Design the Badge Game Mechanics About Badge Game Mechanics

Badges are a common game mechanic, in which players receive recognition for various accomplishments. Makahiki allows the challenge designer to specify the set of badges available in a challenge, and to define new ones. The challenge designer has the option of making badges worth points. Finally, the designer can use the Makahiki predicate system to award a badge automatically (for example, when a player has completed a Level in the Smart Grid Game), or manually award the badge through administrator action (for example, when a player reports a significant bug in the system).

In many systems, each badge has a custom design, but in Makahiki, we decided that the overhead of providing a custom graphic for each badge outweighed the benefits. Providing a custom graphic also would creates complexity with another feature of Makahiki: the ability to create “themes” with different colors (see Theme Development). To facilitate theme development, badges have a common look and feel consisting of a circle and a multi-character ID. Its actual colors are specified by the theme, and can thus vary from theme to theme.

Here is a screen image showing some badges accumulated by a player in a recent challenge:

_images/challenge-design-game-admin-badge-examples.png Managing badges

After clicking on the “Badges” link in the Game Admin widget, a page similar to the following should appear:


This page displays all the badges in the system.

To add a new badge, click the “Add badge” button in the upper right corner. Change a Badge

Clicking on a badge instance brings up a page with information about the badge:


Note the following:

  • Name: Should be unique within this set of badges.
  • Slug: You can allow the system to generate this; it must also be unique.
  • Label: What appears in the the badge icon; should be unique across all badge labels.
  • Description: What achievment led to the badge award.
  • Hint: What appears in the Badge Library page. You can either specify exactly what earns the badge, or just provide a hint.
  • Points: How many points this badge is worth. Could be zero.
  • Priority: Specifies the order in which the badges appear in the Badge Library page.
  • Award condition: Use “False” to award the badge manually, or else create a predicate to specify when the badge should be awarded to the player.
  • Award trigger: How often the system should check to see if badges should be awarded.
  • Theme: Select one of five possible themes. The examples are based upon the current theme, but the actual display will be based upon whatever the player has selected.


Remember to click the Save button at the bottom of the page when finished to save your changes.