Daily Form: Point Bounties!

Daily Form: Point Bounties!

At Starbucks A few gameplay-oriented refinements today occurred to me as I sat in the sun at Starbucks. In a word: bounties.

What’s New

January 21 Form I spent about 30 minutes going back through the week’s data and filling in the form on my printed sheet, and then transcribed the changes to the source Illustrator file. As I updated the sheets, some optimizations came to mind:

  • Bounties – Looking at what I didn’t get done yesterday on the “focus” part of the sheet, I thought that I should get a point bump if I cleared the list. 10 points! Big score! Finishing everything is a big deal! And then I applied the same thinking to items that are specifically listed in each silo; if you actually complete an item that’s listed, you get some points! Although I’m sticking to the 10 point max, there’s no reason why I couldn’t do more. What I especially like about bounties is that it introduces a second point-based play mechanism that rewards not just tasks, but also efficiency in doing them. And, it encourages you to scour areas of the form to find opportunities to optimize your approach for the day to score MORE points which, as the intended side-effect, mean that we are being more mindful about how we’re spending our time. One example: if you want to score the extra 10 points for clearing your queue for the day, you will be careful about not putting too much in there. At the same time, you want to make sure you have enough to do so you are scoring points for getting things done. It’s an interesting balance. And, it’s good game design: exploiting the natural human tendency to game the system for one’s own advantage is a powerful mechanism.

  • Color Coding – I dropped the color coding of the CGT bubbles on the bottom right. TOO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT. I can always skim the day logs to see what was what. Color coding just makes more busywork for updating the form. That would go away in an automated software version, but for me now…not necessary.

So those are today’s updates. I’m thinking more about what software platform would be ideal to develop a prototype, and although C# and Adobe AIR were intriguing me, I think I should just take a straight Web Application approach to this. I’ve been learning way too much about WordPress innards lately, and I’m developing an unwanted competency in CSS and PHP; might as well see what I can do with it! :)

13 Comments

  1. Federico Figueredo 9 years ago
    I thought that I should get a point bump if I cleared the list. 10 points! Big score! Finishing everything is a big deal!

    This reminds me of some of the ideas in Where the **** did my day go by Matthew Cornell. I think you wrote something about it a year or so ago?

    What I especially like about bounties is that it introduces a second point-based play mechanism that rewards not just tasks, but also efficiency in doing them. And, it encourages you to scour areas of the form to find opportunities to optimize your approach for the day to score MORE points which, as the intended side-effect, mean that we are being more mindful about how we’re spending our time.

    Now all you need is a consistent method for linking specific point amounts to desirable rewards and you’re off! ;)

    Cheers!

    • Author
      Dave Seah 9 years ago

      It’s possible that Matt wrote about that as well…it’s been a while since I looked at it. It’s a pretty common game mechanism. One of my long-time interests as an interactive / game designer is in motivating players using tangible rewards to manage expectations (you can see this in all my productivity design work); having multiple overlapping goal systems is one of the ways to maintain a semblance of choice. In recent years, for example, MMORPGs have been using “accolade” systems to add an additional layer of meaning to what ordinarily would be considered a grind.

  2. Katrina 9 years ago

    Shouldn’t Tuesday be 23 points and Thursday be 24?

    • Author
      Dave Seah 9 years ago

      Yes? :)

  3. Lynn O;Connor 9 years ago

    When will you send us a version to play with?

  4. Author
    Dave Seah 9 years ago

    Lynn: I’m not sure how useful it’ll be since there’s so much text entry! Do you want just the blank shell?

    • GreggB 9 years ago

      The blank shell would be great. Maybe a fillable/printable PDF form?

    • Lynn O'Connor 9 years ago

      YES!! Whatever you send I’ll fool around with it. I’m couch ridden right now with a cold virus, even canceled my seminar for tomorrow, send it on.

    • Amanda 9 years ago

      Yes!!!

  5. Sue Thomas 9 years ago

    @Lynn — I second the motion! @David — a shell would be perfect to start with! The five column headings could be blank, as we don’t all have blogs …. I’ve really enjoyed following your development of this approach and would like to try it out after I retire at the end of January!

  6. Federico Figueredo 9 years ago

    @Dave

    One of my long-time interests as an interactive / game designer is in motivating players using tangible rewards to manage expectations.

    To put it in chan-speak, very relevant to my interests. Have you written anything in particular about game design as applied to productivity? (if there’s a category or something along those lives I’ve not found it.)

    • Author
      Dave Seah 9 years ago

      The original writeup for the Concrete Goals Tracker and its followup post The Making Of go into some of the game design-inspired nuggets, but there isn’t a whole category devoted to such musings. You could sum up my game design philosophy as “the game is in the player’s mind”; it’s really the same skillset as that of the communication designer, with the added element of interaction and user agency.

  7. Aurelius Tjin 9 years ago

    The idea of putting balance to finishing tasks on queue and to efficiency is such a great idea. It’s an internal check & balance. good work!