Make a Game out of an App

I’ve been exploring the intersection of games and things that aren’t really games, and using playability to make books and apps better. In past articles, I’ve talked about how this is not gamification, which I view as a tacked-on layer. I gave the example of Pokémon Go vs. Apple Workouts to illustrate the difference.

I recently made a major update to Sprint-o-Mat that made the UI more of a visualization. My goal was to make it easier to get the most important information at a glance.

But, running with it today, I realized that it’s also now a game. Instead of showing this:

I show this:

The white dots are pace-setters, and so now it’s a game—a race. It’s a rudimentary one, but racing is fun, and I think this now is a fruitful direction for making it more and more like a race.

In a real race, one of the most fun parts (to me) is when you are close to another runner and have to compete. This is where I think I can add some functionality in the next version.

I could do even better if Apple Glasses are real.