was able to capture his thoughts into this framework and can share it with others through this book. It should be required reading for anyone building, managing, or collaborating with a team, community, or ecosystem.”

          -Susie Wee, CTO of Networked Experiences at Cisco Systems


Yukai’s reputation precedes him in the field of gamification, so I know him professionally before I know him personally. Professionally he’s as efficient and effective as a black hat hacker. But personally, he’s as kind and passionate as a white hat artist. Yukai himself is the perfect embodiment of his octalysis framework. You may have only seen some aspect of him; but believe me, he has all 8 sides of the octagon, plus the center—he’s sensational.”

         – Michael Wu, Chief Scientist of Lithium 


“Yu–kai‘s Insights were instrumental in helping Lucky Diem supercharge our client La Quinta’s bookings per user by 206% and incremental revenue per user by $157 (132% Lift) against the control group. Being able to achieve a viral coefficient of 530%, I would recommend any business to work with Yu–kai and learn his Octalysis Framework.”

          –Andrew Landis, Founder & CEO of Lucky Diem


“So I would like to let Yu–Kai and all of you know that one of the companies that I work for has already been transformed thanks to the Strategy Dashboard. Our projects have a much better direction, we have found new ways to monitor the projects as well as monetize them. Our designers love it as it has helped them design more focused interfaces with direct links to the actions we want to encourage….the CEO is itching to get on the next course as well. So Thank you Yu–kai Chou You have truly helped me.”

          Ryan Julyan, Former Workshop Attendee (South Africa)

Agenda: 26 October 2016

The workshop is broken down into two sections:

1. Fundamentals

We will cover the basic groundwork of Octalysis, including topics such as:

  • Gamification as Human-Focused Design
  • Why most gamification projects fail
  • Introduction to the Octalysis Framework
  • Introduction to the 8 Core Drives
  • Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling
  • Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment
  • Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback
  • Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession
  • Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness
  • Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience
  • Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity
  • Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance
  • Black Hat vs White Hat Gamification
  • Left Brain (Extrinsic Tendency) vs Right Brain (Intrinsic Tendency) Gamification
  • 4 Experience Phases of a Player’s Journey: 1) Discovery 2) Onboarding 3) Scaffodling 4) Endgame
  • Practice Assignments towards the Level 1 Octalysis Certificate

2. Applying Octalysis

The second part of the workshop will be about applying what we have acquired as our knowledge on the previous section to actual projects and examples in the real world. We will start to analyze many projects through the lenses of Octalysis and see how they motivate people, if they are White Hat or Black Hat focused, and how we would improve those experiences. We will also start to dig deeper into the Strategy Dashboard and work on many projects.

  • Examine many addictive games through the lenses of Octalysis and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the motivational strategies of those games, as well as the nature of the Core Drives they used.
  • Identify pitfalls of the games discussed and methods to improve the design through Octalysis
  • Examine many successful (as well as failed) real-world projects and products through the lenses of Octalysis and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the motivational strategies of those games, as well as the nature of the Core Drives they used.
  • Identify pitfalls of the products and the experiences discussed and methods to improve the design through Octalysis
  • Introduce a few specific new problems to solve
    • 5 Items to define in The Strategy Dashboard of any gamification campaign (Business Metrics, Players, Desired Actions -> Win-States, Feedback Mechanics, and Rewards/Incentives)
  • Group walk through of the Octalysis Process, starting with Defining the Strategy Dashboard
  • Group walk through of the Discovery Phase of the problem to solve
  • Group walk through of the Onboarding Phase of the problem to solve
  • Group walk through of the Scaffodling Phase of the problem to solve
  • Group walk through of the Endgame Phase of the problem to solve
  • Create an Effect-Ease Feature List through Spreadsheets
  • Using the preceding results, derive an Actionable Concept Wireframe of the Solution