Sunday, June 1, 2008

Motivating the player using leaderboards

What makes me keep coming back to Star Soldier R to improve my score is its clever use of leader boards. When you have beaten your record in either 2 minute mode or 5 minute mode you get to see where you place in comparison to the rest of the world. But this is not really interesting, knowing that Im in 5000th place doesnt really motivate me keep playing. The top spot is so far away that it feels impossible to reach. The developer has to narrow the competition somehow.

In the last game that I got obsessed about my ranking in, Planet Puzzle League. You are only ranked against people who share your birthday. This is a typical quirky Nintendo idea but it worked great because it wasnt out of my reach to be the best in the world among people who were born on the 3rd of January.

Star Soldier R does it in a less unconventional way. It ranks you against people in you country. I might be 2531th in the world on 5 minute mode but Im 14th in Sweden, and thats nothing to laugh at. Then the ultimate goal doesnt seem that far away and every step higher you climb on the ladder matters. This is what keeps me coming back to Star Soldier every time I have a few minutes to spare.

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