Motivational Design

Lenses and Patterns for Motivational Game Design

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Editing Guidelines


The first rule: Have fun. The second rule: You know that guy. Don't be that guy. The third rule: If there are any questions, ask.

Getting Started

  • If you have a technical question, the DokuWiki manual is an excellent place to start.
  • The syntax help page is a good starter for how to write the dokuwiki syntax.
  • To create a new page, simply create an internal link in an existing page (like the start page) and then click on that link, which will take you to the page with the header “This page does not exist yet.”
  • The “edit page” button will then be a “create page” button. Click on that, and you've created the page. If you want to try out editing, use the playground.
  • I have created templates for lenses and patterns: So to start a new pattern or lens, simply go to the pattern template or lens template, click “edit page”, copy the contents, and paste them into the page of your new pattern or lens. Or you can copy/paste the filled out juicy feedback pattern or juicy feedback lens and then replace the content.

Authorship and Editorship

Each of you has assigned a main motivational process (identity, goal-setting, competence etc.) that you are responsible for as an editor. This means:

  • You are ultimately responsible for there being patterns and lenses for this process.
  • You have the final say for this area what patterns and lenses there will be, and the final say in all writing and editing decisions. Please use that mandate kindly and responsibly.

This does not mean

  • that you are the only person to write in that area – you should actively encourage the others to fill in and help you;
  • that you should limit your own writing and editing only to your area – just as the others help you, you should help them.

In the pattern and lens template, you will find a heading “Authors”. The simple (well) rule here is: Everyone who has made a significant contribution to a page (beyond fixing spelling or adding a link) should be credited as one author under that heading. Authors should be listed in the order of their contribution: Who contributed the most is listed first, and so on. In practice, this will likely mean that most of the time, the person starting a pattern and making the first draft will be the first author. If you start a new page or make a significant change to it, simply add your name (in the right order) under the header “Authors”.

Discussions and Edit Summaries

If you simply wish to add to or edit an existing page, unless the editor of that section has specified a different process, just go forth and add/edit. When you edit a page, underneath the edit window is a little field titled “Edit summary”. It is polite to fill that out and describe what edit you made before you hit “Save”.

If you have disagreements, comments, or additions that you feel you would like to discuss with others or the editor first (what on Wikipedia would happen on the “Talk” page of an article), there's a section conveniently titled “Discussion” under each page that effectively functions like a comment thread – use that. The “Discussion” section will not be visible to regular visitors of the wiki that are not logged-in as users.

Namespaces and Pages

DokuWiki operates with namespaces, which are similar to folders or directories, and pages, which are basic files.

Namespaces can be nested, and a page can only ever belong to one (nested) namespace.

To add a page to a namespace (and pages can only belong to one namespace), when naming a page, simply write the namespace(s) it belongs to before its pagename, separated by a colon:


For instance:


The convention of this wiki is that there are four main namespaces:

  • about contains all “meta” content – editing guidelines, contributor pages, and so on;
  • motivations contains the main motivation pages: competence, autonomy, curiosity, etc.;
  • components contains the main pages for different components of a game, separated into “mechanics”, “fiction”, and “interface”.
  • lenses holds the patterns and lenses.

This means that when you create a new pattern or lens, you should create a page that you name so that it belongs to the namespace lenses, like so



In order to keep our wiki useful, we need some controlled vocabulary. This is specifically important for cross-linking and cross-referencing. As you see in the sidebar, I have created a core set of pages for standing terms that constitute the “Categories” – essentially the “tags” – that each pattern or lens links to.

The rules are:

  1. The names of the motivations as found in the sidebar are fixed and to be named and linked to, i.e.
    1. Competence
    2. Autonomy
    3. Relatedness
    4. Meaning
    5. Curiosity
    6. Surprise and Humor
    7. Suspense
    8. Engrossment
    9. Control Beliefs
    10. Identity
    11. Goal-setting
    12. Learning and habit
  2. The names of core areas of mechanics as found in the sidebar are fixed and to be named and linked to, i.e.
    1. Goals
    2. Rules
    3. Feedback
    4. Challenge
    5. Player Journey
  3. The core terms for “fiction” and “interface” are not figured out yet, so just refrain from adding these or any terms belonging to these areas for now.
  4. More terms may come over time, but this is our starting set.
  5. Authors of new patterns and lenses have prerogative in naming them. But when you name a new pattern or lens, check the existing literature that you've found whether there's already a standing industry or psychology term you can use, such as “sunk costs” or “juicy feedback”.

Images and Videos

Embed images! But if you do, please (a) use your own in-game screenshots and credit them as “Image: Your name”, or (b) if you use other people's images, ideally choose open content-licensed images (such as Creative Commons) and credit the original source in the form

Image: Source, licence
Image: Jon Doe, cc:by-nc

where the name of the source is linked to the original image site, and the name of the licence is linked to the licence.

If you embed videos (and again, please do!), and you use a regular sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo, just use the embed manager (see image above), and you're golden.


Linking is good. We like linking. If you mention a game, ideally, link the first time you mention the game's name to that game's page on


At the end of each pattern or lens, there is a section “References”. This is where all the scientific and industry literature you have found on your pattern goes. We use the APA style of referencing. You can use Google Scholar or Zotero or another citation manager to help you generate properly formatted references.

about/editing_guidelines.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/12 04:40 by codingconduct