Over the past few months I’ve been busy working on something. Not a new killer app or sick side project, but actually engaging in gamified challenges in the company I work with, X-Team.
In October, X-Team finally launched its first Season, a thematic period of 3 months where we X-Teamers can participate in challenges (or bounties) to accomplish new things, do cool stuff and earn virtual coins that we can eventually trade for items, like t-shirts, gaming mice/keyboards, board games and even donations to charity.
This post is about my experience during that first Season and how it made more fun to try new things and accomplish challenges. And when I say challenges, I don’t mean silly, boring stuff, but actual activities that energize you, like playing a new game, visiting a new city or participating in a meetup.
The idea is that with every season we get new bounties, new slack-based games (getting fit can also be fun), coins to collect, items to spend those coins on and new options to energize.
If you’re curious to know more, watch this super cool public video explaining everything. It’s great.
Season 1 Overview
X-Team’s first season had “Gear Up” as its core theme, which meant everything related to improving your tools and getting equipped with the most energizing gear you can think of, like a cool gaming mouse, some epic running shoes and so on. Feeling capable of more through the power of gearing up. Think Iron Man.
Gear up, yo!
Motivated by the theme, I grabbed a new wireless headset (quality of life went ++), a new gaming mouse (G502 Hero!), a new case for my phone and even a decent mouse pad. Oh, and the beautiful, beautiful Corsair K95 Keyboard (not an affiliate link!). You bet I’m feeling more productive than ever 😃.
And with that season came the bounties. I’m a big fan of challenges and collectibles, so naturally I had to give my best to catch ’em all. But how did I go?
This season I faced many challenges, from “Finishing top 3 in PUBG” to “Cook or go out and eat an Italian dish”. I had my own guideline, though:
Try new stuff, always. If the challenge is about eating Italian food, I can’t go to a restaurant I already visited before.
For challenges that imply trying something, actually go there and complete it, if possible (e.g: “Beat a 10+ years old game” even if the challenge only says “Play”).
These simple rules made the challenges even more interesting. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
Easily my favorite bounty category this season was Games. I play a lot, so naturally I tried doing some of those first.
The Triforce of Battle Royale challenges
Having barely played Fortnite and the new COD, these ones were a ton of fun and were in the initial batch that I completed. When you’re trying to win, battle royale games can be tense because you have to face the last one or two opponents, but when you’re aiming for Top 3, the mentality is completely different: knowing how to hide and survive is a more essential skill there than aiming and shooting.
Took me a while and I almost didn’t make it, but hey, it worked.
I ended up enjoying Fortnite way more than I initially thought (and may or may not have spent some money there 😜). So much so that I went for another very challenging bounty, Fortnite Pro.
There were also challenges to play (or, in my own guidelines, to beat) games with specific traits: games that are 10+ years old, 20+ years old and a mobile game.
I thought that was a great opportunity to try some hidden gems that I’ve never played/beaten before, so I picked Hook (SNES) and Metroid Fusion (GBA) as my retro games of choice, plus Alto’s Adventure for my mobile pick. I’m very happy that I did, as I finally got to finally beat a Metroid game for the first time ever (and an EPIC one for GBA standards!), plus had some challenging moments with Hook, a super underrated gem from the creators of Skyblazer (SNES).
Branching out to other bounty categories, I finally got a good excuse to watch Mary Poppins (1964), as the sequel is releasing soon and there was a shiny bounty to watching a movie from 10+ years ago. Speaking about movies, I also got a bounty completed just for watching something on Netflix and sharing a review on our #movies slack channel. I picked Hateful Eight (2016) for that one 😁
There are also the food-related bounties, which are always fun. I never tried Mexican food before, so that was the perfect opportunity.
I think this is the aspect I enjoy the most about this sort of gamification: trying new stuff. Playing that underrated game that you would have forgotten otherwise. Watching that movie that has been sitting on your Netflix list for so long. Doing more. Getting 1% better every day.
For December, the #foodie-club challenge was eating Japanese food. I might have gone too crazy with the theme.
Naturally, I ended up doing a lot more bounties than just the ones I shared, but it serves as a good example as to what type of activities can go in a bounty.
In the end, I’m happy with my performance. There are still a few bounties I want to go after, but so far I’ve completed 27 out of about 75 (new ones keep being added throughout the season), accumulating quite a few coins. I still plan on getting this number to at least 30, as the season ends at December 31st.
By the way, if you’re reading this, that means I just got this bounty. Feels meta, man.
Overall, I had a blast this season. With better gear, more activities (seriously, read about our Fit Quest) and the opportunity to spend those hard earned coins to get even better equipped, it’s hard not getting excited about being part of a company with such an awesome culture.
Season 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see what new feats I’ll be accomplishing 😃.
*This post was originally published on Ed Rocha's medium page.