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A Sneak-Peek Into Our First Gamification Masterclass Meetup

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

I’ve had many people ask, “Organising an event must be so much fun, right?”. Yes, it is but rather, a mixed feeling.

There’s this gush of emotions. You experience excitement, worry, uncertainty, hope and a constant itch to ensure everything is perfect!

That’s why I won’t make Flyy’s first-ever offline event, a Masterclass on Gamification by Somnath Meher (Product Leader, Zynga India), just about the topic and numbers.

Instead, I’m going to keep it raw.

I’ll tell you all about behind-the-scenes stories on how we as a team made sure that we delivered a meaningful meetup for our product managers/designers/gamification enthusiasts.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

1 Week Before Our Gamification Event

“Hey! Share the event post with me, I’ll share it with my LinkedIn network”, said Vaishnavi and I’ve to tell you that it really made me happy.

Because in my past work experience, it was usually just the marketing team who’d promote an event. The other teams would do only when approached multiple times.

And here I was, being proactively asked by our Product Ninja for the event collaterals.


Soon, even other team members began to repost my event post on LinkedIn and this gesture was enough to say that we were in it together.

1 Day Before Our Gamification Event

It was a Friday afternoon. Vaishnavi, Aadhi (Sales Ninja) and I roamed around Koramangala streets, curating all the things we needed for event logistics.

Thanks to our CEO, Sunny, we knew exactly where we had to go looking for them. So all we had to do was finalise the items and leave them for Saroj to collect afterwards.

Later that evening, our office was filled with laughter and echos as our Design Ninja, Prakash set up a projector and mic.

One after the other, we all spoke in mic, as though trying to embrace a hidden anchor in us and just like that, we were ready to roll for the event day.



The day we’d all been waiting for finally arrived on Saturday. Our gamification meetup co-organised by HelloMeets (a startup community that organises meetups) was to start at 11 AM.

We reached the office at 10 AM and started setting our office space up to welcome attendees. Chairs were moved, water bottles were kept, tea was served and snacks waited.

Next, all we did was eagerly wait for 90+ registrants to actually show up.

I use the word “actually” because let’s face it. This was our very first offline meetup. Were we nervous? Big time! Was it because we were under-prepared?

No! In fact, we were over-prepared to make sure everything runs smoothly. So what was that about? It was the turn-up ratio.

We were slightly worried if we’d be able to burst the remote events bubble formed by the pandemic and if people would actually show up.

But all of our worries vanished into the thin air when we saw our first attendee walk in.

Next, we saw a bunch more people walk in and soon we reached a count of 45 attendees with that spirit, we finally kicked off our meetup on gamification.


Masterclass on Gamification

The meetup began with Somnath Meher talking about how core gaming behaviour is for humans.

The global gaming market was valued at $222 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $339.95 billion by 2027.

This itself is way more than other entertainment industries combined (Global Movies Market $95 billion and Global Music Market $28 billion).

After bringing the gamification potential into perspective, Somnath continued to enlighten the audience on various aspects of game mechanics, loop, narrative, motivators and applications.

Let’s understand each, one by one.

How Do Games Work?

Remember the time we used to spend hours playing the Mario game, trying to cross different levels, finding secret tunnels and hidden mushrooms, all to rescue Princess Peach?

Brings back good old childhood memories, doesn’t it? I’m sure it does and if we look closer, we’ll see that the game, like every other, has 3 layers.

  1. Core mechanic

  2. Game loop

  3. Meta Narrative

Now, every game has the first layer, the core mechanic. It makes players do a very specific single thing over and over again.

That mechanic is moulded into a game loop which goes like

  • Making players do a task

  • Rewarding them for doing it

  • Letting them sync what they have gained based on the progress made

  • Then keep repeating it

But the core mechanic lets players engage for a very specific amount of time. It helps get the first level of engagement or interaction (D1 - D3 engagement).

So how to ensure that a player is hooked and sustained in the game? By extending engagement beyond this point using the second layer, the game loop.

It makes sure that a player does a task repeatedly (D7 - D14 retention).

The third layer is where the actual design of games comes in which is a meta layer or meta-narrative. This is when you give a player a larger goal to achieve.

In Mario’s case, it’s the princess he has to rescue.

In the case of the Mario game, the core mechanic is running, completing various levels is the game loop and the meta-narrative is rescuing the princess.

Similarly, in the case of the Angry Birds game, players fling to kill pigs (core mechanic).

It becomes interesting because they unlock new levels and collect rewards (core loop) and the meta-narrative is taking revenge on the pigs for eating bird’s eggs which made birds angry in the first place.


In the case of Candy Crush, players solve a puzzle (core mechanic) and then unlock new levels (core loop) but the meta-narrative is that there’s a saga to complete.

How Do Games Work?

Why do people play games or use a product? It’s because of 4 motivators.

1. Achievement (Gratify): People in a digital platform like to own things such as collections, rewards and upgrades. For example, Fitbit badges.


2. Social (Validate): People like extrinsic validation that comes via connecting with other people and exchanging information which is the base of social connection. There are 2 kinds of social activity.

a. Competitive: Making people compete with each other. You can have scorecards or leaderboards.

b. Co-operation: PubG uses this where you form teams.

3. Narrative (Excite): This motivator has an element of surprise like choices. Storytelling games like Episode leverage this.


4. Mastery (Evolve): For every task a player does, their level of mastery increases. Skill-based platforms or games are based on this like Chess.

Next, Somnath mapped these motivators to non-gaming environments.

How Non-gaming Environment Can Benefit From Motivators?

Keeping brands like Myntra and Google Pay at the centre, Somnath then drew a circle connecting these motivators to their gamification.

1. Reward System In 2020, Myntra introduced Myntra Move which allowed users to sync their fitness activity to their android device. For this, they introduced a reward system by defining a key task and adding point-based rewards for completing tasks.