The Ritter Race is a gamfication project born from the need to collect Ritter Sport chocolate bar wrappers. A fellow student and I want to make a giant pixel image out of ~900 square wrappers. Eating those by ourselves would take over a year at one bar a day and probably give us diabetes or a heart attack before we even got enough wrappers.
When we asked our fellow students to collect wrappers, I quickly got the idea that the best contributor should get a reward. A race? Maybe a horse race with bets? Soon the idea for a pixel style race was born but making it as a video game meant it would take too long and build a technological barrier for the participants. So I made pixel graphics of horses and a race track, added some achievements and intermediary goals and finally printed them out, put them on a wall and declared the contest for open.
The result was astonishing. After an initial slow start in the first couple of days, people started taking the race far more serious than expected. Some started collecting wrappers to get the bonuses for bringing in 5 wrappers at once and after only a week, the first racer had already contributed 10 wrappers and scored the first achievement – she got a feather in her jockey’s cap.
The game is still evolving. I’m going to adding dice throws for random bonuses whenever a player contributes a wrapper so people don’t hoard them to bring them in at once. There are many more possibilities to make the game more fun for everybody and game variants like ‘catch the rabbit’ may be the way to go for round 2. I’m looking forward to see what happens.
The Ritter Race rules
1) declare a race track. The track needs an arbitrary number of fields, our track has 78 fields, created by the bricks on the wall. The number of fields should depend on the number of players and their grade of addiction to chocolate. You don’t need to use a wall as the race track but it’s probably most fun.
2) Create player tokens. You can use our pixel race horses, but anything will do, really. Make them funny.
3) Create achievements for reaching intermediary goals and set a reward for the winner.
4) Make sure everybody has ample access to chocolate, buy a couple of bars and resell them if your local vending machine doesn’t have enough in stock.
5) Make a list of players and their horse names to track progress.
6) Ready. Set. Go.