Gamification Mechanic Monday: Difficulty
The level of difficulty of a game will encourage some to enjoy a game more and others will be turned off by it. Having a strategy regarding difficulty levels however is a good thing to decide from the outset. Saying that if you make a game too easy people will get bored and if you make it too hard people will stop playing, so it is a balancing act. Many games companies use algorithms to adapt to the player’s display of skill and increase their chances of making it through a level, others insist you try and find the one path that is the ultimate best way to get you through.
In gamification design difficulty levels are often a point of discussion. The steady increase of difficulty of gamification achievements may result in opt-outs quicker than in games, because in the end of the day you want gamification to aid progress and not hinder. However when using gamification to test knowledge and learning, tougher standards can be useful. Adaptive learning management systems and scenarios based on choices will be of great assistance to give a more personalised experience adapted to the individual’s level of competency. Unlocking new content or free items in marketing shouldn’t be easy but commensurate with the given reward in my view. At least it will feel like a real reward when you had to do a bit of work to achieve it.
How are you using difficulty in your gamification designs?