There are many useful gamification tools out there; from Andrzej Marczewski's player type framework to the famous Maslow's pyramid of needs. But after all, I do believe that the most potent gamification tool is Yu-Kai Chou's Octalysis Framework. According to Wikipedia, The Octalysis Framework is a human-centric gamification design framework that lays out the eight core drives for humans motivation developed by Yu-Kai Chou. Those who haven't heard about The Octalysis can read more about it here.
It's crucial to keep in mind that as a gamification designer, you have to think about human core motivations. Gamification -- or as Yu-Kai said, human-focused design -- is not about badges or leaderboards. It's about human core drives. This fact is the most profound concept in gamification. And The Octalysis Framework is based on this single fact. It tries to understand those nucleus motivations and use them to drive behaviors.
Yu-Kai Chou introduced his successful platform in a book called Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Unlike many gamification tools, taxonomies, and user types, The Octalysis is highly actionable. What makes The Octalysis 8 Core Drives even more complete and potent is The Octalysis Strategy Dashboard: a tool that lets you implement The Octalysis Core Drives in every gamification project.
If you want to analyze a gamification platform and find its weaknesses, then The Octalysis Framework is the best tool for you. But if you're going to design a project from scratch, you'll need The Strategy Dashboard, too.
Many gamification tools are developed for specific functions such as designing e-learning platforms or marketing. But The Octalysis touches the natural human motivations. Thus, you can use The Octalysis Framework for almost every gamification project. No matter you want to design an e-learning platform or you want to run a viral marketing campaign, The Octalysis Framework can help you.
Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards was published in 2015, and from then on, The Octalysis has become one of the most popular topics in gamification. If you want to dive deep and master the framework, it won't be an impossible mission. The Octalysis Group and The Octalysis community has created many useful contents to teach the basics and the advanced topics of The Octalysis Framework. In my opinion, Yu-Kai's blog, his book, and The Octalysis Prime are the best resources to learn more about Octalysis. At the same time, Yu-Kai has uploaded many helpful videos on his Youtube account and Udemy.
I believe The Octalysis Framework is now a mature tool. And it's revealed its capabilities in action. The Octalysis Group has empowered many top companies including eBay, Microsoft, and Google. The Octalysis improved the best. It probably will improve yours, too!