These are a documentation and answers of frequently asked questions about Gamification Platform. You will find information about configuration and the ways of using the platform.
- Getting Started
- Administrator Guide
- Menu items
- Game Mechanics
- Gamification Library
- Developer Guide
- Developers FAQ
- How to debug the system and payment plug-ins?
- How to change PHP version on your hosting?
- How to edit views of the extension?
- How to customize styles for a component page and modules?
- How to override the styles of the component?
- How to include missed Twitter Bootstrap styles and components?
- How to disable strict errors?
- How to contribute code to the platform?
Download and Install
I guess, you have already installed Joomla! and now you have to download Gamification Platform package.
Go to "Extension Manager" and install the package.
If you are installing the extension for the first time, you will see a list of installed libraries, plugins and modules. You will also see a list of minimum requirements. If the system displays red indicators for unfulfilled requirement, it will be good to find a way to fix it.
You must download and install ITPrism Library, because the extension needs it to work properly.
The minimum requirements to run the extension properly are:
- Joomla! v3.4.x
- PHP 5.5.x
- MySQL 5.5.3+
- jQuery 1.9.x
- cURL, fopen
- Magic Quotes disabled
- mod_rewrite loaded on the server
- Fileinfo loaded on the server
- Bootstrap 3 based template
Use the extension options to configure Gamification Platform. Go to "Dashboard" and click on the button "Options." Review the settings and save them.
Those options are used for managing the media files (images, videos), that you will upload - badges, trophies, rewards, achievements, etc...
Those options integrates the gamification platform with third-party extensions like JomSocial, EasySocial, Kunena, Community Builder, Social Community. When you integrate it, the system will display avatars and store activities in those community extensions.
There are views that display list with gamification things like notifications, rewards, achievements, activities,...
You should create a menu item that will display to these things.
- Select a menu and click on the button "New"
- Select a "Menu Item Type"
- Enter "Menu Title," alias and some of the advanced options if you want.
The groups are platform element that you should used to grouping the game mechanics. To describe them better, I will give you some examples.
Group 1 "Levels and Ranks"
I would like to gamify user behavior. I will use points, levels and ranks.
I will give points to the user, every time, when he buys an item from my store. He will get levels and will reach ranks whenever reach the required points.
I will give specified discount to the users with higher levels and ranks.
Group 2 "Virtual Currency"
I want to give other kind of points to the users, which share the items from my store to theirs friends. The users will be able exchange this points for discounts.
The points are main game mechanic and it is one of the most-used things for controlling user behaviors. They are used to keep score and establish status. They can also be used as virtual currency that could be collected and exchanged for real goods and services.
You will have to give a name and abbreviation when you create points.
Badges (also known as achievement badges) provide recognition and feedback. They are an indicator of accomplishment or mastery of a skill, especially meaningful within a community that understands its value. They are often used to identify skills and expertise within a group.
You should provide a badge image.
The badges can be given for reaching a certain number of points. To do that, you should enter the number of points and select points type.
The gamification platform comes with plugins, which calculate and give badges automatically.
The rank of a player shows his status. Players are often motivated by trying to reach higher rank or status.
It is a similar to badges and you should provide an image. The ranks can be gained when users reach a certain number of points.
Levels serve two important roles in gamification systems: They indicate progress and they convey status. In a gamified system, a level is effectively a rank that corresponds to the player. It’s earned through accomplishments and represents additional privileges or abilities. The change in level occurs when the user reaches a set point threshold.
There are several parameters, that you can use for the levels in your gamification strategy.
- Points - You can set number of points that have to be collected to reach a level.
- Value - this is a numerical value of the level, which you can display on your pages.
- Rank - you can select a rank for levels. For example: I have four ranks - Customer, Silver Customer, Gold Custom, Diamond Customer. I can create levels from 1 to 5 for every rank. The ranks will contain levels (Customer level 1, Customer level 2,...).
Achievements are a virtual or physical representation of having accomplished something. Achievements can be easy, difficult, surprising, funny, accomplished alone or as a group. Achievements are a way to give players a way to brag about what they've done indirectly as well as add challenge and character to a game. Achievements are often considered "locked" until you have met the series of tasks that are required to "unlock" the Achievement.
Fixed or random rewards add big doses of another great component: surprise! Surprise and mistery are really fun things to implement in a game and they can serve to many purposes, from "beginner's luck" in the onboarding to take aback some more experienced players cause great lots of excitement in players that will soon start making their theories of what are those new rewards that appear from time to time.
Profile is cool frame, are the perfect way of deploying status, customization, and making people express themselves as they want: heroes, villains, wise men, etc. Besides, having cool avatars make you the center of attention, and people like having their own glory time!
Notifications ( Feedback )
One game mechanic that helps to encourage engagement is feedback, or the broadcast of well-written, helpful, engaging on-screen messaging in the form of real-time notifications within the game system and/or via e-mail when users perform a desired behavior, level up, unlock a reward, or need to complete an additional behavior in order to earn their next reward.
This is another type of feedback intended for the community. This information will be displayed to the users, which are part of the user community circle - friends, followers,...That will notify them about the things, which the user has been done.
A dynamic in which success is granularity displayed and measured through the process of completing itemized tasks.
You can display the progress using the module "Gamification Profile."
Leaderboards bring in the social aspect of points and badges, by displaying the players on a list, typically ranked in descending order with the greatest number of points at the top. People at the top enjoy the notoriety that brings; as for everyone else, the leaderboard shows them where they stand relative to their peers. Often, the very presence of a leaderboard can elicit the desire to play. The simple goal of rising up the rankings serve as a powerful motivator to continue.
The gamification library is a collection of classes that can be used for gamifying Joomla! extensions. The classes are part of the Gamification Platform and they work only on the platform.
Here you are examples and detailed information about the Gamification API.
The modules are Joomla! extensions that display blocks with content. They can be placed on predefined position included in the template. They are assigned per menu items.
There are some modules, which are parts of the gamification platform. They display information about the badges, levels and ranks. They also show notifications messages and progress bar.
This module displays a list with latest users activities.
This module displays a list with notifications.
This is a module that visually displays where a user stands in regard to other users.
This is a module that shows information about user points, level, rank, progress and badges.
Plug-ins add additional features on the website. Gamification Platform comes with several plugins and you can find them on the "Plug-in Manager". Enable those that you would like to use.
User - Gamification
This plug-in creates a user profile to the platform and gives units (points) to users after registration.
System - Gamification
This plug-in registers the object that will be handled when someone add points to its profile. If the user has reached a certain number of points, the plugin will increase his level or rank. It will also give him a badge.
Content - Gamification
This plug-in gives points to users when they read an article. The users have to be registered and signed in the website.
How to translate Gamification Platform?
You can translate this extension in your language using Transifex. Go to the system and sign in. Find Gamification Platform translation project and start translating. If you need more information, read the article "How to translate ITPrism extensions in your language?"
You can also use ITP Transifex to create language packages.
How to get FREE support?
You can report issues on Gamification Platform GitHub repository.
If you have any questions, you can send them to me, using the contact form. Please, send me a message with only one question. When I answer you, you will be able to send me your next one.
How to upgrade the extension?
The better way to upgrade the extensions is:
- Make a backup of your site ( database and files ) ( optional but highly recommended );
- Install the new version over the old one ( all previous data will be saved );
- Check the extension settings and menu items for changes;
- Check for a new version of Prism Library. If there is a new version, install it.
- You should also upgrade all other modules and plugins, which work with Gamification Platform.
How to get support?
You can post issues on Gamification Platform GitHub repository. If you have any questions, you can send me a mail from the contact form. If you need premium support you are able to subscribe for my premium services on ITPrism members site.