FOAM Map Gamification. Results & Next Steps


This is an overview over our gamification efforts, our learnings & next steps.

I am dividing our gamification efforts around the FOAM Map into two categories, Explicit Gamification and Implicit Gamification . This dichotomy is taken from Actionable Gamification by Yu-Kai Chou where he uses the term Explicit Gamification for games that full-fill non game purposes and Implicit Gamification for human-focused design that utilizes game elements.

With the Treasure hunt and NYC NFT Campaign we have already done two tests of explicit gamification, two games designed with specific, slightly different non-game purposes in mind (in addition to their functions as marketing campaigns).

With the leaderboard, we are in the process of launching our first implicit gamification effort on top of the already existing implicit incentives established in the FOAM Map and the proof of use process (a breakdown of the results of the existing FOAM Map TCR incentives can be found here).

I will walk through these specific purposes and see if we can validate/disprove some of them and other assumptions made when they were developed.

It’s worth mentioning that these test draw heavily from @cryptozen initial post on incentives on the FOAM Map (If there already would be a badge for community contributions, I would mint it for you).

Treasure hunt

For the holiday season we ran the first campaign; inviting our community to solve riddles & add locations to discover 10 hidden digital collectables produced with Blockcities. The game was designed to produce three outcomes:

Does the FOAM Map provide a good framework for spatial games?

A definitive yes. Having people add points for solving riddles worked well. Most riddles were solved within an hour of posting it and the community had fun doing it. It also is worth mentioning that this campaign was done entirely on top of the FOAM Map. None of the FOAM Map codebase was changed and none of the FOAM developer team had to be involved. The marketing team came up with the rules, launched the campaign and distributed the NFTs (h/t @daryl) based on on-chain data.

In theory this kind of campaign could be done by anyone, using existing or custom interfaces for interacting with FOAM Map registry smart contracts and creating own branding and rules around it. We are currently working on making that even easier. If you are a developer that interested in building something similar with the FOAM Map, please get in touch.

Did it get people using the FOAM Map?

Yes and no. We saw a big spike in visitors on the FOAM Map during the campaign and an increased number of unique point adders. Having said that, I personally think that the amount of unique point adders would have increased substantially if there was an easier on-boarding mechanism in place, thus directly converting the spike in visitors into new cartographers.

Onboarding is still a big problem, especially for non-blockchain mappers. FOAM tokens are needed for participation & these are currently only available via exchanges. This is a big pain point for all dApps until web3 wallets are directly integrated into mainstream browsers or web3 browsers have achieved mainstream adoption.

So, how can on-boarding process be made easier?

  • Decentralized exchange widget integration
  • Mobile wallet compatibility
  • Gamify onboarding progress

We are currently building out a 0x exchange widget so users can get FOAM tokens directly via the FOAM Map interface. If everything goes well this will be part of the next release. This is expected to increase our conversion moving forward. We are looking forward to sharing results. It is also already possible to use the FOAM Map in mobile wallets, but this can be improved and should be promoted more heavily by us.

Do users add points based on a game like this?

Yes, but just not that many. It became very clear that a group of users were very dedicated and solved riddles almost immediately after us posting. The game mechanics were designed to create an exciting game that engaged the community, but weren't optmized for number of points added. Since each riddle only had one true answer, the adding of points stopped directly after the winner was announced. For future game designs, we want to experiment with changing the game mechanics to increase number of points added specifically.

Two examples of game mechanics that could optimize for number of points added

  • Winners decided based on aggregate amount of points
  • Many possible answers to a riddle

Here, I am interested in hearing the ideas and feedback from the community. What are your ideas for game mechanics that optimize for number of points added or other positives? Please share as a comment.

NFT NYC Campaign

For our NYC blockchain event we did another explicit gamification test, offering a digital collectible (NFT) of the New Lab to everyone who adds a POI in the local area (see image below for the boundary) marked with the tag ‘New Lab Event’ on February 11, 12, and 13. The game was designed to validate two assumptions:

Do non-unique NFTs also provide an incentive for adding points?

When looking at implementing something like a badge system for points added (previously brought up here), it was unclear to us if a non-unique NFT would be as strong of an incentive. So for the NFT NYC Campaign, we created 1 singular NFT, that was distributed to every participant, with a pretty low barrier to entry (add one point within this area).

Given the results (63 points added), it seems that it still provided enough of an incentive and bodes well for further work on NFT badges.

Do extrinsic campaigns produce high quality points?

It is often argued that using gamification for incentivising contributions to open source datasets creates perverse incentives which in turn leads to a data set of poorer quality. To try this out within the framework of point creation, we created a tag for tracking the points added during the campaign (New Lab Event), and re-evaluated the results three weeks (21 days) after the end of the campaign.

The results are surprisingly positive. Of the 63 Points made during the campaign, 5 have been removed due to challenges. When looking at these points individually, 4 are copies of the New Lab, (which might be attributed to some confusion about the rules), and 1 is simply a point named “K”.

Next steps


The first externally developed implicit gamification effort will be coming out of beta next week with some added functionality and on its own domain.

Until then you can visit it here:

It is too early to make any judgements on its efficiency as an incentive for adding points to the FOAM Map, but given the reactions on the thread by @foam_cs it seems that the community is as excited as we are. We are looking at extending the leaderboard moving forward and are currently working on a specification for the next iteration. If there is functionality that you are currently missing, please tell us.

There will be a longer writeup on the leaderboard release next week.

More gamification efforts

We will continue doing tests, currently looking at two additional tests during March and April. We then want to put our learnings into practice with a public-facing campaign at a certain New York based Blockchain event in May.

Before that we need to do more experimentation with automating some of the processes and working on further game mechanics. We also think that coordination around these campaigns can be improved. For that your feedback and ideas are very valuable.

Ultimately, with all of this, we are looking to validate to developers that the FOAM Map is a great framework for creating blockchain based spatial applications, especially efforts that involve the incentivisation and coordination of communities (like games). If you are a developer wanting to be involved in our gamification efforts or a game designer that wants to build on the FOAM Map, please get in touch (arthur at We are currently looking at formalizing a fund and grant structure for exactly this purpose.

Also make sure to visit our developer portal:

For more discussion regarding potential games that can be build on the FOAM Map see here:

Looking forward to your comments!

FOAM Map Upgrades Community Call (Mar 7- 12PM EST)
FOAM Gamification
FOAM Gamification
Cartographer Badge Test Release

We will walk through this topic and @foam_cs will showcase leaderboard for feedback on todays community call.

Join here:


I enjoyed readying the transparent results and analysis of your campaigns.

The widget integration seems like a key addition for new users. More games are a great idea to get people involved who might not normally associate maps with fun :blush: